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Article #56 (214 is last):
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.8bit.zmag
Subject: Z*Magazine:  1-Jun-87 #54
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Fri Jul 16 10:12:51 1993


===========^^^=======================
ZMAGAZINE  HOT ATARI NEWS AND REVIEWS
=====================================
PUBLISHER/EDITOR: RON KOVACS
=====================================
ASSISTANT PUBLISHER: KEN KIRCHNER
=====================================
ISSUE 54                 JUNE 1, 1987
_____________________________________
Xx    ZMAG INDEX 54
_____________________________________
-*- CIS OFFERS NEW DAYTIME RATES

-*- SAFETY TIP By:Steve Garee

-*- THE ATARI CHALLENGE 
    By:Bill Silverman

-*- DATAPAC PARAMETERS

-*- JACG ZMAG USER GROUP OF MAY

-*- ST X-PRESS NEWS WIRE

-*- ZMAG UPDATE
    Summer CES Reports

-*- SOFTWARE REVIEW
    221B Baker Street

-*- ZMAG NEWSWIRE

-*- SOFTWARE REVIEW
    Oasis Bulletin Board System
_____________________________________
Xx COMPUSERVE OVERS PERMANENT RATES
_____________________________________
COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 27, 1987):Daytime
connect rates for the CompuServe
Information Service will be reduced
to the same as evening and weekend
connect rates beginning today June 1.

CompuServe subscribers can access the
service anytime for $6 per connect
hour at 110-450 baud speeds, a more
than 50% reduction from the previous
daytime weekday rate. Access is
$12.50 per connect hour at 1200-2400
baud.  Communications surcharges and
individual surcharges still apply.

"Convenience is a major reason
subscribers use CompuServe," said
David J. Kishler, supervisor of
corporate communications. "This rate
reduction allows subscribers to use
CompuServe at an economical rate at
times best for them."

This most recent price reduction is
the third within the past year.
Reduced rates for 2400 baud access
and free uploads (transmitting
programs to CompuServe's data
libraries over telephone lines) were
both instituted last year.

With alomst 360,000 subscribers and
more than 400 services, the
CompuServe Information Service is the
largest general online information
base in North America.  CompuServe
also provides electronic mail,
internal corporate information and
value-added telecommunications
network services to more than 1,200
major U.S. corporations and
government agencies.

CompuServe is an H&R Block company.
_____________________________________
Xx SAFETY TIP
_____________________________________
Article taken from the May 1987 issue
of the CDAC Electronic Newsletter.

By:Steve Garee

Many computer users think of their
computer as if it were a toaster or a
television set. Just another electric
appliance to be ignored when not in
use. It, as well as, any appliance
can burn your world down around you.
Think about fire prevention for a
moment.

I attended a course in computer
security management several years
ago. One of the topics covered was
fire safety and the simple steps
required to implement it. The worst
computer fire disaster in the nation
happened in a government installation
that had a disaster preparedness plan
for any contingency. The fire
disaster plan contained two words,
"Can't  happen!".  It only took six
months to get back to normal.

What can you do? A few simple steps
and a couple of minutes are all it
will take.

1. Check the power demands of your
   equipment. Does your computer
   cause lamps to flicker or dim on
   the same circuit? Don't use
   extension cords or blocks that are
   not rated for at least 10 amps.
   Preferably, there should be an
   inline circuit breaker, so an
   electric motor doesn't fry your
   machine when it starts up.

2. Check the ground connection of the
   house and don't use the machine in
   a violent electric storm. I know
   of at least two people who own
   machines that have tested a
   lightning strike and lost.

3. Get a Halon fire extinguisher.
   They are available locally and are
   inexpensive. Halon is preferable
   to carbon dioxide because the
   Halon does not damage electronic
   equipment or leave a residue. It
   would be terrible to put out a
   computer fire and find the
   extinguisher has damaged a disk
   drive which wasn't involved. It is
   not for a paper-type fire.

4. If a fire happens, CALL FIRE
   DEPARTMENT! This is important,
   because a wiring fire may occur at
   any point and can reignite at an
   unexpected moment. You may feel
   like a fool when they arrive and
   the fire has been put out with
   your extinguisher, but think about
   how you will feel watching from
   the road as your life's treasures
   go up in smoke. A fire can get out
   of control in about a minute!

5. Make sure your computer is covered
   by your household insurance. If
   you use it for any business
   functions at all, IT IS NOT
   COVERED.

Lastly, this is something to think
about. A full computer setup with
hard disk and monitor can pull
several hundred watts.  Would you
leave an iron on and leave the house?
A smaller  machine  will  probably
not even match a table lamp.

Think safety first.
_____________________________________
Xx THE ATARI CHALLENGE
   By:Bill Silverman
_____________________________________
Article Ctys of:CDAC Electronic
Newsletter, May 1987 Edition

I admit it, I'm an Atari addict. When
everybody was buying Apples in the
early 80's I bought a 32K Atari 800.
When everybody was buying Commodores
in the mid 80's I bought an 800XL.
When the 130XE was introduced I got
one of them to!

Then came the ST. This time, I said
to myself, I'm gonna wait. Let them
show me that this one is going to be
great.

So I waited as long as I could and I
now have a 1040ST. Can it do things
better than my old Atari's? Yes
definately! Is it as well developed
as the 130XE or 800XL? Most
definately not!

Well friends this is most assuredly
a paradox. A bigger better machine
with enough memory and speed to
outrun everybody in town! Some of the
software is the leading edge of the
next generation of software
-particularly the graphics software.
The ST and Publishing Partner have
opened up new doors to what can be
done at home in desktop publishing at
a bargain price!

The product is still not available -
vaporware may be standard practice in
the industry but if you can advertise
it please market it!

The software to interface with the
hardware is miserable. Do tell me to
use 'any word processor that prints
ASCII text files  to disk' to write
printer drivers or assign.sys files.
Give us programs that do the work!

The same thing goes for font
editiors. When somebody makes a font
editor the equal of INSTANT EDIT that
Sheldon Leemon wrote for the Atari
800 then we'll be in business. Don't
tell me how many fonts the computer
needs for the screen and printer.
Again, give us programs that do the
work!

Give us load and go software! An
autorun.sys is must for the modern
computer and that includes the ST.

Lastly, give us all a sence of hope.
We have exactly one committed Atari
retail store in the Capital District.
The people who own and run the store
love the machine but are considering
dropping the Atari line for lack of
product and support.

What do they want:
#1, the IBM emulator.
#2, the IBM Clone.
#3, support for the product they do
    have (how do you think a dealer
    feels when 1040's sit unsold
    while customers wait for a MEGA
    ST which the dealer can't get?)

So come on Atari, we're all out here
rooting for ya, we're supporting you!

DO IT NOW
_____________________________________
Xx DATAPAC PARAMETERS
 .....Ctsy CompuServe Atari8 SIG....
_____________________________________
#: 188501 S2/Telecommunications
    26-May-87  02:14:07
Fm: Ken Watson 73157,3100
To: John Oetter 73657,771 (X)

Hi John,

The method you describe will work if
you are going through a Datapac
public dialport but not if accessing
Datapac through iNet 2000. iNet will
_NOT_ allow the user to have a
transparent profile (which is what
PROF 3 is suppose to give you) so you
cannot do any Xmodem U/L to CIS if
you are using Datapac through iNet.

For downloads I use a slightly
different PAD paramater which is as
follows:

PROF 1
SET 6:0,126:4

- like PROF 3 you won't be able to
see your last bit of typing.  Unlike
PROF 3 (correct me here if I am wrong
about PROF 3), you will get your
character echo back after you do the
D/L and your profile will remain open
for subsequent downloads while you
remain on CIS.

Anyway, until iNet installs new
software that will allow 8 bit
transfers you cannot U/L to CIS if
you are using DATAPAC through iNet so
poor schmucks like myself continue to
be able to D/L from CIS but not do
any 8 bit U/L.

Ken

* Reply:
#: 188553 S2/Telecommunications
    27-May-87  00:20:00
Fm: JOHN OETTER 73657,771
To: Ken Watson 73157,3100

Ken-  Thanks for the info- I was not
aware of the various hoops that
datapac put some of us through. This
one was enough!  May I suggest s
Regards  John

D/L THROUGH DATAPAC USING XMODEM        From:  John Oetter  73657,771

With many thanks to Ewan Edwards and
the Wrecking Crane BBS in Victoria
B. C.   (604) 727-2757

Background

Datapac essentialy invloves itself as
a middleman.  When you type a letter,
Datapac decides who it is going to,
sends it, and in this case, is echoed
back by Compuserve.  This involves
time delays that make it next to
impossible to download!  The packet
switching used by Datapac can be
overcome.

Solution

The trick is to get Datapac to switch
off the packet switching.  So here's
what you do:

Type a CTRL-P <^P> This is a Datapac
access code. Then type PAR followed
by a . Type PROF 3  (you will
not be able to see what you are
typing) Type SET 2:1  

Now type in the Compuserve forum
commands to download.

Once again the sequence should go:

1. CTRL-P
2. PAR 
3. PROF 3 
4. SET 2:1 (remember, you won't see
   this line) 
5. 

Happy downloading and uploading!  If
you have any comments or suggestions,
please let me know!!
John Oetter  73657,771
_____________________________________
Xx Zmag User Group of the Month
  ...Jersey Atari Computer Group...
_____________________________________
By:Mark Knutsen,  SysOp - JACG BBS

This week, some miscellaneous
information about the Jersey Atari
Computer Group that wasn't mentioned
in the previous three articles:

-- The JACG article in Zmag 50 was
written by Tom Pazel, who is
currently our club's president, _not_
Membership Chairman.  The name and
address of the real Membership
Chairman are as follows:

     Robert P. Mulhearn
     Membership Chairman, JACG
     8 Crescent Road
     Pinebrook, NJ  07058

Please contact Bob for information on
joining the JACG or receiving our
newsletter.

-- The JACG Disk Library contains
over 115 disks for 8-bit Ataris, and
over 35 disks for Atari STs.
Information about ordering library
disks ($5 apiece) and listings may be
obtained from the Chief Librarian at
this address:
     Sam Cory
     Disk Librarian, JACG
     P.O. Box 7
     Towaco, NJ  07082

////Part II////

As 8-Bit Vice-President of the Jersey
Atari Computer Group I try to provide
good representation for our
membership ... especially our 8-Bit
membership. My name is Doug Van Hook,
and I'm just one of the members on
the JACG production line.  The
production line produces Quality
Meetings, a state of the art Bulletin
Board, an Award Winning Newsletter,
and a Disk Library bulging with the
latest 8-Bit and 16-Bit Public Domain
Software.

A large part of my job is to convince
members, friends, and software
producers to demonstrate software or
speak at our meetings.  We like to
give our members the chance to see or
hear about software products before
they buy them.  This is especially
true with Public Domain Software.

If you've read our newsletter, you
may have seen my column PDG (Public
Domain Goods).  Head Disk Librarian
Sam Corey and I try to select the
best public domain software available
as our featured disk for the month.
We have exchanged complete disk
libraries with other clubs to provide
enough EXCEPTIONAL 8-Bit and 16-bit
disks.

I also demonstrate the featured 8-Bit
disk at our monthly meeting.  The
result has been a surge in disk
sales, and more importantly,
confidence and pride in our disk
library.  I don't deny that there are
still some really bad disks in our
library which we don't censor. BUT...
we don't feature them!

Oh... the disk of the month is
available during the month featured
for $3.00 instead of the usual $5.00.
This applies to all featured disks
whether they have programs on one or
both sides.  To order our disk of the
month just write to our MAIL ORDER
LIBRARIAN:

     Bret Calligari
     306 Division St. Floor 2
     Boonton, NJ 07005

For other Atari Groups interested in
exchanging libraries please contact:

     Sam Cory
     P.O. Box 7
     Towaco, NJ 07082
_____________________________________
Xx ST X-Press News Wire
   Volume 1, Number 5   May 1987
_____________________________________
THE DISKMATE GRAPEVINE
----------------------
Rumor has it that their is a special
connector being made to allow the
ST's to be hooked up to a multi-synch
monitor.  This means that we may soon
have the capablility of running low,
medium, and high res from ONE
monitor. This should be interesting.

A laser drive was shown in Germany.
It seems to work on the compact disk
technology.  We will be able to read
and write to the disks (which will
have a storage capacity of 500
terabytes!)  The creator estimates
the price to be around $250 and they
will be available by the end of 1987.

In Canada, Atari was showing 520 ST's
with built in power cords and single
sided disk drive's (a poorman's 1040
ST).  There were also 520's with a
meg of ram, supposedly it is very
hard to find a "regular" ST in Canada
anymore; all of them are upgraded.

Firebird has released their next
game, GOLDEN PATH.  It looks very
promising with nice graphics, sound,
and animation.  The game itself
offers a very unique playing aspect,
it seems that this program is very
indepth.

Atari has set some new dates for
their new hardware.  The laser
printers are supposedly being
finished up and will be ready "by the
end of May". The Mega ST's won't be
available until the end of June.  And
the Atari PC's also won't be
available until either June or July.
For everybody who is looking for the
blitter chip in the next few weeks,
don't count on it.  As I have told
everyone who asks me, Atari will most
likely not be releasing the blitter
until after the Mega ST's are
released.  The Mega's will contain
the blitters, maybe Atari is hoping
that people will get fed up waiting
for the blitter and breakdown to buy
the Mega ST's instead.

The NEWSROOM, from the publishers of
PRINTMASTER and PRINTMASTER PLUS
-Unison World, is expected to be
released shortly.  It is another
desktop publishing system, from the
various photos that we have seen it
doesn't look too bad.

THE TRANSLATOR was a project that
would allow users to run Atari 8
bit software.  As you may have read
in last months' Zmag series, Atari
has told the author not to distribute
the program.  His latest version
looks very promising with graphics,
sound, etc.  If you think that Atari
should quit their "greedy" attitude
and let this program be completed
then write us a letter petitioning
Atari to do so.  Send all letters
to:

ST X-PRESS
c/o Translator Petition
P.O. Box 2383
La Habra, CA  90632

MESSAGES FROM ICD BBS
---------------------
Phone: (815) 968-2229
Last Edited: 5/28/87

Title : SPARTADOS!!
Author: RIC
To: ?
Replies: 2

I NEED HELP BAD!! MY XE MACHINE BROKE
DOWN! AND I HAVE AN 800 THAT CAN TAKE
PLACE OF THE XE BUT THE BIG PROBLEM
IS THAT ONLY SPARTADOS 1.1 WILL WORK
ON THE 800. MY PROBLEM IS I LIKE TO
USE MY 800 BUT IT CAN'T READ THE
SPARTADOS 3.2D, I CAN'T PLAY WITH MY
PROGRAMS! NEED HELP BADLY, ANYONE
KNOWS A WAY TO READ AND WRITED ON 800
TO THE SPARTADOS 3.2D DISKETTE!
PLEASE LEAVE ME E-MAIL OR CALL MY
BOARD 213-631-7328 40 MEG HD MIO AND
ATR8000 THANKS


Title : SPARTADOS!!
Author: Keith Ledbetter
To: RIC
Replies: 0

Sorry...it can't be done.  SpartaDOS
3.2 will just not work on an old 800.

Title : New Express!
Author: Keith Ledbetter
To: HAROLD BREWER
Replies: 0

Harold, 
Yes..1030 Express! version 3.0 should
be out shortly.  Things have finally
slowed down a little, so I should
have some time to work on it.

New things?  Well, I'd read the 850
v3.0 docs, since that doc file is for
ALL of the 3.0 versions.  It has an
edit window, Vidtex translation mode,
plus more.

Title : Networking MIO's
Author: Shadow Flax
To: All
Replies: 1

I just recieved a private message
from Tom about the MIO's that you can
hook up to your system with another
MIO that will inturn hook up to the
same hard disk, I hope that I said
that right. It is mentioned in the
MIO docs that is can be bought for a
extra $50 from ICD. Tom had advised
me that the project was cancled.  I
would like to know why, and find out
if it was just money or if it was a
task that was just to hard to handle.

I have writen a machine language BBS
program that I could have set up my
BBS with 8 MIO's and 8 lines with a
CB Chat mode etc.  It works great...
the only thing is that I want them
all to run off the same hard disk so
that they share the same exact
message bases and download files.

Any one else interested in doing
this?  I think it would make the
multimate in 8 bit bbs's.  and hey,
it will not slow down the bbs at all
with 8 users on...  even if they are
in differnt baud rates.

Wm A. Carroll
Atari Computer Club of Sacramento Ca.
916-962-2566 128 meg useable on line.

Title : Help!
Author: --Bruce
To: SYSOP*Tom
Replies: 1

Tom--
     Can the MIO handle NINE driveS??
If I [S]witch to D9: and then do it
again, whatever drive info I switched
out and then in again is the way it
was.  I'm wondering if it is MY-DOS's
D1:-D9: compatible!!  If so, that
allows 144Mb, not 128Mb, in the
system!!!

     --Bruce

Title : Help!
Author: SYSOP*Tom
To: --Bruce
Replies: 0

Beats me?  We will be supporting 9
drives with the SpartaDOS X but I
don't use MYDOS. 
        - TOM -
_____________________________________
Xx ZMAG UPDATE
   .....Summer CES Reports.....
_____________________________________
At the time of this edit, The Summer
CES Show is going on. This being the
middle of the weekend, our deadline
came upon us rather quick. Issue 55
of Zmag will be devoted entirely to
CES coverage.

The publication date of the special
edition will be on Friday June 5th,
and Issue 56 will appear on Monday,
June 8th. Please make a note of this
on your calender.

ISSUE 56-----June 5th, 1987
ISSUE 57-----June 8th, 1987

See you again in 5 days!
_____________________________________
Xx SOFTWARE REVIEW
    ....221B Baker Street....
_____________________________________
Article taken from the May 1987 issue
of the CDAC Electronic Newsletter.

By:Don Szarowski

"Come, Watson, come...the game is
afoot!"  And so, with these familiar
words, our adventure through the
Victorian streets of London begins.

Prior to actual play, it is necessary
to set up the game by selecting your
character, getting your clue code and
starting a case. There are 30 cases
on the back of the disk, and a
supplemental case disk available. Up
to 4 players or teams may compete as
Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, Irene
Adler or Inspector Lestrade. The case
book contains the vital background
information for each abominable
atrocity, as well as the information
needed by Scotland Yard to consider
the case solved. You may move about
the streets of London by using either
your joystick or the keyboard to roll
the die and move. An overhead 3-D
view of the city lets you keep track
of your movements, and a full view of
the city is also available for
planning your movements in relation
to your opponents. The game begins
and ends at 221B Baker St, but in
between, you must travel the streets
and gather clues from the various
shops and buildings. You must also
get a badge from Scotland Yard before
you can solve the case. Doors can
be locked, secret passages used and
carriages ridden in to save precious
time. The real secret, of course, is
to use your razor sharp mind to
deduce the solution from a minimum
number of clues.

With the solution in hand, you return
to 221B Baker St., announce the
solution and inform Dr. Watson that
it was elementary. Well, I was able
to do that the first time. Now my
kids have gotten smarter and break my
coded clues  too.

The graphics are very well done, and
each character has his/her own
distinct trait during movement; for
example, Sherlock puffs smoke as he
walks.  The speech synthesis leaves
a bit to be desired, but fortunately
it is used sparingly and is just
window dressing.

Player movement is a bit slow because
of all the redrawing of the
characters and map, but not terribly
annoying. Disk accesses seem to have
been kept to a minimum, which is nice
since it reduces disk swapping. So
far, the playing time seems to be
30-45 minutes per case.

This is a very enjoyable game to play
and both my children (age 13 & 16)
and I would recommend it.

221B Baker Street Datasoft  $18.95
_____________________________________
Xx ZMAG NEWSWIRE
_____________________________________
The Comdex/Spring computer trade
show, which has been a regular in
Atlanta for years, may be moving to
Chicago next year. This year's event
opens next week in Atlanta.

Bob Lively, vice president of
Interface Group Inc., which promotes
the show, told The Associated Press
that some people were starting to see
Comdex as a Southern regional show
instead of an international one, and,
"We thought by moving it to Chicago
we could freshen it up a bit."

According to the Online Today/AP
report. Lively said..."attendance for
the spring show, which brings Atlanta
from $20 million to $30 million in
revenue each year, had dropped for
the past two years and that some
major companies are no longer coming.
About 70,000 people attended  the
COMDEX/SPRING show last year.

Online Today reported May 27th that
Commodore will soon be shipping the
Amiga A2000.  Online Today reported
last June, hardware developers were
expecting the first shipments almost
twelve months ago.  The current US
shipping date for the A2000 is June
14, two days after the European
computer market receives its first
A2000.

This news came from the SCAN Show
in California. Attendees at the SCAN
show say they were told that the US
will be receiving a German version of
the A2000 and not the final product
that will eventually be sold here.

A law goes in effect Today Monday
June 1, 1987 in Georgia that is
expected to reduce by up to 80% the
number of computerized telephone
sales pitches in that state.

According to The Associated Press,
the law, perhaps the first of its
kind in the nation, requires that:

-:- Calls not be made before 8 a.m.
    and after 9 p.m.

-:- A live operator ask permission to
    put the recorded pitch on the
    phone.

-:- The sponsoring company be
    identified and a phone number
    provided.

-:- The state Public Service
    Commission issue licenses to
    firms doing computerized
    telephone sales.

-:- Firms cannot dial unlisted
    numbers, cannot dial randomly or
    sequentially and will get into
    trouble if they call certain
    emergency numbers.

AP says sponsor Cathey Steinberg,
D-Atlanta, first became interested in
curtailing computerized calls when
she learned that patients were
getting them in their hospital rooms.

She says the law doesn't affect
calling by non-profit agencies or
debt collectors.

This legislature also does not affect
interstate calling, but Steinberg has
a resolution pending before the
National Conference of State
Legislators to ask Congress and the
FCC to place similar restrictions.
_____________________________________
Xx Software Review
         ...Oasis BBS...
_____________________________________
Oasis BBS
"The Most Complete BBS for the 8-bit
ATARI today!"

by:The SysOp
   TEKTRON BBS
A/C-918-835-5198

For all you folks out there that have
never called an OASIS Bulletin Board
System, you have really been missing
allot!

Back in the "good ol' days" when you
got your brand new "300" baud modem
and called your local AMIS or other
8-bit system, you probably thought
you were in some pretty tall cotton.
At least I did. I mean really, here
you were in the comfort of your own
home, getting all this ATARI related
information and programs that other
Atari folks had written, at your
leisure. The only problem was that
even though the equipment was good
enough, it never was fast enough to
suit most of us. Hince 1200, 2400 and
now 9600 baud modems. Therefore the
software was always coming up with
restrictions that had to be written
around.

Today although 1200, 2400 and 9600
baud modems are not in everyone's
home, they are quickly becoming very
popular with the home computer scene.
As baud rates increased so did the
problems with making a BBS efficient
enough to keep up with them.

Ralph Walden, Rich Renner and Leo
Newman have come to our rescue with
the OASIS BBS. The BBS is written in
MAC/65, therefore once compiled the
heart of OASIS is in machine
language. Immediately you would think
that a machine language program would
be restrictive to customizing as a
couple of its predecessors.

WRONG! You can actually set an OASIS
system up to look like an AMIS or
just about any other BBS that you
have seen.  I am not going to "knock"
any other BBS programs here but
believe me, I have paid out lots of
bucks for what was described to be as
the "BEST" 8-bit BBS around just to
end up formatting the disks that they
came on.

As you will one day come to the
realization that you don't have to
pay a ton of money to get a really
excellent BBS program (OASIS is
merely $15) you will be shocked to
see how complete a system that OASIS
is.

Okay now that I have got down off my
soapbox I'll get on with the review!

Oasis is comprised of several files.
At first one would think, "oh no,
look at all this junk I have to
edit!". Actually that is one of the
finest points of the BBS. You have a
machine language program that can be
"personalized" to your own
satisfaction without knowing any
machine languages!

Briefly there are five type files you
will be using:

.RES - Memory resident, loaded by the
       bbs at boot time.

.SUP - Disk resident (either on a
       diskette, hard disk or
       ramdisk.) used by the BBS as
       needed.

.DAT - MESS.DAT is the "personality"
       file that lets you modify the
       appearance of the board. 
    
PASS.DAT is of course the password
file like any other bbs.

.DA? - Message bases.TXT - Text or
       documentation files that you
       can have users access through
       the DATA base portions of the
       BBS.

The BBS will run on just about any
kind of DOS, but most choose Sparta
Dos for its sub-directories and
usability with a hard disk. Using
Sparta Dos will allow you to have a
"batch" file that will set up the
ramdisk and copy files to it at boot
time so the BBS will run at ramdisk
speed if desired. This is also a plus
if you only have 1 disk drive.

If you are fortunate to have Sparta
Dos and one of their R-8 clocks, all
you need to do once the BBS is set up
is slap all the disks in the drives
and turn the computer on. When you
are at the WAITRING screen you can
remove the disks and replace them
with either a blank formatted disk
(for the upload drive) or use a disk
full of files for downloading.

The OASIS system supports 8 message
bases plus E-mail. Each message base
can hold 99 messages and are
automatically compacted when they max
or you can set them to compact at a
lower number. You can also have three
data bases that can be set up with
individual protocols. You can have a
user press a letter or number from a
data base to either have the
information scrolled on the screen
automatically or be prompted for type
of protocol for the transfer.

As a SYSOP you can set your system up
in any number of ways. You can have a
GUEST function that allows a person
on just to VISIT the BBS and look
around. You can restrict him or allow
him whatever privileges you wish. Or
on the other hand you can LOCK a
GUEST or visitor completely out of
the system and have specified times
that GUESTS or new users may be
allowed on. If needed, you may even
restrict the board to 1200-2400 baud
callers. This may sound a little
harsh for some, but it seems that in
most cases of abuse to a BBS that the
caller was at 300 baud. The only bad
part about a 300 baud lockout is that
you are locking out the "decent" 300
baud callers. It all boils down to,
"It is YOUR system and YOU can do
with it whatever you wish!"

The most important part about an
OASIS BBS is "Ease of Use". Once a
user has been on and looked around,
he feels "at home". It is quick and
easy to see any new messages on your
return to an OASIS system. By
pressing "*", you can see any new
messages in all bases since your last
visit. Once read, the flags are
turned off. This makes it especially
nice for the long distance caller
saving him time looking through old
messages to find the new ones.


Downloading from an OASIS is simple
and you can do it in a number of ways
depending upon how the BBS is set up.
You can set up two separate menus if
you wish to keep the confusion down.
The 8-bit files can be selected from
one menu and the 16-bit files
selected from yet another menu. The
menus can be designed from a DOS copy
from screen command, or from a word
processor such as TEXTPRO (if you
tend to make typing errors like I
do).

As in the data bases, the files menus
(FDIRECM for the 8-bit & SDIRECM for
the 16-bit) have a support file that
will tell the bbs what to look for
when an option from the menu is
selected. This is especially nice
even if you do not use subdirectories
for file storage. Simple DOS
parameters are used to search for
files.

You as a Sysop have the option to
create a more descriptive extension
label for each file. You will notice
on an OASIS system that when you are
looking at files from one of the
menues that you actually have more
than just a filename to help you in
identifying the type and language of
the file. The Oasis as part of its
bootup reads a file (EXT.RES) into
memory to use to label the files
depending on the first two digits of
the file extension. That way when you
see a file like RAMBUGII.OBJ you may
actually see RAMBUGII OBJECT GAME or
RAMBUGII ARC GAME to let you know you
need to UNarc it and so on.

The primary download area would be
the [F]iles area itself. A screen of
files is viewed and if you desire to
download one you press [D] then the
corresponding number to the left of
the filename. You may also download
from a DATA BASE if the Sysop desires
to set it up as such. Last but not
least you may download from a message
base or E-mail! (When I first saw
that one I had to sit back and think
a minute.) There isn't any BBS in the
country that ever did that! (That I
know of.) If a SYSOP had done some
personal type work for someone he
could leave the file out there and
just leave a message to the person it
is intended and he would be the only
one that had access to it. Also it
makes it super nice for a person to
check at a glance ("*"new messages)
to see if there has been a program
added to the system without searching
for it the "old fashioned way"
through say 10-20-30 meg of storage.
The Sysop can also explain the
program or even give a brief review
of it and give UPLOAD CREDIT because
it is in a message. The user simply
presses "Q" if he wishes to download
it and like in all the transfers you
are prompted as to the type of
protocol you wish to use. As of this
writing you have the option to use
XMODEM, XMODEM-CRC,
YMODEM & TEXT.
As most of you know, (providing you
have a good data line) YMODEM will
transfer data faster because it is
sending 8 times the data in one
block. As long as you don't have any
retries on the data transfer you save
checking the checksum 7 times. The
only problem with YMODEM transfers is
that there are few terminal programs
for the 8-bit that support it. That
brings us to yet another facet of the
OASIS BBS.

A built in terminal program. I know,
you are all saying "That's no big
deal, any decent BBS has one of
those!". Okay, maybe they do, but it
is just another plus. It sure makes
it handy for the guy that is running
the BBS from his four floppy drives
and dreads the thought of having to
reboot the system.

If you are still pondering running a
BBS on your trusty 8-bit or if you
have been running an 8-bit BBS on
anything other than an OASIS I would
advise you to get one right away.
Besides, someday if you are going to
buy an ST you wouldn't want to tie it
up with running a BBS all the time,
keeping you from what you like best!

For your copy of the Oasis call:

HELP BBS (Leo Newman)
300/1200
Wichita, Kansas
316-683-7514

A Zmagazine system!

Or mail a money order for $15.00 to:
Leo Newman
3900 N. Woodlawn #17 CC
Wichita, Ks. 67220
=====================================
ZMAGAZINE
JUNE 1, 1987  Issue 54
(c)1987 Ron Kovacs/Syndicate Services
Please contribute!!!
=====================================




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