October 1990 MAGazine Volume 6 Number 10

Table Of Contents

From the President's Desk

By TODD ROOKS

Welcome to the president's desk. Much has occurred since the last time I wrote this article, so I'll hit the highlights. Some of you may have heard our debut on the radio station WMC-79 three weeks ago. The vice president, Brian Akey, and I were guests on the Computer Connection, a talk show which airs every Saturday from 12:00 to 2:00 PM. We had a great time discussing how the Amiga family of computers are the choice for home computing and video productions. We helped many callers who were unclear about the abilities of the Amiga. Many thanks go to Tim Burford for seeing that the Amiga was included on the Computer Connection.

A week after the show, the Memphis Amiga Group held its first meeting in the new auditorium at State Tech. Many commented on how the new meeting place was so much more comfortable and well suited acoustically. The midi demonstration put on by Sean Kiss was excellent. Unfortunately, he had to make a 20 mile tip back home to obtain the correct cable. Thanks, Sean, for the special effort!

When looking for the new meeting place, look for a map at the old room, and also look for the large Amiga sign just outside the auditorium. To wrap up, you might notice that the newsletter is not being edited by our usual editor, David Bath, since we are unable to contact him. A former newsletter editor/secretary, Charles Williams, graciously agreed to edit the MAGazine through the end of the year. Charles had also contributed this year by producing our Club Brochure (and it's quite snazzy). Well, it's time to wrap up, so I hope to see you at the next meeting on October 13!

Rumors and Stuff

By CHARLES WILLIAMS

HP has released their latest version of the DeskJet printer. It's called the DeskJet 500. A new more water resistent ink will also be available for all DeskJet owners, and owners of earlier models of the HP DeskJet may have their printers upgraded by HP to the performance of the 500. It may, however, prove cheaper to sell the earlier model and purchase a DeskJet 500 new. WordPerfect has indicated that a driver for the DeskJet 500 would be included in their next Amiga WP release scheduled for October.

MicroIllusions has mailed out notifications to all registered users of Music-X that version 1.1 is now available. The upgrade cost is $25.

AMAX II is available. It is a software upgrade that allows you to use your hard disk and also play sampled sounds. The AMAX board (unavailable as yet) is only needed if you want true midi/scsi ports for the AMAX on your Amiga.

If you've been aching to emulate an Atari ST on your Amiga 2000, Combitec has an emulation card called the Medusa. The recommend at least 1 meg (2 is better) of RAM and a diskette drive. The emulator is said to use the entire Amiga memory, all interfaces, the diskette drives, and certain hard disks.

JR-Comm 1.01 should be out now. The major fixes deal with the guru problems that the 2091 controller caused and with the inability to operate JR-Comm under WB 2.0. Other changes deal with VT-100 bugs and a few with Skypix. The other fixes are minor ones that occur under certain situations.

MAGazine

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

Please submit all news, reviews, ads, articles, complaints, suggestions, and loose change to:

MAGazine
c/o Charles Williams
13 Lake Drive
Wilson AR 72395

VISTA review

By Edward Bilson (Xeditor/ED)

I demonstrated this program at our regular September meeting. If you were there, I hope you found my demo both informative and entertaining. At least maybe my demo was of some help if you were entertaining thoughts of purchasing VISTA. For those of you who were not able to attend our September meeting, here's a quick review of VISTA. Unlike a word processor, paint program, or raytracing program, of which there are many, VISTA stands alone in what it does. VISTA is a 3 dimensional landscape simulation program. It uses either a fractal landscape generator or U.S. Geological Survey "USGS" DEM (Digital Elevation Model) files. The latter being a file of real landscape using elevation coordinates taken at every 30 meters (approximately 90 ft.). VISTA comes with 8 DEM files.

  1. ELCAP.SCAPE: El Capitan a section of Yosemite Valley in California.
  2. HALFDOME.SCAPE: Half Dome section of Yosemite Valley.
  3. CRATERLAKE.SCAPE: Crater Lake located in Oregon.
  4. MSHA.SCAPE: Mt. St. Helens After eruption.
  5. MSHB.SPACE: Mt. St. Helens Before eruption.
  6. MONS.SCAPE: Olympus Mons volcano on Mars.
  7. JULIA.SCAPE: Generated by a mathematical algorithm.
  8. MANDELBROT.SCAPE: Generated by a mathematical algorithm.

Currently about 40% of the US has been converted to DEM files which can potentially be used by VISTA. Virtual Reality Labs has plans to market multi- disk sets of DEM files for use with VISTA.

After retrieving one of the DEM files from the landscape directory you're shown a plan view of that file. Instead of displaying elevation lines and numbers, Vista displays different shades of color. The lighter the shade the higher the elevation. You can determined the exact elevation by moving either the target or camera to the area in question. The elevation plus 30 meters will be displayed in the Z window of the XYZ display. Zero position for the XYZ coordinates is the lower left hand corner. The camera always looks at the target. The camera has two lens settings, wide angle and telephoto. Any of the coordinates can be changed by clicking on the XYZ display, then typing in your new number and hitting return. The target and camera location (say in the Z plane) can be locked by selecting the lock gadget located between target and camera coordinate display. You can select the direction from which the sun is shining, and use in conjunction with the exposure and contrast settings, be able to control the location and depth of shadows generated. The snow and tree elevation can be set and you can even add a lake or river anywhere in your landscape. The number of polygons generated is set with the poly gadget and determines the resolution of the image created. There are 4 settings.

Settings 1 = 131,072 poly's
2 = 32,768 poly's
3 = 8,192 poly's
8 = 2,048 poly's

The colors can be changed to suit your needs. Waves can be added to the seas and stars to the sky. There is a 081 version of the program included on the disk. The save as a Turbo Silver object will let you work with your landscape in Silver. This program and any others that Virtual Reality Labs markets, like DISTANCE SUNS, which I will demo at the next meeting, can be purchased directly from them at half price. This offer is good only for user group members. Virtual Reality Labs will be releasing an updated version of Vista with a lot more features in the very near future. I have not covered everything this program has to offer, nor have I gone into as much detail as I would have liked too, so if you have any questions give me a call at 794-2936.

MEMPHIS AMIGA GROUP BY-LAWS

MEMPHIS AMIGA GROUP
Box 17426
Memphis, Tennessee 38187-7426
BY-LAWS

I. Purpose

The Memphis Amiga Group, herewith known as MAG, is organized for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the use and understanding of the Commodore Amiga personal computer. MAG is a non-profit organization offering assistance to fellow Amiga owners and those interested in the Amiga, through the exchange of ideas and experience in personal and general use of the Amiga.

II. Membership

Membership is open to all those who share a common interest in the objectives of MAG. A person is considered to be an active member upon payment of dues as provided herein. An active member's immediate family may participate in group activities, however, voting privileges are only extended to those immediate family members who regularly participate in group activities. Members are expected to abide by all rules as set forth in the by-laws and are subject to dismissal for violation of these rules.

III. Funds

Annual membership is valid from the first day of the month in which dues are paid for a period of 12 months and is renewable annually. Failure to renew membership within 30 days of the anniversary date of membership shall be sufficient cause to end a person's membership in the organization. Membership dues are $20 per year. If membership is renewed on or before the expiration date, the renewal fee is $5, otherwise it is $20.

Operating expenses shall largely be generated by the assessment of membership dues. Dues shall be set by the executive committee, and may be changed as required. The executive committee shall have the power to determine other fund raising activities to supplement monies raised by dues.

All monies received by MAG shall be placed in a general operating fund and may be audited upon request by an active member. Disbursement of funds shall be determined by vote of the executive committee.

IV. Meetings

Meetings shall be scheduled by the executive committee on a monthly basis. Group meetings are held the second Saturday of each month from 1 P.M. until about 3 P.M. in the New Auditorium on the campus of State Technical Institute at Memphis. The election of officers will be held annually at the January meeting. Members much be present to vote.

V. The Executive Committee

The committee shall consist of the following elected officers: president, vice president, secretary/treasurer, librarian and newsletter editor. Officers receive free membership priviledges for the period of their service. Officers also receive free use of the hardware library and free access to the club's software library.

The president is responsible for all group activities and shall preside over the meetings of the group and the executive committee.

The vice president shall act for the president in his absence and shall also serve as coordinator of special interest groups and activities with other user groups.

The secretary/treasurer shall maintain a library of reference materials, public-domain software, and group purchased hardware, available to all active members.

The newsletter editor shall prepare and publish a regular newsletter, including group and special announcements as necessary.

VI. Amendments

These by-laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the active members in attendance at a regular or special meeting, provided that a notice of the proposed amendment is given at least seven days in advance of the meeting.

VII. Miscellaneous

The Memphis Amiga Group specifically prohibits the unauthorized sale or distribution of copy-righted material by its members.

The Memphis Amiga Group, also known as MAG, is in no way connected with the Commodore-Amiga company or any other for-profit organization. Members of the committee or of the group shall not attempt to use funds or property of the group for personal or business profit.

October Meeting

The next meeting of the Memphis Amiga Group will take place Saturday, October 13 at 1 P.M. in the New Auditorium on the campus of State Technical Institute at Memphis. A map is provided at right to help you find your way. If you have difficulty reading it, just give one of the officers a call.

Ed Bilson will demonstrate Distant Suns by Virtual Reality Labs. Thanks again Ed for the review in this issue. If you have a game or favorite program to show, bring it along.

By the way, you too can be a great MAGazine writer just like Ed Bilson. Simply send me (Charles Williams) an article or review for the next newsletter.

Librarian Bill Bowers will have a great AmigaVision demonstration disk as the October Disk-of-the-Month. This one was created by Lou Wallace to show and teach features of AmigaVision. If you have AV, get it.

FOR SALE

PageStream 2.0
All disks & Manuals
also includes 2 extra
PageStream font disks
ONLY $75
Charles Williams
call (501) 655-8777
and I'll bring it Oct. 13

MAGazine Advertisement Prices

Full Page Ad $25
Half Page Ad $15
1/4 Page Ad $10

MAG members may place classified ADS in the newsletter at no charge.

Memphis Amiga Group Officers for 1990

President
Todd Rooks
(901) 373-0198

Vice President
Brian Akey
(901) 458-8514

Secretary/Treasurer
Raymond Ginn
(901) 756-8514

Librarian
Bill Bowers
(901) 360-0003

MAGazine Editor
Charles Williams
(501) 655-8777

Hardware Rentals

FutureSound audio digitizer kit - $1 per day (members)
DigiView video digitizer kit - $2 per day (members)
A variety of Amiga specific videotapes are also available.

Disk Sales

MAG library and Fred FISH disks are $2 each.
Quality blank disks with labels are $.75 each.

For all this and more contact club Librarian Bill
Bowers at (901) 360-0003 or see Bill at the next meeting.