DiskMAG Volume 1 Number 2 (Nov 1988) : ARTICLES / Amy_Today4.2

                         Amy Today     
         A text-file magazine for all Amiga lovers

             Volume #4, Issue #2, October 20th                  
Editor :  John Rydell
Writer :  Bob Bliss  

Address all correspondence to:         "Amy Today"
                                       C/O John Rydell
GEnie address:  J.Rydell1              640 Willowglen Rd.
                 (#54790)              Santa Barbara, CA
Plink address:  J*Rydell

           GEnie discussion in category #2, topic #29
                Plink discussion in Section #2

1.  A Message From the Editor              John Rydell
2.  Distributing "Amy Today"               John Rydell
3.  Amiga Happenings                       John Rydell
4.  CD-ROM & The Amiga                     Bob Bliss
5.  Fred Fish 155-158                      John Rydell
6.  Trading Galore!!                       John Rydell
7.  Newsletter Trading                     John Rydell
8.  Advertising                            John Rydell
9.  In the Future                          John Rydell


A Message From The Editor:

First I'd like to apologize for the fact that this issue is so
late.  I have just been so busy that there was no way that I
could write an issue any sooner.  I will work very hard to get
back on schedule so that everyone will once again know when to
expect Amy Today.

I've asked many times if someone would like to help me produce
Amy Today.  This invitation is still open.  I'm hoping that a
friend of mine might be able to help some more in the future but
all help is gladly accepted!

This issue contains what I feel is a very interesting article on
the Amiga and CD-ROM players.  I realize that it is long, but I
found it VERY enjoyable to read.  I have also included
information about the first half of Fred Fish's new disks.  

I am looking for reader-support in the way of articles or short
programs you would like to share with the Amiga community.  If
you would like to contribute please contact me at one of the
locations printed in the magazine's cover/title section.  All
good PD/shareware software will also be mentioned or reviewed if
it is sent to Amy Today.

           John Rydell

Distributing "Amy Today":

Amy Today is what I call a public domain file-based magazine. 
This means that I would like to be given credit to anything taken
from the magazine and I request that the magazine remains "AS
IS".  Please do not modify it in any way if you are going to
distribute it.

About Distributing:  Please upload Amy Today EVERYWHERE!  This
magazine simply will not flourish if it is not uploaded whenever
possible.  Every issue is kept under 15,000 bytes ARCed so that
upload/download time should never be a problem.  So, please, if
you have the chance spread the magazine around the country!  Give
a copy to your friend!  Keep Amy Today alive and going strong!


Amiga Happenings:
(John Rydell)

The prices of Amiga 500 and Amiga 2000's are up because of the
price rises in the RAM/ROM chips.  Also, the 1084 has been
discontinued to make room for the 1084s (the same monitor with
stereo sound).  The 1084s costs more than the 1084.  Because of
this, new users will find themselves spending up to $200 more for
their computer.  I hope this doesn't hurt the Christmas season
too much!  

I'm still hoping to get my hands on a WB1.3 for system.  My local
distributer still has no way to get any copies.

World of Commodore Show-
The World of Commodore Show will be taking place in Philadelphia
from Thursday, November 3rd until Sunday, November 6.  The show
will be held at:
  The Philadelphia Civic Center
  Pennsylvania Hall
  34th Street and Civic Center Blvd.
  Philadelphia, PA  19104
For tickets contact The Hunter Group or ticketron.  The price
will be $10 a day.  For more information contact Karen Jewell or
Lynn Densmore at:
  The Hunter Group, Inc.
  204 Richmond St. West, Suite 410
  Toronto, Ontario
  Canada  M5V 1V6  (416)595-5906

Amiga Happenings is a column dedicated to giving you information
on what is happening in the Amiga community.  Some of the
information could possibly be wrong due to the fact that I am
trying to get early information.  I do not in any way guarantee
that the information will be accurate although I will try my
hardest to protect the innocent.

>>If you have some new information you would like to share please
submit it to Amy Today.

# Amy Today Trading Galore!  Trade public domain or shareware #
# software with Amy Today.  Look for more information later   #
# in this issue.  --The trade is going strong...participate   #
# today!                                                      #

CD-Rom and the Amiga:  Why Not Now?
(Bob Bliss)
<Reprinted from The Knightly Knews, October 1988>

Up front, I gotta tell you:  I am almost as crazy about CD-ROM as
I am about my Amiga.  So it shouldn't surprise you that I am
disgusted that nobody as exploited the capabilities of the two
together.  This column is a plea for somebody, ANYBODY, to hitch
up this perfect couple.

Let's start with the basics.  Compact disc technology was
originally developed several years ago to bring digital precision
to the music world.  A single CD delivers over an hour of nearly
"perfect" sound.  Analog music information is sampled 44,000
times each second and converted to digital data, which in turn is
encoded onto the surface of a metal disk as a series of surface
areas and pits.  A transparent coating covers the disk surface to
protect it against scratches and such.  Then in the CD player, a
laser beam is used to reflect light off the pits and surface
areas to read the digital data.  This digital data is converted
to analog form by a (surprise!) digital to analog converter.  The
analog signal is then amplified like any other music signal to
drive the loudspeakers.

If analog music can be stored as digital data in the form of pits
on a disc surface, then it should not be surprising that digital
computer information can also be stored this way.  When computer
data is stored in this way, it is called CD-ROM, Compact Disc
Read Only Memory.  The user can read the data on the disc, but
cannot change it.  (We will talk about read/write optical disc
technology in a future article.)  But what a tremendous amount of
data there can be on a CD;  over half a GIGAbyte!

Despite the fact that CDs are a proven technology, CD-ROM has
been slow to catch on in the personal computing world.  There are
several reasons for this.

A claim could be made that the industry was waiting for standards
of data format and a way to access such large files from MS-DOS. 
But these objections were overcome some time ago with the High
Sierra format standard (named after a conference at Lake Tahoe)
and the Microsoft MS-DOS extensions which allow an MS-DOS
computer to access specific data on such a large disk partition
(over 500 MB compared with the normal 32 MB MS-DOS disk

The most obvious reason there are so few CD-ROM players in use is
their cost.  A CD-ROM player is actually a simpler device to make
than a musical CD player, because there is no need for a digital
to analog converter; the raw data on the CD is simply transferred
"as is" to the computer.  And if musical CD players have been in
the under $200 range for the past three or four years, you would
expect a CD-ROM player to be in the same price range, right? 
Wrong.  They started out about three years ago in the $2000
region, broke the $1000 barrier about a year ago, and have been
dropping in price very slowly since.  There is really no
technical justification for this; the term "gouging" comes to

The high cost of the players has severely limited the number in
use, and the low number of CD-ROM players tells potential disk
producers they won't sell many disks, so they begin few new
projects, which in turn means there are few discs for sale to
attract computer users to buy players, and so forth.  Many of the
discs that have been produced are for very limited audiences,
such as a car manufacturers complete spare parts data for dealers
or the CD-ROM version of Books in Print that is used by many

A couple of notable non-specialized discs have been the text of
an encyclopedia (all of the text and an extensive indexing system
take up a fraction of the disc) and a large collection of public
domain and shareware software for the MS-DOS machines that
normally requires about 1000 standard 360K floppies.  More
recently complete dictionaries (not just spell-checkers) and
various other types of reference material have bene produced. 
Microsoft is making a big pitch for the CD-ROM market, and we may
soon see a real flood of data available on disc.

But at the moment, I am unaware of any Amiga CD-ROM discs.  Yet
they certainly are feasible.  From a hardware point of view, you
could connect a CD-ROM player to an Amiga today; SCSI-compatible
CD-ROM players are available, and there are several SCSI adapters
you could use.  And it should not be a difficult task to decide
on a format for the discs (such as High Sierra), or put together
the software necessary to read the discs.  If you have the data
in machine readable format, it only costs a few thousand dollars
to produce the CD-ROM master; then producing the actual discs is
in the $10 each range.  The production of the discs is identical
to the production of musical CDs, and these retail in the $10 to
$20 range including royalty payments for the artists and such.

So assuming Commodore-Amiga, Electronic Arts, or somebody puts
the various pieces of the puzzle together, what could be put on
the discs?  The possibilities are limited only by our

For starters, how about putting all of the Fred Fish, Amicus, New
AGe, and Amiga Round Table (of course!) public domain and
shareware disks on a single CD-ROM disc.  You could put the data
from about 600 full Amiga floppies on a single disc.

What about the encyclopedia?  Of course.  And you could use the
extra space for oodles of IFF pictures, animations, and musical
pieces to make a more complete encyclopedia than the MS-DOS

But let's be more creative than that.  Why not put together a
history course on a CD-ROM disc?  Pick a certain period in
history, and include maps, pictures of important people and
events and works of art, DMCS or Sonix scores of all the major
music of the period, and throw in a few simulation games of the
important events.  Use three of Amy's voices to play Wagner's
music while the fourth is Amy reading the history of late 19th
century Germany, while different screens are showing maps of the
changing shape of Germany, and pictures of the key people are
also constantly changing.  The music fades as sound effects of a
primitive automobile are played, and a video of the first
Mercedes appears on the screen.  You don't care about cars, so
you pull down a menu and click on 'Fashion', and Amy stops
talking about wars and starts discussing clothing, with pictures
continually changing to show how fashions evolved over the
period.  You get the idea.  And if 19th century Germany does not
excite you, perhaps a similar treatment of the history of
baseball or Hollywood movies would.

The Amiga gives you all of the tools you need to display and use
all sorts of information, from simple text to pictures to music
to speeches to animations to game-based simulations to
interactive quizzes with the user.  It also gives you the
multitasking ability you need to mix and match the various ways
of displaying and using the information.  All of this information
must be stored in digital form at some point.  The CD-ROM gives
you the capability to distribute an enormous amount of any type
of data on a single disc, and who says you must limit yourself to
just one disc?

The Amiga and CD-ROM seem to make a perfect pair.  Will somebody
PLEASE get working and bring them together??


Fred Fish:

Fish recently released disks #155-162 in his public domain
library.  In this issue I only have room for the first four to be
looked at.  Because of this disks numbered 155-158 will be
reviewed this week and #159-162 will come in the next issue.

I'm not sure who originally created the text for this file.  It
might have been Fred Fish himself.  It might have been someone on
Usenet.  To whomever credit is due, it is given.

---Disk #155---

AsmExmpls:A couple of assembly code examples.  Executables are
          not extremely useful but the code might be of 
          considerable benefit to beginning assembly language
          Author:  Henrik Clausen

Bison:    A replacement for unix "yacc" command.  This is from
          the GNU (GNU is Not Unix) effort.  Contains updates
          to the version on disk number 136, submitted by two  
          separate sources.  Includes source.
          Author:  Bob Corbett and Richard Stallman, updates
          by William Loftus and Scott Henry
NoSmoking:Sample program showing the use of a recoverable alert
          while displaying a personal health message.  Includes
          Author:  Theo Kermanidis

Scenery:  A very nice assembly language random scenery generator.
          Generates very realistic looking landscapes.  Includes 
          intuition interface and lots of menu options.  Version
          1.0, binary only.
          Author:  Brett Casebolt

---Disk #156---

Blocks2:  Amusing and colorful display of a moving trail of 
          "blocks".  Update to version on disk number 71, however
          this version also includes source.
          Author:  Gary Walker

Flex:     Flex is a replacement for the UNIX "lex" (lexical
          analyzer generator) program that is faster than
          lex, and freely redistributable.  Includes source.
          Authors:  Jef Poskanzer, Vern Paxson, et. al.
          Submissions by William Loftus and Scott Henry

Go64:     Another screen hack aimed at an earlier Commodore
          product.(Not to be confused with the commercial product
          Go-64! from Software Insight Systems).  Includes       
          Author:  Joerg Anslik

Grammars: A group of lexical grammar files for Ada, C and Pascal
          for use in conjunction with the flex program on this 
          disk and the bison program on disk #155
          Authors:  Various, submitted by William Loftus

OOPS!:    Tired of the monochrome background color of your 
          Workbench or CLI?  Then try this colorful screen hack  
          to brighten things up!  Includes source.
          Author:  Joerg Anslik

---Disk #157---

60or80:   A small utility to toggle the 60/80 column text modes
          without having to go through preferences.  Works from
          either the CLI or the Workbench.  Includes source.
          Author:  Mark Schretlen

AmicForm: Creates a phonebook containing only those areacodes and
          exchanges reachable through PC-Pursuit. Input any of 
          Chet Solace's Finalist BBS lists and it creates the 
          phonebook in a form usable by AmicTerm and a number of 
          other popular terminal programs.  Version 1.3, Binary 
          Author:  John Motsinger

AnimBalls:A nifty little animation program that allows you to 
          create a collection of balls in three-space and then
          interactively rotate them in real time using the mouse.
          Includes source.
          Author:  Jim Guilford

BootBack: A handy little utility to copy and save the boot block
          from a disk, then later restore it should the disk 
          get stomped on by some ugly virus.  Includes source.
          Author:  David Joiner

ECPM:     A CP/M emulator for the Amiga.  Emulates an 8080
          along with H19 terminal emulation. Update from version
          on disk number 109.  Includes source.
          Author:  Jim Cathey; Amiga port by Charlie Gibbs;
          Significant improvements by Willi Kusche

KeyFiler: A BBS message file sorter that allows sorting by  
          keyword.  Includes a textreader, Soundex matching, and 
          limited wildcard capabilities.  Version 1.0, Binary 
          Author:  John Motsinger

ScreenZap:A little utility to clean away screens that are left
          by ill-behaving programs.  It will kill every screen
          behind the WorkBench, noting how many it gets. The
          screens in front of WB are not affected.  Includes
          Author:  Lars Clausen

SetPrefs: Allows you to build a whole library of preference 
          settings and instantly switch back and forth between 
          them.  Affects all preference settings not just the  
          colors.  Very useful for machines with multiple users 
          or multiple external devices.  Includes Amiga's default
          and various sample preference settings.  Binary only.
          Author:  Martin Hippele

Xicon:    Xicon lets you use icons to call up scripts containing 
          CLI commands.  This is version 2.01, an update to the 
          version on disk 102.  Includes source.
          Author:  Pete Goodeve
---Disk #158---

DiskX:    Nicely done Sector-based disk editor.  Binary only
          Author:  Steve Tibbett

MemTest:  Originally designed for production testing of A1000 
          memory boards. Very nice intuition interface.  Version 
          2,4.  Includes source in Modula. 
          Author:  George Vokalek

MSDOS:    A program to list files written in standard MS-Dos or
          Atari ST format.  The files can then be copied to Ram  
          and rewritten to disk in Amiga-Dos format.  Binary
          only, Shareware, Version 0.1.
          Author:  Frank Wubbeling

PCBTool:  An early version of a shareware PC Board layout program
          Lots of options including variable size pads and 
          traces, grids, grid snap, layers, zoom, selectable
          centering text and more.  This version does not support
          printer/plotter dumps or libraries.  Version 2.6,      
          binary only.
          Author:  George Vokalek

ScreenX:  A handy little background utility that provides a small
          clock/memory counter in its inactive mode and a 
          versatile screen manipulator when called upon.  Binary 
          only with source available from author, Version 2.1.  
          Author:  Steve Tibbett

TaskX:    A "real-time" task editor.  Lets you list and set the 
          priorities of all the currently running tasks.  Binary
          only, Version 2.0. 
          Author:  Steve Tibbett

VirusX:   Update to the version on disk number 154, checks for 
          a couple of additional new strains.  Includes source,
          Version 1.6.
          Author:  Steve Tibbett
YachtC3:  Update to the Yachtc program on disk #10, contains some
          fixes and incorporates a simple sound process.  Version
          3, includes source.
          Author:  Sheldon Leemon, with enhancements by Mark     


Trading Galore:

First we had a picture trade.  Users were urged to send in a disk
full of pictures and, in return, were given a disk full of the
best pictures that had been collected so far.  The picture trade
was, and will hopefully continue to be, a GREAT success!

Because of this, I have decided to open up a new trade which
allows everyone to participate--not just those of us with
pictures.  Send me a disk full of anything you want.  (Music,
Art, Animations, Sound files, and Public Domain/Shareware
software...anything!)  Include a SASE (please remember the
stamps!), and I will send your disk back to you filled with
whatever you want.  Just tell me whether you want music, art,
software (you can even specify a specific pd/shareware program
but I can't guarantee that I have it), and I'll send it back.  On
request, I'll even send disk copies of all issues of Amy Today.
Send your disk and a SASE to:
Amy Today's Trading Galore
640 Willowglen Rd.
Santa Barbara, CA  93105

<<Any requests or submissions of illegally copied software will
be burned!>>


Newsletter Trading:
(From Issue 1-1)

I am looking for Amiga user groups who would like to trade
newsletters with me.  Every month I will send you three issues of
Amy Today and, in return, I would like a copy of your
newsletter.  I know a lot of this trading takes place and would
love to get involved.  The more articles and information that I
have about the Amiga, the better I can make Amy Today.  If you
are interested please drop me a line on GEnie, Plink, or by mail. 
I would really appreciate a sample newsletter and will mail you
Amy Today in return.



Amy Today is open to advertising at VERY affordable prices. 
Large and small companies both have a great opportunity for
quality advertising while supporting a public domain Amiga
magazine.  If you are interested please write to:
Amy Today
ATTN Advertising
640 Willowglen Rd.
Santa Barbara, CA  93105


In the Future:

A review of Bard's Tale II
A review of Professional Page 1.1
A review of Modula-2
A review of a CLtd 33 meg hard drive
A review of a Supra 2400 baud modem
Yes, another review of F/A-18 Interceptor
An interview with a shareware programmer (Guess who?)
Maybe even more interviews, also
And hopefully numerous articles from you--the readers.

"Amy Today" is copyright 1988 by John Rydell.  Portions of
the magazine may be reprinted but the content of this magazine
may NOT be changed without the expressed consent of John Rydell. 
Yet everyone is encouraged to distribute it AS IS.  Please give
credit to "Amy Today" as well as to the individual author when
reprinting material.  "Amy Today" as well as any of its authors
are not responsible for any damages that occur because of errors
or omissions.  Articles reprinted from other newsletters, as
noted, are not property of Amy Today but are under the control of
their original authors.