August 1990 MAGazine Volume 6 Numbers 7 & 8

Table Of Contents

Rumors & Stuff

By Charles Williams

Here's all the latest news, hints, tips, and general information, with the usual disclaimers.

At the August 7 SIGGraph in Dallas, NewTek announces that Allen Hastings' 3D rendering/animation system "LightWave 3D" and the first 24 bit paint system native to the Amiga "ToasterPaint" will be included free with each Video Toaster. Both programs use the Toaster's two 16.8 million color frame buffers for output. The programs are accessed directly from the Toaster's switcher interface. Suggested retail price for the package is $1595.

What about the 24bit color board from Impulse, the Firecracker, you say? Well, the Firecracker was completed by July 4, but FCC testing delayed release. The board received FCC class A approval on August 16, so shipping in limited quantities should begin soon. I wonder when their new Imagine software will be ready?

PageStream 2.0 has been released and upgrades are $75. This includes new, improved manual. If you are a registered owner of a previous version. you should have been notified by now.

WordPerfect should have a new revision to accommodate the new AmigaDOS 2.0 out sometime this month, and they just may be working on a version 5.0 for the Amiga.

When people as me what genlock they should get for their Amiga, I usually suggest the Super Gen. It's a real workhorse with clean output.

Ever wonder what the minimum requirements for a bootable disk are? Well, first the disk must be installed using the INSTALL command. Then if you want to come up int a CLI, you should have DEVS:system-configuration, probably L:Port-Handler, L:Disk-Validator, L:Ram-Handler (if you want to use the Ram:disk), and C: commands that you want the user to have access to, LIBS:icon.library (if you want to use the WorkBench - also C:LoadWB). That should be about the minimum bootable disk. S:startup-sequence would also be nice.

Have you been wanting to replace that old 2000 keyboard you spilled Coke all over? Take heart, if you don't mind spending a little extra money, Northgate has a keyboard that will work with the 2000: The OmniKey Ultra. It has about 120 keys and that great IBM clicky feel. It costs about $129 plus $15 for the Amiga keycaps. You should be able to find Northgate ads in most of the PC magazines.

The good news is that there are currently over 100 developers who are using AmigaVision to create courseware (that's educational stuff for you game addicts). The bad news is that as far as music goes, AmigaVision will only work with SMUS files created by DMCS. It doesn't like SONIX files at all.

Other bad news is the DigiView digitizer does not work with the 3000, and according to NewTek, there is no fix coming in the near future.

New Meeting Place this Month

The Memphis Amiga Group will have its regular September group meeting on Saturday, September 8, at 1 P.M. on the campus of State Technical Institute of Memphis. The meeting is scheduled to be held in the new auditorium. An exact location for the new auditorium was unavailable from club leadership at press time.

Johnny Come (Very) LATELY

Johnny C. back atcha, again, folks. Here once more to brighten your day with the newest and truest of the Amiga-type software packages. This month brings us lots of good news and a few surprises. So let's get rolling, okay?

Commodore's new wunderkind application-generator, AmigaVision, walked in the door this month, and it's everything they say it is! Johnny was very impressed with the ease of use and the power of this toy, even on his 1 Mb no-hard disk Amiga 500!! I put together a slide show under the auspices of AmigaVision within a few hours that would have taken me days to program in the past, tying together various other programs. In fact it took Johnny longer to repaint a picture I wanted to include in the presentation than it took to put the presentation together! EVERY Amiga user should have one of these, which is why I suppose Commodore is being generous enough to give them away with many of the new Amiga bundles (but not all of them, as previously reported in various publications!). If you don't plan on buying another Amiga real soon though, they can be had at your software store, with a suggested list of $150. As you might have noticed, AmigaVision is Johnny's New Title of the Month.

Sierra had the most new releases this month, with Codename: Iceman, The Colonel's Bequest, Conquests of Camelot, and Hoyles's Book of Games II: Solataire. Psygnosis also had a couple at the end of the month with Matrix Marauders and Anarchy. The surprise release of the month was actually a RE-release: it seems that Innerprise picked up SWORD OF SODAN, by the now-extinct DSL.

Johnny's Hot Conversation of the Month is Wings of Fury from Broderbund. It beats the heck out of the original Apple II version, where Johnny played it way back when. This wheeling-and turning-and-dogfighting WW2 arcade game puts you in command of a Navy Hellcat with your job being to stomp the Japenese. Great stuff and hours of fun!

More good stuff included Red Storm Rising, from MicroProse, Neuromancer from Interplay, and Strike Aces from Accolade. Also out recently was Black Gold from Electronic Zoo, Damocles from Bethesda, Flood from Electronic Arts (by Bulldog, the Populous folks), Double Dribble from Mikes Computing, Future Classics Collection from Live Studios, Imperium from Electronic arts, Operation Com-Bat from Merit, Seximates (a sex-based trivia game) from ActionWorks (how appropriate!), Street Rod from California games, and Widwinter from MicroPlay. Productivity included the long-awaited release of The Onion, a.k.a. Disney's Animation Studio, CrossDos 4.0 and PageStream 2.0.

Where the @#$^%$# Is It??? Gosh-darnit, this is the part that Johnny REALLY hates! Those titles that we've all been waiting for, but for one reason or another haven't made it here yet. I try not to let it bother me, though. We've seen a rash of games released lately that have problems in the initial release version (Momma - get RealKill! There's bugs all over the place!). This might be the producers' revenge. We've been demanding for years that they get it out in time. The response has always been "Do you want it now, or do you want it to WORK?". They might be giving us a taste of what we've been begging for all this time, as we've had scads of buggy new releases on all the major home pc's. So don't get TOO uptight over these delays; Johnny thinks that you're probably better off for it in the long run!!

Stuff that should've long been out by now and isn't: Bandit Kings of Ancient China (probably out after not TOO long - Ghengis Khan won't be out until after this one sees the light of day, I'm sure!), ChessMaster 2100 and Life and Death (why does Johnny feel that these'll end up as vaporware??), Gore, The Icom Compilation (vaporware I'm certain as Mindscape's shown no inclination for it since the buyout. Unless I hear more about it, this'll be it's last mention by me), and Mean Streets (ditto on this being the last mention - Access doesn't appear to be really serious here).

Other late stuff: Monopoly didn't make it by the latest date, but Mastertronic says "real soon now". Johnny's got some poop that says Parker Brothers, now making their own software distributed by Electronic Arts, isn't gonna let it happen. I suppose time will tell. If it drags on too much longer, I doubt that anyone will care much anymore though!

LOOM still hasn't made it out, and noone I speak to seems to understand why not, as the thing was approved for duplication into commercial Amiga packages more than a month ago! I've got yet another round of inquiries - both official and not-so-official - into Elec. Arts as well as Lucasfilm and I suppose I'll try to tell you more next time. If fate permit, we'll be playing it by then!

Stuff that is just a wee bit late and will likely be in your hands by the time you read this is M1 Tank Platoon, A-10 Tank Killer, Check Mate, Halls of Montezuma, Super C (a title Johnny C. really likes! I have *NO* idea why!) [grin], Unreal, Puzznic, Overrun, Night Hunter, and FS: Scenery Disk 12.

Hopefully, this list will go away quickly as all this stuff ends up on your store shelves during this, the end of summer!

What!! That?? When!? New stuff that Johnny C. can tell ya' about includes lots of new surprises. Sequelmania strikes with BattleChess II: Chinese Chess, due in October, and Powermonger (Populous 2) which doesn't yet have a date. Excalibur II is being planned for 1991 even though Mastertronic hasn't released the FIRST one, Spirit of Excalibur yet (pretty confident, aren't they?). Super Scrabble is also on tap for Spring of 1991. King's Quest V will be out for the IBM this winter and Sierra has some hopes for a simultaneous Amiga release. I wouldn't hold my breath, though - look for it in early 1991. Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers (formerly The Coursegold Encounter) is also scheduled for early '91. A.W.E.S.O.M.E., the kindred spirit of Menace and Blood Money, is now set for an October release. Another kindred spirit, Stunt Driver from Spectrum Holobyte, might be coming, though there's no date for it. No surprise, as those guys still need a programmer for 'Vette, it seems, after the last one quit. Hey! Since _Sega_ is making 'Vette for ANOTHER 68000-processor machine, the Genesis game console, do you think a port might me in order? (Johnny's grinning, ducking and running)

More good stuff in your future includes New Zealand Story from Taito, Prince of Persia from Borderbund, Wolfpack from Broderbund, and Loopz from the guys at Mindscape/Software Toolworks.

SHADOW OF THE BEAST 2 is now scheduled to be released in just a couple weeks. Ho, hum. You guys wouldn't be interested in THAT one now, would you?

A slew from Mastertronic on the boards consists of Ivan "Iron Man" Stewart's Off-Raod Racing in the fall, along with Overlord. Conan and (Alice in) Wonderland look like winter releases now. Spot and Spirit of Excalibur could be hitting any ol' time now! As mentioned, Excalibur 2 is also on the boards.

Up-DATES: _HARPOON_ for the Amiga has come along pretty good and pretty quickly (without the bugs that plagued the IBM version), so 360 is now planning on and October release for it. Falcon MissionDisk #2 has been set for a release during the Fall; Johnny couldn't pin 'em down more than that! Killing Game Show from Psygnosis is now looking like a good bet for September.

Well, it looks like that's all the good info Johnny C. has for this month! Sorry for the short column this month since JCL's brain is like slagged RAM and there's not much going on after the big last month anyway. I'll be back next month with more good news for all o' ya'! Until then, take it easy.

Johnny C.

See Bill Bowers for the latest MAG and FISH disks.

The Latest FISH


Brush_4D Converts IFF images into Sculpt 4D object format. TextPaint Version 0.97 of the Ansi editor. Turn An interesting board game with the simplicity of checkers. XColor-Lib Link library with a full-fledged color requestor along with several color functions.


ArchEdge Intuition interface for several of the more popular archiving utilities such as ARC, ZOO, LHARC and PAK. Includes an "Auto-Pad" function that will automatically add some morsels for the modem. Fenster A program which can operate on windows owned by another program, to clone them, change their size, refresh gadgets, move the window to the background, etc. Imperium_Romanum Strategic, "RISK" style game for up to four players. Based in the ancient times of Rome, Athens, Alexandria, and Carthago. KeyMenu Allows fast, easy access to pull-down menus from the keyboard without having to remember all the special amiga key sequences. MemRoutines Some "plug-compatible" replacements for the Lattice C functions memcpy(), memcmp(), and memset(). PUZZ Very nice implementation of the sliding block-puzzle concept. Rubik Another 3D Rubik's cube solver. sMOVIE A smooth scrolling text displayer, useful for creating video titles, slide show intros, etc.


BootBase Another bootblock save/restore utility. Includes an auto-compare function. LabelPrint3.5 A program that allows you to easily print labels for your disks. MigaMind A small WorkBench "Master-Mind" type game. PLW Phone-Line-Watcher. For users of Hayes compatible modems. Monitors the serial port and records all incoming calls. RandSam Plays random sound samples at random times with random volume, random cycles, and a bit random period. SampleScanner By-passes the Amiga Dos file system and scans a disk directly, block by block, for sound samples. WO An intuition-based address book that allows saving of data in normal or password encoded form.


Anlptrs2 Some more animated pointers. DPFFT includes the ability to plot a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of the data, customized amplitude and phase spectrum, prewhitening capability, and a Welch window for spectral smoothing. Iconaholism A selection of some very nice looking icons designed for an 8-color WorkBench. MemLook It gives sort of a graphical view of your machine's entire memory area. SNAG_Pointers Results of the Southern Nevada Amiga Groups (SNAG) first animated pointer contest.


Badger Reminder program for your startup-sequence. DmeAsm A utility for those who use Matt Dillon's Dme editor and HighSoft's DevPac Assembler. EasyBackup A CLI-based hard-disk backup/restore utility. EasyMouse Another threshold-mouse-accelerating, screen-to-back, window-to-front, mouse-blanking, screen-blanking, auto-window activating, low-memory-warning, auto-window sizing, configuration-savable clock! TrackDos A program that allows easy transfer of data between DOS, memory, and trackdisk.device. Password A program which enhances your computers security by making it complicated enough that users without your password will get discouraged trying to boot your system. Udate Udate is a replacement for the AmigaDOS date command, containing many options similar to the UNIX date command. View80 Very impressive scrolling text file reader.


3DTicTacToe A three dimensional "four-in-a-row" version of TicTacToe, human against computer. DosError A small CLI utility that will return a slightly more verbose description of a DOS error code than that returned by the System. IntuiFace An intuition interface that handles the important functions of creating, inserting, extracting, and listing files for three popular archiving utilities: ARC, ZOO, and LHARC. LoanCalc Entirely keyboard driven mortgage utility. Makewords "PhoneWord" takes a full or partial telephone number and attempts to create a word from the various "alphabedigit" combinations. MeMeter A small utility for monitoring the Amiga's memory usage. NDebt Amusing, but saddening, this program opens a small window that displays a continuously updated tally of America's national debt, based on it's historically phenomenal growth rate. PrintStudio Very nice intuition-based general purpose print utility that prints text with a variety of options. Prints several graphic formats with yet more options.


Enigmas Nifty graphic simulation of the World War II German Enigma-Machine, a message encoding/decoding device that produces extremely difficult to crack cryptographic code. GwPrint An intuition-based text file print utility. Offers a wide selection of adjustable features for controlling pagination, headers, trailers, margins, date and page numbering and various print styles/sizes. HyperDialer Database for names and addresses, full intuition interface. Uses modem to control dialing of multiple phone numbers. SCM Screen Color Modifier. A palette program that allows the changing/saving/loading of a screens colors. SuperView A shareware file-viewer that displays all types of IFF files with many features like: WorkBench support, all display modes, auto overscan, color cycle (CRNG, CCRT), AmigaBasic ACBM files, first cell in and ANIM file, Type 5 animations and more. Written in assembly, pure code for residency under 1.3. Tricky Another of Peter's innovative and addictive games. Sort of a "video-bowling" concept where the object is to wipe out groups of "computerized" symbols.


Elements Very nice interactive display of the Periodic Table of Elements. This is version 2.0, an update to version 1.3a on disk 297. This version adds general row and column information, plus a text mode where the program asks specific questions about the selected element or row/column. GraphicsPak A set of functions for general graphics operations such as boxes/lines, blitting, and opening/closing libraries. Lilla A shareware utility that allows you to print listings or other text files on PostScript printers, with header, page numbers, and multicolumn pages. Can print in portrait or landscape orientation. ListWindow Gives simple initialization, handling, and freeing of Macintosh-like "list-windows." These are user-sizeable windows with a scrollable list of text strings, optionally sortable. NewEx An assembly program to replace xicon, IconX and similar utilities. Unique in the fact that it uses a WorkBench "Tool" icon instead of a "Project" icon. This allows workbench startup of programs that could ordinarily only be started by the CLI. PopMenu A set of functions for the setting up, drawing, and handling of pop-up menus that are affixed to windows. Clicking on the menu box area will open the full menu, with the list of menu items inside. SuperMenu An information display system you can use to quickly and easily display text files (and sections of text files) with the press of a button. SysInfo A program which reports interesting information about the configuration of your machine, including some speed comparisons with other configurations, versions of the OS software, etc. Today Amiga implementation of IBM PL/1 history program. Tells you important events and birthdays on current or specified day.


AQData Information to aid users in updating B. Lennart Olsson's Aquarium Version1.12 database. Flip Another program in the long tradition of screen hacks. Run it and see what happens. Fortune Randomly display a 'fortune' selected from a fortune file (supplied), by text or voice. Spy A program that tracks all calls to AmigaDOS and Exec functions, reporting them to the screen, along with their calling parameters and the results. VAXterm A VT220 terminal emulator that is close to the real VT220 terminal in both supported facilities and user interface. XprTransit is a Cli-based command that allows you to easily access any Xpr Library without having to worry about call-back-function et cetera.


SKsh A ksh-like shell for the Amiga. Very well documented.