January 1987 MAGazine Volume 3 Number 1

Table Of Contents

The PREZ Sez

I just wanted to make some comments about the December general meeting and also the upcoming January meeting, January 10th.

First of all, the new meeting place at State Tech seemed to meet everyone's approval. There was certainly more space, and a quieter atmosphere. I did speak with Jim Walton of ComputerLab to express our appreciation for the use of their training area for most of 1986, and he understood our need for securing a larger meeting area.

There was a good deal of discussion concerning club funds. One decision made was to make the membership fee of $20.00 a one-time-only fee, rather than a yearly fee. Discussion centered on the fact that we could request a fee from everyone later if the need arises. Also, use of the current funds was discussed, to determine the feeling about purchasing either hardware or software to be be included in a library for use by all members. A suggestion was made to perhaps select a committee to investigate the costs of various alternatives and report back to the general membership, to then make a more educated decision. We may want to discuss this again at the January meeting.

The last item of business discussed at the December meeting was the election of new officers for the coming year. The final consensus was that it would be best to have volunteers for each position, and preferably more than one person for the positions of librarian and newsletter editor. I must agree that the more members actively involved in club functions the stronger we'll be. So, come prepared to volunteer for any position you feel interested in, the more volunteers, the better!

Our thanks to Mike Harris for his demonstrations of Workbench 1.2 and Flight Simulator, and to Don Lockard for his demo of Defenders of the Crown. I think everyone appreciates these demos as an opportunity to see the software before possibly purchasing it, and also being able to ask some questions regarding the software. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to demonstrate either software or hardware during the past year.

One last comment, I have enjoyed the past year as president, in being able to meet all of you, and hopefully helping in some small measure to make the transition to using your computer a little easier.

Audrey B. McCalla

January's Calendar of Events

Saturday Jan 10 1:00 PM - The Memphis Amiga Group's general meeting will be held at the State Technical Institue at 5983 Macon Cove in the meeting room of the Mid-South Microcomputer Resource Center on the second floor of the Freeman Building, (between the library and the cafeteria). Call Audrey McCalla at (901) 755-4641 if you need directions. The meeting is expected to include demonstrations of Electronic Art's Deluxe Paint II and Deluxe Music Construction Set. Club officers for 1987 will be elected, and new committees will be appointed, so be sure to attend.

The DUCK Pond

by Howard Duck

I've been spending a lot of time reorganizing my disks lately. Partly because I've only recently acquired the new version 1.2 WorkBench and KickStart (Why is it I always want to say KickBENCH and WorkSTART???) and copying old files to newly formatted 1.2 disks can speed up disk access time, and partly because I've gotten a lot of new public domain software that I expect to make use of. One of the disks I built for myself contains several of the best public doamin games from the AMIGA\GAMES area of The DUCK Pond BBS (The filenames and descriptions are listed below). The disk is nearly full and all it contains are the 15 games and their associated data files. Its not a WorkBench disk so none of the space is taken up by Amiga command or driver files; of course, this means you must first boot your Amiga using you standard WorkBench disk then insert the game disk and open the disk icon to get to the program icons. The two newest games on the disk are Missile (an arcade game like the old Missile Command game) and Cosmo2 (an updated version of Cosmo wich was an Asteroids clone). Other programs include: 3D-Breakout, Clue, Conquest, FastLife, Go-Moku, Mandel, McNuggetMadness, Raiders, Reversi, SpeechToy, TriClops, YaBoing, and YachtC. I plan to bring it to the next MAG meeting so anyone with a blank disk can get copies.

Here is a list of filenames from "File Area #10: AMIGA\GAMES\" of the DUCK Pond:

3D-BREAK.ARC   17280 Breakout in 3-D! (You'll need colored 3-D glasses.)
AFMAP.PIC       9088 A DPaint map of the Arctic Fox's enemy bases
BOPCODES.TXT    3840 Security code words for Balance of Power game
CLUE.ARC       47104 Very nice graphic and mouse version of board game
CONQUEST.ARC   52999 A Galactic Conquest Game ported from UNIX
COSMO2.ARC     23424 Asteroids clone (now with sound & joystick support)
FLIGHT.ARC     50304 A flight simulator demo (Radar Raiders for WB1.1)
FSII.ARC       13184 Approximately 80 situations for use with FS-II
GO-MOKU.ARC    23552 The classic Japanese strategy game
HACK01.ARC    161152 A graphic d&d adventure; file one of two.
HACK02.ARC     60160 Graphic Hack for Amiga; file two of two.
MISSILE.ARC    84224 Missile Command (works best in df0:)
REVERSI.ARC    30319 An excellent rendition of Reversi (Othello)
TRICLOPS.ARC   90240 Action game fractal landscapes. Shareware. 
YABOING.ARC     4877 POP the boing-balloons with your pointer!
YACHTC.ARC     16260 An excellent version of Yahtzee

World of Commodore IV Show Report

Copyright 1986 by Brian R. Niessen, Vancouver, BC

For the last four years, a Commodore-only show in Toronto has been hosted by Commodore Canada. Toronto has a special meaning because this is where Jack Tramiel started Commodore 27 years ago as a typewriter repair shop (Jack now owns Atari). This is a very well attended computer show, as it is one of very few shows that allow vendors to sell their product, as well as letting the public attend (Comdex and CIS are not for the public, but for dealers, etc only).

This year, there were the following Amiga related companiew showing their products:

AEGIS SOFTWARE
Showing SONIX, the NEW name for Musicraft, which now included MIDI and printing capability as well as AegisPro Plus, the Professional CAD/CAM program.
AMI PROJECT
The programmers' magazine.
AMITALK MAGAZINE
Another new Amiga magazine.
ANAKIN RESEARCH
Showing EASYL, a pressure sensitive pad for the Amiga that can be used to replace the mouse for use with Dpaint or Aegis Images.
B.E.S.T. CORP
Showing their BEST Business Management Software.
BATTERIES INCLUDED
Are not yet into Amiga programs, but we are anxiously waiting to see what their programmers are doing with Paperclip Elite.
BROWN-WAGH
Showing Publisher, their desktop publishing program (See comparison later).
C. LTD
Showing the aMega RAM expansions and their Hard Disk.
CENTRAL COAST SOFTWARE
Showing DOS2DOS, and AmigaDOS <-> PC DOSconversion program.
COMMODORE
Showing Amigas, Genlocks, PC 10's, PC AT's, Alive Digitizers, and other neat things.
COMSPEC COMMUNICATIONS
Showing their 2 Megabyte RAM expansion boards.
CREATIVE SYSTEMS
Showing DATAMAT database for Amiga that includes IFF graphics.
AMIGAWORLD
Our premier Amiga Magazine.
DATA RESEARCH PROCESSING
Showing a program called Key to 'C', a C language tutorial program.
DIGITAL SOLUTIONS
Showing their integrated WordProcessor/Spreadsheet called LPD Writer/LPD Planner.
GOLD DISK
Showing and Selling their GoldSpell Spelling Checker but were especially proud, and deserve to be, of their PageSetter desktop publishing program.
INFO MAGAZINE
The unbiased reviewer of Commodore products.
INPUT MAGAZINE
Canada's favorite Magazine.
JDK IMAGES
Showing their Character Generator program for Genlocking titles onto Video.
MERIDIAN SOFTWARE
Showing and selling Zing!, the mouse driven CLI.
NEW HORIZONS SOFTWARE
Showing Prowrite, a multiple font word processor with color and graphic capabilities.
NEWTEC
Showing Digi-View with new software that makes it really shine.
PRISM SOFTWARE
Showing SuperKit utility program for the Amiga.
RS DATA SYSTEMS
Showing their 2, 4, and 8 Meg RAM expansion modules for the Amiga.
SOFTWOOD CORP
Showing MiAmiga Database, Ledger, Word.
SUNRIZE INDUSTRIES
Showing their Stereo Sound digitizer.
TRANSACTOR
Commodore Magazine. One of the first dedicated to Commodore.
ZEN SOFTWARE
Showing an Amiga system performance monitor.
ZIRKONICS
Showing PTE, professional text engine, the configurable text editor for the Amiga.

Well, that was a lot of things to get a good look at in only four days. I will not attempt to write a review of them all, but will talk about some of the products that made me stand up and take notice, as well as describe some of the people who were there, and maybe, if space permits, some of the parties.

The first item of interest is called CRICKET by a company called Mandala. I will attempt to describe it, but it is really indescribable. Imagine, if you can, a man dressed in white standing on a stage with black background. He has no props, except a monitor down front of him so he can see himself. On the monitors facing the audience, we see the man, digitized using ALive superimposed on a screen with two drums, one on each side of him. "So what!" you say, anyone can be digitized! Well, he now moved his hands to pretend to hit the drums, and BOOM, BOOM, we hear them. Now the audience perks up. What we are seeing is a computer program that understands what the human player is trying to do. He hits the images of the drums with the images of his hands and plays music. He then grabs a ball that is floating on the side of the screen and starts playing with it. He drops it, and bends over to pick it up. He is playing games with something that does not exist, except on the computer screen (He does look strange on stage with no props doing all this). Well, this continues as the audience sits quietly in awe. I was sitting with Dave (Hazy) Haynie of Commodore West Chester (He is building some of the NEW Amigas -- More later) and we just looked at each other with our mouths open. Show's over, audience is stunned, cheers and applause abound. This was one incredible showing of what the Amiga can do. Actually, it was 12 Amigas hooked in a Midi Network with quite a few Midi instruments, as well as 3 human musicians. I had to see this again, and went back 3 times.

But now on to the more conventional things. How about a 200 Megabyte Hard Disk for your Amiga? A company was demonstrating their WORM (Write Once, Read Many) Optical disk. It has 200 Megabytes on a 4 inch CD WORM disk per side. Flip it over for another 200 Megabytes. Cost, $5,000 US for the drive, $20 US for 400 Meg cartridges. Up to four drives on a system.

Then there was PageSetter from Gold Disk. Also shown in the Desktop publishing arena was Publisher from Brown-Wagh. Well, let me put it this way. Brown-Wagh was demonstrating their Publisher program on stage, but the audience was over at the PageSetter booth watching them. Eventually Brown-Wagh just packed up and stopped demonstrating.

Also seen at the show was the C. Ltd hard disk, the Supra Hard Disk, the Xebex Hard Disk, and one other. Not there were Tecmar and Micro-Forge. I wonder why? If I had gotten my hands on either of them I would have...... Oh, I can't say that in this column, but I have both the Tecmar and MicroForge drives so you might know how I feel.

That covers the especially interesting products at the show, so now on to the interesting people.

Attending from Commodore West Chester were Becky Cottin, Dave (Hazy) Haynie, and David Street. I spent most of my time in this group, and believe me, they are not as bad as they sound on the phone. Hazy was presented with some Macadamia nuts (If you have DISKSALV, type "DISKSALV ?" to see what I am talking about.)

There were also people walking around in Amiga Jackets, Amiga Yuppie sweaters, Amiga Socks, and some even had the bouncing Boing! ball pins on their lapels. This was definately an Amiga fair. Also at the show was a double of Sonny's speedboat from Miami Vice.

Enough of the people, and on to the parties! The first party ended up pushing itself out of the room and down the halls. I think every Amiga developer at the show was at this party. It started at 6PM and ended, so I hear, at 6AM when the organizers moved a passed-out SOURCE SYSOP back onto the couch. Quite harsh when we all had to be back at the show at 10AM that morning. The next night was the night to go to downtown Toronto. Ending up at a Punk Rock hangout was very interesting, but not as funny as a certain magazine editor hanging in a bat-like position on the subway on the way home. (And who says programmers have no fun!)

The next night saw the beginning of a very strange two days. Our hotel was also the site of a Midget Convention. Yep, these little people were everywhere. Someone suggested that the Micro-People were here to use the Micro-Computers. This evening also saw a couple of elevator parties. The last night was the Commodore party night, with all their staff and big brass being quite strange. I'm sure glad I didn't have to work the next day.

Gee, this is getting long. Well, now for the rumors that you are all waiting for...

This wraps up this column. Now I can go to sleep after partying for five nights and working the floor for four days.

ARTICLES NEEDED

Now that more hardware additions are becoming available at a reasonable price (we're starting to buy them), we'd like to ask those members of the club who have already made purchases of new printers, ram expansion, hard drives, etc. to share their expertise. We hope to run issues devoted to particular topics, with possibly several members submitting articles describing their opinions of different makes and models of a specific item. If you are interested in submitting an article, please contact the newsletter editor, and thanks in advance. Also, keep those software reviews coming in, we're not abandoning them!

THE FOLLOWING IS A SIMPLE BENCHMARK PROGRAM WRITTEN IN AMIGABASIC BY DAVID AHL, THE FOUNDER AND FORMER EDITOR OF THE LATELY DEPARTED CREATIVE COMPUTING MAGAZINE. I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS PROGRAM DOES, BUT MR. AHL SEEMED SO IMPRESSED BY IT, I THOUGHT YOU FOLKS MIGHT LIKE TO TRY IT YOURSELVES ON YOUR OWN AMIGAS AND ANY OTHER COMPUTERS YOU CAN GET IT TO RUN ON.

' Ahls simple benckmark
' ( This is almost the same Benchmark program that was in        )
' ( Creative Computing July 1984 Issue.  It has been changed     )
' ( just a little so that it will work on the AMIGA and time     )
' ( itself. The smaller the number the better the accuracy is.   )
' ( Here are some published times that were in this article      )
' ( I'm not going to type the whole page but I will put the      )
' ( best time followed by the worst and whatever was somewhat    )
' ( close to my computer.                                        )
' ( Computer         Time        Accuracy                  Random)
' ( --------       --------      ------------------------  ------)  
' (Cray I          00:00:01      0.0000000014                6.1 )
' (TI SR50 Calc.   12.7days      0.193704289                16.4 )
' (Victor 9000     00:20:00      0.00589375                  7.2 )
' (DEC Rainbow 100 00:20:00      0.00589375                  7.2 )
' (AMIGA           00:20:26      0.000000000007958078641    15.7 )
' (The only IBM's that can beat the AMIGA are the IBM Sys-34,    )
' (IBM SYS-38, and IBM 370/67.  The 34 & 38 are minicomputers,   )
' (about the size of a very large refrigerator. The 370/67 is a  )
' (mainframe.  Also IBM compiled BASIC, and BASIC87 did beat the )
' (AMIGA but if someone were to convert this program to "C" it   )
' (would probably kick the IBM where the sun don't shine.        )
  RANDOMIZE TIMER
  W1$ = "Mathmatical calculation Accuracy"
  W2$ = "Random number generator Accuracy"
  X$ = "##.######################"
  T1 = TIMER
  FOR N#=1 TO 100
   A#=N#
   FOR I = 1 TO 10
    A# = SQR(A#)
    R# = R# + RND
  NEXT I
  FOR I = 1 TO 10
    A# = A#^2
    R# = R# + RND
  NEXT I
S# = S# + A# : NEXT N#
PRINT TIMER-T1;"Seconds"
PRINT  W1$;
PRINT USING "##.#####################";ABS(1010-S#/5)
PRINT  W2$;
PRINT USING "##.#####################";ABS(1010-R#)

(Editor's note: This program was written and the times obtained before the release of WB 1.2. It might be instructive to try this program with the newly released version of AmigaBASIC. Also notably absent in the too brief list of times above are the Atari ST, the Macintosh, and the IBM PC/XT/AT family. Perhaps one of our readers would like to try this program on these machines and provide us with a more complete article for the newsletter.)

Welcome!

We'd like to welcome three new members to the Memphis Amiga Group: Ed Bilson, Don Browning, and Broadus Weatherall. Ed purchased his Amiga with the intention of using it primarily as a CAD workstation and right now is searching for the best software. Don works for channel 3 and plans to use his Amiga for video creations. Broadus is hoping to program C on the Amiga, although learning C will have to share his recreation time with four other computers: an Apple //e, a C64, an SX-64, and a C128.

Memphis Amiga Group Member List January 1987

last name first name city st zip expire
Anderson Ken Memphis Tn 38128 9/13/87
Baczor Pete West Chester Pa 19380
Baleson Ed Millington Tn 38053 3/01/87
Bilson Ed Memphis Tn 38115 1/01/88
Browning Don Memphis Tn 38111 1/01/88
Burns Keith Cordova Tn 38018 9/02/87
Crighton Bob Millington Tn 38053 10/01/87
Davidson Al Memphis Tn 38115 3/01/87
Doss Leonard & Mary Ann Memphis Tn 38119 8/01/87
Eifert Todd Memphis Tn 38152 3/01/87
Gaines Steve & Melinda Memphis Tn 38118 3/01/87
Gould Philip Memphis Tn 38128 8/23/87
Grayson Sandy Memphis Tn 38127 10/01/87
Grines Tim McLemoresville Tn 38235 7/01/87
Harris Mike Millington Tn 38053 4/01/87
Harvey Eugene Memphis Tn 38126 08/01/87
Holliday Shawn Memphis Tn 38128 10/01/87
Jones Tom Memphis Tn 38128 7/01/87
Karpov Victor Memphis Tn 38115 8/23/87
Kligel Joe Memphis Tn 38128 9/27/87
Lockard Don Alamo Tn 38001 5/01/87
Mccalla Ron & Audrey Germantown Tn 38138 3/01/87
Mid-South MicroComputer Resourse C Memphis Tn 38134
Norton Gene McKenzie Tn 38201 3/01/87
Pinchot David Memphis Tn 38115 10/01/87
Ricklefs Joe Millington Tn 38053 3/01/87
Rothaar Mike Atoka Tn 38187 12/01/87
Schwartz Dr. Alan Memphis Tn 38187 3/01/87
Shackleford Dennis Memphis Tn 38118 9/02/87
Skinner Andy Kingsport Tn 37664 10/01/87
Snyder Richard Bartlett Tn 38134 7/01/87
Stockton Mark Memphis Tn 38134 8/01/87
Vineyard Charles W. Memphis Tn 38118 8/01/87
Wade Norman Memphis Tn 38104 9/01/87
Weatherall Broadus Memphis Tn 38111 1/01/88
Williams Charles Wilson Ar 72395 8/01/87
Witt Patt Memphis Tn 38111 5/01/87