Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 6, NO. 6 / OCTOBER 1987

I/O Board


Thanks for the positive review of USA Construction Set (Antic, July 1987). We do listen to your comments and upgrade our products if we can. You made a legitimate complaint about having to go through the entire answer database to find the correct answer.

The program has now been enhanced so that three random answers, plus the correct one, are the only ones you have to look at. These will be displayed randomly so that the answer wonít always be in the same order. Owners of the older version can receive a free upgrade by mailing their original disk to EZuse Software.

We wish the review had mentioned one of the highlights of the program—ability to print the USA Construction Set in quiz format. The data can be printed sequentially or randomly, as can a selected number. We learned from our Quizmaster Construction Set (reviewed in Antic, November 1986) that this is what the users want, especially the educators who bought it for class use.

     Jan Iverson
     EZuse Software
     2850 Enca Way
     Antioch, CA 94509


At the television station where I work, my engineering department is responsible for recording numerous programs which are delivered via satellite. Every so often, one of the engineers would forget to record a show. This caused all sorts of grief as other (more expensive) arrangements had to be made to obtain the show before the scheduled air time.

Last year, after hearing of yet another show that wasnít recorded on time, I decided something had to be done. Thus was born the Weekly Event Timer, a BASIC program that generates an obnoxious noise to warn us of an impending show to be recorded. What better way to use my Atari at work?

     Richard Kihn
     Chief Engineer, KFDM-TV
     Beaumont, TX


I have a U.S. Doubler and SpartaDOS. I think they make a powerful combination, and with most of my disks at double density, I canít live without it. I forgot that DOS 2.5 and SpartaDOS arenít 100% compatible. Sparta can read but NOT write sectors above 720 using normal CIO calls. You canít use ERASE to delete DOS 2.5 files above sector 720.

I was writing a disk-dependent program for DOS 2.5 and I foolishly thought Iíd just put back my original Atari chips, finish the program and then re-insert the Doubler.

The Atari chips worked fine. I confidently put the Doubler back in, and my 1050 refused to recognize anything. In fact, neither the Doubler nor the Atari chips worked. I sent the Atari chips, the drive and $65 to Atari and got my drive back in two weeks.

Instead of leaving well enough alone, I put the Doubler back in. It worked, but now my drive fails frequently, especally if itís used for more than an hour. Should I send it back and lose two more weeks and another $65? Buy another drive? Skip town? I donít know.

But I will offer the following advice: Be very careful if youíre going to install a modification to any of your hardware. Ground your hands by attaching a wire to yourself and a ground source such as a cold water pipe. Be gentle—or, better yet, leave it to a professional.

     Mack McLeod
     Thornhill, Ontario


Antic has freelance assignments for reviewers of Atari 8-bit adventures (text or graphics) and fantasy role-playing games. If you are an experienced gamer in either of these categories and can write well, send the Antic Editor a letter about yourself plus a sample of your writing.

We can only consider you for an assignment after seeing some of your writing. If you don't have any relevant writing samples on hand, just write us a review of a game that you know well.


How can I safely ship my disks overseas? Will airport security X-rays affect them? How can I keep the heat and cold which may be encountered during shipping won't hurt them?

     F.D. Keel
     Las Vegas, NV

Camera shops and some computer stores sell lead-foil bags. Sealing your disks inside these bags should take care of all those problems.—ANTIC ED


I read Kenny Hom's problem with Bank Street Writer (I/O Board, Antic, June 1987). I also have an old version of Bank Street Writer—it won't hoot with Atari BASIC revisions B or C. However, it works well with revision A (and a translator on an XL or XE). Another program that requires revision A is Diskey from Adventure International. Diskey is about 90% compatible with revisions B and C, however.

I also have a debugged version of revision A BASIC on disk. I've been unable to boot Bank Street Writer or Diskey with my disk-based BASIC. Is there any way to do this?

     Charles Campbell
     Indianapolis, IN


I'm a high school football coach interested in drawing football plays—mostly involving X's, O's and arrows—with my 800XL and sending them to my Star SG-10 printer. I thought that the Atari Light pen might work, but I couldn't find compatible software. So I'm wondering about drawing with the joystick. I'm at an impasse and could use help.

     Jerry Culver
     Livingston, CA


White House Computer of Williamsport, Pennsylvania unexpectedly went out of business and filed for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, a number of Antic readers have not received goods for which they paid White House. If you are in this situation, contact Postal Inspector Riley, P.O. Box 3747, Scranton, PA 18505-3747.

During the past five years, the overwhelming majority of mail order companies advertising in Antic have provided outstanding service and values. However, readers should know that federal postal regulations require mail-order sellers to deliver your purchased goods within 30 days after receiving your order. If you don't obtain your mail order purchase in 30 days, you are entitled to seek action by filing complaints with your local Postmaster General and Better Business Bureau.


I have an Atari 1200XL, a 1050 disk drive and a 1027 letter quality printer. The printer has "automatic" margins, and when I set margins with the First XLEnt Word Processor, the margins on the printout are 20 columns further in on each side. I've found that I must set margins with [][F]lm-10, [][F]rm+9. (I have to use "9" in the right margin because the 1027 won't accept lines longer than 80 characters—so I have to send 79 per line.)

     Augusto Poitevin
     Luquillo, Puerto Rico

We don't currently have a 1027 printer to test this with. However, we'd be interested in knowing if other 1027 owners have this problem with First XLEnt.—ANTIC ED

Atari Desktop Publishing

Newest prototype of the Atari Desktop Publishing System is demonstrated at the June, 1987 World of Atari Fair in Santa Clara, California by Mark Jansen of Atari R&D. The interface box can be glimpsed between the Atari laser printer and the 4Mb Mega ST.



The manual for Antic dataBASE (August 1987 Super Disk Bonus) appeared on disk in shortened and somewhat garbled form. The complete, corrected manual (42 sectors) is on the October 1987 Antic Disk and can be accessed from the Help Menu—Selection 5 on Side A. Or you can download the manual from the Error Log section of ANTIC ONLINE on CompuServe.

Antic welcomes your feedback, but we regret that the large volume of mail makes it impossible for the Editors to reply to everyone. Although we do respond to as much reader correspondence as time permits, our highest priority must be to publish I/O answers to questions that are meaningful to a substantial number of readers.

Send letters to: Antic I/O Board, 544 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94107.