Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 7, NO. 10 / FEBRUARY 1989


Ultimate Atari reference tool goes online.

Antic Index

By Charles Jackson, Antic Technical and Online Editor

Introducing the Antic Index, newest addition to ANTIC ONLINE and CompuServe. The Antic Index is the most comprehensive guide to back issues of Antic and START. If the Antic Index was published as a book, it would contain more than 8,500 pages of product reviews, new product announcements, I/O letters, programming tutorials, feature articles and news bulletins.

Need Atari information fast? It's all just seconds away. Find it in the Antic Index, the largest, fastest electronic guide to information about your Atari. And best of all, there's no extra fee. You pay only standard CompuServe connect charges. There's never any extra fees or surcharges for using the Antic Index. Just type GO ANTIC and select menu choice 10, The Antic Index.

The Antic Index is primarily an electronically searchable database covering every article ever published in Antic, from the 1982 first issue till the beginning of 1989--plus most articles from START. But the Index is also a library as well as a database. So far, you can actually download some 20% of the complete Antic articles, perhaps half of the complete START text, and many original major features from ANTIC ONLINE such as Tim Oren's Professional GEM columns and Chris Crawford's Assembly Language tutorials.

The Antic Index, currently at the seven megabyte mark, is an ongoing project of ANTIC ONLINE. Every week we'll be adding more and more information from old and new issues of START and Antic. The Antic Index is an all-text reference service, so it cannot contain any photographs, diagrams, advertisements or program listings. If you need to see a diagram or use a program, you can order $3 back magazines or $5 back disks from the Antic Disk Desk. Just phone (800) 234-7001 with your Visa or Mastercard order, or see the ad in this magazine for details on a magazine/disk back issue special offer.

If you ever needed a clear programming tutorial, a helpful product review, or just a fun game from Antic or START back issues, there used to be only one way to find it. Slide out your box of old magazines, start with the most likely-looking issue, search through each page. If you never missed or lost an issue and if you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll probably find the information you need. You'll also be quite a bit older than when you started.

Now there's an easier way. In a few seconds, the Antic Index can find your article, right down to the page number. In many cases, the index also contains the complete text of the article. Just "capture" the information you need. There's nothing simpler or faster. Let the Antic Index be your frtst stop when you need Atari information fast. It'll probably be the only stop you need.


If you ever used a card catalog to find a library book, you'll have very little trouble using the Antic Index. A typical card catalog offers two ways to find a book--by author and by subject. The Antic Index gives you eleven ways to find an article. You can search by:

1 Author's Name
2 Month of Publication
3 Year of Publication
4 Subject
5 *See a List of Subjects/Search*
6 Department
7 *See a List of Departments/Search*
8 Programming Language
9 Program Name
10 Article Title
11 Magazine Title

Use the Author's Name option to find all articles written by a particular author. For example, if you wanted to know when Russ Wetmore wrote those articles about the 1030 modem, you would search by Author's Name for WETMORE. The index software searches through its database and compiles a list of every article written by WETMORE. This list is called a selection set. Once a selection set is created, it's put into a menu and displayed onscreen. Now, just type in the number of the article you want to see.

The Month and Year of Publication options let you restrict your searches to a specified date.

Use the Subject option to find all articles written by about a particular subject, such as Printers, Desktop Publishing and Business. If you need more help, use the *See a List of Subjects/Search* option to display a list of more than three dozen commonly used subject headings.

Use the Department option to find all articles written for a particular subject, such as New Products, ST Section, and Features. Again, if you need more help, use the * See a List of Departments/Search * option to display a list of commonly used department headings.

The Program Name and Programming Language options only search through articles which contain program listings. For example, you could search by Program Name to learn when Antic ran the STRETCH.ACT program. Use the Programming Language option when you know what language the program was written in. This option, for example, could find every ACTION! program Antic has printed. Just remember that the Antic Index is an all-text service and cannot contain program listings, only the accompanying articles.

The Article Title option finds an article by its title. If you entered "online," the Index would find every article which has the word "online" anywhere in its title.


The Magazine Title option lets you restrict your searches to Antic Magazine, START Magazine, or ANTIC ONLINE.

Even if you don't remember the exact title of the article, or even how to spell the author's name, the Antic Index can still help. For example, if you needed Lawrence Dziegielewski's "Disk Drive Survey," but couldn't remember how to spell Dziegielewski, you could search by Author's Name for any part of the name you could spell. Searches for "Dz" or "ski" would find the article almost as quickly as a search for Dziegielewski.

Of course, you could have found the same article by searching by Subject for "Review" or searching by Article Title for "Disk."

In most cases you don't need to type-in the entire search term. A few well-chosen keywords will do. Imagine you're looking for an article titled: "3-D Fractals: Three-dimensional ST landscapes."

But you could only remember that the article had the word "fractal" in it. No problem. Select choice 10, Article Title from the SEARCH BY menu, and type the word "fractal" at the "Enter Article Title:" prompt. Here's what you'll see:

Enter Article Title: fractal
6 articles selected
1 Faster Fractals
2 Fractals For Your Atari
3 Fractal Zoom
4 3-D Fractals: Three dimension
5 Fractal Congratulations
6 Ballblazer & Rescue On Fractal
Enter choice !

The index creates a menu listing every article which has the word "fractal" in its title. The "3-D Fractals: Three Dimensional ST Landscapes" article is choice #4.

Type a 4 at the "Enter choice!" prompt, for complete bibliographic information about the article-- including author, which issue it appeared in, the page number and whether there are any type-in listings. If the complete text of the article has already been uploaded, it will appear when you press [RETURN]. Otherwise, that [RETURN] will take you back to the SEARCH BY menu.


Sometimes the categories you select will be too broad. For example, searching for New Products would produce a selection set with more than 450 articles!

Whenever your selection set has more than 50 articles, you can add another search method. This is called "narrowing" your search. Here's what the screen would look like at this point in your New Products choice:

Enter Department: New Products

455 articles selected

The Index has found 455 articles containing new product announcements. If you can remember anything else about the article, such as the year it was published, you can eliminate the articles published in other years.

For example, if you know that the new product announcement was published in 1985, you'd narrow your search by eliminating all other years. This time, the Index will only search through the 455 "New Products" articles it found during its last search. It will not search through every article in the database. Here's what you'd see:

1 1982
2 1983
3 1984
4 1985
5 1986
6 1987
7 1988
8 1989
Enter choice !4
77 articles selected

From the 455 New Product articles, the index has selected the 77 which were published in 1985. From here, you can continue to narrow your search, or display a menu of the selected articles.


When combining several search methods, it's usually easiest to start with the method that will produce the largest selection set, the narrow from there.

Since you may only "narrow" a selection set having more than 50 members, try to start your search with the method most likely to find at least 50 articles. The following examples illustrate this strategy.

SAMPLE TASK: Find all the articles written by Tim Oren in 1985.

Strategy #1: If we begin by searching Author's Name for Oren, the index finds only 26 articles. Since we need more than 50 articles to use the "narrow" function, we must examine the publication date of each article, until we've found those published in 1985. Strategy #2: If we begin by searching Year of Publication for 1985, the index finds more than 250 articles. From here, we narrow the selection set by searching Author's Name for "Oren." Almost immediately, the six Tim Oren articles from 1985 appear.

Antic Technical and Online Editor Charles Jackson designed and put together the Antic Index and ANTIC ONLINE.