August 1989 MAGazine Volume 5 Number 8

Table Of Contents


Saturday, August 12, 1989 - 1:00 PM - the General Meeting will be held in the Parrish Building, Room #7, which is east of Jenning's Hall on the campus of State Technical Institute of Memphis. We will discuss topics of general interest to the group.


By Broadus Weatherall

Hi, and how is everyone doing thus far this summer? Just to let you know how good you've been having it, I'm letting our vice-president, Todd Rooks, conduct the next meeting - and he has been preparing for it for at least a week now. I've been told by JoAnne that we are expected, and attending, a wedding out of town the same day as the club meeting. So, knowing who I REALLY have to keep happy, I'11 see everyone in September.

I would like to start some 'contests' between folks who may have the same games... For example, I couldn't stand it when I saw the demo of SIM CITY, and just had to go out and get me a copy. But I think it would be interesting to have others start with the same landscape and see who can do the best job of city managing over a given number of years - the game itself gives you a score for your city, and we could use this and the population figures, and the money in the city treasury to score the contest. Of course, we would have to agree to all start with the same amount of money - and not 'throw in' extra money - and we all know at least one way to do that!

Other folks have other favorite games and we can run several games concurrently - maybe with a HALL OF FAME published in the MAGazine - (NOW THERE'S A FILLER, JOHN!!)

Charles Williams has told me that we are getting some money ahead in our treasury (so soon after buying the 500??), so we can start looking for some NEW STUFF!! Charles has suggested a frame grabber or some such - any other ideas?

JoAnne says that's its getting late and I should wind this up, now - and that if I did this stuff earlier I wouldn't be doing it at the last minute. I HATE IT WHEN SHE'S RIGHT AND I CAN'T ARGUE.

By the way, has anyone seen BATMAN, or INDIANA JONES, or GHOSTBUSTERS II ? - and of course I mean the computer games, not the movies.....

Bye for now....BW


Memphis Amiga Group
Box 17426
Memphis, TN 38787

MAGazine is published monthly by the Memphis Amiga Group (MAG), a nonprofit organization offering assistance to follow 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 1989 are:

Broadus Weatherall
(901) 767-9239

Todd Rooks
(901) 373-0198

Charles Williams
(501) 655-8777

Bill Bowers
(901) 756-8196

Sean & John Kiss
(901) 365-1244


A Case for the Amiga

I am writing to comment on both Paula Liberman's letter on the Amiga and your response to it (CGR-Jan. 1989). I have been a user of the Commodore Amiga for almost three years. Unlike Ms. Liberman, I have no special axe to grind against the Mac, which, within its limitations and with its relatively high price, is not a bad system. Its pioneering role in establishing the graphics-oriented user interface cannot be denied.

However, a close examination will show that the Amiga is the most advanced personal computer for graphics in its price range. It contains features normally associated with $20,000 workstations: CPUs ranging from the stock MC68000 through the extremely powerful 68030; an advanced message-based, real-time, multi-tasking operating system with a UIMS (user interface management system), and graphics, audio, speech and animation functions; a display-list graphics co-processor; special block-transfer chip capable of moving one million bits per second from three sources and performing any of up to 256 logical operations on the merged source images; and 24 channels of system DMS (direct memory access) for high-speed disc, audio and I/O port access.

Also included: the capability to display up to 4,096 colors simultaneously; up to 8.5Mbyte of main memory; no limit on supported disc (an 800Mbyte WORM has been run on the Amiga); software and hardware for graphics, ranging from paint programs through image processors, frame grabbers, genlock, NTSC, SMPTE and MIDI support boxes; 3-D oriented software for solids modeling, ray-tracing and animation; and an extensive amount of powerful public domain software.

And all this costs less than $3,000 for a basic system, with most software (priced) between $100 and $400.

I found your editor's response to the letter strange. (For example,) you stress the lack of CAD images from Commodore; but I thought your magazine was called Computer Graphics Review not CAD Review. Otherwise, I would never have subscribed. Nevertheless, I would like to point out the availability of a DXF translator to move Autocad drawings to the Amiga for use with the Sculpt-3-D ray-tracing program.

As for CAD programs alone, Aegis Draw, Draw Plus and 2000, Dynamic CAD 2.3, Homebuilder's CAD, IntroCAD, UltraCAD and XCAD are just a sample of those available. Much more (software) is available for the Amiga than you seem to be aware of. A recent catalog of only video-oriented software and hardware included 172 items.

The problem for the Amiga is the lack of advertising done by Commodore. Still, considering the financial problems the company experienced before introducing the Amiga, one can hardly be surprised at the budget limitations. Nonetheless, almost a million Amiga computers are in use; both third-party and public domain support are strong. Even major vendors, such as Microsoft, WordPerfect, Comspec and Micron, have products for the Amiga. Your comments about lack of third-party support cannot be justified in this context.

While it is unlikely that CGR can achieve the breadth or depth of the Amiga journals, it can certainly give better coverage. Give the Amiga a try and do your readers a service.

Mark Cashman
Windsor, CT

Editor's memo:

The writer is a registered software developer for the Amiga and Adjunct Professor of Computer Graphics at Springfield College, Springfield, MA, where the Amiga is used to teach computer graphics. Cashman is also an experienced software developer who has worked with a wide variety of equipment, ranging from mainframe through micro.

The editor replies:

NO matter how one fusses, it is undeniable that the professional, third-party infrastructures supporting the IBM PC and compatibles and the Macintosh computers far overwhelm the Amiga's in terms of available distribution channels and hardware and software products. Nevertheless, now that our magazine is published on a monthly schedule, CGR will cover the Amiga and other high-performance computer graphics platforms as appropriate to management-level, systems integrators.

Commodore's Rebuttal to the Editor

Once and for all, I would like to put to rest the concerns and misconceptions reflected in your reply to Paula Liberman's letter (Computer Graphics Review-Jan.1989). This quarter, Commodore expects to break the one-million-unit mark with the Amiga computer! No insignificant number in light of the size and dominance of IBM and Apple in the personal computer industry.

According to our last warranty card survey, over 50% of the Amiga systems bought today are being used for graphics design or graphics-related functions. Taking only the U.S. sales into account, and comparing them to the number of computer units sold into the graphics design market, Commodore not only is doing very well, but also currently has more than a 20% market share in the graphics design marketplace (based on "Strategic Summaries Report," Dec. 1988, and Bill Cogshall's "Presentation Report," Dec. 1988).

(To be continued next month)

Q and A

Contributed by: Charles Williams

Q: For many months now I have been hearing and reading about NewTek's master video product called the Video Toaster. Still I have yet to see mention of the Video Toaster hitting the stores. What possible reason or reasons could there be for the Video Toaster being so late?

A: Leo Schwab has come up with the answer or answers. Here are Leo's Top Ten Reasons Why the Video Toaster is Late.

And number one, the top reason why the Video Toaster is late,

Q: I still have my original A1000 from 1986. I've been saving money to upgrade my system. Is there any word from Commodore on the release of a new Amiga?

A: In a recent interview with James Dionne, President and General Manager of CBM of Canada, by Kirtan Singh Khalsa, editor of The Computer Paper, a Canadian computer magazine, Dionne related the following.

We have a very good AT. We have announced the 386 which will be available for September. It will be a total Commodore designed product, not just an OEM board. In the fall we plan to bring out the Amiga 3000, which will be a 68030 based computer. We are putting things in place to sell.

This year, 70% of the revenues of Commodore will come from Europe. We are strong in Canada, Australia. But in the U.S. some people do not even realize that Commodore is still in the computer business.

In March, we shipped the millionth Amiga. That is faster than the Macintosh got its first million.

In Germany they have gone completely crazy for the Amiga. At one point they were selling 15,000 machines a month. The pricing is very attractive over there because the Deutsche Mark is so high. Germans love the best technology. The German company has also done some good marketing. They got good association by sponsoring sports teams. Many of our competitors in America are not so strong over there.

Thanks to Dave Allen and Mind Link BBS for the preceding information.

Q: If the Amiga is so advanced and 'High Tech', why hasn't it received much attention from the computer specific and computer related technical publications that deal with that sort of thing?

A: In the July '89 issue of Dr. Dobb's Journal, there is an article on multitasking Operating Systems and Graphics Coprocessors by Chuck McManis which does mention the Amiga. Chuck examined the Amiga because he said it was the only mainstream PC that comes with a multitasking Operating System as standard equipment; which has resulted in a graphics platform that is unique among PCs in its price range.

He goes into detail about how the multi-tasking Operating System is carefully mated to the hardware to optimize performance. Among other things, he mentions shared libraries that allow the equivalent of several megabytes to run in less than a meg.

Chuck goes on to relate that some of the applications that were pioneered on the Amiga (desktop video production, for example) have only recently showed up on the newer 32-bit machines (the Macintosh II and 80386-based MS-DOS PCs) and are not currently available at all with the current set of 8 or 16-bit processor-based machines.

His conclusion: the Amiga is in the performance range of the 32-bit machines at the price of a 16-bit machine.


By Charles Williams

Balance from last report in July issue of MAGazine $396.46
New Memberships $ 40.00
Renewal Memberships 20.00
MAG/FF disk sales 24.50
Blank Disk sales 159.00
Digi-View Rental 13.00
Savings Acct. Int. 8.04
P.O. Box Rent $ 39.00
Name Tags & postage 84.33
Newsletter expenses 43.14
Money orders 1.00
FINAL BALANCE ===> $493.53


All of us from the MAG Club wish to welcome the following new members:





We regret that we made an error in the spelling of the name of one of our new members. The copy should have read as follows:

Dr. John Garavelli


The August 1989 edition of Radio-Electronics magazine contains an article about Midi Interfaces. The magazine cover shows an 'atari' (#!$?*@#$%) SC 1224 Monitor placed above an AMIGA 2000 CPU !?!?!?!?!?!?!


Please let us know if yot have not yet received a personalized MAG Membership Card as illustrated below:

Memphis Amiga Group Membership list as of August 1, 1989

***** Please pay dues by the SECOND SATURDAY of the month on your EXPIRE date *****

You may pay dues by mail by sending your $20 check made out to Memphis Amiga Group
to MAG dues, c/o Charles Williams, 13 Lake Drive, Wilson, AR 72395

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Rooks Todd Memphis TN 38128 MAY 90
Russell Shane Memphis TN 38134 JUL 89
Sanders Joe Memphis TN 38134 DEC 89
Schwartz Dr. Alan Memphis TN 38187 AUG 89
Shiflett James T. Millington TN 38053 MAY 90
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Vineyard Charles W. Memphis TN 38118 AUG 89
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For MAG Hardware Rental & MAG Software Orders
call Bill Bowers at (901) 756-8196

Special Interest Group Chairpersons

John & Sean Kiss Sound
John & Sean Kiss Business
Keith Burns Hardware
Todd Rooks New Users


By the time you read this, the club library should have Fred Fish disks 221 through 228. If you are interested in copies of any of these disks, call Bill Bowers at (901) 756-8196. If we don't have them yet, Bill will order them. Call now and order early so you won't have to wait. The price is only $2 per disk and below is a listing of what's on FF #221-228.


is a program inspired by Nick Sullivan's "Reserve" article in Amiga Transactor, for controlling the amount of both Chip and Fast memory avaialbe to the rest of the system. It is very useful for testing applications in low-memory situations. It also has a snapshot feature to report differences in available memory before and after running an application. Version 1.17, binary only. Author: John Gerlach Jr.
Demo version of an ANSI screen file editor. It allows you to easily create and mosify a screen of ANSI-style text/graphics on the Amiga. The standard ANSI color set (red, green, yellow, blue, magenta, cyan, white) and text styles (plain, boldface, underlined, italic) are provided, along with some simple editing and drawing functions. This demo version has the save features disabled. Version 1.2.0aD, binary only. Author: Gregory Epley.
Amiga port of the former arcade game named Click. This version adds a "cheat" mode and fixes some minor bugs. Version II+, an update to the version released on disk 205. Binary only, shareware. Author: Oliver Wagner.
A utility that helps you to create animated bobs. It installs itself in DPaint II, after which you can draw each bob in DPaint II within its own frame and check the animation by calling DFrame from within DPain. Version 1.02, binary only. Author: Jan Buitenhuis.
Demo version of an IFF support module for Interface Technologies M2Amiga Modula-2 system. Includes a version of ViewILBM (with source) that uses the IFF support routines. Version 1.0.0D. binary only. Author: Gregory Epley.
A tetris like game (Steinschlag means "Falling Rock") submitted by the author. Version 1.5, binary only. Author: Peter Handel.


A tool to display the current memory usage, very much like the usage bar Workbench displays in root directories. Version 1.4, includes source. Author: Olaf 'Olsen' Barthel.
This little program is in the long tradition of "display hacks". It uses the input.device to perform various acts of mischief. Includes source. Author: Olaf 'Olsen' Barthel.
A library of C functions useful for scientific plotting on the Amiga. The library is Lattice C compatible. Contour plotting, three dimensional plotting, axis redefinition, log-log plotting and multiple subpages are a few of Piplot's features. The plots can be displayed on a monitor or sent to a graphics file for subsequent printing. Version 1.00, includes source. Author: Tony Richardson


Version 3.03a of a csh like shell derived from Matt Dillon's shell, version 2.07. This is an update to the version on disk 199. Includes a couple of new filter commands, new dir option, new editing options, sourcing of a standard startup file, and some bug fixes. Includes source. Author: Matt Dillon, Steve Drew, Carlo Borreo, Cesare Dieni.
A program to recover as much as possible from a defective disk. It can sometimes recover damaged (unreadable) tracks, check file integrity, check the directory structure, undelete files, copy or show files, fix corrupted directory pointers, etc. Full intuition interface. Version 1.0, binary only. Author: Werner Guenther.
A program to animate up to 6 planetary masses, all of which exert a mutual gravitational force on each other. The planetary masses can be placed anywhere on the screen, and their mass and initial velocity can be determined by the user. The program then steps the animation through time, plotting and displaying the new position in the trajectory of each mass. Version 1.50, includes source. Author: Richard Frost.
A small utility for those of you who may have access to a Sun workstation. Takes an Amige IFF file and converts it to a Sun rasterfile format. This version is an update to the version released on disk 174, with better parsing, support for HAM mode, and some bug fixes. Source only, as the program needs to be re-compiled and run from a Sun. Authors: Steve Berry, Mark Thompson.
This program takes a standard IFF format image and translates it into a SUN rasterfile format, like the Iff2Sun program also on this disk. However, this one runs on the Amiga. Version 1.31, includes source. Author: Richard Frost.
A pacman clone with sound and a game screen editor. This is version 1.0, shareware, binary only. Author: Dirk Hoffman.
A small utility which "pops open" to give you information about the status of your devices and memory. This is version 3.0, an update to the version on disk 204. Includes source. Author: Jonathan Potter.
A program designed to allow the user to detect and modify various parameters related to 32 bit CPUs. Includes commands to enable or disable the text/data caches, switch on or off the '030 burst cache line fill request, use the MMU to run a ROM image from 32-bit memory, and to report various parameters when called from a script. This is version 1.5, an update to version 1.4 on disk 187. Includes source. Author: Dave Haynie.


For all those people who wish that their CLI windows had 25 lines of 80 characters just like an old fashioned non-windowing computer, the answer is here. CLImax creates a borderless backdrop CLI window on a custom screen. Also thrown in is MoveSys, which reassigns SYS:. C:, S:, L:, DEVS:, LIBS:, and FONTS: to a new volume with one simple "pure" command. Includes source. Author: Paul Kienitz.
A program for A1000 hardware hackers that have done the Amazing Computing 512K upgrade. KickMem will patch your 1.2 or 1.3 kickstart disk to perform addmem during kickstart. This allows warm boot surviveability of ram disk devices and eliminates addmem commands from your startup sequence. Version 2.0, includes source. Author: Dave Williams.
These two hacks make MORE more useful. One is called V; it's a small "pure" CLI command that acts as a front end for More, causing it to create its own window. Make V and More both resident! The other is Fenestrate, which surgically alters the CON: window spec inside More enabling it to, for instance, use ConMan features to create a borderless window on the topmost screen (very useful with CLImax). Includes source. Author: Paul Kienitz.
This cute game has you, the intrepid Peter, following a trail of hearts through a world of 20 levels, riddled with porcupines and other hazards, to rescue Daphne, the love of your life that has been kidnapped by the evil Brutus. Version 1.0, binary only. Author: David Meny.
Who This
is a rewrite of "who", from disk 79, which gives susbstantially more elaborate information about the tasks currently running (or waiting) on your Amiga. Includes source. Author: George Musser, rewrite by Paul Kienitz.
A couple to hacks to make life easier for those who have Xebec hard disks. One makes it more possible to Mount a Xebec hard disk with the Fast File System, the other is a compact head parking program. Includes source. Author: Paul Kienitz.


This is the KA9Q Internet Software Package. The package supports IP, ICMP, TCP, UDP, and ARP as basic services, and implements the FTP, Telnet, and SMTP protocols as applications. It runs on IBM PC and clones, the Apple Macintosh. and the Amiga. Includes source. Author: Bdale Garbee, Phil Karn, Brian Lloyd.
This program allows you to add your own menus to the WorkBench menu strip, to run commonly used commands. MyMenu will allow you to execute both CLI and WorkBench programs, and is configured with a normal text file. Includes source. Author: Darin Johnson.


is both a VT100 emulator and a Tektronix (4014 plus subset of 4105) emulator, currently in use at SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center). Although the VT100 part was originally based on Dave Wecker et al.'s VT100, many enhancements were made. The program requires ARP, and it has an ARexx port XMODEM 1K/CRC and Kermit protocol support also included. This is version 4.036, with many enhancements over the previous version, 3.656, included on disk 202. New features include support for other serial ports, external file transfer protocols, and "chat" mode. Improved behavior on the Workbench. Tektronix emulation now allows saving IFF files, PostScript files, and printing bitmaps to the printer. Many other enhancements and bug fixes. Binary only. Author: Willy Langeveld.


A disk based library that permits sharing of the serial port by MIDI applications through a MIDI message routing and processing system. The midi utilities include a midi monitor to display incoming midi messages to the console, a routing utility, a midi library status utility, and more. This is version 2.0, an update to the version released on disk 101, and includes significant speed enhancements, new utilities to play with MIDI files, and updated utilities, documentation and examples. Binary only (source for examples and bindings however). Author: Bill Barton.
gives you a visual display of the DosPacket structures that are sent to handlers, and lets you see the results. You can actually perform handler operations such as open files, read or write data, Examine or ExNext locks, and so forth, all by talking directly to the file system handler involved using PickPacket. Version 1.0, includes source. Author: John Toebes and Doug Walker.
A library which originally was supposed to be an ARexx interface to the ARP library. However, it has also become an interface to various Intuition functions, containing over 50 functions including a file requester, string/boolean requester, environment variable functions, simple message window, wildcard expander, etc. This is version 2.3, an update to version 2.0 on disk 178. Binary only. Author: W.G.J. Langeveld
A library which makes various high level math functions such as sin, tangent, log, etc. available in ARexx. Version 1.2 and 1.3, binary only. Author: W.G.J. Langeveld.


A nice little text editor that is fast, simple to use, and very Amiga'ized. Version 1.40, binary only. Author: Jean-Michel Forgeas.
A text screen oriented librarian and editor for synths. Supports the TX81Z, DX100, DEP5, DW8000, and K-5. Includes source. Author: Tim Thompson, Steve Falco, and Alan Bland.
A drop-in multitasking replacement for WorkBench. It has more features that WorkBench and is fully multitasking (no more waiting for ZZZ clouds). It allows you to extend it, add your own menus, key shortcuts, etc. This is alpha version 0.8, binary only. Author: David Navas.
Very comprehensive program to monitor and control system activity. Monitor cpu, memory usage, ports, interrupts, devices. Close windows, screens, show loaded fonts or last Guru code number. Clean up memory, flush unused libraries, devices, fonts, etc. and a whole bunch more! Spawns its own process. A very handy background task to have loaded. This version is 1.3, an update to version 1.2 on disk 171. Assembly source included. Author: Werner Gunther.