September 1994 MAGazine Volume 10 Number 9

The September General Meeting of the Memphis Amiga Group will be held Saturday, September 10 from 1:00 pm until approximately 3:00 pm in the Farris Auditorium on the campus of State Technical Institute at Memphis.

The newsletter is published monthly for distribution to the members of the Memphis Amiga Group. MAGazine contains meeting announcements, hardware and sotware reviews, video and book reviews, and other information of interest to Amiga and computer users in general. Contributions are welcome and may be submitted in hardcopy or via disk in ASCII format at any meeting or you can upload to Operator Headgap BBS - (901) 759-1542 V.32bis hi speed operating CNET PRO v3.05c software. Be sure to leave a note to the sysop.

From the President's CLI

by Bob Nunn

Consuming Mass Quantities

Quantum's New 2.1 Gigabyte Drive is fast & priced right, assuming you are set up to use it.

I've been running a BBS for 9 years. Operator Headgap BBS has been online that long and I have been working on it steadily all this time. When I needed more space I noticed that Quantum had just release a new Empire Series 2.1 Gigabyte Drive. The mail order street price is about 57 a meg. I ordered one and installed it in place of a Quantum LPS 240, a Maxtor 213 and a Quantum LPS 52. I kept my Quantum LPS 270 as my base drive DH0. When I started I couldn't get my Supra Wordsync SCSI controller in my Amiga 2000 to recognize the drive.

Now I'm sitting on hold with Quantum's support line. They have an excellent system that lets you get fax information at the touch of a button, but if you have a technical question you may have to wait on hold for up to an hour. Still each time when I got an engineer, they so far haven't laughed when I told him I had his drive attached to an Amiga, or said anything snide like there's your problem right there. In fact the first fellow I talked with knew about my Supra Wordsync Revision 3.8b SCSI Interface Card and had the setting information I needed. When I still had trouble and called for the second time I had my wife sit on one of my other lines so I had twice the chance of getting through quicker. When we did I attempted to make the noise the drive was making. Gung, gung, gung, gung, I mimicked into the phone and the tech said you mean gunga, gunga, gunga and his noise was closer than mine. He identified it as a termination problem and made a suggestion about reconfiguring my other drives. I know about SCSI IDs and termination but SCSI-2 device are different, or so I was told.

I made the changes and my old Supra SCSI Card immediately identified the drive. I set up my 2.1 Gigabyte Quantum Drive to 4 - 500+ partitions (DH1 through DH4), formatted each and began the process of transferring all of my BBS information over. I had everything up and running within a few hours. Boy was I happy. Lightning fast file moves, and all that space!

All had been going well until Sunday morning. Checksum error on DH4! I had enough room to copy all the material off so I set up a drawer on DH2 and moved it in preparation to reformatting DH4 to take care of the problem. Then DH2 gave me a checksum error. I ended up formatting both partitions after many attempts to recover the data (I invested about 14 hours that day). Fortunately I had sold one of the old drives to a friend and he hadn't formatted it yet so I was able to recover 90% of my materials. I lost all of my Mac programs and several other smaller categories.

It worked ok until last night and I got a checksum on DH1. I moved the material to DH2 and then I got a checksum on DH3. That's why I was up until 1:00 am and why I am waiting on hold now. They really have improved the phone music this week....

I finally got through to a tech named Randy at Quantum. He told me that the folks that write the drivers for the Commodore interfaces haven't gotten back to them. I told him that I wasn't using a Commodore Controller and that I had a Wordsync Controller from Supra. Besides that the folks at Commodore may never get back to you. I gave him Supra's phone number and his expert is going to call and talk to their expert. They were supposed to call me back. He had a short meeting with his people while I waited on hold and they all agreed this isn't happening, there should be no problem.

I called Quantum back later in the day and after waiting for an hour I finally got through. I talked with a fellow that was doing a great Gandhi imitation or perhaps he was Spanish. When we realized he didn't understand my southern dialect he finally agreed to transfer me to Randy and then immediately hung up on me. I called back and waited on hold for another hour and this time John picked up. He is the fellow who knew what a Supra SCSI board was. He recommended that I buy the GVP 4008 SCSI card and said he would almost bet his paycheck that the problem would be solved. John also gave me his direct number to call back on. By then it was too late to order from any of the East Coast mail order dealers and I finally got through to Creative Computing after waiting on hold for 30 minutes. I already knew what they were going to tell me before I called. The last 4 things I have tried to order they said Sorry we are out of that item would you like me to backorder it. I called Select Solutions (after 6 PM CST) and they picked up on the second ring had the item in stock and would ship it overnight. They were also $15 cheaper than Creative. Guess you know who I'll call first next time!

During Ham Fest last year I bought a TEAC SCSI-2 Tape Drive and 3 tapes - the guy was asking $25 and I got him down to $15. I really didn't think it would work, but you never know and the guy swore that it worked. My wife just ordered the TEAC Tape drive manuals and the needed backup and repair programs. While I have a VCR backup program that takes about 4 hours to back up 200 megabytes and ties up one of the serial ports the entire time. It was okay as a safety net for a few hundred megabytes of files, but was too inconvenient to use regularly and certainly wouldn't work for the amount of files I had now. We estimated almost 16 hours to back up using it and I would have to be offline. Ami-Tools & Ami-Back came as a bundle and I also got Tapeworm FS to use with the Tape Drive. I ended up using Tapeworm since it configures your tape drive to act like an Amiga-DOS volume. I just used Directory Opus to copy the already compressed files. The tape drive I have is a TEAC 60 Meg unit that takes about 12 minutes to an hour to fill up a tape. Tapes are fairly inexpensive (about $12.50 for the 50 Meg size). I found them locally through American Business Supplies (ABS) and once I get my total system backed up I should be able to set up a small arexx file that will automatically back up the changes for the week.

The tape drive manuals cost me 4 times more than the drive did and I never really needed them. The Tapeworm FS worked like a charm. It automatically recognized the drive and set itself up. Friday night and Saturday after the meeting, I completed backing up everything. When I then tried Ami-Tools to fix the error on the hard drive it gave me a cannot repair error. I formatted DH1 and when it finished DH4 gave me the infamous NDOS sign. I decided then to replace the Wordsync SCSI interface for the GVP 4008. This was 8:00 Saturday night. The card went in fairly easy but I had to use the cables from my Wordsync. I couldn't get it to come up. Using the force my wife finally figured out that the cables were reversed. Thank goodness I didn't blow the drives up. I guess you should always keep track of pin one and forget the little plastic idiot guides on the cables. I had to unterminate the 2.1 drive for some reason since it was making that characteristic gunga, gunga noise I had come to know. Finally both drives came up. I then tested it with my Tape Drive and one of the CD-Roms in line. The SCSI bus kept hanging until I reinstalled the drivers. Finally at about 1:00 am Sunday morning I got everything buttoned up and began formatting the 500+ Meg partitions. Each one takes about 45 minutes. I rebuilt DH4 and placed all of the contents back on DH4 from the backup tape. I started working on DH1 then and finally got it restored. I rebooted the BBS about 3:45 and DH4 died again, taking the files with it. I reset the system at 4:00 am and shut off the UD areas that used DH4 and went to bed.

Sunday morning I got up and reformatted DH4. I ran Ami-Tools on the partition and it reported an error in the RDB (Rigid Disk Block) and asked if I wanted to fix it. I said yes and the software started sounding a gong and flashing the screen. I went through this twice before I decided the software may be at fault. I reformatted the partition and resaved the RDB again using the software supplied by GVP. Everything is working again and I reinstalled the software to DH4. My BBS is back up now and so far I have had no problems. I feel a bit wrung out now but a bit smarter and some poorer for the experience. I fear that I eventually may have to low level format the drive with the new controller and repartition the drive but since that represents about 2 days worth of work I will leave it until I start having problems. Got my fingers crossed. I have to say thanks to the guys at Quantum, Select Solutions, TEAC, ABS, and my wife who didn't throw me out during this ordeal and let me run the credit cards up a bit more. This has been one of the longest weeks of my life. For Pete's sake this is only a hobby right?

I think I finally figured out some of the things that caused my problems. I installed a CSA Accelerator not too long ago which meant I was accessing the SCSI bus faster. The older card was not able to keep up while being multiple accessed. It was ok while the drive was slower and while the computer was slower but the combination bottlenecked it. It would crosslink files and cause serious errors. I may have two users downloading while I was making backup copies. No wonder the old thing got confused. I was going to call Quantum back and tell them but I hate to wait on hold for that long. Maybe later.

Call my BBS. It is online most of the time. It features 2.3+ Gigabytes of online storage plus or minus a partition or so and two CD-Roms online. Both lines are Supra V.FAST 28,800. 901-759-1542 and 1543. Oh yes, help me fill up the empty directories where I lost files.

MAG Meetings

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

There will be a board of directors lunch meeting at Gridley's in the formal dining room beginning at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, September 10 (before the general meeting). For more information call Bob Nunn at 901-795-1541.

Disk Sales & Video Rentals

MAG library and Fred FISH disks are $2 each.
($5 each for non-members)
Quality blank disks with labels are 65¢ each.
($1 each for non-members)
Rental of Amiga related videotapes is $3 per week.
(not available to non-members)
For all this and more contact club librarian
Bill Bowers (901) 360-0003
OR see Bill at the next MAG general meeting.

FOR SALE

VLab framer grabber card for Amiga 2000/3000/4000 - $275
Fargo color printer w/ribbons for dye-sub, mono, & wax - $800
Call Ken Winfield at (901) 383-9559

Advertising Rates

Full Page $20.00
1/2 Page $11.00
1/4 Page $7.50
1/8 Page (or business card) $3.00

(contact Terry Campbell at 601-393-4864)

Memphis Amiga Group Officers for 1994

President
Bob Nunn
(901) 795-1541

Vice President
Thomas O'Brien
(901) 872-6962

Secretary
Cheryn Nunn
(901) 759-1541

Treasurer
Terry Campbell
(601) 393-4864

Librarian
Bill Bowers
(901) 360-0003

MAGazine Editor
Charles Williams
(501) 655-8777

MAGazine Printing & Distribution
Terry A. Campbell
(601) 393-4864

INFO

The Memphis Amiga Group (MAG) is non-profit organization whose purpose is promoting and encourageing the use and understanding of the Commodore Amiga Computer. Memberships are open to all those who share a common interest in the Amiga computer and its many wonderful and unique features. Monthly meetings are open to the public and visitors are welcome.

Annual membership dues for new members are $25.00 with an annual renewal rate of $20.00. Associate memberships are available for $15.00 per year, renewable at the same rate, to those who must travel more than 45 miles one way to attend general meetings. All memberships are family memberships and dues are nonrefundable.

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS
11:00 - 6:00 PM Oct. 29th.

GATEWAY COMPUTER SHOW
Machinist Hall, Bridgeton, MO

Emplant Deluxe (with Mac Software v4.6) Review

by Gene Ruebsamen

PRODUCT NAME

Emplant Deluxe (with Mac Software v4.6)

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

The Emplant is a Zorro-II board that allows emulation of various different computers via your Amiga. Currently, the only emulation that is written for the Emplant is the Macintosh, which emulates a full-colour Macintosh on your Amiga. The type of Mac emulated by the Emplant is dependent upon your CPU speed.

COMPANY INFORMATION

Name: Utilities Unlimited International
Address: 790 Lake Havasu Ave Suite #16, Lake Havasu City, AZ, 86403 USA
Telephone: (602) 680-9004
FAX: (602) 453-6407

LIST PRICE

Unknown. I paid $399 (US) for the Deluxe board.

SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

HARDWARE: 68020 CPU or greater. Mac 256K ROMS (v1.1-v1.3) Minimum of 2 megs of FAST memory. Hard drive required.

SOFTWARE: AmigaOS 2.04 or higher. A Macintosh System (boot) disk.

COPY PROTECTION

None.

MACHINE USED FOR TESTING

Amiga 3000/25, 8 MB Fast RAM, 2 MB Chip RAM. 1 internal 880k floppy drive. Maxtor 213 MB SCSI Hard Drive. Quantum 105 MB SCSI Hard Drive. AmigaDOS 2.1 KingCon 1.4 replacing the Amiga Shell.

INSTALLATION

The Macintosh emulation software installs from an 880K floppy disk. Version 4.5 was the latest 'full' version on disk, therefore I had to install v4.5 then install the v4.6 patches on top of it. It was quite easy as both versions used the standard Commodore Installer.

REVIEW

I will be reviewing only the Macintosh emulation software in this review. The IBM 486DX emulation is suppose to be near completion, but there has been no release date set, and no one I know has it as of yet.

The Emplant comes on a Zorro-II board that is easily placed inside any Zorro-II equipped Amiga (A2000/3000/4000). There are four different versions of the board: a basic one with no ports, one with two Mac serial ports, one with a SCSI port, and one with both serial ports and the SCSI port (this one is called the deluxe model). I have the deluxe model, so I will be be reviewing it.

The first thing you notice when you plug in the board is that there are two Macintosh serial ports, and one SCSI port on the backplate of the board (the side sticking out the back of your Amiga). These serial ports are capable (according to the manual... I have never tested them at any faster than 14.4k) of transfer speeds up to 230.4k baud normally, yet with the special Emplant hardware, the speed can be quadrupled (between two Emplant boards ONLY) to 921.6k baud for AppleTalk (the standard Macintosh networking) or 460.8k if connected to a DoubleTalk board. The serial ports are not the standard Amiga RS-232 style, they are the Mini-DIN type. The second thing you will notice is the large SCSI port. The SCSI interface uses the 53C80 SCSI chip. It is NOT SCSI-II. It is a standard SCSI-I controller.

Before you can use your hardware, you must have the 256k ROM from an Apple Macintosh computer, OR you can copy the ROMS off of a Macintosh that uses the 256k type. (Note: You MUST own the Macintosh that you copy the ROMS from, otherwise you could be in violation of copyright law.) A program included with the Emplant distribution software, called ROMINFO, will dump the ROMs when run on a Macintosh. In order to get this program to a Mac, you have to copy it to an IBM formatted disk via CrossDOS and then load it into a Mac that is able to read IBM disks, or you could use a modem. The ROMINFO program will dump the MAC ROMs to the same Diskette, and you can now use that ROM Image with your Emplant. If you opt for the first method (using the actual ROMs with the board) you must use a program called ROMDUMP to dump the ROMS onto your hard drive, then you must remove the actual ROMS from the board. From now on, your Emplant will use the ROM Image that is on your hard drive. Either way, you will end up with the same image.

Once you have the ROM image, you can start the Emplant and get things up and running. There are three versions of the software that come with the Emplant: a version for EC processors (680EC20, etc.), a version for Amigas with the actual kickstart ROM chips (A2000/4000 and some 3000), and another version for Amiga 3000's with the softkicked kickstart ROMs. When you first start the emulation software, you will be presented with a preferences screen, where a plethora of options are presented to you. You are able to select the amount of memory that the emulation will use, the screenmode, 24 or 32-bit emulation (more on this later), mouse and keyboard emulation, sound, etc....

When the emulation first starts, your computer will beep (a la Macintosh), and should you have a Mac hard disk hooked to the SCSI port or a boot disk in the drive, the macintosh will proceed to boot. Once you are on the Mac side, everything runs well.. pretty much like a Macintosh. The only major difference will be the ejection of the disks. A little symbol will appear at the top of the screen which means to eject the disk (much like that of A-Max II+ for those of you who owned it). Aside from this, everything runs exactly like a Macintosh. One note: Some software is not "32-bit clean" and will require you to select 24-bit mode in the preferences screen. 24-bit mode will limit the amount of memory that you have available for the emulation. I highly recommend you install Apple System 7.1 or greater, otherwise you will be forced to use the inefficient 24-bit mode. The graphics speed with my EGS Spectrum is about 50% faster than that of a standard Mac II when run in 256 color mode. However, in 24-bit mode the graphics speed is extremely slow (much like 16 color mode on the Workbench of an ECS Machine). On my Amiga 3000/25, Emplant emulates a Mac IIci, and on an A4000/40 it is supposed to emulate a Quadra 650(?).

Unless you have a high-density disk drive, do not expect to be able to read Macintosh disks in your Amiga disk drives (unless you happen to have an A-Max cartridge and a Mac Drive, or AMIA). Having a high-density disk drive will allow you to read Macintosh High Density diskettes, but not the low density variety. To read the low-density (which are fairly rare) you will need either AMIA or an A-Max Cartridge & Mac drive. (Note: if you have an A-Max cartridge & Mac drive you will not be able to use then inside the Mac emulation, instead you have to use an included "converter" program to convert the disks to EMPLANT format so that they can be used in the emulation. AMIA is able to read Macintosh low-density disks inside the Mac emulation).

Multitasking on the Emplant is very good. You can switch to and from the Macintosh and Amiga Workbench screen. Though if you only have four megs of Fast RAM you probably will want to disable Workbench to get the most memory out of Emplant. With my eight megs of Fast RAM, the most memory I am able to get out of the Emplant is about 5.7 megs of Macintosh memory. You are able to set the task priority of the Emplant software as high as 0. Any higher (according to J. Drew) and it would cause the emulation to actually run slower. According to Xoper, when there is little load on my Amiga side, the Macintosh Emulation can take up almost ALL of the available CPU time; however, when I am doing something processor intensive on the Amiga, the Macintosh side will lower its CPU usage to about 50% or possibly even lower. I have experienced some crashes while downloading on the Amiga side at high speed, and doing some other stuff on the Mac. Overall, the system seems slightly less stable when running the Emplant software, but it is not too bad.

Another thing is the speed of the Emulation. I have to say that it is very impressive. I am only sorry that I cannot include a Speedometer report in this review (as my Macintosh system got corrupted yesterday), but maybe in a later post. Well, about the speed of the Mac emulation. According to Speedometer, my 25-mhz 030 runs at the same speed as a 25mhz 030 Macintosh would run.... But the surprise comes with Floating Point operations. My floating point speed was anywhere from 5%-25% faster than an equivalent Macintosh!! This is very good for people into raytracing and rendering. I am told that the faster the CPU, the larger the floating point difference will be. So I wouldn't be surprised to see approximately about a 40% speed increase on floating point operations on an 040. Unless you are doing heaving multitasking on the Amiga side, you will find that your emulation will run faster than the equivalent Macintosh. The only thing that would slow you down would be graphics speed, but a good graphics card such as my EGS Spectrum would easily fix that problem.

The screen that the Emplant uses can be chosen by the user. Emplant supports multiple monitors like a real Macintosh if your graphics card supports it. Several graphics cards are supported, and by using a graphics card, you will not suffer from the slow ECS screens. On my EGS Spectrum, I am able to do 1024x768, 832x624, and 640x480. When using ECS or AGA you are able to select from the screenmode database. There is a QD mode that can be enabled for faster updates on 24-bit and ECS/AGA screens (not needed on 256 color screens as they are extremely fast already!) but it uses 128k more memory.

The last issue I will cover is compatibility. I am sure many people are wondering how "compatible" is this emulation... Well, I have had only one problem so far. When installing OmniPage Pro v5.0, the Macintosh crashed, but I cannot be sure that it was the Emplant as I did not have the chance to reinstall it because it corrupted my Mac system, and now I am waiting for my high-density drive so I can reinstall it. Here is a list of a 'few' programs that I run without any problems:

One thing to note.. Some Macintosh programs seem to run slower than their Amiga counterparts (even on Real Macs), so I take it either the custom chips (i.e. blitter, denise, etc) are helping out the Amiga program to make it more efficient, or the Mac programs are less efficient due to more colors, being larger, or some other reason. One good example is syndicate, on the Macintosh it is high-res @ 16 colors. But the play is excruciatingly slow even on an 030.

OTHER SPECIAL FEATURES

Some of the "special" features of the Emplant that make it really fun to use are:

DOCUMENTATION

The Emplant board comes with two manuals. A hardware manual (15-pgs) which explains a lot of things about the Emplant hardware such as jumper settings and the such. Also included is a new Macintosh Emulation guide. It is in a small three ring binder, and though black & white only, it does appear to be a well thought out and prepared manual. There is a table of contents and a troubleshooting section; however, there is no index. The documentation tells you basically everything a beginner needs to know. Other advanced questions can be directed to tech support at (602) 680-9234.

LIKES

The thing I like most about the product is the peaceful coexistence of the Macintosh and the Amiga. Little things like being able to copy text from the Mac side and paste (via clipboard) on the Amiga side and vice versa make the Emplant a nice product. Some other things that I like are the quick and easy file transfers, which allows me to download a Macintosh program on my Amiga side and make a Mac binary transfer to the Mac side.

DISLIKES AND SUGGESTIONS

The thing that I dislike is lack of hardware handshaking on the current empser.device, and myself not being able to use the MMU of my machine. Utilities Unlimited said that if I were to use the EC version of the software I could use my MMU, but as of yet I still have had no luck. This prevents me from using a few software programs on the Mac side such as virtual memory. Also the problem with the empser.device is annoying, yet doesn't affect the Macintosh side.

COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS

The only other similar product would be A-Max IV, which is also a color Macintosh emulator. I have heard only good things about A-MAX IV, but because I don't have one, I am unable to do a comparison.

I do, however, have the older A-MAX II. According to Speedometer, Emplant is faster in ALL tests (I am unable to provide the output of the speedometer test because my Mac system is down right now, I may put it in another post though). I am not surprised that Emplant is faster since the older A-Max II only emulated a Mac Plus.

BUGS

I notice that when I use my Workbench with my EGS Spectrum (at 256 colors), and the Mac side is doing something on its screen, I get garbage on my Workbench screen which I have to clear by selecting ResetWB in the pull- down menus. I asked Jim Drew about this, and he gave me a reason for this once (in a post on USENET), but I cannot remember the exact reason, but I would think that it could be solved??? (Note: There is no such problem if you are running in only AGA or ECS mode, or if the Macintosh is running on an EGS Spectrum screen and my Workbench is on a standard ECS Screen. There is only the garbage problem when BOTH the Mac and the Amiga use an EGS Screen). I believe this happens with the Piccolo as well.

VENDOR SUPPORT

Excellent! The first board I had happened to be defective and only worked on occasion. I called Utilities Unlimited and they told me to send it back. I did so and three days later I had a brand new board with updated manuals and the latest version of the software!

WARRANTY

There is a Lifetime warranty. Also I should also talk about the upgrade policy. To upgrade from a lower model Emplant to a higher model, you only send in the board and the difference in cost between the two models and you will get your new board. There is no other "hidden" upgrade costs.

CONCLUSION

This is an excellent product, and I give it five out of five stars! Aside from the minor quirks, it works flawlessly, and even runs faster than the equivalent Macintosh.

NOTICE

This review written by Gene Ruebsamen, and is Freely Distributable.

Gene Ruebsamen
Computer Dept. Chair,
ERA Champion Realty.

About the Internet

By: David Tiberio

While many of our readers are in some way connected to the Internet, there are still a large number of users who are not connected to the Internet for one reason or another. There is a world out there that you are missing!

First, for most users, the Internet is free. People gain access through school systems (at colleges and universities), through the workplace, or from public access networks. Some systems have direct connections, while others use a UNIX to UNIX communications protocol.

USENET has a public messaging service that is similar to a huge message base connected throughout the world. While some topics may be local to the host systems, there are thousands of topics to choose from. Some of these topics include Amiga hardware, applications, programming, emulators, and reviews. There are about 15-20 different worldwide news groups for Amiga users, with an average readership of about 50,000 people per news topic. These messages are read by students, government employees (once a NASA employee was spotted reading USENET news during a shuttle launch last year), and even Amiga developers such as Scala, DKB, Commodore, and ASDG. Another nice thing about USENET is that there is often at least one person who has the solution to your problem, and usually there are hundreds of people with the same problems and solutions.

AMINET is a rather large file base, containing thousands of programs and other files specifically for the Amiga. This is done via FTP sites, which are common throughout the Internet. While the list of files on Amiga is about 750k in size, there is at least one site whose file listing is over 9 megabytes in size! That is a large file to download just to see what files are available! Some sites contain all the Fred Fish disks, while others contain hundreds of pictures, 3D objects, or audio samples. Many companies as place software updates or demos on FTP sites. For example, orion.etsu.edu has a site dedicated for EGS graphics boards, while the tricity site has every version of the EMPLANT Macintosh emulation software ever released!

ARCHIE will search file sites to find matching filenames from a search pattern. Unfortunately, there may be thousands of matches, and they may search files that are on weird FTP sites. It is a powerful system, although the AMINET system itself is very organized.

GOPHER is kind of like a BBS system with different informational sources online. For example, one site has hundreds of prophecies translated from Nostradamus into English.

IRC is a realtime chat line, also including people from all over the world. The strange part is that some of the people on the Amiga channel are there almost all the time! The Amiga channel usually has between 20 and 50 people on it at once. Once 50 people are online, the conversations move along very quickly. Here you can meet various developers, such as former Commodore engineers, the author of ImageFX, XPK, Term, and even the Prevue Guide (used by cable companies to show TV listings on an Amiga based system). Robots such as Mama and Merbot are always online to talk to, send messages to people not online, or to get files from FTP sites.

MUDS are online games, similar in concept to Dungeons and Dragons, in realtime. This allows you to play text and sometimes graphics adventures with people sitting at home thousands of miles away, all unknown to you. Other games include war games such as Risk, where players fight for land and armies.

EMAIL is one of the most basic resources available. Here users can send messages around the world in under 10 minutes, passing from system to system until they arrive at their destinations. Users can also UUENCODE files and mail them to each other, or download files from FTP sites to email addresses. Users can also communicate with pay services such as GEnie, Portal, and CompuServe. Last of all, users can subscribe to email discussion lists with topics such as Lightwave 3D, AMOS, and EGS.

News from Utilities Unlimited

by Jim Drew, CEO

I have not had chance to work on much actually. I met with IBM in Las Vegas a few weeks ago to discuss the PowerPC emulation, and I meet with Apple on the 9th of August to discuss the same (Apple just made an announcement of this). I have spent too much time with big corporations besides IBM and Apple (wanting to be exclusive distributors for our products).

So, we are still working on finishing the 486DX emulation. It is going through a complete overhaul as we have found a way to make the emulation use less CPU time with equiv speed results we are getting now.

We have finalized 'The EDGE', our video board. It is 64 bit wide Cirrus Alpine garphics procsesor interfaced to a Zorro III slot. There are some really nice features of this board... it is 100% backwards compatible, meaning that we will be able to emulate the Picasso, Piccolo, and EGS Spectrum video boards (run their software). Also, since the Alpine chip supports real video modes, the 8, 16, and 32 bit MAC video modes are DIRECT... 640x480x32 realtime animation... 80 megapixels per second. Retail price is tenatively set at $299 with 0K RAM (uses 72 pin SIMMs.. up to 16 megs... 4 required).

I just finished a new empser.device that supports hardware handshaking and baud rates up to 921.6K baud (can you say networking), and I am trying to finish up the empscsi.device.

I have hired an Amiga programmer, who is also a IBM specialist. His name is Mark Wignall and he was on the Techtronic's Phaser series printer design team (firmware and such). He will be writing the majority of our PC utilities included with the 486DX emulations.

I plan on hiring several more Amiga programmers as we have quite a few things planned for the fall, and I fear that my role as a programmer will slowly fade away into the business end (rats!).

Oh, another goodie that I have finalized is called 'MEDIA'. This lets you use any type of floppy drive guts (including 2.88mb drives) with your Amiga... Zorro II/III board. Lets you read/write/duplicate any disk format... no exceptions (yes, including 800K MAC disks). No price set yet..but I would imagine around $149.

PRESS RELEASE

Sarasota, Florida, July 18, 1994 --

Contraption Industries, a division of Apogee Technologies, today announced the availability of the Amiga Audio Expander(TM). This project has been subjected to over a year of design work and extensive beta-testing. The end result is much more than a graphic equalizer or amplifier. It is also a state of the art filtering system that actually increases the audio range of your Amiga's sound. This assures only the deepest rich bass and clearest high treble reaches your stereo system. Your Amiga can now deliver high quality music and sound for normal Amiga use as well as your multmedia and video productions at a level you have never experienced before.

Suggested retail price in the USA is $69.95 plus $5.00 shipping and handling. Florida Residents please add seven percent sales tax. The Audio Expander comes with a full one year manufacturer's warranty and is compatible with all Amigas except for the A1000 and CD32. An added bonus of three disks of audio software is included in the package. They contain several high quality music modules in Protracker format, a collection of audio utilities ranging from sound creation to sample recording direct to hard drives, and Protracker version 2.99 by Apogee Globalsoft.

"I find myself using it constantly, impressive professional sound" says Amiga musician Eric Gieseke (also known as Sidewinder). He has been using the expander in his audio endeavors and recently released a 100% Amiga produced CD entitled Future Shock II.

A demonstration audio cassette of the expander's abilities is available by sending $3.00 to:

Contraption Industries
1851 University Parkway
Sarasota, Florida 34243

For further information, please contact our Tech Support and Press Relations in the United States by phone at (813) 355-6121 or Fax at (813) 355-7767 or our toll free order line at (800) 820-7068. We can also be reached via the Internet. Our address is Apogee@Cup.Portal.Com.

Audio Expander is a trademark of Contraption Industries. Other trademarks are those of their respective holders.

AmigaDOS 3.1 tips

from Dan Barrett

Here is some advice for everyone upgrading from AmigaDOS 2.x to 3.1. I discovered these things the hard way -- through trial and error (and help from Net friends). If you are having weird problems after the upgrade, maybe you will find a solution below.

PREFERENCES FILE PROBLEMS

(especially mouse pointer problems)

Are you experiencing any weird preference behavior like the following?

The prefs file format apparently changed from AmigaDOS 2.x to 3.x.

To solve such problems,

  1. Run all of your preferences programs and write down (on a piece of paper) all your settings.
  2. Go to the directory ENV:sys and delete all the files with names ending in ".prefs". (You can copy them to another directory first, if you want to be safe.) These are your preferences settings that are created when you click "Save" in a preferences program.
  3. Go to the directory ENVARC:sys and, as above, delete all files with names ending in ".prefs".
  4. Run all of your preferences programs and re-create all your desired preferences settings (that you wrote down on paper in step (1).) Click "Save" after running each program.
  5. Reboot. All should be OK now.

DO NOT simply run the 3.1 preferences programs, change the settings and click "Save." YOU MUST DELETE YOUR PREFS SETTINGS FILES FIRST.

COMMODITIES

If you are using the SwitchNTSC commodity, get rid of it. It will crash your system under 3.1 due to (I believe) changes in the Screen structure.

CPUBLIT

If you are using CPUBlit, start using the "-b" option, or else it may not work. See the CPUBlit documentation for more details.

DATATYPES NOT WORKING?

If you assign LIBS: somewhere in your user-startup file, beware!! The AmigaDOS 3.1 startup-sequence has a new "Assign add" line:

Assign >NIL: LIBS: SYS:Classes ADD

If you reassign LIBS: and forget to include SYS:Classes, your datatypes will not work. For example, MultiView and WBPattern will work incorrectly or refuse to run.

WSHELL 2.0

If you are using the PATH: handler from WShell 2.0, and reassign LIBS:, beware of the problem mentioned above. For example, I had in my user- startup:

assign LIBS: PATH:sys:libs,another:libs

and forgot about sys:classes. I changed it to

assign LIBS: PATH:sys:libs,sys:classes,another:libs

MUI (Magic User Interface)

If you use MUI, watch out for a conflict between sys:classes and the MUI "classes" directory. If your datatypes are not working or MUI does not work, this may be the problem. For me, with WShell 2.0's PATH handler, I had to do:

Assign Libs:    PATH:sys:Libs,sys:Classes
Assign Libs:    usr:Lib/Classes ADD

If you don't use WShell, you might not have a conflict.

The Second Gateway Computer Show

SOMETHING EXCITING IS HAPPENING IN ST. LOUIS
SATURDAY, OCT 29th.
11 - 6 p.m.

FEATURING:

USING AMIGA COMPUTERS

SPONSORED BY: THE GATEWAY AMIGA CLUB, INC.
P.O. BOX 811, Bridgeton, MO 63044

Cost: Admission is only $5.00 at the door
Classes are only $25.00 each.
Time: 11:00 - 6 p.m.
Date: Saturday - October 29th
Location: Machinist Hall in Bridgeton MO
Next to Target, near the intersection of St. Charles Rock Road and Natural Bridge., just northeast of the intersection of 1-70 & I-270.

We have got discounts on airfares & rooms. For special aerfare and hotel rates, contact Best Way Travel at (800) 325-4942 & say "I'm with the Gateway Comprter Show."

Yes! Sign me up for the following classes & admission.

Classes offered include: class notes, disk of material, certificate & last approx 2 hours:

Classes are $25.00 each. Space is limited. Receive a free admission to the show for each course paid by October 1st. Please make check to Gateway Amiga Club, Inc. & mail to address above

MEMPHIS AMIGA GROUP MEMBERS August 1994

If your name is underlined check your renewal date.

If you have a change of address or phone, please notify; Terry Campbell (601) 393-4864

LAST NAME FIRST NAME CITY ST ZIP EXPIRES
→ 1. Akey Brian L. Memphis TN 38107 OCT 94
2. Andrews Freddie L. Memphis TN 38128 JAN 95
3. Bilson Edward Memphis TN 38115 JAN 95
4. Bonk Bruce West Memp AR 72301 FEB 95
5. Bowers William Memphis TN 38118 MAY 95
→ 6. Brockway Dennis M. Memphis TN 38107 SEP 94
7. Brownlow John G. Germantown TN 38138 AUG 95
8. Burns Keith Cordova TN 38018 NOV 94
9. Campbell Terry A. Horn Lake MS 38637 DEC 94
10. Chiego John & Sara Memphis TN 38119 DEC 94
11. Cobbins Gerald Memphis TN 38109 Jan 95
12. Cumby Rick D. Memphis TN 38120 AUG 95
→ 13. Condo Casey L. Memphis TN 38134 OCT 94
14. Crockett Robert Horn Lake MS 38637 DEC 94
15. Dobbins Chris Memphis TN 38152 NOV 94
16. Echols Steve Memphis TN 38125 DEC 94
17. Ferguson David W. Pontotoc MS 38863 MAR 95
18. Franklin Shelley Memphis TN 38120 MAR 95
19. Gates Terrence Memphis TN 38109 MAY 95
20. Ginn Raymond Memphis TN 38127 APR 95
21. Hodorowski Vince Memphis TN 38128 APR 95
22. Hooker William H. Bartlett TN 38134 NOV 94
23. Ingerson Steve Walls MS 38118 SEP 95
24. Knight Bill L. Memphis TN 38118 NOV 94
25. Man Samuel Germantown TN 38138 FEB 95
26. McCalla Ron & Audrey Jackson TN 38305 DEC 99
27. Montgomery Ronald Memphis TN 38108 JUL 95
→ 28. Morgan Andrew Memphis TN 38168 SEP 94
29. Norman Joe R. Dyersburg TN 38024 JAN 95
30. Nunn Bob & Cheryn Memphis TN 38125 AUG 95
→ 31. O'Brien Thomas T. Millington TN 38053 SEP 94
32. Photo Grafix (Jim) Memphis TN 38112 MAY 95
33. Pitts Scott Collierville TN 38017 NOV 94
34. Robertson Eric S. Memphis TN 38111 MAY 95
35. Sanders Joe Memphis TN 38134 JAN 95
36. Seidl Steve & Linda Memphis TN 38128 JUN 95
→ 37. Spence David E. Memphis TN 38104 JUL 94
38. Stokes Paul Eads TN 38028 DEC 94
39. Swope Sara Beth Braden TN 38010 APR 95
→ 40. Torrence Samuel Tupelo MS 38801 AUG 94
→ 41. Vineyard Charles W. Memphis TN 38118 AUG 94
42. Wallace Michael S. Marion AR 72364 AUG 93
43. Walker Jim Memphis TN 38128 JAN 95
44. Walp Len Memphis TN 38128 DEC 94
→ 45. Waters Robert Memphis TN 38116 OCT 94
46. Weatherall Broadus Memphis TN 38111 JAN 95
47. Williams Charles Wilson AR 72395 DEC 95
→ 48. Winfield Kenneth Bartlett TN 38135 OCT 94
49. Wirth Charles Memphis TN 38128 FEB 95
→ 50. Wulff John Memphis TN 38115 AUG 94

Financial Report

DISK SALES $ 38.75
Dues $ 40.00
New Members $ 25.00
Cash ON Hand $ 40.59
 
Months Receipts $ 103.75
 
Bank Charge $ 10.00
Postage $ 29.00
Mag Printing $ 34.64
 
Months Debits $ 73.64
 
Bank Balance
Ballance $ 973.25*
Deposits $ 100.00
Checks Out $ 63.68
New Ballance $ 999.57*
 
Total Assets $1040.16*

* - Aug. Bank statement not received before printing; and balance is approximate.

Welcome To The Gang!!

John Brownlow

This is our newest member.
So let's all make him welcome!