December 1989 MCU Magazine

GENERAL INFORMATION

MCUC

This newsletter is published monthly for distribution to members of the Memphis Commodore Users Club. It is in no way connected with the Commodore Business Machine Ltd. or Commodore Inc. and Commodore products (CBM, PET, C64, C128, VIC20, Amiga) are registered trademarks of Commodore Inc. The MCUC is a non-profit organization whose purpose is the free exchange of information & 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 & 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. Dues are not refundable.

Contribution to the MCUC magazine may be in any word processor. You may submit articles on disk, or a hardcopy, or upload to the MCUC BBS (276-6868). 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 12th 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 Classes - 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.

Millington SIG - 1st Saturday 7:00 pm, Shoney's on Hwy 51 in Millington

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 362-0632
Sysop Andrew George
367-1266
Co-Sysop Kevin Dunn (Disk Handler)

Advertising Rates

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

All Rates Monthly
Classified to Members FREE
All ads must be in by the 12th.
CIRCULATION: 300 copies

Nominations

The Nominating Committe met Tuesday, October 17, 1989. Present for that meeting were Andrew George, Guy King, Wayne Moore and Ralph Phillips. At that meeting Wayne Moore was elected committee chairman. A proposed list of prospective officers was formulated. Next was to contact the prospective officers to see if they would be willing to serve.

The committee met again Tuesday, November 7, 1989. Present at that meeting were Guy King, Wayne Moore, Ralph Phillips and Charles Wirth. The list of prospective officers was approved for presentation to the club. The proposed officers are as follows:

President Bob Nunn
Vice-presidnet Bob Earnheart
Secretary Dick Coffman
Treasurer Wayne Moore
Librarian Jim West
Education Ron Montgomery
Newsletter Cheryn Nunn
Mike Dahms

(Mike runs Mickey D's BBS)

If anyone would like to nominate someone for an office please insert their name below and return it to one of the current officers or one of the nominating committee members.

You can also nominate that person at the next meeting.

Name

Office

Phone Number

Wayne Moore
Chairman Nominating Committee

Treasurer's Report

TREASURER'S REPORT 11-12-89

OPENING BALANCE 10-5-89 $2274.75
   
DEPOSITS:
   
MEMBERSHIP $180.00
DISK SALES 182.00
JIFFY DOS SALES 51.90
PRINTER SALE 307.85
--------
$721.75
   
EXPENSES:
   
LIBRARY PRINTER $110.96
MISC LIBRARY SUPPLIES 43.83
BBS TELEPHONE (SEPTEMBER) 82.25
BBS TELEPHONE (OCTBOER) 21.50
MISC SUPPLIES 4.53
BAD CHECK 8.00
--------
$271.07
   
CLOSING BALANCE 11-12-89 $2725.43

GARY THURMAN
TREASURER

Survey

In the center of the newsletter is a survey we would like every member to fill out and mail in. Just pull the center page out, fill out the survey, fold as directed, tape or staple and put a stamp on it, or bring it to the December meeting. Your opinions are needed to help the officers fulfill your needs and wants in the newsletter area, on the BBS and during the meetings. This is a chance for you to express yourself anonymously. Of course, all members are welcome at any board meeting. The club is there for you, so tell us what you want!

President's Ponderings

Welcome to the Exchange, ICUPUG, England

by Bob Nunn

I just got through going through the club mail. We had sent a little MCUC care package to a big user group in England a few weeks back and were anticipating their response. A fellow by the name of Joe Griffin who is Vice Chairman of ICPUG wrote a nice return letter and sent a much bigger care package back. I can't tell you how excited I am from the material they distribute. Their September/October Magazine is listed as Europe's first independant magazine for CBM users, is over 100 pages!!! It is very well written with the exception of some minor mispellings like colour, catalogue, instead of color and catalog. Joe also sent a library catalog disk in 1581 format along with some utilities. I am very anxious to start a regular exchange with this group. You see, Commodore still supports the 128 in Europe. (Well sort of, anyways they can't get any answers from Commodore either, but at least the machines are still sold.) They also seem to do a lot of programming on the 128 and have a substantial library. My hopes are to gather the best of the best from their library in not only 128 but 64 as well. Keep an eye out in the next few months for latest releases.

One observation on my part and no insults intended, while they have one of the best magazines I have ever seen they will go crazy when we start sending them our software. The terms in their library are dated as well as most utilities and games etc. They do however have a lot of unique programs, and this should prove fruitful for all concerned. With the continued marketing of the 128 and efforts from U.K. programmers it is my hope to improve the 128 PD libraries of America. With our exchange with other groups across the U.S. and the telecommunication links we can start a resurgence in 128 software!

As I am sitting here thinking about all the great stuff we are going to send these guys jam packed onto 81 disks I can't help wonder what other things we take for granted they can use. I saw an article or two on Jiffy Dos for the 64/128 and the 41/71 drives but no mention of the 81 chips. I don't know how they use one without the chips. They didn't mention version 6.0 with the built in copier features etc. They didn't mention the premier word processor for the 64 and the 128, The Write Stuff! We of course will send them the demo versions of these programs and information on ordering.

They also placed this greeting in their magazine:

"HELLO MEMPHIS

The Memphis Commodore Users Club is an 8-bit club in Memphis, Tennessee (not Egypt). We have just received a copy of their library catalog(ue) and will be sending them a copy of our own catalogue and copies of the Journal. As they have access to the extensive communications facilites in the U.S. (Q-link, Bix, etc.) we hope that we will be able to provide our members with much of the new material that is currently appearing. We look forward to a long and prosperous association between our two clubs."

All I can say is Amen to that brother, we look forward to the same.

Write Stuff Seminar a Success

We just finished the Write Stuff Seminar, the first of hopefully a long line of seminars to come. How did it go? Well ask anyone who attended. I think everyone learned something including the teacher. I appreciatiate the talents of my wife Cheryn when it comes to using Word Processors, Spreadsheets and Databases, and her talents as a teacher. She taught it so even I could understand it. Many thanks to her, Betty Wilson and the folks at our Grace St. Luke for letting us use their marvelous facilities.

Club Survey

I hope that most of you will take the time to fill out the pull out survey in the center of this newsletter and either bring it to the meeting or mail it in. For a small amount of time and trouble you will assist your 1990 Board Members in making better decisions and insure that the club is meeing the needs of its members.

Latest and Greatest Rumors

Well the off again is on again. The rumors of the Commodore 65 or also known as the Commodore 64GS, is that it is on again. You may have heard that it has more ram, possibly a built in 3 1/2" drive and extended graphics capabilities.

Berkeley Software is not pleased with the response of GEOS in Apple arena and since there is so many graphic interface type programs for MS/DOS machines out there they have supposedly shelved the production of GEOS for the IBM Compatibles. The good news is that they may put their programmers back onto the profitable Commodore arena! Maybe we'll get a GEOPUBLISH 128 after all. They are also supposed to be producing a RAM Expansion for Commodore machines. Hopefully their supplies will not be as limited as Commodore's seems to be.

Creative Micro Designs (Jiffy DOS) is still waiting for FCC approval of their 20 and 40 meg compatible hard drives. Lower price and more software compatability are a couple of the boasted features. I will keep you posted. They also have a Ram Expansion extender that has its own RAM DOS built in and also allows further expansion up to 4 megabytes.

MCUC Christmas Party

When: When December 9, 1989
Time: 7 to 10PM
Place: State Tech Cafeteria
Who: The Whole Family!

What to Bring: a small inexpensive gift, children bring a gift for their own sex, and the expectation to have a real good time.

We'll have lots of good things to eat, play some games, draw for door prizes and exchange gifts. There will be treats for the kids and I hear we're expecting a special visitor from the North Pole! Each family will receive a special Christmas disk available only at the party.

Editor's Desk

by Cheryn Nunn

As the end of the year approaches, I would like to extend some thank you's to people in the club who have been of great help to me in fulfilling my office of Newsletter Editor. These people have worked behind the scenes where more people can't see them. This is their time to shine.

BOB NUNN - who taught me how to put a newsletter together. It has really been a team effort (with a lot of yelling thrown in!) Also, thank you for being such a prolific writer (he writes like he talks, alot!). It made it easy to get enough material every month.

ALL THE OFFICERS - for being good about getting your reports and articles to me on time.

PAUL CLARKE of Clarke's Quik Print - for putting up with our short deadlines and making us look sooo good!

PHIL COSBY - for keeping any ribbons freshly inked so that the print quality was good!

HARV AND CONNIE SLEMMONS - for taking the responsibility of collating, stapling and mailing the newsletters. It has really helped ALOT!!

SUSIE EARNHEART - for getting the mail, running the errands and being so supportive.

The newsletter has evolved some in the last year. With the use of the Editorial Calendar, we've had a goal to work toward each month and I think it has made for a more coherent, focused magazine each month. We discovered The Write Stuff in trying to reduce the amount of work involved in putting the newsletter together (the best thing that's happened all year, in my opinion). We learned some tricks to help us get better print quality and improve the readability.

More and more, other newsletters have picked articles and republished in their newsletters, the highest compliment anyone could pay.

A final thank you goes to all the members who have expressed their appreciation and enjoyment of the newsletter. It has encouraged us to strive constantly to improve.

Sysop's Report

Is it fixed yet?

by Andrew George

I am happy to report that the BBS seems to be functioning properly now!! This is a relief to me and now the dependability is back. Now maybe the message bases will thrive once again!! Again I would like to thank those of you who put up with lost messages and bad downloads, this is now a thing of the past since the installation of a Jiffy Dos rom.

If you never logged on to the BBS then I would like to invite you to call. If you dont have a modem and don't know if you want one then check out one from the club and give it a try!

I would like to publicly thank Kevin Dunn for his help in the form of excellent screens. Well done !!!! Kevin and thanks a lot. We need a few subops so if you are interested let me know.

Top Game Picks 89

by Bob Nunn

The following information was taken from the December Issues of Gazette Magazine. I hope this may help you find that special game for that computer person on your Christmas list. For a more thorough review see that issue.

BEST ARCADE GAME

The Amazing Spider-Man and Captain America in Dr. Doom's Revenge from Paragon Software.

Runners up: Arkanoid II, Gauntlet II, & Chomp.

BEST SPORTS GAME

Keith Van Erons Pro Soccer from MicroPlay Software.

Runners up: Kings of the Beach, International Team Sports, Omni-Play Basketball.

BEST STRATEGY AND WARFARE GAME

Omega from Origin Software.

Runners up: Storm Across Europe, Overrun.

BEST SIMULATION GAME

SimCity by Maxis.

Runners up: F-14 Tomcat, Destroyer Escort, Snow Strike.

BEST ROLE PLAYING GAME

Hillsfar/Curse of the Azure Bonds by Strategic Simulations.

Runners up: Battletech/The Crescent Hawk's Inception, Fire King.

Info Game Picks

The following were the pick top 10 games of all time from the Nov/Dec issue of INFO Magazine.

ARCADE GAME TOP 10

  1. The Sentry by Firebird
  2. Menace by Psygnosis
  3. Ultimate Wizard by Electronic Arts
  4. Atarisoft Classics by Atari
  5. ShootEmUp Const. Kit by Accolade
  6. Zoom by Discovery
  7. Cavemand Ugh-Lympics by Electronic Arts
  8. Arkanoid II by Taito
  9. Baal by Psygnosis
  10. Gauntlet II by Mindscape

SIMULATION GAME TOP 10

  1. Pinball Construction Set by Elec Arts
  2. Sim City by Maxis
  3. Chuck Yeager by Elec. Arts
  4. Elite by Firebird
  5. Flight Simulator II by subLogic
  6. Chipwits by Epyx
  7. 4th and Inches by Accolade
  8. Mini Putt by Accolade
  9. Global Commander by Datasoft
  10. M.U.L.E. by Elec. Arts

ADVENTURE GAMES TOP TEN

  1. Zork Series by Infocom
  2. Neuromancer by Interplay
  3. Zak McKraken by Lucasfilm
  4. Uninvited by Mindscape
  5. Deja Vu by Mindscape
  6. Three Stooges by Cinemaware
  7. Carmen Sandiago by Broderbund
  8. Portal by Activision
  9. Captain Blood by Mindscape
  10. Hitchhikers Guide by Infocom

TRADITIONAL GAMES TOP TEN

  1. Risk by Leisure Genius
  2. Scrabble by Leisure Genius
  3. Lords of Conquest by Elec. Arts
  4. Chessmaster 2000 by Elec. Arts
  5. Monopoly by Leisure Genius
  6. Mental Blocks by Accolade
  7. Blackjack Academy by Microillusions
  8. Triango by California Dreams
  9. Indoor Sports by Mindscape
  10. Tetris by Spectrum Holobyte

F-14 Tomcat by Activision

by Bob Nunn

Will they call you TInkerbell.. or Deadeye?

You join teh ranks aboard the carrier USS Nimitz.

The Admiral can be a nice guy unless you screw up on your mission.

If you do it right, you'll earn your patches and fly with the elite. First person in the cockpit realism.

80 randomly assigned missions in five theaters. Put your dogfighting skills to the test.

If the demo is any sign of how good this one is, then you'll like this one. Demo disk available through the library.

Sim City Review by Maxis Software

By Josh Jacoby - ASCI Newsletter

Editor Rancho Cucamonga CA.
Edited by Bob Nunn

This new 'edutainment' game has attracted much attention by the other user groups we exchange newsletters with. The reason being that the publisher, Maxis Software, sent complimentary copies of the game to most of them, the idea being that they would review the game and give it away as a door prize or something like that. ASCI did not receive this program like this, (Ed. Note: We didn't receive it either.) but I did learn about it at the CACTUS meeting I attended last month. Based on what I heard from Gerald Nursement (CACTUS president), I went out and bought the game. For $20, the price isn't too bad. There was a bit of a problem because the program was out of stock everywhere I tried. I was put on a waiting list for it at Software Discounters of America (mail order). It was ordered on August 6, and I received it August 31. Not bad considering the price and how new it is. Despite some of the reviews I have read to the contrary (in other newsletters), I thoroughly enjoyed the game. In SIM CITY, you are the mayor and city planner of your own city. As such, you plan where your industrial, commercial, and residential areas will go. Also at your control are the streets, power lines, parks, airports, seaports, and waterways. When you first load up the game, you are presented with a randomly-designed terrain. You may build your city on the terrain given, or you may use the terrain editor to create a newly randomized setting, or edit the existing one. You can even start with a clear screen and put your rivers and trees exactly where you want them. I found the game more challenging when you use one of the terrains given by the program. The object is to make your simulated citizens ('Sims') happy. The Sims do all the actual building (except streets). Sims are happy when their work (industry) isn't too far from their homes. They are also happy when there are parks and open spaces nearby. They get unhappy with traffic jams, smog, and unemployment. The trick is to keep everybody happy, and to attract new people. You do that by planning out a nice city that has plenty of jobs, open spaces, commercial centers, and homes, with very little traffic (it it were only so easy!). If you would be happy living there, so would your Sims. When your Sims are happy, they build and pay taxes. When your Sims are frustrated, they leave. The program provides demographic charts and maps so you can keep an eye on what is going on. You can check the standard of living on a graph. You can also plot the population, in a different color. In fact there are five factors you can plot at the same time. There are also maps that can show you the roads, your power grid (electricity makes the world go round, and with out it, it stops!), water ways (canals, lakes, rivers - not plumbing) your population density, traffic density, pollution, and a few others. You can also see how things are going by looking at your city. You can see little cars going to work, the store, etc. and you can see where buildings are within your zones. When it's time for dinner, just leave it running and see how it's grown (or shrunk) since you left. You'll be surprised! Just when things are getting a bit dull, you can throw a nice natural disaster into your city. You have your choice of a fire, tornado, earthquake, monster, or all four at the same time. You then can try to restore all the power to your town and put out any fires, etc. Just make sure you save your city to disk before you do that, so it's there in case your city never quite recovers from the 8.5 earthquake (it really tears up the town!). The manual is pretty good. It includes the basics on running the program, with some tips for your city, plus an essay on the History of Cities and City Planning, written by an authority on the subject (I assume). A bibliography is also included. Once you send in the registration card, they are supposed to keep you informed of updates and tips on playing the game. As an incentive to send it in, they will send you 'SIM CITY TIP #1 - How to Embezzle Funds' immediately. Overall it is a fine game, but I did find some shortcomings, or at least things I would have liked to see included. A calendar would be nice. A SIM 'year' (when you collect taxes) occurs about once every three minutes. Maybe in some advanced versions we might see some mass transit, a very important aspect of life in major cities. As Gerald (from CACTUS) also noted in his demo of the program, there aren't any railroads, which are key to industry. A function to let you print out a map of your city on the printer would be nice too. SIM CITY is copy protected. I get bugged at software I can't make a backup. Maxis Software will allow you to return the disk if it is damaged within 90 days for free replacement, or for $7.50 after 90 days, $20 for overnight. I did run into a couple of instances where the program did hang up on me, or I got garbage on the screen. Both occured after the computer had been on for several hours, so I can't say it is the fault of the game for sure. This game really requires a color monitor and the instructions tell you that. I have a black and white tv hooked up to my computer and it was very difficult to distinguish between what is clear and where the trees are. The way I played the game was with the brightness down so I could see the trees. The bulldozer function was a bit clunky for me too. You must use the bulldozer before you can build anything. I also found a few spots where the program didn't respond to the joystick. By releasing the joystick and waiting a second before trying again, I overcame that problem. The game runs pretty smoothly, considering everything it is doing. Remember it is keeping track of population, traffic, pollution, industry, growth, unemployment, and half a dozen other things at one time. There are a couple quirks, and once you get used to them, the game is fine. I really don't have any gripes. SIM CITY is not a 15-minute arcade game. It is a very involved simulation. The average session at my house is 3 hours, and one which can't be appreciated by everybody. For those who do, it's very addictive. This is the first game like this I've ever used, and I enjoyed it. SIM CITY retails for $29.95 and is distributed by Broderbund. I picked it up for $19 through mail order, and local places like Toys-R-Us and The Wherehouse are selling it for around $20.

Smooth, fast & at a small price!
Central Processing Unit
$1650
Great for college
students, homes
& small businesses.

VIP 12 Mhz Zero Wait 286 System · 100% IBM Compatible

Phoenix BIOS & 3.3 DOS included; 1 game port; 2 serial
ports; 2 printer ports; 1 meg memory; 200 watt power
supply; 1.2 meg floppy drive; hard drive/floppy drive
controller; 101 keyboard enhanced; 40 Meg H.D. 28 msec.

LOCAL INSTALLATION · LOCAL REPAIR

M-F 9:30 AM-5 PM
(Call) 941-345-7947
Sat. 12-4 PM

EARNHEART COMPUTER (ECR) REPAIRS & SALES
6250 Hillshire, Suite #7
Memphis, TN 38133
Authorized Repair Center for the Following:
Star Printer/Citizen Printer
Commodore/64/128/Amiga
"ECR" XT/AT Systems (100% IBM Compatible)
Service: Apple's /Monitors/& PC'S

Survey

Please fill in this survey and mail it to the club or brung to the December meeting. Your opinions matter, so express yourself!

1. How did you find out about the Commodore computer club? Circle one only.

  1. LINC (Library Information Center)
  2. Flyer
  3. Bulletin Board
  4. Friend
  5. Other (please specify) _______________________

2. What are your computing interests? Circle all that apply.

  1. Telecommunications
  2. Business applications
  3. Word processing
  4. Programming
  5. Games
  6. Other (please specify) _______________________

3. What type of software are you looking for? Circle all that apply.

  1. Telecommunications
  2. Business applications
  3. Word processing
  4. Programming aids
  5. Games
  6. Utilities
  7. Other (please specify) _______________________

4. Should the club meetings be:

  1. more formal
  2. more social
  3. stay the same
  4. Other (please specify) _______________________

5. Rate each item on a scale of one to seven, one being the highest. Please fill in the blanks with your rating. Do not use the same rating on more than one item.

6. Do you regularly attend the club meetings? If you answered yes, skip to question 8.

  1. Yes
  2. No

7. If you do not attend the club meetings, why have you stopped?

  1. Don't have the time to go
  2. Meetings are too long
  3. Meetings are boring
  4. Don't know anyone at the meetings
  5. Other (please specify) _______________________

8. Do you know anyone who owns a Commodore computer that is not a member? If yes please fill in the information below.

Name ___________________________
Address ________________________
City ___________________________
State and Zip __________________

9. Do you usually read the Newsletter?

  1. Yes
  2. No

10. What areas of the newsletter interest you most? Rate each item on a scale of one to seven, one being the highest. Please fill in the blanks with your rating. Do not use the same rating on more than one item.

11. Do you have any suggestions to improve the newsletter? Write your comments below.

12. Do you plan to buy a different computer in the near future? If yes, what type?

  1. Yes
    ___ Amiga
    ___ IBM Compatible
    ___ Macintosh
    ___ Other
  2. No

13. Do you use the club bulletin board?

  1. Several times a week
  2. Once a week
  3. Monthly
  4. Infrequently
  5. Never

14. What do you use the bulletin board for? Choose all that apply.

  1. Current club information
  2. Download/Upload software
  3. Message bases

15. What improvements would you like to see on the club BBS. Circle all that apply.

  1. BBS is fine as is.
  2. More sotrage for programs
  3. 80 column support
  4. Online games
  5. Other (specify) _______________________

16. Would you be willing to pay a fee for a much improved club BBS?

  1. Yes
  2. No

17. Do you use the New Member Packet?

  1. Frequently
  2. Occasionally
  3. Never

18. Would you be willing to pay for an updateable looseleaf Member Packet that could be updated via the newsletter and library updates.

  1. Yes, if less than $10
  2. Yes, if less than $5
  3. No.

19. What subjects would you like to see 3 hour Saturday seminar classes on? Circle all that apply.

  1. Write Stuff (beginner's)
  2. Write Stuff (advanced)
  3. Superbase (beginner's)
  4. Superbase (advanced)
  5. GeoWrite 64
  6. GeoWrite 128
  7. GeoCalc
  8. GeoProgrammer
  9. GeoPaint
  10. Desk Top Publishing
  11. Basic Programming
  12. Disk Doctor (error repair)
  13. Hardware PM & Repair 64
  14. Hardware PM & Repair 128
  15. Hardware PM & Repair 1541
  16. Hardware PM & Repair 1571/81
  17. Machine Language
  18. Telecommunications

Use the extra space below and to the right to add any comments or suggestions you want to pass on.

Thank you for your participation in this survey.

GEOS Offer

We got notice of a special sale from Berkeley Softworks. They are offering GEOS 2.0 that includes geoWrite, geoSpell, geoMerge, geoLaser and geoPaint. They are also including their Triple Pack which includes FontPack1, geoDex and DeskPack1.

GEOS 64 2.0 is $25 plus $4.95 for shipping. GEOS 12B 2.0 is $35 plus $4.95 for shipping. This compares with retail of $59.95 for GEOS 64 2.0 plus $49.95 for the Triple Pack. This offer is good only until December 31, 1989, so hurry and order today. Make a copy of the order form below and mail today, or call their toll free number!

Secretary's Notes

Official Board Meeting 11-16-89

The official board was called to order at 7:38 PM by Bob Nunn, Pres..

Officers present were
Bob Nunn, President
Ron Montgomery, Vice-presidnet
Gary Thurman, Treasurer
Cheryn Nunn, Newsletter Editor
Bob Earnheart, Educational Crd.
Dick Coffman, Secretary
Andrew George, Sysop
Visitor
Wayne Moore

The income tax survival program will be offered to the club members again this year. Cost will be $3.00 for club members. Program disks will be available at the January meeting.

Christmas party will be 12-9-89 at the State Tech Cafeteria. Time 7:00 PM till 10:00 PM.

The club plans to continue with seminars that are of interest to club members.

New parts have been ordered for the BBS.

The nomination committee will be making their recommendations for next year's officers at the December meeting.

The demo for the December meeting will be an Equipment Extravaganza. A showing of all the things you would like for Christmas in the computer line. Hardware, Software, etc..

Meeting adjourned at 9:20 PM

Respectively submitted,
Richard Coffman, Secretary

Supercard Plus

LET'S REVIEW...SUPERCARD PLUS COPY UTILITY

By Dale Boyer-Kankakee Hackers U.G. via ASCI, Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

Edited by Bob Nunn

SUPERCARD PLUS is a copy system authored by Jim Drew from Utilities Unlimited. This is a hardware/software combination system which requires disk drive hardware modifications. It works on 1540/1541/1571 drives. The instructions say it can be used on the SX-64 and compatible drives, but to call U.U. for installation instructions. On the 1540 and 1541 drives, installation can be accomplished in about 30 minutes. On the 1541-II and 1571 drives it is a 'horse of a different color'. I could probably do the 1571 installation now, after doing two of them in about an hour and a half. But the first time around it takes forever it seems. It is not a simple procedure, and definitely not for the faint of heart. One mistake could cost you the price of a new circuit board, as soldering and de-soldering is required on the board. (I understand a new board costs in excess of $100). So if you are unsure of what you are doing, have someone familiar with these techniques do the installation for you. I cooked a chip or two of my own while doing the first drive, but I had never tried the de-soldering before. Time and patience are the key words if you attempt do-it-yourself installation.

Utilities Unlimited does offer to install the board for a mere $15, which is far less than I had to pay for the new chips. If you read the ads, you might think you'll be able to just sit down and copy virtually everything available. Not a totally true nor a totally false statement. Yes, you can copy anything on the market, but it is nothing like the parameter copiers most of us are used to. It takes some time and work to copy the heavily protected titles, sometimes by the trial and error method which can be time consuming and frustrating.

Basically there are a lot of good copiers on the program and the auxilliary disk and for the most part, perform well. The GCR nibbler is a very good copier, though I personally would like more information on how it works. There is also an Index Hole Sensor (IHS) copier which copies a great deal of programs, with no adjustments having to be made. The fast data copier works well on lightly protected disks, and is easy to use. The Rapid Lock copier also works well but does require changing your drive speed. Incidentally the entire system operates at a slower than normal drive speed, which requires installing a potentiometer (included in the package.) I didn't like messing the potentiometer, so after initial adjustment to the slower speed, I installed an in-line switch that takes the drive speed back to normal. I consider it an improvement anyway.

Another copier included is the parallel copier but the cable has to be purchased separately. Another copier is the AI (Artificial Intelligence) copier, which runs independent of the program disk, it offers copiers for specific titles. It works well on everything I tried it on, but it is, (alas) a single drive copier. There is another handy little gadget on the auxilliary disk called CCS (Copier Construction Set). There are no instructions for this, and none are forthcoming according to U.U. You either understand it or you don't, but it would take too much time to try to teach someone. I used it to make a copy program on a lightly protected title and I don't know how it worked, but it did. The main program does support dual drives and RAM Expansion Units. I don't have an REU, so I don't know how well this option works. The program also contains a host of utilities which, used in conjunction with the various copiers, make the program that 'one step beyond' the competition.

The disk scanner feature alone was worth a good portion of the price to me, at least I can see what kind of protection I'm dealing with. Having used the earlier version of Supercard 1541, I was somewhat familiar with it, I expected to get the GCR Nibbler and a few utilities. All the rest was an unexpected bonus.

This leaves us at the bottom line with two questions. Is the program worth buying? Would I buy it again? The answer to both questions is YES. I would buy it again in an instant. In my estimation, Jim Drew has put out a good product. One other thing to consider is that he personally has enough confidence in the product to answer questions and offer help. When you call for help, you get to talk directly to the author of the program, not just someone who happened to walk past a ringing telephone. He also maintains a section on Q-Link to help with problems. My advice to anyone looking to upgrade their copy programs is to give it a try, we've all wasted a lot of money on other programs, but I think this one is definitely worth the bucks.

U.G.

So Long Commodore Magazine

Commodore president Harold Copperman halted publication of the magazine with the quote 'Commodore is in the computer business, not the publishing business'. It's not sure what is happening to subscribers who have already paid up past October. This move is also economic. In the recent past, Commodore Magazine has gone to press with less than ten advertisers in the entire 65+ pages. Subscription sales were also way down. This is the latest victim of the Commodore magazine market. Ahoy! magazine has ceased production recently, Commodore Magazine is gone, and Transactor Magazine is having problems once again. For the past few issues RUN Magazine has had less than' 40 pages. The only magazine who don't seem to be having problems are Compute!'s Gazette and INFO. INFO is in the process of going from the 64/128 to Amiga exclusively and has urged Commodore to drop the 64/128 line altogether. (Editors Note: Run Magazine has bought up Commodore Magazine and has mailed notices to its subscribers that it will be honoring their subscriptions, Plus INFO Magazine's Mark and Benn are traitors and if it weren't for their half way decent attempts to keep the 64/128 subscribers happy I would vote for a lynching.)

Notice!
The December and January meetings
are when you decide who will run
your club in 1990. Make sure you attend
and let your voice be heard.

Vapourware

Joe Griffin peers into the mists of software releases

by Joe Griffin, first appeared in the ICPUG newsletter. England

It is well known that the computer industry comprises vendors selling various 'wares'. Hardware and software are now fully accepted terms. Firmware is used to describe items which fall between hardware and software such as EPROM's. There is, however, a fourth 'ware' - VAPOURWARE. As its name implies this product is a bit nebulous, being a cross-product of the development department and the salesman's hype.

Commodore have, over the years, established a strong reputation as supplies of vapourware. I have in front of me the catalogue for The Third International Commodore Computer Show, held at the Cunard Hotel (now the Novotel) on 3rd - 5th June 1982. The catalogue devotes five pages to Commodore's NEW PRODUCTS. How many have you seen?

Commodore VIC 10, due in Britain in September - note careful advertising does not state which year! Stated to be a 'Games Computer and music synthesiser' the features included: 40x25 colour text screen, High resolution colour graphics (320x200 pixel), Full keyboard music synthesis with 3 voices, etc.

Commodore VIC 30 (no delivery date given) stated to be the natural progression from the computing power of the VIC 20 and the colour and capabilities of the VIC 10, the machine included 8K of BASIC, 8K of Kernal ROM, and 16K of RAM.

Commodore 500 range - this is questionably vapour, as a few machines were sold. For those who do not know of it, the spec included the colour screen and sound of the C-64, IEEE parallel bus, RAM expandable from 64K to 256K and a slot for a second processor.

Commodore 720 - the vapourware version of the 700, which had built-in floppy disks (these never appeared in the 700's but eventually arrived with the 8296D). The 700 was the machine which was going to take over from the 8000 series and keep Commodore at the forefront in business computing.

The final offering was the Commodore 64 - the one machine of the batch which made it to the marketplace in reasonable numbers.

At about the same time there were rumours of two further products in the pipeline. One, possibly prompted by the appearance of the 8250 double-sided drive, was of a twin sided 4040. Needless to say this never appeared. The other was for the Teacher's PET. This was to be a C64 and monitor, enclosed in the casing of the 4032 PET, designed to be sufficiently rugged to withstand classroom use.

A year, or so, later Commodore announced the SX-64 portable (an excellent machine) and its vapourware brother the DX-64, these had respectively single and double built-in 1541 drives.

As I recall it Commodore's next offering in the vapourwear market were the predecessors of the Plus-4 and C-16. This range of machines, shown at the Winter Consumer Electrics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January '84 comprised the 164 (with membrane keyboard), the 264 (later to become the Plus-4) and the 364 (similar but with a separate numeric keypad). At a regional meeting of ICPUG that year Simon Tranmer demonstrated a talking version of Superscript, running on a 164 fitted with a voice syntheis chip. Obviously vapourware computers need disk drives and with these machines we were promised two new drives; the new super-fast SFD-481 (aka 1551) and a 'revised 1541' called the 1542. The latter never appeared.

In 1984, at the Commodore Show at the Novotel, ICPUG were given a preview of the new 'Zee Machine', a powerful new machine using a Z-8000 chip. The macine ran under a UNIX look-alike, multi-user operating system. A fast, powerful computer which was to be Commodore's IBM smasher. In his report fo the 1985 Hanover Show, Tom Cranstown mentioned that there were two of the beasts, one running a rolling demo (that would have put a Macintosh to shame), the other running an electronic office operation with two slave terminals running similar applications. I believe that Precision Software had a prototype at one time, but otherwise the machine sank, almost without trace.

At The CES in January 1985 Commodore showed three ranges of machines; the PC clone - based upon the Hyperion, the C-128 and the de-rigeur vapourware item, the LCD - a lap-top machine, weghing 3.5 lbs. and with 96K of business software built in.

Later that year, at the Commodore Show, I remember being in an ICPUG Seminar where John Collins spoke for some time about the new hardware. I have a vague feeling that he showed a C-128D (which had not been announed) and a 1571 (which had been announced but was not available). He also spoke about the 1570 single sided drive and the 172 double drive, Commodore's first serial double drive. Did any of them make it out of the development lab?

At that same meeting John told us about the new 3.5 inch drive which had been developed; it appeared that it was at the production stage but would not be released until Commodore managed to convince the software authors that it would be produced in sufficent quantity to justify their efforts in converting programs. This drive did eventually appear though it took a long time to come. Now there are rumours that a third edition of the C-128D is to be released, together with a matching C-64D, both having a built-in 1581, rather than a 1571. It will be interesting to see whether, like so many before them, they sumble en-route and turn to vapourware.

I am not particularly conversant with the Amiga equipment, but have a feeling that there Commodore have had far fewer items of vapourware along the way. I would be gratefull for any information on Amiga vapourware.

Finally, lesat you all think that Commodore is alone in this field, I would draw your attention to the recent announcement by Lotus that Version 3.0 of 123 is to be delayed by a FURTHER six months, is this their build up to an entry into the vaporware field?

Member of the UGX on BIX, the
on-line service for computer-using
professinoals. For information
call 1-800-227-2983.

Write Protect Disable Warning

From ASCI Club Newsletter Disk, Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

Edited by Bob Nunn

Many users have found it convenient to add a 'write protect disable' switch to their disk drive to make it possible to write to the other side of the disk without punching a write enable notch for that side. Many, however, are not aware of the potential problems associated with this. The 1541 and 1571 write protect sensors are used for more than just detection of a write protect tab. The sensors are also used to determine when a disk has been removed from the drive. With the sensor disabled, the drive will not know when a disk has been repalced with another one. The problems caused by this can range from small annoyance to a major disaster. The annoyance is that, when a disk is changed, the drive may come up with a 'Disk ID Mismatch' or 'No Channel' error. This is due to the fact that the drive did not do the reset that it normally does when a disk is removed. The second access to the new disk will normally correct this problem, though. The major disaster comes when two disks have the same ID. When that happens, the one is replaced with the other while the switch is on, the drive will not know that the change was made. Thus, instead of giving you an error, it will faithfully write to the second disk using the Block Allocation Map (BAM) data from the first disk. This means that it can easily overwrite data on the second disk. You may think that you can avoid this disaster by using a different ID on all your disks. This is true, but there is a catch to that too. If you are using a fast formatter, it may not actually use a different ID even though you specified one and it APPEARS to use it. The REAL ID is included in every sector of a disk, but a COSMETIC ID (the one you see when you display a directory) is not always the same as the real ID. Most disk utilities (i.e. Disk Doctor) allow you to look at the real ID and you should use one of these utilities to check out your fast formatter IDs, if you have one of these switches. There are a couple of foolproof ways to avoid the program. The first, of course, is just to notch your disks and forget about the switch. Not only does this avoid the problem, it makes it easier to tell which disks have a flip side. Other options are to turn off the switch each time you remove a disk or to initialize the drive (OPEN 1,8,15,'I0':CLOSE 1) when a new disk is inserted.

Paperclip Help

If you are proficient at using Paperclip and would be willing to help a fellow club member out, please call Cheryn Nunn 795-0461.

Earnheart Computer Repair
6850 Hillshire Suite #7
Memphis, TN 38133
Authorized Repair Center for
Star Printer/Citizen Printer
Commodore 64/128/Amiga
"ECR" XT/AT systems (100% IBM Comp.)
Service: Apple's/Monitors/& PC'S
Dealer for Creative Micro Designs Jiffy Dos
901-385-7987 Call Ahead Mon-Sat

Tidbits

This is a collection of hints and tips that members of MOVCC contributed.

CONTRA from Anthony Maddox

On Contra, try to keep the lazer gun as long as possible, because it is the most powerful and will cut through everything faster than the regular type of guns.

GEOS AND THE 1581 DRIVE from Doug Hess

When using GEOS with a 1581 drive on the 64, the 1581 will ignore the fact any other drive is active while you're inside an application. (Inside means while you are typing in on GeoWrite, for example).

ROCKET RANGER from Carey Clevenger

On Rocket Ranger, on the "Night Attack" sequence, fire several bursts at one target. Also on the Jungle and the Moon sequences, duck only as a last resort. Keep moving and fire periodically.

JOYSTICK REWIRE from Charles Ritchie

If you are left handed, you know how hard it is to press the fire button on a standard joystick. By making some wiring changes, you can put the button in a better position for your right hand...

Disassemble the joystick and see where the cable is connected to the printed circuit board. There will be six (6) wires going to push-on connectors that are easily removed. Take not of their order on the board, which should be brown, white, black, blue, green, and orange.

Pull off the connectors, then reinsert them in this order. Blue, brown, black, green, white, orange. (Notice that the orange and black wire don't move.)

Reassemble your joystick, hold it with the firebutton to your right, and attack your favorite program.

DESKTOP PUBLISHING SHORTCUT from Editor

When assembling posters or newsletters on a regular basis, create a template (using your favorite desktop publishing program) with preset margins, number of columns used, page numbers installed, default font, and headline banner in place. Save this on a disk by itself. When you're ready to create a newsletter, copy this template to your work disk first, renaming it to correspond to the current project. Next add all files (articles) you want to feature. The template saves the time of having to "set-up" the same format for each project.

Write Stuff Class

The first Write STuff Seminar was held Saturday, November 11 at Grace St. Luke's School. Many thanks go to Betty Wilson, a teacher at the school and a club member, for arranging for us to use the computer lab at the school. Everyone had a computer to use and were able to practice the things we reviewed. Thanks also go to Bob Nunn who circulated and helped individuals who got stuck. Thank you to everyone who attended; I enjoyed teaching the class.

Cheryn Nunn

Zapped!

Stactic Electricity, Lightning and You

by Don Chase, Co-Editor

Reprinted from the CCCC Newsletter

This article is to help you protect yourself against the worst effects of lightning. Let us not misunderstand, COMPLETE and TOTAL protection against lightning is impossible. However, a few things can be done to minimize the damage from most incidents. Please remember, this is but an introduction to the subject.

A few fundamentals:

  1. Static electricity and lightning are one in the same, only the voltages and currents differ.
  2. All semiconductor circuits are like fuses--you overload them once, then replace.
  3. If there is no difference of electrical potential, there is no current flow.
  4. Without a current flow, there is no damage, no destruction.
  5. If all parts are at the same potential, no matter the voltage level, there is no way for current to flow.

Let us look at the world around us. We see a bird, roosting on a twenty-five thousand volt electrical power line. Why doesn't he get zapped? Look at fundamentals three, four and five. That is the easiest and best way of protection. EVERY PART IS AT THE SAME POTENTIAL!

The first essential is to power all of the equipment to be protected from the same source. This means the computer, disk drive(s), printer and monitor.

Secondly, arrange to have a DOUBLE POLE, DOUBLE THROW switch available to turn off ALL the electricity to your equipment. Wire the swith so that the pivot poles go to the equipment. Wire the first set of stators to the AC line. Connect the second set of stators to ground, the same ground as the three wire plug uses. By this means, WHEN YOU HAVE TURNED THE POWER OFF, there is no place for current to come into your equipment, or a way for it to flow out. Your equipment is like the bird on the line, and will not be damaged by anything other than a direct hit.

Third, we have the condition of having the equipment in operation when there is a lightning strike nearby. Surprisingly enough, there are quite a few measures you can take that will help a lot.

[Ed. Note: This article ends here with the promise of more information at their next meeting. I will try to gather the "more information" and present it at another time.]

Super Library Christmas Specials

5 1/4" 10 Pack Disks - $4.00 reg $5.00
5 1/4" Color 10 pk - $7.00 reg $8.00
3 1/2" 5 Pack Disks - $5.00 reg $6.00
Stock Up For Christmas!!!

A VERY SPECIAL OFFER FROM COMMODORE

Just in time for the holidays!

The 1541-II 5.25" Disk Drive was designed especially for the Commodore 64. Whether you are a new owner looking for the right drive to enhance the performance of your new computer, or a long-time Commodore 64 user looking for that extra disk drive to make your computer more powerful.... this is the disk drive for you!

Designed by Commodore for Commodore computer owners, this product is fully-compatible to your 64 and capable of running the thousands of programs that are available to you. Word Processing, Games, Education - even Music - from all the best software developers.

For a limited time Commodore is offering you the 1541-II for a savings of over 34% - that's $149.95 instead of $229.95! At this price, you'll want to order several. They make great gifts for your Commodore 64-owner friends and relatives.

Order today and be ready for the holidays and for a future of enjoyment with your Commodore 64 system.

SPECIAL FEATURES

C64 CIRCUIT THEORY

We received a letter in the club mail from someone needing information about the pin out of the cassette port on the Commodore Plus/4 and C64. Following is the diagram on the C64 and a brief explanation.

Bob Earnheart

The Cassette Interface Circuits

U7 is a 6510 microprocessor. One of the features of the 6510 is a built in parallel I/O port (P0-P5). P3-P5 control most of the cassette interface circuitry. P3 pin 26 of U7 outputs the write data signal to connector CN3 on pins E and 5. P4 is an input that senses the play switch depressed on the cassette deck. P5 is an output that controls the cassette motor. When P5 goes "low", Q2 cuts off, CR2 regulates Vb of Q1 at 7.5 volts, this forward biases Q1 and Q3, passing current through the cassette motor coil. U1 is a Complex Interface Adapter (CIA). Parallel ports, serial outputs, and Timers are standard features of the CIA. Read data enters on pins D, 4 of CN3. U1 accepts the read data signal on the FLAG input pin 24.

Disk of the Month Order Form

We almost ran out of room again. Use the information below to order the November Disks of the Month by mail. As usual, the cost is $2 per disk, 3/$5, $1 postage and handling for up to 3 disks. $.25 per disk over 3. Mail to MCUC. PO Box 34095, Memphis,TN 38134-0095.

( ) November 64 Disk
( ) November 128 Disk

Disks of the Month

We have four disks of the month this month.

Disk #1 December 64 Games

has a collection of good games for your enjoyment. There is a Chess 64, Rulps Construction Kit, Africa, Roll-30 and Dungeons of Doom.

Night View, not really a game, will tell you where to look for star gazing after inputing you latitude and longitude.

Amiga! is a demo of an Amiga quality screen, very interesting!

Tetrys is a clone of a hot new game from Russia!

Squirm and Super Kong complete the disk.

Disk #2 Dynamix Demo

This is a demo of the popular new game, F-14 Tomcat. See the review elsewhere in this issue.

Disk #3 Arquice

This is a super new talking board game that will really get you hooked; one of those you won't stop playing until 2 in the morning.

Disk #4 -128 Miscellaneous

This disk contains a couple of 128 utilities, some music and a couple of games.

Disk Data 128 is a new program that reads 81 partitions.

There is a program with docs for a clock with battery backup.

Holiday Music 128 is Christmas music and words.

Yahzee V3.2 and Backgammon complete this disk.

Index

Officers Articles 3, 4, 6, 17
Nominations 3
Top Game Picks '89 7
F-14 Tomcat 8
Sim City Review 10
Survey 13-16
Supercard Plus Review 18
Vapourware 20
Write Protect Disable Warning 22
Tidbits 23
Zapped 24
C64 Circuit Theory 26
Disks of the Month 27