August 1988 MAGazine Volume 4 Number 8

Table Of Contents

Calendar of Events for August

Saturday, August 13, 1988 - 1:00 PM - The August general meeting will be held in Jenning's Hall in Room J-2 located on the campus of State Technical Institute of Memphis. There's a 29 minute "AMIGA 2000" tape sent to us by Commodore displaying its graphic capabilities.. Don't forget the drawing for either A-Term or Nimbus.. As always we should have some great demo's from our member's at large.. SEE YOU THERE!!

THE PREZ SEZ

by Dr. Alan Schwartz

The general membership meeting was held on Saturday, July 9, 1988 at the State Technical Institute of Memphis. Prior to that meeting the Executive Committee met with all officers in attendance.

We had two demonstrations of WordPerfect products by Thomas Crabb, the regional marketing mamager for our area. On the Amiga, he showed us the "Library," a program with five integrated programs to organize appointments, notes, and files. The File Manager, the Calculator, the Notebook, and the Program Editor.

The second demo Tom showed was WordPerfect 5.0 on an IBM clone. This program is not available yet for the Amiga. By showing this version, we were able to get some idea of what is in the future for the Amiga. After this demonstration, a drawing was held for a free copy of the "Library." It was won by Ric Johnson, who agreed to review the product and write an article in the MAGazine.

We reviewed the Commodore/Amiga Partner's Program and the Aegis Video Desktop Contest. These are two different programs open to participation by our members.

We had our first of three monthly drawings for free software provided to our group by Omni Software. The first winner was Freddie L. Andrews. He choose "MaxiPlan Plus," an electronic spreadsheeet and data base program. We will have another drawing at both our August and September meetings. You have to be present to win.

Ric Johnson did three software demonstrations and showed us a hardware game called "Capone." The demo's were "World Tour Golf," "Rockford," and "Leatherneck."

AMIGAS SIGHTED!

The Amiga was sighted on the syndicated Entertainment Tonight. Its animation capabilities were touted and Commodore officals were interviewed but strangely (or perhaps not so strangely when you consider Commodore's advertising history) the Amiga name was not mentioned.

All three models of the Amiga were on display on PBS's Computer Chronicles show recently. Since the demonstrations were conducted by software and hardware vendors other than Commodore representatives themselves, the Amiga came off looking pretty good. Computer Chronicles is a show which reviews computers and computer products of all kinds.

The Amiga 1000 and 2000 were used in a recent Alfred Hitchcock Presents on the USA cable network. This reincarnation of the Alfred Hitchcock show features rehashed scripts filmed with new actors. It also features a colorized version of its dead host.

MAGazine

MAGazine
Memphis Amiga Group
Box 381462
Memphis, TN 38183-1462

MAGazine is published monthly by the Memphis Amiga Group (MAG), a nonprofit organization offering assistance to fellow Amiga owners and those interested in the Amiga. Membership in the Memphis Amiga Group is available for an annual fee of $20 per family. Memphis Amiga Group Officers for 1988 are:

President
Dr. Alan Schwartz
(901) 755-6622

Vice President
Todd Rooks
(901) 373-0198

Secretary/Treasurer
Scott Hudson
(901) 794-8914

Librarian
David Head
(901) 377-7568

MAGazine Editor
Edward Bilson
(901) 794-2936

WELCOME!

To our newest member.
Dr. Walter K. Hoffman

WordPerfect LIBRARY

by Richard Johnson

This review of LIBRARY is going to be in five parts since there are five separate programs on the disk. They are Calendar, Calculator, FileManager, Notebook, and Program Editor. The system I'm using this Library on is an Amiga 500 with 2 disk drives and 2.5 Meg of memory. The manual has a section in it which explains the installation of Library on a 1 drive, 2 drive, or hard drive system, but no instructions to install it in VDK Ram disk. So I was on my own. It started out ok, I was able to put my C dir and all of the programs on teh WP Library. The only problem I ran into was using the Zoom control with the Notebook program, my system would crash. After working on it for about 7 hours, I learned to leave the zoom control on the Notebook alone.

Calendar

This program here is a must. When it is run it will put up four different windows The Calendar, Appointments, Things-to-do, and Memo. One of the things I liked about Calendar was that it was very easy to learn. The Things-to-do window is a reminder pad for things that you want to get accomplished for any given day. Completed tasks must be removed from that days list or they will be carried over to the next day. Miss a few days of accomplishments and you could end up with cardiac arrest trying to get things done.

When setting up appointments you can also set an alarm through a small and separate program called Alarm. When the appointment approaches it will alarm the user that the appointment is near. The user can set the number of minutes before the appointment for the alarm to sound. Other configurations include the ability too use the Amiga Speech synthesizer to announce the appointment. Even the alarm sound itself can be a digitized IFF sound file. Another neat feature that is standard on all WordPerfect programs is the switch feature, this allows you to switch to any other WP program that is running in the background. With the print option you can print Appointment, Memo or Things-To-Do separately or all at once.

NoteBook

The Notebook is a small data base used to store your address list. It will even dial the number for you. it is very easy to setup because there are no selections, field types, or lengths. You can use a notebook file and merge with it WordPerfect to create form letters or notices that use the names and address from the notebook file. There's also a feature called "don't dare exit the Notepad" just in case there's a crash, done with the write-protect on.

Calculator

This program has three calculators in one Financial, Scientific, and Programmer. When brought up, the window will fill about half of the screen. There is no resize option, just the Zoom button which will shrink it to a small title bar. The drawbacks to this program are there is no print option and will guru the 512K owner under the engineering and scientific modes.

File Manager

The File Manager performs a set of functions. It can copy, delete, rename, and move a file or group of files from disk to disk or directory to directory. Open the file manager and a full window appears. You are not allowed to resize the window but the zoom gadget meets the need. The left half includes a display of your files and directory plus string gadgets for entering a path and pattern. The right side has buttons for selecting functions. One of the buttons is the Find Files, which finds your program on the disk by going through all the different directories until it is found. What I dislike is that the file manager only has one window and I'm use to looking at both disks simultaneously. It would be nice if the File Manager had some programmable buttons so I could add ARC to it plus a couple of other utilities that I use every day. All in all the File Manager is a pretty good utility.

PEdit

This program is a good line editor especially if you use WordPerfect as the commands are basically the same. It is used for writing scripts or for redoing your start-up sequence. This is where programmable keys on the FileManager would be useful. You could use the switch command to accomplish this. What I've done is use the programmable button on Utility Master and it works great.

Library

by David Head

Several things have taken place this month in regards to the library. We now have the SoundScape Sound Sampler in the hardware library. The package will consist of the SoundScape software, sampler interface that plugs in your second joystick port, a microphone, and the instructions. Rental price will be announced at the general meeting. I will bring the kit to the meeting so everyone can see it and someone can rent it at that time.

We now have the Digi-Droid for the Digiview kit. It will make your life easier when you digitize pictures and will eleminate vibration problems from turning the filter wheel manually. All you have to do to use it is plug in the cord and mount the Digi-Droid BETWEEN the camera and the stand. When you get ready to do a scan you just select Automatic and it will take it from there.

I ordered 300 DD 3.5" disks for the library. I was able to get the blue color disks this time. Everyone seems to prefer this color to the beige or black. The good news is that we are going to reduce the price per disk to MAG members to $1.25 from the old price of $1.50. This will give everyone a little break on the cost of blank disks. The price of MAG and Fish disks will remain unchanged.

I received a letter the other day from Mike Wallace offering several new Fred Fish disks to the library and alot of new programs from a BBS in Nashville. We will try to have his contributions available next month. Thanks again Mike for your continued help with the library.

MAG-099 "Charles Williams Disk"

Charles Williams got inspired by Mike Wallace last month and put together a club disk complete with a new MAG.disk.icon of the logo Tim Burford designed and won the logo contest with. Looks good, check it out. This disk is a utilities disk.

EVERYONE needs this program!!!! Thanks, Charles, for a great disk.

MAG-100 "Amiga Ladies"

This disk is a slideshow of the best nudes on the Amiga. Not for the faint of heart or anyone under the age of 17. Rated-R, plain brown wrapper extra!

MAG-101 "Terminal Programs"

This disk isn't complete yet but should be by the general meeting. It will contain all of the most popular modem programs for the Amiga. Including Amic58E, Access!1.30, Comm1.34, ...

The program that inspired this is a new program called "GT1.1 Terminal" by Greg Cunningham of "DiskMan" fame. This is the most powerful terminal program out in the public domain but is only about 46K. It will support Xmodem, WXmodem, Ymodem, and soon Zmodem. I will also put together any communications support programs I can get my hands on like ARC, PAK, ZOO, etc. on this disk.

I will have these disks available at the meeting in limited quantities. Mike's disk MAG-098 will also be available from last month since I screwed up and copied the wrong disk. Sorry about that! Thanks guys for your help with the library. Now if I could just get someone to write this column...

More Than Just Rumor

by The Unknown Amigoid

If you're into IBMish machines as well as Amigas, you probably know who Robert X. Cringley is, or rather you probably have read articles in InfoWorld that appear under the byline of Robert X. Cringley. It must have been a slow week for Mr. Cringley who normally fills his column with gossip from the IBM marketplaces, for in his June 20th article he garnished his OS/2 lead story with a mention about Electronic Arts' new Interceptor. Interceptor is, of course, the newest flight simulator for the Amiga. Its been a long time coming but ever since the impressive demo hit the BBSes and services, armchair pilots have been doing nothing but pestering EA with calls asking "When is it due?" Well it's in the stores everywhere, (for weeks by the time you read this) and the general consensus is that it blows Sublogic's Jet away with its more detailed graphics and smoother animation. Its got the other simluators beat hands down in the sound effects department too. Cringely really didn't describe the product, though, all he did was describe on of the more unusual stunts the authors have allowed the user to do. Here's what he said: "Starting at San Francisco International Airport, gamesters can fuel and arm their jet fighters, then taxi down U.S. 101, hang a right at Highway 92, pull up to the Electronic Arts headquarters, and blow the place to bits."

InfoWorld is also the host of a regular column by Jerry Pournelle (the guy who acts like he's on Atari's payroll). I usually just scan his column because its usually full of opinionated crap, but his July 11th column had some rather interesting stuff. If it were in someone else's column I would put more faith in it but since it had a ring of truth and meshes will with other rumors I've recently heard, I'll go ahead and report what I read. According to Pournelle, Bill Lowe (the PS/2 pusher for IBM) is in the dog house with his bosses. That would explain why there has been a lot of shuffling of jobs around IBM lately. Some of the more creative boys at IBM have left for Apple and Microsoft. The scuttlebutt is that PS/2s aren't selling at anywhere near the pace IBM would have us believe and the operating system for it OS/2, is being ignored by just about everyone. Of course the windowing portion of OS/2 is still running late but even when it arrives, considering its cost and size, no one is exactly expected to eagerly queue up for it. IBM-oriented magazines are constantly getting letters from readers who complain that they aren't interested in seeing vaporware (i.e. OS/2) articles instead of the traditional MSDOS ones.

Here's a gaming hint found in Info recently. According to Jason Copes, "if you hold down the joystick button while you go around curves in Accolade's Test Drive, you won't hit the wall or go off the cliffs, though you can still hit the other cars."

Discovery Software, makers of Marauder and Arkanoid, are really pushing their new arcade style game, ZOOM! Some pre-release announcements from them have made it sound like they expect it to be as big a hit as Arkanoid was. Well, I had a chance to actually lay hands on the thing recently was less than impressed. It reminded me of an old C64 game I had seen years ago in terms of both play and quality of graphics. I'm told the thing will sell for around $30. I wouldn't give $3. (In all fairness though, I should mention that I saw a review in a magazine that gave this game four and a half stars! I was appalled.)

Commodore/Amiga is advertising for programmers. They are specifically looking for people who are familiar with UNIX and networking. There have been plenty of rumors flying that C/A is going to really get behind the new Amiga 2500 with the UNIX board. Apparently its more than rumor.

Randy Spenser has announced the BADGE Killer Demo Contest for 1988. There will be two categories, custom programs and tool-based demos (ala ANIM). To enter or get more information write POBox 4542, Berkeley, CA 94704. Letters of intent must be received by September 15th, submissions by September 29th. Judging will be at the October 20th BADGE meeting.

On the seventh of July, at the Holiday Inn in North Harbour, Portsmouth, Hampshire, Enigma Publishing Limited went belly up. At least thats what the letter I got from the people handling the bankruptcy seemed to say. Enigma is the second Amiga magazine I have subscribed to that has gone the way of the dinosaurs. I subscribed to the Ami Project back when it was called Amiga Project. I never heard from them after about the seventh issue so I assumed that Amiga World and Amazing had done 'em in. Of course there seems to be new Amiga magazines coming out every couple of months lately and I try to subscribe to every one. At last count I was subscribing to six Amiga-oriented mags, and that doesn't include Computer Shopper, Infoworld, and Byte!

Speaking of Amiga magazines, if anyone else out there subscribes to Robo City News, they have my sympathy. I had to call and/or write those dudes three times to get them to take my money for a subscription, and now I'm having to beg just to get them to send the magazines. If they came out on time they might be worth the cost since the lead time for their articles is only a few weeks but they don't arrive until a month or more after they hit the stands so take my advice and don't even consider Robo City News as a possible source of garbage wrapping.

I haven't seen it yet, but I'm told the 3rd issue of Amiga Transactor contacts an article on how to make a 68020/68881 board for the A1000. That's one magazine I do recommend if you're interested in the technical side of the Amiga. You can subscribe to the Transactor by calling (416) 764-5273. Be sure you specify the Amiga version, or you might wind up getting their older 8-bit journal for the C64.

Has anyone been on Delphi lately? I used to get on regularly but the Amiga sig died a year or so ago. There would be no new files for weeks in a row. I got a letter from them recently, though. It said that Joe Pierce and Jeff Warner were restarting the Amiga sig. Delphi supposedly charges the same for 300, 1200, and 2400 baud. And not only are uploads free as on some other services, but uploaders earn credit for free time to do others things in the sig. The letter went on to announce a regular conference each Tuesday at 9 o'clock central time too. Since getting the letter, I've been meaning to try them out again. I'm not really satisfied with PLink's system. If you'd like to try them, call 1-800-544-4005 for information.

If you haven't run out and bought your Commodore/Amiga stock yet, you're probably too late. Although the stock (CBU on the NY exchange) has been hovering around 12 points lately, it hit 13.75 the other day. Not bad considering that it was down around 7 right after last year's market debacle. I'm sure the price is making Atari owner Jack Tramiel apoplectic. His stock started around 14 and has recently been going downhill from there. According to Computer Software News, a financial analyst with the firm of Fechtor, Detwiler, and Company is recommending Commodore as a good growth stock. He says they are definitely making a comeback.

A French company called Mercuriel has started selling driving simulators that use an A2000 and accompanying videodisk player. Sounds like a great idea but I don't think I care to pay the $20,000 they're asking.

If you watched PBS's Computer Chronicles the other day (It might have been a repeat?) you would have seen a show devoted to the uses of the Amiga. Representatives from several companies were showing off their software and how it shows off the Amiga. Paint and animation programs were being shown on the Amiga 2000. The author of MicroIllusions' MusicX brought his A500 to demo his new product. The NewTek folks were there demonstrating the Video Toaster. It looked very good and probably impressed the show's hosts the most. There was also a report on how one lab was using the Amiga 1000 to create Eye tests for future use in your local doctor's office.

The folks at Hypertek report that there have been some bug reports with versions 2.0 and 2.1 of GOMF. If you would like a free upgrade, write them at #120-1140 Austin Avenue, Coquitlam, BC Canada V3K 3P5.

Here's some rumors about 1.4 (So where is 1.3??? At the time I'm writing this I still haven't seen the official release of 1.3!) According to Andy Finkel of Commodore/Amiga the major changes in 1.4 will be to provide support for the new 1 meg graphics chips. Workbench will be taken out of ROM, though, and placed on a seperate disk to provide enhancements. The biggest enhancement for WB will be internal use of multitasking; no more waiting for your mouse pointer to return while you stare at that ugly little zzz-balloon. Also new for WB 1.4, the user may optionally display information about every file on disk, whether they have .info files or not.

THANKS TO ALL OF THIS MONTHS NEWSLETTER CONTRIBUTORS

The (NEW?) IMPROVED DUCK POND

by Howie D'Duck

If anyone has been on the POND recently, you may have noticed a LOT of changes. This short article will attempt to point out some of the changes (and serve as an advertisement).

First and foremost, the POND has had 2 63 meg hard drives installed which triples the total available space, and at least 40 meg have been set aside for Amiga Files. There is another unused 20 meg partition for future expansion, when and if it becomes necessary. So the space problem the POND has had for the last 6 or 7 months is pretty well a thing of the past. However, if programs are not useful, I'd appreciate anyone leaving me a message, and I'll take it off. If it not worth keeping, there is no sense in having it take up room, even if there is room (at present). I hope to keep up with things a bit closer and not let the POND get the same space problems as before.

For the old-timers of the POND, most of the message and file areas have been moved, so if you don't pay attention, you may think you're going one place and wind up another. Check out the new Echo area - The JUNKYARD ECHO - which is a for sale/trade message base that is passed around half a dozen local BBS's in town. If you enter a message on any one of these Boards, it will show up within a day on every one of the participating Boards - this will keep some of you from having to go to other boards to advertise something - it also keeps you from seeing how good the POND is in comparison, but I am trying to make it convenient.

If you want to know everything that the POND has to offer, check the General Files download area for DUCKTEXT.ARC, an arced text file that lists all the files available in all the areas. This file is compiled every night at midnight, so its pretty well up to date. That reminds me, if you call 4 or 5 minutes before midnight, you can't get on. The OPUS BBS program running the POND has to take a few minutes out every night, and midnight seems to be the best time for a number of reasons. The maintainance that the POND does keeps it off-line until 7 or 8 minutes after midnight. If you call several minutes before midnight, it will kick you off when it has to do its thing, and it will not let you start a download if that will take too much time. An upload is very apt to be terminated also, best not chance it.

The same 8 file areas exist for the Amiga - Games, Graphics, Hardware, Sound, Telecommunications, Utilities, BASIC, and C. If you need a picture file - look in the Graphics area, and if you need a utility for making a picture - look in the Graphics area. But wait - what is the Utilities area then? It's for general utility files- ones that make life easier to use the Amiga.

There are also 2 recent upload areas, so if you want to find out what has been uploaded recently in the different areas, look here first, the programs will go here for a few weeks before being filed in their respective areas. This will make things easier for frequent callers. See I do listen to complaints! (er,.... suggestions).

As a helpful hint, and to save some of you some typing time, when the POND asks if you would like to continue an action, it usually gives a hint as to how the answer should be answered... such as MORE (Y,n)..? The nice thing is that the Y is the default in this case, and nothing need be typed in, only a <cr> is needed if you do indeed wish to continue. There are several places where this can be used.

In the next few weeks, some of the files that I've had to remove because of space considerations will be replaced, thereby removing those nasty 'missing' comments in the files listing. I don't know if all of them will have a place, but most (and these are mostly graphics files) will appear at least for a while. Rotating files is a big chore and takes a lot of time, so there probably won't be much of that being done. Keep your eyes peeled. I know everyone has a bunch of programs to share, so there's plenty of room now!

Now for the big news! The DUCK POND will soon be getting a national AMIGA ECHO, so all news, roomers, questions, and answers from all over the country, and overseas can be found right here on the DUCK POND. There can be hundreds of messages a day on some of these echoes, (I don't think the AMIGA echo will be this busy) so the POND will have to keep the message base pared automatically to only a hundred or so messages. This means if you are following a certain conversation or are waiting for a particular answer to a question, you need to check fairly regularly. The best way to get these messages without using up all of your time online is to set up a text capture on your telecomm program and have the POND read the messages nonstop. Then you can read them at your leisure after you've logged off. This is coming! Be ready for it.

In case anyone hasn't heard, Howard is opening a DUCK POND in Birmingham (ALA) and you can call that one (205) 822-0956 - OR - if all you want to do is send him a message, Keep your eyes peeled for the DUCKECHO - a twice weekly message interchange between DUCKPOND MEMPHIS and DUCKPOND BIRMINGHAM.

Well, ED probably wishes I'd wrap this up sometime soon, so I will. Remember, the MAG message area is for Memphis Amiga Group members only, a great place to leave or pick up messages, and the MAGFILES files area is only for Memphis Amiga Group members also. Another great place to leave programs for one another, PD only please, or longer text messages made up beforehand.

All members of M.A.G. are afforded Priveledged status, which entitles them access to the MAG message and MAGFILE area, and also gives them 60 minutes at a time - twice a day - instead of the normal 45 minutes - twice a day. So if you are a M.A.G. member leave me a note to that effect, I'll check the membership roster, and upgrade you. Give me a couple of days to do this, I'm not as fast as I used to be.

Bye for now, Howie.

DUCK Pond II: the Sequel?

One of the first computer bulletin boards to support the Amiga was Ron McCalla's The DUCK Pond. It was one of the first in the nation and certainly the first in the Memphis/mid-south area. And although Ron has long since left the Memphis area, The DUCK Pond has continued to go strong, being left in the capable hands of his friend Broadus Weatherall.

Now, there is a second The DUCK Pond. Having finally gotten his act together at his new home in Birmingham Alabama, Ron is again supporting Amiga owners with a bulletin board. Despite the move of over 240 miles, its still called The DUCK Pond, but there have been a few changes made since Ron took the old Pond off-line in December of '87. The Pond is now an Opus board which means if your terminal program will support ANSI graphics, you can take advantage of such features as colorful text and screen-clears between menus. Also the board now supports 2400 baud and the files menus have been streamlined to speed up operations.

Another big difference is that the Birmingham board is now a totally open one. It used to be that a new user would have to fill in a questionaire and wait for the sysop to increase his privelege level before a new user could leave messages or download files. Now all first-time users are able to get the files and message areas without registration and indeed never have to register unless they want to gain more access time or greater download limits.

If you're into using your Amiga for telecommunications, give either of The DUCK Ponds a call at (901) 761-3729 in Memphis or (205) 822-0956 in Birmingham. Both of these boards are free services provided by their owners.

The MAG Trading Post

Hosted by Ed Bilson

If you've got a computer-related item to sell or if you're searching for something for your computer, send a description of what you want to sell or trade or buy to The MAG Trading Post c/o the club's post office box. Here are this month's offerings:

FOR SALE: ADC 300/1200 baud external modem, uses Hayes AT command set including S registers, internal clock gives time and date from AT command, internal speaker with volume control, status lights, $75. Call Ron @ (205) 822-0950.

FOR SALE: Amiga 1010 3.5 inch floppy disk drive in original packaging, used but works flawlessly, $150. Call Ron @ (205) 822-0950.

FOR SALE: Squeeze RAM, internal memory board for the A1000, fully populated with 1 Megabyte of RAM, works with most Amiga software (e.g. DPaint, DMusic, Ports of Call, WordPerfect, etc), on/off switch lets you turn it off for those software titles (mostly older games) that don't work well with extra memory, $300. Call Ron @ (205) 822-0950.

FOR SALE: UNIX PC (AT&T 7300), multi-tasking, multi-user, 20 M hard drive, 512 k floppy drive, 1 parallel and 2 serial ports, hi-resolution monitor, IBM/MS-DOS compatible (8086) card with hercules graphics emulator, 1200 baud modes (two phone lines), use windows/mouse or keyboard/command-line interfaces (like Amiga workbench and CLI), C compiler, utilities, word processor, other software, manuals, $2000. Call Audrey @ (205) 822-0950.

FOR SALE: MIDI interface, 2 outs, 1 thru, 2 ins, switch for pass thru to modes or printer, fits on serial port, works with Deluxe Music and Sonix or any sound/music program supporting standard MIDI protocol, $40. Call Tom @ (901) 353-2294 and specify A500, A1000, or A2000 model.

FOR SALE: Set of 2 remote (radio controlled) joysticks, $20. Call Jerry @ (901) 794-2224.

FOR SALE: Cables made to order. Call Tom @ (901) 353-2294.

WANTED: Weber, printronix P-600, P-300, or P-150 MVP printers for parts. Call Victor Karpov @ (901) 795-1637