October 1986 MAGazine Volume 2 Number 3

Table Of Contents

Memphis Amiga Group Newsletter October 1986

Box 381462 Memphis, TN 38183-1462
President Audrey McCalla
Vice-President/Librarian Joe Ricklefs
Treasurer/Secretary Todd Eifert

Newsletter Contributors:
Charles Williams
Ron McCalla
Todd Eifert

Here it is, another month, and another newsletter. There wasn't a SIG newsletter this month due to the absence of any SIG events. There is a meeting of the Hackers' SIG but because it was so close to the main meeting I decided to put the newsletter out early (hopefully you will receive this in time for that announcement to be meaningful) and include it. By the way, this was printed on a JUKI 6100 daisywheel printer. Charles Williams did all the layout as well as supplying some graphic headers. If anybody wants to donate an article or two either upload it to the MAG section of the Duck Pond or give it to me in person. I really need someone to write a rumors column. I don't go on any pay bulletin boards so I rarely here any news worth mentioning. The club has ordered blank disks and they will hopefully be in by the Saturday of the meeting. As you look through the newsletter, you may notice a few things I hope to include in forthcoming issues. If you would like your name, or any personal information left off the member list then tell me at the next meeting or call me. I will also begin publishing a list of transactions and the club account balance. That way you can't yell at me when the money is gone.

Todd Eifert

Software Review: Adept: Archon II

by Todd Eifert

When I got Archon a few months back I was starved for software and was really glad that Electronic Arts had decided to port over several games I had on the C-64. Archon was good, it had better sound and better graphics, but with the exception of the Cyborg option it wasn't a "better" game than the other computer versions. I was surprised to find that Adept: Archon II is a great improvement over the other versions. It has great sound. The siren makes music rather than tones and the firebird sounds like a crackling living-room fireplace. It has great graphics. They are an improvement over other computers and the Amiga version of Archon. Check out the great animation of the salamander to see what I mean. The improvement over other computers is in the relationship the creatures enact in the combat screens. Now I know how the creators wanted to balance each individual creature with another. I mean, the squid wastes the siren, while the siren destroys the giant, but the giant crushes the squid. Each creature, in certain domains, has a chance of reigning supreme. Adept: Archon II is a contest of chaos versus good. Each side has wizards or witches (They are known as Adepts) that summon creatures to fight for them. To win, you must occupy all of the flashing squares, defeat the enemy's Adept in the Apocalypse, or force him to use all his energy. Unlike Archon, most of play is not in the combat screen. Strategy is much more important as each creature you muster can cost a different amount of your total energy. If you cannot seem to learn to handle the juggernaut with any expertise then you don't have to summon one to use! The game is a good two player scenario, but I like to play the computer. I haven't beaten the advanced level yet but I am trying. I hope I have not confused you into not buying the program because it is fun to play and easy to learn.

Members

Anderson Ken Memphis TN 38128
Baleson Ed Millington TN 38053
Burns Keith Cordova TN 38018
Davidson Al Memphis TN 38115
Doss Leonard & Mary Ann Memphis TN 38119
Eifert Todd Memphis TN 38152
Gaines Steve & Melinda Memphis TN 38118
Gould Philip Memphis TN 38128
Grayson Sandy Memphis TN 38127
Grimes Tim McLemoresville TN 38235
Harris Mike Millington TN 38053
Harvey Eugene Memphis TN 38126
Jones Tom Memphis TN 38128
Karpov Victor Memphis TN 38115
Kligel Joe Memphis TN 38128
Lockard Don Alamo TN 38001
Mccalla Ron & Audrey Germantown TN 38138
Meredith Larry Atoka TN 38004
Norton Gene McKenzie TN 38201
Pinchot David Memphis TN 38115
Ricklefs Joe Millington TN 38053
Schwartz Dr. Alan Memphis TN 38187
Shackleford Dennis Memphis TN 38118
Skinner Andy Kingsport TN 37664
Snyder Richard Bartlett TN 38134
Stockton Mark Memphis TN 38134
Thomason Tom Millington TN 38053
Vineyard Charles W. Memphis TN 38118
Wade Norman Memphis TN 38104
Williams Charles Wilson AR 72395
Witt Patt Memphis TN 38111

The DUCK Pond

Copyright 1986 by Howard Duck

This month I had hoped to discuss in detail various brands and models of modems that were suitable for use with the Amiga, however, the newsletter's deadline seems to have slipped up on me so I will only be able to mention a few of the more popular brands. It seems I've still not been able to lay hands on two of the newest modems in town during the last few weeks. If you'd like to take a look at them yourselves, the 1680 Modem from Commodore/Amiga made its Memphis debut at Games'n'Gadgets last month and Anchor Automation's Omega 80 modem debuted at ComputerLab at about the same time.

The model 1680 from Commodore includes all the standard features you expect of a 1200 baud modem: auto answer, auto dial (touch-tone or pulse), originate or answer modes, carrier detect, full or half duplex, and built-in speaker. It uses the Hayes AT command set which most terminal programs support and the 1680 should be usable with most any computer providing an RS232C serial port. Packaged with the compact "Amiga beige" box, are a terminal program for the Amiga and a coupon for IBM compatible software should you want to use your modem with an MS-DOS machine. Also included is some free time on QuantumLink Information Service. List price is supposedly around $400.

The Omega 80 from Anchor is a bit more unusual. Although it supposedly provides full Hayes AT compatibility, it would likely be difficult to use with any computer other than its intended partner, the Amiga. Packed in a case similar to those typical of C64 models, the Omega 80 draws its power from the Amiga and uses the Amiga monitor's speaker for its audio output (for monitoring dial tone, etc.). Free time on The Source and a copy of "Tiny Online!" terminal software is included in the price which is under $250.

As I mentioned earlier, I had hoped to report some hands on experience with these two modems. I still do. I expect to try out the Omega 80 within the next two weeks and hope to sample the 1680 soon afterwards. I will report my personal experiences with these two modems in later columns. Two modems which I have personally used with the Amiga are the ADC MD1202 and the Avatex 1200.

The ADC is a totally Hayes compatible 1200 baud modem similar to the Prometheus Promodem. This is one modem I can vouch for its total Hayes compatibility, since I use an ADC with my bulletin board system, and the FIDO BBS software is extremely picky about its modems being Hayes compatible. While a FIDO BBS won't run with some modems claiming Hayes compatibility, it runs well with the ADC. The ADC also has a few features not included on some other modems. The primary feature being an internal clock which can be set or read by software on the Amiga. If you are tired of having to set the time every time you boot up your Amiga, you may find this feature quite useful. It does require that you leave your modem on all the time, though, and the ADC's internal power supply seems to get the casing rather hot. This doesn't seem to hurt the modem, however, as long as you don't block air flow around the case by hemming it in with books or other computer peripherals. A shareware program for setting and reading the ADC's clock can be found on the DUCK Pond BBS. Although, it lists for $299, I bought my ADC from DAK for about $170 plus shipping, handling, and the cost of a cable. The ADC came with no software for the Amiga but that is no problem with the proliferation of good public domain programs available.

The Avatex 1200 is arguably the best modem bargain around. While it lists for $199 it can be purchased from many mail-order houses for about half that. It does not, however, support all of the Hayes AT commands and it does not have a built-in speaker. But the Hayes commands needed for normal BBS and information service communication are present and considering the price, most of us can probably get along without the speaker. Several Amiga owners who access The DUCK Pond use the Avatex and I also have used the Avatex without problems (although I did miss the speaker).

Fast Ronnie's Public Domain Disks

Remember those Public Domain disks we all scrambled for at the last couple of MAG meetings? I am talking about the games, telecommunications, and demonstration disks. The disks were compiled by Ron McCalla from the old MAG disks and several new programs he downloaded or scraped up from the Duck Pond. I have included here a list of the three disks from those who have or would like a copy of them. Periodically, I will update the list and reprint it in the newsletter. Ron is now working on that great sequel Games II: Fast Ronnie Strikes Back. There is also a PD utility disk with several copy programs and file manipulators. When I get it, I will print the list.

Telecommunications Disk

Demonstration Disk

Games Disk

Vacation Slides

I have compiled all the picture files I could find onto six slideshow disks. They self-load and are ideal for showing off the graphics of your Amiga. I use them as cut and paste brushes for Dpaint. The disks are not in any specific categories except for Slide.X disk. It only has nudes. The rest are mainly in the order I got them. Thanks, to the Duck Pond, Compuserve, PeopleLink, and Delphi for most of the files. As I get more files, I will add them to Slide.5 and then Slide.6. Here is a list of each disk. If there are any files you have but I don't, please donate them and I will add them to the disks.

Slide.1

Slide.2

Slide.3

Slide.4

Slide.5

Slide.X

October Calendar of Events

19

(Sunday) The Hacker's SIG plans to hold its second meeting at Steve Gaines' house at 2:00 p.m. The major topic for discussion will be expansion boxes. Call Steve at (901) 362-5632 for directions to his house.

25

(Saturday) The general meeting will be held at 11:00 a.m. at ComputerLab on Poplar. The previous meeting's discussion and demonstration of word processing programs will continue. If you have a WP program to recommend, please contact the club president, Audrey McCalla at (901) 755-4641.