January 1990 MAGazine

CALENDAR OF EVENTS - JANUARY 1990

Saturday, January 13, 1989 - 1:00 PM - the General Meeting will be held in a room to be selected prior to the meeting. The meeting room is in the Parrish Building on the campus of State Technical Institute of Memphis. We will discuss topics of general interest to the group. Also, the election of the officers will be held and newly elected officers will take office immediately.

FROM THE PRESIDENT'S KEYBOARD

By Broadus Weatherall

Well, one of the keyboards anyhow, I have a graphic being produced on the AMIGA, so I'm trying to struggle along with this other machine right now. Didja ever notice how the keys aren't always in the same spot? At least, that's how it seems to me right now.

The next meeting will be the election of new officers, and the passing of the old guard - at least, I feel a lot older after this year. And I intend to hang around and get even with all of you who have been in the 'audience' this last year. As my motto goes - don't get mad - get even.

I was going to give a nice compilation of Things I Had Done This Year, but as I sit here starting at a blank monitor screen, I can't think of much to put down. Oh, well, at least we didn't fold, go bankrupt, get on the government's list of subversive organizations, etc. And I think we actually gained a few members over last year. That's the kind of leadership you've had - kind of benevolent negligence - but that's the way I work at most things - just ask JoAnne - she's changing the faucet in the kitchen right now - damn thing's been leaking for weeks.

I'll be seeing most of you at the next meeting, and I hope you've all had a good Christmas, a good New Year's Holiday, and I look forward to the Memphis Amiga Group having another great year.

MINUTES OF THE DECEMBER MEETING

By Charles Williams

President Broadus Weatherall began the meeting with a call for nominations for MAG officers for the coming year. The following members were nominated: Todd Rooks for president, Brian Akey for vice president, Keith Burns for secretary/treasurer, Bill Bowers for librarian, and Sean & John Kiss for newsletter editors. However, nominations are not limited to these members. If you are truly interested in one of these positions, I encourage you to get involved. Talk with a current officer to find out what their duties involve and attend the January meeting to help run your club. The election of officers is held at the January meeting and you must be present to vote.

A motion was made to change the MAG By-Laws to allow club officers certain perks: free use of the club software and hardware libraries (unofficially in effect now) and one year's free membership for every year served as a club officer. These changes, if approved by 2/3 majority at the January meeting, will take effect with the election of new officers. Sorry, the changes will not be retroactive.

It was also decided that the club should continue to collect helpful demonstration and tutorial videotapes. I have ordered Digitizing for Effect by Telegraphics International, a 45 minute tape on how to set up and use the Digi-View. If it comes in before the January meeting, I will bring it with me.

In the second part of the meeting, Scott Hudson set up the new Digi-View Gold using the new 4.0 software and showed some of the improvements, including high resolution overscan in HAM mode. Montie Davis brought along the latest laser printer from Hewlett Packard, the HP Laserjet P (for Personal). It has a street price of around $1000. Montie will try to bring the printer to the January meeting, so be sure to bring some sample work to try out on it.

Closing out the meeting, a few members showed some of their Christmas and other video work. We need more of this sort of exchange at the meetings. Get involved in projects, exchange ideas, and try to help stretch imaginations.

MAGazine

MAGazine
Memphis Amiga Group
Box 17426
Memphis, TN 38187

MAGazine is published monthly by the Memphis Amiga Group (MAG), a nonprofit organization offering assistance to fellow Amiga owners and those interested in the Amiga. Membership in the Memphis Amiga Group is available for an annual fee of $20 per family. Memphis Amiga Group officers for 1989 are:

PRESIDENT
Broadus Weatherall
(901) 767-9239

VICE PRESIDENT
Todd Rooks
(901) 373-0198

SECRETARY/TREASURER
Charles Williams
(501) 655-8777

LIBRARIAN
Bill Bowers
(901) 360-0003

MAGazine EDITORS
Sean & John Kiss
(901) 365-1244

CLUB COMMUNICATIONS

By Charles Williams

I've been giving a great deal of thought to the added expense and work of an expanded club newsletter. I agree with the present editors that a change of some kind is needed. What if we put the newsletter on a disk and mailed it to each member each month? With label and shipping costs, the disks can be purchased for about $0.55 each. Is this comparable to the cost of paying to have the newsletter printed? It's probably a little more than printing costs, but I think that we could cut down on our non-member distribution by substituting an informative brochure to be distributed to consenting retailers, telling about the benefits of our little organization. We might even have it printed in color.

Of course, the magazine part on the disk might only take up about five to ten percent of the available disk space. Why not combine the disk of the month with the newsletter? That should fill the disk. Perhaps that kind of format would encourage more member produced articles, pictures, or animations like those shown near the close of last month's meeting. Tell others what you did and how you did it. I know that many of our members can and do produce quality work on their Amigas. Please share some of these things. You'd be surprised at how much interest you can generate and much you can inspire other members. We could all use a little inspiration now and then.

There are many things to consider about this idea, though. I wouldn't want to subject my disk drives to the amount of copying to produce about 75-80 distribution disks a month and a purchase of dual disk drives might be in order. With the added distribution costs, we might even have to raise the dues, but then every member would be getting a disk of informative articles, pictures, news, and utilities every month. At least you could reformat the disk and use it for other things, if you didn't like the latest issue's offerings.

If you don't quite agree with my ideas, then I look forward to reading yours in the next issue.

(See Printing Costs Next)

TAKE STOCK

Review By X-Editor/Ed

["Who do you have to know (or bribe) to become an X-Editor?" - The Present Editors]

Keeping track of your investments is what this program is all about, well, maybe. I'm glad I only spent $29 for this program that lists for $50. As you have probably already surmised, I am not pleased with this program. It does a lot of what it's supposed to do, but not very well; and it doesn't do some of the things I think it ought to do.

You begin by clicking on the program icon which opens a window that displays another icon. Clicking on this icon brings you to the credits window which has an "OK" icon. After clicking on the "OK" icon, you are presented with a screen that displays the date. You change the date by using a pull down menu, unless you have a clock. Typing in the date is required each time a transaction of any kind is entered. It may seem like a small annoyance, but having to type a slash between the month, day, and year bugs me. The program should do it. I've seen it done in some shareware programs.

About an hour after entering data into the program, I decided to use the "REORGANIZE TRANSACTIONS" option. This option arranges your transactions in chronological order. It also has an extra added feature that some people might like - it duplicates your transactions. That's right, where before you have X number of transactions, you now have 2X (BUG ALERT); but there are in chronological order as advertised. Not to worry though, just use the "DELETE A TRANSACTION" option. Ah Ha. This option requires you to use the pull down menu. After selecting "delete a transaction", the program brings a stock list to the screen, and you select the name of the stock for the transaction you wish to delete. The program will then display a list of the transactions for that stock. After selecting a transaction to delete and clicking in the yes box it then deletes that transaction. Then you get to do it over again, and again, etc. I found it much easier to delete that stock and start over again.

The reinvestment of dividends, which is commonly done with mutual funds, was left out. This flaw can be circumvented by using the BUY STOCK option and entering 0 when it asks for the purchase price.

The program does not recognize different account #s. My wife and I have the same mutual fund in three seperate accouts, two IRA's and a regular joint account. I had to change the name of the fund so the program would accept them.

The program will graph a stock's performance for you, however, there's no way to look at the data once it's entered into the program. So, if you forget to enter the data for one or more days, your graph is flawed. The vertical range of the graph is limited by the highest price of that stock. So, if you have a stock that is not very volatile, you are presented with a graph that's nothing but a straight line at the top of the screen.

There are many other things I dislike about this program, but I don't want to go on endlessly. The one positive thing that I did get out of this program is a better understanding of my portfolio. I wasn't paying much attention to my holdings, as long as the price was rising I was happy. But the only thing that really matters in this game is the rate of return. Take Stock did not help with this, but all the research I had to do to enter the data into the program did. A bank account earning 5% would have done better than some of my stock holdings.

I sent a short note, along with my registered owner's card, to the East-West Software telling them about the bug and some of the program's shortcomings. They sent me back a letter saying I could upgrade to version 1.1 for $15. If they had read my note, they would realize that I have 1.1. What I'd really like is $29 back.

FOR SALE

By Charles Williams

This software package includes Aegis Images, a paint program, and Aegis Animator, a 32 color lo-res animation program. Both programs were written by Jim Kent, author of Zoetrope. The package includes all original, uncopy-protected disks, all original manuals and extra information by Jim Kent on the advanced use of Animator. The package price is $25. Call or see me at the January meeting.

I've saved up almost enough money for a laser printer, so I'm going to go ahead and offer my two best printers for sale. The first is the Hewlett Packard DeskJet printer. This is a 300 dots per inch ink jet printer that uses regular photocopy paper. It includes the complete Times Roman ASCII character set font cartridge with font sizes from 4 point to 14 point and the complete Helvetica ASCII character set font with the same point sizes. I'm including an extra ink cartridge, too. If you've seen the members list of names and addresses from the newsletter, then you've seen a sample of the 8 point helvetica printing. All of this is yours for the low price of $485. The second printer is the Canon PJ-1080A color ink jet printer. This printer has a resolution of 83 dots per inch. The text printing is not worth mentioning, but the color picture output is still on its first-color ink cartridges and I have a few extra rolls of ink jet paper to include. The price of the Canon is $169. I will have sample print-outs at the January meeting, if you are interested.

EDITOR'S "THANK YOU"

By The Editors

We would like to thank all of the contributors of the articles for this month's MAGazine. This helps reduce the questionable "filler" material we have had to use in the past.

Seriously, we would like to thank Broadus Weatherall, Charles Williams, Ed Bilson, and the Midnight Reviewer for their fine articles and reviews.

A thank you to Sean Kiss for leaving me with a note, just before he got into his car to leave for half a day, telling me the number of extra lines I had to write as a little filler to even things out.

If any of you have anything, regardless of the content or the length (or the shortness), please submit it!!!!

INVESTMENT IN THE CLUB'S FUTURE

By The Editors

Please give some thought to a suggestion from the MAG Club's Officers that the yearly membership dues be increased from $20.00 to $25.00. As you have read elsewhere within this newsletter, there are many items that the club is interested in purchasing for the use by general membership. This is one method of insuring enough positive cash flow to allow for the aquisition of the aforementioned items.

This topic will be discussed during the January meeting. We would also like for you to present any other ideas that you may have concerning methods to secure additional operating funds for the club's treasurer.... oops, I mean treasury.

THEY REALLY ANSWER

By The Editors

There is a new Commodore Technical Support Line for your use. It has been reported that the following telephone number actually connects you with someone who knows something about Commodore products - it must be some sort of mistake that corporate headquarters made and it will be fixed shortly, but until they find out you can telephone (215) 431-9100 and seek help for your problem(s).

HELP!!! IT'S NOT TOO LATE

The Editor's job is still open. Please volunteer!!!!!

PRO-PRINTING COST QUOTATION

By the Editors

As we discussed in last month's newsletter and during the MAG meeting, we have sought and received one budgetary quotation for having the newsletter professionally printed. Although the cost seems high, we would still like to pursue this idea. Only those of you who have been editors in the past can possibly understand the amount of "busy work" that this phase of publishing a newsletter requires.

Anyway, the following is the presentation of the costs which would be incurred to make this change.

Newsletter $60.40
(200 @ 11"x17"x2 sides)
Insert (2nd sheet) $35.80
(200 @ 8-1/2"x11"x2 sides)
Insert (Member List) $ 9.40
(100 @ 8-1/2"x11"x1 side)
Folding Fee $10.00
TOTAL: $97.60

Note: All of the above costs include the paper for the printing process.

Granted, this may not be the least expensive print shop in the Memphis Area, but it gives us a point of reference for our up-coming discussion.

Our existing paper costs for the above quantities are approximately $5.19. With this amount subtracted from the above costs, the effective cost of professional printing becomes $92.41 per month.

I realize that this seems exorbitant, but for the editors the time saved is well worth the additional cost.

FINANCIAL REPORT

By Charles Williams

Balance brought forward $1195.90
   
INCOME
New Memberships 20.00
Renewal Memberships 80.00
MAG & FF disk sales 12.00
Blank Disk Sales 33.75
   
Total Income $ 145.75
   
EXPENSES
Newsltr & postage $ 48.16
Fish Disks 20.00
People Link 10.00
Digi-View Gold and 4.0 software 183.00
Lights for copy stand 21.29
Money Order 1.00
   
Total Expenses $ 283.45
   
New Balance $1058.20

HARDWARE ROUNDUP

By Charles Williams

Several members have been asking about the club's next hardware purchase. I have collected some of these suggestions and will attempt to go over some of our choices. Your opinion at the next meeting could influence our next purchase. Let's start with the most expensive item, the Sharp JX100 color scanner. This is a small, portable scanner with a 4" x 6" window. You set the window over what you want to scan. It does color at up to 200 dots per inch and black and white. It interfaces through the serial port and ASDG did the software (ScanLab 100). It is VERY good. The software has hi-res HAM, like the new Digi-View software, and special dither modes. This one looks like a big winner and the street price is about $800. I'm seriously considering buying one for myself. Just keep in mind that a 4x6 inch color image at 200 dpi could take up to 4 megs of RAM, but Digi-View also needs lots of RAM for its super-duper color modes. Remember, digitizing and scanning ARE different. Simply put, digitizing can be used on larger subjects and can be used for 3D still-life set-ups. But, it is a hassle to set up and get the lighting just right. People Link has some unretouched JX100/ScanLab 100 pictures that you can download to look at.

Next, I have heard several members mention FrameGrabber by Progressive Peripherals & Software. It can capture HAM images directly from TV-tuner, VCR or Video Camera in just 1/30 second (1/60th second for B&W images). It supports every resolution and color mode, including overscan. It is a stand alone unit with its own power supply and memory. The software is good and it connects through the parallel port, like Digi-View. The street price for FrameGrabber is about $540.

I'm going to mention the hand scanners that you pull across your picture. They are for B&W work, but the resolution is up to 400 dots per inch, or you can use a lower resolution, if you have limited RAM. The package by Cltd. includes the scanner and software for a discount price around $300. The scanning width is a little over 4" and it does a great job on making clip art or copying logos for desktop publishing. Ken Winfield has one, so if you're interested in details, he can probably provide them.

Last are the genlocks. These are the things that help you record your animations and graphics onto videotape with more clarity and color fidelity (for those with 2000s and 500s). The 1000 has a composite video output. Broadus used his to record the BADGE demos for the last meeting. Genlocks also allow you to combine videotape images with graphics created on your Amiga. Actually, this is their primary function. Just remember that when you add these great graphics and titles to the videotape you shot of your sister's birthday party, you'll also need a second VCR to record the new combined image. Here, for the most part, more money means better quality. Supergen by Digital Creations has gotten good mension from several magazines and the street price is about $650. Progressive Peripherals & Software has just come out with a fair, but inexpensive genlock called Minigen for about $215.

Finally, I want you to know that everything I know about the above items comes from reading Amiga magazines. If I've included any gross inaccuracies, please let me know. Better yet, be at the January meeting and help us decide how to best serve the majority of members with our next hardware purchase.

JIGSAW

(Please notice - all CAPS)

Publisher:
Britannica Software

Type: Puzzle Solving

Cost: $25-$30

Protection:
AmigaDos Copy
Word Protection

This game uses a quick and easy interface that makes it challenging and exciting. The object of the game is to take a 320 x 200 Lo Res picture broken into blocks (pieces) and reassemble them in the shortest time possible. Sounds simple doesn't it? Well, you can have a simple 8 piece puzzle all the way to an almost impossible 200 piece puzzle. Then, as if that wasn't enough, on the harder levels the pieces are rotated making them almost impossible to replace. One of my favorite features of this program is that it allows you to import any of your own Lo Res pictures into the game. The timer keeps track of how long it takes you to finish each puzzle, which makes the two player mode very exciting. This game is not as exciting as Blood Money or Menace, and not as challenging as Shanghai, but is a well-blended mix that makes for a really nice (however not great) game.

Speed = 80

Although the game play speed is adequate, it is not outstanding.

Playability = 80

Better than average.

Graphics = 70

It can use any 320x200 Lo Res picture, but is not able to handle HAM, Halfbrite, etc. However, you can use a conversion program, as I did to take your favorite pictures with the program.

Docs = 75

Short but adequate.

Sound = 68

No breakthrough here.

Overall Midnight Rating:
** 74.6 **

If you are into puzzles, this game is a must.

The Mightnight Reviewer.......

(MAGazine Editor's request to the Midnight Reviewer: You can also consider uploading your review(s) to the bulletin board. Thank you.)

WELCOME NEW MEMBER!!!

All of us from the Memphis Amiga Group wish to welcome the following new member:

Ulrich Warias

Memphis Amiga Group Membership list as of December 19, 1989

***** Please pay dues by the SECOND SATURDAY of the month on your EXPIRE date *****

You may pay dues by mail by sending your $20 check made out to Memphis Amiga Group
to MAG dues, c/o Charles Williams, 13 Lake Drive, Wilson, AR 72395

LAST NAME FIRST NAME CITY ST ZIP EXPIRE
Akey Brian L. Memphis TN 38111 OCT 90
Andrews Freddie L. Memphis TN 38128 MAY 90
Bath David T. Memphis TN 38112 FEB 90
Bilson * Edward Memphis TN 38115 JAN 90
Bowers William Memphis TN 38118 MAY 90
Buford Matt Bartlett TN 38134 JUN 90
Burford Tim Grenada MS 38901 FEB 90
Burns Keith Cordova TN 38018 SEP 90
Campbell Terry A. Horn Lake MS 38637 AUG 90
Cervetti Michael Cordova TN 38018 AUG 90
Chapman * Walter T. Drummonds TN 38023 JAN 90
Chiego John Memphis TN 38119 FEB 90
Clay * Lonnie C. Memphis TN 38111 JAN 90
Coffman Shane Cordova TN 38018 MAR 90
Coleman Tom Oxford MS 38655 MAR 90
Data Erming Malmo, Sweden phone 011-46-40-120700 DEC 90
Davenport Marshall Memphis TN 38127 OCT 90
Davis Montie Memphis TN 38104 AUG 90
Davis Ray Memphis TN 38128 APR 90
Dickey Milton E. Memphis TN 38118 NOV 90
Dobson Michael Memphis TN 38118 NOV 90
Dobson Luciano Memphis TN 38115 APR 90
Doss Leonard & Mary Ann Memphis TN 38119 AUG 90
Echols Steve Memphis TN 38116 DEC 90
Garavelli Dr. John S. Washington DC 20007 JUN 90
Ginn Raymond Memphis TN 38127 DEC 90
Goff Robert Memphis TN 38134 FEB 90
Gray Bobby,Vickie,Terri Brighton TN 38011 MAY 90
Grimes Tim McLemoresville TN 38235 NOV 90
Harruff Richard Cordova TN 38018 AUG 90
Harvey * Eugene Memphis TN 38126 JAN 90
Helm * Robert Memphis TN 38107 JAN 90
Hoffman Dr. Walter K. Memphis TN 38122 AUG 90
Hooker Bill Memphis TN 38134 NOV 90
Hudson Scott Memphis TN 38115 JUN 90
Jenkins * Andy D. Barlett TN 38134 DEC 89
Jennings Ron Carson CA 90746 MAY 90
Johnson Richard Havelock NC 28532 SEP 90
Jones Tom Memphis TN 38128 AUG 90
Kane Brian Memphis TN 38128 APR 90
Karpov Victor Memphis TN 38115 OCT 90
King * Guy O., Jr. Collierville TN 38017 DEC 89
Kiss John & Sean Memphis TN 38118 FEB 90
Lendennie * Dianne Collierville TN 38017 DEC 89
Limer Walter E. Millington TN 38053 MAR 90
Lockard Don Alamo TN 38001 AUG 90
Lowder Mike Memphis TN 38118 JUN 90
Lownes Robert Bartlett TN 38133 OCT 90
Lyons Sammie P. Memphis TN 3819 SEP 90
McInturff Ace Memphis TN 38115 NOV 90
Moore Calvin B. Memphis TN 38118 JUN 90
Morris Eugene West Memphis AR 72301 APR 90
Norman * Joe R. Dyersburg TN 38024 JAN 90
Porter * Sharon Memphis TN 38109 JAN 90
Robbins * Dr. James Mobile AL 36695 JAN 90
Rooks Todd Memphis TN 38134 MAY 90
Russell Shane Memphis TN 38115 JUL 90
Sanders Joe Memphis TN 38134 DEC 90
Shiflett James T. Millington TN 38053 MAY 90
Smart Timothy G. Memphis TN 38111 JUN 90
Stevens Bill Memphis TN 38115 JUN 90
Thorton Ernest L. Memphis TN 38134 AUG 90
Vineyard Charles W. Memphis TN 38118 AUG 90
Wade * Norman Memphis TN 38104 JAN 90
Wallace Michael S. Marion AR 72364 SEP 90
Walp * Len Memphis TN 38128 DEC 89
Waters Bob Memphis TN 38116 NOV 90
Weatherall * Broadus & JoAnne Memphis TN 38111 JAN 90
Williams Charles Wilson AR 72395 AUG 90
Willis Mark Barlett TN 38135 APR 90
Winfield Kenneth Memphis TN 38128 DEC 90

LEGEND-> * = due this month ** = due last month & you could be dropped next month