September 1986 MAGazine Volume 2 Number 2

Table Of Contents


Memphis Amiga Group
Box 381462 Memphis, Tn. 38183-1462

President Audrey McCalla
Vice-President Joe Ricklefs
Secretary Todd Eifert

This is the first edition of a bi-monthly newsletter called the MAGOT. I will try to put out a SIG newsheet, such as this one, once a month and a larger newletter with articles and reviews two weeks from the newsheet. If any one would like to submit articles or reviews contact me (Todd Eifert) at 901/325-6083 or at the MAG Meeting.

September's Calendar of Events

5 (Friday)

The first meeting of the Hacker's SIG is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Al Davidson's house. The meeting will be primarily organizational. Possible projects to be discussed are the 68010 upgrade and building an outboard RAM card. If you need directions to Al's house call him at 362-1435, or call the SIG chairman, Steve Gaines, at 362-5632.

13 (Saturday)

There will be a joint meeting of the Music and Graphics SIGs at Ron and Audrey McCalla's house at 7 p.m. Todd Eifert will discuss his proposed Christmas Video project. Don Lockard, Tom Jones, will discuss a proposed project: building a MIDI interface for the Amiga. For directions to the McCalla house, call 755-4641.

27 (Saturday)

This month's 11:00 a.m. general Memphis Amiga Group meeting at ComputerLab of Memphis, is tentatively scheduled to discuss word processing. President Audrey McCalla is actively seeking volunteers to demonstrate their favorite WP software. Call her at 755-4641 if you have commercial or public domain software to demonstrate.

(If you have news of an upcoming event of interest to your fellow Amiga owners, and would like to have it published in the calendar, contact Ron McCalla at 755-4641.)

The PREZ SEZ ...

The Memphis Amiga Group was formed in January of this year with high hopes and expectations of sharing ideas and helping fellow users with this powerful new computer.

Many of these aspirations have been fulfilled. Our membership continues to grow each month, starting with a handful of enthusiastic owners to an equally enthusiastic 27 members in just eight months.

Many of the monthly meetings have been devoted to providing demonstrations of various software and hardware products to share information, and many times insight, into the use of the product. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have assisted in these demos; most recently Don Lockard and Todd Eifert at the meeting held at Mike Harris' home. I think special thanks should go to Jim Walton of ComputerLab for allowing us to demonstrate the newest arrivals of software and hardware at his store. We hope to continue with more product reviews in upcoming meetings.

Also, in past meetings, members of the group have provided seminars on various topics, including CLI and the programming language C. This tradition of helping fellow users will continue in the newly announced seminar in AmigaDos being provided by Steve Gaines and Joe Ricklefs during the next month.

In our most recent meeting, the group took another step forward in its growth by beginning the organization of several Special Interest Groups (SIG's). The development of these SIG's should provide each member the opportunity to share common interests and to delve more deeply into the many specific capabilities of the Amiga. I hope each member becomes actively involved in one or more of these SIG's.

The next general meeting of the Memphis Amiga Group will be held Saturday, September 27 (the fourth Saturday of the month) at ComputerLab at 11:00 a.m. Tentatively scheduled is a review of the major word processors available for the Amiga, such as Textcraft, Scribble!, and Write Hand. If you have purchased any word processing software and would like to share your opinion with the rest of us, please give me a call at 755-4641.

I look forward to seeing all of you at the next meeting!

Audrey McCalla

MAGNET Memphis Amiga Group Newsletter Issue #2

Box 381462 Memphis,Tn. 38183-1462
President Audrey McCalla
Vice-President Joe Ricklefs
Treasure/Secretary Todd Eifert

Newsletter contributers:
Ron McCalla
Audrey McCalla
Tom Jones
Charles Williams

Upcoming September Events

27 (Saturday) This month's 11:00 a.m. general Memphis Amiga Group meeting at ComputerLab of Memphis, is tentatively scheduled to discuss word processing. President Audrey McCalla is still seeking volunteers to demonstrate their favorite WP software. Call her at 755-4641 if you have commercial or public domain software to demonstrate.

(If you have news of an upcming event of interest to your fellow Amiga owners, and would like to have it published in the calendar, contact Ron McCalla at 755-4661.)

Todd Eifert

Well mates, another month roles around and I've finally gotten this newsletter finished! As you can see, I have changed the name due to the many protests I received. Charles Williams came up with MAGNET and it sounds pretty good so until someone comes up with something better it will be the name of the newsletter. I had several people contribute to this month's newsletter but will still need articles for future issues. I am planning to have several printer reviews in upcoming issues so if you would like to worn people about your terrible turtle or brag about your chromatic cheetah then get your review to me. Software reviews and interesting how-to's are welcome also. If at all possible please upload the articles to the MAG section on the Duck Pond. Hope to see you all at the meeting Saturday.

Todd Eifert

Instant Music Instruments

by David L. Jobusch


Just got Instant Music from Electronic Arts a couple of days ago. Lots of fun. After experimenting for awhile I found a quick and dirty way to convert the digitized sound files from the Workbench Demo Disks (The ones with BOING! on them) so that Instant Music would thing that they are IFF compatible.

Step 1:

Create an EMPTY IFF 8SVX header. I took Instant Music's DOVOICE and used the first 64 bytes. Use your favorite truncate program.

Step 2:

Take the WB Demo sound file and strip off the last 234 bytes. This info is apparently used by the demo program.

Step 3:

Cat the stripped WB sound file to the end of the empty header file. JOIN works fine for this.

Step 4:

Install the new sound file on your favorite Instant Music Instrument library disk!


If you do a filezap or type opt h, you will note that the body part of the IFF formatted file is identical to the WB Demo sound file after the first 24 bytes. A good example is the DOVOICE on Instant Music and DO.SAMPLES on the WB Demo Instruments 2 disk. The bytes match at byte 65 (IFF) and byte 25 (WB Demo), and do so until the end of the file.

This is NOT the way to convert to IFF! All I know is that it works. As far as Musicraft sound files and others, I have not experimented with these, but will be trying soon, and will post the conversion programs if they ever come about. A friend and I called Electronic Arts today and informed them about the trick, so you may see some Instant Music demo disks coming out/floating about soon. EA, if you are listening, we would appreciate any information additional to the RKM's concerning your music/sound IFF formats. At least a couple of us at ISU paln on doing some serious work with the Amiga/MIDI/IFF.



The Amiga is touted as one of the greatest sound generating computers around. If you own one or have seen one in action you know this to be true. But, when introduced, the Amiga people said that the computer could sound as good as some stand-alone synthesizers, albeit probably older ones. Now you can make your computer and these synthesizers work together to produce the best sound possible. The process which makes all this happen is called MIDI or Musical Instrument Digital Interface. I call it a process because it is really just a serial protocol which the instrument manufacturers have adopted to allow their products to communicate with each other and to computers through a MIDI interface. This is where my little project enters into the picture.

Being extremely unemployed, I could not afford to pay the $50 to $80 price tags on most interfaces so I decided to attempt to hack one together using plans and schematics which I downloaded from The Duck Pond; (I believe it is in the utilities section under the name MIDISCH.ARC). The interface was designed by Steve Stevens and has all the features most would need to start MIDIing. After printing out the schematics (it's a DPaint hi-res pic) I started gathering all of the parts needed. The list is not long: 7 resistors, 2 IC chips, 1 diode, cable, assorted plugs, and a board and box on which to put them all. It should be noted that I have not really ever made anything like this before and I encountered no major problems in the construction of the interface itself. Parts are another matter. I had a lot of trouble finding one of the chips in town (the 6M138 opto-isolator) so I got hold of Stevens who said he would send me a chip. Several mail order places have the chip at little expense, but most have minimum orders. I paid Radio Shack prices and still have only $15 or so invested in it. It would probably be much more inexpensive if several people got together and bought parts in quantity.

I bought a small (about 2.5" by 3.5") PC board to mount the parts on and chip sockets to plug the chips in. The most expensive single part was the project box which all of the stuff must go in. It was about $3. The completed interface itself has one MIDI-in, one MIDI-thru, and 3 MIDI-outs. The three outputs may eliminate the need for daisy-chaining MIDI devices and eliminates the delay caused by having too many things connected to one output. One last note: make sure, if you are soldering, that your iron is hot enough. I don't mean nuke it, but around 700 to 750 degrees worked for me.

In conclusion it was a pretty fun little project. Following the schematic was alot like following a map. Just make sure you check the routes many times. Good luck and many happy MIDI's (or is that midi happy MINI's).

The DUCK Pond BBS (901) 7555330

The Duck Pond

Copyright 1986 by Howard Duck

(This is the first of a series of articles devoted to computer telecommunications: articles designed to introduce the computer novice to the basics of computer telecommunications and to help others keep up with what's going on on the Amiga boards. Future articles will include comparisons of various brands of modems and terminal programs, how to access specific services, and reviews of public domain software available on these services and bbses.)

So what is "Telecomputing"? Well, as its name implies, telecomputing is the transmitting of information over long distances from computer to computer, and although this can be done via various media, the most common method is by the ordinary voice-grade telephone line. All it takes to get your Amiga or most any microcomputer into the telecomputing game is to acquire a modem, a modem cable, and a terminal program.

What's a modem? Simply put, a modem is a device that translates your computer's digital signals into something Ma Bell can understand, and of course, the modem must also translate the incoming signals into something your computer can understand too. If you're shopping for a modem, you'll find a great variety of brands and models, each offering a range of features. The most important things to look for are communication speed (baud) and instruction set (which allows your programs to tell the modem what to do, such as dial numbers or answer the phone). Common modems are rated at 300, 1200, and 2400 baud. Most users prefer 1200 baud or beter. Good 1200 baud modems can be had for $100 and up, while 2400 baud modems sell for about $250 or more (though the prices are continually dropping). There are even a few 1200 baud modems for under $100, but they generally lack some of the features most users prefer. Then there is the matter of the instruction set. Well, Hayes is by far the largest manufacturer of modems around, selling nearly half of the 1200 baud modems purchased in the U.S., and nearly 5 times the number of its nearest competitor. It's therefore not surprising to learn that the instrution set used by Hayes has become the de facto standard. If you plan to buy a modem that is to be compatible with a wide range of computers and computer programs, then buy a modem that, if not munufactured by Hayes, is at least "Hayes-compatible". Many modem makers can make that claim with reasonable veracity. You should be ble to find a good 1200 baud "Hayes-compatible" modem for under $150.

But a modem will do very little for you except make your already cluttered computer desk look a little more cluttered unless you have some software that can use it. Fortunately for your and my pocket books, there are some very good public domain and shareware terminal programs around. Programs like StarTerm, Comm1.3, VT100, and Wombat are all locally available for the cost of a blank disk.

But even if the software is free, why should you invest in the cost of a modem? Well most of us who have already done so will tell you its because its the best way around to get instant information and a good source of free(!) software. Services like Bix, CompuServe, Delphi and PeopleLink offer a wide selection of services like online games, tourist and airline reservations, computer shopping malls, and product reviews. But even the privately owned BBSes (computer Bulletin Board Systems) offer the most useful features such as public domain software and message bases where you and your fellow Amiga users can share information about any area of interest, be it how to beat Marble Madness or how to build a Midi interface for ten bucks.

But don't these services cost a lot? Well, the major services like Bix and CompuServe cost a lot more than I prefer to pay, but BBSes, if they're local, cost absolutely nothing beyond the cost of your normal phone bill! Which brings us to the most important question of all: Why the %$#^ is the column entitled "The DUCK Pond" ??? Because it's the name of the bulletin board I run. That's why. And its a bulletin board that's primarily devoted to Amiga owners. Take a look at a list of file areas on The DUCK Pond:

----- File Areas -----
 1 ... GENERAL\         Files of GENERAL interest
 2 ... IBM\             The IBM and IBM Compatibles Area
 3 ... COMMODOR\        The Commodore Users' Area
 4 ... MAG\             The MEMPHIS AMIGA GROUP Area
 5 ... AMIGA\BASIC\     The AMIGA BASIC (ABasiC and MicroSoft AmigaBASIC) Area
 6 ... AMIGA\C\         The C Programmers' Area (Lattice, Aztec, ...)
 8 ... AMIGA\SOUND\     The AMIGA SOUND, Music, and Speech Area
 9 ... AMIGA\UTILS\     AMIGA Programs and Text of General Interest
10 ... AMIGA\GAMES\     AMIGA Games
11 ... LOTUS\           LOTUS 123 (and VIP) Templates

As you can see, over half of the file areas are directed at the Amiga user. And in fact, the preponderence of files on the system reside in those same Amiga file areas; over 90 % of the file space on the system consists of Amiga files. In upcoming articles we will examine the most popular files available to The DUCK Pond user, but to whet your appetite, here's a current listing from our most frequented file area:

File Area #9: AMIGA\UTILS\ 
              AMIGA Programs and Text of General Interest

DIRUTII.ARC    28288 Another version of Dirutil-with source.
COMM13.ARC     54400 New version of Comm-much better.
VT100          35712 VT-100 emulator - with Kermit & Xmodem.
VT100.DOC      11264 Doc's for VT-100.
MONITOR.ARC     8192 CPU performance and memory usage, graphic
MVIEW.ARC       7808 Joystick eye view of system memory; fun
DIFSSED.ARC    17664 Unix utilities dif and ssed, Amiga versions
DCAT            7936 (7820) Disk CATaloger
XICON.ARC      12160 (12160) Execute script files from icons
AREACODE.ARC    9216 Tells location of specified telephone area code
HELP.ARC        9984 Gives help on any AmigaDOS command
POPCLI.ARC      5413 Program and DOC for CLI-accessing utility
QC.ARC          5760 (5760) A shareware df0: to df1: diskcopy program with icon
ATERM61.ARC    18688 Another Term program--Doc's included
DOSHELP.ARC    45184 mouse driven DOSHelp C,exe,docs,make files
IMEG-NEW.ARC   39424 (39424) revised schematics for add-on 1-meg board
ALIASES.TXT     1536 (1462) How to use the CLI Assign command
AMIX           18560 (18524) A UNIX-like command shell
APE.INF         1024 (938) An alternate icon for the WB demo's ape pic
ARCO11.DOC      5760 (5727) Documentation for ARCO11
ARC16          63104 (63032) Latest version of ARC (version 16) for the Amiga
AVAIL           5248 Shows available memory from CLI.
BRUSH.INF        896 (838) Substitute icon for DPant/GCraft brushes
BUGS.TXT        8192 A few known bugs in AmigaDOS and ABasiC
CALENDAR       13568 (13460) set day and date with mouse from WB
C-PJ1080.DRI    8688 (8688) Canon PJ1080 printer driver
CITOH.DRI       3292 (3292) printer driver
CLI.TXT        13312 A summary of Amiga's Command Line Interface syntax
CLOCK1          3200 (3116) a small digital clock
COMDEX.TXT     19968 BIG news about Amiga hardware and software at COMDEX
COMM.ARC       27737 MANXed COMMTERM version 1.21 terminal program with doc
COMPRESS       23040 Compress files or use "Compress (FName): -d" to Decompress
CPRI           10624 (10580) program to Change PRIority of a task
CPRI.DOC        3456 (3416) Cautionary documentation for CPRI
CRS            16768 (16744) Removes (or adds) CRs from (to) files
CT-FAIRE.TXT    4736 News of hardware and software shown at CT AMIGA FAIRE
DIRCOPY2       19840 (19716) A (MANxed and improved) mouse driven file copier
DISK.INF         512 (418) An alternate disk icon
DISKLABE.DOC     304 How to print DISKLABE.PIC
DISKLABE.PIC    3712 (iff) dpaint disklabel (Illinois Duck)
DISKSALV       24448 (24396) Salvage trashed disks
DISKSALV.DOC     384 doc file for DiskSalv
DISKTOOL       42240 drag filenames via mouse & menus (needs work?) (no doc?)
DISKZAP        40960 (40876) A track and sector editor
DOSPLUS1.ARC   52352 8 separate utilities to add to your C directory
DOSPLUS1.DOC    3328 The doc file that is included in DOSPLUS1.ARC
DU             30976 New version of DirUtil that types or prints text files
ED.TXT          4352 A summary of the AmigaDOS Ed commands
EMACS          40320 (40264) A Text Editor
EMACS.DOC       2432 (2390) MicroEMACS Command Summary
NEC8025A.DRI    4264 (4264) Printer driver
EP-LQ800.DR     3572 (3572) Epson LQ800 printer driver
EPS-JK80.DRI    4224 (4112) Epson_jx-80 printer driver (R1.2)
EPSON.DRI       3584 (3504) Printer driver (WorkBench R1.2)
ERRORCHE       19944 (19944) Displays disk error locations
FILECABE.ARC     896 Three icons that make a file cabinet (Illinois Duck)
FILEZAP        10624 (10580) sector-by-sector file editor
FIXOBJ         14464 (14464) Removes XMODEM padding from object files
FREEMAP        19072 (18976) Continuous display of RAM in use
GFCLOCK.INF      512 (512) An alternate icon for your CLOCK program
GFXMEM         19456 (19436) Graph of memory usage
GOTHIC         27136 Gothic banner printer program
GREP           21248 (21208) UNIX's word search program
GREP.DOC        3456 (3447) Documentation for GREP
HEXALATO       22272 (22156) HEX/DEC/OCT/BIN calculator
HEXALATO.INF     384 (302) icon for HEXALATO
KEYBOARD.INF     640 (518) Icon of a keyboard
LADY.INF        1024 (938) an icon of a demure woman
LAR            23552 (23440) Makes or unmakes library archive files
LD4            14208 (14140) A better Dir command
LD4-2           5504 (5504) A smaller version of LD4
LENS            8320 (8252) Lens is a program to magnify part of the screen
LENS.INF        1024 (938) The icon for the LENS program
MIDISCH.ARC    10112 Shows you how to build a midi interface-very easy.
MORE           11008 (11008) A page-by-page textfile lister
MYCLI2         21632 (21632) A smaller version of MYCLI
NEWFONTS.ARC   22528 (22528) Several new fonts for Notepad, DPaint, etc
NEWFONTS.DOC    1678 (1678) Instructions to help unpack NEWFONTS.ARC
OKI-M192.DRI    2796 (2796) Okidata printer driver
OKI-U92.DRI     3584 (3564) Okidata_u-92 printer driver (R1.2)
OSCAR.INF        896 Trashcan icon (Illinois Duck)
PANA-KXP.DRI    4024 (4024) Printer driver for the Panasonic KX-P10xx series
PIPE           20224 (20112) A program to simulate UNIX's pipe feature
PIPE.DOC        4608 (4608) Instructions for the PIPE program
PIRATE.INF       896 Disk copy icon (Illinois Duck)
PM             14336 (14328) Displays machine idle time as graph
PM.INF           384 (302) Icon for PM program
PREF.INF         768 (738) An alternate icon for the preferences program
PREFEREN.INF     896 Another preferences icon (Illinois Duck)
PRINT          10240 (10200) A lazy man's "RUN TYPE filename PRT:"
PRINTER.ARC    54400 Info to help write custom printer drivers
PROWRI.DRI      1152 (1128) Printer driver for ProWriter
PS             10752 (10680) A better version of the STATUS command
QUICKCOP       20096 (20092) Copies whole disks, ignoring but reporting error
RAM-DISK.TXT    4352 (4242) Script for re-assigning to ram or HD
REPLACE         4096 (4012) Replace any specified byte with another
ROLLODEX.INF     512 (466) An icon for a rollodex tool
SC-D300.DRI     4020 (4020) Smith Carona D300 printer driver
SCRIMPER.ARC    4992 (4992) Screen print prog from Amazing Computing Mag
SECAMP          8832 (8712) Displays a Block Allocation Map
SETLACE        10112 (10028) Program to turn on/off interlace mode
SETLACE.INF      768 (678) Icon for the SETLACE program
SETSERIA       21376 (21332) Sets most serial port parameters from CLI
SG-10.DRI       3584 (3504) The _CORRECT_ SG-10 printer driver!
SG-10.DOC       1024 doc for SG-10 driver
SIDECAR.TXT     2260 brief description of the Amiga Sidecar
SPEED.TXT       3968 Description of Amiga's operating speed
STARTERM       46080 (46064) The StarTerm terminal program (ver 2.0)
STARTERM.DOC    3200 (3200) Instructions for StarTerm 2.0
STARTERM.INF     896 (818) .info icon file for StarTerm
STICKEYS.TXT    2560 How to cure "sticky" keys
SUNDIAL.INF      512 (482) Icon of a sundial
SWEEP           1664 (1596) Unfragments the Amiga RAM
SWEEP.INF       1536 A HUGE icon for sweep (rename
TEMPLATE.ARC   40192 Several templates for the Analyze spreadsheet program
TIMESET         8832 An easy way to set time & date from CLI.
TIPS.TXT        3103 Hints & Tips from Commodore Developers
TRANSFOR.TXT    5120 Review of Amiga Transformer (the IBM emulator)
TRASHCAN.INF     768 (734) An alternate trashcan icon
TREE            6656 (6532) Sort of a cross between LD4 and IBM's TREE.COM
TRUNCATE       13952 (13936) Chops ANY file to length specified
TXED           25984 P.D. demo of TxEd editor (25952 bytes)
TXED.DOC        4224 Doc. for TxEd Demo (chop to 4224 bytes)
WICHFONT       16640 (16624) Displays all fonts on system disk
WLC            13696 (13592) Counts words and lines in a file
WOMBAT2        33024 (32900) Version 2.0 of the Wombat Terminal Program
WOMBAT2.DOC    17920 (17920) Instructions for Wombat version 2.0
WOMBAT2.INF      512 (498) icon for WOMBAT terminal program
USQ            16896 (16808) Unsqueezes SQueezed files
XMODEM.TXT      2688 Help for XMODEM padded files!
XREF           17280 (17224) A cross reference generator
ZAPICOM        23040 (22968) Makes an icon from a DPaint brush file

This file listing, as with others on The DUCK Pond, is broken into two parts: the first part contains the most recent additions to the file list while the second part (below the dashed line) contains an alphabetized list of older filenames, sizes in bytes, and descriptions. Although this is just one area listing from one Amiga BBS, it should give you an idea of the kind of files that are available to modem users. In future articles we will present file listings for other areas on our board, and as new files become available we will update the lists and describe some of the more interesting software.

Well, that's all we have room for in this month's article. Next time we plan to compare some of the more popular brands of modems available for your Amiga including (hopefully) the newly released modems made specifically for the Amiga from Commodore and Anchor Automation.

Bye now, and Bon BBSing!

Graphic Disk Labels

by Todd Eifert

I have made an IFF picture that can be used as a disk label template. In order to use it correctly you must set your preferences printer page length to 17. Load DPaint and set the background color to white (Click the left mouse button while the pointer is over the background color box. It is the large square with the colored circle in the middle. A new pointer will appear and you should move it over the white box and click the right button. This will change the background to white. Then move the pointer into the drawing area and click the left button. Hit CLR to erase the screen and if you changed the background correctly the screen will turn white.). Load the template named "DiskLabel" and choose the font you would like to use on the label. You can take a picture from the game or utility your making the label for and SIZE it to fit on the label. This gives the disk an easily identificable picture. Put the name in the lower box and upside down in the upper box (make brush out of the name and ROTATE it twice). Between the two boxes you should place a small upside down name. This will be visible while the disk is in the drive. I had a large stack of blank tracter feed labels which are index card size but am almost out now. They work very well for making disk labels. I have made very decent looking labels with a black and white printer but a color printer would probably look better. The template is on The Duck Pond or you can get it from me at any of the club meetings.