Visit Atarimax Store


Free-Net Logo
The Atari SIG Historical Archive
Created and hosted by: atarimax.com
[ HOME | GO ATARI | 8-BIT | ST/TT | PORTFOLIO | LYNX | JAGUAR | LIBRARY ]


Article #53 (214 is last):
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.8bit.zmag
Subject: Z*Magazine: 11-May-87 #51
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Fri Jul 16 10:08:22 1993


_____________________________________
          ZMAGAZINE MAY
HOT ATARI NEWS AND REVIEWS   ISSUE 51
_____________________________________
May 11, 1987
_____________________________________
Zmag Staff:
Publisher/Editor in Chief: Ron Kovacs
Managing Editor: Alan Kloza
Columnist: Eric Plent
Asst Publisher: Ken Kirchner
_____________________________________
This week in Zmagazine New Jersey

<*> Commentary from JACG
    Zmag User Group of the Month.

<*> JACG Newsletter and BBS info.

<*> Zmag Flashback...
    Warner Sells Atari to Tramiel

<*> Zmagazine Library
    This week we discuss ARC!!

<*> Plent's Page
    Review of Koronis Rift

<*> Compact Disk Update

<*> Computer Predicts Future



_____________________________________
Xx Zmag User Group of the Month
  ...Jersey Atari Computer Group...
_____________________________________
***An Editorial View***
       from
           the
              JACG

by Dave Noyes
Editor - JACG Nesletter
-------------------------------------

WHY A USER GROUP????


Two and one half years ago I
purchased my first computer. It was
an ATARI 800XL...supported by a TRAK
ATD2 disk drive, a PANASONIC KXP-1090
printer and a SYLVANIA 13" color TV
for a monitor.  Believe me, I knew
from nothing...when I got the package
home - I didn't even have a DOS and,
consequently, didn't get much
accomplished.  On my own, I
discovered various books, and of
course, ANTIC and ANALOG. In due
course ( year later) I came across a
JACG newsletter.  A user group, I
thought, "what a splendid idea". I
bought the newsletter, attended the
next meeting, joined the JACG...and
I've been a member ever since.


I would not be exaggerating to say
that I learned more in the first two
meetings that I attended than I did
in my first year of ATARI ownership.
I discovered a resource to answer
every question that I had, learned
where to buy and not buy, what to buy
and not buy, and where to go and who
to call when nothing with the ATARI
was going right.  If only I had known
of JACG's existence when I first came
into contact with ATARI!

Now, through editing the JACG
Newsletter...I can see first hand the
dynamics of a user group - a GOOD
user group.  Symbiosis between those
with a certain skill or knowledge,
and those in need of that skill or
knowledge.  One in need at one point
may very well be a purveyor of
knowledge or skill at another point.
There is give and gain - unselfishly.
There is no "stupid" question, there
is no "ridiculous" answer. From "just
bought an ATARI" to a long time
owner, from "400" to the "ST"...
there is room for all, there is need
for all - A USER GROUP - and the JACG
sets well among the best of them.
_____________________________________
Xx JACG Information
...Newsletter and BBS...
_____________________________________
If you are interested in receiving 
the JACG monthly newsletter, or even
interested in membership, please send
a letter with your name, address,
city, state, zip, home phone number,
along with the date and prefrence of
1st class or third class mailing to:

      Robert P. Mulhearn
      8 Crescent Road
      Pinebrook, New Jersey 07058

Membership for one year is $20.00.
Add $6.00 if you chose 1st class
mailing. Foreign memberships are
$30.00 in US currency.

For more information on the JACG,
you can give them a modem call at
(201) 298-0161.

Stay in-touch with Zmag all this
month for more information on JACG.
_____________________________________
Xx Zmag Flashback
.....Warner Sells Atari to Tramiel...
_____________________________________
NEW YORK (AP)-- Warner Communications
Inc. said today it sold the main
parts of its loss-plagued Atari Inc.
consumer electronics unit to a
company led by Jack Tramiel, the
former head of Commodore
International Ltd. 

As a result of the sale, Warner said
it expects to post a $425 million
loss for the second quarter.  

Warner sold the home-computer and
home-video segments of Atari, but
retained its coin-operated games unit
and other assets.  

Warner said Tramiel and his
associates had invested $75 million
in their new company, which acquired
warrants giving it the option to buy
1 million Warner common shares in
addition to the Atari assets
involved.  

In exchange, Warner received $240
million in various debts of Tramiel's
group. Warner also received warrants
to acquire common stock of the new
company, Warner said.  

Meanwhile, Warner said it would incur
the $425 million second-quarter loss
because of operating losses by Atari
and because Warner reduced on its
books the value of the Atari assets
being sold.  

Atari, bought by Warner in 1976 for
$27 million, made its video game
"Pac-Man" a household name as the
company led the video-game craze of
the early 1980s. It also moved
heavily into home computers.  

In 1982, Atari earned $323.3 million
on sales of $2 billion, making it one
of Warner's key profit centers.  

But then the video-game business --
scarred by bulging inventories, price
cutting and declining consumer
enthusiasm -- stalled and Atari's
fortunes skidded.  

Last year, Atari lost $538.6 million
on revenue of $1.12 billion,
resulting in a net loss for Warner
Communications of $417.8 million on
revenue of $3.43 billion.  

Tramiel turned Commodore from a
typewriter importer 25 years ago into
the nation's leading maker of home
computers. The New York-based company
is estimated to account for more than
30 percent of the home-computer
market.  

Tramiel stunned the industry last
January by abruptly resigning, saying
Commodore needed a more "professional
executive" to take it over the $1
billion sales mark.  

Atari's red ink continued in the
first quarter of this year -- its
operating loss was $34.9 million,
although Warner managed a profit of
$30.9 million.  

Tramiel also issued a statement today
saying, "Both the home-computer and
video-game marketplaces continue, in
my view, to offer great
opportunities."  
_____________________________________
Xx Zmag Library
  ...ARC Discussion...
_____________________________________
ARC-FILE.INF, created by Keith
Petersen, W8SDZ, 21-Sep-86, extracted
from UNARC.INF by Robert A. Freed.

From:     Robert A. Freed
Subject:  Technical Information for
          ARC files
Date:     June 24, 1986

Note: In the following discussion,
UNARC refers to my CP/M-80 program
for extracting files from MSDOS ARCs.
The definitions of the ARC file
format are based on MSDOS ARC512.EXE.

ARCHIVE FILE FORMAT
-------------------

Component files are stored
sequentially within an archive. Each
entry is preceded by a 29-byte
header, which contains the directory
information.  There is no wasted
space between entries.  (This is in
contrast to the centralized directory
used by Novosielski libraries.

Although random access to subfiles
within an archive can be noticeably
slower than with libraries, archives
do have the advantage of not
requiring pre-allocation of directory
space.)

Archive entries are normally
maintained in sorted name order. The
format of the 29-byte archive header
is as follows:

Byte 1:  1A Hex.
         This marks the start of an
archive header.  If this byte is not
found when expected, UNARC will scan
forward in the file (up to 64K bytes)
in an attempt to find it (followed by
a valid compression version).

         If a valid header is found
in this manner, a warning message is
issued and archive file processing
continues.  Otherwise, the file is 
assumed to be an invalid archive and
processing is aborted.  (This is 
compatible with MS-DOS ARC version
5.12).  Note that a special exception
is made at the beginning of an
archive file, to accomodate "self-
unpacking" archives (see below).

Byte 2:  Compression version, as
         follows:

         0 = end of file marker
(remaining bytes not present)
         1 = unpacked (obsolete)
         2 = unpacked
         3 = packed
         4 = squeezed (after packing)
         5 = crunched (obsolete)
         6 = crunched (after packing)
             (obsolete)
         7 = crunched (after packing,
             using faster hash
             algorithm) (obsolete)
         8 = crunched (after packing,
             using dynamic LZW
             variations)

Bytes 3-15:  ASCII file name,
             nul-terminated.

(All of the following numeric values
are stored low-byte first.)

Bytes 16-19:  Compressed file size in
              bytes.

Bytes 20-21:  File date, in 16-bit
              MS-DOS format:
              Bits 15:9 = year - 1980
              Bits  8:5 = month of
              year
              Bits  4:0 = day of
              month
              (All zero means no
              date.)

Bytes 22-23:  File time, in 16-bit
              MS-DOS format:
              Bits 15:11 = hour
              (24-hour clock)
              Bits 10:5  = minute
              Bits  4:0  = second/2
              (not displayed by UNARC)

Bytes 24-25:  Cyclic redundancy check
              (CRC) value (see below).

Bytes 26-29:  Original (uncompressed)
file length in bytes. (This field is
not present for version 1 entries,
byte 2 = 1. I.e., in this case the
header is only 25 bytes long.
Because version 1 files are
uncompressed, the value normally
found in this field may be obtained
from bytes 16-19.)


SELF-UNPACKING ARCHIVES
-----------------------
A "self-unpacking" archive is one
which can be renamed to a .COM file
and executed as a program. An example
of such a file is the MS-DOS program
ARC512.COM, which is a standard
archive file preceded by a three-byte
jump instruction.  The first entry in
this file is a simple "bootstrap"
program in uncompressed form, which
loads the subfile ARC.EXE (also
uncompressed) into memory and passes
control to it. In anticipation of a
similar scheme for future
distribution of UNARC, the program
permits up to three bytes to precede
the first header in an archive file
(with no error message).


CRC COMPUTATION
---------------
Archive files use a 16-bit cyclic
redundancy check (CRC) for error
control.  The particular CRC
polynomial used is x^16 + x^15 + x^2
+ 1, which is commonly known as
"CRC-16" and is used in many data
transmission protocols (e.g. DEC
DDCMP and IBM BSC), as well as by
most floppy disk controllers.  Note
that this differs from the CCITT
polynomial (x^16 + x^12 + x^5 + 1),
which is used by the XMODEM-CRC
protocol and the public domain CHEK
program (although these do not adhere
strictly to the CCITT standard).  The
MS-DOS ARC program does perform a
mathematically sound and accurate CRC
calculation. (We mention this because
it contrasts with some unfortunately
popular public domain programs we
have witnessed, which from time
immemorial have based their
calculation on an obscure magazine
article which contained a
typographical error!)

Additional note (while we are on the
subject of CRC's): The validity of
using a 16-bit CRC for checking an
entire file is somewhat questionable.
Many people quote the statistics
related to these functions (e.g. "all
two-bit errors, all single burst
errors of 16 or fewer bits, 99.997%
of all single 17-bit burst errors,
etc."), without realizing that these
claims are valid only if the total
number of bits checked is less than
32767 (which is why they are used in
small-packet data transmission
protocols).  I.e., for file sizes in
excess of about 4K bytes, a 16-bit
CRC is not really as good as what is
often claimed.

This is not to say that it is bad,
but there are more reliable methods
available (e.g. the 32-bit AUTODIN-II
polynomial).  (End of lecture!)

Bob Freed
62 Miller Road
Newton Centre, MA  02159
Telephone (617) 332-3533
_____________________________________
Xx Plents Page
   ...Koronis Rift...
_____________________________________
Koronis Rift
Lucasfilm Games Division
Created By Noah Falstein
Atari Version Requires 48K RAM

24 Febrius, 2249
----------------
"For three days your Scoutcraft has
been traveling through empty space,
on it's way from one forsaken part of
the galaxy to another. You're a
technoscavenger, making a living
searching for abandoned technological
systems - but for all the luck you've
had in the past month, you might as
well be an intergalactic drifter.
Psytek, your Science Droid Analyzer,
is monitoring the instruments. There
isn't much to do - not much, that is,
until suddenly Psytek flashes an 
urgent message:"

"POWERFUL RADIATION FLUX DETECTED:
COORDINATES 45:90 RELATIVE AZIMUTH
AND ELEVATION."

Powerful is right! Your instruments
indicate rads in the ten thousand 
range. "Any idea what it might be?"
you ask.

"NEGTIVE. CHARTS INDICATE EMPTY SPACE
FROM HERE TO STAR SYSTEM 583."

And so the game goes. This is how you
stumble on to the strange and little
known planet called Koronis Rift...

From movies to computer software, 
Lucasfilm has always been there with
some of the best in entertainment for
all ages. With the smash hit movie
Star Wars, Lucasfilm started the ball
rolling into the business. A few
years ago Lucasfilm branched off once
again and started the Lucasfilm
Computer Games Division, bringing
forth hit games such as BallBlazer,
The Eidolon and this one, Koronis
Rift.

Koronis Rift places you in the pilot
seat of a small land Scoutcraft,
searching for the wreckage of 
abandoned technolgical systems that
you can raid for old parts. Since
these parts are worth something in
the space junk market, you plan to 
sell them for credits. Of course, 
there are always SOME of the units
that can be used for your ship. After
all, you can expect the Guardian 
Saucers to put up a fight for those
old abandoned hulks, since they are
there to protect the Ancient
technology from people such as you.
Watch out! Two of them coming in!
Shield at full power! Hellllpppp...!

Enough of this. On to the actual
program and game play. Koronis Rift
is a little like the old Arcade
program BattleZone. You pilot your
ship over the scrolling playfield
while shooting everything in sight
(at least, all of the Guardians in
sight...don't shoot the Hulks.)

Since most of the time you will want
the lowest level of play, the program
will default to Rift 1. This level 
will give you a taste of the action
without TOO many Guardians attacking.
Drive around a bit to get used to the
feel of the game. You will mostly
need your trigger thumb, since you
will almost always be attacked while
trying to raid a hulk. The program
will beep to let you know the
Guardians are coming. You can move
your target sight (a small crosshair)
around the screen with the joystick. 
To fire, press the fire button.

Now you are ready to play. Re-start
the game and get to level one. You
will be lowered to the planet by a
tractor beam, controlled by Psytek
the robot. When you hit the ground
the game has started. Press your
joystick up and you will start moving
forward. Notice the large object in
front of you. This is your first hulk
of the game (they put it there to let
you get the hang of the game faster).
Run right up to the ship and stop by
pulling the joystick backwards. Now
pull down again and press the fire
button. You should see a little
cursor light up on either "Call Ship"
or "Loot Hulk". Select "Loot Hulk" to
send the little  Repo-Tech Robot out.
It will collect anything it can from
the ship and return it to you. You
can than place that module in to your
ship's system now, or wait and have
Psytek examine it later (by 'Calling'
the ship).

Let's have Psytek examine the module
now to see what it is worth. Pull the
joystick back again and select "Call
Ship". The tractor beam will pull you
in to the ship. 

The seen will change now, showing you
Psytek and his work area. This is
where you come to find the value of a
module, or to replace a Repo-Tech
Robot (in case you happen to shoot
it...it can be done (hehe)).

Position your cursor on the module
you would like examined and press the
fire button. Psytek will remove the
unit from your ship and give you a
status report of that unit's power
level and value on the market. If you
choose to sell that module, select
"Disassemble" to get the credits. Now
you can return to the game, save your
position (in case you have a REALLY
good game and would like return there
the next time you play) load a saved
position or quit the game. 

Overall, Koronis Rift is a fast paced
game that will keep you at the
joystick for hours. If you liked
Battle Zone in the arcade, I would
recommend this game to you. While not
quite up to the Vector graphics of
the arcade version, this will do very
nicely. Highly recommended!

Happy gaming!!!
          -- Eric Plent
_____________________________________
Xx Compact Disk Update
_____________________________________
Don't look now, but the new CD's you
just purchased are already obsolete.

That's right, it's almost as if
little mischievous elves crept into
the laboratories in the middle of the
night and invented something better.

Only the elves in this case work for
Mobile Fidelity Labs.

And what they've done is take your
already-costly aluminum compact disc
and coated it with a poly-carbonate
bonded in pure gold.

The latest in tip-toppermost of the
poppermost sound innovation boasts
increased lifespan, no sonic gaps,
higher engraving and reading
capabilities, and overall better
quality.

The elves at Mobile Fidelity Labs
call it Ultradisc.

Source: Copley Radio Network
_____________________________________
Xx COMPUTER PREDICTS FUTURE
_____________________________________
A Computer designed to analyze trends
based on recent events, has scrapped
it's own programming and started
predicting the future.

Some predicitons include: a new
religion from the U.S., a 10th planet
is discovered, superbeings from tibet
and the usual Atlantis stuff and
meteor crashes.

A Dr. Gunter Telemann in East Germany
reportedly told the magazine,
"Tomorrow's Computer" the machine
abandoned logic and started making
wild guesses...just like a psychic.

BELIEVE IT  OR  LEAVE IT!
  (strictly for laughs)


Source: Copley Radio Network
_____________________________________
Xx Zmag Weather Safety Report
    ...Tornado Safety Rules...
_____________________________________
          Tornado Safety Rules
          --------------------

WHEN A TORNADO APPROACHES -- YOUR
IMMEDIATE ACTION MAY MEAN LIFE OR
DEATH

Seek inside shelter, preferably in a
tornado cellar, underground
excavation, or steel-framed or
reinforced concrete building of
substantial construction. Stay away
from windows!

IN CITIES OR TOWNS

In Office Buildings -- Stand in an
interior hallway on a lower floor,
preferably in the basement.

In Factories -- On receiving a
tornado warning, post a lookout.
Workers should move quickly to the
section of the plant offering the
greatest protection in accordance
with advance plans.

In Homes And Small Buildings -- Go to
the basement or to an interior part
of the lowest level (a closet,
bathroom, or interior hall). Get
under something sturdy.  Mobile homes
are particularly vulnerable to
overturning during strong winds. 
Trailer parks should have a community
shelter. Appoint a community leader
responsible for constant radio
monitoring during threatening weather
or during watch periods. Leave mobile
homes or vehicles and go to a
substantial structure.  If there is
no shelter nearby, lie flat in the
nearest ditch, ravine, or culvert
with your hands shielding your head.

IN SCHOOLS

Whenever possible, go to an interior
hallway on the lowest floor. Avoid
auditoriums and gymnasiums or other
structures with wide, free-span
roofs.

If a building is not of reinforced
construction, go quickly to a nearby
reinforced building or to a ravine or
open ditch, and lie flat.

KEEP LISTENING

Your radio and television stations
will broadcast the latest tornado
advisory information.  Call the
Weather Service only to report a
tornado.

REMEMBER: Tornado watch means
tornadoes are expected to develop.
Tornado warning means a tornado has
actually been sighted.


_____________________________________
ZMAGAZINE     May 1987      Issue #51
Please contribute!!
_____________________________________
(c) Copyright 1987 Syndicate Services




Visit Atarimax Store