May 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 $6.00 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 (362-0632). 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 the new building Auditorium, State Technical Institute.

Beginner's Class - First Saturday after the first Tuesday. 1:00 PM Location to be announced each month.

Board of Director's Meeting - Monday after General Meeting. 7:30 PM State Tech, Rm 1106A in new building (near cafeteria).

128,CP/M,MS-DOS Sig Classes - Now meeting with the Memphis FOG group and Home Users 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 Bob Earnheart
Secretary Dick Coffman
Treasurer Wayne Moore
Librarian Jim West
Education Ron Montgomery
Newsletter Cheryl Nunn
BBS 362-0632
Sysop Andrew George 367-1266
Co-Sysop Kevin Dunn

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

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

President's Ponderings

Computer Buyer's Guide hits the racks!

by Bob Nunn

I've been fairly well wrapped up in my job lately and hadn't had as much time as I would like to think about the club, or anything else for that matter. I did take a few minutes to read an article or two from a new publication called Computer Buyers Guide. It looks a lot like the Computer Shopper and may even have the same publisher. We got a letter a while back saying that the Shopper was discontinuing its classic computer coverage and that they would be covering this area. We all know that the Commodore 64/128 group is a classic and was destined for greatness when the first one rolled off the line. They asked us for user group information and we gladly complied. I am pleased that MCUC made the premier issue of Computer Buyers Guide.

This issue had a Commodore column by Gary A. Edwards who explained he had to dust off his 64 to start up the column. He seems to be at least fond of the old 64, although I wouldn't say he would be the ideal columnist, or perhaps he would. You see a guy that has been away from the 64 has a lot of pleasant surprises. Cheryn and I wrote him a letter and I made him a disk or two with some of the later pd utilities. In the letter we mentioned a couple of things like Jiffy Dos, Maverick, The Write Stuff, just to drop a few names. I know he is in for a pleasant surprise and perhaps we'll see some of the excitement that we experienced when we found hardware and software that compare with any available for any machine. On the disk we sent him we included a few basic programs like CCGMS, Proterm, Disk Controler, V-fast File Copier, Desterm, Disk Whiz, and a few more programs we have come to rely upon.

I think I might subscribe to this magazine; it has articles of interest from every computing area, tons of advertising, and lists up user groups and bbs's. I also want to watch and see how this guy responds as he jumps back in to the "Commodore Classics".

[Photo: Kevin Dunn & Andrew George take a little break during the copy session.]

[Photo: Many people came to the copy session and kept the volunteers busy.]

64/128 + Amiga?!?

An Editorial by Bob Nunn

The Amiga Group (MAGS) here in Memphis is growing. Their membership continues to climb and they have in excess of 70 members mow. We recently visited at length with Todd Rooks, President. A percentage of their club's membership are either current MCUC members or Ex-MCUC members. The balance of the club is a large percentage of owners or ex-owners of Commodores 64 or 128. We have been discussing combining some of our club efforts, expecially since there is no computer fair planned this year and no CASE show. While some people may be disturbed by a planned association, I on the other hand am disturbed more by the lack of support in the local computer user group community at large. We can only benefit from such an alliance.

We have initially discussed combining a part of our newsletter. Adding several pages of Amiga information, combining our calendars and sharing the expenses would only stand to improve both groups. MCUC receives software, press releases, and many new articles from our exchange program that are strictly for the AMIGA. If we were to do this on purpose we can get even more material with very little effort. This will give MCUC and MAGS a higher profile in the Commodore User Group community and from that both groups will benefit.

It seems that both groups to some extent fear getting taken advantage of by the other. MCUC is afraid that Amiga will dominate everything and don't have anything to do with what I am doing. MAGS Members consider 64/128's toys that they have outgrown and have no interest in anything to do with them.

This is probably typical, and really what most people fear worst of all is "CHANGE". Hey, things are OK right now; why should we change?? Let me tell you why we should change. We face a future of declining membership. That is the facts, Jack. 128's are no longer marketed and 64's are not long for the retail market. It is true however, that the used computer market will continue to generate potential new members and as long as we keep a high profile we will continue to grow for a time. However, many people who are trading up will go to the Amiga. The Amiga group on the other hand is a small group and while they provide good support for their members, a more aggressive plan for the future and support from something that we have already set up can greatly improve their support both now and in the future, and will benefit them.

Our exchange program with other user groups is growing great guns. We have more material than we can publish each month. We have more software than we can process and use. Including MAGS in this program at their member's expense can do nothing but improve both groups.

How far would this go?? This might be your question. I don't see much in terms of combined meeting formats. Both groups now fill their own meeting schedules and really cover areas of different interest. We might ask to have some of their members do some demo's on occasion just to see what is out there and to see what other people are doing with their computers, we of course would reciprocate. We more likely may combine efforts on specials events, sharing facilities and labor.



That is what the Memphis Commodore Users Club is offering. Tell your board members what you think!!

Some of you may be thinking "has old Bob sold out and bought Amiga"?? No I haven't, I still do what I need to with my 64/128's and as long as they serve my personal needs that is where I will stay. My interest is totally toward the continued prosperity of MCUC as a club. I am sure Todd Rooks feels the same about MAGS.

Think a minute about what I have said. Catch my ear at the next meeting; I am anxious to hear your views on the subject. I am sending copies to the MAGS group and hope to hear a bit of input about how they feel. Do we both continue the struggle or do we both change for the better, combining resources and efforts?

64 on/off Switch Problem

Rewritten by Cheryn Nunn

This information was taken from an article in the Greater Omaha CUG Newsletter which was reprinted from CIVIC 64/128 Gazette in Oxnard, CA. I want to thank the author, Robert C. Lopert for the information. Due to space, I have tried to condense the article for use here.

On occasion, the 64 will develop eratic behavior that could include the computer locking up, screen going blank or extra characters on the screen. The problem could be in the on/off switch to the computer.

The switch has three pairs of small, medium and large "L" shaped legs that are soldered to the circuit board. These seem to be the only support for the switch. Apparently, the stress put on these legs every time the switch is moved causes stress on the legs which can break the solder connections. The author did some resoldering and the computer seemed to work fine afterward.

He went on to say that he has an on/off swich ahead of his power supply, so he decided to leave the computer on and use the other switch to turn it on or off. Apparently, this same problem can occur in the 128.

This editor has ALWAYS heard, "computer on last, computer off first". If you have all your components tied into one power strip and use the power strip to turn the computer on and off, and also leave the monitor, drives, printer, etc. "on", then you cannot follow the last/first rule. If you are having the above described problem, I would recommend taking the computer to a reliable repairman to fix the switch, or purchase a power strip that has an on/off switch for each plug, thereby allowing you to REALLY turn the computer on last and off first.

Secretary's Notes

Official Board Meeting MCUC 4-9-90

The official board meeting was called to order at 7:40 P.M. by Bob Nunn, President.

Officers present;
Bob Nunn, president
Ron Montgomery, Educational Coord.
Jim West, Librarian
Wayne Moore, Treasurer
Cheryn Nunn, Newsletter Editor
Richard Coffman, Secretary

Notebook purchase has been finalized. Hard drive for BBS will be ordered this Month (April).

The word processor program "Write Stuff" has increased in price. Club price will also go up but not very much.

Demos for May: Superbase 64, Create a calendar, and Maverick.

The "Write Stuff" seminar is this month, April. Check with Cheryn Nunn for place and time.

The newspaper ads in the Commercial Appeal are working good. Program will continue.

A joint newsletter for MCUC/MAGS user groups has been proposed. If details can be worked out it will be for a three month trial period.

Scheduling for beginners classes has been all set up. Check newsletter and announcements at next months general meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 9:40 P.M.

Respectively submitted,

Richard Coffman, Secretary

Treasurer's Report


OPENING BALANCE 03-13-90 $ 2505.32
MEMBERSHIP DUES (14 Members) 222.00
TOTAL $ 644.00
BBS TELEPHONE (March) $ 21.34
NEWSLETTER (March) 240.06
NEWSLETTER (April) 263.44
BLANK DISKS (3.25) 101.00
BLANK DISKS (5.25) 242.00
TOTAL $ 1239.82
CLOSING BALANCE 04-11-90 $ 1909.50


[Photo: People visited during the copy session. Plenty of old newsletters were available for reading.]

Some Finer Points

Sysop Report by Andrew George

I have noticed many of the BBS users have a little trouble in the message bases. Let's take a look at these commands. They are not real hard but take a little practice.

R# (number) Read a particular message.
RN Read new messages in current message base.
RA Read new messages in all message bases.
P Post a new message to the current message base.
S Scan base for message headers (each message has a Header
that states when and who the message was written by, the
subject and date).
SA Scan for new messages in all message bases.
SN scan for new messages in the current message base.
? Print a list of commands.
L List all available message bases.

The space bar will abort the main message and go on to read the related responses. The slash key will abort the complete message and responses. The home key or the control -s key combination will pause the output to your screen. At the end of a message and its responses, a prompt will appear:

End of bulletin command?

This gives you an opportunity to respond to the message that you just read, hit 'R' at the prompt and this will put you into the Editor and you can type in your masterpiece!!

I have reconfigured the Upload / Download section to a U/X. This allows me to swap out the disks. That will allow for greater variety. In the U/X when you scan a directory or choose files to download, the program asks for a pattern. If the pattern you request is a whole disk '*' then simply press return. The program adds an asterick to the pattern so if you request a pattern like this:

Program v

The program will return with:

Program v1
Program v1.1
Program v1.2

and so on. This feature will keep you from having to scroll through a whole directory. You just see the files that begin with the pattern (the text at the pattern prompt) you entered.

I hope that this clears up some of the problems a few of you have been having. Hope to see you online soon!!!!!!!


Earnheart Computer Repair
is now
Data Tech Services, Inc.
6850 Hillshire, Suite #21
Memphis, Tn. 38133
We are a full service repair,
sales, training company for all
types of computers (except Macs).
Thank you for your support.
Due to our increased overhead we
can no longer offer club discounts.

Basic 8: Video Ram

by Tony Wright, ICPUG, ENGLAND

Edited for MCUC Newsletter

This is not a report on Basic 8. This was covered by a review...but, there are one or two aspects of the software which were not covered in the review.

First of all may i make a small correction to the review. Only the metal cased portable C128D (no fan) has the 64k of video RAM. The C128D plastic case (with fan) has only 16K. [Remember, this information is from England, I don't know if the same holds true for U.S. models. Cheryn-Ed.]

My second and longer comment concerns the replacement of the existing 16k RAM chips, which are 4416s or 4164s, by two 4464 chips to give 64k. This can be done by the purcahse of a module from F.S.S.Ltd for about £40 but the manual I have does refer to the possibility of direct replacement of the existing RAM chips by two 4464 chips. However, it does, quite rightly in my view, point out that as the existing chips are soldered to the board any replacement should be carried out by a qualified technician and, even then, the new chips should be provided with proper sockets soldered to the board to facilitate future removal.

Therefore, for those who have decided to take the P.C.B. out of the C128 case I append these guidelines. Anyone who needs to be told how to take the P.C.B. out of the C128 case should NOT tackle this job. The tools you MUST HAVE are one pair of very thin nosed wire sidecutters, a pair of snipe-nosed pliers, a solder sucker tool, solder and a very fine tip good quality soldering iron. The two chips concerned are located next to the video chip B563 and are easily identified as they are the only two chips in the area with 18 legs.

On the basis of some good advice, instead of trying to take the existing chips out clean, which would have been difficult as the legs are slightly crimped, I used the sidecutters and snipped throught all the legs and removed the bodies of the chips. Sounds drastic, I know, but the chips are of no further use and are cheap to buy if you ever do want to replace the 4464 chips. It is only then necessary to apply the iron to each solder point on the underside on the board and with fine snipe-nosed pliers remove each leg in turn. May i say at this point that a clamping device to hold the board is very useful.

The next action is to clear each of the mounting holes of solder. Poking a piece of wire through the holes is ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN. The chances of stripping some of the track away from the board are too high. Get a good quality solder sucker, just place the iron on the underside of the hole in the board and as soon as the solder runs, sucks from the top side of the board. You will be amazed how easily the holes are cleared. It is then only necessary to insert the chip sockets, resolder them in place and, taking precautions against personal static ruining the chips (I strap a wire from my wrist to the nearest radiator valve), insert the 4464 chips, not forgetting to ensure they are correctly located.

All the bits and pieces, including the chips, can be purcased for about £18 (excluding tools) [about $10-15 US]. I would recommend high quality chips sockets with circular hollow pins which give the best contact. I must stress again, however, this is no job for the beginner. [Editor's note: We second this, so you may want to take into consideration the labor to have someone qualified do this for you.]

You may ask, why did we run the preceding article, especially since the majority of us readers would NOT be qualified to make this upgrade by ourselves? There are now several programs available that will make use of 64k of video ram; Free Spirit's Basic 8, a 3-D drawing program, Sketchpad 128, which can be used to create 80 column artwork, slideshows, signs, posters, letterheads and many other things, and News Maker 128, a desktop publishing program. Maverick V4.0 makes use of the 64k video ram as a buffer for copying. 64k of video ram could give you up to 640x640 resolution, higher than the Amiga. That could really blow somebody's socks off!

Self Dissolving Lynx

A Review by John Blackmer

While preparing the DTS 64 and DTS 128 programs and articles, found elsewhere in this issue, I found out I had a minor problem. Both of those programs have shared filenames. That is, filenames that are the same. As we all know each file on the disk needs to be different than any other filenames on the same disk. But I needed to have all of the files on the same disk to prevent creating an error on the host system when I uploaded.

Also it's a lot easier to upload 2 files than the 10 or so used by the combined programs. My solution to this was to create an SDL file for each program.

While not especially difficult to do, it can be time consuming because the programs have to be LYNXED first with LYNX 15, then made into a Self Dissolving Lynx file. SDL's are distinguised from normal files in that they are BRACKETED I.E. [DTS 64]. All you need to do is load and run it to dissolve one back into the several files it contains. BUT be CERTAIN to have plenty of room on your disk or you may end up with a DISK FULL error.

Self Dissolving Lynx may also be used very effectively as an archival backup storage system. By making SDL files of your multiple file programs and storing them in a safe place. It is then an easy task to replace a corrupted disk by simply dissolving the SDL file.

For Example: All the programs on an MCUC Disk of the month could be SDL'ed into a single file called [MCUC 4/90] then stored in a safe place. In a month or two you decide you need another copy of those programs. Just copy the one file to a formatted disk, load it and run it. The result will be a copy of the original disk!

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

DTS-Disk Tracking System 128

A Review by John Blackmer

After 11 years of using my Commodores, I have collected a sizable library and organizing it has always been a major pain in the whatever. I have used (and re-organized each time) several catalog type programs. From the well known DCMR 64 to the, till now, best 128 progam, CAT-80. None comes even close to the capabilities of DTS 128! If you're as resistant to organization as I am, you'll appreciate the fact that you don't even have to categorize your disks to use DTS.

You simply boot up the main program and slide your disks into the drive and hit ESC to have the program read the directory and add it to the rest of your disks. When you have about 1700 filenames read by the program the memory will begin to get low. The maximum number of files held by DTS is 2000. PER FILE! On a 1581 I have files A thru P and still have plenty of room for more. Each of those files may contain up to 2000 filenames!

DTS assigns a letter and a number to each disk. I.E. A001 would be the first disk in the file. So you need to number your disks to make it easier to find the physical disk.

Besides keeping track of the filenames, DTS reads and keeps track of disk header, ID's, disk size (3.5-1571-1581), blocks free, number of files on a given disk, track and sector and starting address of every program. It even tracks the last time you updated a disk or added to one. To update a disk put it in the drive, hit ESC and let the program read the directory. It will ask if it is a backup disk. If you answer NO to that prompt it will update that disk number in the file.

After entering your disks, you may sort it by any of the above data.....AND MORE!

If you choose to use it, you may categorize each filename by using the categories supplied or defining them to suit your library. 15 category choices are available with the touch of the cursor keys. DTS also has a rating system built in to it. 1 to 4 stars (*) to make it easier to sort out your favorite programs. Regardless of the way your file is sorted, DTS will display any given disk directory at the touch of 2 keys.

What's that you say, you have 2 different drives? DTS will read any Commodore drive. I've used it with a 1541, Indus GT and a 1581 and yet to have had any problems reading the disk. If you use 2 or more drives you may select which drive is the file drive and which is the active drive. Disk commands are the usual wedge commands and very reliable.

There's more! Along with the main program is a small 18 block program called DTS Q-SEARCH. This is the GEM of the whole thing! Q search will boot from any drive, ask for search data then proceed to go thru each and every DTS file on the disk to satisfy your query! On it's own it will open DTS file A, check it, display matches and then close A and open B etc.. till it reaches the last DTS file on the disk OR you hit run/stop. UNDOCUMENTED NOTE: if you are searching for a filename or range of filenames, say, a Sid music file. Type *.mus and DTS Q-search will find all the files with .MUS in ANY position. WIthout the * it will find only those files that start with .MUS

Another support program is DTS LABELS. It prints out labels designed for the 3.5" disk but I'm sure it will work for the 5.25" just as well.

DTS REPORT is the last program to talk about. It prints out a report on each and every file in sequence. The report includes totals of categories, ratings, filetype, total # of files, partitions, and # of disks in the file. Headers for each disk are also printed out.

All that packed into 82 blocks, to me is an exceptional utility!

DTS is available thru the MCUC Library and there is a 64 version, though it may not be quite so extensive. HMMM I've got to check that one out too :) Double HMMM I did and it's reviewed elsewhere in this issue.


DTS 64/1541

by John Blackmer

Elsewhere in this issue you'll find the review of DTS 128, which prompted this review of DTS 64. A little backwards, I suppose, but nevertheless both are represented. Be sure to read both!

Don Mayhew, the author, has several superb PD programs to his credit. DISK SHOP, a disk editing program, and 128 DTS are all his babies. If any of you know of other examples of his work, I sure would like to have them. DTS 64 is available from the MCUC Library.

Given the limitations of the 64, DTS overcomes them with ease. Regardless of the number of disks you have DTS 64 can handle them. The program stores your filenames in files, A thru Z. Each of the 26 files holds about 1050 filenames making storage the capacity of the alphabet 27,300 filenames or 3770 disks!!!!!

The Main menu has only 6 options available to it, or so it seems on booting up the program. However, Don has "hidden" a couple of extra commands. (Reference is made to them in the documentation file.) Hitting S at the main menu will sort your file, If it's a full file (1000+ filenames) it may take up to 2 minutes to complete the sort. NOT BAD FOR THE 64! The other "hidden" command is the equals sign (=). Pressing this key will get a list breaking down the list of filenames by category.

Don't be confused by the main menu prompt, PRESS FUNCTION KEY, The word FUNCTION DOES NOT refer to the F-keys. It refers to the function of the program that you want to use. Believe me, this is the only criticism I have for DTS 64.

As with DTS 128, this one keeps track of disk headers as well as ID's, filenames, filetypes, file size, blocks free, and categories.

I might add, for a 64 program DTS is FAST! The documentation is extensive and goes into a lot of detail about each function. Be sure to read them with your favorite word procesor. (WRITE STUFF???) DTS 64 does not work ona 1581!

Memphis Commodore Users Group
is now a Recognized User's
Group of Commodore Business
Machines, Inc. Our ID#
is 00044.

Disks of the Month

May Utilities #1

May Utilities #2

64 Database

64 database - This is a great program. Full documentation and help files on disk. See the review elsewhere in this issue.

May GEOS Disk

This GEOS disk is full of useful utilities. Among them, Desk Organizer, helps you get your desktop organized. Also includes Print PhotoAlbum, a program that lets you print the contents of your photo albums, QuickView, lets you look at a Write file quickly, and Writer's Revenge, which converts different versions of geoWrite files.

May 128 #1

May 128 #2

Target USA

Target USA - Arcade quality game

Art's Helpful Hints

for the 128

by Art Voepel

from the CUGOS Clipper, Reprinted from HACKS, Feb. 1990

The Commodore 128 computer is probably the most powerful and versatile 8- bit computer ever made. Many of is features, however, are rarely used. One such feature is the escape key function. Below is a list of keys and their functions. To use, press and release the <ESC> key then press one of the keys in the following list:

@ Erases everything from the cursor to the end of the screen
A Automatic insert mode
B Set bottom right corner of screen window at the current cursor location.
C Cancel insert and quote modes.
D Delete current line.
E Set cursor to non-flashing mode.
F Set cursor to flashing mode.
G Enable bell when pressing <CONTROL G>.
H Disable bell.
I Insert a line.
J Move to the beginning of the current line.
K Move to the end of the current line.
L Turn on scrolling.
M Turn off scrolling.
N Return to normal screen display (non-reverse video, 80-column only).
O Cancel automatic insert mode.
P Erase everything from the beginning of the line to the cursor.
Q Erase everything from the cursor to the end of the line.
R Reverse video screen display (80-column only).
S Change block cursor (80-col only).
T Set the top left corner of the screen window at current cursor location.
U Underline cursor (80-col only).
V Scroll screen up one line.
W Scroll screen down one line.
X Toggle between 40 & 80 columns.
Y Restore default TAB stops.
Z Clear all TAB stops.


by John & Maleta Miller

Reprinted from MOVCC Messenger, Jan. 1990

  1. My computer resepcts me more than:
    1. My mother-in-law
    2. My little brother/sister
    3. The IRS
  2. If I wouldn't have bought a computer, I would probably have bought:
    1. An abacus
    2. A lawnmower
    3. A poodle
  3. My idea of an exciting evening is:
    1. Calling up a BBS in Moscow
    2. Counting the dot density of my computer printer
    3. Taking a 5 1/4" floppy disk apart and gluing it back together
  4. I like my computer because:
    1. I like electronic gadgets
    2. It didn't have to be housetrained
    3. It doesn't talk back.
  5. My wife/husband says computers are:
    1. A great place to file recipes.
    2. Good for creating CAD woodworking projects
    3. The reason Divorce Court is so popular on TV
  6. The best time to sit down at the computer is:
    1. Anytime
    2. Any day of the week that ends with "y"
    3. If I'm in the mood

For each A answer give yourself 5 points. For each B answer 3 points. For each C answer 1 point. Tally your score.

If your total score is 10 or less you would probably have been just as happy with a Nintendo.

If your score is 11-24, your keyboard doesn't get too dusty, but your family still knows who you are.

If your score is 25 or above does the term "COMPUTER NERD" mean anything to you?

Disk of the Month Order Form

Use this form to order the disks of the month for April. Mail to MCUC, PO Box 34095, Memphis, TN 38134-0095.

Prices are: $2/disk, 3/$5 to members, $3/disk, 3/$6 to non-members. Clubs may obtain disks on a 1 to 1 exchange basis by sending copies of their Disk(s) of the month. Add $1 postage/handling for 1-3 disks, $.25 for each additional disk.

See the April newsletter for a description of each of these disks.

CMD Hard Drives

In the midst of declining support for Commonore eight bit computers, Creative Micro Designs has renewed its commitment to the 64/128 user by releasing a series of integrated products aimed at solving the shortcomings of these machines.

CMD HD hard drives bring the latest in SCSI technology in the Commodore arena. By using SCSI, the HD can interface with other computers and connect to other SCSI devices such as additional hard drives and tape backup units.

The CMD HD is designed to hook up directly into your serial chain, just like your other drives. This hard drive is the first true "plug-in and play" hard drive ever developed for the C-64 or C-128 which is compatible with all serial modes, Jiffy DOS protocol, GEOS, CP/M and standard Commodore DOS commands. Just plug it in and begin using it - its that simple.

Partitioning is another unique feature of the CMD HD. The 1541, 1571, and 1581 emulation partitions within the HD are very useful for interacting with drive specific programs. These partitions have basically the same parameters as the original disk used in these drives, allowing the HD to be compatible with programs that would normally operate only on one of these three drives. Our own native mode partitions allow sizes of up to 16 Mb per each partition, and allow you to use MS-DOS style subdirectories to organize your data. Any combination of partition types is allowed up to a total of 254 partitions. These partitions may also be accessed through device numbers 14 through 29. Our easy to use utilities allow you to create these partitions.

Another feature that adds to the flexibility of the CMD HD is the way that the operating system is stored in a closed partition on the drive itself and downloaded into fast RAM operation. By putting the operating system on the drive in this manner, the DOS may be upgraded at any time by simply uploading a new version from a floppy disk. This may be done easily by the end user and maintenance upgrades will be made available periodically.

Compatibility is another area where the HD is superior. Software falls mainly into two categories: copy protected and not copy protected. Software which is not copy protected is easily moved directly onto the hard drive simply by copying it over from your floppy disk. Most copy protected software is easily copied over to the HD by using a freeze type cartridge. If this is not possible, you may copy say auxiliary files to the HD, boot the software from your floppy disk, and then utilize the HD's SWAP feature to begin using the software from the HD.

Features, compatibility, ease of use and modern technology would make you think the HD is priced higher than existing drives, but once again the HD comes out on top. Prices start under $600.00. So while other companies are willing to let your computer become obsolete, CMD is taking your 64/128 into the "90"s.


GEOS is a trademark of Berkley Softworks. CP/M is a trademark of Digital Research. MS-DOS is a trademark of Microsoft, Inc.


CMD Hard Drives are designed to be the fastest serial mass- storage devices available for the C-64 and C-129. When connected on the serial bust/to a completely stock computer, HD series hard drives outperform all other serial bus drives (including the 1581). If your computer is equipped with JiffyDOS, the HD delivers unbelievable speed, rivaling and in many instances out performing even our competitor's parallel interfaced system. And when connected to the paralled port on CMD's RAMLink. HD series drives become as fast as the hard drives found on newer, more expensive machines.


Our special designed operating system (HD DOS) gives HD series drives the ability to work with nearly all commercial software. This proprietary DOS fully supports all Commodore DOS commands, including block reads and writes, memory access commands, fast serial and burst commands. Complete compatibility with GEOS and CP/M coupled with the HD's ability to use partitions which emulate the popular 1541, 1571, and 1581 disk drives, result in a level of compatibility unparallelled in any other hard drive system available for C-64 and C-128 computers. Another feature of the HD's operating system is that it is stored on the hard drive itself and not in ROM. This means that DOS upgrades can be installed quickly and easily without opening your drive.

Ease of Use

From the moment you plug in and begin using the HD, the simplicity of design and operation become apparent. We provide you with the tools to easily organize and access the large amouns of data you will be storing. Partitions and system defaults are effortlessly handled through our HD-TOOLS software. Use with GEOS is accomplished easily by installing a new CONFIGURE file on your GEOS boot disk. Utilities have been provided to automatically set the GEOS clock from the HD's Real Time Clock and to quickly navigate through and copy files between the HD's partitions. Easy to remember commands allow subdirectories to be created within native mode partitions and within other subdirectories, and enable easy movements to other areas within the drive.


The best surprise of all with the HD - it's affordable!

Retail Prices HD-20 HD-40 HD-100 Shipping
U.S. $599.95 $799.95 $1,299.95 $25.00
Canada, Mexico $649.95 $849.95 $1,349.95 $30.00
Foreign addresses $699.95 $899.95 $1,399.95 $35.00

Warranty - Prices include 6 months warranty. Extended plans available.

Payment - VISA/MC, Money Order, Cashiers check, and personal checks. Personal checks will be held for 2 weeks before shipping. Prices subject to change without notice.

Shipping - UPS Ground. Please allow 2 to 6 weeks for delivery.

64 Mode Speed Comparisons

File Size 154 Blocks 125 Blocks 500 127-byte records
Load Save Read Write Create Read Write
1541 95 112 84 98 134 175 230
1571 95 112 84 98 98 175 205
1581 78 56 63 50 21 138 97
CMD HD (serial) 64 50 52 40 12 116 95
CMD HD (w/JiffyDOS) 4 17 11 14 12 31 44
CMD HD (parallel) 2 3 5 6 12 15 20
Lt. Kernal (parallel) 2 3 25 46 37 69 58

128 Mode Speed Comparisons

File Size 154 Blocks 125 Blocks 500 127-byte records
Load Save Read Write Create Read Write
1541 95 112 82 96 134 175 230
1571 11 92 31 82 82 74 130
1581 10 31 20 27 21 50 65
CMD HD (serial) 5 26 13 20 12 37 56
CMD HD (w/JiffyDOS) 4 14 11 12 12 31 44
CMD HD (parallel) 2 3 4 5 12 14 18
Lt. Kernal (parallel) 2 3 14 30 30 47 34

Miscellaneous Speed Comparisons

Specifications 154 Blocks 83 8-Block Files
Mode 64 128 64 128 64 128
1541 43 43 290 290 90 90
1571 13 11 102 102 83 40
1581 5 5 60 60 98 98
CMD HD 2 2 16 16 2 2
Lt. Kernal (parallel) 2 2 11 14 N/A N/A

Additional Drive Commands

New Directory Loading options
$=t:[options] Time and Date stamped Directory
=p:[options] Directory of Available Partitions
New Command Channel Commands
p<partition#> Change to partition (ASCII)
P+chr$(partition#) Change to partition (binary)
-p<partition#> Get information about partition (ASCII)
-P+chr$(partition#) Get information about partition (binary)
-c<SCSI command> Send SCSI commands to controller
-ra Read Real Time Clock (ASCII)
-wa<new time> Write Real Time Clock (ASCII)
-rb Read Real Time Clock (BCD)
-wb<new item> Write Real Time Clock (BCD)
-rd Read Real Time Clock (decimal)
-wd<new time> Write Real Time Clock (decimal)
! UnNEW Partition
d:directory name Make New Subdirectory
d:directory name Remove Subdirectory
d:directory name Change to Subdirectory

Drive Technical Specifications

Specifications subject to change without notice.

Interface SCSI Embedded
Media Size 3.5"
Storage Capacity HD-20 21.0 MB
HD-40 40.1 MB
HD-100 104.9 MB
Access Time (Average) HD-20 38 msec. (typ.)
HD-40 38 msec. (typ.)
HD-100 25 msec.
Reliability (MTBF) 30,000 hours (PCH)
Component Design Life 5 years
Non-recoverable Read Errors 1 per 1012 bits read
Operating Temperature 10-45 deg. C/50-113 deg. F
Physical Dimensions 2.75"H x 5"W x 10"D

Creative Micro Designs, Inc.
50 Industrial Drive, PO Box 646
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Phone: 413-525-0023
FAX: 413-525-0147

Interfacing Your Home Computer With Your Work

by Bob Nunn

How many times have you spent late hours at the office working on that final report or analyzing information from your company's mainframe database? How many Saturdays have you spent at the office? More than likely about twice as much as you would have liked.

What if I were to tell you a way that you could take care of those things at your leisure? What if I were to tell you that you could do this without a major investment on your part? The answer of course is Commodore home computer unit and an inexpensive modem.

I personally use a Commodore 128 to contact my company's Hewlett Packard. I also can access our AppleTalk Network. Tied in with a low cost 2400 baud modem I can view, buffer, and create reports from home. I can also upload prepared articles, and prepare text for publications via this network. It could be your own Apple, Radio Shack, or MS/DOS compatible computer doing the same thing. Most larger companies now have modem access to their database. A visit with your "Computer people" can provide you with the information needed to get online or let you know what it would cost to install a system so that you can.

Assuming your company has modem access already then you will need a few basic things to be able to access the system. The first thing you will need will be a modem. You will want to purchase one as "fast" as you can afford. 2400 baud is extremely affordable with prices well below $100.00 for most systems. Make sure your company's system will allow access at that speed. 9600 baud may soon become the standard as prices continue to drop. Prices on the 9600 may be out of the realm for most home computer users and your machine may not be able to run at this rate. This of course brings up the next point; What terminal software will be compatible for my company's system?

Being President of one of the largest user groups in Memphis has some benefits. I have access to dozens of terminal programs. Fortunately the system I use is a common one and almost any terminal program available for my Commodore will work. I presently use a shareware program known as Proterm 128 v16.1, or CCGMS for my 64. Both feature a large buffer that allows me to log on my work system at either 1200/2400 baud. By the way, it looks like 2400 baud is about the limit for a Commodore 64. The 128 on the other hand using Desterm will work at the 9600 baud rate. You will need to find a terminal program that will emulate the system you work with. There are several commercial programs available to do the job. Just make sure it includes the emulation mode your company's system uses. VT100 emulation is one that some companies use and may not be common for your particular machine. Your answer may be via your user group. We recently helped a Federal Express employee find a program that would allow his Commodore 64 to access his company's system out of our back library.

What else do you need? One main program that I use allows conversion to ASCII of all text imformation.

ASCII is a standard that almost all systems can utilize. Being able to receive text information and files is what most people will want to do. Almost all Macintosh applications allow you to receive or produce ASCII files as should most MS-DOS word processors. Of course, anything captured in the buffer will be saved in ASCII. I use the Write Stuff on my Commodore 64/128 applications which have the same capabilities. The conversion works perfectly. I also use software that allows me to convert MacPaint files to Commodore graphic files. From there you can convert the files to most application software including GEOPAINT, DOODLE, PRINTSHOP, PRINTMASTER and NEWSROOM.

One last piece of advice, before spending a lot of money on equipment and software ask lots of questions. I have visited with many frustrated people who have invested considerable dollars in software and hardware only to find it really wasn't what they needed. Visiting with your local retailer may be all it takes if you have all the pertinent information on how your company's system operates. If not they can usually put you in contact with a local user group who can usually provide the information you need.

Secretary's Notes

Secretary's Minutes for the General Meeting, April 3, 1990

The General Meeting began with Welcome to visitors and announcements. Business then proceeded to approval of the budget items listed in the March newsletter. These included:

MCUC Logo Notebooks $500
Hard Drive for Club BBS $840
HP Desk Jet for Newsletter $625
1750 REU Clone for Library $205

In two separate motions and votes, the club membership approved all purchases. The officers will proceed with these purchases as budget allows, beginning at the Board Meeting, April 9.

The meeting then proceeded with the demos, disk sales at the break, and more demos!

Don't m1ss the
Beginner's Class,
May 5th at 1 PM.
Andrew George will
be giving an
indepth view of the

64 Database

A Review by Cheryn Nunn

The Data Base, available on one of this month's disks, is a very full-featured database program. Written by John Calhoun, he gives online information about how to register so that you can receive a monthly newsletter, low-cost updates and additional help. He has released his program for public domain, however. And is it ever a program!

The Data Base uses relative files to keep the data. You can set up your filing system any way you want to. It lets you name your fields, specify alpha/numeric and set the length. There is an option where you can change the field names, length, delete a field or add a field. Once nice feature; when adding records, the program draws a line equivalent to the field length so you know just how much room you have for each bit of information.

The program allows you to use two drives, one for the program itself, which is accessed every so often, and one for the data. If you are working off a single drive, John tells you online, and gives you the opportunity and utility to do it, to copy the most needed files from the program disk to the data disk. He says this helps eliminates some of the disk swaps you would otherwise encounter. Very nice!

There are four search modes, from fast to slow, that give you quite a bit of flexibility in looking for records. When printing, you have the option of letting the program format the report for you, creating a custom format or printing labels. F7 will always get you to a help screen, which will be general for a menu, and more specific for a menu selection. He states in the tutorial to use F7 frequently, that the help screens are full of useful information and time saving tips.

This program is packed with features. The documation, which is also the online tutorial files, prints out to 10 pages. There is even a Customer Service Number.

This will be one of your best buys of all times if you don't currently own a commercial database program. It may even save you the cost of buying one, unless your needs are very specialized.

[Photo: Joe Cuches takes a moment to sit down while waiting for his disks.]

Miscellaneous Page

[Photo: John Blackmer hams for the camera.]

[Photo: Everyone was very patient while waiting for their copies.]

Joke of the Month

Here's a new twist on an old favorite. Reprinted from Sixty,Four'em, December 89. Submitted by Ray Paternostro.

Q: How many IBM types does it take to change a light bulb?

A: 100: ten to do it, and 90 to write document number GC7500439-0001, Multitasking Incandescent Source System Facility, of which 10% of the pages state only "This page intentionally left blank", and 20% of the definitions are of the form "A ..... consists of sequences of non-blank characters separated by blank characters."

Newsletter Staff

Cheryn Nunn-Editor
Harv Slemmons and Connie Lincoln
Bob Nunn
Printer-Clarke's Quik Print, Brook Rd.

Commodore News

In 1989 Commodore supplied 10.7% of all worldwide PC units shipped, which works out to some 2,238,654 units.

"Test Pilot"

Commodore "Test Pilot" bundle helps first-time computer users 'Take off'

LAS VEGAS, Nev. --January 6, 1990-- Selecting a computer for the first time user can be a challenging, if not intimidating, experience. A surprising number of all electronic purchases end up back on the store shelves, and personal computers top the list.

This year, Commodore Business Machines launched "Test Pilot," a computer start-up package designed especially for first-time computer buyers.

"There's a lot more to learning to use a computer than plugging it in," said Bob Larson, Commodore vice president of consumer sales. "Faced with spending hours at a keyboard struggling to understand complicated directions, many first-time buyers simply give up."

"Test Pilot" comes complete with a Commodore 64 machine, step-by-step set-up and operating instructions and an assortment of starter software and game disks designed to take the fear out of computer users' "First flight." The package retails for $499.

Commodore expects the "Test Pilot" offering to boost sales of the 64C machine, which remains the most popular home computer ever sold. Today there are more Commodore 64s in use than any other computer, with more than 10 million machines installed worldwide.

"The Commodore 64C is an ideal starter machine," said Larsen. "Unlike Nintendo, it is much more than just fun and games."

In addition to offering more than 7,000 titles, including games, at about half the price of Nintendo, the 64C can also run more sophisticated word processing and educational programs.

"The 64C is not a computer that children will outgrow," according to Larsen. "The 64's wide-ranging capabilities will keep the machine in its rightful place after the games are out away -- on a desk rather than on a closet shelf."

Commodore's "Test Pilot" is available at leading Commodore dealers and selected retailers nationwide. For more information on where to find "Test pilot," call 1-800-627-9595.

Education Purchase Plan

Commodore announced the Education Purchase Plan for students, educators and educational institutions to regional and district sales managers on Friday, December 22, 1989. Details of the program, complete with official order forms should reach local dealers by December 29th.

Four complete Amiga(R) systems have been especially configured to meet the needs of educators and students at every level. The A500 system includes the CPU, memory expansion and external drive. The A2000 system includes an XT bridgeboard and second internal drive. The 2000HD/1 and the 2500/30 systems are blundled with an AT bridgeboard. All of the specially-configured Amiga systems include a monitor. Also included are two PC Compatible systems complete with MS-DOS(R) and productivity software and the C64C Test Pilot bundle.

Educators, university students who are working towards a degree, and others involved in the instructional process, will be eligible for special pricing on the bundled systems. Significant discounts are also available on individual CPU's and peripherals when purchased along with an Amiga CPU or one of the specially-configured bundles.

Education Purchase Plan order forms have been provided to authorized Commodore resellers. The forms provided by Commodore are the only acceptable forms for purchases by individual educators and university students. Employment or attendance information must be verified by a Commodore reseller before it can be submitted for order processing. Payment must be made by certified check or money order payable to "Commodore Business machines, Inc."

Accredited schools, colleges and universities are eligible for similar pricing on both systems and individual CPU's. School purchase orders should be made to "Commodore Business Machines, Inc.," and should reference Commodore's Institutional Terms and Conditions.

For complete information regarding the program and education pricing contact your local Commodore reseller.

Reprinted from Main Line CUG, West Chester, PA.

Hints & Tips

Reprinted from CCCC, Biloxi, MS.

  1. Don't eat too much too soon.
  2. Some objects do more damage than good.
  3. You can carry only a limited number of objects at a time. Drop objects you don't think you need anymore.
  4. Duck to avoid bullets.

(Bob Nunn read these and thought they were good "rules to live by." Actually, they are game tips for playing BATMAN, The Caped Crusader.)


Officer's Articles 3, 6, 7
Editorial 4
Disk of the Month 12
Feature Articles
64 on/off switch 5
Basic 8: Video Ram 8
Self Dissolving Lynx 9
Disk Tracking System 10
128 Helpful Hints 14
Comp-U-Quiz 15
Interfacing 18
64 Database Review 20
Commodore News 22