August 1990 MCU Magazine

Table Of Contents

General Information


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 nonprofit 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 nonrefundable.

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.


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 357-0409

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

News from all Over

by Bob Nunn

I guess I'm a bit frustrated these days, but at the same time I'm ecstatic over the Commodore 64/128 computer. The frustration stems from seeing less support out there in terms of publications. I just renewed my Gazette subscription, and disk subscription only to find out they had been sold (see Gazette News in this issue for details). The July Issue of INFO announced they are no longer supporting the 64/128. Well great, I know you guys just signed your own magazine's death warrant as I see 7 other AMIGA magazines on most all news stands and never see yours.

I was also a bit frustrated to hear that not as much software was available locally. I went to see for myself and decided to go somewhere I hadn't been before to see what was available. I got out the maps and my compass and we headed off to find the Raleigh Springs Mall. It's out there on Austin Peay, but for some reason you exit on Jackson which is Austin Peay or somesuch lunacy. We stopped in Software Etc. and looked around. They have roughly 12 feet of Commodore titles for less than $10!! They also had much more space than that in their regular section with dozens of new flags all over the counter. As long as you keep buying it I suspect they will keep stocking it. I talked with Larry and gave him a few club flyers. He says that they welcome all 64/128 users, but that wouldn't stop him from trying to sell you an Amiga, as he is a member of MAGS and a staunch supporter. Next time you are out there tell them you are with MCUC and let them know you are glad they carry C= 8 bit software and supplies.

On the other hand I'm ecstatic over the updated DOS for my HD100 Hard Drive from CMD! It does all the things these guys promised it would and more. I can now boot far more programs than ever before thanks to the new utility package they sent out. I am still waiting for the next upgrade that will enable my BBS program to better access the drive. I will soon have most of my personal library moved over to the drive and much better organized than ever before thanks to the new sub partitions. I'm also ecstatic over the list of new hardware devices listed by CMD to be released in the near future (see the NEW PRODUCTS from CMD this issue).

I am also ecstatic over what programmers are doing with the 128! One of our locals (Donald Buchanan) provided a hi-res Mac Viewer for this month's 128 disk. Just think viewing MacPaint files at higher res than my $1500 MacPlus at work does! (640 x 200, requires 64k video ram).

This month's theme is business and rather than rehash through a bunch of spread sheets and old database programs we decided to cover desk top publishing. We chose to review and will either do a live demo or video of NEWSMAKER 128, GEOPUBLISH, GEOCHART and GEOCALC time permitting. It is also $4/10pk disk month! You won't want to miss this meeting; it ought to be a doozie!

Secretary's Notes

MCUC Official Board Meeting 7-9-90

The official board was called to order at 7:35 P.M. by Bob Nunn, President.

Officers present:

Bob Nunn, President
Ron Montgomery, Educational Coord.
Jim West, Librarian
Cheryn Nunn, Newsletter Editor
Wayne Moore, Treasurer
Richard Coffman, Secretary
Beth George, Assistant Librarian

A quorum was present.

The theme for August is business. Highlighted programs will be Newsmaker 128 and GeoPublich/GeoCalc.

Hamfest is the second full weekend in October. MCUC will be there and have one or two booths.

New member packets will be mailed to associate members who have not picked theirs up at this time.

The SX64, belonging to the club will be repaired and put back in use. If unable to repair will sell as is.

Meeting adjourned at 9:15 P.M.

Respectively submitted

Richard Coffman, Secretary


Treasurer's Report


OPENING BALANCE 06-19-90 $ 650.92
MEMBERSHIP DUES (9 Members) 160.00
TOTAL $ 291.50
TOTAL $ 508.08
CLOSING BALANCE 07-12-90 $ 434.34


Data Tech Services, Inc.
6870 Hillshire, Suite #19, 20, and 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.

An authorized 64/128 and Amiga repair center.

Outside Looking Out...

A comment by Harv Slemmons

With home computing, as with many things in this technological world, I know enough to get myself in trouble. It was the same with home automobile repair and house wiring. In the latter instances I was finally able to call in the experts and have my botches put to rights.

No so with home computing. One of the nice things about home computing is that you can make it as simple or as complex as you desire. For myself, after several unrealistic forays into the world of computer programming, I have found a comfortable niche as a computer "user" at a fairly low technological level and here I am content.

Oh, I do buy new programs that I know would make my work so much easier and closer to perfection, but, by and large, I have made my decisions of what I want to do with my friendly C-128 and the software to do it with. I'm willing to spend time and money to experiment, but I usually come back to the software that has stood the test of time and usage. These programs are not always state-of-the-art, but they are comfortable, like my house slippers

Like many other Commodore 64/128 users I have been rather upset by the indignities we have had to endure from CBM, software publishers, magazines (if any are left) and fellow computer users (none from MCUC, thank goodness) who seem to sense the need for me to "upgrade", that semi-sacred chant of computer owners - "upward, ever upward".

In the depths of despair at being left in the comic dust of solid state technology, upgrading friends and disappearing support I stop my sniveling at some point and count my blessings, to wit:

  1. I own a very good computer that fulfills my needs, if not my fantasies. It is all paid for.
  2. I have an estimable collection of software and the assurance that many hundreds more are awaiting my check.
  3. I have friends that I know feel the same way about such things as I do, computerwise.

Computers, as with all electronic gadgetry, are obsolete at the moment of their birth. The Research and Development sections of any electronics manufactory has already designed and perfected the replacement for the gadget now coming off the assembly line.

I will be sorry to see the ultimate demise and total obsolescence of the 64/128 8-bit computers, but it is coming. It has ever been so, progress for the sake of progress, not because of any great need.

So, enjoy what you have now, use it with no apologies to anyone and, if you feel like it, go kick the tires of the latest Amiga or Mac or Big Blue clone, again with no apologies to anyone.

Newsletter Staff

Cheryn Nunn-editor
Assistants-Harv Slemmons and
Connie Lincoln, Bob Nunn
Printer-Clarke's Quik Print, Brooks Rd.

New from Creative Micro Designs (Jiffy Dos)

by Bob Nunn

from the Updated Hard Drive Manual

C-SCAN+ is a serial bus multiplexer which allows up to 8 computers (64s and 128's) to access the same peripherals (hard drive, floppy drives, printers) at the same time. This product is very useful for school and business applications where it is desirable to have a number of computers sharing the same information. List Price $189.95

RAMLink provides a method to connect your hard drive to your computer via the hard drive's parallel connector. This speeds up disk access time considerably. RAMLink also contains a very fast RAMDOS which makes using ram expansion units such as Berkeley Softwork's GEORAM, and Commodore's 17XX series of RAM expanders much more compatible with commercial software. Additional RAM of 1 to 4 MEGABYTES may be added to RAMLink internally. An exernal power supply is used allowing you to retain information stored in external RAM even when the computer is turned off. RAMLink is scheduled for release in September 1990. Price not yet available.

CROBAR is a cartridge based software archiving system which will allow you to remove copy protection from many C64 programs. This will allow you to place programs on your hard drive which previously could only be loaded from floppy disks. CROBAR is scheduled for release in August of 1990. Price not yet available.

LT. KONNECTOR is an adaptor which will allow you to attach a Xetec Lt. Kernal Hard Drive mechanism to the CMD HD as an add on drive. This allows the storage capacity of the Lt. Kernal to be used under CMD's HD DOS which is more compatible with commercial software than the DOS provided with the Lt. Kernal. Available in June 1990. Price $19.95.

CMD will also be adding a full line of add-on drives in capacities of 20 to 200 megabytes. These will be complete with case and power supply and may be attached to your initial CMD HD hard drive system to expand your storage capacity. These drives may also be used as external SCSI hard drives with other computer systems such as Amiga, IBM, and MacIntosh. Available July 1990. Prices not yet available.

POWER SUPPLIES for the replacement of your hard drive or for the 1541II and 1581 are now available. (Editors Note: These are switching power supplies and should last a lifetime!) You may also wish to have an additional power supply if you often use your hard drive at two different locations, such as home and work. Price $49.95

CABLES are available from CMD for use with the hard drive and other peripherals. They have replacement serial cables, extended length serial cables, RAMLink parallel cables, and 25 pin cables for add-on drives. Contact CMD for prices.

FOR ORDERS or general information call Monday-Friday between 10 am - 5 pm EST, 1-413-525-0023.

64k Video Ram
Installed for just $59.95
in your C128. Get in on
the world of hi-res
Data Tech Svc.


The club purchased Newsmaker 128 in the hopes that it would be a useful tool in producing the newsletter for future editors (I prefer the way I do it for right now) and an alternative to using GeoPublish, considering the whole GEOS environment is hard to use because of all the protection. Well....

This program is for the 128 and requires the 64k video ram. The author did an excellent job on the program. You can import text created on word processors and "flow" it onto columns. You have four choices of column formats: 3 columns and header, 2 columns, 3 columns and 4 columns. You can insert graphics within your text and let the text flow around or over it. You have a wide choice of font sizes. The drawback comes in the selection of fonts. The only decent one is IBM. All of the fonts have very small descenders, the little hangy downs on letters such as p and g. This makes a font very difficult to read and trying to read 16 to 20 pages done with fonts in Newsmaker 128 would soon put you at the eye doctor's office. If someone could do some work on the fonts, or fonts could be borrowed from PrintShop or other programs, this program would be excellent.

The program is very disk intensive due to the memory limitations on the C128. It is copyable to a 1581 format or even a hard drive and disk access time lessens accordingly.

For producting a one or two page flyer, bulletin or newsletter, I would highly recommend it over GeoPublish, if only because it isn't protected. It would be great to use for signs and such because you can place your text on the page where you want it and mix fonts and sizes on a page, unlike such programs as PrintShop and PrintMaster. You can use PrintShop graphics (non-Commodore) with it. The mouse driver is better than the one for Geos.

The program contains a simplified paint/draw program. This could be used to draw a box around a graphic, or do a simple sketch within your document.

Overall, I would recommend this program for someone wanting to produce small amounts of material, but not pages upon pages. It is easy to learn to use and although the documentation is not extensive it is, for the most part, adequate. Keep in mind, when producing printed material to impart information to the reader, it is important to catch their eye, but even more important, it should be easy on the eyes to read.

Now Available! MCUC Custom Notebooks

Just $5.50

Comes with specially printed inserts for the sleeves on the outside of the notebooks. The insert for the back of the notebook features commonly used commands for easy reference.

Put your Members Packet, to be released this month, in a notebook with the disks. Keep everything in one handy place.

Member's Packets Still Available

Many of you have still not picked up your ALL NEW Members Packet. Our new packet includes the best of the best utilities and is designed to be updatable via the newsletter. Come to the next meeting and get yours.

If you are just joining, this package is designed to help you get more from your Commodore 64 & 128. Two double sided disk set and a 20 page instruction manual help you get a head start with computing. For $25.00 instead of our regular $20 sign up fee you get the Deluxe Notebook with your manual prepunched! This saves you $.50 over the separate price.

We still have an ample quantity of the special size notebooks complete with cover art available at the $5.50 price. These binders also work well to store your other documentation and disks for programs like GEOS, Maverick, and many more. We have a special punch available at each meeting and will be happy to punch your newsletters, members packets or anything the punch can handle.

For those of you out of the Memphis Area (Associate Members), we will be glad to ship you the notebook(s). Mail your check or money order to: MCUC, PO Box 34095, Memphis, TN 38134-0095. Cost is $5.50 per notebook plus $2 S&H each, unless you want to take advantage of the offer above and renew your membership and purchase the notebook for only $15.00 plus $2 S&H. (Additional notebooks available at the $5.50 price.)

Tools for Playing the Stock Market

by John Blackmer

Money - Moola - Bucks - Dough - Bread - Wampum ....No matter how you say it.. it all means the same thing---COLD HARD C A S H!!

I'm sure you are as fond of the stuff as I am. Trouble is most of us can't seem to make as much as we would like. (Does ANYONE???)

If you are adventurous and have an analytical mind, the stock market is a pretty good place to make a few smackers. So is a casino! Many people have likened the market to a trip to the casino. And are quite correct. The major difference between the casino and the market is that the market CAN be predictible. All you need to do is spot the "trends" as they begin then spot the end of 'em before THEY begin. Buy low - sell high ! Easier said than done. Your computer can give you an edge here by helping you track stocks you are interested in.

There are several commercial programs on the store shelves that can do that for you. Sylvia Porter's Investment Manager, Abascus's Personal Portfolio Manager and their Technical Analysis System are all very helpful BUT expensive software packages. My personal appreciation goes to magazines and PD sources. The PD sources tend to be programs designed for specific formulas in the financial world. I.E amortization schedules, interest calculations, etc.... A collection of these are helpful but cumbersome to use. The magazine programs tend to group some, but not enough, of the PD programs together.

Run Magazine published an excellent program called Run Invester 128 in November 1987. It maintains a list of your stocks (and presumably any other form of securities) and includes an Update price function. This allows you to update your portfolio simply by entering the newest price as listed in the newspaper. The results of this can be plugged into your favorite graphing program to get a graphic look at your data.

One use of RUN INVESTOR 128 or any other stock tracking program would be to set up a portfolio of your selections and track them. If you put, say $1000 into each selection and update it carefully over a period of time you can almost predict which one to actually put real money into. Although past performance doesn't indicate future results, it can indicate a progressive or recessive trend.

Of course, this doesn't mean you should do without a real money manager's advice but it does help, and it is fun to watch your stock's activity.

Some bbs's have "Wall Street", an online game, which, in itself is fun to play. However, it is based on random numbers and won't really be a help if you want to "play" the market. The popular national newspaper, USA TODAY, runs a stock market "game" that is very interesting. Each player is given a ficticious $500,000 to invest and after a 10 week period the winner is the one who accumulates the most. I would like to propose such a game for either the bbs's or the club members to participate in.

Anyone interested?

Please contact me either at the club meetings or call me at 276-9231.


Super Snapshot V5.0

A Review by Bob Nunn

This isn't really a review. You see, I use my version 4.0 cartridge so much I won't turn loose of it long enough to get the upgrade. What are you waiting for? If you want a cartridge to enable you to freeze, capture, and print anything you see on the screen, if you want to be able to unprotect most all memory resident software for use on your 1581 or just to stop the basted head knockig, if you wnat the fastest file copier that works with the 41, 71, and 81 in all directions drive 8 through 12, all that and much more, then this one is it. They have added many new features to tis (since 4.0) and continue to upgrade it regularly, but that won't matter because you won't want to turn loose of it when version 6.0 comes out! This cartridge is available mail order through:

Software Support International
2700 NE Andresen Rd, Suite A-10
Vancouver, WA 98661.
Order Line 1-800-356-1179

Geos News

by Bob Nunn

I haven't seen much new material in the PD arena for GEOS for a while now I heard that RUn Magazine had a Geos Disk available that even had a term program that actually runs undeder the GEOS desktop. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has used this program.

Run Magazine had a listing for a group called geoMatrix. They are a national GEOS users group headquartered in Portland, Oregon. They put out a newsletter called geoJournal. They also have a pd library and as a member you can order disks from them. Likely worth a look-see, I guess I'll sign up; it is only $10 a year and you get 6 bimonthly issues. The address is geoMatrix,c/o Rainbow Software, 20224 S. Sprague Rd. Oregon City, OR 97045-9641

Headgap Headlines

REU's and GEOS


   I saw you guys talking about an REU
earlier... does it help that much??
I'm thinking about getting one, but
was wondering if they were worth the
money.  I use GEOS alot, and I think
it is an excellent program.  It just
seems so slow! I only have one 1541-][
drive, and it takes forever to load
anything. Should I invest in an REU?
I need the power and the speed, but I
don't have the money unless it's
really worth it.


  The REU (1750 in my case) has been
THE single most important accessory I
have for GEOS.  It is an absolute must
for GEOPublish.  If someone uses GEOS
seriously, they need an REU.  It is my
understanding that the GEORam is only
useful for GEOS and would not suggest
it unless you are willing to have the
REU for GEOS only (very limiting for
the expense).  But as a second drive
option, I would prefer an REU to a
1581 (when using GEOS).  You need to
decide if you use the program enough
to warrant the expense.  Hope this has

Headlines from Headgap!

The following conversations were pulled from the sub sections of Operator Headgap, Sysop: Bob Nunn, (901-365-1583) 2400 Baud. They are edited somewhat to make the article more presentable.

By Cheryn Nunn

Compute! Gazette No More!!


(Rick is a Member of the St. Louis Users Group!)

  I just called the customer service
800 number today and was told that
Compute was purchased by ONMI
magazine.  If you have a subscription
you should have received the June
issue and disk.  There will be no July
issue.  In August you will receive an
issue of ONMI with a 20 page insert.
In Sept. Compute will start
publication again and will be a
combination of Compute, Compute
Gazette, Compute PC, and their Amiga
magazine all rolled into one.  Rick


Since INFO has recently announced they
will no longer cover the C64/128
machines, RUN magazine is now the only
magazine on the market devoted to the
C64/128.  While they are cut down
somewhat, and on cheaper stock with
staple binding, they make up much with
the quality in their content.  They
have recently added a new column
called Protips, that covers using the
latest productivity programs.  Their 
latest issue advertises a one year's
subscriptiion for only $22.97 (10
issues). Make check payable to RUN
Magazine and send to:

IDG Communications/Peterborough
RUN Magazine
PO Box 50295
Boulder,CO  80321-0295

Twin Cities 128, with editor Loren
Lovhaug, is still supporting the C128.
You can get 6 issues for $12.50 from:

Twin Cities 128
PO Box 11578
Minneapolis, MN  55411

INFO suggests that the C64 owners
write to Loren Lovhaug expressing your
interest in a C64 publication and he
might consider launching one.

Also, Computer Buyer's Guide (not
Computer Shopper) has established an
area for the C64/128 interests.  The 
first issue we got had only one
article in it, but it was a good one.
The author seems interested in
maintaining a line of communication
for C64/128 users.  We suggest you 
drop him a line.  If he's overwhelmed
with mail, maybe the magazine will
give him more space. You can write to
him at:

Gary Edwards 
%Computer Buyer's Guide
PO Box 55886
Birmingham, AL  35255

Of course the MCUC Magazine will
continue to cover the 64/128 using its
national and international newsletter
exchange program to provide the best
new reviews, tips, and information

Personal Newsletter Program


   Has anyone ever used personal
newsletter? It is a very powerful
program for use in the GEOS
enviroment. I use it to do the church
newsletter and many other practical
and fun uses. Everyone should try it.

August Disks of the Month

C64 August 1990

         MCUC 64 AUGUST 1990

LODE RUNNER JR.................64 GAME


The 64 August Disk of the Month has some home/business programs and some fun stuff. Highlights of the disk include:

Penpal 64 - the 64 version of the program released previously for the 128. A database for mailing list.

World Time System - figure time across the world based on your current location's time. Handy for you business men who must call long distance, especially around the world.

Sprite Designer 64 - let's you design your own sprites for use in your programs. (See John Blackmer's article in July MCUC Magazine)

Hires Draw Poker - an excellent game, very easy to play.

Rotations', a Tetrys clone, Froggee and Lode Runner Jr. complete this month's disk.

C128 August 1990

          MCUC 128 AUGUST 90

1581 UT-128R1.4......SPLIT SCREEN UTIL
MACV640/128.3........HI RES MAC VIEWER


The 128 disk this month has some great stuff!

Menu 128/80 is a menu program written by Mike J. Henry, of Fast Hack'em fame.

EBBSTerm 128, is an 80 column term that is super simple to use, yet works in punter, xmodem, xmodem crc, and ymodem batch. By Ed Parry.

DC 890417 is a very extensive checking account program. This one looks like it will let you categorize each check and then look at individual categories to see your spending.

Checking/80v2 - for those of you who want something simple. The data entry screen looks like a check, so you aren't mistaken about what info it's asking for.

1581 ut-128r1.4 is a split screen, 80 col., utility that also works with the 1541 and 1571. Your menu remains while the utility performs the function requested.

Macv640/128.3 - a hi-res (requires 64k video ram) Mac picture viewer. Written by Donald Buchanan of Memphis (D.B. Inc.).

Other programs on the disk include DBasefinal, a simple database, House/Car Loans2, which will let you figure a payment based on asked for parameters, and Bank Rec.128, a bank statement reconciliation program (like the back of your statement).

Order the August Disks of the Month by sending your request along with $2 per disk, $5/3 disks ($1 P&H plus $.25 for each disk over 3 to:

PO Box 34095
Memphis, TN 38134-0095

Super Sid August 1990

3 Sidplayers-1 Disk!

The Sid disk this month is very special and will appeal to all Commodore 64/128 users.

On your 128, autoboot the disk and Sidplayer 1750b will automatically load. Either 40 or 80 column, works with the 1700, 1764, or 1750 REU's. Allows up to 2 1/2 hours of continuous, instant loading of sid files.

On your 64, Load"*",8 will bring up SidPic V3.4. Allows you to view the picture while listening to the music, but does not take advantage of the stereo files on this disk (you can still listen, just not in stereo). If you own a stereo cartridge use Stereoplayer 10.3 to hear in stereo.

And for you diehard GEOS users, a recent download from QLink called "GeoSidPlayer". Runs under the GEOS environment and allows you to access regular sid music files. You may need to restack the desktop to see all the .mus files.

GeoPublish Review

by Cheryn Nunn

I wrote one article reviewing GeoPublish and Bob read it and said I should tell you what really happened. First, it took about two hours to ever get Geos itself to load and run. We've tried to install it on the hard drive using Maverick and the utilities with the CMD hard drive and are still having problems getting anything to work consistently. If I didn't already have some time and money invested in the GEOS stuff, I would throw everything in the trash!!

Finally, got GEOS running and tried to boot GeoPublish. But wasn't having any of that. Finally, Finally got GeoPublish up, got started, and it froze with a system error. That's when I pulled out my trusty, UNPROTECTED copy of Write Stuff and got back to work.

If you have the time, patience, and luck it takes to work with the GEOS group, GeoPublish is nice to use to produce camera-ready material (no cut and paste). It has a better selection of fonts, including many public domain, than Newsmaker 128 (see Newsmaker 128 review). You can write your text files in GeoWrite, or try converting text from another word processor using TextGrabber. It has a laser driver and there are even services that will print out your files for a fee if you can't afford a $2000.00 printer.

GeoPublish works better and faster using an REU. Dwight Campbell (Klaatu) swears by it.

Disk Sale!
$4/10 pk 5 1/4" black
$5/5 pk 3 1/2"
Don't miss these specials!

Games for the 128

by John Blackmer

As most of you know, I'm not the most sophisticated game player in Memphis. However, I do play some of them and I've formed a few opinions. Have you ever known me to NOT have an opinion!

Since the 64 is a smaller machine, one would think that the games for it would be less elaborate than the high-faluting 128. Not so! The majority of games for Commodore computers is oriented to the 64 and can get quite elaborate indeed! Considering the doubled memory capacity of the 128, the easy access to sound and graphics capabilities, and the expanded version of basic, one would expect an onslaught of excellent 128 PD games or at least translations from 4.0 to 7.0 basic.

Translation can be extremely tedious is the main reason for lack of "converted" games and other software. A quick look at a memory map for each computer will tell you why more programs aren't converted. Each and every poke, peek, or sys statement in a 64 program is different in 128 mode. Color, screen position, sprites, and most other graphic tools have all been repositioned in the memory of the 128, in either screen mode. Going from 64 to 128 40 column is a bit easier than 64 to 128 80 column and it gets really hairy to try to translate from 64 to 128 80 column.

Here's a challenge to programmer's......

Develop a program to assist other programmers to do this conversion. Surely, there's a corresponding 64 memory location in the 128 that can be located by another program. I.E. I have a 128 program that scans the target 64 program for lines that are incompatable with the 128 mode but all it does is point out that it's a poke, or what ever statement it is. It doesn't suggest what the corresponding poke is on the 128 or how to convert it. (Did you read that D.H.)

Until someone comes up with a solution to the translation problem, 128 users will have to be content with such games as Yahtzee 128, Tie Fighter 128, and the ever popular 128 Solitaire.

To be sure, the 128 has much better applications software available. BUT.....How much applications stuff can a guy take!!! All work and no play make the 128 a dull machine!

Classified Advertising

For Sale: Power Pad for use with C64. Comes with Leo's Links (golf game) and MicroMaestro, a music program (both are cartridge) New $300 asking $100 or will trade toward Amiga HD, printer or bridgeboard. Also, Compuserve Subscription Kit $20 (no modem)

Call Mrs. Varnell 901-353-5367

For Sale: C128 computer/1571, RGB color monitor. Jiffy V4 installed. $500. Call Guy King 853-4454

And a Hacker Shall Lead Them...

By Harv Slemmons

Perhaps it is because software instruction booklets are printed for a one shot sale to the user that they are usually so poorly written, or perhaps it is because they are sometimes written by the person who did the programming and he or she assumes that we all know as much about the program as he or she does. Maybe the programmer assumes, in a high state of self-congratulation, that the program is so perfectly designed, so meticulosly written and so magically intuitive that no more than a half hour need be spent on the instructions.

You'll have noticed that I use the low-tech term "instructions" rather than the more impressive "documentation". That is becauce I need instruction in the use of the software rather than to read the "docs".

Now, I know that in the games area that discovering the rules by playing and re-playing the game is part of the game. They (the game people) will tell you what the joystick will do; how to load the game and what the overall object of the game is, eg. save the planet; rescue the princess or both. Other than that you are pretty much on your own.

All's fair in games and politics. The instructions, or lack thereof, that rankle me are those that should accompany those high priced spread sheets, drawing programs, etc. where the instructions should be at least as important as the program itself. Maybe it is a sign of my own supreme ignorance, but it seems to me that simply knowing how to correct an error without re-reading the manual is on a par of importance as knowing how to enter the figures in the first place.

Some instructions are a joy to read because the author enjoys his program and enjoys telling other people about it. Some others, I'm sure, were written by professional writers who could have profited by sitting down with a novice in front of the computer to see if said novice could get the program up and running using only the written instructions. They should pick me. I'm the one, or at least he type, all the instructions should be written for.

Among the good manuals (at least in the organization of them) are; "BB writer", the little known "Home Designer 128" and some, not all, of the Pocket series, especially "Pocket Writer".

Foremost among the latter badly organized instructions is the ubiquitous "GEOS" family of fine software. I truly believe that the people at Berkeley feel they gave documentation without peer. What they really have is a mass of confusing verbiage bound in an unbendable volume never intended to be laid next to a computer to be used by a GEOS user-in-training. The book keeps wanting to close itself. Very frustrating. I understand that the Apple version has a ring-bound lay-flatable book. Some double standard at work here, eh?

It is no wonder that the biggies like "Lotus" and "DBase lll" are such favorites and are the stanard of the industry. Complicated but well organized mammoth tomes of information. People who make a living using a computer can't afford to have to plow through pages of vague references for an important piece of information.

It just might be part of the success of these programs that they have a knowledgeable and reachable hot-line for those times when the written word is just not enough. Try calling Berkeley or Timeworks. Berkeley doesn't have a helpline and Timeworks takes sometimes days to get back with you.

In parting, let us lift our midnight coffeecups in a rousing huzzah for all those useful and enjoyable documentarians and a heartfelt admonition to everyone else to "read it before you sell it".

New Hope for C= Users!


  In the past it has been very hard to
get anything repaired under warrenty
or not.  That is no longer the case.
Commodore has entered into a contract
with Federal Express.  All Commodore
products have a minimum 96 hour turn
around.  All products will be repaired
within 3 days.  Federal Express does
the shipping and REPAIR of the
equipment.  So if you're having
problems call the Commodore Repair
Hotline and get it fixed within 3 days.

[Ed. Note: According to the July 1990 Info, this service is available only for Amiga 500's purchased after Jan. 1, 1990, and only for in-warranty repair. Federal Express only does the pick up and delivery of the machines, not the repair.]

Desktop Publisher

a Review by Cheryn Nunn

Bob and I were walking the mall several months ago and stopped in Software, Etc. There, we found a little program called Desktop Publisher, by Swift, only $9.95. Knowing we were going to focus on Business, especially desktop publishing, in August, we proceeded to purchase this little program.

Bob took the first trial run. With just one 8 1/2 x 14" sheet for instructions, the program does give you a lot of prompts. I think it took him about 5 minutes to give up on figuring out how to work the program.

Next, I tried my hand at it. I first tried the "draw" portion of the program. I had to read the instructions at least three times before figuring out how to actually do something. Once I understood the instructions, the program was fairly easy to use.

There is a Draw/Paint mode, Create Clip Art, Customize Characters, and Create Lettering modes. There are also various print options, including a banner or bumper sticker print setup. The box lists the following applications: Newsletters, Banners, Greeting Cards, Advertisements, Awards, Announcements, Flyers and Business Presentations.

It isn't bad for $9.95, but I'm not sure I'd want to do anything serious with it. It is interesting to play with and children might even find it fun, with some help from an adult.

More Headlines from Headgap!

Hardware Ideas

This information is from Hardwired, A sub-board hosted by Disk Handler (Kevin Dunn) on Operator Headgap. Edited by Bob nunn

128 Expansion?

From: << DR. DOX >> (John Blackmer)
  I hear there's an empty socker in
some (or all) 128's . can't that be
used for ram expansion.  Utilities
Unlimited has a chip designed for it
that contains a term prog-copy
programs and other utilities.  Disk
Handler, why can't that socket be used
for expansion?


  You're right.  In ALL 128's, there
is an empty chip socket, near the
video box I believe (the one on the
128D I think is close to the power
supply on the inside).  It can be
accessed as COMMON ram through bank 4
and 5, but, it isn't programmable ram.
It's more like ROM.  It can be updated
though. THe main reason you can't put
extra ram in this socket is;
1.  The pin-out is different
2.  The MMU is designed to handle only
128 K of ram.

  That's why you can't use that empty
socket, or even an REU to add extra
PROGRAMMABLE memory.  If the MMU is
re-done (a new chip designed) to
accomodate more than 128K of RAM, then
you would still have to go through the
trouble of re-doing the internal
configuration to be able to use this
extra chip socket for RAM.  D B Inc.
(Donald Buchanan) is looking for a way
to change the MMU around to work with
more RAM.  It is a good idea but not
as easy  as it seems.   Otherwise, I
would try this.

From: D.B. INC.

  There are many additional hardware
items to add to the computer, but here
are a few that might be useful.
  If you have a monitor or vcr that
needs cables, you can always add a
video out plug on the computer,
typically an RCA plug is needed.  Use
them for Audio input & output plugs as
well.  I also added a video input, but
don't use it much (haven't added
software switch capabilities in
hardware).  These RCA female plugs are
standard on VCRs and TV made in the
past 5 years that have in/outputs on
them.  Also 128 users with monochrome
could add a switch on the outside of
the computer to switch between 40/80
column (mine is a set of

  If you would like to experiment with
the hardware, a nice addition to the
computer is an experimenter's circuit
board.  Both RCA plug & expansion
boards are sold at Radio Shack.  To
hookup video out, connect to the
composite out on the video connector,
and 80 column,connect to monochrome
out on the RGB plug.  This will work
on 80 even with a RGB monitor
attached, because mine is this way.
The audio input is connected to pin 26
of chip 6581 (u5 in 128,chip 8580).
These add-ons are useful if you have
an internal second sid chip for
stereo.  The audio outs should be run
the same way as the original sid chip,
with a driver trans & capacitor,
connect outs to Audio Out from cap's.


Well this is old news to most of
you...but I hooked the 64 up to the 
audio/video inputs of my vcr and ran
the sound through my stereo... and it
sounds great and looks great too!!! It
adds a whole new dimension to such
games as WIZBALL which have good sound
effects and stuff...It is wild with
sids and digital stuff too!!

Wild 1541!!


I have a 1541 with Jiffy Dos.  When it
is on for about 1 minute it goes
crazy!  The power light and drive
light blink and the drive spins.  What
is the problem??


Your drive may have brain damage.  My
diagnostic chart from the November 88
MCUC Newsletter says that it is likely
the 6502 or may possibly be the 6522
chip.  Lastly it might be the
90122905.  Any of the problems you
described will likely be best
diagnosed by a technician.  Before
spending any money though, I would
first try replacing the stock drive
kernal in place of the Jiffy chip.  If
that fixes it check out your warranty
registration with Creative Micro
Designs.  I suspect however that
static zapped your chip when you
installed it.

From: Disk Handler


128 News


  The following information comes from
Loren's Log on the Loadstar 128 disk
#7.  By Loren Lovehaug

  Looking for a new game for your 128?
Roger Silva, perhaps better known as
Qlink's Mr. Silly, is about to release
adventure game written in BASIC 8.
The game includes colorful 80 column
graphics screens, fluid animation,
interesting sound effects, and just
enough twists and turns to keep me
guessing.  Roger has done an excellent
job creating a mouse control led user
interface that reminds me of the
current 'state-of-the-art' adventure
sagas found on 16 and 32 bit systems.
Look for it soon.

  I keep hearing that Commodore is
considering allowing third parties to
licence the 1541/1571/1581 disk drive
firmware.  This would allow interested
parties to supply Commodore 64 and 128
owners with drive units that Commodore
no longer wants to build.

  Informed sources have indicated that
Berkeley Softworks is about to
transfer the rights of their
unfinished, but nearly complete,
GeoBASIC and GeoPublish 128 to an
outside interest so they can finish
the projects and market them.

  I have been told that a group is
working on producing a printer-
mounted image scanning mechanism for
the 128, similar to the  'Thunderscan'
type product produced a few years ago
for the Macintosh and Apple markets.

  Rumors are flying that the man
behind the Write Stuff, R. Eric Lee,
is working on a super enhanced Write
Stuff for the 128 that will include so
many features it will require an
external cartridge or internal
function ROM!


Officer's Articles 3, 4
Disks of the Month 12
Product Reviews 6, 7, 10, 14, 17
Playing the Stock Market 9
Games for the 128 15
Headlines from Headgap 10, 11, 18, 19
Outside Looking Out 5
And a Hacker shall Lead Them 16