Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 8, NO. 8 / FEBRUARY/MARCH 1990

I/O Board


I have run into some problems with your Budgetizer program in the October/November 1989 issue of Antic. I had no trouble getting started, adding categories and making changes, but now I can't run the program with the new BUDGET.DAT file from my disk. I keep getting a Disk Error #5. What'swrong?

Curt Gienger
Warner, SD

This was a tricky bug to reproduce, but as far as we can tell, the problem comes from entering a CATEGORY without any FIELDS (or deleting all the fields from a category without also removing ths category). Once the error #5 message comes up, you should reboot and run the program again. Check all your categories to make sure they all have at least one field. The money values in the field can all be zero, but there has to be a field name. Unfortunately, if you can 't get your data file to load from disk at all you may have to delete the file from your disk and start over from scratch.-- ANTIC ED


(The October, 1989 I/O Board plea for help with Cribbage Atari, from Antic May 1989 did not go unanswered. Two readers sent in fixes right away. -- ANTIC ED)

The problem with running the May Cribbage game on an 800 can be found in one of the statements in line 830. The statement is "XX=XX^1" (raise XX to the first power) which shouldn't change the value of XX at all. Unfortunately, on the 800 the value of XX^1 is actually a little bit smaller than the original XX. When XX is used later in the program as an indicator of which card was chosen, the value is effectively off by one, and the game gets noticeably confused.

The statement was intended as a delay, which the 800 doesn't really need anyway I simply removed the delay, by removing the XX=XX^1 and the following colon. The program now seems to function correctly -- in fact, I've been pleasantly surprised by the "skill" of the computer's game!

Del Motteler
Des Moines, WA

I've experienced other "strange" occurences like this with the Atari BASIC version A that came with my 800. (Some of these are documented bugs, some are not.) These incompatibilities were cured when I got a disk copy of BASIC C to use with my 800. The main drawback is having to boot BASIC from disk. I recommend that 800 users get a copy of BASIC version C -- it wiil solve a lot of your problems.

Darryl Howerton
Jonesboro, AR


I was delighted when I discovered from your magazine that software did exist to take advantage of the color graphics capabilities of my Star NX-1000 Rainbow printer. I wrote -- but to an old address, so my order took months to arrive. Anyone wanting to order YEMACYB/4 should send $29.95, plus $2 shipping and handling, to Electronical Software,P.O. Box 1106, Taylor, MI 48180.

After receiving the program, I had to write again, to find out why the program wouldn't work properly. Michael Clayton called quickly with the answer. Apparently, the YEMACYB programs and certain models of the Xetec Graphix AT interfaces are incompatible. (The Xetec staff spoke of extreme sensitivity to serial timing, whatever that means.) Once I tried a different interface, I had no trouble getting beautiful printouts.

Dixie Bartie
Russellville, MO


I have three 800XL computers and seven 1050 disk drives. Beginning two years ago, I started having difficulty reading protected disks -- now I can't read some unprotected commercial disks, though I can still read disks that I have created. I suspect a speed or alignment problem with the drives. Since I have a background in electronics, I feel capable of whatever adjustments or replacements may be required. Are there any repair manuals. I or diagnostic disks, I could try?

Richard Mueller
Brick NJ

We recently had a similar problem ourselves, when two 1050 drives could no longer read each others' disks. Our local 8-bit hardware expert, Charles Cherry, was able to get the drives back in tune with a bit of cleaning and by reseating all the chips -- plying them up and pressing them down again. For more complex repairs, you should be able to get a repair manual from a mail order source such as American Techna-Vision-- check their ads in recent issues of Antic.-- ANTIC ED


I have a 1050 disk drive that broke its drive belt not too long ago. I have since returned it to partial service, using a very thick rubber band, but it now spins slower than its proper 288 rpm. It may have already zapped a particular copy-protected disk by writing to it improperly. Can you or your readers refer me to a manufacturer or service from which I can order the proper belt?

Edwin Stovall
St. Louis, MO

As far as we now, the belts are no longer available -- and a proper belt is indispensible. Many repair services are cannibalizing old 1050s for parts. One of our frequent advertisers, Computer Software Services, offers a repair service -- call (716) 586-5545 for information. Note that if you have two adentical items for repair, they will fix one free, if they can keep the other for parts! If anyone knows of a source for belts--from other kinds of drives, for instance -- we'd be delighted to hear about it.--ANTIC ED


I have ordered your monthly disks, and am generally delighted, but I have one problem. I do not know how to use the TYPO II Automatic Proofreader. A couple of my disks have TYPOII.LST on them, but I don't know how to use them from BASIC. How can I SAVE a copy of that listing?

Brandon Palmero
San Bernardino, CA

You don't need TYPO II to run any of the programs on disk. The version on some Antic Disks is a listed BASIC program, included for your convenience in typing Iistings from other issues. You can 't run listed programs (with .LST endings) from the Antic Disk Menu, but from BASIC you can EENTER "D:TYPOII.LST" to get the program from the Antic Monthly disk, then SAVE it to a new disk as TYPOII.BAS. Then you can RUN it from disk to help you type in a new program.--ANTIC ED


I doubt anyone would argue with calling the double-sided, double-density XF551 disk drive a great peripheral for the Atari. However, the circuit board lacks ruggedness. I first realized that there was a problem when I took my drive to a users group meeting -- one of the serial I/O ports no longer worked. After taking the drive to a local computer fair, the drive wouldn't work at all. I ended up having to resolder the power connector's circuit board contacts and solder four jumper wires into the drive to replace the circuit board traces between the I/O sockets and the associated circuitry on the board.

My advice to XF551 owners is, once you plug your I/O cables and power transformer in, try to leave them plugged in whenever you have to move your drive. If you pull out and replace those connectors more than two or three times you could wind up with a dead drive. Fixing the problem is easy and inexpensive for anyone who knows much about electronics.

Charles Cole
Sierra Vista, AZ

In January 1989 I acquired an Atari XF551 disk drive. After one month one port died, and in September the other one went South. On close inspections, I realized that the rivets had loosened, lifting the pads from the boards. The solution is to replace them with 4-40 bolts.

Piers Cunliffe
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Two users with similar problems and different solutions. As always, we must caution that opening your drive will void any warranty left, and Antic takes no responsibility for the results of any modifications such as suggested above.--ANTIC ED


I have some back issues of the magazine from before you started using the BASIC loader for the special graphics characters. The current loader says that it can be used with other programs. I know to start with lines 10-250, but how do you create the DATA lines to use with the loader?

Peggy Darlington
Walls, MS

When we say you can use the loader with other programs, we're talking about other programs printed with loaders. Since the loader part is always the same, this saves retyping all but the DATA lines. To get the numbers for the DATA lines, we run the "hard-to-type" lines through another program. To get the numbers and enter them manually would require figurineg out the correct numeric value for each character, then entering that number. You might as well struggle through typing in the characters. Or buy the disk. Disks are available all the way back to Antic issue #4, when we first started selling disk versions. See our Back Issue ads in recent issues.-- ANTIC ED


Your Best of Antic disk has a terrific program by Alfred Filskov called Appointment Calendar originally published in the January 1985 issue of Antic. The only thing is that I would like to have each calendar week begin with Sunday, not Monday as at present. Is there any to revise the program?

Kichard Dawid
Monroe, CT

Chris Wareham of Spearfish, SD sent us an easy fix that ran back in the March 1986 issue of Antic. Just change lines 180 and 1590-1660 as shown below.--ANTIC ED

1590 DATA 366247251361, 477351362472
1600 DATA 511462473513, 623614625735
1610 DATA 144725736146, 255136147257
1620 DATA 366247251361, 471462473513
1630 DATA 622573514624, 733614625735
1640 DATA 144725736146, 256247251361
1650 DATA 477351362472, 511462473513
1660 DATA 622573514624


I'm new to the Atari world and I find I need some help with the August 1989 Antic Monthly disk. I can load and play music with the Antic Music Processor (AMP) disk bonus but I can't figure out how to use the editor to program my own music. I didn't see anything on the disk or in the magazine that explained how to do that. Did I miss something?

Jack Bryant
Myrtle Beach, SC

Sorry for the confusion - the June1989 issue and disk had the instructions you need. AMP 2.1 on the August disk was simply a slightly modified version of June's AMP 2.0 (it fixed a minor bug) so we didn't include the instructions again. The June, 1989 issue had AMP 2.0, instructions in the magazine for using the new Lyric Editor, and a recap of the Note Editor instructions in a HELP file on the Antic Monthly Disk. Also on disk were several of the winners from our song contest.

We originaly ran AMP version 1.2 as a Disk Bonus in the December 1988 issue of Antic, with detailed instructions in the magazine on using the somewhat cryptic "Backus-Naur" notation. The disk with that issue included a program that will convert songs in the popular AMS II format to AMP format -- a must for bulletin board frequenters. All these back issues and disks can still be ordered -- see our ads for Back Issues in recent issues of Antic.-- ANTIC ED


For anyone interested in a new usage for RAMbrant, I have found that MODULE 1 (DOS utils) loads in Computereyes picture files. After loading in a closeup of a person's face, you can use the WINDOW option while in the MIRROR drawing mode and get the mirror images of both halves of a person's face. The results are surprising and quite impressive in the 16-shade mode, which can be printed out using MODULE 2, the GTIA 16-shade printer dump.

I've also found that the Antic Music Processor (AMP) works with DOS XE and an XF551 drive. You can fit a lot of songs on a double-sided disk, and the songs can be categorized in subdirectories such as ROCK, CLASSIC, TV SHOWS, etc.

Gregory Vilicic
Clifton, NJ


From Germany, the folks at KE-Soft have written to let us know of several software products they sell. Translating as best we could from their German language fliers, they offer DRAG, a Boulderdash clone starring the frog Drag; the space shoot-'em-up OBLITROID; the puzzle-game SOGON; ZADOR, a Mah-Jong clone; the disk magazine ZONG; and a double-game disk with TOBOT, a Robotron-style game, and the graphic adventure BROS. If you can read and write German, and are looking for new software, you can write for more information at KE-Soft, Frankenstrasse 24, 6457 Maintal 4, West Germany. -- 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 91107.