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Article #37 (55 is last):
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.time
Subject: CLEVATARI - February 1990
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Tue Mar  1 16:38:24 1994



 _____________________________________
|_____________________________________|
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|  |        _                         |
|  "   ||| |:|    C L E V A T A R I   |
| |:|  ||| |:|                        |
|_|:|_ ||| |:|_                       |
||...|/ | \|...|  N E W S L E T T E R |
|    /  |  \                          |
|                                     |
|   The official newsletter of the    |
|Cleveland Atari Computer Enthusiasts |
|                                     |
|FEBRUARY 1990              ISSUE #100|
|                                     |
|                                     |
|                                     |
|_____________________________________|
 |___________________________________|



                             EDITOR'S NOTES
            by Randy Hahn (CLEVATARI NEWSLETTER Issue #100 Feb 1990)

     Our 100th Issue!  Wow, time really flies when you're having fun.  This
issue was really an honor to be part of, because I have been here since the
start.  I've been looking back at 100 issues of the Newsletter, and I am
amazed at how it's changed in almost 9 years.  The earliest issues didn't have
dates, little or no graphics, lots of support, and originally it was only 4
pages long.  The newsletters were only typed, because it was a luxury to own
a printer, not a necessity.  (I think we all figured that printed material
was a thing of the past because you could see everything on the screen.)

     About 100 people attended the first meeting. Stores selling ATARI
computers were everywhere.  In fact you could go to K-Mart and pick-up one!
New stores would almost open and close over-night!

     There were something like 7 Magazines written with ATARI articles
or solely dedicated to ATARI.  There were no books at first, and some of
the first book titles were nothing more than the "Best of (Some Magazine)".

     You almost had to go to the meetings at first, because things
changed so fast it was the only way you could keep up with the computer
explosion.  You tended to take home the four page newsletter packed with
programs 10-20 lines long (in ATARI BASIC).  These programs were nothing
more than simple graphics and sound demos, but you would frantically type
them in anyway and be proud of the fact that you could do so much with
your ATARI.  You almost sensed pride in the fact that everyone loved their
ATARI 8-bit computers.

     Now we seem to be a "rag tag" group of diehards trying to cling onto
the name, a memory or two, and a less than predictable future.  Our hopes
are still somewhat high because indications are that ATARI is growing
again (at least in Europe if not right here).  Sooner or later, we the strong
willed who hopefully will have weathered the flailing and indecision
will again feel proud that we are on the leading edge and that we own an
ATARI Computer!!  Happy Valentines Day !

     Tonight's demo will certainly be a treat as we turn the meeting over to
Chet Walters (The Cryptic Wizard) and Bob Parks (Dr. Bob the Calendar Man
from Neo STAG)   Neither of these guys is new to the ATARI scene and have been
developing software almost continuously on the 8-bit and now the ST (maybe
even the TT in the future).  It is an honor to have these two here tonight
and they promise to be both interesting and entertaining.  Thanks Chet and Bob!




          C L E V A T A R I

         N E W S L E T T E R 

       FEBRUARY 1990 ISSUE #100


               CONTENTS


A DATE WITH THE PAST
ST DISK CATALOG
GRAPHICS AND DESKTOP
IT'S ON THERE
NEO-DESK NEWS
THE REVOLUTION (PART II)
HARD DRIVE MYTHS


 ______________________________________

CLEVATARI NEWSLETTER is published 12 times a year by the Cleveland Atari
Computer Enthusiasts (C.A.C.E.) P.O. Box (216)486-8914 93034, Cleveland,
Ohio 440101-5034. Vice-President.  Any non-copyrighted articles in this 
newsletter may be freely reprinted in any non-commercial publication,
provided that credit is given the author and CLEVATARI NEWSLETTER. The 
opinions expressed herin are those of the individual authors and do not    
necessarily reflect those of C.A.C.E. which is in no way affiliated with   
Atari Corp. The name Atari and the associated computer products and logo
are registered trademarks of Atari Corp.


Subscriptions - Issues of the CLEVATARI NEWSLETTER are distributed to
registered members of C.A.C.E. and are included in the annual membership dues.

Membership Dues-   
Single    $15.00   
Family    $20.00   
Student   $ 8.00   
Senior    $ 8.00   
Business* $40.00   
                    
*Business membership includes (3) full  page ads per membership year.
                    
Advertising - To advertise in the CLEVATARI NEWSLETTER please contact the
Advertisement Editor.
                    
         Single Issue Rates  
          Full Page $20.00    
        One-half Page $12.00
          One-third  $10.00   
          One-quarter $8.00   
         Business Card $5.00 

          -Article Submission-


     Articles should be submitted on disk and program listings must be on a
working disk.  Text files should be in ASCII format if possible but most
common word-processing formats will be accepted.  The Senior Newsletter Editor
will make final dicisions as to the suitability of all submitted material
for publication.  Additionally, articles published in this newsletter
may be reprinted by other newsletter provided that the author and this
newsletter are given full credit.  Every effort has been made to present
accurate information, thus the newsletter and its editors assume no
responsibility for any mishap due to the acting on any suggestions presented
in this newsletter.

 ______________________________________


                   A DATE WITH THE PAST...

         authors Unknown (CLEVEATARI NEWSLETTER Issue #100 Feb 1990)

     (The following two articles are reprints from the first known handout /
newsletter that the Cleveland Atari User Group used at their group meeting.
 It shows how things used to be and how far we have come in the past 9 years)

     WELCOME

     Welcome to the first meeting of the Atari Computer Enthusiasts of
Cleveland.  A user's group like this can provide a place for members to
share information and ideas, solve problems, benefit from the experience
of others, and share in the fun  and excitement of micro computers.  The key
to this happening is your participation.  Your ideas, questions,
suggestions, and enthusiasms are all necessary to the success of this group.
 The last page of this newsletter is a questionnaire.  There are lots of extra
space for comments and suggestions on the questionnaire, so please take
advantage of it.

     We are an independent users group, but we have been generously and
enthusiastically helped by Atari, which now has a department specially set up
to aid and assist users groups.  We have also been encouraged and helped by
all of the local Atari retailers.  They are located from the far west through
downtown to the far east of Cleveland.  We are fortunate to have so many
sources of Atari products and software near us.  Speaking of software, sharing
programs that you have written, and program ideas, will probably be a
popular activity of the users group.  It will provide us with a library of
programs to swap with other Atari groups in other cities.  And, everyone
is interested in seeing how somebody else approached a problem that you have
been working on.  It is important, however, to state right from the start,
that this users group will not become a medium for the exchange of copyrighted
software.  One of the most successful Atari users groups is in Eugene,
Oregon.  It is made up of about one third women and one third kids.  Their
group covers everything from business applications to technical uses, home
utilities, and of course, fun and games.  Their whole group benefits from
this kind of cross-fertilization of ideas.  Since the Atari computer is so
accessible to the whole family, I would like to see the Cleveland group stay
together as a group, rather than splitting into small special interest
sub-groups.  Not only can we all learn from each other that way, but it will
be more fun.

     BITS AND PIECES

     Bits and Pieces will be a column devoted to bits and pieces of this and
that.... a miscellaneous collection of "did you know..." or "have you
tried..." or "how about that...".  Again, your input will be very
important.  Have you found a nifty undocumented memory location?  Are you
using a shortcut that would make it easier for the rest of us?  Have you
figured out what to do when the Zylon starships are hiding from you in Star
Raiders?  Here is a sample of what the column will be like.  You have read
that Atari Basic does not support a Microsoft-like TAB to a variable.  Not
true!  POKE 85 is the Atari equivalent of TAB.  You may use anything after the
comma that you would use as a TAB argument.  A very strong feature of
Atari Basic is the ability to RESTORE to a variable.  Since this is unique in
the Atari Basic, it is easy to forget or overlook.  Random testing is just
one area made easier by this feature.  If you are bothered by the difference
of format in magazines that print 40 column Atari programs and what you see
on your screen, remember that the Atari defaults to a 38 column line.  To make
=our screen look like the printout, just reset the left margin to 0 by POKE
82,0.  If you are having problems consistently getting good tape saves
and loads, make sure that you are typing LPRINT before a CSAVE.  If you
do not have a printer, you will get an ERROR 138, which you should ignore. 
The LPRINT takes care of some internal pointers that might have been scrambled
by a SYSTEM RESET.  The Atari builds its variable table as the variables are
typed in.  If you have typed in a variable that you do not want to use in
the final program, or if you added an extraneous variable by typographical
error, that variable remains in the variable table.  This is true even if
that variable does not appear in the final program.  The only way to rid
yourself of these unwanted variables is to save the program using LIST: "C:". 
After that, it can be normally CSAVEd. 


                      ST DISK CATALOG
     CLEVELAND ATARI COMPUTER ENTHUSIASTS ST ATARI NORTH COAST ENTHUSIASTS
          by Joe Adato (CLEVATARI NEWSLETTER Issue #100 Feb 1990)


     This is the current ST Disk Catalog available to the user group members
in the Cleveland area.  The disks are available at B & G Electronics and may
be borrowed without cost by members for two days.  At the meetings disks will
be available for $2.00 each.  In addition programs are sold individually, so
that you may put as many programs as will fit on each disk and only pay a per
disk price of $4.00.  Questions should be addressed to the current ST
Librarian.  On disks for sale all files are ARCed unless otherwise indicated
in the catalog.  The size of the ARCed file is listed in parenthesis.

DISK 1:  This disk is designed for people who are fairly experienced programmer's.  There are eight (8) ARCed files on t
he disk.

  ANALYZER.ARC (1,362):  This file is a crash analyzer.  If your system crashes                          just run this u
tility for an analysis of what caused
                         the crash.

  ANIMATIC.ARC (1,541):  This is a demo of how animation can be simulated with
                         color cycling techniques.  It runs in Low Rez and ST
                         BASIC must be loaded first.

  LISTER.ARC (6,751):    This program, written in PERSONAL PASCAL, is a
                         utility for producing paged listings of PASCAL
                         source code.  Personal Pascal is not needed to run
                         this utility.

  LSTDOC.ARC (64,640):   documentation for Little Smalltalk.

  LSTBIN.ARC (107,520):  The executable program for Little Smalltalk.

  LSTEXA.ARC (17,152):   examples of Little Smalltalk programs.  The above
                         three files contain all the information you need
                         to program and run Little Smalltalk, a programming
                         language originally designed for the Unix system
                         and converted for the Amiga and then the ST.

  PEDIT.ARC (54,016):    contains P-Edit 1.0, a programmers editor.  This
                         program will allow you to edit any text file,
                         especially good for program listings.  The only
                         documentation available is after you get into the
                         program.  It has a TTP extender, so when run, it
                         will ask for the application.  Type in the name of
                         the file you want to edit.  When you get the
                         listing On the screen, press 'Help' for a list of
                         commands.

  SDB.ARC (82,145):      contains a relational database program.  The
                         documentation should be printed out before using
                         the program, since the program is not Gem-oriented
                         and is not self explanatory.


DISK 2:  This disk contains seventeen (17) ARCed files.


  AC.ARC (35,456):       This is an Analog Circuit analysis program.  It
                         assumes some expertise in circuit design.

  BACKUP.ARC (33,956):   Use this program to backup your hard disk.

  BLAST.ARC (10,368):    Blast is another picture shower.  It will display
                         all NEO and DEGAS pictures on your disk.

  ENCRYPT.ARC (8,363):   This program will encode any type of disk file.
                         You can even install a password so that no-one but
                         those who know the password can enter the file.

  ETERNAL.ARC (10,368):  These set of programs will produce a ramdisk on your
                         computer on boot up.  This ramdisk is supposed
                         to survive a reset.  However, it did not do so when
                         I tried it.  It still is a nice ramdisk for most
                         purposes.  Instructions are included to set up the
                         ramdisk.

  HARDDSK.ARC (29,260):  This is a newer version of the HDX utility for your
                         hard disk.  Several bugs have been removed.  Follow
                         instructions for the use of this utility program.

  HARDGD.ARC (3,328):    Another hard disk utility, this one allows you to
                         boot up GDOS from your hard disk to run with
                         Easy Draw and automatically load your fonts.

  LESS.ARC (25,954):     This is typically described as the opposite of MORE.
                         Actually, what it does is allow backward movement in
                         a file as well as forward movement.  Documentation
                         is included.

  LIBRARY.ARC (6,521):   Two programs are in this file.  LIBR combines several
                         files into a single file, DELIBR separates
                         them again.  There is no documentation, but since
                         they require an application name when run, press
                         'Return' and a short explanation appears.

  MUSIC,ARC (27,480):    A music player is included with several songs.
                         It is rather a nice set.

  NEOFUN.ARC (21,669):   This is an interesting utility program to work with
                         NeoChrome pictures.  It will reframe them by allowing
                         you to scroll the pictures, mirror them, invert them
                         and save the result.

  PERSP.ARC (13,861):    A graphing program, it draws exponential functions.
                         Be prepared to reboot to get out of the program.

  STSHELL.ARC (28,044):  This shell (works from typed commands rather than the
                         desktop) allows various useful disk functions.
                         Type 'HELP' for a list of possible commands.
                         There is no other documentation.

  STW150.ARC (61,824):   This is ST Writer Version 1.5.  It is a good public
                         domain word processor.  However, ST Writer Elite
                         is out now and you might want that instead (it is in
                         the library).

  STWPRT.ARC (9,088):    These are printer drivers to use with ST Writer.
                         Included are NEC, Gemini 10X, Epson and Panasonic.

  WTERM.ARC (8,332):     This is a simple terminal program.  There is no
                         documentation and no download or upload capabilities.

  YAHTZEE.ARC (17,054):  Another version of the popular game, the library
                         contains several.  This one requires low resolution.

(Note: Two or three disk listings will be included in each issue as room
       permits)



             GRAPHICS and DESKTOP PUBLISHING - a Two Part Series
           by Randy Hahn (CLEVATARI NEWSLETTER Issue #100 Feb 1990)

     The following article is an outgrowth of the learning which I am
going through in order to edit and publish this very newsletter.  This is
the first in a series that hopefully will give others insight into the vast
field of desktop publishing which can now be accomplished economically by
almost any one with a home computer.

     The creation of graphs and other graphics using computers has been
around for quite a while.  Computer programs have been written to allow
you to put together some pretty slick graphics for presentations on computer
screens or overheads, illustrations in reports, banners or signs (all of
which have become familiar to us).  However, it hasn't been until recently
(with the advent of desktop publishing) that the idea of using computers
to produce "free-form" graphics has really blossomed. Graphics programs
come in two major groups.  These are bit-mapped (or Image) and
vector-oriented (or line-art).  The use of these graphics packages up until
recently was limited by the need for such graphics for personal use.  But
Desktop publishing has become a routine use for such graphics in an almost
everyday setting.  Desktop publishing (DTP packages actually bind
together the text and graphics from other sources.  That's not to say
that you cannot input text or create graphics within most desktop
publishers.  In fact, desktop publishing packages are becoming so
sophisticated that they are becoming one stop programs for most common
publishing needs.  But, to effectively utilize a desktop publishing package
you should create your work outside the DTP shell and use the desktop
publishing package to bring it all together.  So to make a long story
short, in order to effectively use a desktop publishing system, you'll need
to master at least one or two graphics categories (and possibly the software
that produces the graphics.)

     The bit-mapped software category, typically like Degas or NeoChrome,
delivers a screen which can be construed as an electronic piece of
"paper" which is comprised of possibly millions of dots (called pixels).  In
order to create a picture, we would first select some instrument such as a
spray can, paint brush, pencil and the like from a menu screen and moving the
instrument across the screen to change pixels on the screen from one color to
another (such as white to black on a monochrome monitor).  Since there are
so many pixels on the screen and typically a laser jet printout is in a
resolution of 300 dots per inch, the dots which make up the picture are not
usually obvious on such a printout.  But at a resolution of 200 dots per
inch and below, which is what a pin printer is usually rated at,
pictures drawn in this manner can look pretty coarse and jagged -- especially
in the diagonally moving lines and curves on a page.

     On the other hand, vector-oriented
(or line-art) graphics uses
mathematically calculated descriptions for every part of a picture to produce
printed images. (I think  Touch-up with a scanner fits this category).  Common
geometric shapes are used for producing a vector-oriented drawing.  That means
that theoretically circles, lines, squares and other common shapes
ultimately can make up even the most complex shapes.  Therefore,
vector-oriented graphics do not depend on fixed numbers of pixels or dots to
produce a printed image.  This is why these types of graphics packages can
send their "post scripted" output to slide makers and typesetting machines
with many times the resolution of common laser printers.  The output can
look as crisp and sharp as any commercial art that we would see in
books and magazines.

     The real meaning of all this free-form art discussion comes into
play most in desktop publishing when you want to take a pre-made or "canned"
art-work and want to change the size and relation of the image to make it
fit into a space on a page of paper.  The image may have been produced in a
small area originally and you may want to explode it to full page or greater
in size.  Which form of graphics to use and when is another subject which I'll
try to cover in a later issue.  Enough for now.  Happy Valentine's Day !!


                   IT'S ON THERE by George
      (George Neff, Sr., CLEVATARI NEWSLETTER Issue #100 Feb 1990)

     Each month a file from the "TCP" BBS will be highlighted.  These
programs can be yours free just for calling and registering to use the
bulletin board.  The modem number is (216)-228-7335.

     The times listed are for 1200 baud so if you are using 300 baud the time
will be about four times longer and if you are using 2400 baud they will be
one-half as long to download.

     These programs might not have been checked yet so if you have any trouble
with the file let me know and I will try it.  If I can not get it to work
I will get a hold of the one who
up-loaded it and either find out what is wrong or get a working copy loaded
to replace it.

     In the ST download-sig section [2] ST GAME: Is a program called
STTETRIS.TOS that will take about 3 minutes to down-load.  This is an
addicting Russian mind game.  PD version.  There are 152 blocks and
will take 3 min. to download.

     Remember the REVOLUTION (tm)



                           NEO-DESK NEWS
                        by Gribnif Software
        (Reprinted in the CLEVATARI NEWSLETTER Issue #100 Feb 1990)

     The following excerpts are from a PRESS RELEASE on 1/8/90 by Gribnif
Software.  Since it was written by them, it may appear to be slightly
slanted toward their own product.  However, if you have NeoDesk 2.0 now
or plan to purchase in the near future, the planned enhancements may be of
interest to you.  It is yet another indication that the Atari computer is
getting stronger:

     "NeoDesk Accessories"

     Gribnif Software is proud to announce a special hidden feature of
the latest shipping version of their best selling product,  NeoDesk 2.0 The
Desktop Alternative. NeoDesk 2.05 has been designed to support the ST's
"GEM Pipeline".  This support allows for special "NeoDesk Accessories" to
be written which can access many of the NeoDesk functions directly.  These
accessories can then use any of these NeoDesk functions for their own use
or be designed to add whole new features to NeoDesk.  The possibilities
are endless.  During the coming months users will benefit from a number of
"NeoDesk  Accessories" that will be released in the "freeware" and
commercial  markets.  Users of older versions can contact Gribnif Software
at (413) 584-7887 for information on how to upgrade to version 2.05 and
thus benefit from these exciting "NeoDesk Accessories".

     "NeoDesk Recoverable Trashcan"

     Gribnif Software is proud to offer a "freeware" new year present to all
of its customers.  This present consists of a special "NeoDesk
Accessory" which interfaces with Gribnif Software's best selling
product, NeoDesk 2.0 - The Desktop Alternative (version 2.05).

     This accessory gives NeoDesk users a brand new recoverable trashcan.
This trashcan will store any items that the user tries to delete for an
indefinite period of time.  At a later date, the user may choose to restore
any of the deleted items or to permanently remove any of these items
from the trashcan (thus emptying the trashcan).

     This, the first of many, "NeoDesk Accessory" is available for immediate
download from GEnie and other electronic services.  No fee is
required for its use, though Gribnif Software reserves all rights to the
program.

     "NeoDesk Developer's Kit"

     Planned for commercial release in early 1990 is the "NeoDesk Developer's
Kit".  This kit contains all the code and information needed so that users
can write their own "NeoDesk Accessories".  These accessories can
access many of the NeoDesk functions and features directly.  They can also
add whole new features to NeoDesk itself.  The "NeoDesk CLI" and the
"NeoDesk Recoverable Trashcan" are
examples of what can be done with this kit.

     The "NeoDesk Developer's Kit" requires some knowledge in the areas
of 'C' programming, desk accessories, and pointers.  The kit can be modified
to work with other higher level languages.  It requires NeoDesk
2.05 or later.

     "NeoDesk CLI"

     Also planned for commercial release in early 1990, the "NeoDesk
CLI" is a complete Command Line Interpreter which operates entirely
out  of a GEM window.  It hooks directly into NeoDesk giving you
complete access to most of its functions.  Its MS-DOS and UNIX style
commands can  be used to develop advanced batch files, interactive
menus, and control scripts.  Special features allow for a smooth interface
that convert it and NeoDesk into the ultimate user environment.

     Since it hooks directly into NeoDesk, it benefits from many
features over any other CLI.  These include the ability to execute any
program directly from an accessory and to benefit from the enhanced file
copying features of NeoDesk.  By calling many of the NeoDesk functions
directly, it is also able to maintain a relatively small file size."




         THE REVOLUTION (tm) - Part II The Calendar Continued
                        by Artisian Software
       (Reprinted in CLEVATARI NEWSLETTER Issue #100 Feb 1990)

WEEK 6

February 4 through February 10, 1990
NATIONAL GOODWILL WEEK

     In honor of Valentine's Day on February 14, call your local
Hospital and ask for the name of a child who may benefit from a little
recognition and attention.,  Design a large outline of a heart on a paint
program.  Print it out and write: "On behalf of 'The REVOLUTION'; a national
Atari computer user interest group, I wish for you a speedy recovery.  We
admire your strength!" Sign and send it to the address the Hospital gives you.
You may make the "card" as fancy as you wish, but artistic skills are
not required.  Parent's have your children pass out Atari generated
Valentine's to classmates.

WEEK 7

February 11 through February 17, 1990
NATIONAL PRESIDENT'S WEEK

     In honor of President's Day, let's wish Mr. George Bush a pleasant one.
To insure the publicity value, send your wishes to have a "REVOLUTIONARY
PRESIDENT'S DAY" to the President in care of :

                 CBS TV
            51 West 52nd Street
          New York, New York 10019

     Send a cover letter to the network asking them to wish the
President well in our behalf over the air.  Mention our cause in your
letter.

Week 8

February 18 through February 24, 1990
NATIONAL USER GROUP RECOGNITION WEEK

     If you do not belong to a user group, find one in your area and join.
If you already belong, make it a project to ask a minimum of one friend
to be your guest to the next meeting.  It's preferred that your invited
friend does not own an Atari computer.  This will be an opportunity to share
information on why they may wish to
consider one.

     Call your local newspaper and ask for the local news desk.  Ask them to
print announcements of meetings for your local group on a regular basis.

WEEK 9

February 25 through March 3, 1990
NATIONAL CAR WASH WEEK

     Get with your local users' group and organize a benefit car wash to
raise money to buy an Atari computer for the school.  Set a goal of one
520ST and go from there.  Groups exclusively centered around 8-bit can
set a goal of one XE system.  Contact the school in advance for their
permission and to help organize the event.  Most local gas stations will
donate space and even water access to do this since you will be attracting
customers for them.  Volunteer to help the school to set the system up.
Make certain your local dealer participates and invite him to hand
out flyers during the event.  Put up Atari posters at the site.  Also make
certain to use "The REVOLUTION's" namesake for the event.

     Write to Atari and ask them to send you a window sticker for your car.
They were available and, if not now available, they will just have to
print more.  Request one for each car you own.

WEEK 10

March 4 through March 10, 1990
NATIONAL ATARI IN SCHOOLS WEEK

     Continuing an effort to get Atari Computers in schools, write a letter
to the largest school in your area and tell them that you would prefer that
they use Atari computers for education. List 25 reasons why in your letter.
Ask your family to send similar letters under separate cover.  Invite the
school to contact your local dealer for information.  Include your dealer's
phone number.



                       HARD DRIVE MYTHS & MYSTERIES
                   David C. Troy (c) 1988 Toad Computers
            (Reprinted in CLEVATARI NEWSLETTER Issue #100 Feb 1990)

     This file explains many myths & unravels the mystery of hard drives a
bit.  It may be distributed freely, and is considered to be public domain,
provided it remains unmodified, and credit is given to the original author.

     So, you want to get a hard drive?  Well, I am going to quickly go over a
few solid facts about hard drives so that you may become better acquainted
with the technology and thus pose more probing questions, allowing you to
learn more on your own.  I do not intend to go over every little detail,
as I don't believe it's necessary.      The first thing we need to recognize
is that the DMA plug coming out of the back of our ST is NOT standard.  Its
heart is in the right place, but in order to hook up a hard drive to our
DMA port, we need some more circuitry.  That more circuitry is called a Host
Adapter.  It converts the ST's non-standard DMA port into something
that is standard called SCSI, or to draw it out, Small Computer Systems
Interface.

     Now that we have a SCSI (pronounced Scuzzy) connection, we
can attach standard SCSI devices.  Standard SCSI devices include:
Hard disk drive controllers, hard disk drives with imbedded controllers, tape
backup controllers, and other amazing things.  What Atari and Supra drives
use are MFM hard drive controllers.  ICD FA*ST drives use drives with
imbedded controllers.  You can't use a hard drive without a controller.  It
may be an imbedded controller, but you need a controller.  You can't use an
IBM hard drive controller.  They aren't SCSI -- they use the IBM bus, another
non-standard interface.

     So at this point, just for laughs, let's say that we have an ICD ST Host
Adapter with an Adaptec 4000 MFM Hard Drive controller hooked up to it.

     Now that we have a hard drive controller, we can hook a hard drive
up to it. (See, this does make sense.)  Virtually all hard drive controllers
connect to ST506/412 flavor hard drives (Don't taste them -- they have a 20 pin
card edge connection and one 34 pin card edge connection, that's how you
can tell.), most HDs are ST506/412 though, so don't worry too much.  You
CAN hook up IBM hard drives (not hard cards) to your ST by way of your SCSI
controller, but be sure to chuck the IBM controller remember, it won't work.

     So at this point, you have an ICD ST Host Adapter, an Adaptec 4000 MFM
hard drive controller and a Seagate ST225 20 Mb hard drive connected to
your ST.

     What's missing from this picture?  Power, and cabling too.  Electricity
makes it work better.  You will need a power supply with 2 disk drive
connections (+5 & +12 Volts).  Let's say, just for laughs, that you're
using the power supply & case from Toad Computers.  You'll have a fan & all
the power you need to get this thing going.  As far as cabling goes, you
need to connect your ST to your host adapter.  The DB19 cable comes with
the host adapter.  You need to connect your host adapter to your controller.
For this, you need a 50 pin array female to female cable, which comes
with a ST Host/Controller Kit, but may need to be purchased/manufactured
separately based on your needs.  You need to connect your controller to your
hard drive.  For this you need a 34 pin cable, as well as a 20 pin cable.
These can be purchased with an ST Host/Controller Kit or with a whole
drive system kit.

     Things You Should Know

     Most SCSI controllers can handle 2 drive mechanisms each, but some take
as many as 4.  You can run up to 7 controllers on one host adapter board
(which means probably 14 hard drives).  Drives with imbedded controllers
cannot handle a second slave drive.  To expand such a system, a second
controller, or second drive with imbedded controller, must be purchased.

     MFM and RLL are terms which refer to capacities of hard drives.
Think of MFM as single density & RLL as double.  Some mechanisms are certified
for RLL and others are not.  It is possible, and is becoming increasingly
discouraged, to format MFM drives in RLL, although with older drives it can
be done usually successfully.  RLL controllers cost more, as do RLL
drives, but they don't cost much more, and they provide about 150% increase
in storage over their MFM counterparts. But different people have different
needs.

     Ask a dealer like Toad Computers for advice if you have any questions.
We'll be back next time with some more exciting hard disk facts!

     NOTICE: This article originally appeared in the September, 1989 issue
of Atari Interface Magazine and may be freely distributed and/or reprinted.


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  This newsletter was contributed by
  Randy Hahn and edited for the Atari
           SIG by Len Stys.
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