December 1988 MCU Magazine

Table Of Contents

GENERAL INFORMATION

MCUC

This newsletter is published monthly for distribution to members of the Memphis Commodore Users Club. It is in no way connected with the Commodore Business Machine Ltd. or Commodore Inc. and Commodore products (CBM, PET, C64, C128, VIC20, Amiga) are registered trademarks of Commodore Inc. The MCUC is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is the free exchange of information & knowledge about the use of Commodore microcomputer systems. Memberships are open to anyone; ownership of a computer is not required. Monthly meetings are open to the public & visitors are welcome.

Dues are broken down into two categories. Membership dues may be paid quarterly (3 month) at $6.00 or annually at $20.00. All memberships are Family Memberships. Dues are nonrefundable.

Contribution to the MCUC magazine may be in any wordprocessor, preferably saved as a sequential file. You may submit articles on disk, or a hardcopy, or upload your article to the Memphis Commodore Users Club BBS (366-4676).

The editor reserves the right to reject material submitted relating to illegal services, products or unethical practices. All material submitted becomes the property of MCUC. The 15th of each month is the DEADLINE FOR ARTICLES.

ADVERTISING RATES

Full Page $20.00 per month
1/2 Page $11.00 per month
1/4 Page $7.50 per month
1/8 Page $3.00 per month
Business Card $3.00 per month
Classified to Members FREE

All ads must be in by the 15th.
CIRCULATION: 300 copies

MEETINGS

General Membership Meeting - First Tuesday of each month, 7:00 PM in Fulton Auditorium, State Technical Institution.

Board of Director's Meeting - Second Thursday after General Meeting. 7:30 PM State Tech in the Cafeteria.

128,CP/M,MS-DOS - Now meeting with the Memphis FOG group. 4th Tuesday of each month at the Whitestation Library. Copy session at 6 PM, Meeting starts at 7 PM.

Beginner's Class - Wednesday after the General Meeting at 7:00 PM at the Raleigh Library.

OFFICERS

President 323-1185 Jim Fox
Vice President 767-0737 Ron Montgomery
Secretary 829-3705 Richard Coffman
Treasurer 853-6949 Gary Thurman
Interim Librarian 366-5544 Jim West
Education 377-6416 Bob Earnheart
Newsletter 795-0461 Cheryn Nunn
BBS 366-4676
Sysop 795-0461 Bob Nunn

CLUB ELECTIONS IN JANUARY

In preparation of the soon to be held elections, a nominating committee was assembled. The following club members volunteered for this committee:

BOB NUNN 795-0461
GARY PRUDHOMME 755-4534
FRANK ROBERTSON 853-4221
JIM WEST 386-5544
GUY KING 853-4454

At the committee meeting held on Monday November 7, 1988, the following named individuals were nominated for the offices listed:

President Bob Nunn
Vice President Ron Montgomery
Secretary Dick Coffman
Education Coordinator Bob Earnheart
Treasurer Gary Thurman
Newsletter Editor Cheryn Nunn
Librarian Jim West

This list is only the initial submission and does not represent the final list. You are urged to call the committee member of your choice to make further nominations. We are hoping to have several people running for each office.

Nominations will also be accepted during the regular monthly meeting in December. Please give this important event the attention it deserves by offering your nomination and casting your vote! Please remember that we are electing the leaders of the club. For them to fulfill their duties, it is important that they have club members who are willing to volunteer their time and talents to support the many projects that enrich your membership experience. With this in mind, please offer your services by contacting the nominating members or sending a note by mail or e-mail to Bob Nunn who is our present SYSOP. All names will later be presented to the new officers so they will have a group of members to help organize and launch our club for the new year. PLEASE BE AN ACTIVE MEMBER!

Guy King, Chairman

EDITOR'S DESK

This month, the newsletter focuses on gift ideas for the computer enthusiast. If you see something in this issue that you'd like for Christmas, highlight it and leave it laying around for someone to find as a hint!

We have tried to give a wide overview of some of the newest products available, as well as some of the best "old-standby's". We hope you enjoy this issue in preparing for the holiday season.

Also found in this issue is a review of all the club's officer positions. At this time, with elections coming up, we thought it might help some who are thinking of serving by letting them know exactly what is involved in fulfilling each office. Please give careful consideration to this and if you feel you cannot fill an office but would like to help with specific tasks, than please let a current officer or one of the new officers know.

Cheryn Nunn, Editor

SECRETARY'S NOTES

Minutes of the Official Board Meeting, November 10, 1988.

The board meeting was called to order by Jim Fox, President at 7:35 PM. Board members present were:

Jim Fox - President
Bob Earnheart - Educ. Coordinator
Gary Thurman - Treasurer
Cheryn Nunn - Newsletter Editor
Richard Coffman - Secretary
Ron Montgomery - Vice President.

Also present were Bob Nunn, Sysop and Herb Phillips, club member.

The previous meeting's minutes were read and approved.

The motion was made to subscribe to Public Domain Solutions, a PD software source, for the C64/128. Seconded by Bob Earnheart. Motion carried.

Gary Sparks, due to school and work conflicts, will no longer be handling the library. The board appointed Jim West to serve as interim librarian.

A report by the nominating committee will be in the December newsletter.

The demo for the December meeting will be - Commodore Equipment for Christmas.

The New Member Packet will be available soon. Christmas party arrangements are completed.

Meeting adjourned at 9:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Richard Coffman, Secretary

TREASURER'S REPORT

TREASURER'S REPORT 11-11-88

OPENING BALANCE 10-12-88 $3426.25
DEPOSITS:
LIBRARY DISKS 111.00
CLUB DUES 196.00
-------
$307.00
EXPENSES:
BBS TELEPHONE (OCTOBER) 21.18
Q-LINK (SEPTEMBER) 9.95
GENIE (SEPTEMBER) 8.45
DATAFILE PROGRAM 29.95
STAMPS 5.00
NEWSLETTER SUPPLIES 48.59
POWER SUPPLY 35.00
CHRISTMAS PARTY 40.75
-------
$198.87
CLOSING BALANCE 10-12-88 $3534.38

GARY THURMAN
TREASURER

PC - CLONE - XT

516 k Memory Monochrome Monitor
2-360 k Disk Drives 4 - 8 mhz speed
1 Yr. Warranty All ready to go

$589.95

Call For all PC Clone Equipment Software and Service

Southern Marketing
5345 Flowering Peach Dr.
Memphis, Tn. 38115
(901) 365-1706 voice
(901) 794-3550 data

BOARD FUNCTIONS

The following is a brief review of each officer's responsibilities. Please read these carefully and with thought as to how you might can help YOUR club out in the coming year.

I've tried to condense and put a lighter side to this. The bylaws sound so stuffy and any of these jobs can be fun if you look at it in the right way.

Copies of this portion of the bylaws will be available at the December meeting for anyone wanting the "official" list.

PRESIDENT

  1. Leads, coordinates and delegates.
  2. Presides over the "business" part of all meetings.
  3. Submits a budget to the March board Meeting.

VICE-PRESIDENT

  1. Helps the President. Fills in For the President when the President is absent or unable to do so.
  2. Oversees (and is an ex-officio member) of all committees.
  3. Keeps a record of fiscal properties of the club.

SECRETARY

  1. Maintains and publishes minutes of the MCUC business meetings.
  2. Writes letters, keeps current roll of members and does the Treasurer's job if the Treasurer is unable to perform duties.

TREASURER

  1. Maintains all the financial records of the MCUC.
  2. Takes in the money and pays the bills.
  3. Gives a monthly statement in the newsletter each month.

LIBRARIAN

  1. Maintains a master copy of the club's disks.
  2. Makes sure only public domain software is released through the club.
  3. Provides "monthly disks" for purchase by club members.
  4. Reports to everyone at least once a month.

NEWSLETTER EDITOR

  1. Puts out a newsletter every month and snags whatever help you can get.
  2. Keeps a copy of all back issues.
  3. Goes crazy for a week once a month.

EDUCATION CO-ORDINATOR

  1. Sets up classes, arranges For teachers and meeting places.
  2. Lets the membership know what's happening so they can attend the classes.

MCUC LIBRARY

To All MCUC Club & Board Members:

I hereby resign my duties as librarian of Memphis Commodore Users Club, due to unforeseen circumstances and the attitudes of some others. Although I regret to do this, I feel it necessary to settle differences that have arisen. I hope that no serious inconveniences have been caused and that there will not be any hard feelings. I have provided master disks for December and January, as well as the disks for November that caused this problem. I will continue to support the club as much as possible. I hope the club can move toward more of an emphasis on education in the future and acquire a policy of "quality, not quantity." My phone is still open for anyone who needs help. Thank you all very much for the support this year, and Season's Greetings to all.

Gary Sparks

[Please do not call Gary for information regarding the library. Any inquires should be directed to Jim West. Back orders for disks, bad disks and other problems will be reconciled as quickly as possible. Please continue to bear with us in the same patient manner you have been.]

Did you know that there are now over ten million 8-bit Commodore computers in the world? Eight million are C-64's and two million are C-128's.

THE EDUCATIONAL CORNER

Well I'm back again. It's nice to be a member of this club. I really enjoy most of the people this club has in it. So that's all the pats on the back that I have. Looking forward to the coming year and I hope to be serving you for another year if you will have me. I hope to keep on with the way the present program is set up and just add to it. The time for the new user class will stay the same but the place for the meeting will be changing. Check your calendar for time and places. Remember that we have tapes, books, and equipment that you can checkout at the regular meeting. Also if you need questions answered come to the main meeting early and we will do our best to answer whatever is on your mind. Well that's it for now. See you at the meeting!!!!!

BOB

Memphis Commodore Users Club

Annual Christmas Party
Bring the Family!!
Good Food
Good Fun
Door Prizes
and a visit from Santa!!

December 3, 1988
6-10 PM
State Tech Cafeteria

Adults bring a gift (a gag if you want)
children bring a gift appropriate for
their sex.

DECEMBER DISKS OF THE MONTH!

The following is a brief outline of the December disks. Some of the disks are coming from Public Domain Software and we got only a sketchy idea what was on them. We sampled this company a couple of months ago and were pleased then; hope these new disks live up to their reputation.

64 Disk 1

64 Disk 2

128 Disk 1

128 Disk 2

VICE PRESIDENT'S PAGE

The Commodore 64 is a powerful and versatile home computer that far outperforms any computer in it's price range. But when it was introduced, its capabilities were severely under-rated. The initial programs written for it were simple and unimaginative by today's standards.

Slowly the 64's secrets were discovered and put to use. It seemed like each new program stretched the limits of the machine a little further.

As the power of the 64 was revealed, so were it's shortcomings. As longer and more complex programs were put to use, the disk drive seemed slower and slower. The once cavernous memory began to shrink to marginal.

Commodore and third party manufacturers developed products to meet the expanded needs of users. New disk drives with larger capacities were brought to market. Even hard drives are now being sold. Various hardware devices are available to modify drives for increased data transfer rates. Memory expansion units now make more sophisticated and data intensive programs possible, although very few programs have been marketed that make use of them so far.

Now the Commodore 64 has more potential than ever before. Will we see new software that lets us get the most from our machines? If present trends are any indication, most of the new software we see will be games. Games are fine. But, if the 64 comes to be perceived as a one diminsional games machine only, then the time will come much sooner when our machines will be added to the list of computer orphans. The 64 has come so far, but it is possible it could end up being seen as nothing more than a Nintendo with a keyboard. I hope not.

Ron Montgomery

ASCII FINDER

Reprinted From Comm'putoy Cult, May 1988

A quick and easy way to find the ASCII value For any keyboard character:

1 GET A$: IF A$ =" " THEN 1
2 PRINT A$ASC(A$) : G0T01

You can then print the character using PRINT CHR$(X) where X is the ASC value determined here.

Earnheart Computer Repair
5347 Flowering Peach
Memphis, Tn 38115
(901-366-0303)

The Commodore Repair Specialist!

Also dealer for these fine lines:

Xetec
Micro Design Systems
Jiffy Dos
Midwest Printers

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS...

by Charlie Wirth and Mike Frances

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
the only thing stirring was my computer with its 1351 mouse.

It sat in the corner with its screen all aglow,
patiently waiting for someone we all know.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of new computer games danced in their heads.

With Mom in her Q-Link nightshirt and I in my Compuserve cap,
We had just settled down for a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
it sounded to me like the noise of a 1541 head chatter.

So I sprang from my waterbed to check out the drive,
Because the noise that I heard appeared to be live.

I pulled back the drapes and threw up the sash,
which is apparently what caused my bulletin board to crash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver so lively and quick,
it reminded me of my printer, but I knew it must be St. Nick.

With the speed of the burst mode his coursers they came
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name.

There was Basic and Seven, Fortran and Dos, --
Cobal, Paschal, CP/M and even Z-DOS.

So up to the housetop the reindeers soon flew,
with a sleigh full of PC's and St. Nicholas too.

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof
the hacking and cracking of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in Fur from his head to his foot,
it was then that he noticed the board was kaput.

With stockings to fill and no time to waste,
he re-booted the system at a megahertz pace.

Now seeing the equipment was old and quite worn,
he reached in his bag and a new one was born.

There were thousands of disks, a hard drive and more,
A shiny new monitor with graphics galore.

He spoke not a word while completing his work.
He filled all the stockings and turned with a jerk.

With the touch of a finger to the side of his face,
in only an instant he Aborted this place.

He sprang to his sleigh, to the reigns gave a slap.
It was now on to Temple, The cup and Headgap.

From there to the Flagship is the way he would travel,
For he had heard all these boards were worn to a frazzle.

But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOODNIGHT!

CLUB BBS NOTES

M.C.U.C. BBS REPORT

We have 155 users in the system now. Many visitors out and many new ones added. I guess we add about 6 to 8 new people to the system each week and we slide a few nonmembers out. I intend to hold the log to about 155-160.

I have added a beginner's sub for those new people who sometimes are afraid of posting something stupid. I remember it was not too long ago I was asking those dumb questions but kept on anyway and learned in spite of it all. I hope many people new to telecommunications will feel a little more free to post in this area, or perhaps some of us old timers who can't seem to figure it out will also.

I've changed the screens around a bit to make it a bit more comfortable to use in ASCII mode. It also should allow you 80 column fans to make a bit more sense out of some of it, since it now has carriage returns on most but not all. I have been adding new bbs numbers in the library on a regular basis. I try to check these out every other week to keep the bad numbers in check. Let me know if you find one off-line.

We have had many new uploads all of which are posted on drive 9. Take a Few minutes and get on and see the improvements for yourself. By the way, we still are inviting guests of the club. Have your friends or acquaintenances get on with us. If you're on another system please post our club bbs number and invite people to join us. Activity makes a bbs more exciting. The more the merrier.

MCUC BBS - (901) 366-4676
1200/300 baud-Color & Graphics
Almost 3 Meg online storage!

Bob Nunn
Sysop

PICK APPLICATIONS '88

GEOS V2.0

Berkeley Softworks has released a major upgrade with this version. Some of the high points include more keyboard commands, support of up to two drives and a RAM Expansion Unit, a warm reboot ability after a crash, and enhanced features for geoWrite, geoSpell and geoPaint.

geoPublish

Desktop publishing for GEOS.

Paper Clip III

The latest version of this popular word processor. Full screen editing, professional printing, powerful formatting and compatibility with other printers and word processing files.

Paper Clip Publisher

Lets you create newsletters, flyers, anything that uses words and pictures. Compose pages with layout tools and extensive text formatting for a professional look.

Create a Calendar

Lets you design your own daily, weekly, monthly and annual calenders. Over 300 graphics, fonts and borders available. Also works with graphics compatible with The Print Shop and Printmaster.

SOFTWARE GIFT IDEAS

Geos V2.0 Review

Here is a synopsis of some of the new features to be found in the Geos V2.0 upgrade. One point of news regarding this upgrade; Commodore will no longer include geoWrite and geoPaint as freebies with a computer purchase. Only the deskTop 1.5 and some product demos will be sold with new Commodore disk drives.

deskTop 1.5 - two new items added to the menu bar; Select and Page.

Select provides for selection of all items on a disk's directory, all on the visible page or all files in the border area among other things.

Page allows for addition or removal of notepad pages.

Keyboard Command Entry - allows for more functions to be activated with and combination using the Commodore key and another key. Helpful for those who are not very mouse-oriented. Keyboard selection also allows you to flip to pages beyond 9; through 18 maximum.

The Clock - always visible at the top right of the screen.

Color deskTop - allows you to change the color of the deskTop icons and the notepad foreground and background.

Trash and Printer Icons - the printer icon has been moved to the lower left corner of the screen. You can now retrieve a file from the trash can up until the time you access the disk again.

Disk Drives - GEOS now supports one or two disk drives and one RAM Expansion Unit. Configure will allow you to set up your drives as you want them. There is no C drive but you can trade A and C back and forth.

Rebooting - allows for a warm boot after a crash by inserting the boot disk in drive A and typing LOAD "RBOOT",8,1.

geoWrite 2.1 - in addition to features in the earlier versions, adds decimal tabs, headers and Footers that extend up to a third of a page and can be time and date-stamped, and page numbers. Also features a search-and- replace option. All of the Style and Edit menus and most of the Page and Option menus have keyboard commands. The new version also allows you to work with an 8" margin but two transitions are needed to see the entire width, as opposed to one at 6" margins.

geoSpell - finds up to 445 unique words, compares them to a 96K dictionary. The unmatched words are checked against your personal dictionary and the words not found are then displayed in context. You have the option of correcting the spelling, skipping the word, or adding it to your personal dictionary.

geoPaint - images can be pasted into a predefined rectangle and then repositioned or resized. Images can be pasted transparently so that the graphic already on the screen shows through the white space in the scrap. The black areas of the scrap can be pasted in any pattern available in geoPaint. The airbrush will now spray a pattern in only the black areas of the selected pattern, only the white areas, or both. The circle will now draw ovals. The circle and rectangle features can now be constrained to circles or squares, respectively.

This is only a brief overview of some of the new features in GEOS V2.0. It appears to be a vast improvement over the earlier versions. GEOS V2.0 even sounds more attractive to a Macintosh user like me.

Cheryn Nunn

GREAT GIFT IDEAS

GAMES RATINGS

If you can't make your mind up on which new game to buy you might look at how INFO or Computes Gazette ranked these games.

INFO

Arkanoid ***** 5 Star
Tower Toppler ***** 5 Star
Zig Zag ****+ 4 Star+
Zak McCracken ****+ 4 Star+
The Games Winter ****+ 4 Star+
Bards Tale 3 ****+ 4 Star+
Boulderdash Const. **** 4 Star
Bubble Bobble **** 4 Star
Bubble Ghost **** 4 Star
Pres. is Missing **** 4 Star
Might & Magic **** 4 Star
Rommel **** 4 Star
Red Storm Rising **** 4 Star
Ace 2 **** 4 Star
Mercenary **** 4 Star
The Train **** 4 Star
Computer Monopoly **** 4 Star
4 x 4 Racing **** 4 Star
Street Sp Baseball **** 4 Star
Cholo ***+ 3 Star+
Rastan ***+ 3 Star+
Rastan ***+ 3 Star+
Alcon ***+ 3 Star+
Barbarian ***+ 3 Star+
Murder on Atlantic ***+ 3 Star+
Pool of Radiance ***+ 3 Star+
Alternate Reality ***+ 3 Star+

Although they ranked many games below 3+ I didn't list all they reviewed. See INFO Nov/Dec Issue For more information.

Gazette Ratings

The Train, Tetris, Zak McKraken, Red Storm Rising, LA Crackdown, Decisive Battles of the Civil War - Gaines Mills to Chatanooga, The Three Stooges. I guess they would give these all 5 star ratings as their list was only the best of the best and picked by pro's. See the December Issue of Gazette for more information.

Bob Nunn

What's NEW in GAMES

Rumor has it that Commodore has or is discontinuing the 64 after this Christmas Season. Well we'll wait and see. Meanwhile the software manufacturers are going full speed ahead, with over 300 new games listed for this season. Shopping for that Christmas Gift or spending some of that Grandma money? This list should give you a couple of ideas.

ABSOLUTE ENTERTAINMENT - Crossbow, X-15 Alpha Mission, F-18 Hornet, Space.

ACCESS - Heavy Metal

ACCOLADE - Jack Nicklaus/18 Holes, Jet Boys, Fast Break, Serve & Volley, Rack'em, TKO, 4th & Inches Construction, Steel Thunder.

ACTIVISION - Pete Rose Pennant Fever, Predator, Main Event.

ARCADIA - AAARGH!, Roadwars, Quarterback, Double Dragon.

ARTWORX - Daily Double Horse Race. AVALON HILL - Combots, M1.

BRODERBUND - Magnetron, Star Wars, Downhill Challenge.

CALIFORNIA DREAMS - Mancala, TrinanGO.

CAPCOM - Bionic Commando, Black Tiger, Sarge, Street Fighter, Tiger Road, Trojan, 1943.

CINEMAWARE - Lords of the Rising Sun, 3 Stooges, Rocket Ranger, TV Sports Football, Sinbad, SDI, King of Chicago.

COSMI - NAVCOM 6

DATA EAST - Platoon, Lock On, Guerilla Wars, Robocop, Super Hang On, Victory Road, Vigilante.

DATASOFT/EA - Dark Lord, Android Decision, Annals of Rome, Fire Zone, Napolean in Russia, Global Commander, Rubicon Alliance, Battledroidz, Sorcerer Land, Tobruk, Dld Scores, Swords & Sorcery.

DIGITEK - Western Games, Cyber Complex.

EA - Deathlord, Starfight, Skyfox II, Jordan vs. Bird, Caveman Ugh Olympics, Modem Wars, The Mars Saga, Dan Buntens Sports of War, Risk.

EPYX - Sports-a-Roni, Final Assault, The Games/Summer Edition, Sporting News Baseball, Dive Bomber, Battleship, Legend of Blacksilver, Street Sports Football, Technocop, Trials of Honor, Sub Battle Simulator.

FIRST ROW - Twilight Zone, Prime Time, Star Empire, Moses, ZAP the Codefinder, Blue Smoke Grey Powder, High Seas, Stellus.

INFOCOM - Battle Tech, Zorkquest I, Zorkquest II, Lane, Mastadon, Gamma Force.

INTERSTEL/EA - Balakon Raider, Star Fleet II, Stringer.

KONAMI - Ajax, Metal Gear, Life Force, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Castlevania, Boot Camp, Contra, Rush'N Attack, Superbasketball, Jackal.

MASTERTRONICS - Megaplay Uol. 1, John Elways Quarterback, War in Middle Earth.

MBI - Fantasy Sports Football, F.S. Basketball, F.S. Hockey, F.S. Baseball.

MicroIllusions - The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, Jonny Quest, Ebonstar, Faery Tale Adventure, Fire Power, Galactic Invasion, Land of Legends.

MINDSCAPE - Captain Blood, Aussie Joker Poker, 720, Harrier Combat Simulator, Outrun.

ORIGIN/EA - Ultima V.

PAR - Wizard Wars.

PARAGON - Twilights Ransom.

RAINBIRD - Black Lamp, Enlightenment, Carrier Command, Universal Military Simulator.

SCORPION - Alien Destruction Set, Mandroid, Super Tanks, Terror.

SIGNAL COMPUTER CONSULTANTS - Northeast Corridor.

SIMON & SCHUSTER - Jeffrey Archer..Not a Penny More.

SOFTWARE TOOLWORKS - Life & Death.

SPECTRUM HOLOBYTE - Dondra..A New Beginning.

SSI - Heroes of the Lance, Roadwar Europa, Battles of Napoleon, Dungeon Masters Assistant.

STRATEGIC STUDIES GROUP/EA - Battles/Civil War vol. II, Reach for the Stars.

TAITO - Sky Shark, Operation Wolf, Gladiator, QIX.

THREE SIXTY - Warlock, Beyond Dark Castle.

You may have trouble finding these locally, but most should be available from your bigger mail order houses like Tenex or MCS. Looks like the Software Manufacturers haven't given up on the old machine!

Bob Nunn

HARDWARE GIFT IDEAS!

If you are looking for that perfect gift for your Commodore Enthusiast or maybe just considering a new computer so the family can use the old one, here is a list of some of the better products available for Christmas '88. The price ranges are usually lowest on the mail order end, but shop your local discount stores For special sales.

The Computers

COMMODORE 128D - This is the biggy not counting the Amiga in the Commodore lineup. It replaces the 128 which is no longer being manufactured although a few may still be floating around. This computer features a detachable keyboard and a built-in drive. It will not only run all your 64 software but also 128 and CPM software as well. It allows full 80 column display when hooked to an RGB monitor with the proper cables, as opposed to 40 columns on the 64. The built in 1571 drive uses both sides of the disk as opposed to 1 side on the 64 thereby doubling your capacity. It will also read disks formatted on your 1541 and will also work with your 1541 or compatible.

Price NEW - $419.95 to $459.95
USED - $325.00 to $375.00

COMMODORE 64C - This is the stylish new version of the venerable 64. It features a sleek new case design and complete compatibility with the old 64. Rounding out the package is GEOS and Quantumlink Software.

Price NEW - $149.95 to $199.95
USED - $100.00 to $150.00

The Disk Drives

COMMODORE 1541 II - The latest in the 1541 series. It features a sleek, new design with a much smaller footprint than before. The power supply is now separate.

Price NEW - $169.95 to $199.95
USED - $100.00 to $150.00

FSD-2 Excelerator+ - An aftermarket drive that boasts full Commodore compatibility. It also features direct drive rather than belt drive for reliability. Not a bad drive for a second but not perfect for a one drive system.

Price NEW - $149.95 to $159.95
USED - $85.00 to $125.00

COMMODORE 1581 3 1/2" Drive - This one's a doozey. Stores up to 4 3/4 disks full of programs on one disk! Its burst mode makes it the fastest disk drive available when used in conjunction with the 128. A perfect high capacity second drive. You cannot save protected programs to this drive.

Price NEW - $179.95 to $199.95
USED - $125.00 to $150.00

The Modems

COMMODORE 1670 - 1200 baud or better for this Christmas. Prices are way down from last year. Why not sell that old 300 and speed things up? Not many bells and whistles on this one but it works with almost all software.

Price NEW - $69.95
USED - $50.00

ANCHOR 6480 - ARRRRRGH!! When will they quit making this piece of junk. Worse than a lump of coal in anyone's stocking.

Any Price is too high!!!

SUPRA 2400 - 2400 baud at a reasonable price. You will also need an RS-232 adapter for your Commodore but this one is also useable on almost all other computers should you decide to upgrade.

Price NEW - $129.95 to $152.95

Other 2400's - just make sure they are fully Hayes compatible and that you are fully aware of the dealer's return policy should it not work with your setup. I've seen a COMMODORE compatible 2400 for only $129.95 (no interface needed) but never heard of the company.(INFO Magazine) I guess I'll wait until you order one and tell me that they are ok.

Extra Memory You Say?

COMMODORE 1750 Ram Expansion - for the 128 will add an additional 512k of memory to your computer. Beware though not many programs take advantage of the extra space. Unless you're a programmer, run CNET BBS, or GEOS then forget this one for now.

Price NEW - $149.95 to $169.95
USED - $75.00 to $100.00

COMMODORE 1764 Ram Expansion - for the 64, 256k of ram for the 64 and compatibles. Same beware as above.

Price NEW - $109.95 to $119.95
USED - $65.00 to $90.00

The Monitors

COMMODORE 1802C - 13" Composite Monitor For the 64. This one will work with the 128 but only in black and white on 80 col. mode.

Price NEW - $199.95 to $229.95
USED - $150.00 to $175.00

COMMODORE 1084S - RGB analog which allows you full 80 column color on the 128. It also works great with the AMIGA if you think there may be one in your future. It may be the best all around monitor because it will allow you to use the entire Commodore lineup with it.

Price NEW - $349.95 to $419.95
USED - ??

MAGNAVOX 13" RGB/COMPOSITE MONITOR - works well with the 128/64 group.

Price NEW - $239.95 to $399.95
USED - $200.00 to $225.00

MAGNAVOX 13" COMPOSITE MONITOR - for the 64 & C. Lower priced color.

Price NEW - $179.95 to $199.95
USED - $125.00 to $150.00

The Mouse

COMMODORE 1351 - is a true proportional mouse. This means you don't need a card table for a mouse pad like the old 1350. A must for serious GEOS users.

Price NEW - $29.95 to $49.95
USED - $20.00 to $25.00

SUNCOM Icontroller - Not really a mouse or a joystick either. Handy device that works ok with GEOS.

Price NEW - $17.95 to $19.95
USED - $10.00 to $15.00

The Joystick

There are no bargain sticks listed here. The cheapies wear out sometimes after one fast-paced game. Buy quality and it'll stay with you for years.

ERGOSTICK - On the cutting edge of the joystick technology. This one will be the hot one to have For Christmas 88. It is shaped to Fit the human hand perfectly and has a soft skinlike texture.

WICO - Black Max is being bundled with Top Gun From the mail houses this season. It looks like a good buy at $17.95

The Printer

No bargain basement listings here either. You get what you pay for. I am preferential to the Star Micronics group but there are many fine printers out there. Just make sure that it is either Commodore compatible or that you can try the interface/printer combo that the company is offering and if it doesn't work you can get your money back or exchange it.(SEE ARTICLE THIS ISSUE on compatible or not)

STAR MICRONICS NX1000 & C - My best buy for the money pick this season. 144 CPS and Multifonts! Offers 4 type styles and choice of pitches, plus either condensed or regular pica or elite. Near letter quality mode at 36 cps. Tractor and sheet feed while tractor is attached is a great feature. The "C" version attaches without an interface.

Price NEW - $159.95 (C $197.95)
Interfaces - $39.95 to $99.95
(depending on the features)

Best for last, right???

XETEC - Lt Kernal 20 or 40 megabyte Hard Drive. Bet you'd like to find that one in your stocking. I hope you caught our November demo. It makes the Commodore look like a whole new computer.

GREAT GIFTS FOR THE HACKER IN YOUR LIFE FOR LESS THAN $20

PRINTER STANDS $8 to $20
DISK NOTCHERS $3 to $7
DRIVE CLEANER $5 to $8
DISK CASES $5 to $20
PAPER CATCHER $12 & up
PRINTER PAPER $7 to $20
SURGE PROTECTOR $4 to $18
BLANK DISKS $5 to $10
EQUIP. COVERS $6 to $20
BOOKS (dozens) $3 to $20
SLIMLINE CASE $20
MOUSE HOLDER $7
MOUSE MAT $9

SOFTWARE (100's if not 1000's of titles are available from almost free to $20.

NEAT STUFF NOT SO CHEAP

JiffyDOS - $36.95 (group order with the club) for the 64 & C. Also available for 128 and many drive combos.

SUPER SNAPSHOT V4.0 - just released! $64.95

COMPUTEREYES - video digitizer $99

SUNCOM ANIMATION STATION - touch type pad lets you draw on a pad to your computer. $59.95

WARPSPEED - fastload for 128/64. $34.95

MACH 128 - fastload for 128. $37.95

MIDI 64 - (Datel) interface for compatible musical instruments. $49.99

DIGITAL SOUND SAMPLER - (Datel) record any sound for playback. $89.95

EPROMMER 64 - (Datel) lets you program your own eprom chips. $69.99

CAN WE INTERFACE?

by Greg Rogers, Commodore Users Group of Springfield

Reprinted from Scottsboro Commodore News

Recently, in the last Computes's Gazette, there is a series of articles on Commodore Ready printers. The Gazette review is a good review, and provides a great deal of information. I think that it fails the user on an important piece of information. This is about the printer interface, used with a 'Standard' centronics parallel printer, and what kind of choice that you have there. Of course, the articles were about 'Commodore Ready printers', so this was not mentioned. This brings up a question that was asked of me a great deal when I was an educator, and still is now, by many members. I would like to offer another view.

"Should I get a printer that is 'Commodore Ready', or one with a standard printer interface, and add a Commodore printer interface?" This is a valid question. There are the obvious reasons that one would want a printer that has a 'Commodore Ready' interface. The most obvious one is that a printer is connected to Commodore Serial Bus computers such as the C-64, C-128, Plus 4, Vic 20 and C-16 through the daisy chained 'Serial Bus', in much the same manner that the disk drives are connected to the computer. Most other models of other computers provide the user a connection to a printer through a Centronic interface, and this has become much the standard of connection printers to computers. A Centronics connected printer cannot be connected to the Commodore Serial Bus computers without the use of a special interface, instead of a standard cable, and this is more expensive. The purchase of a Commodore Ready printer allows for connection directly to a Commodore Serial Bus computer, without this interface. This could save you $30 to $70 over the price of buying a printer. Also, as the Gazette article mentioned, the newer models provide for more access to the special features of the newer printers, such as Near Letter Quality, and condensed modes, to name a few. At first, this appears to be the way to go, if you are considering a printer.

So, should you get a printer like this? I do not recommend it! Here are some of the reasons:

First, do you think that you might ever want to sell your 64/128 (Heaven forbid!) and purchase another computer, or at least one to go with your 64/128? Get something besides these two models, and your new 'Commodore Ready' printer is USELESS with your new machine! Also, you will find it much harder to sell, as you have less of a market of people who have a need For this type of printer. This problem can be somewhat eliminated, in all fairness, by some of the newer printers, which have both a Centronics connection, and a Commodore Serial Bus connection. Even then, if you want to use the Centronics connection with your 64/128, you will still need an external interface.

Second, many of the 'Commodore Ready' printers provide a built in interface that will basically emulate the Commodore model 1525 printer with the exception of a few additional features. That makes it where you can use it with all of the programs written for the 1525, (which are less popular, and less available now) but it provides a drawback. The 1525 provided a 60 dot per inch printout. This used to be good. but has been left behind by the newer standard of 80 dots per inch that the Centronics Printers have available. Now, many of the graphic programs written for the C-64/128 are based on the standard of 80 dots per inch. Most of the Commodore Ready printers are not capable of this, because of the strict compliance with the 1525 emulation. A good example of this is Print Shop, (copyright by Broderbund) a program that prints signs, and other things. You will notice that there are two different sets of graphics and two different programs on the disk. One is for a 1525, or Commodore Ready printer, and the other is for 'Other' printers. The 1525 side provides a 60 dots per inch resolution, while the other side has 80 dots per inch available. If you have ever seen the difference between the output of the two sides, I feel that there is no comparison. The 'other' side produces much better, more distinct, output. GEOS (Copyright by Berkeley Softworks) is another program that is based on 80 dots per inch printout. Yes, it does support these Commodore Ready printers, but you can print out only the first 3/4 width of a page, working in a program like geoPaint. Not too handy, eh?

The third advantage that you can have by using a printer connected with an interface, instead of a Commodore Ready printer, is more features. These external interfaces have a wide range of extras, from 1525 emulation, that works as well as a Commodore Ready Printer, to extra downloadable font styles that you can print on just about any printer, as well as extra buffer size. I own a Xetec SuperGraphix interface, from Xetec, and along with the LIFETIME warranty that I enjoy, (Yes, LIFETIME!!) it allows me to do things with my STAR NX-1000 that IBM users of this same printer can not do! Not the cheapest, but you get what you pay for, and remember, you will probably be using this printer many, many hours, so a bit extra is a small price to pay, considering the time that you will spend with your printer. There are SEVERAL other good brands, and models, of external interfaces which might provide the features at the price that you need, other than the Xetec. Cardco still makes a good one, the Super G+, and other models so that you can pick the features that you want. There are also the PPI, MW-350, and other fine interfaces as well, in the price range of $30-$70.

In all fairness, if you get a daisy wheel printer, you will not have to consider the graphics limitations of an interface, as daisy wheel printers are designed For typewriter quality text output, and have no ability to print graphics. All that you have to consider there is the fact that they can be used only on a Commodore Serial Bus Computer.

Also, the price of a 'Direct Connect' printer is usually cheaper, and if you just want to print mailing labels, or only text correspondance, the Direct Connect printer might by the way For you to go.

I hope now that you are armed with this additional information you will be able to make the printer choice that is right for you. Happy Printing!

Ergostick by Wico

Reviewed by Miguel Ewing

When I opened the box and saw this odd shaped thing that was supposed to be a joystick, I wasn't sure what to expect. All the joysticks I had seen before looked about the same. A small square base about an inch thick and 4 to 5 inches square with the usual handle.

But when I took it out of the box and tried it out I was pleasantly surprised.

The Ergostick has a soft, gray exterior that fits comfortably in your hand. No more fighting with a square, bulky base like other joysticks.

I played several games using the Ergostick. At first, the feel of the joystick was hard to get used to but after about 15 to 20 min., it felt great. My hands did not get as tired and I also improved my scores on most of the games I played. Not by slot but a noticeable improvement.

At our last club meeting, only 6 people got to try it out. But 5 of the 6 liked the joystick. At our next meeting we would like more people to try it out and let us know what you think.

I would recommend the Ergostick to anyone in the market for a joystick.

Wico didn't send a list price for this product but I have seen it advertised in RUN magazine for $19.95.

CESS UPDATE

Reprinted from Memphis East Commodore Association

Most of our members will know about the great bargains from CESS, but recently I had reason to request about return/repair policies. My 1581 went down and I contacted Mr. Cess about R/R policy and after waiting the usual CESS waiting period for a response, he asked that I return the drive minus the cables and he would replace the drive with a new one! This company should be rated double Quad for the prices, quality, and service! CESS is almost too good to be true!!!

1571 CAUTION!

reprinted from VOTE September, 1988 via GCUG Newsletter

From some reason, I got into the habit of flipping the door shut on my 1541 drive when it was not in use. This is something you definitely do not want to do on a 1571! Commodore repair technicians stress that you must have either a disk or the protective paper in the drive when you close the lever, or the dual heads will come in contact with each other -- VERY BAD!!!!

PAPER CLIP III NOTICE

Notice reprinted from GCUG Newsletter

If you have an old version of the word processor Paper Clip, then you can take part in this special offer. Just send the cover of your old manual and $18.00 to Electronic Arts and they will send you the updated version of Paper Clip.

MAIL ORDER COMPUTER SHOPPING

Download from Q-Link. Reprinted From COUGAR Courier

The purchase of a computer or peripheral is a major purchase, and most buyers try to save some money on the purchase. One way to do so is through mail-order companies, as their prices are almost always lower than local dealers. There are some "horror stories" regarding mail-order, but there are several satisfied customers for each horror story.

Here are some DOs and DON'Ts regarding doing business with a mail-order company that should help you make a decision regarding mail-order and make your dealing with them easier if you decide to go that route.

DO check out the business first. If at all possible, place a small order and see how it is handled. See how long it gets them to answer their customer service line (NOT just their order line). Ask others how their dealings with the company have been (the Q-Link message boards are a good place for this).

DO compare complete prices. Some mail-order houses make their prices look more attractive by adding on outrageous "shipping and handling" charges. Most mail-order purchases made from outside your state will save you the sales tax. If buying a complete package, compare the complete package price; local dealers' package prices may compare well with the mail-order prices even if the price of the main component does not.

DO check availability. DON'T assume that all advertised items are in stock. If they won't tell you if an item is in stock, don't do business with them. DO ask for specific expected shipping date.

DON'T "use" your local dealer. If you have no intention of buying from your local dealer, don't waste his time picking his brain to decide whether you want something. This extra customer service is what makes his prices higher. If you use the service, pay for it. DON'T expect support from your local dealer after the mail-order purchase (except warranty repair). While all CBM authorized repair centers should provide you with warranty service, the local dealer who knows you bought mail-order might put you last in line. He certainly isn't going to remove a working unit from his inventory to fix your mail-order one, and you may be waiting for parts a LONG time.

DO get information from your fellow users and the mail-order company instead. What you can find out from your local dealer can usually be found from a user group and/or Q-Link. The mail-order firm should also be able to provide it (a part of checking out the company). Sometimes, the information from a fellow user can be better (he's not trying to sell it, and has probably spent more time with it).

DON'T pay cash if you can help it. Credit card purchases give you a degree of protection against unscrupulous dealers (you can have the charge removed if certain conditions are met). COD, while slightly more expensive, assures that you don't pay well in advance of shipping.

If you know what you want and are willing to wait a little longer for it, mail-order can usually save you money over a local purchase. BUT, mail-order is not without risks. Do everything you can to minimize the risks and then make your choice -Local dealer or mail-order.

GREAT GIFT IDEAS???

It happens every year. I look up from my keyboard, it's Christmas Eve, and I haven't gotten anyone a present. This year it's going to be different. This year I have selected some of the best new products as gifts for those 'friends-who-haveeverything.' The following is a partial listing of some of the new products that are available for your 64. These are my favorites.

That's all the new products for now-- look for more in the upcoming months. Here's wishing all of you a very safe and Merry Christmas!

David Garcia

Bites Free: Shareware for Susan

your menu wrap
sends me baby
like an escape key
all the way back
to our home row
where my d-i-r
says you are
surrounding me
like parentheses

every time i push enter
you sail me like a ship
to doc city
and my text leaps
like feet
to its amber shore

your spacebar
sends me into delete baby
which is where i am
my sweet spell checker
without you

so meet me in drive A
my floppy little diskette
and prompt me like a dos
my SYS OP clicks
and i whirr at your command
like memory
in a hard drive

--submitted by Ron Watson
reprinted from JUG News

10 COMMANDMENTS

by Earl Langguth, the Cow-Line Newsletter

Reprinted from Greater Omaha Commodore Users Group

  1. Thou shalt not plug in or unplug any program cartridge while thy computer is turned on, for thy computer is unforgiving and destructive of cartridges and itself when this is done!
  2. Thou shalt not move, pack, transport, or invert they disk drive without the drive being closed upon the card that came with it, or upon a junk disk to hold the head From improper movement.
  3. The wise will avoid plugging computers into the same outlets with appliances that suddenly draw or stop drawing large amounts of current. The prudent will protect their computers with surge suppressors and line filters.
  4. Thou shalt not touch the surface of a floppy disk, or flop it, nor spill upon it, nor leave it near any source of a magnetic field (such as the ringer on thy telephone!) for the floppy disk will surely be avenged upon such as do this!
  5. Remember the copyright to keep it holy. Make such copies as thou needest only for thine own protection, not to sell or give to others. Thou shalt not steal.
  6. Register thy software and hardware warranties with the cards that are enclosed, and keep thy receipts during the duration of the warranties. Without receipts thou gettest no respect at service facilities.
  7. Thou shalt not fail to save thy work to disk every half hour, for thou knowest not when some idiot will drive into a power pole and....
  8. Thou shalt not bear false witness - blame not thy computer. Remember, a computer will not do what thou wantest it to do, but only what thou tellest it to do.
  9. Thou shalt read the documentation on a software program before thou loadest it, that thou mayest be preserved from the wasting of time and much grief.
  10. Be thou content with thy computer. Remember, the only way to keep abreast of computer progress is to buy a new computer system every Monday! Rejoice in what thou past, and make the most of what it will do. It sure beats pencil and paper!

PETITION FOR HELP

reprinted from GCUG Newsletter

A Note To Our Corresponding Clubs

I am sure that all of you have heard about BASIC 8, a very fine graphics language for the C-128. The authors of this software are members of our group. Louis Wallace and David Darus helped start our group. So, in keeping with the purpose of user groups, we would like to ask for your help.

The company that is marketing BASIC 8, Patech Software, has stopped paying royalties to Louis and David. This has prompted a law suit. We would like to start a petition asking Patech to honor their commitment or we (the purchaser) will retaliate. If you could draw up such a petition, have your members sign it, and then print it in your Newsletter, we will be able to help our fellow users. After all, isn't that why we joined a users group, to help each other with our problems. I hope that we can all work together on common problems and needs. We have a very large and powerful voice, together!

MORE HAM

Computers on Amateur Radio

by Ralph Phillips

My two-year-old article on computer telecommunication via amateur radio, reprinted in November MCUC Magazine, did not reflect a recent change in FCC Regulations. Holders of Novice Class licenses are now permitted to engage in voice bandwidth communications in the 10-meter and 70-cm bands on certain frequencies. Voice bandwidth includes not only human voice via microphone, but also multiple-tone digital communications via computer. With the sunspot cycle on the upswing, the 10-meter band can support worldwide communications with very little power. Holders of higher classes of licenses can use additional frequencies and higher power.

My article stated that a "packet" consists of a buffer-full of data sent in a burst of less than a second. Want to hear what a packet of digital data sounds like? Tune your scanner receiver to 145.010 MHz. That's the MEM (Memphis) digipeater (digital repeater) at Fisherville. It not only serves about a 60-mile radius, but can link via Jackson, Crowley's Ridge or other points to even more distant points. What you will hear is a "Brip-Brip" sound, which is a packet being sent and its receipt acknowledged. A digipeater can not only relay a packet of data onward, it can serve as a BBS terminal for message drops and bulletins.

To expound on Bob Nunn's cryptic "X" comment, the commercial protocol for packet is called "X-25". When modified far amateur radio, it is called "AX-25". Surprised?

[The Editor would like to thank Ralph for updating us on the latest information. We met many nice 'hams' at the Ham Fest and Ralph is typical of this group of people. I have just one question, seriously. What does the activity of sunspots have to do with amateur radio communications? Like many computer enthusiasts, I also have an interest in science and would be interested in learning the affect sunspots have on radio communications and possibly computers. Another article, Ralph?]

YEAR-END REPORT

by Audrey McCalla

Reprinted from MAGazine, Memphis Amiga Group

Commodore International Limited's fiscal year ended June 30th but I've only this past week (mid-October) received their year-end report. I thought you'd like to find out what the big wigs at Commodore have to tell their stockholders.

According to the report: Fiscal '88 was a successful year for Commodore all around the world. Their new operating and marketing strategies produced an income of about $48.2 million, more than double last year's $22.6 million. Sales increased to $871.1 million compared to $806.7 million last year. The gain was attributed primarily to increased Amiga and MS-DOS compatible sales.

Europe continued to be the company's strongest marketplace, accounting for 67% of the total revenue. Sales increased 15% there. In North America, sales were down slightly as the U.S. company rebuilt its distribution channels and worked on increased penetration of the business and government sectors. U.S. operations lagged, while Canadian operations were strong. North American sales accounted for 26% of revenues. In Australia and Asia/Pacific markets, 1988 sales increased over 40% to account for nearly 7% of revenues.

Improved operating results substantially enhanced Commodore's financial position as cost efficiency efforts increased gross margin to 31% from 26% last year. Profit margin rose from 6% to 10%. The strong positive cash flow was used to repay $36 million in debt and increase short-term cash and investments by almost $30 million. Shareholder equity grew to over $200 million.

Those of us who were brave enough to purchase Amigas back in 1985, while our fellow C64 enthusiasts were raving over the C128 and warning us that the Amiga would never fly, will be pleased to note that the Amiga is now the dominant product at Commodore. By product line, the Amiga accounted for 41% of sales while the C64/128 line made up 39% and Commodore's MS-DOS PCs sold 20%.

COMMODORE NEWS

November, 1988 Vol. 12, No. 5
reprinted from GCUG Newsletter

SALES AHEAD OF '87

Quantum Link--Group Host... The following message was downloaded from Quantum Link by the Valley One Twenty Eight club of Phoenix, AZ. Reprinted from VOTE September, 1988 Vol. 1, No. 11.

I just attended the Commodore Forum in the Auditorium, with the Commodore VP for sales Richard McIntyre. Among other revelations in this "newsmaker interview" (authors quotes), McIntyre said the the C-64 sales are ahead of this time last year. AMIGA sales are expected to reach 1 million by year's end, and the 1750 should now be available at Sears and Protecto, despite earlier delivery problems.

Group Host Comment: As long as the C-64 is still a strong seller, it will make its own place in the market. ([VOTE] ed note: There seems to be no mention of the C-128, even though it has been outselling the Amiga by about 4 to 1 since it was introduced. CBM still seems to think that if they ignore us maybe we will go away.)

[Ed note: It seems that CBM is not just ignoring the C-128, but trying to kill it. Last word is that all production of the 1571 has been stopped, and for now, will not resume.]

THE OFFICERS
WISH YOU A
VERY MERRY
CHRISTMAS
AND A HAPPY
NEW YEAR!