January 1991 MAGazine Volume 7 Number 1

Table Of Contents

The JANUARY General Meeting of the Memphis Amiga Group will be held Saturday, January 12 (the second Saturday of the month) from 1 P.M. until approximately 3 P.M. in the New Auditorium on the campus of State Technical Institute at Memphis (see map on page 2). Please remember that in order to renew your annual membership at the reduced rate of $15, you must renew BEFORE the end of the month that your membership expires, otherwise, you will have to rejoin at the $20 rate.

Editorial and Stuff

By CHARLES WILLIAMS

Yes folks, it's time to MEET THE CANDIDATES. The annual election of officers comes up at the January meeting, and yes, you must be present to vote. You do not, however, have to be present to be elected to an office, so either way, you'd best be there. At the December meeting, those present made some nominations for elected positions for 1991. We usually do that because there is almost always a shortage of people to fill the positions. You can still be elected to an office at the January meeting, even if you weren't nominated in December and/or your name does not appear here.

Also at the December meeting, we thought it would be a good idea to expand the number of positions in order to let more people take an active roll in club affairs and to take some of the work load from the current officers. It was decided that we would make the position of secretary separate from the position of treasurer, and I would also like to keep the much appreciated help of Terry Campbell in assisting me with the newsletter. If you didn't know, I get to do all the fun stuff, while Terry has to do all the manual labor of making copies of the ONE newsletter I send him and folding them and licking the stamps and putting on mailing labels and mailing the newsletters that you receive. I couldn't (read wouldn't) do it without his help. Also, the amount of hardware and software to keep up with has expanded greatly and it was felt there would be a need for an assistant librarian to share the burdens of making up the disk-of-the-month, keeping up the equipment rentals, and looking after the mounting number of videos and newsletters we have. So that makes three extra officers; a secretary to help the treasurer and do much of the public relations duties, an assistant newsletter editor to give me the extra time to entertain you with my charm and wit, and an assistant librarian.

Here are the names presented for your consideration in January. For president, we have present Vice President Brian Akey and former (1989, I think) President Broadus Weatherall. For vice president, several names were presented: Shelley Franklin, Joe Sanders, Guy King, Brian Akey, and Donnie Webb. For secretary we have current President Todd Rooks. For treasurer, current Treasurer Raymond Ginn. The nominations for both librarian duties include current Librarian Bill Bowers, along with Shane Russell and Sonny Barron. For newsletter duties we have Charles Williams and Terry Campbell.

Plans are underway for a Post-Holidays Party to be held the evening (about 7 to 10 p.m.) of the Saturday following the January meeting. That would be the third Saturday of January. As of now, the place is between the Memphis State Student Union and some place at State Tech (if we can make arrangements). If anyone has a rather LARGE house and would like to play host, the club will handle the catering, prizes, and fun-and-games. Final plans will be announce Jan. 12.

MAG Meetings

The Memphis Amiga Group (MAG) holds general meetings the second Saturday of each month in the New Auditorium on the campus of State Technical Institute at Memphis (see map at left).

The club librarian, Bill Bowers, prepares a Disk-of-the-Month for each general meeting. For details on the current disk call Bill at (901) 360-0003.

The only currently active Special Interest Group (SIG) is the Video SIG. Information on their meetings and activities can be obtained from club Vice President Brian Akey at (901) 278-6354.

Hardware Rentals

FutureSound audio digitizer kit - $1 per day
DigiView video digitizer kit - $2 per day
(Hardware rentals are for Members Only)
A variety of Amiga specific videotapes are also
available from the club's hardware library.

Disk Sales

MAG library and Fred FISH disks are $2 each.
($5 each for non-members)
Quality blank disks with labels are 75¢ each.
($1 each for non-members)
For all this and more contact club Librarian Bill
Bowers at (901) 360-0003, or see Bill at the next
MAG general meeting.

Memphis Amiga Group Officers for 1990

President
Todd Rooks
(901) 373-0198

Vice President
Brian Akey
(901) 278-6354

Secretary & Treasurer
Raymond Ginn
(901) 353-4504

Librarian
Bill Bowers
(901) 360-0003

MAGazine Editor
Charles Williams
(501) 655-8777

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.

MAG Classified ADS

*FOR SALE*

HP+ compatible laser printer, and City Desk 2.0. Both for $575.

Action Replay cartridge, as advertised in AmigaWorld and other Amiga magazines. Only $45. For details call Ken Winfield at (901) 382-3339.

Transcript word processor by Gold Disk. Only $15. Call Charles Williams (501) 655-8777, or see me at the Jan. meeting.

Your classified AD here for FREE to members! See the MAGazine Editor. at the next meeting or mail info to: C. Williams, 13 Lake Drive, Wilson, AR 72395.

The New FISH are in! Only $2.00 each.

DISK 391

Curses A link library containing many of the terminal independant standard "curses" functions. Designed primarily for those interested in porting unix screen based programs to the Amiga. Eco An ECHO replacement which allows many escape sequences for colors, text styles, cursor positioning, system variables, and much more. FractalLab Investigate the realm of fractals and allow your imagination to run wild. ListPlot A 2D plotting program built around the PLPLOT plotting library. Its principle advantage is that it supports a variety of graphics devices.

DISK 392

BTNTape A "Better Than Nothing" SCSI tape device handler. CPlot Graphs linear functions in two dimensions, similiar to a Mandelbrot plot. Pmode Very simple command line utility to send escape sequences to the printer to change print syles. SetNoClick Very simple program to set the NOCLICK flag in the public section of a trackdisk unit. Spades Amiga'ized version of the popular card game.

DISK 393

FileIO The dissidents file requester. FontConvert A printer font conversion program to convert standard Amiga fonts into a form suitable for downloading to a printer that supports user defined printer fonts. FuncLib A program that allows you to add or remove rexx function libraries. ILBMLib A shared library (ilbm.library) to read/write IFF files. LibTool A program that allows you to develop C or assembly code, and then quickly turn it into a shared library. PrintSpool A small print spooling shared library that provides an easy way to print graphics and text for any application. RexxIntuition This is a ARexx function library that allows you to open windows/screens from an ARexx script, attach menus, gadgets, (file) requesters, load and save ILBM picture files, auto-requesters, print text and graphic dumps, and completely interact with the user in an intuition environment. Adds all of those Amiga features that ARexx lacks. RexxLib A shared library that can be easily used by any C or assembly programmer to add an ARexx interace to his programs.

DISK 394

Aniptrs3 Some more animated pointers to choose from to "liven" up your display environment. 'Liner A shareware outliner whose function is to create outlines for notes or export to other programs. 'Liner can save an outline as ASCII text. Pics Some miscellaneous pictures with a "cartoon" theme. PrintImage A simple program that provides an easy way to print IFF ILBM images.

DISK 395

DragonCave A nicely done Sokoban like game for the Amiga. This disk has been recalled by Fred Fish due to some copyright problems.

DISK 396

ColorCatch A utility that lets you grab colors from a screen and save them as an executable file. NewLook A program that changes the system gadgets in all the screens and windows. PBar An editor to change the pattern in the windows drag bar and save the pattern as an executable file with an icon looking like the pattern. PCalender A little calender program which lets you look through years and months using the arrow-keys. PClock A little clock program which shows the time and the available CHIP and FAST memory. PFiler A very good and small file requester to link onto your own programs. Resident A resident startup module for Aztec C. RoadRoute Trip planner program to find "best road route" between any two points of travel. TurboTopaz Two Text speed up programs like FastFonts.

DISK 397

DKBTrace A complete ray tracer that supports arbitrary quadric surfaces (spheres, ellipsoids, cones, cylinders, planes, etc.), constructive solid geometry, and various shading models (reflection, refraction, marble, wood, and many others).

DISK 398

DClock A "Dumb Clock" utility that displays the date and time in the Workbench screen title bar. Formatter A faster and more user friendly floppy disk formatter that is also an example of how to format Amiga file systems in general and get AmigaDOS to accept them. GMC A console handler with command line editing and function key support. HunkFunk A program to "disassemble" any given AmigaDOS hunk file. KeyMacro A keyboard macro program, configurable via a text file, that also supports hotkey program execution.

DISK 399

AutoCLI A 'PopCLI' type replacement that works with WorkBench 2.0. CCLib An implementation of the standard C runtime library, with a few extra goodies thrown in. PrettyWindows Three different C routines to add various borders inside of windows. TrackDisplay A simple program that continuously monitors and displays the current track for each floppy disk.

DISK 400

DriveWars DriveWars is a Shareware shoot'em up game that pits you, df0: or df1:, against a computer virus that is about to destroy all U.S. records of Iraq's positions during operation Desert Shield. ParNet The Software Distillery's NET: file system using Matt Dillon's parallel port code. ReqLib A runtime, reentrant library designed to make it easier for programs to use powerful, easy to use requesters, for communications with users. SetCPU A program designed to allow the user to detect and modify various parameters related to 32 bit CPUs. SF2 File search utility. Searching includes looking into archive files.

Impulse Conference

"Imagine and the FireCracker 24 bit color board"

This is a heavily edited transcript of a capture of a live conference held in People/Link's Amiga Zone Club on the evening of 12 December, 1990. The guest speaker was Mike Halvorson, President of Impulse, Inc., in Minneapolis, MN and the main topic of discussion was Imagine.

Mike is on People Link (Plink) frequently, and is using his regular Plink ID: "IMPULSE". The main purpose of this conference is to discuss Impulse's newly released ray-tracing & animation software called Imagine. Version 1.0 of Imagine has just shipped and should be at dealers now. Retail price of Imagine is US $350.00. There is an upgrade for owners of Impulse's older ray-tracing software, Turbo Silver. Mike can elaborate on the upgrade later. Impulse makes other Amiga products including the new Firecracker 24-bit graphics display boards, VoRecOne - the voice recognition system, Terrain - a landscape object file maker, and coming soon, Foundation - a new authoring system.

(IMPULSE) Ok gang I guess now is the time for all to grill or ask or whatever you want, but first I want everyone to know that we have a problem with the PD animation player found with Imagine. A new one is posted here in Plink so please down-load it. OK so first?

(OJS248) Great program! Having problem with IFF mapping. Plane shows through IFF map. Any suggestions?

(IMPULSE) The Y axis now has data associated to it, you must move the brush axis away from the object so that the Y is not sitting directly on a face as well. When you wrap on a sphere or tube you must make the Y axis 1 in size.

(GOLD*DISK) Mike, when is the FC24 going to be shipping, and what is the maximum resolution the you can push the 2 meg version to? Oh yes, retail price too.

(IMPULSE) The FC24 has shipped now for a month. The max res is 1024 by 482 and the price is $1600.00

(GO) Why do you have to be in local mode to lock changes in edit brush or edit texture?

(IMPULSE) Because the Bounding Box is not for sizing purposes, it is just a reference marker. In some case being in local is much easier than world.

(CLEARSTAR) Please tell us about FOUNDATION and since I have LIGHTWAVE do I still need IMAGINE? How do they compare?

(IMPULSE) AH Foundation is simply a real Hyper Based Tool system that will do Multimedia, as well as almost any other task that you would want; more importantly it will allow the otherwise non-programmer to develop programs without being a programmer. Lightwave is a solution for the Toaster, Imagine is an Amiga Solution. Do you need both, you bet.

(JUMPDISK) How do I upgrade from Turbo?

(IMPULSE) One of two ways, Call us and order the upgrade or drop a check in the mail for $150.00 and we will send you one ASAP.

(CBM*HARV) Mike. Along with their check do you want anything else? Original disk? Manual page?

(IMPULSE) If you have not sent the warranty card for Turbo send it along. If you already have done so, then a check or credit card number is all we need, and of course an address if you want one sent back. SPECIAL NOTICE for those of you who do not have turbo but do have Sculpt or other 3D based programs send us the cover page of your manual and a check for 150.00 and like magic we will send you a copy of IMAGINE.

(ROBT*CCN) Not having Imagine (yet) can it render directly into the FC24, or for that matter someone else's board like DCTV, Ham-e, etc. and is it Arexx compatible?

(Impulse) Directly, no, you must render and then read it in to the Card. It's simple to do;we will support the others through the use of TAD Pro from ASDG and as needed we will put direct support in for the products that you want us to.

(OSS110) What is the key command to reaim the camera after making changes

(IMPULSE) Right Amiga C will reset the camera and all other objects that have tracking.

(PROMIGA) What kind of outputs are on the FC24? Can it support real-time animation? Upgradeable? Genlockable?

(IMPULSE) The output of the FC24 is RGB just like the AMIGA, it supports external Genlock devices. 24 bit animation in real times are possible if you have 80 billion bytes of RAM running at 0 NS. There is just too much data to shove around. Like the toaster, you must move the images to single frame recorders.

(CBM*HARV) Mike, ROBT*CCN also wanted to know about Arexx capability in Imagine.

(IMPULSE) Ah yes, Arexx will be supported in the next release of Imagine, 2.0 due out to a movie house near you sometime this spring.

(*BCTV) Mike will there be packs of F/X available soon? And how do you create F/X?

(IMPULSE) Ah well. Ah, yeah we will have an FX disk sometime this winter; to learn how to write them will take some more time, I am not sure we even know how to do it right, we will let you know when we can make it easy to understand.

(GO) Why do I get "black holes" as if a triangle is missing, in a terrain made from a plane?

(IMPULSE) Hmmm I suppose the gravity is real bad behind that triangle. If you do phong shading on triangles that are messy you will get this artifact. Make it fact or not phong and it should be fine.

(GNOLAN) Great offer for us old SCULPT users. Very generous of you.

(SLEEZYCZ) Mike, can Turbo Silver files generated by Vista Pro be imported into Imagine? And would owning Vista Pro qualify me for the $150 upgrade?

(IMPULSE) I think so, I don't have a copy of the program yet and well, I suppose it might, yeah ok.

(CBM*HARV) I own Vista Pro - yes, Turbo Silver saves will import right into Imagine. Remember... Vista Pro makes huge silver objects, so slice out a small portion of the terrain.

(OJS248) How do you exit from display of rendered image within Imagine as well as playback of a "movie"?

(IMPULSE) Don't ever hit the mouse key, simply hit the escape key. Yours truly forgot to document this simple but important task.

(CBM*HARV) And in case the user forgets and clicks on the screen? [which is easy to do].

(IMPULSE) OK, if you mess up, pull the first screen down, click on the back screen and then hit the every popular ESC key.

(LGREEN) I saw Imagine demoed at our user group meeting and was rather impressed, but how well will it work on someone's machine who doesn't have an 020/030 accelerator? I know the club machine has a 2630 in it.

(IMPULSE) Of course speed is good, but it works fine on most any machine.

(L.MARKOYA) Hi Mike, which disk drive is best to run Imagine from and what color shorts are you wearing? (sorry.. the formality is tough).

(IMPULSE) The fastest drive that you have is good and I think red, formal red that is.

(TOPHER) What is the resolution of the FC24 w/2meg? And no NTSC out right?

(IMPULSE) FC24 is 1024 by 482 and right, RGB out, not NTSC.

(TREP) With the exception of RGB out, the Toaster seems to offer a lot more than the FC24 at roughly the same price, and with the new "cheap" 24 bit thingies <HAM-E, DCTV>, why should I get a FC24? And thought to bundling Imagine with it?

(IMPULSE) First, DCTV and HAM-E are not, NOT 24 bit, they are NTSC or the case of HAM-E, you have a doubling of pixels and a limited increase in colors. The Toaster is also NTSC, not 24 bit. The FC24 is a true 24 bit realtime display card that will give you a real look at the RGB format. The toaster is a product that costs several thousands of dollars to make it work. As advertised the DC24 works out of the box in a 2000 or 3000 Amiga. They are truly different products, but with the FC24 you can paint in 24 bits realtime, not HAM, and expect to get a good 24 bit picture. If you can do that you don't need a FC24.

(*BCTV) Mike, now with the realtime interface, don't you think clicking on objects should move them instead of clicking "M" then moving them?

(IMPULSE) Ah well, no. But it is something that we can look at. For the next revision, if you like.

(OSS110) You mentioned Imagine 2.0. Can you give us hints of new toys in it.

(IMPULSE) NOPE. The head programmer will beat the hell out of me for telling you that there is one.

(ROBT*CCN) Mike, not being a developer myself, I haven't heard much about the Amiga Developers Association (ADA). Being the president of ADA, what do you envision as its goal/role for this upcoming year, and is ADA attempting to define some kind of standard regarding user interfaces. And, just curious, how many "official" ADA members are there and do you feel it has been successful so far in bringing developers together? Breath now..

(IMPULSE) Lets see, next year's goals must come from the members; this year we had several, and we have done a resonable job. The interface question is really and truly up to CBM, they have to set the pace and standard for the rest of us to follow. The ADA is not a police body, we can only suggest guidelines, which we have done. Members to date are about 35, success is judged by others. I know that we have made a difference in the market by badgering other magazines for coverage and tracking down software pirates, giving speeches and helping new developers. We can of course do better; next year will be another challenge.

(SNOWBIRD) Okay, first, pardon my ignorance, but will you need a FlickerFixer/multisync setup to use FC24... and will FC24 be easily genlockable?

(IMPULSE) No, you can use any good ole CBM 1084 and FC24 is easy as pie to Genlock.

ANNOUNCEMENT. As of today there is a new club in town and you are invited. We have the Impulse club, where you can get all kinds of goodies, as soon as we put them there and you can leaves messages, suggestions and complaints. We encourage you to do all of those things, the area is for your use. Type /GO IMPULSE or /GO IMP to get there. [note: Impulse's new Plink support area opened for business on 12/12/90].

(OJSANDS) Explain how to use the FC24 to overlay the Amiga workbench interface over a 24 bit image and what slot does FC24 fit in?

(IMPULSE) The FC24 fits in any zorro slot, and the overlay is automatic if you route the Amiga display through the FC24. You can then use software like PPage 2.0 and display 24 bit pictures through a zero color window, nifty huh. The FC24 is not going to take over your Amiga, it is very passive and has its own memory.

(OJSANDS) Will I need a special cable to do this?

(IMPULSE) No, Oran it with everything you need to use it right out of the box and best of all there is no install routine.

(STEVEX) Does the Firecracker have an 8 bit mode, ala VGA cards... or any other modes that would make it also useful as a display for doing normal Amiga stuff on in the future?

(IMPULSE) Not yet Steve, but we are working on a driver to do just that.

(TOPHER) When is FC24 shipping? What is MSRP w/2meg? How fast must the chips be, and finally, how fast is the display "built"?

(IMPULSE) FC24 is shipping now, $1600, retail. Chips are very fast and installed and the display from disk is as fast as your disk can shove it data.

(PK-ASDG)Using the FC24 to display 8 bit data will be quite easy.

(CLEAR*COM) Ok I've got a simple question. The FC24 is a 24 bit display board; it can be used to display to a higher res CRT than the 1084 type of display and without interlace?

(IMPULSE) It is possible, but not with the present software support in rom on the board. As time goes by and folks see that the board is of value, we will increase the support for software. The idea of CADCAM on the FC24 is possible but it ain't all that easy, for now it is as it is. Stay Tuned.

(NEW*BILL) If FC24 works with a regular 15.75 KHz monitor, are there any plans for a doubled vertical resolution version using a VGA type 31.5 KHz monitor? Hmm, Clear may have beaten me to this one.

(IMPULSE) Yes, Bill there is a future.

(GNOLAN) I've used the program a little, any thoughts on expanding the manuals? How does FC24 work with a FlickerFixer/multisync set-up?

(IMPULSE) Well, wait till you get the new manuals and NO the FC24 does not work with FF.

(sNOWBID) Okay, first what limitations, if any, are there with a 1084 versus a higher res monitor, and (pardon the sacrilege, if there is any) how does FC24 compare to the ULowell board?

(IMPULSE) Lowell is not 24 bit for one, and for higher res you would need more memory than we have put on the board, that's all. If you see one (that is a FC24) you will want one, even on a 1084.

(TOPHER) Is the FC24 user upgradeable to 2meg? And how many bits is the Toaster?

(IMPULSE) The toaster is bit-less, it is NTSC, the FC24 is 8 bits per color per pixel, the Toaster is another kind of thing. And, and at the moment, the 2 meg is the only version available.

(CBM*HARV) Mike, a couple of months ago you mentioned other lower priced Firecracker models. "Ladyfinger"? What's up with those? Prices?

(IMPULSE) LadyFinger may come out in the early spring as a 8 bit, 256 color card, price about $500.00

(OJS158) How does Foundation compare to UltraCard?

(IMPULSE) Steve, your turn, go for it guy. Steve is in charge of Foundation.

(MAGELLAN) Foundation is a next generation authoring system; it is significantly more powerful and easier to use than UltraCard. We will have a similar conference on Foundation and related products soon.

(PK-ASDG) Ok... for the same scene, is there a relative performance difference between Silver and Imagine? If so, how much?

(IMPULSE) Imagine is about 20% faster, but it also likes more ram.

(SNOWBIRD) Earlier you said that "higher res requires more ram than we put on FC24". From what I've heard, does this mean more ram than can be put on the board?

(IMPULSE) Ah, yes, of the type we are using now, new ram is coming soon that may have an impact on the FC24.

(JAY-KUB) Will FC24 fit in the A3000? With it's built-in FFixer?

(IMPULSE) Yes, Jay the FC24 just plugs in and runs on the 3000 no problems.

(*BCTV) Mike, how will LIGHT compare to Diamond and what features does it have?

(IMPULSE) Light, the 24 bit paint system just like Dpaint, i.e., easy to use and simple to operation, it will have several features that are not of course available in Dpaint or Diamond, like real dithered fills and 24 bit brushes. The key is that we are going to build on what people already know how to use, not make up some new weird interface that confuses everyone.

(J. WOLF) How does Foundation compare to CanDo & AmigaVision? How debugged is Foundation (Ultracard was awfully buggy)? How did Foundation get its name? How does FC24 compare to Memetics FB?

(IMPULSE) FC24 is fast and real time, and now Steve has more for you on your other questions.

(MAGELLAN) Mike can answer about the name, but to give you an analogy, if Imagine is what Turbo Silver has become, then Foundation is what UltraCard and CanDo and AmigaVision and Toolbook and Hypercard has become.

(IMPULSE) The name Foundation comes from the Greek word meaning Great Software.

78 different people participated, although not all of them asked questions.

Copyright 1990, The Amiga Zone. All rights reserved.

If you are interested in signing up to become a Plink subscriber or to obtain more information you may do so by calling either:

VOICE: 1-800-524-0100, Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Central Time

MODEM: 1-800-826-8855, 24 hours every day, 300/1200/2400 baud. Hit [return] slowly a few times after connection, then follow the prompts.

People/Link accepts Master Card, Visa, American Express or prepayment by personal check or money order.

American People/Link is a Service Mark [sm] of American Home Network Inc.

More FISH from Fred! Get them from Bill while they're still fresh.

Disk 401

CrcLists Complete CRC check files for disks 001-400 using the brik program. HappySong A song created using the freely distributable program MED V.2.10. Player program included.

DISK 402

ADoc A freely redistributable help utility for the Amiga. ARrf A freely redistributable printing utility for the Amiga. Pcopy An intuition based disk copier for AmigaDOS disks featuring high speed diskcopy with write verify, data recovery from damaged tracks, full multitasking compatibility, and a user friendly interface. PLW Phone-Line-Watcher. For users of Hayes compatible modems. Monitors the serial port and records all incoming calls. Allows a remote user to login, receive and leave a message, and transfer files via Zmodem in either direction. PrintStudio Very nice intuition based general purpose print utility that prints text with a variety of options. Prints several graphic formats with yet more options. Std-File A module that can be linked with any Intuition based program to provide a standard file requestor similar to the one in AmigaDOS 2.0.

DISK 403

FixDisk A program to recover as much as possible from a defective disk. KawaiEditor A Kawai K4 editor (apparently some kind of midi based music synth). NiftyTerm NiftyTerm is an h19/VT102/VT52 emulator for the Amiga. PokerDemo Demo verson of some Solitaire card games from UnSane Creations. RexxHostLib This is a shared library package to simplify the ARexx host creation/managment procedure.

DISK 404

LHArc An archive program like Arc and Zoo, with a heavy emphasis on maximum compression for minimum archive size, using LZHUF compression. NGTC Release One of a trivia game based on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" TV series. Contains over 500 questions on Season One of the series with over 50 audio/video clues. This disk contains the game module and part 1 of the Trivia Database. You MUST have disk 405 which contains the rest of the Trivia Database and the required player program.

DISK 405

GIFMachine A program that will convert CompuServe GIF image files inot IFF SHAM and 24bit ILBMs. NGTC Release One of a trivia game based on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" TV series. Contains over 500 questions on Season One of the series with over 50 audio/video clues. This disk contains part 2 of the Trivia Database and the "Projector" player. You MUST have disk 404 which contains the rest of the Trivia Database and the game module.

DISK 406

ATCopy A program to copy files from the Amiga side of a system equipped with a PC/AT bridgeboard, to the PC side, using wildcards. DirWork A Fast small simple efficent shareware DirUtility that gets directories off floppies in about half the normal time. DMS DISK-Masher is a utility that allows users to compress and archive entire floppy disks. Offers four different types of compression, extended virus checking of boot blocks, and data encryption. GnuAwk GNU awk is the GNU Projects's implementation of the AWK programming language. GnuGrep The grep program from the GNU project. MadBlanker A cute screen blanker that bounces a transparent rectangle around.

DISK 407

DMouse A versatile screen & mouse blanker, auto window activator, mouse accelerator, popcli, pop window to front, push window to back, etc, widget. WonderSound Wondersound is an additive harmonic insrument design tool with a separate envelope design window and 16 relative harmonic strength and phase angle controls.

DISK 408

DCmd A utility that monitors a CLI's console IO and copies it to a user specified file. KickDate Saves and retrieves the cuurent system date stamp to the first sector of the kickstart disk. This is handy for A1000 users with auto-booting hard drives, since it can save the system time across system resets and power cycles. MoniDie A cute little "screen hack". Post An excellent PostScript interpreter for the Amiga which supports the full Adobe language and type 1 font in Roman, Italic, Bold, and Bold-Italic, and Courier font in Roman, Roman-Oblique, Bold, and Bold Oblique.

DISK 409

Trek An excellent shareware Star Trek game. This distribution unpacks into two almost full disks. Author: Tobias Richter

DISK 410

MechFight A role playing game where you explore a world, buy or find items, and fight against robots and aliens. Vlt VLT is both a VT100 emulator and a Tektronix (4014 plus subset of 4105) emulator, currently in use at SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center).

Get your FISH disks from Bill Bowers for only $2.00 each.

Shadow of the Beast II: A step-by-step solution

by Steve E. Tietze

Commands:
A Lets you ask a question.
S Lets you see how much money you have and your score.
O Offer whatever object that is currently being pointed to.
F1-F5 Choose different objects you may be holding.

For those of you who have become very frustrated with this new Psygnosis game, here is a simple walk through to get you along, I'm doing this from memory so it might not be absolutely perfect.

  1. Activate the cheat by going right as soon as the game starts and ask the first pygmy: TEN PINTS.
  2. Now go all the way left until you reach this guy who is being captured by a gargoyle and shoot the hell out of the gargoyle until it releases him. Then ask the man about: TRAPS. The man will tell you somewhere in the statement either: Upper Switch or Lower Switch. Remember which one it is, you will need to know later!
  3. Go down through the branches and make the first left into this tunnel as soon as you see a gargoyle fly over your head, follow it to the hanging rope and kill it fast. If you don't kill it, it will cut the rope which will screw your game up. Once you kill it then wait at the very edge of the tunnel facing toward the left and wait for the guy pushing the stone. Only when the guy reaches the edge, start shooting at him and he will die. You can only kill him when he has reached the end of the tunnel.
  4. Go left into the tunnel until the disk drive turns on. Once the drive stops loading you should see a gargoyle flying above you. Kill it and take the key he throws and then continue going left. Ignore the gargoyle that is next to the see-saw and go up the rope and then jump to the right. Use the key to open the iron door and continue right until you reach a wall with two switches.
  5. Hit the switch that was told to you by the guy that you saved earlier (See step 2). Be very careful not to hit the wrong switch! Once you hit the right switch, the elevator will fall, get inside, and it will take you up.
  6. Now, in this part you have to be very careful. Go right until you get to the chain and get on the chain. If you climb part of the way down the chain you will see a sleeping gargoyle and on the wall will be two switches. Climb all the way up the chain, and jump right against the wall. When you do this, you will fall straight down into the pit where the sleeping gargoyle is. Once you land, you have to act very quickly. Once you land, turn around, fire a QUICK shot or two, make a SHORT jump and while in the air fire as many shots as you can. If you are successful, the gargoyle will not hit the upper lever on the wall and fly away, if you are unsuccessful, the gargoyle will hit the upper lever and the chain will retract and you will be trapped in that pit. In either case the gargoyle releases that animal, but the cheat will protect you. Once the gargoyle flies away hit the LOWER lever (You always hit the LOWER lever), jump on the chain, and get out of the pit.
  7. Once out of the pit go right, go up the second chain, jump to the upper ledge, and get the gold coins (shoot the chest). The coins only stay for a few seconds so pick them up quick and from now on every time you come across a chest you must shoot it and get the coins. Later in the game you need every single coin (36 of them in all, 6 coins in each of the 6 chests throughout the game).
  8. Once you get the coins jump down and go right again and pick up a key on the far table at the end of the hallway. I have solved the game and at no time actively used this key to open any doors, but get it anyway just in case it does something without you knowing about it.
  9. Now you can leave the area all together by going all the way left and getting back into the elevator and pushing down on the joystick.
  10. Once you get back down go left, down the rope, and keep going left and you will notice two pits of acid, one of them should have a bridge across it (that is why you had to hit the lower switch in the pit with the sleeping gargoyle; it puts the bridge there).
  11. Keep going left and you will find a wall with three switches on it and a large stone. Do not break the stone with your mace! Use the switches to move and lower the grappling hook over the top part of the stone. Use the upper-most switch to close the hook and grapple the rock. Once the hook is fastened on the rock, lift the rock and move it to the right (all the way up and all the way to the right). Use the top switch to release the rock and drop it on the ground on the other side of the exposed acid pool. The rock will land on a spike and break.
  12. Push the remaining fragment of the rock (just walk against it), up to the left side of the see-saw. Climb the rope almost 3/4 of the way up and jump to the right. If you do it right the rock will fly up. Run quickly over to the left and get in the elevator. The elevator will take you up.
  13. Go left and you will find Ishram, an evil dragon. Kill Ishram and shoot the sack that is hanging from the branch. When you release the prisoner, he will tell you a password you will need, either: NECROPOLIS, SUNSTONE, ETERNITY, or OBERON. You are done with this area! Go right, then down the branches, keep going right all the way down the hallway to the entrance of that tunnel.
  14. When you reach the rope, go down and jump right. When you get to a hole in the ground with branches in it, go down. Then go right again. You will reach a stone gate and you will see a dragon head that will ask you for a password. Type in the password given to you by the guy you rescued from Ishram (See step 13).
  15. Once you enter, go up the rope and you will meet Barloom, a good dragon. In front of him is a parchment that has a spell; take it. Then back track, go down the rope and go to the right. Get the coins from the chest (#2). Go left and leave.
  16. Once you get out, go back up the branches and go left, cross the pool of acid and keep going left. When you come to this big guy, you can't kill him, you have to hit him to push him to the left and knock him into the acid. Keep going left and you will find another one of those guys, do the same thing, knock him into an acid pool behind him. You will also find your third chest; get the coins (#3).
  17. When you get to the Karamoon Oasis, go inside. Once inside go to the left, up the stairs, and get the jug. That is the only thing you need here. Exit and go all the way back to the place where the game started you off. You are now done with the entire "Left Side" of Karamoon, as I like to put it.
  18. Once you get to the pygmies, cross their forest, keep going right until you get to this place where there is a rock above the ground and right under the rock, on the ground, you will see this thin green piece of grass that is covering the entrance to the Crystal Caverns. Before I tell how to get in, you have to get something first. Go to the right and when you see these rocks that progress like steps, jump from one to the other going up and to the left as you jump, until you find this green monster. Kill the monster and after you kill him, he drops an axe. Get the axe but don't use it, you're going to need it in the Cavern. You're going to be carrying too many things, so put the arrow on the parchment, you don't need that for now, and walk over the axe to get it. Don't forget to get the coins in the chest (#4).
  19. Go up the little rope, jump over to the rock, and go up on the ledge. Break down that green column type thing with your mace. Go right and get the chest with the coins there (#5). Now go all the way down to the entrance to the Caverns.
  20. Before you go in the Caverns, you should have: MACE, Wierd Key, AXE, and the JUG. The way you get in, is you have to jump a whole bunch of times on this thin layer of grass. Just keep jumping up and down and it will break and you will fall through. Go down into the hole and switch disks when it asks you to.
  21. Once you are in the Caverns, go left and you will find the last chest (#6), by now you should have 36 coins. Stop going left when you reach the right edge of the stone bridge. Now, switch your weapon from MACE to AXE but don't push the joystick button, because axe only lasts for a few seconds. Run Left as fast as you can and don't stop until a stone wall falls and blocks you from continuing. Ignore the little goblin who starts to run, just follow him and when that wall comes down, push the joystick button and start firing the axes at the top goblin (the one who is retracting that iron draw bridge). Once you kill the top goblin, kill the one directly behind the wall. You must hurry because the axe only last for a few seconds and the bridge, in the mean time, is retracting under you feet. Remember, kill the top goblin first, and the bridge will stop retracting, then kill the one directly behind the wall. Ignore the two goblins above you, they're not worth the effort of killing. Use your mace to break down the wall and get through; it will take about 10 to 15 hits to break down the wall.
  22. Once you get through the goblin's outer defenses, you have to go left, then go to the chain that leads upward and go up it. You will then see a switch that says: Spikes. This switch shuts off the spikes in the hallway directly to the left of you for 10 seconds. The cheat protects you, so it doesn't matter. Go left across the hallway, until you reach a locked door. Kneel and use your mace to hit the lever on the other side of the door, this will release a chain that will allow you to escape later. Now, run back across the hallway, go down, and then go down the other chain into a room with four goblins. Go right and get the key on the little table. Then go left and allow yourself to be captured by walking under that cage hovering above the ground. You are supposed to be captured.
  23. Once captured you will be led to a cell and locked up. Put the arrow on the jug and press 'O' for offer. You offer the jug to the guard at the table and he drinks it and falls asleep. Now, with your mace break the door down (you have to hit it a lot). As soon as the door breaks, VERY QUICKLY jump on the chain and climb up and kill the goblin guard at the top. If you don't kill the guard at the top of the chain, he will kill the prisoner that is trying to escape.
  24. Once you kill the guard at the top of the chain, you will see the prisoner come within seconds behind you and he will jump on the right ledge and start pulling on a door. Leave the prisoner there, go back down, and kill the sleeping guard. Get the key he releases and free the other prisoner from the cell that was above yours.
  25. Go all the way up the chain and you should see both prisoners waiting in front of the door. First jump left and go left and get the RING. Then go back to where the prisoners are, move the arrow to the one remaining key that you have, and push the joystick button. The door will open and both prisoners will begin running. Stick with the first prisoner, by stick I mean shadow him, I.E. run right next to him so that you can barely see him. Forget about the second prisoner, he always gets hit by the spikes, but the first prisoner is saved as long as you run right next to him. At the end of the hallway, this prisoner disappears. I don't know what the significance of trying to free the prisoner is, but I suppose it must be important, even though he gives you nothing in return.
  26. Once you get to the end of the hallway, keep going right and leave the Crystal Caverns. You are done with this part of the game.
  27. Once you get back to the surface, go back up and get the parchment you left there earlier. Then go right, to the rope, and go down the rope and on to the stone in the waterfall. Jump right, from stone to stone, kill the ugly monster that greets you at the third stone. And, when you jump from the third stone there will be two small stones next to each other, the first one is a creature, so don't jump on it. Jump on the second of the two stones and then jump to the rope and climb up it. Cross over that strip of land and get to the second rope. Climb down that rope and halfway down jump right to land again.
  28. You will now get to a bridge and on the other side of the bridge will be this brownish/gold guy with a sword. DO NOT KILL HIM. Lure him to the left back across the bridge and when he gets to this weak spot on the bridge, it will collapse making a hole in the bridge. Jump over the hole for now and go to the right and greet the old man.
  29. Offer the ring and the parchment to the old man and he will make you a weapon. Pick up the weapon and go back to the bridge and fall through the hole in the bridge. After you get sucked down the whirlpool, you will be in a new place.
  30. In this new place, all the way right, fall down, and keep going right and pick up the HORN. Once you have the horn, go down the rope and jump right. Go right and when you get to the snail ask him about: KARAMOON. He will ask you if you want to go there. Say YES. He will tell you it will cost you 36 coins and will ask you if you want to pay it. Say YES. He then takes you bact to the surface leaves you right where the old man used to be.
  31. Go right, use the MACE to kill the two guys with the shields. Keep going right and fall off the edge into the swamps. Keep going right, past the tree trunk with the snakes, all the way to the edge of the land where the sea begins. Point to the HORN and push the Joystick button and a sea monster will appear. Climb on its back and it will take you across the channel to an island. Jump off onto the island and go to the castle and enter.
  32. Go into the castle, taking the upper stairs leads you to a locked door so don't bother going that way. Just go right, all the way right. You will find THE MAGE! Kill the MAGE with the new weapon given to you by the old man. GAME OVER!!!!!!!!!

(As posted by Steve E. Tietze to USENET and obtained through People/Link's Amiga Zone.)

PP&S Introduces VideoMaster32

Progressive Peripherals & Software introduces VideoMaster 32, the 32-bit dual frame buffer board with 24-bit painting and 24-bit digitizing capability. The VideoMaster is based on the 34020 32-bit second generation graphics processor by Texas Instruments, with optional 34082 32-bit math co-processor. The VideoMaster plugs into the Amiga 2000 and 3000 series computers, but uses its own internal RAM and processor exclusively, making it a virtual video Workstation for video professionals. Two software-selectable video input channels are provided for either NTSC composite or NTSC RGB in. Two software-selectable video output channels are also provided, for NTSC composite or analog RGB out with external synchronization capability (slavable) for connection with other video peripherals, such as Progressive's Video Blender.

Using state of the art video technology, the VideoMaster offers dual frame buffers, each with resolutions of up to 1024 x 1024 in 24 bits (over 16 million colors) with 8 bit overlay (256 colors). The frame buffer can display out in resolutions up to 800 x 600 and 1024 x 512 in over 16 million colors. Instantaneous buffer display switching, hue, saturation and contrast may be quicky adjusted through software for the perfect video image.

Video Canvas 24, a real-time 16 million color paint system is included. Video artists may use the Video Canvas to create graphics in a scrollable paint area of up to 1024 x 2048 pixels. The Canvas updates the display instantaneously as the user paints. State of the art palette selection and object creation methods are provided to generate works of video art quickly in 16 million vibrant, brilliant colors. Up to 8 clipboard arreas for sketching or creating art may be allocated. For close-in detail work, real-time zoom capability of up to 8:1 is provided by VideoMaster. Standard IFF images may be loaded in and upgraded to 24-bit images, then saved as 24-bit IFF images or in VCAN, Video Canvas' own 32-bit compressed custom format.

The VideoMaster offers optional real-time 24-bit video digitizing in all Amiga video resolutions up to 752 x 525, including overscan. NTSC composite or NTSC RGB video signals may be digitized in 16 million colors in 1/30th of a second, shown on the external display, or stored for later recall or editing. Through the use of leading edge technology and engineering, VideoMaster's crisp, realistic digitized images are virtually indistinguishable from live video.

VideoMaster offers the video professional real-time 24-bit video effect generation capabilities. VideoMaster provides real-time video resizing, live "window within a window", animations, solarization, polarization, zoom up to 8:1, and an unlimited number of real-time ADO-style effects: flipping windows, inversion, rotation, and countless others, all real-time in 16 million colors.

VideoMaster's unique hardware and software design allows generation of video effects which were formerly available only on high-end custom video production systems. The VideoMaster's design includes a programming and data RAM storage area of 1 megabyte, expandable to 8 megabytes. This area may be used for running blindingly fast custom 34020-based applications such as 3-D rendering, animation, ray tracing, image processing, and ADO effects generation software.

The VideoMaster's 8-bit overlay allows for operating system windows and menu displays in up to 256 colors, overlaying the 24-bit video image. This design eliminates palette selection problems and allows for easy editing and painting in 24 bits.

VideoMaster is scheduled for release in 1st quarter 1991. The VideoMaster comes with Video Canvas 24-bit paint software, diagnostic and control software, thoroughly illustrated manual with examples, and VHS tutorial videotape. Many configurations are available for a single-buffer 32 MHz system with 1 MB program storage RAM, to a double-buffered 40 MHz system with 34082 co-processor, 8 MB program storage RAM, and digitizing capability. All configurations available in NTSC or PAL. For more information: PP&S, 464 Kalamath St., Denver, CO. 80204. Phone: (303) 825-4144.

(An edited press release from PP&S on one of their new hardware products - C. Williams).

BlazeMonger

New Game Review by Dan Barrett

If you want to see RAW SPEED in an Amiga game, you MUST check out BLAZEMONGER. This is the fastest Amiga game over written -- nothing else even somes close! Tired of Turrican? Is the Beast a pussycat?? Does the Killing Game Show play like reruns of Home Shopping Network??? Get a life!!!!! Blazemonger animates at 200 frames per second -- so blindingly fast that you need two monitors just to watch the intro!!!

Forget C! Forget assembler! Forget all those slow, wimpy languages!! Blazemonger is written in 100% cray ymp machine code for the ultimate in speed!!!

Blazemonger goes direcly to the Amiga hardware for unmatched performance. While Blazemonger is being played, warm boots (ctrl-a-a) have absolutely no effect. In face, you literally cannot turn off the amiga because blazemonger takes over the power switch!! (How's that for a safely feature??) At the same time, Blazemonger sends thousands of volts through your power cable, soldering it to the wall outlet, assuring that under no circumstances can you ever accidentally stop this game.

Copy protected? You bet!! Blazemonger uses disk protection, dongle protection, "look up the word in the manual" protection, "look up the word in the dictionary" protection (Webster's 4th edition), 40-number yale combination lock protection, and an impenetrable teflon coating around the entire disk!!! And for your added safety, your high scores are written to the super-protected master disk, so the pesky scores cannot escape and post themselves to thousands of bulletin boards, bragging about their magnitude!

Multitasking? Who needs it?!? Blazemonger is so amazingly fast that it takes less time to cold boot on our custom OS than it does to switch screens!! In the time it takes you to run a stupid "clock" program in the background, you can play five full games of blazemonger!! You don't need anything else running!!!

Playability? No chance!! The raw speed of Blazemonger is so wildly intense that nobody has ever beaten this game. You will literally feel wind against your face as the images whip past your glazed eyes. The average player dies in fifteen different ways before he can even plug in the joystick!!! The best-known high score is in the negatives!!! Speaking of joysticks... Blazemonger suppors 2-button joysticks, 3-button joysticks, 3-button mice, 6-button shirts, 24-button elevator panels, and even 256-button telephone operator switchboards to give you precise control over nearly all of the 1073 brain-blasting ultimate weapons available at all times!!

Dose Blazemonger have a 2-player mode? Get real!! Blazemonger supports nine simultaneous players through the use of custom joysticks. These little beauties can plug into the serial port, parallel port, scsi port, 2nd-disk-drive port, video port, co-processor slot, rgb monitor port... even the two audio outputs!! And you can add more players by nodem, fax, or genlock!!

So, you C and assembler wimps... go back to your stupid, lazy, futile, high-level software engineering trash. Go play "monopoly" or something. There is only one true game for the Amiga, and it is Blazemonger. Only $9.95! Look for it in your favorite Amiga software store -- it's the package shaped like a plastic explosive wrapped around a lit stick of dynamite.

(By Dan Barrett, Department of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University. Downloaded from People/Link's Amiga Zone.)

Game Hints

Karate Kid II

Press the P key in single player mode to be taken to the next screen. You can go as far as the Final Encounter. In 2-player mode, you can go to the next-to-the-last screen.

Falcon

For a full belt of cannon rounds and eight AIM 9L missiles, press CONTROL, Left ALTERNATE, and X. Also, as landing is near impossible, go to End Of Mission to end the game and get your medals and points.

Thundercats

If you're finding this game a bit hard when you come to the "Rescue Tygra" stage, find a place where bonuses pop up frequently, and grab them. If you're careful, this'll give you loads of lives.

Denaris

Press Z, plug mouse in port 2, hold right button as it loads.

Drakkhen

For a better character: Get into the character generator section, and enter the character name as 31415927. Then when you are next asked for your name, enter SUPERVISOR. Now play the game and press CTRL. When a monster appears, quickly hit RETURN. You will do a half turn, take advantage of this and run away.

Dungeon Master

To see someone interesting, face the entrance and cast OH EW RA. To advance ninjas, have them stand in a hall and throw weapons. Retrieve and repeat. Magic users should cast spells in the air and fighters just slash at empty space.

Here are some undocumented spells:

YA BRO ROS Leaves a trail of footprints
VI BRO Shield poison
DES IR SAR Darkness
FUL BRO NETA Fire ball shield
OH KATH RA Lightning bolt
ZO Opens doors
DES EW Weakens the non-copreal (undead) beings

Kings Quest III

When casting a spell and asking to recite a verse just hit RETURN.

Spherical

The codes are:

RADAGAST
YARMAK
ORCSLAYER
SKYFIRE
MIRGAL
GHANIMA
GLIEF
MOURNBLADE
JADAWIN
GUMBA
CHACMAL

Vigilante

Type GREEN CRYSTAL on the scoreboard then press F1 for extra lives and F8 to skip levels.

Zoom

Hit F10 and then choose your starting level, 1-30.

Hardware/Software Roundup

by Brian Akey

What's new in Amiga Kingdom? It seems that the group should be looking into upgrading our Amiga 500 so we can run bigger programs and demos. Two things we could use are 2 to 4 megs of memory and a Super Fat Agnus for 1 meg of chip ram. The Agnus will cost about $90 to $100 and I could take care of installation. The extra ram can be had by installing a Xetec FastTrak with memory board and harddrive interface chips uninstalled. This will cost around $250 for the interface and $45 per meg of memory (1 x 8 or 1 x 9 simms). The other solution is a GVP series II Harddrive. It comes with a 20 meg or larger harddrive and room for 4 megs of memory. Prices are $550 for 20 meg and $600 for 40 meg plus $45 per meg of memory. The GVP is the best solution, but also the more expensive one.

Having a harddrive would allow demoing programs that require it. Also it could have public domain (PD) software that would be put on disk after meetings.

Supra has both a ram and a harddrive that might provide another solution. Both of these are new so I don't know if they are out yet and they also use 256 x 4 DIP chips that are more expensive than 1 meg simms. We'll discuss these upgrade options at the next meeting.

Some new things out for the Amiga include two new PC emulators. The PC-Board by Pulsar Power is $525. It has an NEC 8088 compatible processor running at 8 Mhz with 1 meg of memory for the PC side 704k main memory and 512k for the Amiga side, since the board goes in place of the 501. There is also a software added 512k ram disk for the Amiga side. The PC Board seems to have problems working with the new 1 meg Agnus, so if you have a new Amiga modified for 1 meg of chip ram, the PC Board will not work. The Board takes over the Amiga when in PC mode and works at the speed of a slow AT machine with a CGA monochrome screen.

For most people needing a PC compatible and having a 500, this would work very well, but a German company has just come out with ATonce for $398. It works on 500s and 2000s (with an adaptor plug for the CPU slot). ATonce uses a new AMD chip. The AMD chip has an 80286 and all the extra chips to handle a PC Bus, BIOS chips and many interface chips. All this on one chip. ATonce also adds a specially designed memory management unit that interfaces the AMD processor chip to the Amiga's memory and input/output devices. This makes the ATonce multitask, but it uses the Amiga's memory for PC memory. This means it is cheap and reliable, but it has to run at 7.14 Mhz, the Amiga's CPU speed, and if you have only a 1 meg machine, don't count on having a lot of memory left over for Amiga programs. On a 5 meg Amiga, 2 meg could be used for the PC side with 3 megs left for Amiga programs. It can use the Amiga drives and printer port, modem port, 2 joysticks and Amiga mouse as comm1 or comm2. If you need a PC, this is the best setup. It also emulates CGA and double scanned CGA's 640 x 400 text displays.

GVP has a new 68030 board running at 50 Mhz. They also have a 2 meg memory board for the budget minded. CSA has a new 25 Mhz 68030, 68882 board with 2 meg for the Amiga 500 at $1299. ICP has a 14.3 Mhz 68000 for the 500 with a 16k static cache for double the speed of the standare Amiga 500/2000, all for $349. GVP also has a new line of harddrive controllers, series II. It uses a new Motorola chip for a low chip count, high reliability and cheaper cost. It can handle SCSI harddrives and up to 8 megs of memory. There is a board for the 2000 and a new style case for the 500. Prices range from $500 for the 20 meg model on up for bigger drives.

Supra has a new harddrive for the Amiga 500. The Supra 500XP can handle 1/2 to 8 megs using 256k x 4 dram. It has a bus pass through. Price should be in the $200 to $300 range.

MAST has a new 24 bit color interface called ColorBURST with real time processing and Amiga graphics overlay, all for $495. Spirit has a new genlock called InterLok for $569. It's an external genlock with faders.

Xetec has a CD Rom drive that comes with a free CD that has over 300 Fred Fish disks and other PD software on it. It is priced at $599 or $699 (internal/external).

ReadySoft has released Amax II and Amax II Plus. It adds harddrive support and is more compatible with turbo Amigas (68020 and 68030).

California Access has come out with Bodega Bay, a $349.95 add on for the Amiga 500, allowing 4 2000 slots, 3 drive bays, a 200 watt power supply. Future add-ons being CPU and Video slots.

AE has introduced a fax modem called DataLink EXP for $219. ICD has introduced Flicker Free, a $389 interface that goes under the denise chip to allow non-interlaced VGA frequency Amiga screens. It works like the Flicker Fixer and allows bigger overscan.

Commodore is releasing a flicker fixer for $289 on a board that goes in the video slot on 2000s.

New Software

Line Link, $299.95 by Active Circuits, allows printing to slides and film at 4000 lines of resolution. Macro Paint is a new paint program that works in 4096 hi-res (640 x 400) by Lake Forest Logic. It is also new in that it allows macros to be installed in the main menus. So if you can think of a new tool, this program will allow you to use it. It is also ARexx compatible.

Oxxi/Aegis has a new paint program called SpectraColor that works in ham and allows animated move paths that are probably drawn using the same method as ProMotion the VideoScape 3D add-on. Sounds too good to be true. They have also introduces VideoTitler 3D, allowing animated 3D fonts. Audiomaster III is another program upgrade by the same company. It includes many new features: sound player for playing 20 loaded sounds, compressed sound, and more.

Excellence is up to version 2.0; it looks the same but it can finally keep up with a fast typist.

MAST has come out with Blitz Basic for $149. It allows full control of the Amiga's processors. They claim full speed, matching languages like C.

Delphi Noetic System has a new version of F-Basic (3.0) that has even more features for a compiled basic, ($99.95, $149.95 for the Debug version).

Dyna Cadd has come out with a professional 2D/3D CADD program for the Amiga, and at $995 it should be professional. It has the 2.0 Workbench look. Some other programs that have the 2.0 Workbench look are Softwood's Electric Thesaurus with 500,000 synonyms and definitions.

Project D has a new version with the new look and SAS has SAS/C, the C compiler that used to be Lattice C. It has the 2.0 look and allows programming for the new environment.

PageStream has a new version (2.1) that has the new look. Gold Disk is coming out with Professional Page 2.0 with 2.0 look.

For MIDI fans, there is a new version of Bars & Pipes called Bars & Pipes Pro with the 2.0 look.

UPDATES & UPGRADES

By Xeditor/ED

I have recently been inundated with requests from software companies to update or upgrade. What the software companies are really asking you to do, in the case of an update, is to pay for their mistakes and omissions. Some of these companies even want to make a profit from their goofs. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't put in a few bugs, so they can update and hit you up for some more money. When you buy a new car or appliance and something goes wrong with it you get it fixed or replaced, No Charge. A small charge to cover the cost of shipping and handling is justified.

I had a personal experience with one company who would send a 4 disk update at No Charge after calling their 800 number. Now, they want $18 for shipping and handling 3 disks. Another company sends you their update and then requests $5 to cover shipping and handling.

Upgrades come in two flavors. New features to an old program or entirely new program with new docs. In the case of new features, you will have to be the judge as to their worth. In one case I decided that even though I would like to have the upgrade, the features offered were not worth the cost. I think the software companies should bear in mind that they are able to stay in business because people buy their programs and these people should not be penalized.

Upgrades with new docs are programs that build on and add to the features of the original program. They are given new names or called Version II, EXPERT, or PROFESSIONAL. Nevertheless, they are still asking you to buy something that you already bought once. "Because you are a registered owner of XXXX you can purchase our new program YYYY for the reduced price of $$$$. Our new program YYYY does this, that and the other thing, and because you already know how to us XXXX, learning the features of YYYY will be easy. Send your money today so we will have enough money to put our programmers to work on ZZZZ.

I say to all software companies out there who overcharge for updates and upgrades -- UP YOURS!!!!

QuarterBack Tools A Mini-Review

by Howard A. Audet

Here is a quick run down on QuarterBack Tools (QBT). The program DOES have an AREXX port (now if only I could figure it out). It appears that you can utilize most of QBT's using AREXX. After closing the "About" box you are presented with a select volume requester. You can choose from your mounted floppies and hard drive partitions (removable media is also supported). You can also pull down a menu to have the program display DRIVES (this is useful if you are like me and can't always remember volume names). When you select a volume you are presented with the Main Menu. The Main Menu looks something like this:

If you put in a bad dsk or an unformatted disk you are presented with the Bad Volume Menu instead of the Main Menu. The Bad Volume Menu looks something like this:

I will discuss some to the Tools I have tried. Format volume - when using QBT's format it writes a teeny file somewhere out of the normal disk space. This enables you to unformat a volume. Obviously if you use AmigaDOS to low-level format the disk it WILL be history. If you use AmigaDOS to QUICK format the disk QBT should be able to get the contents back - it just takes time. If you use QBT unformat it looks for the teeny file and should restore the disk quickly. Again, if you write new files to the disk you will limit the ability of getting it to unformatted.

As mentioned in a prior notice I used QBT to defrag a HIGHLY fragmented disk. Don't throw out B.A.D.! From what I have seen/read you must defrag to the SAME disk which means you need to diskcopy it first in case it gets munched. In my case I didn't diskcopy it first (heck I had already made 67 copies of the disk after B.A.D.ing it to another disk). QBT said it had a bad bitmap. I was happy when it said it could fix it. I was a little upset, however, when it ATE my Disk.info icon.

The defrag utility has potential. One thing that DEFINITELY needs to be added is the ability to defragment the disk to a different drive. The way it is now you SHOULD (unless you are crazy) first make a backup of the disk to be defragged before defragging it. I ran some more fragmentation tests. I filled a disk and proceeded to delete and add a bunch of files. I ended up with a 100% full disk with 52 files, 37 of which were fragmented. QBT took 1 minute to check for fragmentation and analyze the integrity of the disk. After that it took 6 1/2 minutes to defragment the disk. I decided to time this against B.A.D. B.A.D. found that the disk was bad. This is the first time B.A.D. EVER choked on a disk for me. I popped in an AmigaDOS formatted disk for the destination and gave B.A.D. another spin. No problems this time and it took only 3 minutes! The first destination disk that choked was formatted using QBT, however, I don't think this had anything to do with it. The destination disk from B.A.D. gave me the chance to try QBT's bad volume tools. I selected "Attempt to repair bad volume". QBT found MAJOR problems and was unable to recover ANY files as the disk icon on the workbench was DF0:NDOS.

I don't plan on defragging my hard drive using QBT. In all fairness I have yet to use B.A.D. on my hard drive either. It is just too scary. For one thing you have to back it up first. Heck once the thing is backed up you may as well high level format the thing and use your regular HD Backup utility to restore the drive.

According to QBT's docs you can defrag a COMPLETELY full floppy disk, however, you need to have at least .8% free space on a hard drive partition. Unformat. This utility works PERFECTLY if you haven't written ANYTHING to the disk and you have about 1,000 bytes free to start. When you use QBT to reformat a disk which was formatted using QBT it will write a file called QBT.FMT to a free space on the disk (my QBT.FMT was 1,032 bytes). You can immediately unformat the disk and get everything back in a few seconds. Of course, the more you have written to the disk since re-formatting the less chance you have of getting it unformatted.

I took a highly fragmented (37 of 52 files were fragmented) and reformatted it then I wrote 5 files totalling 100K to the disk. I tried unformat and was able to recover only 282K of the old files. My guess is if the disk were less fragmented to start or had I subsequently written less files to it I could have gotten more data back.

Restore deleted/lost files and drawers. This part of the program had a VERY nice looking file selector. It scanned the disk for deleted/lost files and drawers and show me a box to click. The box said something like "1 files belonging to lost drawer. The lost drawer cannot be restored. I selected Proceed. When it finished it showed all the files on the disk with the deleted/lost filed and drawers highlighted differently. It looked similar to the QuarterBack user interface. It also had pull down menus for include/exclude criteria. Did it pass the test? Probably. Using DiskMaster I deleted 6 files and 1 subdirectory. The last two things deleted were 1 file in the subdirectory and the subdirectory (which was now empty). Please note, however, the file belonging to the lost drawer was another file that used to be in the subdirectory (there were originally 2 files in the subdirectory). After deleting the files, I did absolutely NOTHING to the disk (i.e. copy other files). I did NOT even remove it from the drive or even open its icon on the workbench. According to the DOCS I may have been struck by Murphy's Law. It mentions a quirk in the Old File System whereby the volume bitmap gets rewritten into a free block which is what must have happened in my case. I don't see why this would take out a file AND a subdirectory, however. Then again the disk was FULL!

The QBT program itself is called Tools and is a little over 80K in size. The docs recommend you delete or rename the AmigaDOS format program (for reasons mentioned above). The manual is indexed and is 54 pages long. There is a 2 page Release-Notes file on the disk. A nice thing about QBT is that it comes with 2 icons. One for WB 1.3 and one for WB 2.0. I guess Commodore decided to flip the black and white colors in developing 2.0. The program itself is a little pricey. I paid $71 only because I thought CCS had a reputation for good programs and it was the only place that had the program. My guess is mail order may be $58-$60.

I can't compare QBT to DiskMechanic since I had never used DiskMechanic. Remember if you are having problems with V1.0 of QuarterBack Tools you should call the BBS where they have support. I am sure you could register your disk and they would send you a updated version but that could take days! The BBS number is: (316) 686-0870. When you get registered on the BBS you should leave email or a message to the SYSOP. Tell him that you are having problems with QBT and be sure to leave your SERIAL number! Tell him you would like access to file section 27 and message section 11. I was lucky that the SYSOP was online when I called and I was able to Chat with him. After emailing him the above I have access to the file section within a matter of seconds! Hope this mini-review helps someone out there.

(I would like to thank Howard Audet for allowing me to print his review. It was downloaded from the Amiga Zone on People Link. It is based on QBT version 1.2a. An updated version 1.3c has recently been released. -C. Williams.)

Hey Gang!

Let's All Get Behind the National Amiga Users Association

If you haven't seen the December issue of Amazing Computing, the last page calls for a National Amiga Users Association. This is a good idea. There is a lot of competition today for the 'computing dollar' and the more Amigas there are out there, the more software and hardware add-ons we will have available to us. It would be great if many of our members got involved. I know that I'll be sending for more information. You can too, by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

National Amiga Users Association
c/o Impulse, Inc.
6870 Shingle Creek Parkway #112
Minneapolis, MN 55430
Attn. Mike Halvorson

Don't forget to tell them about the Memphis Amiga Group.