POSITRONIC PRICESCorrect prices for three Positronic Software titles listed on the November 1988 ST New Products should have been: GradePlus, $39.95; Test Maker, $39.95; SeaChest Library, $19.95 ANTIC ED
CREATION CORRECTIONOur group is elated that one of our students won the grand prize in the Adventure Creation Contest (Antic, October 1988). But I was given credit instead of the actual programmer; Aaron Kramlich, a teenager from Fogelsville, PA. I am a retired school psychologist, having served the Allentown schools for 30 years. (Their elementary schools use Ataris.)
Robert "Dr Bob" Loux, Ph.D.
DISK DOCSHow do I create disk text files like those on your fine Catalog products?
Prepare your document with any word processor (such as PaperClip) that can print a file to disk. Set your left margin to 0 and your right margin to 37. Then print the file to disk. ANTIC ED
XEP80 HANDLERIn Matthew Ratcliff's XEP80 Slide Show (Antic, October 1988), he said, "You can forget about 80-column compatibility with ICD/OSS software such as BASIC XL and BASIC XE."
I'm here to tell you that before ICD acquired OSS, the OSS bulletin board carried a BASIC XE handler for the XEP80. I use it myself, and it's 100% compatible with BASIC XL/XE.
BRAIN CORRECTIONAfter writing Atari Brain Transplants (Antic, November 1988), I discovered that the Newell upgrade is not really compatible with XLEnt Software's Typesetter. The program writes only one half page at a time, and when you switch to the bottom half, the top half continues to be displayed even though you are writing to the bottom half. Presumably this is because the ANTIC chip is trapped in main RAM while in the true 130XE it can be switched into extended banks.
Lee Brilliant, M.D.
Granada Hills, CA
SLCC ADDRESSYour June 1988 issue mentioned that the San Leandro Computer Club Journal had an article about how to modify the Atari XF551 disk drive for use with 3 1/2 inch disks. Could you please give me their mailing address?
Capt. John Glessner
SLCC is at P0. Box 1506, San Leandro CA 94577 ANTIC ED
XEP80 TIPI bought a switch box with two "ins" and one "out." My XEP80 monitor cable goes in one side. My Atari's monitor cable is split so that the video side goes into the switch box and the audio goes into the monitor. Instead of booting 40-column software with [SHIFT] held down and (usually) without printer use, I now boot with the switch box on and use the printer just like before I added the XEP80 to my system. Note that with this arrangement, the XEP80 never needs to be turned off. You can turn off the computer without turning off the XEP80 and its display will stay on the screen.
IC CLARIFICATIONThank you for the excellent review of Easy Scan in your October 1988 issue. However, only Innovative Concepts was mentioned. Actually it was a joint venture also involving Jim Stembrecher of Sector One Computers. He's the original author of AMODEM.
Due to popular demand (and your review), we will be adding Graphics 9 capability to the Easy Scan software as soon as possible. IC now is on Data Library 15 in the Atari 8-bit section of CompuServe. Our new CompuServe ID is 76004,1764.
Mark Elliott, President
CROSS-TOWN CRAZY 8I was pleased to see the generally favorable review of my game program, "Cross-Town Crazy Eight" in the October 1988 Antic. However, I must correct some mistakes.
While the 8-bit version of the game does support a Hayes-compatible modem with an 850 interface, P:R: Connection or equivalent, it also supports the Atari XM301 and 1030 modems automatically, without user interaction, as stated on the dust jacket and in the documentation.
Regarding the 8-bit version, the review says that "placing the cursor on a card and pressing the button to select it renders the card almost invisible!" Not quite true. The card "fades" somewhat to indicate the selection. If you can't tell or don't remember what the card is, just click on it again to deselect it.
The review also says that "if you don't release the joystick button fast enough, it reads multiple button presses." Also not true. Only the first button press is read until you release the button.
Later, the review says that in the ST version, "you can quit at any time, get information about the game in progress and load a saved game. (Most of these functions are not available on the 8-bit version.)" In fact, the only function listed above that is not available on the 8-bit version is game information.
Finally, the reviewer was disgruntled that the game let you play an eight on an eight. According to Hoyle (specifically, "Hoyle Up-To-Date," published by Grosset & Dunlap, New York), on page 38: "An eight may be played on an any preceding card, regardless of its suit and rank." Granted, other liberties were taken with the standard rules of Crazy Eights, but after all, this is Cross-Town Crazy Eight, a computer game, not Crazy Eights, a card game.
WHERE'S A MEGAI couldn't find a dealer who sold the Atari Mega 2, so I phoned Atari. The representative, while very courteous, shocked me by saying that there aren't any Mega dealers in the Northern New Jersey area and that the nearest one was over 100 miles away.
I live about 15 miles from New York City and was even more shocked to learn that there aren't any Mega dealers there, either, despite a population of about 8 million and at least 20 computer stores.
How can I buy one of Atari's new computers if I can't even find a store that sells one? Not only that, but I'm also told that Atari has stopped selling their 1040STs through mall order companies, so how can I shop around for the best price?
Antic is not in business to defend the Atari Corp. against points as well taken as yours. We too would like to see the Atari management find more consistent ways to deliver on Chairman Jack Tramiel's oft-declared goal of making powerful lower-priced computers easily available to the general public. At this writing Atari is still in process of a widespread reorganization of its distribution channels and the ultimate efficiency of the new marketing system remains unproven. ANTIC ED
RAMDISK HELPI'm responding to John Kolak's letter in the August 1988 Antic where he discusses using AtanWriter with a RAMdisk, MyDOS and Omniview.
MyDOS and Omniview 256 support RAMdisks and can do so independently of each other as long as memory and drive numbers are organized to avoid conflicts. Omniview uses memory from the bottom up, and MyDOS can be told which banks to use leaving Omniview alone. When the Omniview RAMdisk is used, for instance, as D2:, then real D2: becomes D3:, and soon. If the MyDOS RAMdisk is used as D3:, then it will actually replace the real D2: (moved to D3:). It's best not to have a real drive with the same number as the MyDOS RAMdisk.
Sticking with standard single-density disks, you can set up two RAMdisks easily. A standard Onmiview RAMdisk will occupy about 96K, leaving MyDOS with everything above that. Just configure MyDOS with the device number and a list of the high banks to use. Don't forget to configure the Omniview RAMdisk as the proper drive number. Then write the DOS files to disk.
Keep in mind that MyDOS doesn't allow the J option to duplicate files, so you must use the C option to copy them instead.
Mr. Kolak has his support files in the RAMdisk and wants to move his dictionary there as well. The Atari Proofreader program requires the dictionary to be in real D1: Since it must be duplicated most dictionaries don't use standard DOS files only the Omniview RAMdisk will work (if used as D1:). But the Proofreader uses the physical drive, bypassing DOS and Omniview. To use the dictionary from the RAMdisk, Mr. Kolak will have to make patches to Proofreader so it will use standard DOS calls to the CIOV instead of the SIO, etc. Surely this is more trouble than it's worth. And don't forget the conflict of using the dictionary as D1: while also using D1: to store the support programs.
NX AGREEMENTI have noticed the change in the slant of your reviews. They seem more complete now, with more willingness to give a negative report when warranted (i.e. the Star NX-1000 printer). I started buying your magazine in 1985 for your opinions. If this trend continues, I will definitely renew my lapsed subscription. Keep up the good work.
PIM GRAPHICS STUDIOIn P/M Graphics Studio (September 1988), the GETTING STARTED section of the article is incomplete and the opening paragraphs should read as follows:
"Type in Listing 1, PMED.BAS, checking it with TYPO II and SAVE a copy before you RUN it. Next, type in Listing 2, PMED.ANM, checking it with TYPO II and SAVE a copy before you RUN it.
"If you have trouble typing the special characters in lines 30001-30002 in either listing, don't type them in. Instead, type Listing 3, check it with TYPO II and SAVE a copy. When you RUN Listing 3, it creates these hard-to-type lines and stores them in a file called LINES. LST. LINES. LST may be merged with either Listing 1 or Listing 2."
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.