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Article #90 (214 is last):
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.8bit.zmag
Subject: Z*Magazine:  4-Jan-88 #87
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Wed Jul 21 09:17:02 1993


""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
SYNDICATE ZMAGAZINE          ISSUE #87
January 4, 1988      Volume 3 Number 1

(c)1988 Syndicate Publications

""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
              Editor
            Ron Kovacs

       Circulation Assistants
            Ken Kirchner
            Susan Perry

""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
Xx Index 87
""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
[Learning to Program in Basic]
              by Jackson Beebe

[Commodore PC Reviewed]
              by Ernest Mau

[Disk Drives For Your Atari]
              by Bill Wilkinson

[Have Every Program Ever Written]
    submitted by John Nagy

[Marshals Seize Fake 2600 Games]
         from    Buisness News

[Other Atari News]
              by Antic Online

[Cable-Tec Expo Sold Out]
              by Howard Whitman

[Bullet Proof RamDisk]
              by Tony Hursh
______________________________________
Xx LEARNING TO PROGRAM IN ATARI BASIC
 ...Part 1 of a continuing series...
______________________________________
LESSON 1.A     Version 1.02

Getting Started in Atari BASIC

(C)1986 by Jackson Beebe

This lesson is placed in the Public
Domain. Individuals, user groups and
BBS's may reprint, copy or distribute
it, as long as this notice remains
intact with the lesson.

CONTENTS:
Line numbers
REM statement
PRINT statement
Multiple statements on a line
NEW command
Line editing
RUN command
SAVEing a program
Directory
LOADing a program

This series assumes no prior knowledge
of BASIC, or programming. Each lesson
ends with Sample programs. Writing the
sample programs is STRONGLY
recommended, as the main learning in
BASIC takes place during the writing
of programs. ATARI BASIC is the BASIC
used in these lessons.

WHAT'S NEEDED:
--------------
You need an 8-bit Atari computer, with
ATARI BASIC (cartridge with 400/800 or
built-in with 800XL/130XE), and
preferably a disk drive.  A printer is
a definite plus, as it gives you the
ability to print out the lessons, and
make printouts of your program. This
is handy in development and debugging.
Beg borrow or check out a copy of some
BASIC textbook. Examples are USING
BASIC by Julien Hennefeld (lots of
copies around in campus bookstores) or
INSIDE ATARI BASIC by Bill Carris. The
ATARI BASIC REFERENCE GUIDE, a 15 page
booklet that comes with the computer
is excellent, and nearly necessary for
the Atari versions of BASIC commands.

One of the handiest of all things to
keep beside your computer, is the
ANALOG Computing POCKET REFERENCE
CARD, an 8 1/2 by 28 inch folded 16
page collection of BASIC commands,
PEEKS, POKES, keyboard values,
graphics, error codes, etc. They sell
it for $7.95, which is a bit pricey,
but worth it.

BOOTING UP IN BASIC:
====================
If you have a 400/800, turn everything
off. Install the BASIC cartridge. Turn
on the disk drive. Install a disc with
DOS. Set top of form, and turn on
printer. Turn on the computer. For an
800XL/130XE, you don't need to install
a cartridge, as BASIC is built in.
When you see the READY prompt, you are
in BASIC. You are now ready to write a
BASIC program in the Random Access
Memory (RAM) of your computer.

Turning on a computer with BASIC, and
NO disk, takes you right to BASIC, as
shown by the READY prompt, but you
can't save your programs without a
disk drive or cassette recorder.

You can boot up right to the DOS menu,
by removing thE BASIC cartridge in a
400/800, or switching BASIC out of the
system by  holding down the OPTION key
while turning on your 800XL/130XE.
Hold down OPTION until you see
printing on the screen.

There are three versions of BASIC in
Atari 8 bits: A, B, and C. A and B
each have problems, for example
version B's adding an extra 16 bytes
each time you save a file, over and
over, or it's fatal lockup. Version C
is very nice, and behaves perfectly.
It is available as a cartridge from:

Atari Customer Relations
1196 Borregas Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94086

The price is $15 + 2.50 postage. Well
worth it.

To find which BASIC you have, type:

PRINT PEEK(43234)

If you get 162 you have A
            96          B
           234          C

Fixes to B are available as type-in
programs from the magazines.

INTRODUCTION:
=============
All novices or beginners face three
tasks in learning how to program:

1. Learning to operate the hardware.
2. Learning to program.
3. Learning the BASIC language.

Those of you familiar with your
computers, or who already know another
programming language, are already part
way there!

BASIC stands for Beginners All Purpose
Symbolic Instruction Code, and was
formulated in 1963 by John Kemeny and
Thomas Kurtz at Darthmouth College.
BASIC is closely related to FORTRAN,
having similar features. If you know
FORTRAN, you nearly know BASIC.

BASIC is a HIGH level language, so
called because it operates "high" up,
away from the machine. You can issue
complex commands such as PRINT,
without having to worry about how many
bytes you will need, or clearing space
out in RAM for print, etc. These are
concerns in LOW level languages, such
as machine language, or assembler
language. A lot of housekeeping has
been done for us in BASIC, and we can
concentrate on using the language,
without having to understand how the
machine actually works internally.

The price paid, is that BASIC runs
much slower that most other languages,
mainly because the software that makes
addressing the machine so convenient,
takes up time.

A prime reason for learning BASIC is
that it's a very flexible, easy to
learn language that you already own.

Next week Part 2
______________________________________
Xx Commodore Review
______________________________________
by Ernest Mau

Commodore PC10
(compatible with IBM PC-XT).

MS-DOS version 3.20 (supplied).

Features:
Models PC10-1 and PC10-2 feature Intel
8088 processor running at 4.77 MHz;
socket for math coprocessor chip;

PC-XT compatible Commodore
implementation of Phoenix BIOS;

ATI Graphics Solution video adapter
manufactured to Commodore
specifications; one Centronics-
compatible parallel port (LPT1); one
RS-232 serial port (COM1); five full-
length expansion slots (four free);
supplied with MS-DOS 3.20, GW-BASIC
3.2 and Borland International's
SideKick software.

Model PC10-1 has 512K RAM expandable
to 640K and one 360K 5.25-inch disk
drive.

Model PC10-2 has 640K RAM and two 360K
5.25-inch disk drives.

Options:
Commodore monochrome or color monitor;
hard disk.

Base Prices:
$799.95 (PC10-1) or $899.95 (PC10-2)
with Commodore 1901 monochrome
monitor; $999.95 (PC10-1) or $1099.95
(PC10-2) with Commodore 1902 RGB color
monitor.

Commodore's name conjures images of
Commodore 64, 128 and Amiga computers.
What doesn't come to mind immediately
is that Commodore also has MS-DOS
computers.

One and two drive Commodore PCs are
designated PC10-1 and PC10-2. They
work like IBM PC-XT computers.
Although there are physical
differences between Commodore and IBM
machines, a user shouldn't notice
significant operational differences.
Yet that may be both a disadvantage
and an advantage. While Commodore's
PCs demonstrate excellent hardware and
software compatibility with IBM-
oriented products, they're slow by
today's standards.

In a market crowded with turbocharged
dual-speed computers, Commodore's
PC10s provide just one speed.  Norton
Utilities 4.0 System Information tests
report a Computing Index (CI) for the
PC10-2 at exactly 1.0 times a PC-XT.
Other applications confirm that
there's no real speed difference
between the two.

While the PC10's speed seems slightly
antiquated alongside some computers,
that's disturbing only when high speed
is crucial to an application. PC10s
are fine for keyboard intensive word
processing, spreadsheet preparation
and database record entry where the
computer waits for user input.  It's
less effective for recalculating large
spreadsheets or sorting large
databases, and it's not particularly
appealing for high-level graphics or
computer aided design tasks, though a
math coprocessor and a hard disk might
help.

Yet extreme compatibility offsets lack
of speed, and I cannot fault the
computer at software or hardware
levels.

Every program tried ran without a
hitch, including randomly selected
word processing, spreadsheet,
database, communication and
recreational programs.  I've even run
Compaq's MS-DOS 2.02 and IBM's PC-DOS
2.10 and 3.10 instead of the MS-DOS
3.20 provided by Commodore. Since DOS
3.x imposes extra memory overhead in
some applications, it's sometimes an
advantage to use other DOS versions.

Hardware compatibility is equally
good.  I've installed EGA video cards,
external drive subsystems, mice,
replacement keyboards and other
devices without problems.  Acceptance
of EGA cards is notable because I've
seen other "clones" not able to use
them.  As far as I can tell, any 8-bit
card for an IBM PC or PC-XT should
work in the Commodore.

Internally, the PC10 is clean and free
of clutter.  Its five expansion slots
all accept full-length cards.  One
slot is taken by a video card, leaving
four for other uses. Circuitry for one
serial port and one parallel port is
on the system board, with connectors
mounted on the rear panel, taking no
expansion slot. Control circuitry for
two diskette drives also is on the
system board, so a floppy-only system
doesn't lose a slot to a disk
controller.

The supplied video card is an ATI
Graphics Solution board built to
Commodore specifications. It's similar
but not identical to an ATI card I've
used for two years. This versatile
adapter can drive monochrome,
composite color or RGB color monitors.
It provides IBM Monochrome Display
Adapter (MDA), Hercules Monochrome,
IBM Color Graphics Adapter (CGA) and
Plantronics color modes, and it can
output 132-column text for some
programs. Instructions to modify
WordStar for 132 columns are included,
as is useful mode selection software.

Commodore's 1902A color monitor is
disappointing.  It's versatile and
accepts digital TTL signals from the
PC10 or 40-column separated LCA or 40-
column composite inputs from other
Commodore computers.  But it isn't
sharp enough.  Sharpness controls
couldn't make 132-column text easily
readable, and I never eliminated a
bothersome fuzziness in every mode.
Brightness and contrast controls
couldn't display medium gray without
making the background gray instead of
black.  The 1902A was no match for
other RGB monitors I tried with the
PC10, so I'd prefer some other
monitor.  Too bad Commodore now
bundles their own monitors with their
computers.

Nevertheless, the PC10 is a quality
computer that's adequate for many
applications.  It isn't a speed demon
and it has some flaws, but anyone
shopping for PC-XT performance
probably would be happy with it.
______________________________________
Xx Disk Drives For Your Atari
______________________________________
Submitted by: Bruce Kennedy
Written by: Bill Wilkinson [OSS]

ATARI DRIVES
Fm: Bill Wilkinson [OSS] 73177,2714

Bill offers the following summary of
drives available for Atari computers,
based on a question on Compuserve. If
you haven't tried Compuserve, ask a
computer friend about it, get a hold
of an issue of Compuserve's fabulous
ON-LINE magazine, or better, yet get
online with a friend.

Here's Bill's fabulous knowledge of
Atari at it's best, and I'll bet most
of it is off the top of his head! "I
will give you all I remember, even
though I will duplicate ones given by
others:

Percom:
-------
3 models, SSSD, SSDD, DSDD. I don't
remember all the model numbers.

Indus:
------
Just the GT (SSDD), though they did
have a couple of versions of the ROMs.
Now sold by Future Systems.

Trak:
-----
Two models, as I recall. Same drives
(SSDD) but either 1 or 2 in a cabinet.

(Oh, yes...Percom offered a two-drive
system for a short while..in any case,
Percoms had a controller that could
handle a total of up to 4 drives...you
could add your own industry standard
drives.)

Amdek:
------
Perhaps the best Atari-compatible
controller ever done (able to read
just about anything, including off-
speed disks), but it came with one or
two 3-inch (_NOT_ current 3.5"
standard!) drives. You could hook up a
total of 4 drives, any mix, 3-inch,
5.25", 8".

SWP's ATR8000:
--------------
This was/is considered the elite of
controllers. It could run CP/M (or,
with add-on board, MS-DOS!) _in the
controller_! The Atari computer
functions as a terminal to the
controller.  It could/can take
virtually any kind of drives, since it
is only a controller. Many early Atari
users put 8" CP/M drives on their
machines this way...and the 8" drives
had capacities up to 1 MB.

(Almost forgot: Indus GT has an
optional add-on 64KB memory board.
With it, you can run CP/M inside Indus
in same manner as SWP).

Concorde:
---------
Went bankrupt (owing us money, sigh)
before ever got into full production.
Heard about a few people who found
this drive at surplus sales.  SSDD,
similar to Indus, with DSDD planned.

Back to TRAK:
-------------
Found model numbers: ATD1, ATD2, ATS1.

Rana:
-----
Model 1000. SSDD, similar to Indus.
Designed by same people, I think.

Astra:
------
1620, a dual-drive, SSDD machine. "The
One"--DSDD.  A dual drive version of
"the one" but I don't remember model
number.

There was a company in CA (Sacramento,
CA, I think) that had an early SSDD
drive that competed with Percom.
California Peripherals? I forget. But
they did sell a few. Saw a question
about one up here recently.

As for Atari:
-------------
810, of course. SSSD only, though a
company in Southern Calif made a board
to turn it into SSDD.

1050:
-----
SSED (Enhanced Density, a kludge.)
Happy and ICD both make add-ons to
turn this into true SSDD instead. Buy
one!! The ICD US Doubler is most
popular (price is fantastic!!). The
Happy is favored by pirates and others
who want to copy protected disks.

815:
----
Almost forgot this ghost. Never
produced in quantity.  A few (100??)
floating around.

XF551:
------
Newest.
======================================
Hard drives:
------------
MPP, later Supra:
-----------------
5, 10, 20 MB. Only hooks up to 800XL
or 130XE.

ICD:
----
MIO, gives 256KB to 1MB of RamDisk
plus printer port plus serial port
plus hooks to most hard disks.

The one from our friends in Southern
Cal, as mentioned before is the lowest
cost way to go. Definitely roll your
own (don't think it even has a case).
======================================
Definitions
-----------
SSSD
----
40 tracks, 18 sectors, 128 bytes per
sector.

SSED
----
40 tracks, 26 sectors, 128 bytes per
sector.

SSDD
----
40 tracks, 18 sectors, 256 bytes per
sector.

DSDD
----
2 sides of 40 tracks each, 18 sectors,
256 bytes per sector.

Other formats are possible with Amdek
and ATR8000:  e.g., DSQD == 2 sides,
80 tracks per side, 18 sectors, 256
bytes per sector.
======================================
Only drives currently on market:
--------------------------------
All the hard drives, Atari XF551, a
few Atari 1050's still floating
around, INDUS GT, Astra "the one". Buy
a USDoubler or Happy Doubler _NOW_ if
you have a 1050!!!

Best bargains in Atari market.

Downloaded with permission from
Compuserve. Posted by Bill Wilkinson,
guru of the Atari DOS, and wizard of
all Atarians want to know (look for
his column in Compute! magazine).
Submitted here by Bruce Kennedy of
Rhode Island ACE.
______________________________________
Xx Have Every Program Ever Written!
______________________________________


As ATARI clubs have matured, they have
amassed HUGE stocks of PD library
software.  At least one, C.H.A.O.S. of
LANSING, MICHIGAN, has gone a step
beyond the "trades" that many clubs
have done for years now.  C.H.A.O.S.
RENTS their entire library to any
individual or CLUB, a month for $65,
your choice of the 400-plus disk side
8-bit library or 100-plus disk ST
library. $100 rents both. The rental
includes extra copies of their
remarkable 40+ page disk catalog,
suitable for reworking for any club.
This library differs from most club
libraries in that it is 100%
catagorized.  Want Sports Games?  See
GAMES E1 and E2.  Space arcade items,
board games, adventures... each set
apart and each documented.  Or maybe
you want a disk full of Printer
utilities.  Or WORD PROCESSORS or
accessories.  Or 40 disks of AMS
files... sorted by type of music!
Educational, business, PRINTSHOP,
demos, upgrades... you get the idea.

The ST library is set up the same,
just more to each disk.  Says chief
club librarian JOHN BAKER, "We want
this stuff to get into circulation
while it still can be used. Our years
of effort testing and organizing the
library are a huge benefit to clubs or
individuals."  John says he stopped
doing mass trades a while back
"because we've seen 98% of everything
already, and we threw out all the
junky stuff.  We probably ditched as
much as we saved.  We get nothing but
raves from the people that rented so
far."  The income from the rentals
goes to support the club's investment
in hardware to maintain the library
and defray expenses in keeping current
using PC PURSUIT, GEnie, and limited
list trades.

Contact:

C.H.A.O.S.
P.O. Box 16132
LANSING, MI 48901

or the C.H.A.O.S. BBS, 517-371-1106.
______________________________________
Xx Marshals seize counterfeiters
______________________________________
SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BW)--

In a unique, highly coordinated effort
with U.S. government officials, Atari
Corp. 12/20/87 seized 2,000 pirated
model "2600" video game machines and
accessories.

In an aggressive attempt to stop Fund
International Co. Ltd. of Taiwan from
further production and importation of
counterfeit Atari game products, Atari
enlisted the aid of the U.S. Customs
Service, agents of the U.S. Marshal
and Congressman Ernie Konnyu of the
12th District and his staff to seize
the counterfeit products at Terminal
Island in the Port of Los Angeles,
before they could be returned to
Taiwan.

The seizure was made pursuant to a
court order issued by federal District
Judge Terry Hatter in conjunction with
a raid on the Los Angeles warehouse of
P.S.D. Inc. on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Atari and many other manufacturers of
electronic equipment have had to deal
with an increasing problem of the
production of pirated products which
infringe upon U.S. patents, trademarks
and copyrights.

"It's hurting our country's industry,
depressing sales and effecting the
development of new technology,"
remarked Sam Tramiel, president of
Atari Corp.

Tramiel, who has instructed his staff
to take all measures necessary to stop
the counterfeit production of Atari
products, stated, "We must let the
manufacturers of pirate products know
that we are very serious and will not
tolerate their criminal behavior.
Atari will cooperate wherever possible
with U.S. government officials to stop
the infringing actions immediately."

The goods, which had entered the Los
Angeles port, had apparently been
ordered for sale through the U.S.
based company, P.S.D. Inc. in Los
Angeles, but had not been cleared
through customs.

Officials at Atari Corp. believe that
after the raid on P.S.D., P.S.D.
officials sought to stop the pirate
goods enroute from Taiwan from
entering the United States to avoid
further incrimination. Records
obtained during the P.S.D. warehouse
raid indicated that further shipments
of counterfeit goods were on their
way. Upon receiving information about
the arrival of the "knockoff"
products, Atari personnel along with
officers of the U.S. Marshal moved in
and seized the entire container.
According to Dennis Hawker, director
of security for Atari, "This is a
victory for Atari and just the
beginning, but should demonstrate that
companies like Atari can take action
to protect their rights and the
industry."

Atari Corp. of Sunnyvale is a growing
manufacturer of business and home
computers and video game equipment.

The company, in existence since July
of 1984, stands by its motto of "Power
Without the Price." Tramiel commented,
"We want to deliver to the public the
best products at the lowest prices.
It's unfortunate that companies
producing illegal, often inferior and
even dangerous imitation products,
affect the market and force consumer
prices up.  We want this stopped."
______________________________________
Xx Other Atari News
______________________________________
ANTIC PUBLISHING INC., COPYRIGHT 1987 
REPRINTED BY PERMISSION.

NEW ATARI PLANT

In an attempt to boost personal
computer sales in the United States,
Atari Corp. plans to open a 100-person
small manufacturing plant somewhere in
Silicon Valley early in 1988 and a
larger factory in either Texas or
Nevada later in the year, according to
Atari President Sam Tramiel.

Tramiel said that domestic sales were
strongly affected by the heavy
European demands for the ST line of
computers, manufactured exclusively in
Taiwan--about 80% of STs manufactured
this year were sold in Europe. "We
never had any product left over to
bring to the U.S.," he said.

In late 1987 Atari's IBM PC-compatible
went on sale in Europe, but Tramiel
says that the Atari PC same won't
reach stores in the United States
until well into next year.

ATARI NO-SHOWS CES

Atari Corp.  will NOT be in Las Vegas
at CES in January, 1988 -- but ANTIC
ONLINE will:  whatever Atari news
there is will be uploaded as soon as
we get it.
______________________________________
Xx Next Week In ZMAG88
______________________________________
Information from the Hard Disk Users
Group; Article by John Nagy; CES
reports; Basic Prgm'g Part 2 and more!
______________________________________
ZMAGAZINE BBS           (201) 968-8148
300 Baud Service 4am-9pm
1200 Baud Service 24 hours a day
2400 Baud Service coming soon!
______________________________________
Xx Cable-Tec Expo
______________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
Howard Whitman, SCTE, (215) 363-6888

EXHIBIT FLOOR SOLD OUT FOR SCTE'S 1988
CABLE-TEC EXPO

There is no remaining exhibit space
available for the 1988 Cable-Tec Expo,
to be held June 16-19 at the San
Francisco Hilton and Towers in San
Francisco, Ca., it was recently
announced.

Sponsored by the Society of Cable
Television Engineers, Inc. (SCTE), 
Cable-Tec Expo is a fully technical
conference and trade show offering an
instructional exhibit floor featuring
all areas of cable industry hardware,
as well as a wide variety of
educational programs, hands-on
training sessions and technical
workshops.

Over 85 exhibiting companies,
displaying all types of products,
services and equipment used in the
operation of cable television systems
have rented space on the exhibit floor
for Cable-Tec Expo '88. The exhibit
hall has been carefully coordinated to
provide industry suppliers with the
opportunity to present live technical
demonstrations of their products in a
relaxed and non-commercial atmosphere.

An added feature on the floor will be
the Technical Training Center offering
additional equipment demonstrations.

"We are very encouraged by the
interest the industry has shown in
Cable-Tec Expo '88," commented SCTE
Executive Vice President Bill Riker.
"The exhibit hall has never sold out
as quickly as it has this year, and we
feel this bodes very well for the
overall success of the expo.

"This is the second year in a row that
the exhibit hall has sold out, "Riker
continued.  "Cable-Tec Expo '87 showed
a 30% increase in attendance over the
previous year,  and are confident that
Expo '88 will be another record-
breaking event."

Riker added that companies wishing to
exhibit at Cable-Tec Expo '88 can
contact SCTE national headquarters to
be placed on a waiting list and
contacted in the event of an
exhibitor's cancellation.

Registration packets for Cable-Tec
Expo '88 will be mailed out to SCTE
national members in January 1988.
Persons interested in further
information on Cable-Tec Expo '88 are
encouraged to contact SCTE national
headquarters at (215) 363-6888.
______________________________________
Xx Bullet-proof Ramdisk
______________________________________
by Tony Hursh

In recent years, a number of home-
brewed and commercial memory
expansions have become available for
the 8-bit Atari. By far the most
common use for the expanded memory is
as a ramdisk, which uses the memory to
simulate a very fast disk drive. With
some upgrades, you can have several
disks worth of programs in memory, and
load them lightning fast. In this text
file I will discuss ways to recover
data from the ramdisk in the event of
a system crash. These methods should
work with most upgrades, and might
even be useful with a stock 130XE.

I built the Scott Peterson 320K XE
upgrade a few months ago with
excellent results. Total cost for the
modification is less than $30, and if
you are reasonably competent at
soldering and desoldering, you should
be able to complete the project within
a few hours. If you decide to attempt
this on your own, be careful, and heed
his warnings, especially about using a
desoldering tool. If you don't, you
will very likely rip traces on the
circuit board, and that is a big
no-no.

The major problem with a ramdisk is
that the information is volatile, i.e.
when the computer is powered down, any
data in memory is lost. If you do any
ml programming or USR calls from
BASIC, you have undoubtedly
experienced the dreaded system lock-up
(What Scott calls "door-stop" mode).
This is very annoying if you've just
spent 5-10 minutes copying compilers,
communications programs, and text
editors to the ramdisk. Another
problem is that some software
"expects" to be the first thing loaded
into the computer on powerup. A good
example of this is Keith Ledbetter's
popular (and excellent) 1030 Express!
terminal program (available on on-line
services, and many local BBS's). If
you run something else, then try to
run Express!, it "just ain't likely to
work".

The solution

To use these techniques, you will need
SpartaDOS from ICD, Inc. The RD.COM
file supplied with version 3.2 give
you a great deal of flexibility in
formatting ramdrives, and is
recommended.

The short BASIC programs in listings 1
and 2 will generate a pair of binary
files called BOOTON.COM and
BOOTOFF.COM. These programs alter
memory location 580 ($244), which is
the system coldstart flag. A non-zero
value POKEd here will cause the
computer to coldstart when the RESET
key is pressed, while a zero causes
the computer to do a normal warmstart.
Copy all your files to the ramdrive,
then enter BOOTON at the Dn: prompt.
Should your machine lock up, just hit
RESET to reboot, then use RD Dn: /N to
reenable the ramdisk. The /N parameter
keeps the ramdisk from being
formatted. The only time wasted is the
time to reload DOS. I recommmend
copying BOOTON to the ramdisk and
invoking it often. It's cheap
insurance. BOOTOFF puts the coldstart
flag back to zero, so you can do a
"normal" RESET if need be. After the
DOS is reloaded, you can run Express!
from the ramdisk with no problem! You
may want to create a STARTUP.BAT file
to do the reenabling of the ramdisk
and resetting the system time and date
values. You may also want to use a
sector editor or binary file editor to
change the names of external resource
files so they may also be loaded from
the ramdisk. Make sure to keep a
backup.

What if it doesn't work?

Suppose you've forgotten to load
BOOTON, or a program has messed up the
coldstart flag? Under certain
conditions, SpartaDOS seems to get
"lobotomized". You will get the Dn:
prompt, but will not be able to access
any drive. Usually, internal commands
will still work. If you have an XL/XE,
try typing BASIC ON, CAR, POKE 580,1,
then hit reset.

What if THAT doesn't work???

If you can't enable BASIC, try RUN
C2C8 for the XL/XE OS, or RUN F125 for
the old 400/800 OS.

Armageddon

Some programs screw things up so badly
that none of these methods will work.
Games seem to be the worst offenders
in this regard. Also, the internal DOS
commands can't be used if the system
is completely locked up, and you've
neglected to load BOOTON. In this
case, try hitting RESET about 10 times
rapidly, then wait a moment. If the
computer doesn't start to reboot, try
it again. You may have to repeat this
several times. Usually, this will do
the job.

Final notes

Using the techniques covered in this
text file, I have been able to go for
days without having to turn off the
computer. I run a C compiler, text
editor, and communications package
from he ramdisk, and can alternate
between them at will. Even with all of
these and most of the SpartaDOS
utilities in memory, I still have
about 500 free sectors (the empty
ramdisk has about 2000 sectors). It
has increased my productivity a lot,
and computing is much more enjoyable
without the constant grinding and
beeping sounds of a disk drive.

Tony Hursh
P.O. Box 90399
Anchorage, Alaska 99509
--------------------------------------
              Listing 1
--------------------------------------

10 OPEN #2,8,0,"D1:BOOTON.COM"
20 READ BYTE:IF BYTE<0 THEN 100
30 PUT #2,BYTE:GOTO 20
100 CLOSE #2
200 DATA 255,255,68,2,68,2,1,0,6,0,6,96,224,2,225,2,0,6,-1

--------------------------------------
            Listing 2
--------------------------------------

10 OPEN #2,8,0,"D1:BOOTOFF.COM"
20 READ BYTE:IF BYTE<0 THEN 100
30 PUT #2,BYTE:GOTO 20
100 CLOSE #2
200 DATA 255,255,68,2,68,2,0,0,6,0,6,96,224,2,225,2,0,6,-1

""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
ZMAG87  January 4, 1988 Volume 3 No. 1

Next edition January 11, 1988!
(c)1988 Syndicate Publications

""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""




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