January 1990 MCU Magazine

Table Of Contents



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.


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


President Bob Nunn
Vice President Ron Montgomery
Secretary Dick Coffman
Treasurer Gary Thurman
Librarian Jim West
Education Bob Earnheart
Newsletter Cheryl Nunn
BBS 362-0632
Sysop Andrew George
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

Tax Program A Review

by Cheryn Nunn

Again this year, we're offering the Tax Program from Harv Harris. If you bought this tax program last year, you don't need to read any further, because you know how great it is. If you didn't, read on. This article will show you a little about the program and what the screens look like.

The program is all menu driven and is very easy to move around in. The first screen after the title screen gives you instructions for printing out the docs. This is a good idea as he gives you some hints and tips on using his program. Last year they weren't more than four pages. The next screen is the one shown below. You need to be careful how you enter the header information as this will print at the top of all your forms.

After completing all the header information, the next screen is a menu screen. This menu gives you choices of which forms to use. Complete your forms just as you would if filling them out on paper. Totals will automatically be inserted on the 1040 Front and Back. If you go back and change some numbers, the totals will recalculate and the new totals will be inserted on the 1040.

This next screen is an example of Schedule A. You can't see it in the example, but the lines that read:

Total of 1A & 1B
7.5% of line 32
Total Medical

are in black on your screen. You cannot enter information in these spaces. This is where the program does some automatic calculating.

The print function will allow you to print on your tax forms or will print you a file copy which includes the line description (example: Wages, Salaries, Tips). Last year, I tried printing on my tax forms, but was afraid I wouldn't get it lined up right and I only had one copy of forms to use (I waited till the last minute as usual). I test printed on blank paper, however, and it appeared to line up perfectly with the IRS's forms. This was on an SL-10C. I just printed me a file copy and wrote in the information on the proper forms to send to the IRS.

So why did I use the tax program in the first place? Because it caught my addition/subtraction errors and saved me $200!! For a $3 investment that wasn't bad! Be sure and come to the January meeting for your copy this year.

Write Stuff Tip

If you've loaded in a non-Write Stuff file and the file conversion didn't strip all the return marks, well, there's a way to do it. Tap CNTL then Shift-S. This activates the Search and Replace feature. When you see the prompt Search, type a left arrow, hit return. The next prompt is Replace with, hit the space bar and then Return. This will replace all return marks with a space. You will need to go in and edit the extra spaces out (if you want) and add return marks for your paragraphs.

Presidents Ponderings

by Bob Nunn

Thank you for your sympathy on the recent loss of my mother. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Election time is this month. I want to encourage you to attend and vote for the candidates of your choice.

Some of the surveys have started to come in. We appreciate you taking the time to fill these in and get them to us. It really helps to know what your individual needs are when planning for the future. If you haven't sent yours in them do so by the meeting. Everybody counts when it comes to a club. We will be putting together the stats and will publish them in the near future.

The budget I set forth back in the March meeting has been met and actually we are on the plus side of it. It is not as much as it appears as we will be needing to purchase disks soon and that will take a chunk, but all in all we are doing fine.

Our disk exchange program with other clubs is doing fine. We still are getting new material regularly and will have some great offerings in the months to come. The excess is being placed on the MCUC BBS. Many fine programs will be posted from time to time that are available no where else.

Speaking of the BBS, we seem to have the reliability problem licked. The Jiffy Roms seem to have taken care of the major problems. I think Andrew and his wife deserve a public THANK YOU as they received a bit of undo criticism when the main problem was defective equipment. Kevin Dunn our Co-Sysop has done some remarkable work on the color graphic screens. If you haven't logged on in a while I would encourage you to do so. While you are there join in the sub areas and post a message.

As a club officer I have learned a great deal this year. You can plan anything you want to but it takes time to get things done. When you meet once a month, you are always waiting for the next meeting so you can get approval to get on with it. This is the nature of the way things work and I have no problem with that in itself. It does become irritating sometimes though. If there is a problem it takes a meeting to find out about the problem (usually) and then it takes the next meeting to rectify it. That of course can kill up to two months. If fixing it after the approval causes us to order parts then add another week or two.

All in all, I think most all of you will agree that together we have done some great things this year. We have produced more high quality public domain disks this year than in my 3 year history with the club. We now produced a Magazine-Newsletter each month that is the best in the nation for a 64/128 group. We are continuing to grow, where almost all other 64/128 specific groups continue to decline. We got a good start on seminar format classes, just to name a few things.

I have ever greater plans for the club in 1990. With your support again this January, Cheryn and I will continue. Best Wishes on the New Year!

Bob Nunn


Seven and a Half Bits

By Joe Griffin, ICPUG, England

Edited by Bob Nunn

8 Bit Switches

Dale Hale had written about adding device change switches to the 128D. Like him I wanted the option to switch the built-in drive out on occasions. From the Twin-Cities 128 Compendium, I obtained the same information as he got by looking inside the case. However, I used a pair of sub-miniature toggle switches, as they are a lot easier to set and only need a round hole drilled for fitting, not a cut-out.

Spurred on by the success of this venture I carried out what appears to be the ultimate unnecessary modification. I fitted toggle switches to my 1581 which already has DIP switches fitted. The toggles nicely fit one each side at the bottom corners of the back and are wired in parallel with the DIP switches, which need to be left open for the toggles to take effect. The reason for this modification was that I can now change the decive number of the '81 by feel, instead of having to disconnect it, take it from its shelf and poke around inside the back with a fine screwdriver.

If you are thinking about fitting switches to the 128D, it is worth considering using toggles as they make switching a lot easier.

Changing 128D Drive Device Number

by Bob Nunn

Changing Device Numbers on C128D's Internal Drive

Cut the 2 traces using an exacto knife. Solder wires to each side of each trace (total of 4 wires). Attach two sub-miniature toggles and mount in an appropriate location. This will give you the 4 possible combinations by opening and closing the switches to give you device numbers 8, 9, 10, or 11.


Omega-Q II

A Tutorial by Bob Nunn

Omega-Q is a dynamite little utility that is not only useful but almost mandatory for anyone using any of the online services or bbs's. Many programs that you will download presently or in the future will have been modified by using one of many different formats. These formats sometimes shrink and or combine files to allow easier transmission. ARC is one of the more popular compression/combiner type utilities out there as well as LYNX and LIBRARY. This program presently does not support the ZIPPED files! Files that have had this modification will appear like this:

T-Term.arc for ARCed files
T-Term.lnx for LYNXed files
T-Term.lbr for LIBRARYed files
T-Term.sda for Self Dissolving Arc.

The last file type that you may find frequently is .sda which is an abbreviation for self dissolving arc. The last type will run after dissolving by itself the other file types must be undone by using not only the appropriate program but many times the appropriate version.

That was the bad news, now for the GOOD NEWS! Omega-Q II will undo all versions of lynx, arc, and library that I have encountered. It also will assist you in dissolving the SDA files and it works on not only one drive systems but supports multiple systems. You will find that it also has other useful built in features such as a great directory editor, Speedscript to Text, True ASCII to text or SS to true ASCII conversion. Pretty handy for those text file transfers, or for reorganizing your disks.

Lets run through the main menu and explore some of features:

Main Menu

Dissolve Files
List Disk Files
File Commands
Read Files
Print Files
Customizing Menu
Special Options
About Omega-Q
Boot Q-Link

First lets use the customizing menu to install our setup to match our equipment.

Customizing Menus

General Set-up
Disk Set-up
Printer Set-up
Change Device Number
Save Configuration

Select General Configuration

Your first selection is Overall Mode and you are allowed Normal and Expert Mode. For most people leave the default of normal as is until you become comfortable with the program.

Leave insert disks prompts toggled to yes.

Disk Configuration - if you are using a single drive then toggle it by hitting return till is says single drive. If you have Multiple drives that have had hardware switches installed so that you no longer you the software drive numbering then select fixed multiple drives or if you still use the software method to number your drives then select the regular multiple drives. This will use the installed routines to help you number your drives.

Leave the Joystick Speed, Trigger Delay, and True ASCII Count to the defaults.


Next enter the Disk Drive Setup Area by selecting it from the menu

Leave your disk configuration the same since you have previously selected it.

Screen Blanking with Fast Dos is recommended. It may interfere with certain cartridges so if you leave your fastload cartridge active you may want to disable fast dos.

Leave Blks Free Check Enabled.

Set your preference for source and destination drive. It toggles between 8, 9, 10, & 11.

Destructive Dissolve will clear the original file as it writes the new undone file. This should be left on for most single drive systems but on multiple drive systems you may choose to keep the original. Enter your choice.

Generic Drive mode is safer to use if you have an aftermarket non-Commodore type drive. You trade a bit off speed-wise though so if you got Commodore stuff leave it NO.


Enter the Printer Set-Up Area: I recommend you leave the defaults here but you can set your preferences as you see fit.

Hit run stop and return to the menu. Save your configuration file. This program is a bit unique in that it doesn't save a separate configuration file but actually modifies a section of the program!

Now you are ready to start dissolving files. Hit Run/Stop until your return to the MAIN MENU. Select dissolve files and insert a disk with the files to be undone. Press return and selecting the device number and the appropriate file will be identified. Follow the menu prompts from here.


Select LIST DISK FILES from the Main Menu. Let it read out a directory and press F7. A window will pop up allowing you to Print Directory, Alphabetized Print or Edit the directory.

Select DISK COMMANDS from the Main Menu. From here you can boot a program, scratch, rename, format a disk, copy files, validate a disk, unscratch files, lock and unlock files, alter file types, get a disk directory, or choose other commands which are available in expert mode. It basically allows you to enter standard disk commands which are really taken care of by the above commands.

Select READ FILES from the Main Menu. This will allow you to read text files from a disk. If you have the MCUC Disk of the month, you got Omega-Q II from hit return and read out the documentation to Lynx Select PRINT FILES from the main menu. This allows you to print out documentation from the disk.

Select SPECIAL OPTIONS from the main menu. This menu allows you to do the text conversions or modify your directory. Just follow the prompts. Be careful using a directory editor as you can really ruin a disk. Practice on a backup disk before using on anything good. Never modify an original program!

This program will also auto-boot your Q-link disk just insert it and select BOOT Q-LINK from the main menu.

I hope this tutorial wasn't too brief. It is difficult to cover every step. I think that is what makes computing fun through exploring and learning. I know that you will all find this program a useful utility to add to your toolbox!

Tutorial Tip

by Bob Nunn

Anytime you are reading a tutorial you will get much more out of it if you will load the program an follow along. In fact many tutorials are almost impossible to understand when just reading them on their own.

January Disks of the Month

Some great new Print Shop Graphics. The disk contains conversion programs to A and B and also to Print Master and Geos.

C64 PS Football Graphics

C64 Utilities

Disk Doctor V5 Latest version of this sector editor.

Omega-Q II Latest version will de-lynx, arc, lbr. New Features: Directory Editor, Unsqueeze (USQ) files, converts Speedscript to True ASCII, True ASCII to text and Speedscript to True ASCII.

Austro Speed New speed up program - have plenty of room on your disk.

Austro Compiler Compiles basic.

Lynx V17 Link your files to save time uploading to BBS's.

CCGMS 11.0 Color/graphics term that works at 2400. Look for full review elsewhere in this newsletter.

C64 Games

Galaga Space shoot 'em up.

Pool Shoot pool with your friends. Realistic action - your choice of game.

Centripod Get 'em before they get you!

Dare You Still another version of the famous pinball game.

Gozilla Kill Godzilla without destroying millions of people. Challenging!

Amanda's PaintBrush Good for little ones.

Digital Acid! Demo - wild music and graphics. Turn the volumn down on this one!

Trivial Drivel Great trivia game! You'll play it again and again.

Word Puzzle This is a real challenger. Guess the word or phrase from the clues given. A real mind stretcher.

C128 Miscellaneous

Our 128 is on the fritz so I don't know what these programs do. Here's the list for you to look at.

Logo 128 V4.0 and Docs
Utility Book
Quik List 128 and Docs
VDC Ramdisk1.5 and Docs

C64 Engineering Utilities

Beam Deflection Calculate how much a beam will sag.

Moment Distribution for Engineers

Survey Toolkit Utility for surveyors.

Single Span Moment Single Span beams moment calculations

Conversions Plus Gives you a table to screen or printer of conversions for 49 different units of measurement. Example: inches to centimeters. This is a nice little program.

Seven and a Half Bits

(What, No Comments?)

by Joe Griffen, ICPUG, England

(Editor's Note: Joe Griffen is the Vice Chariman of ICPUG, in England. He is an 8 bit fan from my perspective, like a lot of us and is the one we are corresponding with. We have left his articles unedited, some of the material may not aply to us in the good ole' U.S.)

A Black Mark for Commodore

I sent a copy of my article on 128D/1571DCR bugs to Commodre at both Maidenhead (to the MD, Steve Franklin) and to West Chester (to Fred Bowen). Neither party has bothered to respond, not even a letter to acknowledge receipt or say they will look into it. I am extremely sorry that Commodore chose to turn their back on the user like this.

A Gold Star for Creative Micro Designs

Having been informed by Tim Harris of Finacial Systems Software that the 1571DCR bug also exists in the JiffyDOS ROM, I sent a copy of my article and a disk containing the test program to Creative Micro Designs, the authors of JiffyDOS. In mid-July, I received a letter from Mark Fellows, President of CMD.

In his letter, Mark comments that "The exact cause of the problem is surprising (but not that surprising if you are familiar with the way Commodore does things!). A comparison with the upgraded (V5) ROM revelaed that Commodore fully intended for the C-128D drive ROM to be bug-free. All the required changes made in the 1571 V5 'fix' ROM are present in the C128D ROM ...EXCEPT THREE!!"

In order to fix the C128D ROM, the only thing required was to put the missing three patches into place. The C128D DOS now functions flawlessly.

Mark has commented on some points in my original articles and has given me permission to repeat those comments.

  1. The 1571-CR drive in the 128D does include custom circuitry and this is why the V5 ROM was not 100% compatible.
  2. The stand alone 1571, and that in the 128D Portable machines, does have a WD 1770 controller but its only function is to read/write MFM encoded data. It is NEVER used with a standard Commodore disk, even in burst mode.
  3. The 318047-01 ROM (fitted in the 128D) is not a Version 8 ROM, but is a V5 ROM, adapted to the new circuitry, but with the problem of the "missing patches" mentioned above. To Mark's knowledge, Commodre has no plans for developeing or releasing a Version 8 1571 ROM.
  4. The 318047-01 ROM is not a "stopgap" version. It is a ROM that one of the Commodore's programmers messed up. The reason that a corrected ROM has not been released is that Commodore had produced a very large quantity of defective ROMs before the problem was discovered. Naturally, Commodore are not interested in scrapping a million-dollar inventory of 318047-01 ROMs, so they continue to install them in 128D's. It should be noted that the 318047-01's are "mask" ROMs and are not re-programmable. If Commodore ever use up ther stock of these, then maybe a fixed version will be released.

Included in the package was a JiffyDOS V5.10 drive ROM for the 1571. This was quickly installed in my 128D. (I can now get the chips in and out with my eyes closed!) The first test given was the Greg Perry program which ran faultlessly. Remembering the success of the V5 ROM with this test, I then ran Big Blue Reader which had hung with the V5 ROM. To my great delight that and all other programs I have used have worked with the JiffyDOS ROM. In fact, if this drive ROM is fitted to the machine, and not the full JiffyDOS system, then the system is almost transparent to the user. There are only two differences apparent, compared to the stock ROM. The first (obviously) is that the side 2 BAM problems are now fixed. The other is that formatting of a disk in 1541 mode is now carried out at 1571 speed.

The good news for owners of 128D Desktop machines is that the V5.10 JiffyDOS ROM is now available either as a fix-it ROM or as part of JiffyDOS from Financial Systems Software Limited (0385-553153).

1541 ROMs

Since publishing drive identification information in this column, I have been contacted by a number of owners of very early 1541s. On these machines, location $ff15 in the drive ROM contains the value I70 ($aa). This area of the chip was unused, so a fill byte was put there. Later versions of the 1541 incorporated a patch which was put into the free space and hence the value has changed.

1581 Bugs

True to form, Commodore have managed to introduce a smattering of bugs into the 3.5 inch drive. On the hardware side, very early models are reputed to have a WD 1770 controller. This could give corrupted directories during disk copying. A public domain program is available (I have a copy) which checks whether the 1770 or 1772 chip is fitted. Anyone who finds that the 15B1 contains a 1770 should consider getting it replaced with a 1772. FSSL have more details on the upgrade.

On the software/firmware side, the 1581 is not blameless either! Problems can occur in creating sub-sub directories (though I have not experienced this problem) but of major concern is that because of a bug associated with the track cache buffer, block allocate commands do not work, if a block write is carried out at the same time.

The problem can be demonstrated by using the program on page 75/76 of the 1581 User's Guide. Type in the program and run it a few times on a blank, formatted disk. Then display the directory of the disk, the 'blocks free' should be a few less than the 3160 of an empty disk. Now remove the disk from the drive and re-insert it, then again list the directory. The number of blocks free has mysteriously gone back up to 3160! If you look at the sectors which should have been written, you will indeed find that the data in them has been altered but they have not been allocated.

During the production of Superbase 3 for the 1581 a number of problems were encountered. Data written to the disk mysteriously disappeared. Eventually it was found that, because of this bug, the 1581 DOS was only updating the data sectors and not the BAM on the disk. Simon eventually got details of an address in the 1581 ROM which could be used to force a BAM update. I will publish details if I can get them.

For interest, it is worth noting that if a block allocated command is carried out without writing data to the sector, then the BAM is correctly altered. I suspect that the problem comes about because tha track buffer does not rewrite the bam if a sector other than on the directory track is to be rewritten.

Files, Directories and Direct Access

Unlike most other floppy disk systems, Commodore 8-bit disk drives (with one notable exception, the 1581) do not use Modified Frequency Modulations (MFM) recording method. In the early days of the PET, Chuck Peddle's team devised the Group Code Recording (GCR) method of encoding the data onto the media. This allowed a higher storage capacity and a greater reliability than contemporary units.

The distinguishing features of these GCR drives include a variable number of sectors per track. The outermost (longer) tracks have more sectors than the innermost (shorter) ones.

On all drives, including the 1581, a directory of files (including pointers to the actual file data) established by the disk operating system (DOS) is maintained on its own track, about half way across the disk surface. A record of the used and unused disk sectors, known as the Block Availability Map (BAM), is maintained by the DOS and uses one or more disk sectors on, or adjacent to, to directory track. Even though unused sectors of the directory track are not allocated in the BAM, DOS considers this track to be inviolate and will not use it for storing data.

Each sector in the directory, or in a file established by the DOS, contains as its first two byes a pointer, comprising the track number and sector number of the loaciton of the next block of the file. These pointers are maintained by the DOS, as is the BAM, and are of no importance to the user, provided that all disk accesses are via files of a type supported by the DOS.

Commodore have however provided routines which allow the user to access disk secors directly (direct access programming). When this is done, as with machine code programming fo the CPU, the user is given great freedom but carries a heavy responsibility. No housekeeping is done: track and sector links are not provided and the BAM is not updated, unless the user specifically carries out these tasks. Also the direct access routines know nothing of and care little for the sanctity of the directory track. It is by use of direct access routines that a directory can be modified, or even linked back into itself, to become endless.

When a direct acess 'Bock-Allocate' command is given, one of two things will happen; if the sector addresses is unused, it will be marked as used in the BAM. However, if it is already used, then an error message will be generated with the location of the next available sector contained within the error string. The 'next' sector will always be later on the same track, or on a higher numbered one.

To create a direct access file with linked sectors requires something like the following procedure:

  1. Allocate the sector. If already allocated, get next sector data and allocate that.
  2. Allocate it a second time.
  3. Read error string to obtain address of next free sector.
  4. Place pointers to next sector in data buffer.
  5. Place remainder of data in buffer.
  6. Write buffer to the original sector.
  7. Repeat for next sector.

When less than a full buffer of data is left, the track link is replaced by a zero byte and the sector byte by the number of bytes of data to be written.

This is obviously quite a tricky method of working and requires quite a lot of disk accessing. For Superbase, Simon & Tom devised a simpler method of working, which is quite ingenious - they write the file backwards!

The directory entry points, not to the first sector, but to the last and each sector points back, not forward. To add a further sector requires that the program finds the first free sector after that pointed to by the database file header block. The pointers required are already known from the header, so this block can be written and allocated. The header block is then updated with the address of this new current sector and a consistent file chain has been established.

Problems do however occur, as mentioned above, with the directory track. On a 4040/1541 format disk the directory is on track 18. Imagine the situation as direct access fills up track 17 - sectors are allocated in the order 0, 1, 2, ..., 18, 19, 20 but then the end of the track has been reached. The next available sector is the first free one on track 18 (the directory track). A smart programmer would include code to check the track number and if it is 18, increment it before writing any data (this is what S&T do in S'base). A very thorough programmer would also reset the sector counter to 0, so that it continues from 19,0 (often 18,0 [header] and 18,1 [directory start] will be the only blocks used on track 18, so S'base frequently continues from 19,2).

Obviously when different drives are used, the program needs to distinguish the type of drive in use and avoid the appropriate directory track(s). For example, the following disk systems are common ones:

Disk Drive Directory Track
4040, 1541, 1570 Track 18
1571 Track 18 AND Track 53
8050, 8250 Track 39
1581 Track 40

Commodore hard drives use Track 1 or thereabouts, but may be more complicated (I don't know much about them).

Member of the UGX on BIX, the
on-line service for computer-using
professionals. For information
call 1-800-277-2983.

Christmas Part 1989

[Photo: Dick Coffman and wife enjoy talking with other party goers.]

[Photo: Guy King wins the big price, Jiffy Dos!]

[Photo: Dad this ain't a game!]

[Photo: Ron congratulates Marilyn on first prize, new members, for the Participation Contest.]

[Photo: Santa passes out candy to the little ones.]

[Photo: The Robertson family seem to enjoy themselves.]

[Photo: Fran and Matt Buford win a door prize.]

[Photo: Ron congratulates Wayne on first price for the Participation Contest.]

[Photo: A young Santa fan.]

[Photo: Another door prize winner!!]


For everyone who's ever waited a tad too long for a GEOS screen to redraw itself or an application to load, congratulations. The wait is over. Your chips have come in.

The GEORAM expansion board--for both 64's and 128's--is here.


Developed exclusively for GEOS-equipped Commodores, these babies pack an unbelievable 512K of extra memory, which propels GEOS into light speed productivity. Accessories pop up in an instant. Screens redraw in a wink. And applications scream out in a frenzy as you whip them along with your mouse or joystick.

"An additional 512K of memory...is a really impressive upgrade...The usefulness of this becomes evident when using GEOS, as it can practically eliminate the...disk access you normally encounter." --Run Magazine

Hard to believe? Believe it. GEORAM's disk transfer rate is literally 35 times faster than the 1541, 1571 or 1581 disk drive. Which has the industry chattering almost as much as when GEOS first arrived on the scene:

"The difference between operating...on a 640K machine instead of a 128K machine could be compared to flying a jet and walking. Tasks that would normally cause a delay while the disk was accessed run at the speed of light..." --Commodore Magazine

Pretty heady stuff. But every word of it's true. Because GEORAM stores everything electronically. Which means your Commodore doesn't waste time spinning magnetic disks searching for data.

That not only increased your machine's performance. It also increases yours. Because the time you used to spend waiting is being put to better use drawing, writing or doing any of the thousands of things you're using GEOS for.

"RAM expanded C-series machines...running under the GEOS kernel--are nearly as fast and flexible as the powerhouse Mac's, ST's, Amigas and PC's." --Computer Shopper

So if you'd like to delete the delay, call us toll free at 1-800-888-0848, extension 1742 and order your GEORAM card today. You'll discover the difference in no time.

"It's the same GEOS, but unless you experience RAM expansion, you can't imagine the transformation...Some operations run a few seconds quicker, other (such as deskTop utilities) seem to appear before you select them...My RAM expander is the most cost-effective purchase I've ever made. Try one, and you'll never go back to magnetic media." --Computer Shopper

The GEORAM Expansion Card. It may have been a long time coming, but it's definitely worth the wait.

Berkeley Softworks

The brightest minds are working with Berkeley.


A Tutorial by Cheryn Nunn

Zip/Unzip is a program that allows you to pack numerous files into only four separate files. This facilitates uploading and downloading of programs with a lot of files. Or you can zip a whole disk with many different programs on it.

The screen below is the first screen you see upon loading Zip/Unzip. We will select option 1 for now.

*                                      *
*                                      *
*                                      *
*                                      *
*                                      *
*   1. ZIP   - PACK DISK INTO FILES    *
*                                      *
*            => SELECT <=              *
*                                      *
*                                      *
*                                      *
*                                      *
*                                      *
*                                      *
*                                      *

The screen below is the next screen you see. Set your source and target drives. ZipDOS is a fast loader but it will interfere with Jiffy DOS so select NO if you have Jiffy installed.

 Zip-Code Disk Packer - Mode : Pack

      SPACE To Begin, Q To Quit.

Track  : 00       Block  Count  : 000
Sector : 00       Blocks Packed : 000

       Source       [F1] : 08
       Target    [F3/F8] : 09:0

       ZipDOS Write  [F2] : YES
       Format Mode   [F4] : FAST
       DOS Commands  [F7]

The next screen prompts you to give a name for the zip file you will create. This name should be descriptive of what you are zipping. Caution should be used when naming however. The maximum characters is 14. With some BBS programs, uploads are hidden and the left ( replaces the first letter of the file name if the file name is the maximum length. Zip files are named 1!filename, 2!filename, etc and when the ( replaces the first character, you will get an error when the second file starts to write to the disk.

 Zip-Code Disk Packer - Mode : Pack

Encoded File Name : sept 64 misc_

 Track  : 00        Block  Count  : 000
 Sector : 00        Blocks Packed : 000

        Source        [F1] : 08
        Target     [F3/F8] : 08:0

        ZipDOS Write  [F2] : NO
        Format Mode   [F4] : FAST
        DOS Commands  [F7]

The next prompt is to insert the source disk and RETURN. While the program is reading, you will see what appears to be garbage at the top of the screen, as in the screen shown below. This "garbage" will be active during reading but will remain fixed during writing when zipping files. The program will make four passes reading and writing and will prompt you to insert the source or destination disk.


 Zip-Code Disk Packer - Mode : Pack

       Insert SOURCE Disk & RETURN.

Track  : 08        Block  Count  : 168
Sector : 10        Blocks Packed : 092

       Source        [F1] : 08
       Target     [F3/F8] : 09:0

       ZipDOS Write  [F2] : NO
       Format Mode   [F4] : FAST
       DOS Commands  [F7]

After zipping, the file names will look like those shown below.

0 "TEST DISK       "  0 2A
154  "1!SEPT 64 MISC"   PRG
140  "2!SEPT 64 MISC"   PRG
148  "3!SEPT 64 MISC"   PRG
167  "4!SEPT 64 MISC"   PRG

Unzipping is simply the reverse of the process described above. If you download a program from a BBS that looks similar to the directory shown above, you will know it is a zipped file. No other packing program (lynx, arc, etc.) saves its files this way.

 Zip-Code Disk Packer - Mode : UnPack

       SPACE To Begin, Q To Quit.

Track  : 00        Block  Count  : 000
Sector : 00        Blocks Packed : 000

       Source     [F1/F8] : 08:0
       Target        [F3] : 08

       ZipDOS Read   [F2] : NO
       Format Mode   [F4] : FAST
       DOS Commands  [F7]

When the program is unzipping, the "garbage" at the top of the screen is active both during the read and write phases.

You have DOS commands available within the program. Simply hit F7, and type at the prompt the DOS command you wish to use. Example: <n0:disk name,01. To get a directory, type $.

Zip/Unzip is a convenient program to use when transmitting something like HAL, for instance, off the Starter Disk. HAL has about a dozen different files and if you don't use multifile transfer, that's a lot of names to remember. Zip/Unzip simplifies this and will be a program you will enjoy using.

Twin Cities Compendium

by Paul Traynor, ICPUG, England Edited by BoB Nunn

I like the satisfaction of reading a magazine from cover to cover where everything is of relevance, there is no skipping through pages which cover information that is of no use to your particular machine. The first issue of Twin Cities 128 was in December 1985 and since then it has grown to be the most informative magazine for the C128 and C128D owners. Like so much of the 128's support it comes from the USA.

The spiral bound, A5 size of the Compendium Book Number 1 contains the best of issues 1-18 arranged in chronological order. Areas covered include software, hardware and book reviews. There is a large range of software and books under review including the Super series, the Paperback series, Timeworks series, Vistastar, CADPAK, Merlin, Blitz, Bobsterm Pro, Xref, 128 Internals, Tricks and Tips, 1001 things to do with your 128. Hardware looked at includes C128D, 1750 Ram Expansion, and the 1581 Drive.

The book devotes space to not only reviewing software but also helping you learn how to use it. This is true of Superbase and Basic 8 in particular. People who program in Commodore Basic 7 or Machine Language are certainly not forgotten. CP/M also gets good coverage including a chapter on modifying CP/M to work with the 1581 drive.

There are three chapters on modifications to your hardware. These are upgrading your VDC RAM to 64K, fitting the upgrade ROMS to both the C128 and the 1571 and fitting dip switches to the C128D to enable the drive device number to be changed.

There are three interesting chapters which appear quite often within the course of the book, the first is Rumour/Opinion/Mayhem which is a kind of introduction to each issue. This includes news and views in the Commodore 128 world. The other chapters are Forgotten Basic, which explains the use of various Basic 7 commands, and a Sparrow's Slick Tips which are tips on everything from calling a directory to advanced pattern matching with DOS version 30 and from creating Roman numerals, to using Doodle pictures in 128 mode.

There are a number of sub-routines which include fixes for the Basic 8 bugs and routines to measure the amount of system and VDC Ram.

Contributors to the Compendium include Miklos Garamszeghy, Fred Bowen, Jim Butterfield, Avonelle and Loren Lovhaug. You can write direct to Twin Cities 128, P.O. Box 4625, St. Paul, MN 55104. You can order the Compendium through Software Support International for $14.95, Phone orders 1-800-356-1179. Other retailers and mail houses are likely to carry it.

Secretary's Notes

The board meeting was called to order at 7:35 PM by Bob Nunn, President. Present were also Dick Coffman and Cheryn Nunn, officers, Andrew George, sysop and Wayne Moore, Chaiman-Nominating Committee. Those present briefly discussed several items but since a quorum was not present, no actions could be taken. The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Richard Coffman, Secretary

128 Rebuildable Power Supply

by Bob Earnheart


Best New Color/Graphic Terminal Program

A Tutorial by Cheryn Nunn

CCGMS V11.0 is this latest version of this great term program. This one supports 2400 baud. It supports color/graphics which is important to have when using Commodore 64/128 boards. If the sysop is using a color/graphic BBS program, you will miss much of what's on the board if you don't use a C/G term. This program will work in regular ascii mode when you need it, however.

The first screen you see after loading the program is shown below. The first thing you need to do is set up the configuration.

| C| C| G| M| S| !| Version 11
------------------- By Iceman/FTP 8/89!

  F1 Upload          F2 Send/Read file
  F3 D/L             F4 Buffer commands
  F5 Disk Command    F6 Directory
  F7 Dialer/Params   F8 Switch terms
C=F1 Multi-Send    C=F3 Multi-Receive
C=F5 Send Dir.     C=F7 Screen to Buff.

C/G Term Activated.


Hit F7 for Dialer/Params and you will see the following menu.


  A uto-Dialer/Phone Book

  B aud Rate   - 2400

  D uplex      - Full

  M odem Type  - 1670/Hayes    * Tone

  P rotocol    - Punter

  E dit Macros

  L oad/ S ave Phone Book & Config.

  V iew Author's Message

  Q uit - Exit to BASIC

Press <RETURN> to abort.

Call The Caverns of Ice.....

Auto-Dialer/Phone Book lets you type in your favorite BBS numbers. You can enter the name of the BBS, the phone number, the baud rate you use with that BBS and whether it is a graphics or ascii board. Move the cursor to a blank space and RETURN to select. Select Edit Current # to input or change the information you need.

 CRSR keys  - Move  RETURN - Select
 D ial Unlisted #   E dit Current #
 C all Current #    A -Dial All Selected
 R everse All       X -Return to Menu
           >>>Yellow Pgs<<<
 The Caverns of Ice( Operator Headgap
 MCUC                __________________
 __________________  __________________
 __________________  __________________
 __________________  __________________
 __________________  __________________
 __________________  __________________
 __________________  __________________
 __________________  __________________
 __________________  __________________
 __________________  __________________
 __________________  __________________
 __________________  __________________
 __________________  __________________

 Name: The Caverns of Ice
Phone: 389-5469
 Baud: 1200  Term: Graphcis  Try: 0

Next you set the baud rate you will usually use. This is determined by the modem you have and the baud rate of the boards you usually call.

Leave the Duplex set to Full. It allows you to see the cursor.

Modem type is next. CCGMS gives the following choices:

Paradyne DTU
1650 compatible
HES II/Mitey Mo
1660/modem 300
1660 + CD
HPP 1064

Select the modem type most compatible with yours. If you're unsure, test each modem type (by logging on to a BBS) and find the one which works best.

* toggles Tone or Pulse phone. Set accordingly.

Protocol can be either Punter or XModem. Punter works best for Commodore based boards.

Edit Macros allows you to set up the function keys F1, F3, F5 and F7 to do your typing for you when pressed in conjunction with the control key. You can set up your name or handle in one, your password in another, and any other standard informatin you usuallly type in. You are allowed up to 64 characters. BEWARE! Once you've saved your password as a macro, do not give out a copy of this program with your customized Parameters.

View Author's Message gives you the following screens. There are additional keyboard commands here you may want to write down somewhere to keep.

   CCGMS! Term 11

 (Warning! This message will self-
  destruct when you use the buffer!)

Other Misc. Commands:

SHIFT STOP      Disconnect. (Non-Hayes)
C=    STOP      Pick up phone.  ''
SHFT  ←         Toggle cursor type
C=    ←         Toggle ALL-CAPS mode
SHFT  CTRL 1-4  Takes a 'snapshot' of the
                 screen into storage 1-4
C=    CTRL 1-4  Recall snapshot 1-4
                (Swaps w/current screen)
CTRL  F1-F7     Macros.

At disk prompt, "#x" changes to dev#x.
Double-click C= F7 to clear buffer
before storing screen.
At the buffer cmd prompt, ← and →
move the buffer pointer.
On-line, CTRL-B (color-code) changes
the background color.  Press a key...
This program is 'Share-Ware.'
You are granted a limited license to
use, copy, & distribute this program
in its UNMODIFIED form.  If you have
any suggestions or comments, if you'd
like a copy of the ML source code and
permission to modify it, or if you'd
just like to send a couple of bucks
or whatever you think the term is
worth (and greatly increase the
likelihood of future versions),
write me at:   Craig Smith
               7437 Deaver Dr.,
               Ft. Worth, TX 76180
               Attn: CCGMS
Source code requests please include
a disk in a reusable disk mailer,
sufficient postage, and a short note
about how you'd like to change it.
Thanks, and I hope you like the
new version!!           Press a key...

After setting your phone book and inputing the correct parameters, Save the phone book and configuration. The next time you boot up CCGMS, all this information will be automatically there. Hit RETURN to get back to your main menu.

Now you're ready to try getting online. Press F7 to call up the Dialer/Params menu. Next Press 'A' for Auto-Dialer/Phone Book. Move the cursor to the BBS you want to call and hit RETURN. Then press 'C' for Call Current #. CCGMS will automatically dial the BBS for you. You can call several numbers by highlighting and pressing RETURN on several different numbers. CCGMS will call one after the other until it gets a connection.

CCGMS will signal you when it has connected with a BBS. You may need to hit RETURN to complete the connection or it may ask if you are in color/graphics or if you need linefeeds. On MCUS BBS, press shift @ for color/graphics. If you do not see a check mark, then your term is in ascii mode. Press Shift F7 (F8) to change to C/G mode. Usually you will not need linefeeds. If the line runs over itself, by all means say yes then.

Anytime you are online and need to see CCGMS main menu, hit F7 then RETURN and then you will have your main menu. Personally, I would take the time to make myself a small cue card with the function key commands written down and place it in easy eye reach for when I'm online and need to know which key to use.

Once you are online, you may decide you are going to upload a program to the BBS. Use the BBS's command for upload and it will prompt you for a filename. Type in the filename exactly as it appears in the directory. The BBS will then tell you to go to Send mode. At this point hit F1 to activate Send mode in CCGMS and type in the filename again exactly as you did before. Or if you've forgotten the F key for upload hit F7 and RETURN to get the main menu. the same applies for downloading- F3, multi-file sending- C=F1 and multi-file receiving- C=F3.

Now, let's say you want to download something to your drive 9. Before starting the download sequence, press F5 for Disk Commands and type #9 at the prompt (Disk #8>#9). The prompt will change to Disk #9>. You can type a $ to get a directory to check for blocks free etc. You could also format a disk, rename a file, scratch a file, etc on your computer from this point.

F6 will get a directory on the BBS. F2 will send or read a Sequential file. If the BBS is capable, you can open a library file, for instance, and send a sequential file from your disk, instead of uploading it. If you want to read a sequential file from the BBS that is not a part of the message bases, etc. you can use F2 to do so.

F4 gives you your buffer commands as shown below.

| C| C| G| M| S| !| Version 11
------------------- By Iceman/FTP 8/89!

  F1 Upload          F2 Send/Read file
  F3 D/L             F4 Buffer commands
  F5 Disk Command    F6 Directory
  F7 Dialer/Params   F8 Switch terms
C=F1 Multi-Send    C=F3 Multi-Receive
C=F5 Send Dir.     C=F7 Screen to Buff.

C/G Term Activated.

Disk #8 >00, ok,00,00

Buffer Closed - 32959 bytes free.
 O pen   C lose   E rase   T ransfer
 L oad   S ave    P rint   V iew: _

Let's say you're online and in the library and you see a list of other BBS numbers you don't have. Press F4, then 'O' for Open and continue reading on the BBS. When you've captured all you want, Press F4 again, then 'C' for Close. Be sure and save the buffer before resetting your system. This can be done while you're online and after you logoff.

C=F5 will send a directory to the BBS. I can't think of why you would want to do this but it's there. C=F7 will dump a screen from the BBS to the buffer without having to access the Buffer commands. You would want to save the buffer however, just as you would ordinarily. F8 will allow you to switch between color/graphics term and ascii term.

I think you will enjoy using this term. I found it very easy to use my first time. Enjoy!


Reprinted from ASCI Club Newsletter Disk


There are times when you only want to see a particular kind of file type when calling for a directory. The usual way on a 64 is LOAD"$",8 and then type LIST and press RETURN which lists all the files on a disk. If you only want to see the sequential files that are on a disk you can get a selective directory by typing LOAD"$O:*=S",8 and although it takes a little more typing, it's very helpful to see the simplified listing on disks like the Q-Link offering each month. To get selective directories of other file types, substitute the S above for P for program, U for user, or R for relative. On a 128 use DIRECTORY"*=S" which can also be used from within a program unlike the example for the 64 which cannot.

- From 'Lobo's Little Lessons'
Commodore Users of Lynchburg

Nominating Committee Report

The Nominating Committee presented the slate of officers at the MCUC December meeting. The floor was then opened for nominations and Kevin Dunn was nominated for President. There were no other nominations from the floor. The nominations were then closed.

The proposed officers are as follows:

President Bob Nunn
(current Pres.)
Kevin Dunn
(Disk Handler)
Vice-president Bob Earnheart
Secretary Dick Coffman
Treasurer Wayne Moore
Librarian Jim West
Education Ron Montgomery
Newsletter Editor Cheryn Nunn
(current Editor)
Mike Dahms
(Mickey D's)

Note: According to the By-Laws, since all officer positions are filled there will be NO nominations from the floor in the January MCUC meeting. The voting will be by secret ballot.

Wayne Moore
Chairman Nominating Committee


Tax Program Review 3
President's Ponderings 4
Seven and a Half Bits Articles from England 5, 12, 22
Changing 128D Number 5
Omega-Q II Tutorial 6
Disks of the Month 9
Zip/Unzip Tutorial 20
Secretary's Notes 22
128 Power Supply 23
CCGMS V11.0 Tutorial 24