March 1989 MCU Magazine

General Information

MCUC

This magazine 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 non-profit organization whose purpose is the free exchange of information and knowledge about the use of Commodore computer systems. Memberships are open to anyone; ownership of a computer is not required. Monthly meetings are open to the public and visitors are welcome.

Dues are broken down into three categories. Membership dues may be paid quarterly (3 months) at $6 or annually at $20.00. An associate membership is offered for those living outside a 45 mile radius of Memphis at $10 per year. All memberships are family memberships and dues are not refundable.

Contribution to the MCUC magazine may be in any wordprocessor, preferably saved as a sequential file. You may submit articles on disk, or hardcopy, or upload to the MCUC BBS. Other User Groups are welcome to reprint material from this magazine; we ask only that you give credit to the author and source.

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

All rates monthly.

Full Page $20.00 1/2 Page $11.00
1/4 Page $7.50 1/8 Page $3.00
Business Card $3.00

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 Institute.

Beginner's Class - First Saturday after the first Tuesday. 1:00 PM at the Main Library, Peabody and McClain.

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

128, CP/M, MS-DOS SIG - Now meeting the the Memphis FOG group. 4th Tuesday of each month at the Whitestation Library. Copy session at 6 PM, Meeting starts at 7:00 PM.

OFFICERS

President Bob Nunn
759-0461
Vice President Ron Montgomery
767-0737
Secretary Dick Coffman
829-3705
Treasurer Gary Thurman
853-6949
Librarian Jim West
366-5544
Education Bob Earnheart
377-6416
Newsletter Cheryl Nunn
795-0461
BBS 276-6868
Sysop John Blackmer
Co-Sysop Andrew George
367-1266

Treasurers Report

TREASURER'S REPORT 2-14-89

OPENING BALANCE 1-15-89 $2340.12
DEPOSITS:
LIBRARY DISKS $286.25
CLUB DUES 364.00
-------
$650.25
EXPENSES:
NEWSLETTER (FEBRUARY) $132.59
NEW MEMBER PACKAGE 133.98
BBS TELEPHONE (JANUARY) 22.60
NEWSLETTER PRINTER 271.85
Q-LINK (DECEMBER) 9.95
GENIE (DECEMBER) 3.82
MYSTIC JIM SOFTWARE 50.00
PRINT SHOP DISKS 22.00
NEWSLETTER SUPPLIES 40.00
NEWSLETTER POSTAGE 200.00
Q-LINK (JANUARY) 9.95
--------
$896.74
CLOSING BALANCE 2-14-89 $2093.63

GARY THURMAN
TREASURER

Mail Bag

Open Letter to Jim West

Dear Jim,

We had a good meeting in February and sure missed you being there. Disk sales were good and next month we're running a $4 per pack blank disk special. Bet we make lots of sales then!! Also, we are planning a copy session real soon. Don't know if the members can wait till you get back to hold it, but we'll see.

Cheryn spoke to your wife Jan, the other day. Jan really has a neat sense of humor. She was relating that she works on "another" type of computer at work and when she gets home, she must wash her hands before sitting down at the Commodore. Seems your computer is sentient and can smell the plastic from the "other" computer and really balks at being cooperative. JEALOUSY from a computer?? Who knows.

Well, enough chatting. Everyone says hello and look forward to your return.

Your friends at MCUC

VP Comments

March-Game Month
MS-DOS Disk

Okay, everyone who has never played a game on your Commodore 64 or 128, raise your hand. If you're the person with your hand up, you're in for a treat this month. The theme for March is games. If your hand isn't up then you already know about the fun side of your Commodore.

Your Commodore is a great game machine. In fact, when it was introduced it was the finest game playing machine sold. It still is the best in it's price range.

So come on out to this month's meeting and join the fun. Oh yeah, you can put your hand down now.

Periodically, we will be offering an MS-DOS disk for sale at the meetings, as material is available. Look for information in the Librarian's Shelf or ask at the meetings.

Ron Montgomery

President's Ponderings

Open Letter to Commodore User Groups

An Editorial by Bob Nunn, President Memphis Commodore Users Club.

I've been hearing a lot lately about how Commodore is on the decline and isn't supporting the 64 and 128 anymore. A lot of people are discouraged and think the C64 & C128 will go the way of the TI-99, among others.

If you think that Commodores are on the decline I say bunk! If your group is running in the red or losing ground then it's time to get up off your dead can and do something. If you firmly believe that there is a decline in commodore computers then do your membership a favor and resign.

It may, in time, but for the next few years, I see a very bright future for Commodore User Groups.

Let's consider the following:

  1. Commodore is still producing the 64 and 128, the 1541 and 1581 drives.
  2. People are still buying them.
  3. Old Commodore users who are upgrading to bigger, (but not necessarily better) machines are selling their used Commodore equipment.
  4. A lot of these used equipment buyers are first time computer users who didn't want to invest a lot of money to see if they would enjoy personal computing.
  5. These new computer users are HUNGRY for help!!

So where does that leave the Commodore User Group? In a prime position to help a lot of people learn more about their computer so they can enjoy it more fully. The problem is how to let these people know about the User group. We've done several things lately that are increasing our exposure to the community.

  1. Put our newsletter in the libraries for reading and copies of our New Members Packet there for checkout.
  2. Listed with the Library Information Center. Many people moving into a new area will contact this sort of service to find out about what's available.
  3. Put our newsletters in the local Commodore repair shop.
  4. Printed business cards so that all members have any easy, small means to disseminate information no matter where they are.
  5. Printed a calender of meetings for a three month period that members can pull out of their newsletters and post on community bulletin boards, at work, etc.
  6. Got a booth at the local PC Computer Fest just to let people know we were there.
  7. Cooperated with other types of computer users groups in helping people find the user group to fit their needs.

Our user group members saved over $600.00 with our group purchases on Jiffy Dos. They saved up to $2000.00 on one software purchase. More are planned! How about your group? Our members tell their friends.

Since the first of the year, MCUC has signed up 31 new users & renewed about 17. We moved our new user's class (beginner's class) from a weeknight to Saturday afternoon at the main library. The first month we had 16 people, the second 10 showed up. That was an increase from an average of 6 we had had on a weeknight.

We've also created a New Member's Packet, available to anyone signing up for a year's membership. This packet includes a double sided disk full of utilities, terms, music, and games that new or old users can benefit from and enjoy. Another disk contains our club library catalog. A booklet accompanies these disks and gives detailed instructions on how to use Turbo Wedge, a terminal program and how to use the club's bbs along with other general and helpful information.

We will be participating in as many community computer functions as funds will allow. Most of these are widely publicized and attract all types of people. Some of them will be looking for a Commodore User Group and WE WILL BE THERE!

Our group refuses to accept a decline in membership, in services the club provides or in any facet of operation of our user group. In fact we are on the increase in not only users but revenues so that the club can continue to increase the size and quality of its newsletter, its public domain library, and the amount and types of classes we provide. As MCUC President I refuse to accept anything less.

You might think that you can't do it by yourself. I've found that help is there just for the asking. If you are enthusiastic about your club and its projects, your members will be also. We are willing to help as I imagine other user groups are also. If you need more material for your newsletter, use ours. If you can't type I'll send it to you on disk. If you need more material for your library selections why not use ours. You can order them through our newsletter. I'll even write you a custom boot with your club logo in it for use in your releases.

But we don't have the funds to produce a nice newsletter, you say. Have your members sign up with MCUC as associate members and we'll add a calendar and include some of your articles each month and mail it to each of your members. They may also mail order our pd disks but you may wish for us not to so you can recieve the revenues for your club operation.

"But we can't produce a new user package." We will provide disks with the articles and programs we used, to use in your own production. That way you can customize it to suit your user's needs.

Don't have a BBS?? Call me, I'll set you up a custom bbs and help you maintain it via phone till you get the hang of it.

What do we get out of this, you may ask yourself? We get the same thing any user group volunteer gets and that is the satisfaction one gets from helping, but mainly an opportunity to learn more about the computer and equipment. (Not to mention meeting some really nice people.) I've never helped someone that I didn't learn something new.

I'd like to personally challenge you to turn the tables if your group is on the decline in any way. If you would like help just ask for it. I'll respond to letters or calls and back up what I say.

Sincerely,
Bob Nunn - President

Secretary's Notes

General Meeting February 7, 1989

MCUC meeting was called to order at 7:00PM by Bob Nunn, President. After a short business meeting we were, given our first demo. It was presented by Gary Thurman. The program was on accounting. It is the program the club uses to keep track of all its finances. It was well received by all the visitors and members present. After the break we were given a demo on one of the local BBS's.

We had 62 plus members and visitors show for our meeting. That was a good turnout considering the cold weather and the condition of some of the roads. We had eight new members sign up. We welcome you to MCUC. New members that signed up at the meeting were: Joseph Dearing, Allen Cary, Elaine Parish, Timothy Walker, Joe Bloont, Harold Loyd, Jeff Chism and Mike Higginbotham.

Respectfully submitted,
Richard Coffman

Ham Radio

Delta Radio Club Meetings

Wade McKay asked me to insert a note to the MCUC members regarding the Delta Radio Club's monthly meetings. Many ham radio users also have computers, and of those, some have Commodores. He thought some of the MCUC members might be interested in finding out about amateur ham radio stuff. Delta Radio Club is currently holding a free class to prepare new people for the Amateur Radio License, required by the FCC before you can get on the air. They periodically hold these classes so if you think you're interested, contact Wade for more information.

Delta Radio Club meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month, 7:00 PM at the Red Cross Building.

Secretary's Notes

Board Meeting February 16, 1989

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM by Bob Nunn, President.

Officers present were Bob Earnheart, Ron Montgomery, Bob Nunn, Cheryn Nunn and Gary Thurman. Also present were John Blackmer and Andrew George.

The board voted to renew the Commodore Association of the SouthEast membership one more year. A note will be placed in the March newsletter asking for a volunteer to serve as the CASE representative.

Proposal was made to hold a copy session in April or May. Details about the session were discussed.

A report was given regarding a discount offer made to the club for quality furniture. It was agreed to extend the offer to club members in the March newsletter and at the March meeting.

Motion made by Cheryn Nunn that John Blackmer be selected as sysop for the BBS and that Andrew George be co-sysop. The new BBS number will be 276-6868. The board will be down from 2/25/89 thru 2/28/89. Bob Earnheart will do maintenance on the system before the equipment is transferred to John. The BBS will be back up on 3/1/89.

Discussed and firmed up newsletter schedule for the rest of the year. Outline will be given in March's newsletter for themes each month.

The board discussed some fund raising ideas.

Approval given on the new application form and authorized an initial printing.

Meeting adjourned at 9:40 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Cheryn Nunn for Richard Coffman

BBS Notes

Goodbye & Hello

Well I guess I will kind of miss the old MCUC BBS but all things must pass. John Blackmer is our new sysop' it was a unanimous board decision. The system will be turned over to John toward the end of the month and should be back up with a new number. The new number will be 276-6868, but don't call till March 1st.

Andrew George has agreed to be the system co-sysop and will be able to assist any users also. I am sure that John will want to keep any active sub- ops as those are hard to come by. I am excited at the prospect of a new sysop and what new improvements that John and Andrew will bring to the system.

I've enjoyed being this year's sysop and hope you have found it a better, more enjoyable system to use. Thank you very much for the opportunity.

Bob Nunn

Update 1989 Goals

At the January board meeting, your new officers compiled a pretty extensive list of goals of things they would like to accomplish in 1989. We have made some good progress toward realizing some of these goals and others are in the works. It is an exciting year for MCUC. If you want to be a part of it, let us know!!

Your Officers

Educational Corner

Commitments

It takes a lot of time for a teacher to prepare for any class that is taught. We as members should feel a very deep responsiblity for attending any class that YOU as members sign up for. It is no fun and very discouraging for the teacher to prepare for a class and not have the membership do its part by being responibie enough to show up for the classes it asks for. I am very upset at the people who signed up for the Basic Class and chose not to attend. A computer club is only as good as the people are willing to give. Some people enjoy sharing and some enjoy just learning and that's fine. But don't take away from the people who enjoy giving by not letting them share. In a club, as well as any relationship, you cannot just take. You have to be ready to give back just as much as you take or the relationship will not be complete.

I am not going to write my normal article this month but would like to leave you thinking about what it takes for a Computer Club to be a really GREAT Computer Club. I believe it takes giving back as much as you take and I will leave you with that thought.

BOB EARNHEART

[Photo: Bob Earnheart making announcements at the February meeting.]

Editor's Desk

The Making of a Magazine

This is the first issue since I became newsletter editor that has been produced entirely using Commodore equipment. (A copier was used to reduce things and screen the photos but NO OTHER TYPE OF COMPUTER WAS USED!!) I hope you enjoy the results!!

After reading a recent article in Info magazine, I feel prompted to tell you just how we produce this newsletter.

The equipment used includes a C64, C128, 1541, 1581, a Star NX-1000 printer, a Xetec Super Graphix Interface and a Super Snapshot Cartridge, for screen dumps. The majority of the text is produced using Big Editor, a public domain wordprocessor found in the club's library. Other text is produced with Print Shop, Print Shop Companion, GEOS and other accessory programs.

The text and graphics printed are then cut and pasted on the layout pages. After all the material has been pasted up, we spread all the pages on the living room floor to try to achieve the best "flow". The pages are then numbered. I then use a special technique Les Owen taught me to prepare the double pages for the printer. (Take apart your newsletter sometime and you'll discover there are actually four pages printed on every piece of paper.) The finished product is sent to the printer for printing and folding. When it comes back, it is collated and stapled.

The mailing labels are produced from a program called Datafile by Mike Konshak. This is the program that the club roster is kept with and can produce a list of names, addresses, phone numbers, or mailing labels, which I sort by zipcode.

The entire mailing must be sorted according to the US Postal Service regulations for bulk mailing, which is a pain, but is necessary. If you don't do it right, they call you to come downtown to the main post office to fix it. (I hate having to go anywhere that I have to take a canteen of water to keep me from dying of thirst during the journey.)

Now you might ask, after a year, why did the editor decide to go into all this? I do have a good reason. I'm looking for someone who might be interested in taking this position next year and who would like to receive some "on the job training". I felt that if I explained some of what's involved, some good soul out there might be interested in helping and/or learning.

This job and running the bbs are the two jobs within MCUC where a little "on the job" training is invaluable and it's not too early for someone to start thinking about their willingness to serve next year. Participation as an officer of MCUC enhances your enjoyment of all club activities. If interested, just give me a call.

Cheryn Nunn

Newsletter Plans

I've done some advanced planning, with a lot of help from the other officers and have come up with a schedule for newsletter themes for the rest of 1989. This schedule is not hard and fast, but does give us a plan. I am printing it here for you in the hopes that as you are around on the BBS'S, or are reading your favorite newspaper or magazine, that you might see something which can be contributed to one of the issues. Also, if one of the themes happens to be in an area of your expertise, you will know when we plan to discuss that topic. All contributions are welcome, but please understand that all cannot be used sometimes. We do our best to include everything, but it is just impossible.

Cheryn

APRIL

Main Theme - Education
Special Events -
Features - Storm Precautions

MAY

Main Theme - Utilities
Special Events - Copy Session, PC Fest
Features - Home Utilities

JUNE

Main Theme - Hardware
Special Events - Father's Day
Features - Commodore Sound

JULY

Main Theme - Graphics
Special Events - Independance Day
Features - Fireworks Demo

AUGUST

Main Theme - Educational/Business
Special Events - $4.00/10 pk disks
Features - Speed-up Peripherals

SEPTEMBER

Main Theme - Communications
Special Events -
Features - C128 Tips

OCTOBER

Main Theme - Publication Programs
Special Events - Ham Fest, Halloween
Features - Graphic Programs

NOVEMBER

Main Theme - Gifts
Special Events - Thanksgiving
Features - Upcoming Elections

DECEMBER

Main Theme - Last Minute Gifts
Special Events - Nominations, Christmas
Features - Copy Programs

JANUARY 1990

Main Theme - Tax Programs
Special Events - Elections
Features - Accounting/Tax Programs

[Photo: Gary Thurman demonstrating the Dome Accounting program as Bob Nunn listens.]

Red Storm Rising

a Game Review by Bob Nunn

While I don't own a copy of the game I did get an early copy of the demo and did a bit of research in what the magazines have to say about the program. What is really great is that the club will release the demo version as one of our disks of the month for March. I know you will like what you see and if you like the demo you should really enjoy the game.

I am really impressed by what the big software houses can do with the little 64. Microprose is well known for their quality games and this one is most impressive. I've included a few snapshot screens to give you the idea.

As captain of an American nuclear attack sub, your ship is all that stands between the Russian bear and global domination. Red Storm Rising is a frighteningly realistic blend of high technology and classic military strategy. You'll experience first hand the gut wrenching tensions and pressures as a nuclear attack sub commander. Based on Tom Clancy's #1 Best Seller. This program was designed by Sid Meier who brought us such classics as F-15 Strike Eagle, and Silent Service.

(You can find Red Store Rising at Babbage's in the Hickory Ridge Mall. Suggested retail $45.00, their price $38.20.)

[Graphic: Your failures could mean the destruction of NATO and the defeat of America!]

(Note: Many of these screens feature active sprites which do not show up on this version of snapshot. This means you are not seeing all that is there, like the Russian Flag.)

Islamic religious radicals sabotage Russia's huge oil refinery complex at Nizhnevartovsk in Siberia. This destroys one third of the nation's fuel capacity. The Soviet Union faces years of crippling energy shortage and an immobilized military.

[Graphic: A bomb explodes in the Kremlin, not the work of Western terrorists but the climax of a Soviet campaign to confuse the NATO alliance on the eve of the surprise attack!]

[Graphic: 2100 hours 06/17 1992

Captain, we have a sonar contact, bearing 270 degrees!

Navigation shows open water. Your orders, Sir?

General Quarters! Prepare for battle! XO, Report Ship Status, Review Mission Orders, Computer Log.]

[Graphic: In emergency session Russia's leaders decide to take Middle Eastern oil fields. But this would provoke an overwhelming counterattack by NATO. Therefore, Russia must strike first in Europe, neutralizing NATO with a surprise attack.]

[Graphic: Finally, action orders! Sparks alerts you to an upcoming signal via satellite downlink!]

March Video Demo

Included with this month's demo's will be a video made up on the following games. Here is a quick preview of each of the games. Eddie Yarborough will be demonstrating Neuromancer at the meeting. Look for Skattershot's review of Neuromancer in this issue.

Caveman Ugh-lympics

In this hilarious precursor to modern Olympics, all-time great Neanderthal athletes compete for medals in the events that started it all. Electronic Arts

Gunship

Revolutionary 3-D graphics and an outstanding joystick firing system realistically simulate an AH-64 Apache helicopter. MicroProse

Project Stealth Fighter

Experience the thrill of piloting a state-of-the-art U.S. Air Force COSAIR strike fighter. MicroProse

John Elway's Quarterback

Developed under the watchful eyes of the game's premier quarterback. John Elway, this faithful computer version of the #1 arcade winner brings all the strategy & ground-pounding excitement of tne nation's greatest sport right to your computer screen. Melbourne House

Airborne Ranger

This is a fast-paced action-simulation where you experience the danger and excitement of infiltration and combat operating as a single soldier that you can move in eight directions. MicroProse

Strike Fleet

Hunt down the enemy! Command a high-tech naval task force. Your treacherous theaters of operation: the Persian Gulf, the Falklands, or the North Atlantic. Electronic Arts

Pirates

Become a 17th century privateer captain searching the Caribbean for new ships and cities to plunder. MicroProse

March Demo

Neuromancer

These comments were buffered from Operator Headgap. We very much appreciate these guys giving us their input.

  From: SKATTERSHOT (#84)
  Date: SUN., 2/12 9:59 pm
  Subj: Neuromancer

I just bought a game called Neuromancer
by Interplay(the same people that
brought you Bards Tale). Here is a
brief review.

Nowadays, hacking somewhere you don't
belong can get you in trouble. In a
hundred years, it will get you
killed...

And with that statement, Neuromancer
begins. It is a role playing game minus
the age old dragons and magic users.
This is a hip new game from the future.
Your object is to obtain a thing called
a Cyberdeck (the equivalent of a modem)
and enter databases and collect
different software to better your
hacking skills. When you get high
enough, you enter what is known as
cyberspace.

Cyberspace is a high tech modem land.
Imagine being directly inside your
modem traveling to different places.
The places (or businesses)are guarded
by ICE, a protection program. And
sometimes under that are the deadly
AI's (artificial intelligence), which
can strike back and kill you. The
object is to kill all of the AI's
that threaten free access.
INFO magazine has given Neuromancer
five stars out of a possible five,
which makes this game a must have.

Eddie Yarborough will be demoing Neurornancer at the March meeting.

Game Review

Red Storm Rising

  From: MICKEY D (#106)
  Date: SAT., 2/17 11:29 am
  Subj: MICROPROSE

I have recently purchased two games
from MICROPROSE worth mentioning. RED
STORM RISING-It is a very well put
together game.You must stop a nucular
war or win it. This is a sub simulation
with a twist, instead of using your
periscope you do it the real
way....hide, hunt, sonar, thermal
layers, just like it's supposed to be.
The graphics are great and once you
learn how to control the submarine it
becomes a real challenge. Like all
Microprose games, there is a chea
t sheet overlay to put on your keyboard
and help you with the commands. A very
good book comes with it to help you
learn the game and gives a history of
sub- marines. If you like sub hunts get
this one-well worth it!!

F-19 Stealth Fighter

F-19 Stealth Fighter-Used to be Project
Stealth Fighter. They have repackaged
the project stealth fighter to be more
appealing to the buyer and named it
F-19. This was a good move by
Microprose as it hooked me...I like the
game and it has good details..But lacks
something? The best way to play it is
to hide like stealth fighters suppose
are supposed to. But once you are
noticed it is hard to outrun and seems
you are at a disadvantage when fighting
the quicker planes. I was successfull in
hiding once in 100 games. Blew up my
target and when returning to base was
noticed and blown out of the skies..:(
oHwELL). They give a variety of weapons
and gadgets to use.. but I would pass

MCUC BBS
New Number!
276-6868

Disk of the Month Order Form

FEBRUARY DISKS

Fill out the order blank below and mail to MCUC, PO Box 34095, Memphis, TN 38134-0095. You may send cash, money order or check made payable to Memphis Commodore Users Club. Add $1 postage and handling, 1-3 disks, and an additional $.25 per disk for quantity over 3.

Prices are:
Members: $2/disk, $5/3 disks
Non-members: $3/disk, $6/3 disks
Clubs may obtain disks on a 1 to 1 exchange basis by sending copies of their Disk(s) of the Month.

QTY

( ) 64 Disk #1
( ) 64 Disk #2
( ) 128 Disk

See February's newsletter, page 9, for details about these disks.

Total ( ) quantity

Total ($ ) sent

Librarian's Shelf

The following disks will be available at the March meeting.

Sound & Graphics Mar '89

Red Storm Rising Demo Disk

A demonstration disk of the new game Red Storm Rising. This is one you won't want to miss and that will entice you to buy the working game!!

C64 1581/Ram Expansion Utility Collection

A collection of utilities that are useful in working with the 1581 and the C64 including directory organizers, copiers and fixers. The Ram utilities are a collection donated to the club by John Fitzgerald, all in basic and all easy to use.

128 Disk Mar '89

Babbages

Discount Software Stores Invades Memphis.

Something new and exciting is now open for business out at Hickory Ridge Mall. I happened to stop in to pick up some pictures and noticed the new shop. "How nice, a new software shop in the local mall here", I thought to myself. I walked through expecting the usual MALL type prices and was pleasantly surprised. For example, a metal disk notcher in their brand name was priced at only 3 bucks and change. DSDD disks in a ten pack only $6.99. Wow, this place ought to do some business. I expected list on all software when I realized that they discount all their software. The top 10 list boasts 25% off!

What do they carry in Commodore stuff? Well how about the best selection of joysticks I've ever seen including the new CAMERICK FREEDOM JOYSTICK that utilizes wireless infrared technology. Yep, you got that right. Now you can sit back and play video games without wires strung across the room. They had over 100 titles in their low price section ($3.99 to $7.99) including many children's educational type programs. In their main software section they have around 280 titles.

They also carry a line of deluxe paper (tractor feed) that is suitable for awards, resumes etc. Colored envelopes and paper, and every kind of label you could want. One new kind of label is one that is erasable so you can write on it over and over, and it comes in both regular and 3 1/2" disk label sizes.

The first and the last thing you will notice about this store in particular is the smiling faces of the people working there. I'll have to give Babbage's an Operator Headgap 5***** rating.

Bob Nunn

Skate or Die

A Review

Skate or Die is a skating game in which you race, fight and jump for points. With one or two players, it is a game worth checking out. Just about everybody says Skate or Die is #1. Well, it is good, but I don't think it should be rated #1. I mean, Skate or Die is good, but it does have its bad parts. Like it takes too long to load each event (even with Jiffy Dos) and it goes back to the beginning after each event. (It takes just about as long to load as the events).

I think the Pool Joust is boring competing against the computer, but with two players, it's OK. The Highjump is so bad, it shouldn't even be in the game. The only thing you do is go back and forth on a ramp. I think it's the worst event on the disk.

The Downhill Race is one of the better events on the disk. There are several routes you can take during the race, but after a while, it can get dull. The Downhill Jam is better than the Downhill Race because not only can you "jam" in the city, but you can also race Lester and fight him at the same time. I have heard about a secret path but I haven't found it yet.

And finally, the Freestyle Ramp. I think it's the best on the disk. You can perform many different stunts and tricks in the air. The landings are hard and can be frustrating at times, but it will get easier.

If you are really into skating and like arcade games, I think you will like Skate or Die.

Joe Montgomery (Ron's son)

Welcome to all the 31 new members that have joined in January and February

Game Reviews

Strike Fleet

ASCIIriber Track 10 Volume 7 Issue 8 August 1988 Review by Michael Cavanaugh

Lucasfilms Games, together with Electronic Arts has produced a game that combines the best of arcade games with war games simulations. As the commander of a naval strike fleet you are in control of up to 16 ships in a variety of situations. Some scenarios, such as Falklands Defense are taken from recent history. Others, as in Surprise Invasion, deal with naval conflict during a third world war.

Assigned missions range from the simple to the complex. Ten scenarios are provided. The first is really just a shakedown cruise, designed to familiarize you with your ship's controls. Scenes two through six increase the level of difficulty while seven through ten deal with the outbreak of WW III and are designed to be played at the campaign level. Campaigns are, in essence, multiple scenarios played with large numbers of ships. As a result of the time and complexity of a campaign, the game can be saved to disk and reloaded at a later time.

Even though there are but ten scenarios provided, the permutations of these engagements are almost limitless. Before the scene opens you can choose the class ship or ships to be used, set the course for each, even divide your fleet into multiple task forces. Even though your objective remains the same for each of the given situations, the method used to achieve it does not.

During play, you are in command of a number of weapons systems. These include torpedoes, cannon, and a variety of missiles. You also have sonar and radar systems for spotting the enemy. When in command of more than one vessel, you can move from ship to ship.

The graphics are impressive. The various dials, gauges and controls are sharp and easy to read. For anyone familiar with the game PHM Pegasus, the screen layout and commands will be familiar. Strike Fleet is, in essence, and expansion and enhancement of Pegasus. In fact, one of the ships in your command is the PHM Pegasus.

Included in the documentation is a listing of all the vessels and weapons, both yours and the enemies, that you will run into. It's worth taking the time to look it over as you can, to a certain extent, control the armament you will be taking to sea. Nothing is as disastrous as having missiles with a range of 20 miles and running into the enemy ships armed with missiles which can destroy you from 50 miles away.

While not overly complicated this is definitely a game that you will play, at least the first few times, with the manual open. You can stop and look up how to fire a torpedo or aim your cannon. There is also a time compression feature which allows you to speed things up by a factor up to 128. You would be well advised to poise your finger over the normal time button when using this feature. At 128 times normal if you run into the enemy you'll be sucking seaweed before you can fire your first shot.

To me this is one of those classic games, like Archon, that you will still enjoy years from now. It's nice to know that they are still producing challenging, innovative games for the old 64.

Reprinted from COUGAR Courier, Feb '89

If you want to see your picture in the newsletter, GET INVOLVED. Shots of large groups of people are difficult to reduce with any clarity in the newsletter. We'd love to see some new faces in these pictures!!!

Battle Droidz

DATASOFT/EA

Reviewed from INFO #21 by Video Red

I really like this game. I'm a sucker for the scrolling 3D terrain and colorful geometric graphics. Battle Droidz has got many of the best qualities of Marble Madness and SpinDizzy combined, but with the addition of multi-level mapping, selectable droidz neat gear (Smart Bombs, Photon Guns, Time Pistons, Immobilizers, Ice Switches and Telepads), and aggressive computer directed opponents!! The functional instrument cluster keeps you updated on important info, and little extras like the "Bonus Rounds" make Droidz very playable.

C64 & 128

[Graphic: This is a graphics screen from Lazermus 1 included on the Sound & Graphics disks this month.]

GLOBAL COMMANDER

DATASOFT/EA

Reviewed from INFO #21 by Video Red

I like this nuclear-age political simulation game for the C64 better than "Balance of Power" for the Amiga. Though Global Commander suffers from awful screen color combinations, the gameplay is more involved and enjoyable than BOP. Global Commander simply has more options, like an SDI system, spy satellites, and a world radio scanner. It also lacks the negative "you can't win" bias that becomes so tedious when you play Balance of Power. If you like strategy games, get Global Commander (And make sure you read the manual--it's a stitch!)

BLOCKBUSTER

Mindscape

Reviewed from INFO #21 by Video Red

The latest in the recent resurgence of BREAKOUT style games, Blockbuster has some nice enhancements to the general theme which make it even more addicting than most version. The various attributes (slow, lasers, etc.) are invoked by collecting enough falling tokens to allow you to "buy" attributes (seen hightlighted on lower right corner grid). Several new attributes appear (torch, smart bomb, missiles, & force field), as well as bonus screens. Once a screen is mastered, a password allows future direct access to that level.

Tips

SPEED CURSOR

Try this if you want to speed up movements of your cursor.

POKE 650,128:POKE 56325,10

LONG 64 PROGRAM LINES

A friend of mine wrote a small program that I wanted to change a line or two on. When I tried to modify the program, staying with the same number of characters etc. it kept giving me the old "SYNTAX ERROR" bit over and over. I even typed in the exact original and it wouldn't work. Then I remembered he had a 128 and that in 128 mode he could type up to 160 characters per line. After he saved it in 128 mode it would run in 64 mode. What I wanted to do couldn't be done on a 64! I finally got it fixed but I had to buy a 128 to do it. Bob Nunn

1525, 1526, MPS801, MPS802

I always wondered what the story was as so many programs ask you about which type of printer you have. Well here is some of the story: The 1525 and MPS801 come from one group of printers. They are different in appearance and some features but share the same command set for HI-RES graphics etc. The 1526 and MPS802 have some excellent features although most software is designed for the first combo. The MPS series are the most recent so the MPS801 is the most desirable.

C128 SCROLL SLOW DOWN

Reprinted from Hawaii Users Group via Random Bits via Curve.

Press the ESC key then A. Listing dirs or prg lists will now be slow until you reset.

[Photo: Bob Nunn talks about all the new members we have and reminds us about the New Members Packet.]

SECRET GEOS KEY COMMANDS

Reprinted from Hawaii Users Group Edited by Bob Nunn

C=-...Underline C=@...Accent Work
C=*... Title C=↑...Vertical Line
C=:...Left Brace C=;...Right Brace
C=/...Backslash C= ...Erase program
C= ...Activates Photon Torpedoes

Earnheart Computer Repair
5347 Flowering Peach
Memphis, TN 38115

The Commodore Repair Specialist!

Also dealer for these fine lines
Xetec - Midwest Printers
Micro Design Systems - Jiffy Dos
Now an authorized repair
center for Star Printers!!

Going Slowly Crazy

Thoughts on a 128

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm......Where was I ?? OH! yeah! Header"Upgrade Anxiety,UA" <return> Tic.. tic.. tic.. Ready (flashing cursor) directory dsave"list dload"scnclr run monitor Darn! Which f-key was that! key nope!

Those were the first few things I did when I "upgraded" to the 128. What the hey! These computers are for us button pushers RIGHT! Push a button and all sorts of good things are supposed to happen RIGHT? DEFINITELY NOT SO!!!!!! Back in the old days of the 1541's I KNEW what to do. Heck I was even teachin' guys how to use it (still do). But now I feel like I did back in '79 when I got my old VIC 20. At least then I had a manual to help me with the commands.

Things really do change. Remember the Open 15,8,15:N0:diskname,##:close 15.

It's now Header"diskname,##" <return> Or how about deleting a file??? Open 15,8,15:s0:filename:close 15 NO MORE.. now it's Scratch"filename" <return>.

The list goes on and on. I know you're saying to yourself, "WoW That's easy as pie, I gotta get me a 128!" But wait............... it gets better (worse?) The keystrokes may have been lessened but it was only to make room for the other stuff.

Here's the scenario....You get a program, your benefactor forgets to mention something about it. Which computer is it for? 64? 128(40)? 128(80)? cp/m (40)? cp/m (80)? Try booting an 80 column program in 64 mode .. Instant fun. or a 64 program in 128 (40) more fun. It doesn't hurt anything but it can get frustrating as heck if you don't have your stuff organized.

To add fuel to the fire, if you attempt to program, beware that the commands have changed there too. Among the modes above, you'll encounter such things as BURST mode, Graphics mode, "U' commands, Bit mapped mode and apple pie ALA Mode.

Not to mention the fantastic word processing type stuff that the 128 affords you in the escape (ESC) key commands. If I ever get a chance to do some programming I know love these! Insert mode, insert and quote modes off, del the current line, toggle cursor flashing. (always hated the flashing thingie). The escape codes even have a bell enable or disable. Especially handy is the jumping to the beginning or end of a line, (saves a lot of cursor key work).

You need a whole program that reconfigures and adds to basic 2.0 to put windows on the screen of a 64. With the 128? Place the cursor at the top left of where you want your window, hit esc t, then move the cursor to the bottom right and hit esc b. Now type directory and see the directory scroll in your window. and all that's in direct mode! All this new stuff to learn! Why would anyone want to buy a 128? Because it's an INCREDIBLE machine! I hope you get your's SOON!

<< DR. DOX >>

[Photo: Rosie Nunn monitors the MCUC BBS.]

All About the 1670

AT COMMAND SET

The following is a listing of the 'AT' commands that the 1670 uses. The reason the set is called AT is beacuse except where noted, all the commands are preceded by the characters 'AT', followed by an ASCII carriage return.

A Answer Mode. The 1670 will go into answer mode without having received a ring.
A/ This will re-execute the last command entered. You don't need to use AT before this command.
D Dial a number, then go into originate mode. The D command may be followed by the number to dial, or by P to dial using pulse (rotary) dialing, or 0 to dial using TouchTone (DTMF)dialing.
, This will insert a two second pause in the dialstream. A comma may be inserted anywhere in a number.
E0 Don't echo back command characters to the screen.
E1 Echo command characters to the screen.
F0 Half Duplex operation.
F1 Full duplex operation.
M0 Modem speaker OFF at ALL times.
M1 Activate speaker during dialing and silence when carrier is detected.
M2 Modem speaker ON for entire communications session.
Q0 Send response codes to screen.
Q1 Don't send response codes to the screen.
S Set register commands. The commands are of the form 'Sx=n' where 'x' is the S-register and n is a number between 0 and 255.
S0=n Answer calls on the 'n'th ring. S0=0 will disable auto-answer operation.
S2=n Set the character for the escape code sequence to the ASCII char. # represented by 'n'. See +++.
S7=n Set the length of time (in seconds) the modem will wait for detection of carrier when originating a call. The 'n' should be set higher than 30 when calling long distance.
V0 Make the modem messages appear in Terse (i.e. numeric) form. Terse messgaes are followed by a RETURN.
V1 Make modem messages appear in Verbose form. Verbose messages are followed by a RETURN/linefeed.
XO Use the Standard Response Code Set.
X1 This will use the Extended Response Code Set. If ATX1 is entered, the 1670 will respond with 'CONNECT' for 300-baud calls, & 'CONNECT 1200' for 1200 baud calls.
Z This will reset the 1670 as if it were just turned-on. It also sets all modem controls back to default.
+++ Escape code sequence. If you type this during a transmission, the modem will disconnect and go back to it's command state.

CONTROLLING YOUR 1670 FROM BASIC

Controlling the 1670 from BASIC is very easy. In fact, the 1670 is even easier than the 1650, and 1660. You see, the 1650 and 1660 both need long and complicated dialing routines. The 1670 doesn't. In fact, it doesn't need ANY! Even programs that came out BEFORE the 1670 was introduced work with it. You can do the following with ANY terminal program:

type ATE1 (must be capitals!!!) then type any of the AT commands. NOTE: All letters in an AT command MUST be capital.

It's that easy!!! Even the smallest, dumbest, simplest terminals can accept AT commands. So really, even though a program says it won't work with the 1670, it will (as long as you use the AT commands).

If you want to have a program that will ask for a number, and then dial it, the following program will do that.

10 OPEN 5,2,3,CHR$(6)
20 INPUT"NUMBER";N$
30 PRINT#5,"ATDT ";N$
40 REM Terminal goes here

NOTE: The 'ATDT' in line 30 must be capitals, so if you're in upper case/graphics mode, the 'ATDT' will look like a bunch of symbols.

The following is an explanation of the program above:

Line 10 Opens the modem channel, and sets it to 300 baud.
Line 20 Asks user to enter the phone number to dial. The number is assigned N$.
Line 30 Send the command ATDT to the modem followed by the number which is N$.
Line 40 Here you would put a terminal program. There are terminal programs listed elsewhere in this article.

GET# and PRINT#

The two commands, GET# and PRINT#, are almost like the regular GET and PRINT, but are sent to a specified device. For instance, if you were writing a BBS, and wanted to print out something when someone logged-on, you would set the 1670 to autoanswer and when a call comes, branch to terminal. Then use a PRINT# statement followed by a message. An example of a PRINT# statement would be:

PRINT#5,"Welcome to the John Doe BBS"

That would send 'Welcome to the John Doe BBS' to the caller's screen. You could easily make a routine that would open a SEQ file, and send it to the screen using the PRINT# statement.

The GET# statement is helpful when you are using online menus. Here is an example of the GET# statement:

10 OPEN 5,2,3,CHR$(6)
20 PRINT#5,"A. Choice #1"
30 PRINT#5,"B. Choice #2"
40 PRINT#5,"C. Choice #3"
50 PRINT#5,"Select One."
60 GET#5,A$
70 IF A$="a" then xxx
8O IF A$="b" then xxx
90 IF A$="c" then xxx
100 GOTO 60

This program prints this on the caller's screen:

A. Choice #1
B. Choice #2
C. Choice #3
Select One.

The person then selects either A, B, or C. If they press A, they go to a certain line number (xxx). The same goes with B and C.

The routine below will read a SEQ file, and print it out to the modem.

10 OPEN 5,2,3,CHR$(6)
20 OPEN 4,8,4,"filename,s"
30 GET#4,SC$:IF ST<>0 THEN GOTO 60
40 PRINT#5,SC$;:GOTO 30
60 CLOSE4:END

Now you should just about know how to write your own BBS program. There is another command not mentioned in this article, INPUT#. This is what you would use if you set-up an EMAIL system on your BBS. I didn't do anything on the INPUT# because it isn't very reliable.

TERMINAL PROGRAMS

Almost all the routines and examples above need a terminal program somewhere in them. Here are two programs that you can use. One is a Pet ASCII (Color/Graphics) terminal, and one is a true ASCII terminal.

10 REM -- Color/Graphics Terminal --
20 PRINT CHR$(147):PRINTCHR$(14)
30 POKE 53281,0:POKE 53280,0
40 PRINT"Color/Graphics Terminal"
50 OPEN 5,2,3,CHR$(6)
60 GET#5,A$
70 IF A$='"'THEN 150
80 PRINTA$ CHR$(29) CHR$(157);
150 GET A$
160 IF A$='"'THEN 60
170 PRINT#5,A$;
180 GOTO 60
10 REM -- True ASCII Terminal --
100 OPEN 5,2,3,CHR$(6):PRINTCHR$(14)
110 DIM F%(255),T%(255)
200 FOR J=32 TO 64:T%(J)=J:NEXT
210 T%(13)=13:T%(20)=8:RV=18:CT=0
220 FOR J=65 TO 90:K=J+32:T%(J)=K:NEXT
230 FOR J=91 TO 95:T%(J)=J:NEXT
240 FOR J=193 TO 218:K=J-128:T%(J)=K:NEXT
250 T%(146)=16:T%(133)=16
260 FOR J=0 TO 255
270 K=T%(J)
280 IF K<>0 THEN F%(K)=J:F%(K+128)=J
290 NEXT
300 PRINT" "CHR$(147)
310 GET#5,A$
320 IF A$='"'OR ST<>O THEN 360
330 PRINT" "CHR$(157);CHR$(F%(ASC(A$)));
340 IF F%ASC(A$))=34 THEN POKE 212,0
350 GOTO 310
360 PRINTCHR$(RV)" "CHR$(157);CHR$(146);:GET A$
370 IF A$<>'"'THENPRINT#5,CHR$(T%(ASC(A$)));
380 CT=CT+1
390 IF CT=8 THEN CT=0:RV=164-RV
410 GOTO 310

Both of these terminals accept the AT command set. Nothing should appear on the screen when you run the terminals until you type ATE1.

OPENING MODEM CHANNELS

To open a 300-baud modem channel, use OPEN 5,2,3,CHR$(6). To open a 1200 baud channel, use OPEN 5,2,2,CHR$ (0)+CHR$(0)+CHR$(61)+CHR$(1). You can also use OPEN 5,2,2,CHR$(6).

USING 'AT' COMMANDS FROM BASIC

To use an AT command from BASIC is VERY easy. Just open the modem channel (see Opening Modem Channels), and type:

PRINT#5,"AT command goes here"

It's that simple! Well, I guess this concludes the article. Look for more Telecommunications articles by me coming soon to a Q-Link Software Library near you!

By Brian R. Berman

Commodore Magazines

An Overview

The following is a list of magazines serving Commodore 64 users. All of the prices given are for one year subscriptions, and addresses are for subscription orders only.

These magazines are either completely devoted to Commodore computers and their related items, or give a large portion of their pages to this purpose:

Ahoy! P.O. Box 341 Mt. Morris, Illinois 61054 No Phone Number Given $19.95 in US; $26.95 in Canada

Commodore Microcomputers Commodore Business Machines Magazine Subscription Department P.O. Box 651 Holmes, Pennsylvania 19043 1-800-345-8112 6 Issues Per Year $15.00 in US; $20.00 in Canada

Compute! P.O. Box 914 Farmingdale, New York 11737 1-800-334-0868 $24.00 in US; $30.00 in Canada

Compute!'s Gazette P.O. Box 961 Farmingdale, New York 11737 1-800-334-0868 $24.00 in US; $30.00 in Canada

INFO 123 N. Linn St., Suite 2A, Iowa City, IA 52245 1-319-338-0703 $20/yr, $26/yr Foreign rate.

RUN CW Communications Subscription Department P.O. Box 954 Farmingdale, New York 11737 1-800-258-5473 $19.97 in US; $22.97 in Canada

The Transactor Subscriptions Department 500 Steele Avenue Milton, Ontario, Canada L9T 3P7 416-876-4741 Published Quarterly $15.00

Twin Cities 128 PO Box 4625, St. Paul, MN 55104

The following magazines feature regular columns on the 64, and often run reviews of related items:

Computer Shopper P.O. Box 5214 Boulder, Colorado 80321 No Phone Number Given $24.97 in US; $29.97 in Canada

The following are disk magazines (DM) or magazine supplements (MS) on tape or disk:

Compute!'s Gazette Disk (MS) P.O. Box 901 Farmingdale, New York 11737 1-800-334-0868 Single Issue: $13.95 US/Canada 6 Months: $39.95 US/Canada Year: $69.95 US/Canada

LoadStar (DM) P.O. Box 30007 Shreveport, Louisiana 71130 (318) 868-7247 Single Issue: $10.00 6 Months: $39.95 US Year: $69.95 US

ReRun, Volume 1 (MS) Attn: Debbie Walsh 80 Pine Street Peterborough, New Hampshire 03458 1-800-258-5473 $21.97 on Disk; $11.97 on Cassette US Add .45 for Canada

When searching for the right magazines you need to consider a few things. First, there are many, many good all-purpose computer magazines on the market. These cover practically every aspect of the computer world, and are good for this purpose. And, then there are the machine-specific magazines, several being for the Commodore line of computers. A few in this category are some of the best of all computer magazines on market. You can acquire a full library of high-quality programs and useful articles from these magazines.

No matter what you are after, keep in mind that just because a magazine has a nice cover, it could still contain just garbage on the inside.

More Tips

Ram Expansion Grief

Reprinted from CHUG by David Courtney. Edited by Bob Nunn

The C64 places a small amount of code in the location $C000 to $C060 which then prevents the use of commercial software. So far, the only solution is to load the commercial program and then move it up 100 bytes, and then save it. This only works of course if the program is relocatable and you are smart enough to do it. Does anyone have a better solution?

Game Loading Failure

If you have a commercial game that will not load on your C64 but will load ok on a friend's, you may have version 1 or 2 of the kernal rom. The only help for you is to upgrade to version 3. One of the best ways is to install JIFFY-DOS. This upgrades both your computer and drives to the latest rom version.

[Graphic: Superb Graphics Screen from Lazermus 3. These eight programs include some of the best music to come along in some time.]

Jiffy Dos is available through MCUC at a
considerable discount for orders of 6
or more. 64 + drive or SX-64 $38.95
128 + drive $48.95 add'l drives $19.95

TYPEWRITER 64

This ones reprinted from our October Magazine by popular request. khy not type this one in and save it on your favorite utilities disk. Just hit ← to quit Bob Nunn

10 OPEN 4,4
20 GET A$:IF A$="" THEN 20
30 IF A$='←" THEN 70
40 PRINT#4,A$;
50 PRINTA$;
60 GOTO 20
70 CLOSE 4
80 END

SUPER JIFFY DOS DOC READ

Many of you who never bothered to read the manual may want to try this next time you want to see a sequential file.

@T:docfilename

Be ready to hit the CTRL key as this baby lists them out quick. Sure beats typing in a few lines of basic or loading a sequential file reader huh???

QUICK BLOCKS FREE

If you would like to see how many blks free are on a disk without having to look through a directory try this:

LOAD "$$",8 LIST

For some reason you can only do this once without a reset or loading a program in between using it.

INDEX

Columns 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14
Game Review 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17
All about the 1670 26
Computer Furniture 20
GEOS 128 2.0 Press Notice 19
Babbages Review 15
Disk Order Form 14
Going Slowly Crazy 23
Commodore Magazines 29
Tips 18, 30, 31