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Article #31 (214 is last): From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.8bit.zmag Subject: Z*Magazine: 29-Nov-86 #2.9 Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Date: Mon Jul 5 09:43:58 1993 ___________________________________ Zmagazine November ___________________________________ November 29, 1986 Issue 2.9 ___________________________________ Publisher: Ron Kovacs ___________________________________ Zmag Staff: Assistant Publisher: Ken Kirchner Editor: Alan Kloza Software Reviewer: Eric Plent Coordinator: Larry Mihalik ___________________________________ Zmag Headquarters (New Jersey) The Syndicate BBS Post Office Box 74 Middlesex, NJ 08846-0074 (201) 968-8148 300/1200 24 Hours ___________________________________ ZMAG TABLE OF CONTENTS 11/29/86...This Week in Zmag..... ___________________________________ <*> ICD's New Multi I/O Board--Will it Save the 8-bits? <*> More Comdex Highlights--The ST Struts Its Stuff! <*> Computer Sales Down, Crime Up <*> ZMAG Panorama--Gamehints <*> Chipmunk Reviewed--New 8-bit Copy Software <*> In The Works--What's Ahead In ZMAG <*> ZMAG Systems List Updated and more...... __________________________________ EDITOR'S NOTES ZMAG--A New Look................. __________________________________ With this issue of ZMAG we begin a process that we hope will result in giving ZMAG a more structured and professional look. The changes aren't drastic by any means--many of y ou may not even notice them. But we're trying to come up with a format that we can stick to week after week. In order of appea rance you'll see Atari 8-bit News, ST News, General Computer News, Panorama, and Critic's Corner. These "pages" will appear on a weekly basis, as they represent the most popular interests of our readership. We're looking for input from readers, so if y ou have any ideas on the subject, or you'd like to contribute a column please let us know. Thanks. __________________________ ________ ATARI 8-BIT NEWS ICD To the Rescue....The MIO __________________________________ After reading the reports coming out of Las Vegas (Fall Comdex) the past two weeks, it is a bit disheartening to see very little in the way of new 8-bit products. Any Atari news coming out of Comdex seems to focus primarily on the ST and new product for it. Well...Enter ICD, the company that came out with several innovative products for the 8-bit Atari community. Spartados, U.S. Doubler, P:R:Connection, R-Time Ca rtridge, and most recently the Multi I/O board (MIO) have brought ICD to the forefront of 3rd party developers for the Atari. ICD had a prominent display at Comdex and they generated more than passing interest in their new MIO board. What follows are so me specifications on this revolution- ary new product for Atari 8-bit machines. GENERAL DESCRIPTION ------------------- The ICD MIO Board is a multi purpose parallel device for the Atari 800XL and 130XE computers. It plugs directly into the parallel b us of the 800XL and uses an adaptor for the 130XE. This adaptor also adds two cartridge slots which support either right or lef t cartridges. These are the only two computers the MIO will work with. The general functions this device can serve are: RAMDIS K, printer port, printer buffer, MODEM port, and hard disk interface. Configuration software is built in. The MIO is about the same size as a HAYES MODEM and is available in 256K and 1 Meg versions. RAM ---- The RAM is not user upgradable since we use special RAM chips without using sockets. RAM disk software is built in or can be accessed in the $D600 area. The RAM can be pa rtitioned into several RAMDISKs and may be reserved as printer spooler (buffer) RAM. An external power supply maintains the mem ory even with the computer turned off. PARALLEL PORT -------------- This port is a 'centronics' parallel port to be used with parallel printers. The connector is the same as the P:R: Connection so you can use the same cable. SERIAL PORT ----------- This is also the same type of connector as the serial port on a P:R: Connection. Can be used with a serial printer (supports X ON/XOFF software handshake) or with the built in R: handler for a MODEM. Built in software diverts P: to R: as desired for seri PRINTER BUFFER -------------- Works with either serial or parallel port as assigned. Allows PAUSE, RESUME, QUIT sand MULTIPLE COPY functions. HARD DISK INTERFACE ------------------- This allows the use of any SASI or SCSI hard disk controliler of any size. Controllers can be mixed or matched on the same interface with no limitations going between drives. SOFTWARE _-------- Configuration software assigns drives D1: through D8:. These drives can be FLOPPY, RAMDISK, or HARD DISK. Partitionsu are set using starting and ending sector numbers for each drive. (SpartaDOS , if used, supports 16 Meg per drive.) For exa_mple: 40 Meg hard drive could be partitioned as: D1: (16MEG), D2: (16MEG) and D3:8MEG). D4: could be FLOPPY #1, D5: 750K RAMDIS*K, D6: FLOPPY #2, D7: and D8: unused with 250K print spooler. (This is just one example; configuration is extremely flexible.) W SpartaDOS 3.2d (optional) is the recommended DOS but any DOS should work (but is limited by the DOS's own restrictions.) The SSurf City BBS Systems (member of the ZMAG System Network) are now running the MIO. Look for a hands on review of the product in ean upcoming issue of ZMAG. __________________________________ ST NEWSFILE Fall Comdex...More ST Highlights __________________n________________ Space limitations in last week's ZMAG forced us to cut short our coverage on Fall Comdex. Here are some moreo highlights from the well-attended computer trade show. DEVELOPERS AT ATARI PAVILION BY DEWITT ROBBELOTH ANTIC EXECUTIVE EDITlOR LAS VEGAS, NOV. 13, 1986 Software and peripherals companies have climbed on the Atari bandwagon and are showing new or revis ed products at Atari's pavilion here at the autumn COMDEX. Sixty-five such "third-party" vendors are showing products that rang_e from business applications to pure fun. One striking new application is the touch screen technology for the ST by the Video T ouch Company of Springfield, Oregon. Demonstrating a real-life restaurant ordering program operated entirely by touch, this comtpany shows how Atari STs can match and even improve on data-entry systems formerly costing much more. The application is flexibmle both in terms of the kinds of businesses it can serve and the the changes needed periodically to meet new conditions. The sy,stem uses standard ST hardware with monitors modified to include the touch screens. One ST running under the Micro RTX operating system from Beckemeyer Development Tools controls the other STs in the system. The user interface is completely graphic and reqiuires no computer knowledge to operate. New employees learn how to use it in 20 minutes, according to the manager of the Mill C amp restaurant where the system was first installed. Other monitor news from the show includes the Monitor Box from JNL Technolhogies of Oceanside, NY. This box plugs into the video-out port and converts the signal to both composite video and RF. This maikes it possible to use monitors other than Atari's brand, plus regular television sets, video recorders, projection TV's and othter video equipment. The Monitor Box will sell for $59.95 when shipped in Jan. 1987. Aegis Development Inc. showed its Animatior ST program that should be available before Christmas. This program can use any ST drawing as a background, for example NEOch rome or DEGAS, and overlay detailed cels to create an illusion of movement. The program does the tough work of creating intermeediate steps. It will also change the shape of one object to the shape of another - say a fish to a dog - or make objects appearn to move through color cycling, as in a waterfall or a waving flag. Retail price is $79.95. MICHTRON DISPLAY ----------------e MichTron proved that the world is it's market as it showcased an assortment of international products in it's two booths at Cosmdex. In the West Hall, MichTron was showing it's soon to be released Midi Program "Super Conductor." This program has all of t he features of programs selling for $300 to $400, but MichTron in keeping with it's policy of high quality and low prices, will only $79.95. Mi-Print, an incredible program ideal for formatting anything written in a previoussly unformatted style, and Trivia Challenge, an arcade style game with nearly 4000 brain teasing questions, both recent releasesi from MichTron, were well received by the throngs in the MichTron booth. At the workstation in the Atari booth, MichTron showed _the outstanding video digitizer from the German company Print Technique, which it will be distributing throughout the U.S. in Jaunuary. Karate Kid II and Space Shuttle, from MicroDeal (an English company), were both being played in the booth to rave review_s. Everyone commented on the fantastic graphics displayed in Karate Kid II. MichTron also announced that it will be the exclusiv*e distributor for GFA Basic in the United States and Canada. GFA basic is an outstanding basic for the Atari ST that is sweepinWg Europe! GFA basic, in it's Interpreter form, is almost as fast as Pascal; and with it's soon to be released Compiler, it is fSaster than Pascal on most benchmarks! Also, GFA basic has a Public Domain run time module. This enables any program written in eGFA Basic to be run by other people who do not own GFA Basic, without violating the GFA copyrights. MichTron has also acquired tnhe rights to publish Trim Base, an outstanding Relational Data base for the Atari ST, from Talent software in Scotland. MichTrono which has published 34 programs for the Atari ST in it's first year of existence, hopes to release 12 additional programs beforle the end of January! _________________________________ COMPUTER NEWS--GENERAL INTEREST ZMAG Newswire... ____________________ _____________ MOST ELECTRONICS SALES UP, BUT COMPUTER SALES ARE DOWN 9% ------------------------------ US sales of consumers _electronics devices -- televisions, video recorders, stereos and the like -- were up almost 8% in the first nine months of this year compared with last. However, sales of computer equipment and industrial electronics were down more than 9 percent. That'st the word from the Electronic Industry Association in a report this week, that says American consumers bought $15.3 billion wortmh of electronics in the first 9 months of 1986, mostly imports. Here are the EIA findings, as reported by The Associated Press:, -:- US buyers apparently preferred foreign-made home electronics to US-made equipment by more than a 3-to-1 margin only $4.9 billion of the total $15.3 billion worth of equipment sold was US-made. -:- The total US trade deficit for the firist nine months came to $12.2 billion, or some 40 percent more than it was for the same period last year. -:- However, th e US's foreign exports have increased -- EIA found a 16.3 percent growth in worldwide sales of US-made electronics. -:h- Sales of computers and industrial electronics were down from $54.8 billion last year to $49.6 billion, a drop of 9.4 piercent. -:- On the other hand, communications equipment purchases were up 5.1 percent to $40.2 billion. -:- Those of etlectronic components were about the same as last year, $29.3 billion. -:- Total electronics industry sales dropped from i$152.4 billion to $151.6 billion. AP also notes employment in the electronics industry is down 2.3 percent to 1,770,000 worke rs. KODAK EMPLOYEE ARRESTED ON COMPUTER CRACKING CHARGES ----------------------------------- A 30-year-old Eastman Kodak Co.e employee has pleaded innocent to charges he used a home computer to disable nearly 4,700 phone lines that feed Kodak's manufactnuring plant in Rochester, N.Y. Robert Versaggi of Oakfield, N.Y., is charged with a misdemeanor of 2nd-degree computer tamperineg under a new state computer crime law. He says the whole thing was a misunderstanding and a coincidence. At his arraignment, Vsersaggi said he was trying to help another Kodak worker access the company computer from home when the telephone system was sile nced. "I happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said. According to UPI, Prosecutor Kathleen Majewski contends that Versaggi who was hired by Kodak in September as a telecommunications technician, disabled 4,480 telephone lines, 210 largesr trunk lines and eight maintenance lines between 12:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. Nov. 10. Notes UPI, "The incident happened just ninei days after a new state law designed to prosecute people who tamper with computer systems went into effect. Under the new statute Versaggi faces six months in jail if convicted. Previously, (alleged crackers) were charged with larceny." 'HACKER TRACKER' SAYS COMPUTER CRIME RISING ------------------------------------ Computer crime is on the rise, according to one expert who goes by the nickname "Hacker Tracker." John Maxfield of Detroit, Mich., who makes a living as a computer security consultant, tracking down computer criminals for anxious corporate clients, told Government Computer News that the "hacker" problem has increased by a factor of 10 in the last four years and seems to be doubling every year. "Nearly every system can be penetrated by a 14-year-old with $200 worth of equipment. I have found kids as young as 9 years old involved in hacking. If such young children can do it, think what an adult can do," he told GCN. Of the more than 5,000 computer bulletin board systems in the United States as many as 2,000 of them are devoted to assisting the computer criminal. About two dozen of those are used by "elite hackers" and feature security measures as sophisticated as those used by the Pentagon, asserted Maxfield. Most computer criminals don't fit the typical description of a criminal: They are usually 14- to 18 year-old boys with good computer systems, fairly bright, good students who are from solid middle-class families. They tend to be loners and enjoy spending hours working at a computer terminal. Maxfield insisted a new trend is stealing access to online databases especially CompuServe and The Source through credit card fraud. In addition to going through trash bins searching for carbon copies of credit card transactions, he said the criminals search the trash outside a business whose computer they want to break into, looking for computer manuals or anything that might have access codes written on it. One bright note, according to Maxfield, is that usually once the teen criminals are caught, they reform. Very few are repeat offenders and some, he said, end up being hired by the firms they previously raided. The problem could well disappear, notes GCN, when the phone system switches to digital technology and calls can be quite easily traced. __________________________________ THE ZMAG PANORAMA--FEATURES PAGE this week...Game Hints __________________________________ This week's feature is devoted to gamesmanship and offers tips on several popular games available for your computer. The Bard's Tale --------------- The Bard's Tale, Electronic Arts (Apple). Role-playing adventure. Your mission: With a party of six adventurers, explore the city of Skara Brae and the many dungeons and towers it holds. Your goal is to slay the wizard Mangar, and free the city from his control. * To get into Kylearan's Tower, you must place the eye in the statue on the top level of the Castle. You will then be teleported to the front of the tower. * To enter Mangar's Tower you must have the Onyx key. This will let you into the staircase, on the bottom level of the sewers, that brings you up to Mangar's Tower. Optionally, if you have the Master Key, which is found in Mangar's Tower, you can use it to enter directly through the gates. * A few useful coordinates: (assuming you are on the starting point of the first level of the dungeon or tower): The Eye: 19 north, 20 east, down 2, Catacombs Crystal Sword: 0 north, 19 east, 0 down, Castle Silver Square: 0 north, 0 east, 1 up, Castle Silver Triangle: 20 north, 2 east, 0 down, Kylearan's Tower Silver Circle: 15 north, 4 east, 1 up, Mangar's Tower Onyx Key: 13 north, 17 east, down 0, Kylearan's Tower Silent Service -------------- Silent Service, Microprose Simulation. Your mission: As commander of an American submarine in the Pacific during World War II, you must hunt down and sink Japanese freighters, troop carriers, and tankers. * Ships are slowed considerably when hit by a single torpedo. When attacking a convoy, select the juiciest target, and fire a single torpedo before diving. Dive deep enough to avoid being detected by any destroyers and continue at two-thirds speed in the same direction as the convoy. Destroyers will usually abandon the wounded ship in order to protect the remaining convoy. Speed up the simulation until the convoy is well out of range while observing the ship on radar. Then surface to torpedo depth and strike again. * A few hits from the deck gun will slow down any ship and cause it to fall behind the convoy. * Sometimes a convoy will head for land and remain a few hundred yards off shore. The ships will form a relatively tight circle and continue to circle while the destroyers (the fastest blips on the radar) move in random directions. A sub can creep up on the convoy making sure to use slowest possible speed and minimum profile. Position the sub fairly close to the convoy, while remaining close to the bottom. If detected by the destroyers, dive to the bottom and shut off the engines. The destroyers cannot detect a sub which rests on the bottom unless it happens to be very shallow (under 100'). Ships can be picked off one at a time by surfacing to periscope level and firing no more than two torpedos at a time. Be sure the destroyers are on the other side of the circle before firing. * If a convoy is guarded by only one destroyer it might be worth your while to try to sink it. However, make sure that you shoot at it before any of the other ships in the convoy. When it starts closing on you open up with the deck gun (especially effective at shorter ranges -- around 1000 yards). ROGUE ----- Epyx, Inc. Arcade/skill. Your mission: Explore the never-ending levels of the Dungeons of Doom and recover the lost amulet of Yendor- and get back to the surface in one piece. Along the way, you'll discover hordes of monsters, ranging from trolls to copying machines. To help you on your quest, you must use your weapons, your wits, and the multitude of items that can be found within the dungeon. * Food and magic are your most valuable possessions. Use them sparingly. Both get increasingly scarce as you descend further into the dungeon. Wait until your characters are faint with hunger before eating, and save wands and staves for the really tough monsters, such as Griffins and Jabberwocks. Scrolls are the exception to the rule. Since they are most often helpful, they should be read at the first opportunity. * Wands and staves which shoot magic may riccochet. Make sure you are facing your opponent on a diagonal line before you zap it. * Wands of polymorphing are dangerous on low levels, since you take the risk of turning a monster into something even more powerful. Use them when you are very deep in the dungeon, because odds are that you will turn a very nasty monster into one that is less formidable. * Aquators, which rust through your character's armor, like to lurk in dark rooms and behind doors. If you see one coming, remove your armor or try and fight it from a distance. * Let sleeping monsters lie, until you have cleared the rest of level. * Before drinking a potion, make sure that you have cleared the level so that (hopefully) nothing will attack you should the potion be harmful. * If you have lost hit points and need to rest, either stand in a dead end or over a staircase. By standing over a staircase, you can flee it a monster comes. * The most frequent complaint about the game is the player's high mortality rate. We found the following method very helpful in keeping our characters alive: As soon as you have completed a level, save your game. When the disk is through accessing, remove it from the disk drive and slide the write-protect button to the up position (so you can look through the little hole). Next, restore your game and proceed to the next level. If you are killed during this foray, the machine will attempt to erase your character from the disk, but it will be prevented from doing so by the write-protect. Therefore, it is a simple matter of restoring your position, and you'll never be more than one level away from where your character was killed. * If you successfully complete a level, you may save your position by turning off the write-protect, making sure it slides all the way, and then saving the game normally. KEEP TRACK OF WHETHER THE WRITE-PROTECT IS ON OR OFF!!! * If you have one Identify scroll and several magic items, you can try saving your position as described above, and then identifying an item, restoring the game and identifying another item. You can do this indefinitely. __________________________________ CRITIC'S CORNER Software Reviews....by Eric Plent ___________________________________ Chipmunk ======== Microdaft 19 Harbor Drive Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849 By: Eric Plent Chipmunk is one of the few programs on the market that will allow you to copy your programs, legally!. You must remember that the writers of Chipmunk DO NOT WANT THE SOFTWARE YOU COPY TO BE SOLD OR GIVEN AWAY!. If you do this, you can be arrested, fined, and thrown in jail!. On a lighter side... When you load side "A" of the master disk, you are given a menu of three choices. Number one is COPY XL, the sector copier that works with the old 400/800 computers, and the newer XL models. Option number 2 is COPY XE, for the Atari 130XE computer. Both of the programs will run on a 130XE, but COPY XE will not run on an XL or 400/800. COPY XL is a three pass copier, where COPY XE, using the extra memory of the 130XE, can copy a disk in one pass. The third option on the main menu is Parameters. You can tell Chipmunk that the program you are copying must have some necessary code written to disk at copy time by selecting the program from the menu that pops up. This is a list of the programs it can copy. You can page through the programs by pressing the SPACE bar, or the letter code next to the program name. Side "B" of the Chipmunk disk has a few utility programs that are worth checking out. Boot side "B", and you will see this menu: 1. Unlist 2. Undelete 3. Autorun To choose a program, enter the corresponding number. UNLIST ------ This utility allows you to LIST un-LISTable BASIC programs that lock up the keyboard when you try a LIST. Just insert the disk with the program you want to unlist, and press RETURN for a directory. You will be asked for the filename to unlist. When you type the filename, UNLIST will load that program. By pressing START at this point, the text will brighten, telling you that the program is in memory, and is listable. After using UNLIST, you can save the program in a listable format, under a new filename. UNDELETE -------- The UNDELETE program can be used in much the same way as DISKFIX on the Atari DOS 2.5 disk. It will allow you to recover deleted files, as long as you have not SAVED anything to the disk since deleting the program. After loading, insert the disk with the program you want to recover. Press RETURN, and you will be shown a list of ALL the files on your disk, deleted or not. A code will appear next to each filename. They are as follows: N. Normal D. Deleted L. Locked If you want to undelete a file with the "D." code, press "N". Then exit the program by hitting ESC twice. If the program was in BASIC, you must LOAD then SAVE the program. Same with LIST and ENTER. AUTORUN ------- With AUTORUN, you can set up an AUTORUN.SYS file for any BASIC program you want to load and run at bootup. The menu looks like this: 1. Menu 1. AUTORUN.SYS 2. Games 2. Add/Replace file 3. Boot 3. Default file 4. 4. Change drive # 5. 5. Filename The manual says the options on the left are default filenames if you don't want to enter a filename every time. The options on the right will allow you to write an AUTORUN.SYS file to any BASIC program, or change any of the defaults. =================================== Many other options are there for you to play with. If you don't like the utilitys on side "B", Microdaft wants to hear from you. I have already called them about my ID card, which I LOST on my way home. I don't know where, or how, I did that. I got a nice guy on the phone, and he said that if I sent in a letter with my name and address, and a guess at the number, he could put me on the mailing list anyway. I thought this was great, because most of the time, you don't get ANYTHING from the publishers without some sort of card, or a blood sample. The manual is well written, and has all the information you will need to start copying your disks in no time. Packaged with the PINK disk and the manual is a six page printed list of the programs Chipmunk is known to copy. As an owner of Chipmunk, you will be told of any new features that are added on, or any problems with copying software, so you will always know whats new with Microdaft. =================================== CONTACTING MICRODAFT You can call <201>-663-0202 anytime. Quote "If nobody answers, call back some other time. If someone answers, and they can't help you, make sure they take down your telephone number, a name, and a good time to have us call you back". Write Microdaft at 19 Harbor Drive Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849 I hope I have shed some light on this great program. If you have any more questions about it, but don't want to write to Microdaft, feel free to leave me a message on the Syndicate BBS. (201)968-8148 ______________________________ IN THE WORKS................. Upcoming in future issues ______________________________ Look for these and other stories in the weeks ahead: ...Software Piracy--the problem continues. We publish the results of our own online survey. ...Supra Hard Drive--a firsthand report. The Supra and The Syndicate. ...Games Computers Play--our reviewer visits this online service. ...ICD'S MIO--a hands-on review of the new multi-I/O board and hard disk interface. ...ZMAG Issue 3.0--the long awaited special issue with info on all the ZMAG Network systems. ...Where's The Beef?--When can we expect new 8-bit software? ZMAG looks at the drought in Atari program development. ...Plus--all the late-breaking computer news and information. ...all this and more in the weeks ahead...