April 1990 MCU Magazine

GENERAL INFORMATION

MCUC

This newsletter is published monthly for distribution to members of the Memphis Commodore Users Club. It is in no way connected with the Commodore Business Machine Ltd. or Commodore Inc. and Commodore products (CBM, PET, C64, C128, VIC20, Amiga) are registered trademarks of Commodore Inc. The MCUC is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is the free exchange of information & knowledge about the use of Commodore computer systems. Memberships are open to anyone; ownership of a computer is not required. Monthly meetings are open to the public & visitors are welcome.

Dues are broken down into three categories. Membership dues may be paid quarterly (3 months) at $6.00 or annually at $20.00. An associate membership is offered for those living outside a 45 mile radius of Memphis at $10 per year. All memberships are Family Memberships. Dues are not refundable.

Contribution to the MCUC magazine may be in any word processor. You may submit articles on disk, or a hardcopy, or upload to the MCUC BBS (362-0632). Other User Groups are welcome to reprint material from this magazine; we ask only that you give credit to the author and source.

The editor reserves the right to reject material submitted relating to illegal services, products or unethical practices. All material submitted becomes the property of MCUC. The 12th of each month is the DEADLINE FOR ARTICLES.

Meetings

General Membership Meeting - First Tuesday of each month, 7:00 PM in Fulton Auditorium, State Technical Institute.

Beginner's Class - First Saturday after the first Tuesday. 1:00 PM Location to be announced each month.

Board of Director's Meeting - Monday after General Meeting. 7:30 PM State Tech, Rm 1106A in new building (near cafeteria).

128,CP/M,MS-DOS Sig Classes - Now meeting with the Memphis FOG group and Home Users Group. 4th Tuesday of each month at the Whitestation Library. Copy Session at 6 PM, Meeting starts as 7:00 PM.

Officers

President Bob Nunn
759-0461
Vice President Bob Earnheart
377-6416
Secretary Dick Coffman
829-3705
Treasurer Wayne Moore
756-5991
Librarian Jim West
366-5544
Education Ron Montgomery
767-0737
Newsletter Cheryl Nunn
795-0461
BBS 362-0632
Sysop Andrew George
367-1266
Co-Sysop Kevin Dunn

Advertising Rates

Full Page $20.00 1/2 Page $11.00
1/4 Page $7.50 1/8 Page $3.00
Business Card $3.00

Classified to Members FREE
All ads must be in by the 12th.
CIRCULATION: 300 copies

Secretaries Notes

Sec. Notes 3/12/90

The official board meeting was called to order at 7:35 PM by Bob Nunn, President.

Officers present were;
Bob Nunn, President
Wayne Moore, Treasurer
Richard Coffman, Secretary
Cheryn Nunn, Newsletter Editor
Ron Montgomery, Ed. Coordinator
Andrew George, Sysop

Visitors;
John Blackmer
Chris Ulsaker
Beth George

Copy session is March 24, 1990. Time and place are listed in the March newsletter. Plans are being made for upcoming seminars and beginners classes. They will be announced at club meetings and in the newsletter for the times that they will be given. There will be no MACC Fair this year.

The club will continue to run ads in the newspaper a few days prior to each monthly meeting. Watch for them.

Motion made by Cheryn Nunn to appoint Andrew George as Sysop for the coming year. Seconded by Wayne Moore. Motion carried. New MCUC cards (business type) have been ordered and will be available at the April meeting.

Demos for April: World Geography and Evelyn Woods Reading Dynamics. There will also be a short video tape showing some of the new features on the MCUC BBS, now running the IMAGE BBS program.

Motion made to accept 1990 budget as presented by president by Wayne Moore. Seconded by Ron Montgomery. Motion carried. Motion made by Ron Montgomery to take additional proposed purchases before club membership for approval. Seconded by Richard Coffman. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned at 9:50 PM.

Respectively submitted

Richard Coffman, Secretary.

Treasurer's Report

TREASURER'S REPORT 03-13-90

OPENING BALANCE 02-14-90 $ 2376.27
   
DEPOSITS:
LIBRARY DISK SALES $ 170.00
MEMBERSHIP DUES (11 Members) 220.00
EDUCATION 8.00
WRITE STUFF SALES 35.00
--------
TOTAL $ 433.00
   
EXPENSES:
BBS TELEPHONE (JANUARY) $ 22.58
BBS PROGRAM (IMAGE V1.2) 75.00
NEWSLETTER SUPPLIES 10.60
POSTAGE 36.20
P.O. BOX RENTAL (1 YR) 39.00
WRITE STUFF (LETTER TEMPLATE) 37.00
REFRESHMENTS (GEOS CLASS) 16.54
REFRESHMENTS (COPY SESSION) 25.00
MISC TELEPHONE 21.23
MISC SUPPLIES 20.80
--------
TOTAL $ 303.95
   
CLOSING BALANCE 03-13-90 $ 2505.32

WAYNE MOORE TREASURER

Presidents Ponderings

And the Excitement Continues by Bob Nunn

Welcome Australia!

We officially would like to welcome the Commodore Computer Users Group (QLD) Inc. from Springwood, Australia. Mike Williams, the club's secretary writes that they would love to exchange magazines with us and enclosed a copy of CURSOR their monthly publication. It contains 40 pages and is roughly the same size as ours although theirs is likely output via an Amiga. They cover all facets of Commodore machines except MS-DOS and have separate 8 bit and Amiga sections. They have a membership of over 800 people and it makes them one of the largest Commodore groups in Australia. They do not put out a disk of the month but I am working on setting up some kind of library exchange.

We also received a letter from John P. Calhoun who is President of C128 West User Group. His group resides in Covina, California and advertises itself as the West Coast's only 128 specific user group. John sent us a couple of 1581 disks with some great programs on it. You will be seeing some of these starting this month. Hopefully he will be just as excited with the stuff we sent in return.

These are not the only groups we added to our list. Just a couple that we hope you find as exciting as we do. You will be seeing not only programs but articles as well from these groups in the upcoming months.

Bring a Friend, Both get a Disk!

If you bring a guest to any of our general meetings for the balance of the year, both of you will be able to select a disk of the month absolutely free! It takes not only our regular members but new people to keep the club exciting and healthy. With new members we bring in new talents and opportunities to learn more about our machines. Even a beginning level user can teach the most experienced member new things by asking the right questions, and of course they will pick up the help they need. Invite a friend!

Seminars

We have roughly lined up SEMINARS for the balance of the year and will publish a schedule next month. In April we will hold an advanced WRITE STUFF SEMINAR. In this seminar you will learn more tips and tricks for using the Write Stuff as well as get an opportunity to review and use the TEMPLATES now available from our librarian. New users of the Write Stuff are also welcome to attend as we will have assistant teachers there to tutor you through the basics of this terrific word processor. The class fee will be $2.00 in advance. You must sign up at the April general meeting.

Beginner's Class

Our BEGINNER'S CLASS will pick up themes this year and will be rotated to various library locations. You can still go there for basic instruction but some of the time will be used to cover a topic at the front half of the meeting. Our new Education Coordinator, Ron Montgomery, is lining up locations, subjects and teachers. We will also be rotating teachers this year giving John Blackmer a break.

Many thanks to John for all his time and effort this past year. Check the time and schedule each month on the inside cover of MCUC Magazine or check the Club's BBS.

MACC Fair?? or Not??

The latest word we got from MACC was that they hadn't met recently and had no current plans to do a computer fair. I don't know about you but this will be seriously missed by me. Perhaps we can get with a few groups and put something together on our own? See you at the meeting.

Game Tips

by Cheryn Nunn

I happened to catch a couple of game tips from Info wrap up and thought you might find them interesting.

Test Drive - it is not widely known but this game supports a RAM expansion. When you play with two or three different cars you might notice it doesn't go back to the drive, it pulls it from the RAM.

F-15 Strike Eagle - Take your plane over the ocean until you have expended half of you fuel and then drop all your bombs. They will all show as hits.

Executive Leaderboard - Use a 6 iron on the 7th for a hole in one.

Write Stuff Seminar

by Cheryn Nunn

I will be teaching the Write Stuff Seminar again. We will cover defining your own macros, hunt/search and replace, mail merge, setting tabs, file translation, and formatting your document for printing. We will also take a look at a few of the templates that are now available from the librarian. These are form documents for any imaginable situation that might arise, including a will form.

Depending on the facilities we are able to obtain, and the amount of time I think it will take to cover the above mentioned topics, we may get into some of the 128 "unique" features. We will let you know at the April meeting about this and you may want to bring your 128 with you.

We apologize for not having more definite information as to location and time. We will have the information available at the April meeting and also be watching the BBS's around town for information. You may also call me at 795-0461 if you have any questions. We hope to schedule the seminar for April 21st or 28th probably in the morning as we've done before.

You all know how excited I was when I first Discovered Write Stuff. Well, that hasn't diminished in the least! I don't know if there is anything this program won't do. I learn something new about it everytime someone asks me a question, because I won't rest until I've figured out how to do it. I still don't know how to use all the features, there are so many. Hopefully, with this advanced class, you will learn enough that if you wanted to do a doctoral thesis with it, you could.

1990 Budget

More Aggressive Plan for this Year by Bob Nunn

As your president I have been assigned the responsibility of preparing and presenting a budget each year at this time. At our board meeting in March the board voted unanimously to approve this budget. It is being published here for your review. There are several items that are listed separate from the regular budget and require approval of the general membership. They are listed here and will be presented for your vote in the April General Meeting. You will want to make this meeting to show your support.

This budget is again aggressive this year. As you can see by the comparison the club prospered in 1989, and although we fell just slightly short of the proposed budget, we still were on the plus side slightly at year ending. The budget for 90 reflects an increase in membership and in disk of the month sales. We have made plans in the last two board meeting to make these things happen. We need your support for the club to continue to grow and prosper.

Below is a GEOCHART pie graph of 89 income and expenses for the club. I thought you might find these interesting and included them to give you an idea of where the club funds go each month. It also reflects where the club's income is derived.

MCUC INCOME

MCUC EXPENSES

I chose not to show TWS (The Write Stuff) sales of Jiffy Dos sales in the 90 budget since they are not true income items (they cost the club roughly what you pay for them).

Below is a GEOCALC file that shows the monthly expenses and income averaged. I have planned for an income of $575 per month and expenses of $460 per month. You can see by the monthly averages of 89 actual and 89 projected that our last year's budget was almost right on. YOu can also see how much of an improvement we have had over 88. The balance of the unbudgeted funds for 1990 will be used for the expenditures that require the membership's approval, and our annual Christmas party.

Monthly Averages

90 Budget 89 Actual 89 Projected 88 Actual
Expenses
Disks $60 $54 $90 $63
Phone $30 $29 $22 $22
Postage $65 $60 $48 $40
Publications $180 $173 $140 $77
Software $50 $9 $50 $15
Misc $75 $68 $50 $44
 
Total Expenses $460 $393 $400 $261
 
Income
Dues $275 $242 $250 $182
Library Sales $300 $290 $300 $225
 
Total Income $575 $532 $550 $407

Additional Purchases for membership approval:

1. Hard Drive for Club BBS $840
2. HP Desk Jet for Newsletter $625
3. 1750 REU Clone for Library $205
4. MCUC Logo Notebooks $500
$2170

We will parcel out these purchases to enable the club resources some time to rebuild in between. We may also consider a closed bid auction on one of both of the 1581's from the BBS since they continue to be unreliable with 24 hour usage. The models we purchased contained neutronics drive mechanisms which seem to be the root of the problem.

The Hard Drive for the BBS will enable us to expand it substantially. It will enable us to keep most of the current library releases online and available to all who access the board. It allows expansion of the message bases to cover more topics, and more online games. We have budgeted for a 40 meg CMD (Jiffy Dos) unit. Our Bulletin Board has really payed off the last few years in reaching many new people, bringing them into our club. This expansion will make it even more attractive and reliable to bring us up to date with the other local bbs's.

The HP Deskjet for MCUC Magazine will allow us to improve substantially our present magazine. Because of the high resolution (300 dpi same as a Laserprinter) and proportional letter spacing it will make our magazine easier to read (sharper text for those older eyeballs like mine) and give it the appearance of a professionally published magazine. Another main point though is that it will make it much easier to publish each month.

The HP Deskjet is quiet and has a large buffer. Since it will simplify the job and make it faster and easier to put out a professional appearing piece it will also make the job a bit more attractive to future MCUC Editors. Fairly low maintenance and low cost for refills make it an ideal replacement. Judge for yourself though; we will have pages output for your review at the meeting from a test model.

The 1750 REU Clone for the librarian will actually be used by an assistant librarian. It will enable them to make multiple copies quickly and reliably. Our needs have grown since we are producing the massive quantities of disks of the month. Our exchange program is continuing to grow. As new clubs sign up we get even more software that has to be produced each month and we also send return disks each month to participating clubs. We presently have 13 clubs that we exchange disks with and each month it seems we add more.

The MCUC logo notebooks are a special sized notebook that are the correct size for the updatable members packages. They will be resold at near cost to the membership to provide a nice cover for the tutorials and holder for the disks. These will also be the correct size to hold your back issues of MCUC Magazine and make it easier to keep them together as a ready source of reference.

That wraps up this year's budget. Once these final articles are approved we of course will look for opportunities to spend less than the proposed amounts by catching itesm on sale and shopping price.

MCUC BBS has a New IMAGE!!

by Andrew George, Sysop

The BBS has a new IMAGE!!! We recently changed the BBS Software to Image 1.2. This is without a doubt the best program around, all be it a little complicated. First, let's talk about logging on. Since there is no way to convert the old userlog to Image you will have to reapply. Reapplying: When you first connect, the BBS will ask you to press your Backspace/Delete key. This is the equivalent to Ivory's "Press shift @ for graphics", it determines the translation mode i.e. Color/Graphics, ASCII, ANSII, etc..

Commodores push Delete otherwise choose ASCII.

At this point the BBS will scroll thru a small welcome file and ask for your Handle or ID. If you have not logged on prior to this publication then enter NEW. The program will take you through an application. Just read the prompts and answer the questions. There is a part that requests a small statement about yourself; if you haven't logged on yet, please tell me if you are an MCUC member. To save your message here, in feedback and in the message bases, move the cursor to the first column in the next line and hit the period key " . ". The editor will will then print on the screen "Command". Hit "S" for save; the editor will then print "Save Text", then simply hit Return and your message will be saved and I will get the message. Image has an editor that it loads in for the feedback, the message bases, and it is more like a word processor with many commands. Pressing "H" or "?" at the command prompt will print a list of commands. Pretty simple huh?? A little practice and you will be navigating the system like a pro!!! It even has an expert and novice mode! There will be a tutorial at the April meeting.

There are pros and cons to the new program. First, it is not as user friendly as Ivory. It is also a good deal more involved on the sysop end than Ivory. Some of the good points are better use of mass storage (presently Ivory has no provision for a hard drive), on-line games, and my personal favorite MCI (Message Command Interpreter) Commands!!! As of this writing we have just installed Empire, one of the hottest online games in the country. Judge for yourself, log on and see the difference. We'll be lookin for ya!!!!!!

Upcoming in May

by Cheryn Nunn

May's newsletter and meeting theme is Utilities. This is an exciting topic because there are so many different types of utilities for use on your computer. According to Webster, a definition for utility is "something useful". In computing, that definition can encompass everything from a copy program to a database or wordprocessor. The programs we've chosen to highlight in May are Superbase and Create A Calendar. We will also be covering other utilities and hope to have the disks of the month loaded with them.

Speaking of utilities, I discovered by accident a very neat feature of VFast File Copier, which comes on the Starter Disk. When you try to make a copy of a program already on the destination disk, it will ask if you want to rename the second copy, instead of locking up, or automatically renaming it for you.

The Write Stuff Business and Legal Templates

by Dana Hitchcock, Main Line Commodore UG, West Chester PA

Busy Bee Software continues to enhance their excellent word processor, "THE WRITE STUFF". The latest addition that I have is the new business and legal templates. (As an MCUC Member you can purchase them through our library for $6. Their suggested retail list is $14.95. This set includes three flippy disks and the index booklet (six total sides)).

The three disks with files on both sides contain over 600 templates for almost all letters one might wish to write. Some sample titles include "Apology for a bad check"!, "Congratulations on a new enterprise", "Escrow Form', "Power of Attorney", and on and on.

A sixteen page booklet index is supplied which is quite easy to use. A little study to familiarize one with the general order of the index will be most helpful. The templates are grouped into fourteen sections for easier selections. They are, of course, listed alphabetically both within the sections and on the disks. Each letter or form is complete with RVS Format commands imbedded. All one has to do is insert the unique names, addresses, figures etc. in the space provided. Certainly no one would need to use all the templates, but if you find occasion to use only a dozen or two of the files, the disks will be well worth the low cost.

I have found TWS such a versatile word processor that "Word Writer", "Speedscript", and several others now gather dust on the top shelf in my computer room. I started using TWS in menu mode while learning a new feature each time. Each new enhancement from Busy Bee makes TWS so much more useful that I am amazed that anyone who has tried it is not still using it. Come on everyone, try TWS and find out what good is.

Beginner's Class

by Ron Montgomery

Announcing a new twist to the beginner's class. Starting with this month's class (Saturday, April 7, at 1:00 P.M.) the beginner's class will feature a theme in addition to instruction in the entry level skills. We will also be moving the classes to facilities in different parts of the city to bring the meetings closer to more people. The teachers will change each month to vary the subjects.

This month's teacher will be Gary Sparks, The theme for the month will be basic BASIC. You won't be an accomplished programmer at the end of the class, but you will learn BASIC program structure and a few special tips known only by Gary and Jim Butterfield. Remember, the whole focus of the class will not be BASIC. Gary will be there to teach you in any particular area of interest you may have.

The class will be held at the library in Parkway Village.

By next month I hope to have a tentative schedule of locations, themes, and teachers. See you all at the meeting in April.

April Disks of the Month

April Neat Stuff

A lot of this disk comes to you via CWest, a Commodore club in San Francisco. They have sent us a lot of good stuff lately which has appeared on our disks of the month. This has been a very profitable result from our exchange program with other clubs. Thank you CWEST!

Read All V9.2a-the newest version, better than ever! from our own Kevin Dunn (Disk Handler)

RA v9.2 Updates-docs for Read All

Ninja music-digitized music, 5 songs

Lev n zed-Music/graphic demo

Amiga memories-Super sprite demo, impressive

Funny-digitized laugh

Loony sentinel-guard your computer

Skramble-super arcade game

Cover page-CWest's music graphic intro

Mac Graphics

High quality Macintosh paint files you can convert for use on the 64/128. Macto64 will alow you to view and print only. C128macread is the first I have seen of its type, 80 column mode, also allows you to print. Macattack is a GEOS file that allows you to convert these paint files to geoPaint format (already in GEOS format, just copy to your GEOS disk). Use E-Z read me to read the documentation on Macto64. The paint files include Spock, our MCUC logo, the Memphis Bridge, Porsche, Rabbits and USA Map, plus Many More.

California Raisins

A full disk game received from CWEST. While not commercial quality, certainly interesting and entertaining, featuring the famous California Raisins!

Elementary Education

Munchmath-covers arithematic basics, multilevel and with good graphics. Word Math and Word Spell will bone up your word skills. Music Master allows keyboard concertos while Note Game makes sure you know all the notes. Programs like spelling bee and 3 different levels of Hangman test your mind. Pizza teaches map skills. New Tachisto and Speed Read tests your concentration and will help develop and improve your reading skills. There are many more programs on this disk and even though many of the programs are fairly simple, users of all levels will enjoy these programs.

Advanced Education

This disk has some advanced programs on it. This means that I reviewed some programs that were beyond me. Put that at high school level to college level. One program however that John Blackmer donated is a program called Mathworks. This program should be in everyone's utility library. The conversion feature alone is worthwhile. Ever need to convert grams to pounds or inches to centimeters. This one does it all and more. It is a must and should be challenging to all but the bext. Hangmatch and Hangwords are a bit more difficult than your typical hangman and should be challenging to secondary students to adults. Program like Hi-Q and Mastermind give me a headache but if you like solving problem you will like these. Quadratic Equations, Histograms, Matrix Equations, Triangle Solve, Populatiion, and Statistics are a few others my simple mind find of little value but are likely to be useful to advanced high school and college level students. Throw in a few programs like States, Capitals, and the Presidents Quiz and you have a picture of what this one is like.

April C128 Disk

We just started exchanging with a new user group called C128 West. This disk is all theirs; it was set up so nicely I saw no reason to modify it. Watch for more programs from this group as we continue to exchange each month! GOSH, we might even have enough material for 2 disks of the month every once in a while. Some highlights of this disk are 1581 utilities that work! Massformat is just as it sounds. A 128 version of Arc7.5 and Library 7.1 should help in maintaining your library. A great little Casino Game rounds out this disk plus many utilities too numerous to mention.

Disk of the Month Order Form

Use this form to order the disks of the month for March. Mail to MCUC, PO Box 34095, Memphis, TN 38134-0095.

Prices are: $2/disk, 3/$5 to members, $3/disk, 3/$6 to non-members. Clubs may obtain disks on a 1 to 1 exchange basis by sending copies of their Disk(s) of the month. Add $1 postage/handling for 1-3 disks, $.25 for each additional disk.

( ) C64 Games #1
( ) C64 Games #2
( ) C64 Terms n Stuff
( ) C128 #1
( ) Total Disks Ordered
( ) Total $ sent

See the March newsletter for a description of each of these disks.

Newsletter Staff

Cheryn Nunn-Editor
Assistants-
Harv Slommons and Connie Lincoln
Bob Nunn
Printer-Clarke's Quik Print, Brooks Rd.

World Geography

A Review by Cheryn Nunn

World Geography is an excellent way to learn more about countries around the world, and at the same time, test your knowledge. This program will appeal not only to children, but to adults as well. Bob and I played for over an hour the other night.

The graphics are excellent. The main screen gives you a picture of the country, and also the globe, with the capital highlighted by a blinking point on both views. The country's flag is also displayed. It is helpful if you will try and remember them, as the bonus question is to pick a country's flag from three choices given.

There are three levels of play: Novice, Intermediate, and Expert. You can play with one player or two, or go the Review, where the computer automatically displays each country with the correct answer. You can choose between America and Pacific, Eurasia, Africa or All. You must select the correct answer from three choices for the following: Country, Capital, Currency, Language and Population. As a multiple choice quiz, the answers are sometimes fairly obvious if only from the process of elimination. The program is updated every year with current information.

World Geography is available for $19.95 from Tenex as well as other mail order houses and retail stores.

Member of the UGX on BIX, the
on-line service for computer-using
professionals. For information
call 1-800-227-2983.

Earnheart Computer Repair
is now
Data Tech Services, Inc.
6850 Hillshire, Suite #21
Memphis, Tn. 38133
901-385-7987
We are a full service repair,
sales, training company for all
types of computers (except Macs).
Thank you for your support.
Due to our increased overhead we
can no longer offer club discounts.

Computing Tips for the C64 & C128

by SYS 32800,123,45,6

Reprinted from ?SYNTAX, Nov 89

1. Tip one involves better sound for the C64, C128 and Amiga. Radio Shack sells a $29.95 Stereo amplifier part number 31-1982 on page 16 of the 1990 catalog. This amplifier measure 3 1/4 X 7 7/8 x 5 1/2. It uses very little desk space, enhances the mono output of the C64, C128 and gives true stereo output for the Amiga. The price of adding the amplifier is considerably less than replacing your current monitor with a C1084S.

2. Tip two involves resolving the tangle of wires and cables that we may find ourselves in sometimes. Organize your computer cables and wires by placing them in ZIPLOCK sandwich and freezer bags. Wrap a rubber band around the wires or cables to secure them and just place them in the bags. It looks much neater and is easier to work with and locate.

3. Tip three involves cleaning the head of the 1541 and 1571 disk drive. To get the head to spin use the Initialize command. On page 24 of the 1571 disk drive manual there is a program which spins the head in order to let the cleaner do its job.

4. Tip four involves using a 1571 with a C64 or using the 1571 with the C128 in 64 mode. The disk drive may be locked in 1571 double sided mode with the following command:

OPEN 1,8,15,"U0>M1" [RETURN]

This command is not for commercial programs or disks that have been formatted as single sided disks. To work, the disks must have been formatted as double sided disks initially. For more information read page 5 of the 1571 disk manual.

5. Tip five involves cataloging disks. To help catalog the programs that you have in your disk library use the following program:

Turn on printer, disk drive, computer, and monitor.

10 LOAD "$",8: REM loads disk directory
20 OPEN 4,4:CMD4:LIST:PRINT#4:CLOSE4: REM prints directory
[RUN]

After printing has been completed, put in the new disk and cursor up to the RUN command and press RETURN. The computer will repeat the program again for the new disk. Write the directory name of the disk on disk label or disk jacket to help identify the disk. Make a notebook of your disk directory listings.

6. Tip six involves commercial software. Some local retailers will accept the return of software if presented with the sales receipt. A good habit to begin is to keep the box the software came in and keep the sales receipt in the box.

Also mail off those warranty cards! Those cards entitle the purchasers to software updates at a reduced price in addition to mailings from the various software publishers which may be of interest.

7. Tip seven involves my preference for sequential file readers. Using a C128 in 80 column mode. I prefer Wordwriter 128. The program is menu driven, formats the text, is quick, has disk utilities, and is the best file reader that I have used. [Ed. note: Guess he hasn't seen the Write Stuff!]

Education and the Commodore

by John Blackmer

When Cheryn told me that the topic this month was going to be Education, I said to myself, "Self! That's something I'd like to write about!" ...so I did!

Not that I'm educated to any extreme, I'm not well educated at all which is why I need a computer to do stuff for me. For instance; if I needed to find a square root (for what, I don't know???) but if I did, my machine will do it for me. Heck, I've lost count of the times I've used it for the simple addition and subtraction (mostly subtraction) required by my checking account. This use of the machine is, by no means, a substitute for a real and good education. You DO need to know how to go about the basis of math, but this thing sure helps!

If you build a large library, you can't help but have collected quite a few of the fine Pd programs available for the Commodore as well as a few choice ones from the commercial area.

Loadstar and Compute's Gazette are fine examples of sources of low cost commercial programs. In my collection I have at least 60 dealing with simple math alone. That's not even looking for other areas of interest such as English, writing, graphic arts i.e. Graphs and charts etc.....Cad Paks, and drawing programs.

The MCUC library has a range of programs that encompass all ages and grades as well as subjects. See this month's Disk of the Month and you'll see what I'm talking about.

As with "EDU-WARE", most of the programs available are in the form of drills, and as we all know, drills are boring (Sorry, couldn't resist that one.) though, some are more on the informative side. The Math SAT and English SAT (commercial) both give you the correct answer when you don't give it to them.

One of the best I've seen on the market is a thing called McTester from Loadstar. The teacher, or parent, can tailor the questions put to the student. The presentation may be multiple choice or true/false type questions and it may be presented on the computer screen or printed out for large numbers of test takers.

When I was living in Seattle, I had a trading session with a guy from the University of Washington that was the president of the local Mathematitions Club, a pretty nice guy. He gave me a copy of MATHWORKS, a club project at the time. Aside from conversions, oz to lb - meters to feet etc., it has the ability to do statistical analysis and plotting routines. In the plotting routine, the hires screen is used to graphically display your data. I.E. a sine wave etc...... I've given a copy to Bob for the club library and have asked him to include it on this month's disk.

Till next month.....

Memphis Commodore Users Group is now a Recognized User's Group of Commodore Business Machines, Inc. Our ID# is 00044.

Evelyn Wood's Dynamic Reader

A review by Wayne Moore

The Evelyn Wood Dynamic Reader is a computer adaption of a tried and true way of increasing your reading and comprehension. The course has changed little in the thirty years since Evelyn Wood opened her first Reading Dynamics Institute in Washington, D.C. in 1959. I took the course in the 70's when I was in college and the techniques are much the same now as then.

Dynamic Reader uses both on-computer and off-computer reading articles to help improve one's reading skills. There are five pull-down menus to work from, FUNCTIONS, SKILLS, DRILLS, READINGS and EXIT. The first menu, FUNCTIONS, is used to "Open a Data File", "General Information", "Progress Report" or to "Initialize (your) Data Disk". The second, SKILLS, is used for "Characters", "Words", "Phrases" or "Eye Exercises". The third, DRILLS, is for "Push Down", "Push Up" or "Power Drills". The fourth, READING, is for "On-Computer" or "Off-Computer" reading. And the fifth, EXIT, should always be used to exit the program so the data disk is closed properly. The left/right cursor is used to select one of these menus and a return will pull-down additional options.

The first step in the course is to prepare your data disk. The program stores the data collected from each session on this disk and allows you to view your progress. More than one person can use the program at the same time by using different data disks.

The next step is to determine your present reading rate and comprehension level. This is done by an off-computer reading. There are ten (two to three page) supplement articles (numbered 11 through 20) in the back of the manual to be read and tested on during the course. The first one (#11) is used for the first reading.

The READING menu is selected and the computer will time for the article. You will also be given a test after the article to determine your comprehension level. This is your starting speed and comprehension. It is stored on your data disk under general information. The next step is to set a goal for your new reading speed and the time you wish to obtain this goal. You may update your goal as needed and you can review your progress in either a table or a bar chart through the "Progress Report". You may also print the information.

Dynamic Reader is an excellent program but you must possess the desire to truly read faster and be willing to dedicate time (weeks) and effort (practice, practice, practice) to do so. If faster reading is your goal then I would highly recommend Dynamic Reader.

Basic Info

Edited by Cheryn Nunn

This information was compiled from an article by Don Holtzinger (Downloaded from QLink) that appeared in Sixty Four'um Feb. 1990. Thanks to the author for all the good info, shortened here due to limited space.

Disks, Diskettes, Floppies

Disk Drives

This information pertains to the 1541, although it also holds for the 1571. The 1571 can also be used in additional ways.

DOS - the "D" Word

A disk stores data and as disk drive puts data on the disk and can recall it. How?

Using DOS

News from Around the World

by Cheryn Nunn

We have just received a letter from a user group in Christchurch, New Zealand, one of the groups we sent letters to a couple of months ago. They are putting us on their mailing list for their newsletter. I am looking forward to including articles from them and Australia in the newsletters each month. For some reason, though, I thought they would be doing all kind of different stuff than we do with our computer, but you know what, they do the same kinds of things we do. (Don't know why I thought that: kinda dumb huh?!)

We've also gotten letters from several groups from within the state, one of them a 128 specific group. The information in the newsletters and programs from the disk exchanges with these groups should greatly enhance our already considerable resources.

geoRAM

What it is NOT:

It is cheaper than the 1750 REU, and is AVAILABLE. So, if you are an avid GEOS user, this may be ideal for you.

Reprinted form Main Line CUG Newsletter, West Chester PA.

CMD Hard Drive Heaven for the C-

by Cheryn Nunn

After playing with our new CMD Hard Drive for about three weeks, I can definitely say that this is heaven for the C64 or C128. Imagine loading any program in 5 to 10 seconds. Imagine not needing data disk; you have all the room you need on the drive. No more floppies laying around everywhere and never being able to find the one you need.

Any drawbacks? Yes, just what do you do with all that storage space in one disk drive? The CMD drive comes conveniently partitioned into several small partitions and six very large partitions. It also comes with all kinds of utilities so that you can partition the drive any way you want. If you want 1581 size partitions, that's what you can do.

The built-in copier with Jiffy Dos V6 works great with the hard drive as does Disk Whiz for the 128. I look forward to seeing the new utilities that will surface with time specifically for use with the CMD Hard Drive. Where there is a challenge, a Commodore user somewhere will find a solution. We really are quite an innovative bunch.

1990's: The Decade of Decadence

by Dan Gutman

Someday we'll bore our grandchildren with tales of life before the 1980s... "When I was your age," we'll wheeze, "we didn't have telephone answering machines. If somebody wasn't home when we called, we would have to call them back later! And there was no word processing then, y'know. We had to use PENCILS! I'm tellin' ya, life was tough back in the old days."

"Wow!" the tykes will marvel, wide-eyed. "How did you survive?"

When I reflect on the passing of the 1980s, I don't think of Reaganism, or the fall of Communism, or the rise of Michael Jackson. I think about eight things that rocked to world of the average person: the personal computer, the microwave oven, the compact disc player, the Walkman, the video cassette recorder, the camcorder, the telephone answering machine, and the fax machine. These technologies have dramatically changed the way we work, play, and even eat. Technology-wise, the 1980s was the decade of decadence. Our grandparents witnessed the birth of radio, and our parents watched television being born. But has there ever been such an outpouring of revolutionary technologies as there was in the last decade?

It's hard to believe, but in 1979--just ten Decembers ago--most people had never even HEARD of these machines. Today, of the 90 million households in the United STates, 58 million have a VCR, 20 million have home computers, 25 million have telephone answering machines. There's a video store on every block, and they're sending faxes from the corner drugstore. You can't find anything but CDs in the record stores. It's hard to find a company in the whole country that doesn't run the whole show with computers.

My wife and I are expecting our first child a few weeks into the new decade, and I can't get over the fact that this baby is going to grow up in a completely different world from the one we grew up in. While I continue to marvel at the wonder of a fax machine, he or she will slip a sheet of paper into it just like we used to put it into the mailbox. This kid will pop a tape into a Walkman without even thinking there was a day not long ago when such a thing didn't exist. We've become so comfortable with the technologies that became popular in the Eighties that memories of "the old days" are fading even for adults. Do you remember the hours you slaved over a typewriter--perhaps a MANUAL typewriter--struggling to write a report or term paper? Do you remember when we could only watch movies when the TV networks decided to show them? Do you remember when you had to start baking a potato an HOUR before the meal was to be served so it would cooked on the inside? Do you remember how the film used to get caught and mangled in those Super 8 home movie projectors? Do you remember when you had to sit home and wait if you were expecting a phone call? This isn't ancient history. It was just ten years ago. I can't help but be amazed at how much has changed in such a short period of time. It's hard for us to imagine the the Nineties will give rise to another gush of technologies like the ones we've seen recently. But I hope my baby will be lucky enough to see some incredible new machines being born, the way I did in the Eighties. And I hope I won't become one of those old boring fathers who insists everything was better "in my day," and how hard we had it before these machines came along.

The End of Computing?

by Dan Gutman

Does the end of the 1980s signal the end of computing? Earlier this year, foreign policy analyst Francis Fukuyama caused as a sensation with his paper titled "The End of History?" Fukuyama's theory--in a nutshell--is that the Cold War is over, the dramatic conflicts that shape the world have pretty much been settled, and that the future will be more peaceful, though a little bit duller. Fukuyama has been roundly criticized, but the idea of history reaching its evolutionary peak started me thinking about how far the personal computer has come, and where it is heading.

There have been four real "revolutions" since the PC was developed 13 years ago: Word processing, spreadsheets, data bases, and telecommunications. In other words, manipulating language, manipulating numbers, organizing ideas and moving data across telephone lines. That's it. Hundreds of new products are released every month, but they're pretty much more of the same--variations on revolutions that came before. Word processing, for example, has launched spelling checkers, outliners and grammar checkers. Even desktop publishing is just an enhancement of word processing.

The questions is--is there anything left that computers will do in the 1990s that we haven't already seen in the 1980s? As we close the door and turn out the lights on the decade, a gloomy picture is developing in computing. Instead of innovative new applications, we're seeing updates, revisions, repackaging and petty bickering over who has the best operating system, and who stole it from whom. Sales of mainframes and minicomputers are flat. IBM and Digital Equipment Corp. recently reported lower earnings. Cray is cutting its work force. Unisys lost $79 million by October this year. All the big companies have done their automation, and they're not going to chuck all their equipment for new models. Venture capital money is getting hard to come by.

Though there has been much talk of "connectivitity," competing personal computers are still essentially incompatible. Worse, computers are just as hard to operate--if not harder--than they were ten years ago. The computer industry has failed to make the personal as easy to use as a television set or toaster. There's little talk ot putting a computer in every home anymore. We have more memory power in than we'll ever need, but don't know what to do with the power we have. It took 17 years for the automobile to get an electric starter, 29 years for the V-8 engine, 37 years for the pneumatic tires and 46 years for the automatic transmission. Can it all be over for the personal computer after just one dizzying decade?

I have a secret fear taht the 80s was the decaed of the personal computer, and the 90s will be the decade of some OTHER technology that may not even be on the drawing board yet. The challenge for the Nineties will be to stop pandering to power users and bring the power of the computer to the masses. The majority of the population still don't know how to use computers, or even know what they would ever do with them. It doesn't matter how many megabytes a computer has or how many calculations it can do in a second, if my 40-year-old, college-educated next-door-neighbor is afraid to touch one. But before we call an end to computing, it should be noted that this isn't the first time somebody announced civilization had evolved to the point where history was finished. In the 19th century, it should be remembered, there were those who proposed shutting down the Patent Office--they believed everything that world would ever need had already been invented.

An Online Visit: MCUC BBS

by Cheryn Nunn

Well, I've just finished my first visit to the new MCUC BBS. I must say, it is certainly a change from the old system. If you haven't logged on yet, I've buffered the main menus for your convenience. It's a good idea to keep these handy to refer to until you become familiar with the commands.

BB BBS Listings
MF Movie Files
PF P-Files (on-line games)
SB Message Area
UD File Transfer area
UX Ivory-type transfer area
EM E-Mail
NF System News
RF RLE-Files (On-line hi-rez)
TF Text Files
UL User Listings
VB Voting Booth
C Chat Andrew
F Leave Feedback
CF This BBS Configuration
O Log-off
O! Instant Log-off
O% Log-off (save stats)
T Current time/date info

Other commands you might want to keep handy are:

AT ASCII-ANSI-C/G mode select
NU Re-Read new user info
ST Display your status
XP Expert mode toggle

If you are unfamiliar with the IMAGE BBS program (what the MCUC board is now running), I would recommend that the first couple of times you log on to look around, do so with your buffer open so that you can capture the sub-menus in the different areas. The menus and sub-menus both are long enough that some of it will scroll off your screen before you get a command line, and unless your memory is excellent, you will have difficulty absorbing all the information in one look. Once you log-off, save your buffer and load it into a word processor, do some editing to get just the menus and print them out. This way, you have a handy reference to keep the next time you log on. A question mark almost anywhere will list a menu. If in doubt about what to do next, do that.

A word to the wise: The MCI Command Sub-board can really tie-up your on-line time unless you know how to abort the message. I recommend skipping this sub-board until you are thoroughly familiar with the sub-board commands.

The IMAGE BBS has some neat features such as on-line games and hi-rez screens (your term has to support seeing these). Also, in the sub-board area, when someone starts a topic of discussion, you are given the opportunity to respond to that particular message. The system will then string together the original message plus any responses, so that you get some continuity in reading.

Another nice feature is that it allows the sysop to give a comment about each program available for downloading. This is very time intensive for the sysop, but allows the user to get an idea about a program before spending the time to download it.

IMAGE will also support a hard drive as the system disk. This will allow for seemingly unlimited storage space not only for the message areas and such, but also for keeping up much of the MCUC library for downloading. A hard drive purchase has been proposed as part of the budget: make your vote heard at the April meeting.

Learning to get around on the new MCUC BBS will be a challenge and will help you stretch yourself in learning some new skills. Remember, the unknown is always a bit frightening until it becomes familiar, so log-on today and begin getting familiar!!

Games Column, Silkworm Review

reprinted from Cursor,
C-Computer Use Group in
Australia, by Rueben Phillips

This is a direct arcade conversion, no guarantee of success in its own right, but this game is solid action with more blistering firepower than a rampant tank platoon in Smurfland. Playing either an assault helicopter or a pogo-ing jeep the objective is straight forward, viz, sally forth and destroy everything - there's nothing friendly out there. Who cares about the plot, suffice it to say that it's the traditional last-ditch lonewolf sortie against evil hordes of bad guys. Vast waves of enemy choppers (aliens don't follow patterns) stream towards you and it's all you can do to mow them, let alone contend with the rockets, nukes, fighters and ground emplacements. The screen gets so packed with flak at times it's often complete chaos. Wipe out the Mothership and it's off to the next level (out of 11). Nothing groundbreaking, just lots of crunchy explosions and a pure adrenalin buzz.

I give this one 3 1/2 out of stars.

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Index

Officer's Articles 3, 4, 8, 9
1990 Budget 6
Disk of the Month 10
Write Stuff Seminar 5
Feature Articles
Write Stuff Templates 9
World Geography Review 13
Computing Tips 14
Education & the C= 15
Evelyn Wood's Review 16
Basic Info 18
CMD HD Heaven 19
Dan Gutman 20
Online Visit MCUC 22
Austraila Game Review 23