May 1989 MCU Magazine

Table Of Contents

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 5th of each month is the DEADLINE FOR ARTICLES.

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 McLean.

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 with the Memphis FOG group. 4th Tuesday of each month at the Whitestation Library. Copy Session at 6 PM, Meeting starts as 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

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

What is a Utility?

by Cheryn Nunn

This month's issue focuses on utilities. According to Webster's New World Dictionary, a utility is defined as something useful. What does this mean in terms of computing? A utility should make repetitive or time consuming chores easier and faster to do.

The starter disk that comes with our New Member Packet contains some of the best utilities available. Programs like H.A.L. for home use, Big Editor, a word processor, and VFAST File Copier for copying files quickly. The utilities disk for May features the rest of the best.

Utilities can make the DOS commands easy to use. How many times have you typed OPEN15,8,15...? How about being able to type @VO:, hit return and your disk will be validated for you? No OPEN and CLOSE statements, no remembering the structure of the DOS commands. Utilities can make copying, renaming and scratching files, or initializing a disk very east.

Utilities can reduce the amount of time you spend in computing transactions. For example, there are programs that will take several related files and make them into one compressed file. This enables you to send or receive this one file over the modem much faster than you could all the separate files.

Utilities can help you fix a bad program or disk. There are disk doctors that let you edit blocks directly on the disk. You can look in each track and sector to find a problem and fix it. Of course, this type of program is not for a novice. However, if you do have a bad disk and you have a pretty smart buddy, maybe he or she can fix it for you. Beats losing a whole file or disk!

Utilities can also encompass the programs we use in daily life to make life itself easier. There are grocery list programs, ladies, that let you pick the items you want, tag them for coupons, etc. and prints you out a grocery list. Or recipe file programs so you can do away with all those space eating cookbooks. Have trouble balancing your checkbook every month? There's a program just for that too! You can see how much you're REALLY going to pay for that car or house, and see what different interest rates and length of loan will do to the monthly payment. Come the first of the year, you can do your taxes. (I used the Tax Survival Kit, available through MCUC this year, and it caught some addition errors I had made. Wound up getting more back than I had thought!)

Our demos this month will feature several of these utilities. Disk Controller V3.0 is the best all around utility program we've found since Turbo Wedge by Jim Klitzing. It's written by our own Kevin Dunn (Disk Handler) and will be one of those programs demoed. Be sure and make this meeting and make life easier!!

CASE UPDATE

The Annual C.A.S.E. Computer Show has been scheduled for September 16 and 17. As we learn more information about the show, we will be passing it along to you through the newsletter. This year's show promised to be as good or better than last year's. Among the speakers suggested were Jim Butterfield, R. J. Mical, Jim Oldfield, and other. Let's hope they are successful in engaging these people!! Mark you calenders now for this special event.

President's Ponderings

Open Letter to Commodore User Groups

It's my turn to be excited. Last month we had 7 library releases. This month counting the fair disks we have 9 disks! There ain't no filler in these!! All #1 grade A prime stuff!! This just goes to show you what a little enthusiasm will do. We are now exchanging disks with 4 different clubs. We get two disks from Public Domain Solutions, we ordered 5 different disks from QS Alliance, we got 9 disks from Mystic Jim, Berkeley just sent us a knockout GEOS demo, I get many uploads to my BBS, along with uploads to MCUC BBS. We just received 15 disks from another user group. We have located a source of 128 PD software, (thanks to John B.) not to mention Q-Link. Ron Montgomery has had an MS-DOS disk every month.

We or course can't possibly release all of this stuff. Man, what a great problem to have!!! So we glean the best of the material and release it in little collections. As we continue to exchange software with other groups and look for other opportunities we will continue to produce the very best for the Memphis Commodore Users Club.

We are developing a reputation with other user groups. I predict that we will quadruple our disk exchanges by the end of the year. We are now exchanging newsletters with roughly 40 groups and are continuing to increase that on a regular basis. This last month my Open Letter to User Groups was run in the Ft. Smith group's news. Frank Robertson's article on GEOS compatibility was picked up, John Blackmer's humorous piece on the 128 was picked up. Matt Buford's GEOS article was run by several other clubs. Malcomb Cole's piece was picked up. We of course do our share in picking through those newsletters and pick out the best of the best for our magazine!

I spoke with Richard Radon who is one of the C.A.S.E. people and is active in his user group in Scottsboro. (This guy is good people!) He is trying to get a list together of librarians and newsletter editors so they may exchange information. He called long distance late one evening and asked that I think about what C.A.S.E. can do for the user groups. My best suggestion is that they provide this kind of information to the right people. Let us share our user group lists. I am glad that CWest in San Francisco sends us their diskzines each month. I am glad SCUG from Scranton, PA sends us their disk of the month. I get excited at the thought of a list of people who are dedicated to their club.

I am preparing my lists now to send to Richard. I hope other user groups will do the same, even if they aren't associated with the C.A.S.E. group. Richard's address is:

Richard Radon
Rt. 5 Box 255
Scottsboro, AL. 35768.

Perhaps he'll add your address as a group willing to participate!

It excites me to find a great new program. It excites me to find a great article that we can share with our club members. I know that this kind of enthusiasm is contagious and perhaps if we share ours.....(Yes it will and really already has retuned many fold.)

Bob Nunn, President

P.S. I may sometimes sound like I do most of this myself. My wife Cheryn deserves most of the credit, along with all the other officers and a lot of the club membership.

Partition Tips

Please advise as to how to partition a 1581 drive, do you partition before you enter files or after, and how do you go about partitioning in the first place..please advise..

I don't recommend paritions for the 81. The disks are cheap, why would you want to take the time. There are still a lack of good utilities. Still the 81 is great for mass storage. I think within the year there will be better and better utils and sales continue on the 81. Hang in there a bit longer it took me about 3 hrs. to figure out how, and then having to type in a line of code or use a utility each time I want to do something is just not worth it.

If you persist and still want to try it I will tell you what I remember without looking it all up. You first partition the disk, after formatting the disk overall. You then have to format each partition area. You then copy files into each partition area.

I hear that Snapshot V4.0 will work with partitions. If so when I send for my upgrade and try it out I may change my tune.

Treasurer's Report

TREASURER'S REPORT 4-13-89

OPENING BALANCE 3-15-89 $2273.79
   
DEPOSITS:
   
LIBRARY DISKS $349.00
CLUB DUES 216.00
------
$565.00
   
EXPENSES:
   
NEWSLETTER (APRIL) $159.68
BBS TELEPHONE (FEBRUARY) 28.38
NEWSLETTER 1541 II DISK DRIVE 204.71
Q-LINK (FEBRUARY) 9.95
NEWSLETTER SUPPLIES 41.16
Q-LINK (MARCH) 9.95
----
$453.83
   
CLOSING BALANCE 4-13-89 $2384.96

GARY THURMAN TREASURER

1902A Monitor Tip

Reprinted from V.C.C. Shirley Tapley

Type in this short program to improve the RGBI 80 col. display.

30 FOR A=1 TO 20 STEP 2:READ B,C
60 DATA 1,40,2,116,6,24,7,31,8,11,9,232

This will program the syncronization of the horizontal axis by changing several registers of the display routine.

One more tip is to type in:

POKE 54784,9:POKE 54784,232

This should give you a clearer, cleaner screen image and increase resolution.

Special Fair Disk - Games

As usual we are releasing special MACC FAIR disks. These are ones you don't want to miss!! These will be on sale during the FAIR from our librarian.

SPECIAL GAMES DISK - Fair Release #1

Terminal City - is almost too good to be a public domain program. This one comes to us from England as is a download/demo released on their Compunet which is similar to our Q-Link. You have to buy 10 disks and then use the terminal to save Compunet. Great graphics, great music make this game a winner by itself. The intro will knock your socks off!!

Pro Dash - is a boulder dash type game that is fun to play. It has excellent graphics and music.

Zenon - is a Star Wars theme game. You save the planet from attackers. Although not quite the quality graphics-wise as the others it is still an excellent game.

Carnival.PB - the PB stands for pinball. These are public domain games that are made with Gary Kitchen's Pinball Construction Set. This one was a top download from P-Link according to INFO Magazine.

Special Fair Disk - Graphics & Music

MUSIC & GRAPHICS - Fair Release #2

Transputer Demo - Orange balls swing back and forth through the center of the room, while some great music plays.

Pure Genius - Watch the puzzle work itself out. Pure Genius is the best desription of the guy who wrote this one.

Hawk Music - Old Sly Stallone as one of his best? characters from the movie Night Hawks or was it Cobra? Superb screen and good music.

Comic Show - Good Hi-Res cartoon screens depict several wiley looking characters. Hit the space bar to see more.

Zarjaz Demo - I haven't ever heard of the game before but the demo will make you want to run out and buy it. Great Music!!

Fractal.hrlnd - fractal landscape drawing program give you a different picture each time.

Walking Man - Little sprite guy hoofs across the screen.

Wind in Trees - you can almost hear the leaves rustle and the wind blows.

Omega Q

Utility Review

by David Lloyd, C-TUG

Reprinted from Hard Copy April 1989

If you've spent time on Q-link or any BBS, I'm sure you have run into archived files. Such files usually have names followed with .ARC .ARK .LNK .LBR or .SDA. Dissolving these programs can be difficult because you may need to know the particular version of the archiver that was used. Omega-Q solves all such problems. You can use one program instead of 10 different ones to dissolve any version of ARC, ARKive, Library or Lynx. It was written by Robert Stoerrie in conjunction with Q-link. You may use the cursor keys or joystick to scroll through the menu. It is very forgiving and you can go back one step by pressing F5.

It may be used with one or two drives. If you dissolve a large ARC or Library file on one drive, you may get an error because there is not enough room on the disk. Omega-Q solves this problem by deleting the original file while writing the dissolved one. With two drives, ARCed and lynxed files are not destroyed on the first drive. Even self-dissolving (SDA) files can be processed with Omega-Q AND severak cab be run at once. The originals are automatically scratched. The program even checks to see if you have enough space before it starts. A group of SID files can be run at once.

It will also write and read sequential files and has a full range of disk command available. You can format, scratch, rename, validate, call a directory, and lock & unlock files. The screen is blanked during operation to increase speed.

(ED. Note: Omega-Q was released by MCUC on the Feb. 1989 C-64 Disk #1.)

Bob's Gossip

I'm not sure if any of this is true but it sounds good. - Bob Nunn

Commodore hasn't stopped producing the 1571, it's just that the firm that distributes it to the mass market has stopped carrying it. You may have to get one mail order out of Canada when the used market dries up.

Commodore is possibly working on a game machine to compete in the newly developed market. It isn't going to be 64 compatible but will have options like disk drives and keyboatds. Oh brother! What airheads! Move over C=16 and Plus 4 here comes another one. I guess the Commodore emblem really is a chicken head. Why don't they just market what they have?!? Just by changing packaging, they could own it all.

A different game machine may be developed around the Amiga 500 stripped down with a cartridge port. Maybe this one makes more sense.

Okimate Tip

I am unable to find support for my OKIMATE 10 printer. The lack of paper, ribbons and labels is driving me insane. Does anyone have a similar problem with this printer or know of a company that supports it?

We have seen OKI-10 supplies in Toy's R Us and Service Merchandise stores. Check these or your local department stores.

Secretary's Notes

General Meeting April 4, 1989

The meeting was opened by Bob Nunn. Approximately 85 were in attendance. Announcements were given regarding the MACC Fair April 29th and the Copy Session May 13th.

A propsal to purchase new disk drives and other equipment for the BBS was brought before the membership for approval. After some discussion, a unanimous vote was taken to purchase the equipment. The old equipment will be offered for sale to the membership through closed bids.

The Write Stuff demo was given and orders taken. It will be available at the May meeting . An SAT Preparation program was demoed and will be available for checkout through Bob Earnheart.

Board Meeting April 13, 1989

The meeting was called to order by Bob Nunn. Present were Ron Montgomery, Cheryn Nunn, George Burrows, Bob Earnheart and Gary Thurman.

Plans were finalized for the MACC Fair. It was voted to donate $60 (retail value) to MACC for door prizes to be given away at the fair.

A Participation Contest was discussed and approved. Prizes will be awarded in two categories to encourage participation by current members and members who may join in the next few months. The contest rules will be published in the May newsletter.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.

Disk of the Month Order Form

APRIL 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 payable to Memphis Commodore Users Club. Add $1 postage and handling for 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

( ) April 89 64 Utilities Disk

( ) April 89 64 Games Disk

( ) Print Shop Disk 1

( ) Print Shop Disk 2

( ) The Write Stuff 64 Demo

( ) The Write Stuff 128 Demo

See April's newsletter, page 11-13 for details about these disks.

Total ( ) quantity

Total ($ ) sent

Win a SnapShot V4.0!! Participation Contest

It is hoped that this contest has been designed to be fair to all. The aim of the contest is to encourage attendance and participation by all members of MCUC. Following are the contest rules. I hope everyone enjoys it!

Ron Montgomery, Vice President.

  1. Only members of Memphis Commodore Users Club are eligible. Contest points cannot be earned unless dues are current.
  2. Winners to be announced and prizes to be awarded at MCUC Christmas Party.
  3. Two categories will be available in the contest.
    1. This catergory will be for members whose membership was current as of April 29th, the beginning of the contest. These winners (1st and 2nd place) will be determined by the highest point total.
    2. This category will be for members who join after April 29th. These winners (1st and 2nd place) will be determined by the highest average of monthly points.
    New members joining after the September meeting will be ineligible to participate in the contest.
  4. Contest points will be awarded based on attendance and participation in club activities.
  5. Points will also be awarded for signing up a maximum of 2 new members for full year memberships. Past members and renewing members don't count.
  6. Board members and their families are not eligible to participate in the contest.
  7. Ten points will be awarded for each of the following activities.

    Attend General Meeting
    Attend Copy Session
    Attend MACC Fair
    Work at MACC Fair
    Attend other events at which MCUC participates
    Sign up new member
    Attend board meeting
  8. In case of a tie, winners will be determined by drawing.
  9. Contest officially begins at MACC Computer Fair, April 29th.
  10. First place prize in each category will be a SnapShot V4.0 cartridge. Second place prize will be a year's supply of MCUC Disks of the Month.

Earnheart Computer Repair
5345 Flowering Peach Rear
Memphis, TN 38115
(901) 366-0303
The Commodore Repair Specialist!
Also dealer for these fine lines:
Xetec - Midwest Printers
Creative Micro Designs - Jiffy Dos
Now an authorized repair
center for Star Printers!!!

Pick up and delivery available
to schools and businesses
Hours irregular
Call Ahead!

Disks of the Month May 1989

Top stuff this month!! You will want to get the entire collection of 9 disks!!

May 128 Disk

You'll recall that I complained about not having much good stuff to choose from. Well not so this month. We still could use more but this month's disk is a far cry better than we have put out previously.

Disk Whiz 1.1 - is set up to autoboot on this disk. This great utility will appear on all 128 disks in the future. It makes it easy to read docs or load your programs. You of course will have to determine which files to load but you are an advanced user since you own a 128.

Card Deal 80 - shows 5 cards face up with a random deal, it then plays out the deck. Useful routines for developing your own card games.

Arena - good game that plays in 40 col. mode. Fair on the graphics but your opponent blows up real good when you hit him. This is a two player game.

Labell De Luce80 - 80 column solitaire game with instructions. Good graphics and plays well.

Astra - super invaders type game with a little twist. First one I've seen that really uses the whole 80 col. screen. Good play, GREAT graphics and sound!!

ddmegacolor3 - display your doodle files on a full hi-res screen. This also includes ddnerd 0 - 4 which is a nifty computer cartoon. Docs on disk.

MAY Utilities Disk

The magazine theme this month is utilities and how to use them. This is a collection of my personal favorites and are most used around the Nunn household. These utilities will be featured in our May meeting demos.

Disk Controler v3.0  (@) 1989 SSBBS Inc.

                 MENU:

>#<Change device used  ( 8)
>1<Directory        >2<Change dsk name
>3<Change dsk id #  >4<Format disk
>5<Initialize drive >6<Rename a file
>7<Scratch file(s)  >8<Validate disk
>9<Edit directory   >0<Merge 2 prgs
>+<Compact a prg    >-<Uncompact a prg
>@<Unscratch a file >*<List protector
>t<Make auto-boot   >=<Change file type
>£<Disk editor      >←<Exit program

Drive type-=*>:1541

Command -=*>:

Disk Controller v3.0 - was conceived and written by MCUC'S own Kevin Dunn (Disk Handler). This one does it all. It works with all Commodore drives (and compatibles) and auto-senses drive type. See the screen dump for the menu of commands. This one will be demo'd at our May meeting.

              READ-ALL
            VERSION 8.76
AUTHOR-=*>:DISK HANDLER(KEVIN DUNN)
THIS IS A PUBLIC DOMAIN PROGRAM WHICH
READS ALL C= DATA FILES SUCH AS SEQ,
USR,AND REL FILES.IT WILL ALSO WRITE
SEQ AND USR FILES.IF YOU NEED HELP
THEN THE DOCS ARE ON THIS DISK ALSO...
ENJOY-              DISK HANDLER
----------------------------------------

PRESS THE COMMODORE KEY TO CONTINUE.


  Please select one of the following:
-----------------------------------------
>S<-Read Seq File
>U<-Read Usr File
>R<-Read Rel file
>$<-Read Directory
>@<-Disk Commands
>F<-File writer/editor(USR/SEQ)
>C<-Change setup
>E<-End

Read All v8.7 - another of Kevin's super utility programs. This one assists in reading all types of files.

Sequenzer v2.0 - color and graphic movie maker. Very easy to use and very flexible. Make a moving screen and add it to your home videos or upload it to MCUC BBS for all to view.

SFD1001 Copier - also known as v351 copier. This one has been released before but on this all time great and useful utility collection, it is a must. It copies and scratches all types of files including relative, and works with all types of drives including the 1581, and some of the older types like 4040's, 4250's, as well as the conventional 41's & 71's. It is designed for use with more than one drive.

Menu Creator v3.0 - this also has been released before. It is the same program we use to create the MCUC autoboot menus. It has many built-in features like fastload. Our demo will go into more depth on how to use and how to modify your existing menus.

Directory Assist - this program is useful in arranging and placing file dividers. It is easy to use and is menu driven.

Stationary Store - another prior release. This one makes forms of all types and is most useful. Easy to use and menu driven.

Future Writer - ever load a program doc file and watch it type out the letters and play music while it did? Chances are it was made with this program which is easy to use and menu driven.

[Photo: I want to thank Ben Hudgens for filling in while Jim West was in Korea. With all the material we have had it has taken a lot of extra time on his part to take care of the librarian's chores.]

May Music & Graphics Collection

Top Gun - excellent hack! Hi-res screen and excellent music.

My Friend TLB - Super demo of sound and graphics. It's a mini movie!!

3d-city.12800 - Mini hires 3 dimentional view that travels through a simulated city.

Glass Sword 2 - Hi Res art piece with accompanying music.

Wix Journeys - The wizard views the glowing crystal ball while dynamite music plays.

Roger Tabbit - they old lepus lepus himself with music.

For Wanda - is it really Spock??

Juggling Robot - INFO magazine listed this one as a top download. This one simulates the Amiga demo.

Special - see for yourself.

Black Force - I got a copy on an old graphics release but it didn't work. Super graphics and music I think is worh a second look even if yours did.

Hunter Killer - I don't remember but it must be good 'cause I put in on here.

Kaleidoscope - Like the name says: now if someone will add music to these routines??

May Terms Disk

Miniterm 64 - 5 blk term that works good. You may find it useful if you wnat to get online quickly. Could be added easily to another program since it's in basic. Docs on disk.

Kermit - allows you to communicate with many types of mainframes. You may find this one useful if you have a system at work.

CCGMS v6.01 - This is the latest release of this excellent color and graphic term. Help file on disk.

Gulp v3.2 - This one allows file transfers in big gulps hence the name. Save time on big downloads.

Saturn Term - good C/G term

Touchterm 7.6+ - This is the latest version of an old favorite. Hopefully most of the bugs form the old 3.9 are worked out and this one supports 2400 baud!!

AA Term - what can I say, another good looking full featured term, perhaps this one will be your new favorite.

Quite a collection wouldn't you say. Add the 3 print shop graphics disks and the 2 other fair releases that gives you 9 disks for MAY!!!!! Members pay only $2.00 each or 3/$5.00 and this month again we will feature any 7 choices for $10.00!!!!

Don't Miss the Fair or the Copy Session!!

Static Suppressor

Reprinted from Energy Magazine, March 1989

Article by Mike McCarty

Last year, I had a close call. As I was reaching for the "on" switch on our C64, I felt a static electric spark jump from my finger to one of the pins in Control Port 2. This occurence frequently precedes the inability of the computer to accept input from the keyboard or from the joystick ports. In my case, I was fortunate. With baited breath I turned on the computer. Since it functioned normally, I presumed that the spark had jumped to the ground pin. I was not willing to repeat the performance and trust that I would be just as lucky the next time. As a temporary solution, I plugged the joy-stick into Port 2 and kept it there. This helped, but there were times when I found the joystick plugged into Control Port 1 leaving the other port open to zapping. A better solution was needed.

We recently installed static strips on our PC's at my office. These work quite well but also cost about $20.00 each. For a couple of dollars worth of materials I was able to construct a reasonable static suppresser that is physically more suited to mounting on a C64. For less than a dollar, I bought a 5 inch x 5 inch piece of electrically conducting foam from Radio Shack and cut a piece to cover both control ports. After cutting a slit in the lower half of the piece I put vinyl tape over the inside where it may contact the pins in the port and stuck it to the case with double-sided adhesive. To ground the foam, I pushed one lead of a 1 megohm resistor into the foam. On the other lead I soldered a wire with a terminal which I connected to a screw in the chassis of the surge suppressor. It could also have been connected to the screw on the electrical outlet face plate.

So far the results have been passable. The resistor has a tendency to pull out of the foam it the wire is pulled, but it isn't too bad for a first prototype. The basic layout seemed sound. Even with no protected by flaps that can be lifted to insert joystick plugs.

If anyone else has tried variations on this design or other solutions, please suggest improvements or simpler solutions.

Equipment Sale

At the April meeting, the membership approved purchase of new equipment for the BBS. By the Bylaws, the old equipment is being offered for sale to the members of Memphis Commodore Users Club for a period of two months, commencing May 1, through sealed bids to be given to any officer. Following is a list of the equipment.

(1) SFD1001 with Bus Card II interface and cable in good condition

(1) SFD1001 with Bus Card II (no cable) in good condition

(2) MSD-2 dual disk drives, one working but unreliable, one for parts only

Bids will be accepted through June 30. The sealed bids will be opened and awarded at the July board meeting.

Facts & Trivia

Reprinted by Floppy New March 1989

Written by Rick Cohen

Did you know that Consumer Reports says the Commodore 128 is the most powerful 8-bit computer ever developed?

Did you know that the Commodore 128 can display a resolution of 700x600 resolution in two colors. (That's higher resolution that an Amiga)? [Ed. Note: The program titled Megacolor on the May 128 disk is capable of displaying this with a 64K video ram available in the 128D or modified 128's.]

Did you know that there are more Commodore computers in circulation than any other computer made?

Did you know that Commodore 64/128 BASIC running at 1 megahertz (Mhz), runs faster than IBM-PC BASIC running at 4.77 Mhz?

Did you know that all the special features found in the IBM PS/2 new operating system called OS/2 was first done on an AMIGA?

Did you know that UNIX for the Amiga 2000 runs with less memory than it does on a MacIntosh or PS/2?

Did you know that General Alexander Haig is on the Board of Directors for Commodore (CBM)?

Did you know that the European Space Agency (ESA) launches the French Arienna rocket with the help of Commodore 64? It is used for tracking telemetry readings from weather ballons.

Did you know that the C= 1571 disk drive can be configured through software to read & write to all 5-1/4 microcomputers disk formats on the market today?

Did you know that IBM-PC XT software is more compatible on an Amiga 2000 with a bridgecard than it is on their new PS-2?

Did you know that the SID chip in the C-64/128 was the first VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) chip ever to be used in a home computer?

Did you know that the Commodore 128 is the only 8-bit computer that has a built-in memory management unit (MMU)? Most 16-bit computers still don't have one today!

Did you know that there is a bug in the 6510 chip that has never been corrected? The 6510 is the CPU for the C-64. The bug only occurs during indirect addressing using the JUMP (JMP) statement in machine language programming.

Did you know that the first IBM-PC could only display 4 colors on the screen at the same time in the graphics mode (campared with 16 on a C-64)?

Did you know that GEOS for the C-64 outsold all game software for Christmas '88?

Did you know that you can run IBM-PC software and Amiga software at the SAME TIME on the Amiga 2000 with the bridgecard?

Did you know that Commodore made a 32% profit last year, and most of that profit was from the sale of the C-64?

Did you know that Commodore will drop the C-128D soon? It is too closely priced with the AMIGA 500, causing internal competition.

These are just a few facts and trivia that I have kept over the years since I've been a stockholder in Commodore and owner of its computers. These data are only as good as that printed in magazine articles. Some of it is common sense.

Sources:

  1. Consumer Reports
  2. PC Weekly
  3. INFO magazine
  4. Compute's Gazette
  5. Commodore Magazine
  6. RUN Magazine
  7. EDN
  8. Electronic Times
  9. Commodore Quarterly & Year End Stockholders Report
  10. AmigaWorld Magazine

How to Lose Huge Amounts of Data Permanently!

By Bob Masters, Commodore CC (Syracuse, NY)

Reprinted from Hard Copy, April 1989

Let's take this little quiz to see how well you would recover from a disk disaster!!

  1. How often do you make backup copies of your most important software?
    1. Huh? Backup? Um, er... My original copies look pretty safe to me.
    2. Whenever I feel good and ready. (About once or twice in a lifetime.)
    3. Regularly, at least once every 6 to 12 months.
  2. If a disk was accidentally erased or damaged, how long would it take you to recover all the files?
    1. I'll make sure the disk never gets destroyed in the first place.
    2. About 8 months or re-writing the files from scratch, or downloading the files all over again. Of course, some files will not be recoverable at all.
    3. About 5 minutes, at best, using a backup copy.

For each question, the desired answer is C. Okay, now let's total up your score! Begin with 100 points. Now subtract 50 points for each wrong answer. That may sound severe, but think of what it would mean to you if you lost even ONE of your most prized software disks.

Disks can be destroyed in many ways:

So...why not resolve to make copies of your favorite software on a regular basis? Don't rely on memory; write it on your calendar. And if you haven't, do it now?

VP Comments

So, they got a new super number cruncher at work. It has 50 megabytes of memory and a half a gigabyte of disk storage. Over ten thousand colors on screen at once can be manipulated, animated and orchestrated into video images better than your new television. It sounds better than your stereo. The thing is so fast, its prompt says "Is that all?". Wouldn't it be great to have one of those at home? All you need is $16,995 for the cpu, $7000 for the drive and $1295 for the monitor. 0f course you'll need some software. A good spreadsheet will run about $495, but one that really cooks goes for at least $995.

But before you write that check, let me ask you this. How are you going to use this electronic marvel? Can you find a use for the full capability of a machine like this?

I wonder if we will discover the full capabilities of our 64s and 128s. Each time someone claims that they won't do this or they won't do that some clever programmer writes a new routine that does these things and more. What really determines what our machines can do is the imagination and inspiration of the programmers that believe that the job can be done a little bit better.

Does your 64 or 128 get the job done? If it doesn't, maybe the problem is not with the machine but with the software. A different or better program might be all that's needed. Instead of considering changing to a new machine, think about using new software. Your computer can do more than you think.

Ron Montgomery

Editor's Desk

This month I want to address the issue of the responsibility of an editor to his/her readers. I recently received a letter from a member who thought I should be more accurate in the material I print. If anything, in this particular instance, there was not enough information given. Now an editor should make sure that anything that is printed is accurate, current and not misleading in any way. That is what we should all expect from newspapers and commercial magazines. However, what should we expect from a magazine or newsletter we receive from a not-for-profit group such as MCUC?

THE SAME THING. I, as editor, try to make sure that all the information that is printed in MCUC's monthly magazine is accurate. However, I am NOT a Commodore expert, nor am I a journalist. All the officer's of MCUC are volunteers, we receive no special deals or favors as officers and we work our butts off trying to make MCUC the best for YOU, the members. If we make a mistake occasionally or if something is printed that is inaccurate or misleading, it is certainly not intentional. I hope you take this into consideration when you are reading our magazine. I will gladly reprint any corrections necessary to the material if you will report them to me.

Cheryn Nunn, Editor

Thank You

A special thank you to Paul Clarke and all the folks at Clarke's Quick Print n E. Brooks Rd. who print all our newsletters, flyers, cards, etc. They do a great job and try their best to help us with deadlines when we're rushed.

Copy Session - May 13th

We haven't had a copy session for a while. We originally planned to have one once per quarter but were unable to get it all together. In the past our copy sessions haven't been too glamorous. The first one I went to there wasn't a printout of the available programs, there was only one system and even though there were only 15 people or so it took over 2 hours to get to everyone. Well I don't know about you but I don't wait in line that long for anything. This ain't 6 Flags folks. What the main problem was then was no planning. The last copy session the club had only about 6 people showed up. No surprise to me, I certainly wasn't going to wait in line that long.

I'm here to tell you that long waits are a thing of the past!!! I will not allow this type of thing to happen. We will have a minimum of 3 systems and backup copies of the latest releases at each system. We will have a few extra hands to demo and discuss programs. We will have not only the order forms here in the newsletter but available to you at the copy session.

Ok so you still may have to wait some to get your copies made but while you wait Bob Earnheart and Malcomb Cole will check out your drive for alignment and clean and lubricate it absolutely free!!! Have a coke and maybe a homemade cookie or two and visit with some of your friends. Shoot this ain't no copy session it's a party!! You won't want to miss this one. It starts at 10:00 am and lasts till 2:00 pm, May 13th, Saturday at State Technical Institute, Jennings Hall Room 19, LOOK FOR THE SIGNS!

How much for each copy? How 'bout absolutely free! That's what being a member of MCUC is all about. Of course that's on your own disks or you can buy club disks there at our low club price of $5.00/10pk. Bring your notcher and we'll run them on the back for you also. This of course is limited to disks released prior to March. March, April and May disks will be there at our regular low price. Not a member yet?? Come in and we will sign you up so you can participate too. See You There!!!

Bob Nunn

Sequential Data File

I'm 19 years old. I made a program that lists all of my boyfriends in Memphis. Whenever I break up or meet somebody new, I have to change about ten lines in the program then save the program again. I want to be able to save the numbers in a sequential file so that I can alter the data without changing program lines. I want to learn how to create and access the file; could you give me some information?

To create a NEW SEQ data file and write information to it:

10  REM OPEN THE DATA FILE
12  OPEN5,8,5,"FILENAME,S,W"
14  REM PUT DATA INTO AN ARRAY
15  REM WITH NO COMMAS IN DATA!
16  A$(1)="HARRY HUNK"
17  A$(2)="2212 TIGHTBUNS BLVD."
18  A$(3)="MEMPHIS TN. 38188"
20  REM WRITE DATA TO SEQ FILE
22  FOR T=1 TO 3
23  PRINT#5,A$(T)
24  NEXT : CLOSE5

To read data from the file do this:

200 OPEN5,8,5,"FILENAME,S,R"
210 FOR T=1 TO 3
220 INPUT#5,A$(T) : PRINT A$(T)
230 NEXT :  CLOSES5

Copy Session Order Form

The copy session is May 13th. Following is a complete list of the disks of the month offered from October through February. September and before are on your catalog disk. If you wish, you can check which disks you want or write the older disks in at the bottom, give Bob or Cheryn Nunn or Jim West the list at the May meeting, and the disks can be made up before the copy session. They will be waiting for you at the copy session and your wait time will be reduced.

October 1988

October 128

Star Trek - game version of show
Turk Keys - utility
Cat 80 v3.01 - Catalog program

October 128

Intro to Phsyics

Home Applications 6

EasyCheckbook - balance your checkbook
Recipe Saver - organize recipes
Remod-v1.0
Pip.64

Blazin' Forth 2 disk set

programming language

November 1988

Basic 8 Demo 128

128 Disk

Transits
Burgerwhop
Doublesider - copier for doublesided disks
Utility Book
Floppy Filer
M-Detailer

128 Disk Physics #3

Comal Tutor

Tutorial to Comal Language

1520 Utilities

December 1988

64 Disk 1

Event Calendar - planning calendar
Program Filer - disk file prg
Shortwave Comp - Ham utility
Envelope Maker - makes envelopes
Monitor Test - check colors/patterns
Date Tracker - date database
SW Log - ham utility
Wind Chill - wind chill factor calc
Utility Bills - Utility bill calc
VIN Detector - check used car VIN's

64 Disk 2

Halloween graphics
Database
Animal breeder pgm

128 Disk 1

Checkbook 128 - checkbook pgm 80 col
Spreadsheet 128 - uses data from Checkbook 128 and displays in spreadsheet form
Wordprocessor - simple, 80 col
All Purpose DB - simple database

128 Disk 2

Halloween graphics, utilities, telecommunications and business program

Call MCUC BBS
901-276-6868
Color & Graphics

January 1989

64 Games 29

Rockfall - arcade type game
Pacific war - strategy type game
Arcade Baseball - take your turn at bat
Arena 3000 - escape the androids
Soccer - super graphics

64 Games 30

Powerplant - run nuclear power plant
Mindteasers - 10 assorted games
Attack Force - jet combat
Screen Rocker - Hot new music set to synchronized color screen

128 01/89 #1

CGterm - 40/80 col, split screen in chatmode
Crab's Terminal - Complete term for 128
BIDI - 80 col seq file reader

128 01/89 #2

Evillord - adventure game
1581 Utility 128 - utilities that work with 128 and 1581

128 Physics 4

Fourth in series

February 1989

C-64 Disk #1

History 64 - geneology program
Medicaide - medical diagnosis program

C-64 Disk #2

Touchterm 7.2 - popular terminal prg
Omega-Q - uncrunches all types of crunched files

128 Disk 02/89

128 Lynx - 80 col. lynx prg
Bowling Pad - tracks bowling scores
FindREU - utility for finding string in REU
ThingsToDo - "honey do" list
CharEd - Character editor prg
ArchiRec - 80 col recipe prg
Boot128D - change internal drive to any number

Other Disks

We also have the following MS-DOS disks available.

Right Hand Man
02/89 Games
02/89 EZ-Copy Lite
03/89 3D Chess

Don't Forget the MACC Fair April 29th!

Blitz!64 and Blitz!128

Reprinted from ?SYNTAX March 1989

Article by Bob Rish, CHUG Central Chapter

A BASIC compiler will examine a program written in BASIC, and then prepare a translated version that will run faster than the original BASIC program. In the case of very large BASIC files, the compiled version may occupy fewer blocks and well. BLITZ!64 by Skyles Electric Works has been available for several years. Its continuing popularity bellies its age, and indicates that BLITZ!64 still delivers the goods as well or better than newer releases in a simple and effective mannger. Now BLITZ!128 is available with full support for programming in the C128's built-in 7.0 BASIC language.

Compilers increase a program's running speed by re-writing the original BASIC commands and statements in "P-Code". This is a special programming language that takes a middle ground between true Machine Language (ML) and BASIC. ML programs are in the computer's "native" language, requiring a minimum of processing time to handle. When a program written in BASIC is run, a portion of the computer called the BASIC interpreter has to process each line of the program, one at a time, convert it to an equivalent series of ML commands, complete those ML operations, and then return to the BASIC program to process the next program line.

When a P-Code file is run, there are several operating differences from the BASIC interpreter. Where BASIC will repeatedly search for variables, strings, GOTO and GOSUB target lines, the BLITZ!ed program stores the information so search time is reduced. The handling of numerical values is also optimized by making appropriate conversions once and storing the new value, rather than processing it over and over as the BASIC interpreter will do each time the value is manipulated by the program. There are also some processing changes that reduce intermediate data storage required when evaluating mathematical expressions.

There is no free lunch. The evaluation and storage of variable, target line and numeric value information takes memory and storage space. To any given compiled file for the C64, approximately 6000 bytes of supplementary information is appended to the file (11K for the C128). If the original file is small, the compiled version may be larger. Depending upon the type and number of BASIC commands comprising the source program, a BASIC file might need to be 16,000 bytes (35K for the C128) before compiling would result in a smaller file. Larger source files may compile to 60% of original size.

Skyles Electric Works sells BLITZ! for the 64 and the 128 separately, as well as in a combined set. I think the original 64 version was protected with a dongle, but the one provided in the 64/128 package uses a form of drive-knocking copy protection. The BLITZ!128 program is stored on a second disk and uses dongle copy protection.

Either version allows you to use a single drive, two drives, or a dual drive. Skyles has long provided interfaces to allow the use of IEEE devices like the 8050 and 8250 CBM disk drives with C64/128 computers, and that may be the reason for the dual drive option. I don't see how the copy-protected C64 version could be used on non-1541, with the possible exception of an MSD-2 drive. Potential C64 users might first check whether the protected verision is compatible with the MSD-2, 9o whether the dongle-protected version is still available for use on non-1541 drives.

Use of the program is similar in any case. Copy your BASIC program (always use back-ups!) to a fresh disk. Then load and run BLITZ!. You will be prompted for the name of the program to be compiled. If the compiled verison is to be written to the same disk, you must have sufficient free space. The BLITZ! program will then analyze the source file line by line, making the conversions that will enhance processing speed. At the same time, the BASIC program will be checked for syntax, type mismatch and undefined statement errors. When the BLITZ! processing is completed, it will write to the disk a compiled file as well as a reference file that will assist in debugging if you discover logic errors that the BLITZ!ing does not flag. The compiled file may be renamed, saved, loaded and run like any BASIC program. It cannot be listed like its BASIC source file. This can be used to protect the information within a file.

There are some limits upon the size and characteristics of the BASIC source file. Maximum number of lines is 1600 (C128-5000). Maximum length of any line is 255 bytes. Number of jumps (GOTO, GOSUB, FOR-NEXT) cannot exceed 2500 (C128-6000). Maximum number of variables is 1000, and arrays cannot exceed 255.

Skyles Electric Works sells BLITZ!64 for $29.95, BLITZ!128 for $49.95, and the BLITZ!64/128 combo for $59.95. You can call 800-227-9998 to order or request a catalog of their fine products.

[Ed. Note: Please check your various software catalogs for current prices.]

A REMINDER

The Write Stuff Offer

The order has been placed for The Write Stuff. We ordered some extras so if you missed the April meeting or you couldn't make up you mind in 2 minutes, you'll still have an opportunity to make your purchase. To review the prices:

The Write Stuff 64 (with S.A.M.) $17.00
The Write Stuff 64 (w/o S.A.M.) $10.00
The Write Stuff 128 (40/80 col) $20.00
TWS 128 with BB Talker 64/S.A.M. $25.00
Keyboard Overlay $2.00

Several have expressed the wish that TWS had a spell checker built in. Busy Bee Softward says that any spell checker that works with PaperClip, Wordpro, SpeedScript or RUNScript will work. However, they do not say how. They do have a spellchecker in the works.

TWS will be available at the May meeting.

COPY SESSION
May 13!!!

Reset Circuits

by Bob Earnheart

The three circuits shown above are the three main reset circuits for the 1541 and 6502 microprocessor. What a lot of people don't understand is the 1541 has its own microprocessor. The C-64 has 6510 (the 64-C has 8502) while the 1541 has the 6502.

The key to the reset circuit above is C-46. The ouput of UD3 (pin 6) will be low until C-46 has charged through R25. When C-46 reaches approximately 2 volts then the output of UD3 (pin 6) will go high. Every time you power up your disk drive, the reset circuit takes over or when a reset pulse is seen on pin 6 of P2 or P3.

When this happens, reset interrupt to the 6502, it causes a restart which gives control of the disk drive over to DOS. This action has to happen if control of the drive is to be given to DOS. So the next time your drive powers up and stays running with the red light on, check your reset circuit first on Pin 40 of your 6502.

C128 Tip

MULTITASKING ON THE C-128

This info comes from Com'putoy Cult May-June '88, via BYTS and BITS Nov. '88 via The Function Keys via GOCUG.

When you run a program in the 64 mode that replaces BASIC, such as "Designer's Pencil" or "Doodle", you can press the reset button to return to the 128 mode. You can run a basic program in 128. Break out of the program and type "G064", and the first program is still running on the 64 side.

MCUC BBS Report

by Bob Nunn

Our regular sysop John Blackmer is away visiting his father who is ill. One of the nice things about the BBS program we are running is it allows remote sysop control. Between myself and Andrew George we are taking care of the system. If you have any problems you can contat Andrew or myself until John returns.

We got the 300 baud problem taken care of with the later version of the bbs program, if you had problems try it again now.

John and Andrew have made some interesting new changes to the system. One is the new sub called MCUC News. Many of the articles and tips are now being placed or summarized and are now online for your reading or comments. Another is the new voting booth.

If you have not logged on in a while do so. We need the support of the membership to keep this boad an interesting place. It seems many of the messages in the subs are getting dated. Remember this BBS is for your benefit. Ask a question or two that you need answers to, or perhaps someone knows a faster and better way to do the job that you are working on. Maybe start a discussion on a new topic.

Call MCUC BBS
901-276-6868
Color & Graphics

Summer BBS's

It's only 2 months to the season we all wait for. I'm not going to tell you its name, UNLESS you beg me to give you a clue. I'm sure by the end of this piece you'll have it all figured out. With this mysterious season comes a wave of new BBS's. For those of you who intend to put up a seasonal BBS, there are quite a few decent public domain boards available. To name a few: CMBBS, Hal's BBS, StarBBS, ST/RV BBS, SCBBS, FRP BBS, and Ribit BBS. The basic concept of all these are about the same.

Some are color graphic, others are ASCII only. Many of them will work on a variety of modems and some on only specific modems. Before I get into the pros and cons of each of the above, I want to talk about some of the obligations taken by a sysop. Though this may seem boring to you, you'll understand why by the end of the article.

The main thing needed for a BBS is a 24 hour (dedicated) phone line. Some people make the mistake of trying to run a BBS on their family phone line, hence the hours of operation are limited to about 10PM to 6AM. The autodial feature of most terminal programs doesn't give you space to put these hours in the listing so your users can call at all hours, creating havoc on the family.

Another thing to consider is using 2 drives. Although most bbs programs allow the use of one drive, the files used by the BBS program itself (system files) require a lot of disk space. One drive limits you to only a few programs worth of space. You need even more space empty to allow for those coveted uploads (probably the reason you put up the board in the first place). I'm sure you can see the reasons for a 2nd drive.

Naturally, you want your BBS to have something on it besides transfers. One of the purposes of a BBS is to desseminate (distribute) information. Therefore your board should have a library and sub-boards that will be of interest to your callers. This is referred to as the "concept" of the board. Let's say you have expertise in the field of, hmmmm, music. Your board might have several editors and players available as well as the song files. The subs will have titles infering musical conversations. Your libraries could contain how to's on writing music or lyrics, tuning instruments, etc...I have no doubt that your head is spinning with ideas for the "Ultimate BBS" ever to hit the phone lines. Regardless of the concept you choose, as your bbs develops it will take on a personality of its own. Your job as a sysop is to guide this "personality" during its growth.

John Blackmer

C128 Tips

C128 SCROLL SLOW-DOWN

by John Poland

Reprinted from RANDOM BITS via CURVE via CHUG

Want to slow down the scroll of a program listing or a long directory listing without holding the C= key? Press the ESC key, then the letter A key. Lists or directories will now be slow until RESET, RUN/STOP-RESTORE, or ESC C (press ESC, then C).

C=128 SCREEN FLASHING

SYNTAX ERROR via CURVE via CHUG

Flash any PRINT statement in C128 mode by adding a CHR$(15) between the PRINT and the quotation mark.

C128 ESCape Key a Review

Reprinted from The Users Port, February 1989

From the South Jersey Computer Users Group Newsletter "The Scratched File"

The 128 has a feature the 64 was missing: the ESCape key. Many programs use an ESCape key. On the 64, most use the left arrow next to the #1 key, but on the 128 the ESCape key is not only useful within programs but also in the direct mode too. Here are some codes used with the ESCape key. To use the codes, you push the ESC key and then the code key. >not both at the same time<.

X toggle the 40/80 col display: switch from 40 to 80 or vice versa.
T sets the upper left corner of a window.
B sets the bottom right corner of a window.
y enable default TAB setting (tab default is 8 spaces).
Z clear all tab settings (tab will go to end of line).
A auto insert. Everything you type will be displayed and the text on the same line will move to the right.
C disable auto insert.
@ erase from the cursor to the bottom of the screen.
P erase from the beginning of the line to the cursor.
Q erase from the cursor to the end of the line.
K move cursor to the end of the line.
J move cursor to the beginning of the line.
D delete the line the cursor is on.
I insert line at cursor.
M disable scrolling.
L enable scrolling (default mode).
V scroll the screen up one line.
W scroll the screen down one line.
E make cursor a solid block without blinking.
F make cursor a solid blinking block.

ESCape codes that only work in 80 col. format.

U changes the cursor to an underline format.
S changes the cursor back to block. (default)
R reverses screen output.
N normal screen (default).

Paper Waster

Has anyone found a solution to wasted paper on the MPS 801? It annoys me that in order to start printing at the top of a page, I must put one whole blank page of paper through the feed mechanism. I have a lot of blank single sheet of computer paper lying around. I do use them for scrap paper, but it's expensive scrap paper.

Fact is, people, 99% of ALL printer are made like this, i.e., they require a "sacrificial" sheet of paper be fed in before printing can begin at the top of the next sheet. It has to do with the fact that the print head is usually a couple of inches below the tractor drums, thus making it impossible to have the top of the first sheet at the print head and on the tractor head at the same time. Yes, use the leftover sheets for scrap note paper and, they make for good paper hats and airplanes...

I Like My Computers Stupid, Thank You

by Dan Gutman

Last week, neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins University announced that they had produced a computer image of a monkey brain as it was thinking.

Bad move, guys. Back up. Set the monkey free before it's too late. Cut off the grant money now.

It used to be that computers were accepted as essentially stupid machines that could only follow orders provided by software. But for several years now, researchers have been trying to develop the next generation of smarter computers based on neural networks--electronic cells with thousands of interconnections like the neurons of the brain.

Basically, what they want to do is construct computers that function the same way our brains function. Not to alarm anybody, but that is probably the dumbest move in the history of mankind.

The human brain is a seriously flawed appliance. Don't they realize that as soon as computers have human-like brains, they're going to act like humans?

Once we have a computer with a human-like brain, it will lose it's wallet, lock its keys in the car and say the wrong thing at diner parties. It will forget to pay its MasterCard bill and go outside in the winter without gloves on.

Worst of all, if we have computers with human-like brains, computers will start to forget where they left their umbrellas.

I know exactly what's going to happen when they have computers modeled after the human brain. I'll turn on my computer in the morning, only to receive an error message stating that the computer isn't in the mood to do any work that day.

When my brain-like computer finally gets down to business, it won't be able to concentrate on what it's doing, just like a human brain. Instead of writing today's article, it will worry endlessly about that spreadsheet it messed up last week. Its mind will wander. I'll be using my computer and suddenly find it printing out erotic paragraphs about that cute IBM-compatible down the hall.

My computer, left to its own devices, will get writer's block. Worse still, it will produce columns much like this one.

I'll try to get some work done, only to find that the computer has logged onto a network with other computers over phone lines, and they've all gone to party for the rest of the night. It won't be any good at all the next day.

With a brain-like mind of its own, computers will insist on being paid, form unions and insist on binding arbitration, whatever that is.

You can see it happening already. First there was word processing, then spelling checkers. The next step is sure to be annoying electronic back seat nags that use their artificial intelligence simply to complain about human writing. "You really shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition," it will whine. I'll smack it right across its screen.

It's all well and good to make computers based on the workings of the human brain, but who is to decide WHICH brain? Will I get my money back if I pay for an Einstein and find out when I open the box that the computer actually has the brain of Captain Lou Albano?

If computers had human-like brains, I'll tell you one thing they would do. They wouldn't try to build computers with human-like brains, that's for sure.

Though some may debate this point, I've already GOT a human-like brain. I need a computer to do things my brain ISN'T capable of doing. I want my computer to be faithful but stupid companion who will labor tirelessly late into the night without complaint and follow my orders no matter how nonsensical they may be.

I like my computers stupid, thank you.

If they feel this overwhelming need to model computers after something, why don't they model one after something that makes sense--like a can opener? It's portable, inexpensive, simple to use, serves a useful and obvious purpose, has few moving parts and generally lasts a lifetime.

Best of all, it doesn't THINK.

C128 Tip

If your C-128 just locked up while running a BASIC program, here's how to regain control of the computer and save the BASIC program in memory. Hold down the run/stop key and press the reset button. You will then come up in the MONITOR. Type 'x' to get back to BASIC. List your program - it should still be there.

Write Stuff Support

THE WRITE STUFF SUPPORT BBS

There is a bulletin board service supporting users of THE WRITE STUFF word processor. The board is operational after 5pm, operates on 300/1200 baud with 8 bit, no parity, one stop bit. The registration number from your Write Stuff disk label is your password. Busy Bee Software also offers a low-cost laser printing service and files can be uploaded for printing via the BBS or may be mailed on diskette. The phone number is 805-736-7047.

INDEX

Officers Reports 4, 5, 12, 20, 27
Tips 5, 11, 17, 21, 27, 28, 29, 31
What is a Utility? 3
Fair Disks 6-10
Omega-Q 11
Bob's Gossip 11
April Disk Order Form 12
Participation Contest 13
May Disks of the Month 14-16
Static Suppressor 17
Facts & Trivia 18-19
How to Lose Huge Amounts of Data, Permanently 19
Copy Session 21-23
Blitz!64 & Blitz128 24-25
Write Stuff Reminder 25
Reset Circuits 26-27
Summer BBS's 28
C128 Escape Key 29
I Like My Computers Stupid 30