Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 6, NO. 10 / FEBRUARY 1988

I/O Board


Antic thanks readers Bill Koonz of Schenectady, NY and Alfred Hicks of Westford, MA who point out an inaccuracy in XL Memory Eater (Tech Tips, Antic, November 1987). It's not in fact the 800XL operating system that appends 16 garbage bytes to your BASIC files, but Atari BASIC, Revision B. Using Revision C or such BASICs as BASIC XL/XE from OSS or Turbo BASIC should take care of this problem.-ANTIC ED


I ordered a clock card from Navarone Industries. However, the battery was discharged when I received it, and the card failed to work after replacing the battery several times.

When I called the company, the person I talked to was so nice and helpful. Within two weeks of returning the clock card to Navarone, I received a new unit. I've had it for more than a year and it keeps perfect time. I could not be more pleased with Navarone. It's pleasant to do business with a company that stands behind its products and is so nice to its customers.

James Mann
Mullan, ID


In the June, 1985 issue of Antic you heralded the coining of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) long before anyone else thought this topic would catch on. But with the advent of the Atari ST computers, it seems that our old friend, the 8-bit machine, has been slighted again. Isn't there any 8-bit MIDI software?
Dan Stuart
Rosevile, MN

Hybrid Arts, the same company listed in that June, 1985 article, Play it Again, Atari, has expanded its product line-while prices have dropped dramatically The hardware-software MidiTrack III is now $174 and MidiTrack III for the 130XE is $187. Hybrid Arts is at 11920 W Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 96064. (213) 826-3777-ANTIC ED


The Panasonic 1091 printer works quite well with the Epson printer driver in AtariWriter Plus, except that it prints a zero at the top of the first page of a document. This can be eliminated by typing [CONTROL] [O], 24, [RETURN] at the beginning of the document.

The [CONTROL] [O] is the control character used to place printer codes in the text and 24 is Panasonic's decimal code for Cancel-which clears the text in the print buffer. However, this will not work if the top margin value is greater than 0 in the Global Format. To set the top margin, go to the text file and press [CONTROL] [T], then type in the desired margin setting. (I also found that this procedure doesn't work when I print selected pages of a multi-page document.)

John Swain
San Gabriel, CA

(We were unable to test all these suggestions. -ANTIC ED)


Do other Indus disk drive users have this problem? Flight Simulator II rarely boots up properly. Getting World War II Ace to run is even tougher. Does anyone know of a fix? I'd hate to buy a new disk drive.
Victor Decarlo Jr.
Hackensack, NJ

Our copy of Flight Simulator II runs fine on our Indus drives. Try checking your drive speed and cleaning your read/write head-ANTIC ED


My early model 520ST developed problems with the power supply and video output. I contacted Atari Corp., and a manager of customer relations phoned me back and promptly arranged for exchange of the defective computer.

I can tell you that I've been most pleased with the ST computer and will not hesitate to purchase more Atari systems in the future. Atari Corp. is serious about customer satisfaction.

Russell Miller Jr.
New Castle, DE


The manual for my Atari XMM801 printer says I need an 9-bit screen-dump program that can dump to an Epson printer. Where do I get such a program? Also, I've found that I only get garbage characters when I try to print with Broderbund's Print Shop.
William Tilley
Vestal, NY

Several screen-dump programs will do the job, including Kwik Dump (Antic, March 1985) and Lister Plus ($19.95, The Catalog AP0179). Regarding Print Shop, our review of the XMM801 (Antic, December 1986) said that the printer wouldn't work with Print Shop and no solution was on the horizon at that time.

But now, XLEnt Software has been working on an XMM801 translator disk for Print Shop. According to XLEnt's Linda Kubota-Barnes, Atari says the translator makes Print Shop "98% compatible" with the XMM801. "We can't guarantee 100% compatibility, but the only problems I've seen are with calendars," she says. You can get the translator by sending $10 to: XLEnt Software, P0. Box 5228, Springfield, VA 22150.- ANTIC ED


Here are some solutions for the problems mentioned in your review of Electronic Arts' Lords of Conquest (Antic, May 1987). First, if a map file can't be found, that's because it has the same number as another one on the disk. Second, the musical tribute at the end can be cut short by pressing the joystick trigger. Finally, don't reboot after each game. Just choose to play again and you'll return to the main menu.
Jason Strautman
CompuServe ID


I thoroughly enjoyed Designer Labels (Antic, April 1987), but the program wasn't exactly compatible with the brand of labels I used. My labels print out at a distance of 1 1/32 inches apart-instead of 1 inch exactly. How do I change the listing to accomodate different label formats? The only feature I need to change is the distance needed between labels.
Andrew Weiner, DDS
Encino, CA

Unfortunately, most printers cannot easily print a "one-time" 1/32-inch line feed between each label-which is all you need to do. Star printers, for example, can only advance the paper in increments of 1/144 of an inch, such as 1/144, 2/144, 3/144 and so on. The code to advance the paper 5/144, for example, would be:

LPRINT CHR$(27); "J",CHR$(5)

To find the proper printer code for 1/32 of an inch, we calculate how many times 1/144 of an inch goes into 1/32 of an inch and place the result in our program line.

But this time the answer 4.5, is not an integer and can't be used in the program's CHR$ function. The program patch below will alternately use a 4 and a 5 in the printer code, creating an average line spacing of 1/32-inch.

The variable "I" represents the number of labels printed so far When "I" is odd, the printer receives the CHR$(4) character Otherwise, the printer receives the CHR$(5) character

2265?#C2;CHR$(27); "J"; CHR$(4 + (I/2 lNT(I/2)));:REM

Here's the modification for Epson printers:

2265?#C2;CHR$(27);"J"; CHR$(7 -(I/4 = INT(I/4)));:REM CODE FOR EPSON


A member of our Atari users group donated a Racal-Vadic model 1200V modem for our BBS. Unfortunately, we can't find a VA2055 power supply, or the specs or voltage for the pin-in. Can anyone help?
Ray St. Cyr
Nederland, TX


I have a Star NX-10 printer, a P:R: Connection from ICD and an Atari 130XE. I've found that you don't need a printer driver to use AtariWriter Plus with this system. When asked what printer you're using, press [H] for "other," and at the next menu press [F] for Epson FX-80. All extra printer functions will work fine. Use [CONTROL] [G] functions 4 and 5 for superscripts and subscripts-just as you would on an Atari XMM801 printer.
Randy Hefner
Vice President,
Hickory ACE
Hickory, NC


I wish Atari would initiate some type of educational program where schools received free or reduced-cost STs with practical software. Then educators could see how little Apple offers in comparison. When children talk about computers, they talk about Apples. I'd like to see that perception change. Parents want to purchase inexpensive computers, but they see them as game machines. School districts using better software-and computers-could be a very inexpensive means of changing these misconceptions about Atari.
Darrell Strait
Blue Springs, MO


A BASIC aviation program I've written for the Atari 800XL requires plotting several high-resolution circles in Graphics 8 mode. I use the following routine-which takes an abysmally long time:
KK 30 X=77:Y=29:LET R=4:GOSUB 50
KL 40 X=93:Y=27:LET R=6:GOSUB 50
OU 60 FOR ANG=0 TO 360 STEP 30

Is there a faster machine language equivalent of steps 30-90 that I can call with the USR command?

Phil Howland
Hillsborough, CA

Darek Mihocka's Graphics Utility Package in the article G.U.P. the Great (Antic, June 1985) should do what you want.- ANTIC ED


I ran across a company called Best Electronics which supplies 130XE keyboard mylar film for $22. It's better than the original film, and it sure beats sticking your XE in the closet because some of the contacts on the keyboard film have broken. Best Electronics is at 2021 The Alameda, Suite 290, San Jose, CA 95126. (408) 243-6950.
JA. Bader
Akron, OH


In view of the many changes in the 1987 tax code, would you consider an early publication of your excellent annual SynCalc spreadsheet Income Tax template? The November issue would not be too soon for coverage of this vital subject.
W.R. Waddell, Jr.
Harrisonburg, VA

You have a good point, and we'll try to get the 1988 tax template into print as quickly as possible. However when we received your letter in July, we were already finishing up this November 1987 issue. And the advance IRS information we need for the tax template will not be released until much closer to the end of 1987 So it's just not realistic to expect the tax template before the March or April, 1988 issue. At least these issues are available the month before the cover date. For example, you can buy the April issue at the beginning of March. And look for the template on ANTIC ONLINE as early as February-ANTIC ED


The Seikosha SP-1000A printer is supposed to be Epson-compatible, but I can't get it to work with 151 Word on my 1040ST Can anyone help?
Stephen Shulman
Jamestown, NY

Unfortunately, we have the same problem. Readers?-ANTIC ED


Help! The light on my 1040ST disk drive flickers very dimly all the time. Is this normal? Where can I have it repaired?
Phillip Quails
El Paso, TX

That flickering light is completely normal and does not need to be repaired, according to Atari Engineering. You must have excellent eyesight, Phillip. We had never noticed that our own 1040ST drive lights flicker too, and we had to take the STs into a dark room before we could see it. -ANTIC ED