Your magazine is the best thing to come along since my Atari. Your helpful hints have helped me a great deal. I have no complaints about the newsletter at all but, I must comment on your recent review of the program sold by Adventure International.
Before reading the magazine I bought the program "Deflection." I was so glad that Adventure came out with a program for only 8K of memory I bought the program before trying it out. Once I got it home, loaded it in and 'ran' it I was very disappointed. I found it utterly terrible and very boring. I tried getting used to it but it was useless. I put the program away and I haven't used it since.
Then seeing your article on it, I became very disappointed. I thought that your magazine would have high quality standards. So that only the best of programs for my Atari would be praised and the others were to be thrown into the garbage.
Besides that, keep up the good work!!!
Spring Valley, NY
I am writing this letter to congratulate you on the fine work you have done in putting together this magazine.
The articles are informative and very well written. The touch of humor you add to some articles helps keep them interesting.
I feel I have done a little injustice to some of the answers I gave on your questionnaire about your magazine. Why is this, I was getting ready for a trip to London when I received your magazine. When I looked through it and saw that the questionnaire had a deadline, I skimmed through the magazine to be able to answer your questions before I left. Now I have just finished reading it completely (35,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean) and finding myself waiting for the next issue so please add these comments to my questionnaire.
The detailed descriptions of programs that you have tested and programs to be released along with a review of software vendors is worth its weight in gold. Atari can do what the basic book and reference manual do not bring out is well welcome.
You can tell a good magazine when it not only tells you the good things about the system but some of its problems and how to overcome them or get it repaired, (bugs & bytes) no system is perfect.
Again congratulations on a very fine magazine. Please continue with the format you have started. A very pleased subscriber,
I have belatedly learned something about repair services for Atari products and thought that your other readers might be interested. I returned my Atari 800 to Control Data because I was having intermittent difficulty getting anything on my TV screen, or I would lose everything after the computer was running for awhile. I tried cleaning the contacts on the ROM and RAM but this didn't help. Control Data then informed me that I needed a new motherboard (I assume this means the 6502 microprocessor) and a new keyboard because the motherboard had been updated (since last December!) and wasn't compatible with my keyboard! The computer is only 51/2 months old, and I am already having to pay in excess of $100 for repairs (almost 15% of my original purchase price). In annoyance, I called the Atari customer service people in Sunnyvale, and they told me that once the computer was out of warranty, Control Data was free to fix and charge as they saw fit. Then the Atari people told me that they have their own repair service. I did not know of this service and as far as I can tell it is not mentioned in any of Atari's literature. Their service charges a set fee for the piece being repaired. For an Atari 800 the fee is about $60 whether the contacts needed lubrication or they had to rebuild the entire computer. For the disk drive it is another set price and so on. They are opening up services around the country (there is a place now in Somerset, NJ) and have authorized some dealers to make repairs, all at the set prices. So, if you are out of warranty and can let your computer go for a few weeks, you are much better off sending Atari the computer if the problem is major.
William D. Evers
I'd appreciate it if you would inform your readers of a bug in the Disk Save/Load Game routines of Star Trek 3.5.
The error is in the routine which inputs the file name to save/load form. The error causes the filename to be altered before the 1/0 is performed, which can cause some strange results (such as replacing a program on the disk with the game data file).
The fix is very simple:
Change the third statement of line #1335 from B$(LN+C5) =".TRK" to B$(LN+C4) =".TRK". The corrected line # 1335 is:
1335 B$="D1:":B$(C4)=F$:B$(LN+C4)=".TRK": RETURN.
I would have caught this earlier, but I only had 32K of RAM when I wrote the program (and it requires 40K to work with DOS).
David H. Simmons
607 South P.C.H.
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
After reading through your first and second issues, I didn't see any graphics information. Sooo, I decided it was up to me. A couple of weeks ago I was just experimenting with the Atari. I wrote a short program like this:
10 GRAPHICS 0 20 X=X+1 30 POKE X, 7 40 GOTO 20
On line 30, "7" was just a number I picked. Well, after a few errors, X equated 87 and everything cleared from the screen (except "READY"). Next I started changing line 10 ... After that, the program looked like this:
10 GRAPHICS 8 20 POKE 87, 7 30 PLOT 0,0:DRAWTO 319, 128 40 END
After running this program, there was an error 141 - cursor out of range. I looked it up in the Basic Reference Manual but 319 is OK in graphics mode 8 ... Mmmmm. So I changed line 30 to "30 PLOT 0,0: DRAWTO 159, 95,11 ran it and ah ha, no error. After setting the background color to 0 so I could see the line better, the line was one solid color. Next I changed line 10 to "GRAPHICS 8: COLOR 2." The line turned red. Now color 3, white and color 4 turned it black (background).
I hope you will like this article enough to put it in your magazine. I am 13 years old and have been using our Atari for about eight months. I am especially interested in graphics and animation programming.
Here is my article:
By Rick Williams
Have you ever been annoyed by only having one color in graphics 8? Try this program and you can see how you can have four colors and not use any extra RAM. This statement makes multi-color graphics 8 possible:
10 GRAPHICS 8:POKE 87, 7:COLOR 1
The "7" in "POKE 87, 7" means graphics 7 so the limits of the "PLOT" are: X, 159 and Y, 95. Because of this the graphics are only displayed on the top half of the screen. Try this program and you will see what I mean:
10 GRAPHICS 8:POKE 710,0:REM ** Setcolor background black ** 20 POKE 87, 7:REM ** Make multi-color graphics possible ** 30 SETCOLOR 1,0,14: REM ** Brightness level 14 ** 40 FOR Y=0 TO 95: C=C+0.1 50 COLOR C: PLOT 0,Y:DRAWTO 159, Y 60 NEXT Y 70 END
To draw below this you must return to normal graphics by writing "POKE 87, 8." This will not remove the above image from the screen but there will be only two colors possible in the bottom half of the screen - black and white.
This is a program you may want to fill space in the newsletter. It's great if you have small kids to use in spelling drills. Add the spelling list to the DATA and go.
5 DIM A$(10),B$(10), A(17,7):COUNT=0:GR. 1 10 "T":FOR I=7 TO 17:A(I,7)=-l:NEXT I:POKE 708,0 15 RESTORE:POSITION12,15:?#6; "SCORE";" ";COUNT 100 J=INT(22*RND(0)+1):FOR I=1 TO J:READ A$:NEXT I 110 N=LEN(A$):FOR I=1 TO N 120 B=INT(N*RND(0)+7):IF A(B,7)=1 THEN 120 130 POSITION B,7:?#6;A$(I,I):A(B,7)=1:NEXT I: POKE 708,40 140 INPUT B$:IF B$=A$ THEN COUNT=COUNT+1:GOT0 10 145 COUNT=0:GOTO140 200 DATA BOY,GIRL,HAPPY,SING,PLAY,DOWN,RIVER,HOUSE,CHAIR,RUG,TABLE,CARS,CANDY 210 DATA PAPER,PENCIL,TAPE,SHIRT,PANTS,DRESS,SOCKS,PLATE,SPOON
The program has been dimensioned for words up to 10 letters long, for the older kids. Add the words and change line 100 to correspond.