November 1990 MCU Magazine

Table Of Contents

General Information


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.


General Membership Meeting - First Tuesday of each month, 7:00 PM in the new building 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.


President Bob Nunn
Vice President Bob Earnheart
Secretary Dick Coffman
Treasurer Wayne Moore
Librarian Jim West
Education Ron Montgomery
Newsletter Cheryl Nunn
BBS 362-0632
Sysop Andrew George 367-1266
Co-Sysop Kevin Dunn 357-0409

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

President's Ponderings

Things on My Mind

by Bob Nunn

I'm not sure really where to start. It's close to election time. We will be having nominations in December. I want to make it official that this is my last term of office. I want everyone to know that it has been a great experience for me and to thank each of you for the opportunity to serve you as President of the best computer club in Memphis.

I feel good about the accomplishments made during these two terms of office and hope you do too. It is time for someone else though to take up the reigns and lead on. What things are yet to be done in your mind? These are the things you need to make known to the new leadership if you are to have a productive club in the future.


I have mixed feelings about what is happening in the 64/128 community. I am excited and elated at the new hardware coming available. Who would have thought, a hi res hand scanner at an affordable price? An affordable ram drive with its own built in dos! Would you have ever considered a 16 megabyte ram interface hooked parallel to a 200 megabyte hard drive tied to 64? Or using a 9600 baud modem? How about 6 voices and stereo sound? Video capture in real time?

Yes, you can do all these things and a lot more with your 64 or 128. If your system does what you need it to do, I want to encourage you to stick with it. There is no need to upgrade if it is serving its purpose. If you feel that you have explored all areas and still have needs unfulfilled then do us all a favor and give club information to the poeple you sell your equipment to; perhaps they will need our assistance.

There are other clubs out there that meet regularly. The PC group uses the State Tech facilities regularly, as well as the Amiga, the Apple, and the Atari group, and hopefully you will find the type of support you need.

This issue it dedicated to the new hardware manufacturers. They are the ones investing their time, resouces and energies to supporting the 64 and the 128. It seems that there are more than a few things left that you can do with your 64/128 computer.

Compute's Gazette Shoots Foot

An editorial by Bob Nunn, President MCUC.

I am not sure how you feel but being a long time subscriber I was very unhappy with the new magazine. I just got my second issue and while the review of the CMD Drive was very thorough and interesting to anyone who hadn't already read about it in RUN, I didn't see much else of interest. In fact, I had quite a time just trying to find the 64/128 stuff in there at all. I wrote for a refund and they refused, but I saw people getting refund information at the World of Commodore. Not only 64/128 users but Amiga users as well. I can only suppose the Amiga version is about the same. All gloss and no meat, what a waste. Now they have a magazine that appeals to no one.

Call and ask for a refund and order RUN. Computes editorial office number is 919-275-9809, call and tell them what you thnk about the new Gazette. Better yet, when and if you order merchandise from any of the companies we listed as sources be sure to include a comment about the new Gazette.

Note from the Editor

Welcome to our annual Commodore Gift Guide issue. This is our third year to bring you the best, most concise information on what's available and at what price. I hope you find this information useful in making out your Christmas wish list. Just think of this issue as your Commodore Yellow Pages.

This is an exciting year for Commodore 64/128 owners. 1990 has seen the introduction of both hardware and software that are literally forging new frontiers. With some of the new products available or being preliminarily introduced, your 64/128 can now have the speed, memory capacity, resolution, sound and other capabilities of the more expensive "big boys".

Some of the products I refer to include the CMD Hard Drive, Ram Link and Ram Disk, Dr. Evil's improved Sid Cartidge, the Turbo Master CPU, and HandyScanner 64. The software section includes I-Paint, Masterpiece Designs, and Maverick, all of which take advantage of the 64K video RAM of the 1280 (or your upgraded 128). For graphics, the 64K video RAM offers resolutions up to 640x400, comparable to resolution found on the Amiga.

Look for more detailed information regarding some of the above products elsewhere in this issue. Also look for the list of mail order companies that carry goodies for your 64/128. We've tried to give reliability information, where available. Next month we'll try to give a more in-depth look at the software. Now, let your fingers do the walking!

Treasurer's Report


OPENING BALANCE 09-10-90 $ 313.66
MEMBERSHIP DUES (13 Members) 240.00
TOTAL $ 650.30
BLANK DISKS (5.25) 84.00
TOTAL $ 266.29
CLOSING BALANCE 10-12-90 $ 697.67


Secretary's Notes

Secretary Notes 10/90

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

Officers present
Bob Nunn, President
Cheryn Nunn, Newsletter Editor
Wayne Moore, Treasurer
Jim West, Librarian
Ron Montgomery, Education
Richard Coffman, Secretary

MCUC is set up and will participate in the Ham Fest October 12 and 13.

Demos for November. Equipment (hardware) that you would like Santa to bring you.

A nomination form (for officer nominations) will be in November newsletter.

Christmas party is scheduled for December 8, 1990. Details will be in December newsletter.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM

Respectively submitted

Richard Coffman, Secretary

Nominating Committee Report

As reported in last month's newsletter, the nominating committee consists of:

Thomas Holbrook, Chairman
Guy King
Harv Slemmons
Mike Bures
Pete Norton
Andrew George, alternate

Thomas reported that at their first meeting, they discussed the information about people willing to serve that had been passed on to the committee from various sources. The committee will continue to seek people willing to serve next year.

To help the nominating committee, we are enclosing a form that you can photocopy (you wouldn't want to cut up your newsletter would you?) and turn in to anyone on the committee with your suggestion.


I would like to see ________________
nominated for the office of


November Meeting Demo
Hardware for Christmas

Great Gift Ideas for Christmas 1990

by Bob Nunn

C128D Computer

Well this one has been dropped by Commodore for over a year now but the good news is that it's available brand new from Software Hut for ONLY $319.95! or as a refurb for only $289.00! Special Features of the 128D is that it is really 3 computers in 1! It has a buit in 64, 128 mode and C/PM all in one system. The 128D also features a full 64K video chip over the 16K in the regular 128. Only a few programs take advantage of this feature but it is worthwhile if you plan to use any of those that do. Maverick V3.0 through 5.0 uses the extra ram to make copying a bit faster in 64 mode. I also know the BASIC 9, SKETCHPAD 128, and NEWSMAKER 128 all from Free Spirit Software use the extra ram, and there are more reaching the market regularly. It also has a built in 1571 drive. The 71 is no longer available also but has the almost unique ability to read other formats, especially useful if you use an IBM or compatible elsewhere. Programs like Big Blue reader allow you to convert files. New price was around $459.00, used price for one in prime condition $250. Make sure that the built in 1571 works perfectly on both sides of the disk!

64C Computer

The venerable, semi-immortal 64C is still out there and humming along. As long as Commodore continues to sell 1 million a year they say they will keep making it. What can I say about a small computer that is already a legend. New on sale $139 used 64C in prime condition $75.

1541-II Drive

The old basic drive that got us all started is now in this sleek new package. Besides the smaller footprint and better looks, this one's power supply is separate to keep out the heat. Still as slow as ever. New price $160, good used $125. One thing to check when buying used, is head alignment. Take a program disk with you and check to see if it loads ok before buying. Remember a good alignment is $35.00, although you can get bad alignment jobs for half that. Take that much off the price if you suspect alignment problems or at least take that amount into consideration when buying used. It wouldn't hurt to have it cleaned and aligned anyways.

1581 Drive

This 3.5 inch disk drive is the one to have if you are adding on. It holds over 800k of data! which is roughly equal to 4 3/4 of the old 5 1/4" disks. It's faster and quieter than the old 41. If you have a 128 it supports the burst mode or if you have Jiffy Dos then this one flies in all modes! New price $129 through Software Hut and $110 refurbed, good used $100-120. Same alignment notes as above. Some of the early 1581's had problems and had a WD1770 controller and a buggy rom. Do not buy one of these drives. To check you can download a diagnostic program from most local bbs's that identify the controller and rom. In either case I strongly suggest you install a Jiffy Dos rom as they have corrected many other minor bugs. Even with these minor problems these are excellent drives and well worth owning as a second drive.

Other Disk Drives

Excelerator + and a few others like Blue Chip are out there and will save you around $25 - $35 dollars over a Commodore drive. They are not always compatible and are not near as long lasting or reliable. They would be ok for a second drive. Price new around $150, used $75?? (they are usually junk in less than a year of hard use.)

1670 Modem

This official Commodore modem is becoming a bit dated as it only runs at 1200 baud. This is a good starter modem and is ready to plug in. Price new $75, good used $20-35. If it works then it's ok. The earlier version which only has 3 dip switches has the annoying habit of answering the phone. The newer version has 5 dips and is a bit better.


Minimodem C24

This 2400 baud modem at $79.95 plugs right in and is the best buy in my book. Tenex offers this one. Call 1-800-PROMPT-1 and get your order in early. No used modems this fast this cheap! They also offer a 1200 at $60 but why would you want to?

Other Modems

Check with other people who have tried out other brands of HAYES compatible 2400's before buying. Remember you have to buy an interface so add that to your price. Modems that take an interface for a Commodore however will plug right up to an IBM or AMIGA so keep that in mind especially if you plan to upgrade in the future. Never buy an Anchor Modem of any type! They are not compatible with most available software and are nothing but trouble at any price.

Faster Modems

With the advent of Dr. Evil's fast serial device it is well within the realm of possibilities to see a few Commodore 64 BBS's at 9600 baud. The price is substantially down and I know for a fact of one BBS software developer that is developing support for 9600! Computer Direct has a 9600 baud modem for around $500 call 1-800-BUYWISE and check for exact pricing and availability. See the article on Dr Evil for more information about their products.

1351 Mouse

Anyone who uses GEOS regularly needs a mouse. This is the perfect gift for anyone who doesn't have one and does use GEOS. They are somewhat hard to find but worth looking for. Price around $33 new. No used market.

Other Mice

I own the M3 Mouse and while it is supposed to be as good as the 1351 I will trade you anytime. It sells new for less than $40 and is readily available. Do not buy the 1350 Mouse: it is really more like a joystick and requires a mouse pad the size of a card table.

1802 Monitor

For a 64 owner this one is perfect. It has Magnavox guts and has a good reputation. Price new $200 (Tenex Price), used $150. Remember that it doesn't have an RGB mode that can be used with the 128 for 80 column with an AMIGA.

1084 Monitor

Has RGB mode as well as regular composite hookup. This allows you to use it on AMIGA's as well as 128's and 64's. This one has a good reputation also and it contains Magnavox guts. New price $320.00, good used $175+.

1084s Monitor

Same as above but also has stereo sound output. You will find this helpful with your stereo output Amiga or if you have added a stereo sid cartridge to your 64 or 128. Price $320+, no used market.

Other Monitors

Magnavox makes most of Commodores Monitors so they are a good buy and can be found at discounters at better prices. Remember that you will have to buy the cables to hook up your equipment though and they can be hard to find.


Star Micronics NX1000 Multifont II

This one is the replacement for the regular NX1000. We use the older one to produce this newsletter. It produces a high quality print with new ribbons. If you are a heavy print producer, buy a re-inker as the ribbons are fairly expensive. The new model features 180 cps print speed and Multiple Fonts. Price less interface $180, no used market. It is also available in a compatible form that requie no interface for about 5 bucks more. (Don't do this you'll regret it, the resolution on graphics is poor) and a color version that prints in color called the NX1000 Rainbow and it comes in a "C" version also. It is priced around $240. A special dirver for the color printer is available for GEOS making this color printer one of the more useful ones. The Soft Group also has a cartridge available that allows you to dump the screen in full color to this model.

Panasonic KX-P1180

Comes with a full 2 year warranty and has a speed of 192 cps! Its near letter quality speed is 38 cps. It has multifont capabilities and this one looks like one of the better buys this year. The ribbons on this one though are about twice as expensive as the NX.

Other Printers

There are tons of printers on the market. Stay away from Okimate Color printers and any thermal type printer. They use expensive paper and the print heads wear out. I don't know about the ribbons but there are only a few programs that support color printing.

Panasonic and Star Micronics make good printers, including new 24 wire head printers that allow graphics up to 320 x 320 dots per inch resolution! Both companies also produce Laser Printers if you got the change; they will hook up with a good interface. GEOS v2.0 supports the laser as well as the Write Stuff. Seems kind of silly hooking a $1800 dollar printer up to a $120 dollar computer but if you want typeset quality it is available.

Hewlett Packard Deskjets are coing down in price and offer the same resolution as a laser for under $600. We proposed and the club approved the purchase of one for use on the newsletter but we have cancelled that purchase due to lack of funds. GEOS has a driver for it and i am positive that a little modification to the printer drivers using the built in customizer in the Write Stuff will allow this printer to be fully utilized.

Great Gifts!

(For the hacker in your life!)

By Bob Nunn

About Great Gifts... Most of the prices and items that are listed in this article are from various mail order houses such as TENEX, Computer Direct, and ads found in magazines such as Compute's Gazette, and Run Magazine. I make no recommendations for these mail order houses or magazines and suggest that you use caution and good sense in dealing with anyone. Local distributors of these items may be somewhat higher but they will be there if you have a problem with the goods. Discounters like Target, Service Merchandise, Sears, Walmart, and Kmart all stock some computer items. Lately, many wholesale office supplies and wholesale clubs are proving to be a good source of many items. Many other business's like Babbages, Software Etc. and Data Tech Services (Earnheart) are a good source for hardware and software. Shopping for price is good for many items, but service is another consideration especially when buying hardware.


Printer Stands $8 to $20
Disk Notchers $3 to $7
Disk Cases $5 to $20
Drive Cleaners $5 to $8
Paper Catcher $12 & Up
Printer Paper $7 to $20
Surge Protector $5 to $18
Blank Disks $5 to $10
Equip Covers $6 to $20
Books $3 to $20
Slimline Case $20
Mouse Holder $7
Mouse Pad $5 to $9
Wico Joystick $18
Icontroller $18


1351 Mouse $33
M3 Mouse $41
Freedom Stick $53
PC Took Kit $25
SuperSnapshot $65
Heavy Duty Power $25 to $50
Suncom Station $60
Stereo Sid Cart $40
SwiftLink-232 $30
TurboMaster 4 mhz $200
Video Digitizer $80
Explode v5 Cart $45
Midi 64 Interface $50
Digi Sound Sampler $90
Quick Brown Box $70 to $130
CMD Ram Link Starts $150
CMD Ram Drive 512k $150
CMD Jiffy DOS V6.0 $60 and up
Run Mag Subscription $22.97/yr.
geoWorld Sub. $20.00/yr.

Beginner's Class
November 10th
1 PM
Parkway Village

Where do you get the Stuff?

In the following list, we've tried to give you some basic information on the leading mail order houses. We cannot guarantee reliability, as not all mail order houses have been used by the Nunn's. Use good sense when ordering mail order, as always. MCUC is not responsible for any problems incurred in dealing with these companies.

Creative Micro Designs (CMD)
50 Industrial Dr. PO Box 646
East Longmeadow, MA 01028

Products: Hard Drive, Ram Link, Ram Disk, Jiffy Dos, 1541-II/1581 replacement power supplies, Lt. Konnector

Terms: VISA, MC, Money Orders, COD, personal checks (3 wk. wait for check to clear)

Reliability: High

59 Noble St, PO Box 129
Kutztown, PA 19530

Products: Software-mostly productivity with some entertainment, hardware accessories

Terms: VISA, MC, Money order or Personal Checks (no holding)

Reliability: High

Schnedler Systems
Dept. R 6/7
25 Eastwood Rd, PO Box 5964
Asheville, NC 28813

Products: Turbo Master CPU, interface boards

Terms: VISA, MC

Reliability: Good

Tenex Computer Express
PO Box 6578
South Bend, IN 46660

Products: Software, some hardware, accessories. Good prices!

Terms: VISA, MC, Discover, Cashier's Check, Money Order, Personal Check (allow 10 extra days for shipping)

Reliability: High

Software Hut, inc.
2534 S. Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19145

Products: new and refurbished Commodore hardware

Terms: VISA, MC, Discover, COD

Reliability: N/A

Utilities Unlimited
PO Box 532
North Plains, OR 97133

Products: Utilities/Cartridges, carries Videobyte II and Explode V5

Terms: VISA, MC, COD

Reliability: N/A

RIO Computers (formerly Datel?)
3430 E. Tropicana Ave. #65
Las Vegas, NV 89121

Products: Midi 64, Cartridges, HandyScanner 64

Terms: VISA, MC, Checks, Money Orders, COD

Reliability: N/A

PO Box 96
Glen Burnie, MD 21060

Products: DMBBS software (BBS prgm)

Terms: VISA, MC, TeleCheck, Diners Club, Carte Blanche

Reliability: High

Parsec Inc
PO Box 111
Salem, MA 01970-0111

Products: Public Domain, Shareware, and Copyrighted Software House. $.75 per disk, minimum 10 disk order. Send $2.00 for catalog. One of their special products is Masterpiece Designs, a collection of 141 hi-res screens packed with borders, objects, patterns, symbols and designs for use in desktop publishing.

Terms: Check/Money Orders

Reliability: N/A

Dr. Evil Laboratories
PO Box 3432
Redmond, WA 98073-3432

Products: Sid Cartridge, SwiftLink-232

Terms: Check/Money Order-allow 4-6 weeks for delivery

Reliability: High

Lyco Computer
PO Box 5088
Jersey Shore, PA 17740

Products: Hardware/Software

Terms: VISA, MC, AE, Discover

Reliability: N/A

Comm-Plex Software
6782 Junction Rd
Pavilion, NY 14525-9755


Terms: check/MO

Reliability: N/A

P & P Graphics
151 Randolph Street
Canton, MA 02021

Service: graphic/text conversions

Cost $3.00 for first page.
$1.50 each additional page

Service: image scanning

Cost $5.00 for first page
$1.50 each additional page

Free Spirit Software
58 Noble St
Kutztown, PA 19530

Products: Software

Terms: VISA/MC

Reliability: High

The Soft Group
PO Box 111
Montgomery, IL 60538

Products: The Money Machine, hardware and software that lets you digitize pictures and transfer to paper or a T-shirt. Just like you've seen at the fair! They also carry the Videobyte II cartridge.

Cost of Money Machine
Basic pkg $99.95
Deluxe pkg $199.95
Write or call for more information

Computer Direct
22292 N. Pepper Rd
Barrington, IL 60010

Products: Hardware

Terms: VISA, MC, Cashier check, money, order, personal check, COD

Reliability: High

MEI/Micro Center
1100 Steelwood Rd
Columbus, OH 43212

Products: blank diskettes, disk cases, printer ribbons, printer labels and paper, copy holders, other accessories

Terms: Visa, MC, Check, Money order

Reliability: High - this is the company MCUC orders all it's blank disks from. We've been very pleased with price, quality and delivery.

Software Support Int'l
2700 NE Andresen Rd Suite A-10
Vancouver, WA 98661

Products: Software, accessories, Super Snapshot

Terms: VISA, MC, Discover, Money Order, Previous customers-personal check/CDD

Reliability: High

Data Tech Services
6870 Hillshire Blvd Suite 19
Memphis, TN 38134

Products: Some used equipment, cables, power supplies, CMD products

Services: Authorized Commodore repair dealer

Terms: call and ask

Reliability: High

Toys 'R Us
(check your local phone directory)

We found written information that this chain is still selling 13000 Commodore computers a month. If you have one located near you, check out their stock of Commodore stuff.

RUN Magazine
IDG Communications/Peterborough
PO Box 50295
Boulder, CO 80321-0295

Subscription Rate: $22.97/yr 10 issues

RUN is the only dedicated 64/128 magazine still on the market. They are available locally at Brentano's Book Store.

Twin Cities 128
PO Box 11578
Minneapolis, MN 55411

128 only magazine

Subscription Rate: $12.00/6 issues

38 Santa Ynez St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Products: magazine about GEOS

Terms: check/money order

Subscription Rate: 12 Issues $20.00

24 Hr. 2400 Baud

November Disks of the Month

We have four disks of the month for November. Also, we will have the October disks available for exchange. We have found that many of the copies may not be good, with errors on the disks. If you have a bad disk, just bring it to the November meeting and we will be happy to exchange it for you.

Remember, the holidays are coming with the inevitable visits from relatives. Some of the disks this month are ideal for having around to help entertain after those big meals.

Desterm 128

Desterm is a 128 80-col. term program. It supports Punter, X-modem, Y-modem and other protocols, supports ANSII graphics (MS-DOS) plus Commodore graphics, and has several terminal emulation modes, including VT-100. The documentation is very extensive and well worth reading. If you have need for a term program that is usable for calling any type of computer, from another Commodore to the main frame at work, this is the one!

Classical Sid

The Classical Sid disk features StereoPlayer V8.0 and some of the best sid classical renditions I've heard. I sampled a half dozen and every one of them was very well done.

C-128 Miscellaneous

The 128 Miscellaneous disk features several lotto programs, a 40-col. Solitaire, a grocery and general shopping list maker and a 80-col. disk track and sector checker

           MISC 128 NOV 90

LOTT128V.02...80C-PICKS 3 OR 4 FROM DB
GL128.80........80C-GROCERY LIST MAKER


C-64 Miscellaneous

Jim must have been in a gambling mood this month. The 64 Miscellaneous disk also features several lotto programs plus a Tarot card reader, a Ouiji board game, Keno game and other games of chance.

           64 MISC NOV 90



October GEOS Utilities

MacAttack II will convert pictures both ways between MacPaint and GeoPaint. Hulme View lets you view seq. files without conversion to GEOS. Music Box lets you record your own music. Be sure and pick this one up at the November meeting. We made sure we got it right this time. Sorry for any inconveniences.

The World of Commodore, Philadelphia

New Products

by Bob Nunn

Well guess who didn't show up? You got it. Commodore pulled out at the last minute along with all their entrourage. Did it matter? Heck no, this is 64/128 Country! Agima Support was all around but the 64/128 crowd was there in force! Rumor has it that the 64/128 group were out in force and that Commodore wasn't going to support this show. Commodore supposedely also asked many of the vendors not to attend as well as featured speakers. Keep it up, stupid.

Compute had a booth there. I feel sorry for the skinny kid staffing the booth. Not only were the 64/128 people ticked, the Amiga people were not happy either. I saw one guy that I thought was going to hit him. He kept talking about all the liquor ads and how he didn't buy magazines with liquor ads. Computes editorial office number is 919-275-9809, call and tell them whay you think about the new Gazette.

While at World of Commodore in Philadelphia I ran onto many new exciting products. I didn't personally get to try all of these but was impressed by many. Hopefully this article will provide you with a bit more information about them.

Creative Micro Designs (CMD)

These are the Jiffy Dos people and they had the busiest booth of the whole show! They intorduced at this show the RAMLINK, RAMDRIVE and also displayed their new add on drives. We ran the preliminary spec sheets last month so I won't go into detail. I have a RAMLINK on order and will show this off at the first meeting after I get it. I didn't include any information on RAM EXPANSIONS in this issue because these people offer one that comes with an operating system making it fully usable by more software! The pricing is at or below all other ram expanders!

The CMD people were also selling tons of their hard drives. They have added to there line a cable to make the Lt. Kernal drives usuable as an add on drive. I read a review by a guy who compared his Lt Kernal to a CMD drive. He says that the Lt Kernal is much faster. Well the Ram Link adds parallel speed now. The main thing though is what good is speed when the program you want to use won't work with the Lt. Kernal. I use GEOS with my CMD; how fast is your Lt Kernal with GEOS?? I use many other unbroken, protected programs; do any work with the Kernal?

Dr. Evil Laboratories

They had a new imporved Stereo Sid Cartridge (I won one in the drawing!) The main difference is that the new one doesn't require batteries and works off the computer's power source. The SWIFTLINK-232 ties into your cartridge port and drives your modem. This one supports baud rates up to 38,400! It comes with several 64/128 terms that have been modified to work, and more are being converted. Several BBS authors are working on BBS program versions to use the SwiftLink!

Rio Computers

I got to look at one of their scanners although they were not present. The HANDYSCANNER 64 scans at up to 400 dpi and sells for $299.95. They also offer a software package for Home Desktop Publishing that has a graphics editor capable of storing 640 x 800 points.

The Soft Group

These folks are famous for their EXPLODE CARTRIDGE and the new VIDEOBYTE II. They now produce an item called the MONEY MACHINE; it comes in two versions a basic one for $99.95 and a deluxe version for $199.95. The Money Machine allows you to make the picture t-shirts like you see in the malls!


The Briwall booth was as packed as the CMD booth. I don't remember really getting too close to the booth. They offer both hardware accessories and software and are a good company to deal with. They continue to support the 64/128 market and offer more productivity software than any other company I have seen. They put out a newsletter catalog that is worth sending for.

The Software Hut

These folks were selling new and refurbed Commodore Hardware as fast as they could unload it. New 1581s for only $129!! New 128Ds for only $319.00! We have included information in this issue on products offered and prices.


They write, collect and produce public domain and shareware software programs. Their catalog and disk collections are impressive. You will want to send for their catalog disk!

Comm-Plex Software

I met Peter and Paul, twins, at the show. They demonstrated a program called GEOWIZARD that is the ultimate utility for GEOS users. It allows up to 3 drive support, full REU use, and lets you pop out of one application into another without quitting to the desktop. This is handy, for example, if you are writing an article in geoWrite, pop out to geoPaint to cut a graphic, and back into geoWrite to past the graphic into your text. Allows up to 2 meg of RAM and lets you configure it as more than one 1581. Peter and Paul offer a graphic conversion service. For a reasonable fee, they will convert graphics to and from geoPaint, Amiga IFF, or MacPaint.


I met a lot of nice folks at the World Of Commodore and exchanged newsletters, cards and more. We have already started to hear from many of these groups. I finally got to meet Ken Crosby with the User Group in Central Ohio. Ken had told me about a project to install a 1581 in his 128D on the phone some time back. He pulled this out of his trunk and showed us the sweetest little installation you can imagine. His 128DX is one sharp machine and lets hope he remembers to send me some photos so we can get a few pictures and diagrams in our newsletter. PS Ken, thanks for the ride back to the hotel; you saved us quite a walk!

Is this a good year for Commodore users or what??

Christmas Party
December 8th
Watch the December newsletter
for further details.

Great Gift Ideas, Amiga!

by Bob Nunn

Some of you may be considering purchasing a faster, flashier computer and the Amiga is certainly one to consider. It has many great features and with some additional cards and aftermarket equipment can run MS-DOS and even MAC software!

I considered for a time not running this article, this being a 64/128 support magazine. I feel that since the 128D is no longer, though still available, that upgrading for anyone would be limited and many of our club members and ex club members already own an Amiga and that some would be considering the purchase of one. If you aren't interested in Amigas then skip this one. One other consideration... you are taking advice from a person who does not own an Amiga so please take that into consideration. I am fairly well read in most computer related subjects but may miss some practical advice that an owner would give you.

AMIGA Computers all include the 3.5 inch drive, are multi-tasking, include a stereo sound output. The 500 is all but unusable with many software titles without memory expansion so you may want to consider this when purchasing. One drive is also a severe limitation since the computer's operating system is on disk. You therefore would spend most of your time swapping disks. A second floppy drive is almost a must, and a hard drive of course is preferable.

Amiga 500

AMIGA 500 is the entry level computer in this group. It features 512k of Ram and is expandable externally to 8 megabytes. It comes with a built in 3.5 inch drive and even includes a mouse.

Amiga 2000

AMIGA 2000 includes one full megabyte of Ram, expandable to 9 megabytes and has a slot for an additional 3.5 inch drive or a hard drive. This one is the one that you can plug a card into and add a drive to make it MS-DOS compatible.

Amiga 2500

AMIGA 2500 also includes a 40 megabyte hard drive and comes with 3 megabyte of onboard Ram. (expandable to 9) This one includes a clock calendar with battery backup.

AMIGA 3000?? is supposedly available now but I have not seen one and don't know what the features are. It is supposed to be a lot faster which means it's likely to be a lot more expensive.

WHAT CAN I USE FROM MY 64/128? is a good question to ask. If you own an RGB/composite monitor for your 128 you are in luck. It should be completely compatible. If you own a composite monitor you can use it to some extent but will not see the high resolution this computer really is famous for. If you are using a TV then you will need an interface that allows regular rf output to come from the Amiga but again no high res. Of course none of your disk drives are usable, however joystick will make the crossover. If your modem is the type that requires an interface, then you are in luck again. It may require a new cable but your non-Commodore compatible modem will work just fine. If you own a Commodore compatible printer I have heard that a company now makes an adapter to allow you to use it on the Amiga, so you may want to look into this. You can consider selling off your 64 and 128 equipment to help finance the conversion.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS are things like basic software to use with your new purchase. You may want to do a bit of shopping before taking the plunge. I have talked to people who leaped before they looked. Sticker shock sometimes occurs in places other than car lots. There is a decent amount of PD software out there and some that is very good. But being spoiled by one of the most supported, lowest priced, software bases and second to none in the PD area in both quality and quantity, you will likely be taken off guard if you aren't prepared.

Watching the chess piece that you just took beat the devil out of its opponent, then consume it and belch, is truly an experience that is equaled by no other computer, or perhaps running a word processor while you are downloading from a local bbs; do that on a MAC or IBM compatible. The Amiga is the one to beat.

Order the November Disks of the
Month by sending your request
along with $2 per disk, $5/3 disks
($1 P&H plus $.25 for each disk
over 3 to:

PO Box 34095
Memphis, TN 38134-0095

GEOWIZARD is here!

from QLink reprinted from CCCommunicator Sept 90

The wait is over. GEOWIZARD is now done. The disk includes geoWizard, MiniDesk (the copy, rename, and scratch file DA, 3 drive and multiple file support) and geoWizDump (screen dumps from geoWizard to PhotoScrap or geoPaint in full color).

In case you don't know about geoWizard, it's a little utility that, once installed, sits in your REU waiting for you to trigger it, then it takes over the computer and lets you do a screen dump, run a DA, or run an application. When you're done, you are returned to the original program as if nothing happened. You can also quit to deskTop to get out of System Error boxes. This effectively turns most any application into a desk accessory - for instance, pop out of geoWrite for a few seconds to load geoPaint and cut out a graphic, then return to geoWrite where you left off, without ever having to use deskTop. You can use geoWizard almost anywhere, including menus and dialog boxes.

GeoWizard requires GEOS 64 2.0 or GEOS 128 2.0 and an REU. You can now use it with any input device. Full 3-drive support is included as well as 40/80 support on GEOS 128. Your REU MUST have at least one 64K bank free after loading all your applications. This of course depends on how many appliactions you use at a time.

If you use a Shadowed Dir 1581 (only on Geos 64 2.0), you can disable it to make room for geoWizard. In my opinion, geoWizard makes better use of the RAM than the Shadowed Dir 1581 does.

Send check or money order, payable to Jim Collete, to Comm-Plex Software. [See the company list for complete address). Be sure to specify the GEOWIZARD disk!

HD Series Hard Drives

Affordable High-Capacity Storage for C64/128

From Artisoft's Bi-Monthly News Disk


HD Series Hard Drives are designed to be the fastest mass-storage peripherals available for the C=64 and C=128. When connected on the serial bus to a completely stock computer, HD Series drives out perform all other serial bus drives (including the 1581) by a wide margin. If your computer is equipped with JiffyDOS, performance in 128 mode is nearly doubled, with performance in 64 mode (or with a C=64) being brought up to the same level. And, when connected to the parallel port of CMD's RAMLink, HD Series drives become as fast as the hard drives found on newer, more expensive machines.


A specially-designed operating system (DOS) gives HD Series drives the ability to work with nearly all commercial software. The HD Series DOS fully supports all Commodore DOS commands, including Block Reads and Writes, Memory access commands, and Fast Serial 'burst' commands. Special operating modes are also built in to provide complete compatibility with GEOS and CP/M. Another feature of the HD Series operating system is that it is stored on the hard drive itself and not in ROM. This means that DOS upgrades can be installed quickly and easily without disassembly.

Ease of Use:

The HD Series DOS provides you with the tools to easily organize and access the large amounts of data you will be storing. Partitions of up to 16 Meg are supported and can be set aside exclusively for GEOS or CP/M use, if desired. Subdirectories can be created within partitions and within other subdirectories. The number and size of subdirectories is limited only by the available space on the drive. Any directory can be the default, and the path to a file anywhere on the drive can be specified within a single command. In addition, files can be easily copied between different partitions and subdirectories.

Additional Information:

The drive size is only a little longer than a 1581 and it uses a 3 1/2 inch hard disk. And it's for the C=64 and C=128, also fully supports GEOS and CP/M! The drive itself can be modified to 100 megs in the single case and up to 4 GIGABYTE's otherwise!! Works just like a 1581 and can be partitioned the same way, hooks to the serial port so you can still piggyback other drives, use's a parallel interface through RAMLink (more on RAMLink later) that speeds the drive up considerably, fully supports JiffyDOS, so if you have JiffyDOS in your computer you will have that speed added to the drive. It also can be interfaced with Amiga, IBM-compatible and Macintosh computers in case you plan upgrade in the future you can still use the hard drive..

The Floppy Experiment

excerpted from ?Syntax Error, Aug. 1990

Written by Alma Peterson, Condensed by Cheryn Nunn

[Alma Peterson is the Dayton Area Commodore User's Group C-64 Librarian. She carries between 1000 to 1500 disks in her car trunk to and from meetings, hot weather and cold. She got to wondering just how much punishment a disk would take and ran a few experiments.]

The experiment started out rather small, simple, and to the point, but then I got a little carried away. Using a disk with data on both sides, I quickly made up 2 "experimental" copies of the disk, marking one "sun" and the other "freeze". That's when the abusive side of me took over. Happily cackeling to myself, I cranked out another called "stomp", then one called "kool-aid", and finally, one called "micro-wave".

My first victim was the "sun" disk. I threw it out the back door into fullblazing sunlight, 91 degrees for two hours. The "freeze" got popped into my handy kitchen freezer and promptly forgotten. Two hours later, the "sun" disk still worked perfectly. I thought maybe the black vinyl jacket was enough of a shield to keep the sun's rays from doing any damage, so I took the jacket apart and put the actual floppy outside for another couple of hours. When I brought it back in, I realized I couldn't test it without a jacket. I took a "dead" disk, carefully opened the jacket and inserted the "sun" floppy. Both sides STILL worked perfectly. As it was too late in the day for any more sun, I threw the disk in the clothes dryer. Half an hour later, it came out looking kinda deformed, so I flattened it out with a rolling pin while still warm. AGAIN, the disk worked just fine.

It was getting hard to continue with enthusiasm since I wasn't getting the expected results. My husband came in to fix some microwave popcorn, and found my "freeze" disk. I thawed it overnite, and the next day it worked perfectly.

Finally, in a last effort to prove the heat-in-the-car-scrambles-disks rumor, I set the "sun" disk on the dashboard of my car and left it closed up tight all day long. After about an hour, that disk had curled up into the shape of a cereal bowl. By the end of the day, it was barely recognizable. The vinyl jacket had swollen and bubbled up from the intense heat. There was no way it could be coaxed back into enough shape to put in the drive, so the floppy inside HAD to be ruined. I sacrificed another disk for the jacket, inserted the "sun" floppy, put it in the drive and...It worked perfectly!

EPILOGUE: Both sides of the disk called "microwave" were totally zapped in less than 30 seconds. When reformatted, however, the disk worked perfectly. The "stomp" disk hasn't been tried yet, and I'm going to change the "kool-aid" to "coke". I think the acid content of the beverage may have some more interesting results than plain old sugar-water. Stay tuned next month for the gory details; and another report on the "sun" floppy, which, in it's shiny new sliced-open jacket, has been renamed to "boil in saucepan on kitchen stove as long as it takes"...wish me luck!

[It may be interesting to note that in all her attempts to ruin a floppy, what usually got ruined was the label, remarks about which were condensed out of above version of her article.]

Ham Fest

by Bob Nunn

What about Ham Fest 90? If you were there then you know. It wasn't as big as '89 and there was a bit less stuff for the 64/128 user than previous years. There were some bargains though. I bought a 1200 baud 1670 for $10 and a 300 for $5. One guy was selling his software out in the box and we bought a few titles. There were plenty of pd selections available.

MCUC was there in force. We had 3 tables this year and signed up quite a few new members as well as visited with a few old members. We also sold our special selection of disks which will also be available at the November Meeting!

Many thanks to Jim West, John Blackmer, Pete Norton, and Ron Montgomery who all brought out systems. Thanks also to Teresa Ralls, Kevin Dunn, Dick Coffman, and Wayne Moore for covering during breaks and lunch, allowing us to do a bit of shopping while we were there.

All in all a huge success for MCUC as it let us contact many 64/128 owners and will undoubtedly bear fruit for the club for some time.

Attention Commodore 64 and 128 Owners -- Tremendous Savings from Software Hut

Through a special purchase from Commodore Business Machines, we have a number of products at great pricing. Below is a list of products:

Commodore 128D Computer (new) $319.95
Commodore 128D Computer (refurbished) 289.95
Commodore 64C Computer (new) 139.95
Commodore 1541 II Drive (new) 159.95
Commodore 1700 RAM Expansion 128K (new) 64.95
Commodore 1750 RAM Expansion 512K (new) 109.95
Commodore 1764 RAM Expansion 256K (refurbished) 94.95
Commodore 1581 Disk Drive 3.5" (new) 129.95
Commodore 1581 Disk Drive 3.5" (refurbished) 109.95
Commodore 1660 Modem 300 Baud (new) 19.95
Commodore 1670 Modem 1200 Baud (new) 49.95
Supra 2400 Baud Modem 119.95
Commodore 1702 Monitor (refurbished) 89.95
Commodore 1902 Monitor (refurbished) 129.95
64 & 64C Replacement Power Supply 29.95
64 & 64C Heavy Duty Replacement Power Supply 42.95
Xetec Jr. Graphics Printer Interface 36.95
Peak Modem Interface for Supra 2400 Modem 29.95
Winner M3 2-Button Mouse 35.95

All new products include Commodore's full 90 day warranty. Refurbished products are in like-new shape and in their original packaging. They have a 30 day warranty. Please call quickly as supplies are limited and on a first come first serve basis. We are an authorized Commodore Service Center repairing Commodore and Amiga products both in and out of warranty. Please contact us at the service number below for additional information and pricing.

Software Hut, Inc.
2534 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19145

Order Toll Free 1-800-848-0079
For Information 1-215-462-2268
For Repairs 1-215-462-0210

Dealer Inquiries Invited.

We ship via UPS. We accept for payment: Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit cards. We also ship COD, accepting Cash, Certified Check or Money Order. Shipping charges are $5.00 for the first item, and $2.00 for additional items. For monitors and compuers, please add an addiional $3.00. COD orders add an additional $4.00.

November Special MCUC Custom Notebooks $5.00 ea.

Comes with specially printed inserts for the sleeves on the outside of the notebooks. The insert for the back of the notebook features commonly used commands for easy reference.

Put your Members Packet, to be released this month, in a notebook with the disks. Keep everything in one handy place.

Data Tech Services Inc.
6870 Hillshire, Suite 19, 20 & 21
Memphis TN 38133
Data Tech offers full service
repair on not only COMMODORE
but all types of computers &
peripherals (except Macs).
We are dealers for Star Printers,
Creative Micro Designs and other
name brand merchandise. Come
see us at our newly expanded

Authorized Commodore
& Amiga Repair Center!


Officer's Articles 3, 4, 5
Disks of the Month 14
Gift Ideas 6-10
Product Sources 11-13
World of Commodore Show Report by Bob Nunn 16
Gift Ideas, Amiga 18
GeoWizard Review 19
CMD Hard Drive Review 20
Humor: The Floppy Experiment 21
Ham Fest Report 22