ADDING SOME ZIP
I'd like to speed up my Atari 130XE. I notice that Apple II owners can upgrade their 6502 CPUs to 65C02, or a new product called the Zip Chip. I've heard that the 65802 is also pin-compatible. Can any of these microprocessors be used in my 130XE, and is it just a matter of swapping one chip? Will I see any performance improvement in such things as integer or floating-point calculations, memory read/ writes or disk I/O? What kinds of problems might arise other than games running too fast?
We asked Contributing Editor Matt Ratcliff about this and got the following reply: Genie has an extrerely long thread on the subject of faster 6502s--even though it's been established that this is virtually impossible to do on an 8-bit Atari. And even if you got all the Atari's chips and operating system to handle a different microprocessor; what good is it? Only the software that you write yourself will work with it. ANTIC ED
After reading the review of Star Micronics' NX-1000 printer (Antic, May 1988), I had reservations about such an inexpensive printer living up to its advertisements, but bought one anyway.
I can only say that this printer has to be one of the best bargains around. I've teamed it up with a Supra 1150 interface and the combination works great. The graphics capabilities of this machine must be seen to be believed.
I've used it with Print Shop, Newsroom, AwardWare and PagerClip with no problem at all. It uses the same codes as the Epson LX80--and does just as well, if not better. For the price, this has to be one of the best printers around for 8-bit users.
Redondo Beach, CA
I recently purchased an Atari 65XE with an XF551 disk drive and have noticed that not a lot of new third-party software is available for it. So I started phoning software companies to see if they would start making Atari 8-bit software as they do for the Commodore 64. They all told me basically the same thing--If they could get big orders, they would produce it. By "big orders" they meant national chains, such as Toys R Us and Child World/Children's Palace. Activision was the only company that said it was afraid of piracy.
So I went to the aforementioned stores in my area and spoke to the store managers, some of whom phoned their district managers, who said they'd order Atari 8-bit software if they got decent responses to the requests for it. So I urge all Atari 8-bitters to go to local stores as I did. Maybe we can all still benefit from new software for the 8-bit.
Way to go! Antic agrees that this kind of grass-roots effort is vital to the continued flow of third-party products for the 8-bit. That's what the successful Antic write- in campaigns have been all about.-- ANTIC ED
I must take exception to your rather harsh review of the Star NX-1000 printer in the October 1988 Antic. I have used my NX-1000 Rainbow (the color version) for two months now and have nothing but praise for its quality and many special features.
I do agree that the rear cover can be difficult to remove, but I put a little silicon on the two tabs that hold it in place, and that has helped a lot. As for the front cover, how can you "expect" it to be one way or the other? Each of my previous three printers was unique in this respect.
I find the loading of fanfold paper to be no more difficult than on my previous printers, and I have yet to experience the paper popping out of the sprockets. (Did you raise the clamp levers to lock the sprocket units?) What's more, there is much less need to bother with loading and unloading fanfold paper. With the paper parking feature, you can automatically draw the fanfold paper out of the way, insert and type on single-sheet letterhead or envelopes and then reposition your fanfold paper, all without removing the rear cover or removing the paper from the sprockets.
I never waste a sheet of paper between printouts. If you start printing at the very top of the form, you do have to stand by to make sure that the first sheet gets tucked behind the paper bail, but this isn't difficult.
The quality of the NLQ printing is so good that I really don't mind waiting a few extra seconds. I especially appreciate that it's available with any print pitch. Had I read your review before purchasing my new Star, I probably would not have chosen it. So I'm glad my Antic arrived after the fact.
Reviewer Greg Pearlman replies: "I understand your point about the front cover; but I disagree. As it happens, the half-dozen or so printers I've reviewed for Antic all had front covers that went on and off the same way--except the NX-1000. So I guess I shoud have said that the cover 'goes on and off opposite from what I expected.' On the other hand, the Antic employee currently using the LX-1000 has removed the cover altogether--evidentry he doesn't want to deal with the hassle either.
"Antic's NX unit showed the problems described in my review while I was using the printer. As for wasting a sheet of paper, why should you have to make sure the next page is tucked behind the bail? On our previous Star printers (NL-10, NR-10, etc.) you don't have to. Essentially, what my review said was not that the NX-1000 was a bad printer, but that it wasn't the right printer for a user like me.-
"Antic's NX unit showed the problems described in my review while I was using the printer. As for wasting a sheet of paper, why should you have to make sure the next page is tucked behind the bail? On our previous Star printers (NL-10, NR-10, etc.) you don't have to. Essentially, what my review said was not that the NX-1000 was a bad printer, but that it wasn't the right printer for a user like me.-ANTIC ED
Has anyone ever figured out a way to use PaperClip with a FingerPrint chip printer? I have an Epson RX-80 with a LetterWriter chip system in it and I have not been able to access the LetterWriter features from PaperClip. Electronic Arts was unable help me, so I'm turning to you.
San Diego, CA
Sorry, we never tested that hardware, so we'll have to pass your question to the readers. Anyboay got ideas?--ANTIC ED
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.