October 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 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.


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

You Are Important! (Read This)

by Bob Nunn

You are the most important member in the club! You may wonder what would make me say something like that? It is just this; with your participation the club will continue to prosper.

You provide funds for the club to operate. The club provides most of this material as a service. Our group buying power is significant and you can purchase almost every item at or below retail from the club.

When you purchase from the club, you help insure funds to meet the clubs expenses.

What do you get for this?? Your members packet, & a 16-24 page Newsletter each month! You also get to see the latest in software reviewed, and a 24 hour 40 Megabyte BBS as well as discount disks & software, classes and more!

Because our newsletters and disks are popular with other groups we get great cooperation on our exchange program. That way our disks of the month and newsletters continue to be the best ever, since we have a surplus of material to choose from, including not only information and programs from the U.S. but from other countries like England, Australia, & New Zealand.

Our newsletter is a bit smaller this month than last month's. Our club funds are lower than they have been in a while. If this continues we could start a downward spiral. That would mean that the newsletters will continue to get smaller each month and we may have to cut down our printing and mailing. With Gazette, Transactor, and Info gone, where else will you get this type of support? This could mean that we would get less exchange material or that we couldn't afford to publish or release this material.

What can you do?

This is why you are the most important member in the club! With your support the program we have started together will continue.

[Photo: World of Commodore/Amiga Show, King of Prussia, PA, Sept. 15-16. Dr. Evil himself, touting his all new battery-less Stereo Sid cartridge, and the Swiftlink Cartridge that allows up to 38,400 bps.]

October Disks of the Month

WOW!! This is going to be an exciting month for disks here at MCUC! We not only have 5!, count them FIVE! disks for the month, we are going to offer a special selection of HAMFEST disks at the October meeting as well as at the HamFest.

October Halloween Special




To top the list, of course, is our annual Halloween disk. This is an all new selection we have gleaned over the months from other club's disks. Includes Halloween graphics AND scary music!

Next is an Educational Disk. This disc covers marth, geography, history, and several other subjects. Includes a conversion program for converting measurements.

October Educational

          EDUCATIONAL OCT 90

ANCIENT HIST.C3.......................
FAMOUS PEOPLE.C3......................
WORLD WARS.C3.........................
WORLD CAPITALS.C......................


October Games

             GAMES OCT 90

CLUE....................THE BOARD GAME


The Games disk includes two board-type game, Clue and Backgammon, for those of you who like something challenging but calm. Klingon Attack is a different Star Trek game. There is a interesting game of Tiddlywinks, and last but not least, the Haunted House, where you get to hit the pumpkins.

October 128 Disk

             128 OCT DISK


The 128 Disk includes:

October GEOS Utilities

Last but not least, is an outstanding GEOS Utility disk with some of the best and latest stuff.

MacAttack II will take pictures from MacIntosh to GeoPaint and BACK AGAIN!

MusicBox is an outstanding program that will let you record your own music.

Hulme View will let you view sequential files without first converting them to the GEOS environment.

The disk also contains a track ball driver for those of you who own a track ball and wish to use it with GEOS.

Bank Accounts

A Review by Pete Norton

Bank Accounts-Here it is! The long awaited program for those who want to keep a checkbook, track expenses and print their checks using their Commodore. Pete Norton, who will be giving you a demonstration of this fine program at the October meeting, says it's great and will do everything he wants it to.

This is a really complete banking program. It not only keeps your balance, it will print your checks and mailing labels too! This program was written by Jim Abronski of H.A.L. fame. I've been searching for a program like this for about two months, and this is the best one I've found commerical or PD.

One of my favorite features is the monthly bills file. It lets you set up your monthly bills in a file and when you want to pay them, you just enter the number and the amount and it prints you a check complete with account number or memo. It also has a built in calculator that you can use at any menu or while viewing the register. This program also has the ability to easily modify the defaults to suit your needs. The check printing can also be modified within the program to fit different check styles. The checks for the program cost about the same as fancy personal checks, if you orer them direct from the printers.

I highly recommend this program to anyone who writes a lot of checks or who just wants to keep a perfect balance.

[Photo: World of Commodore/Amiga Show, King of Prussia, PA, Sept. 15-16. Quick Brown Box & Busy Bee were represented.]

[Photo: World of Commodore/Amiga Show, King of Prussia, PA, Sept. 15-16. Peter & Paul Hughes (yes they're twins) represented gEO wORLD. They are experts at converting text & graphics between computer formats.]

Special Ham Fest Releases!

The special releases for HamFest are all brand new.

Will Kit

Will Kit-This program will help you prepare a living will and testament. It is meant only to be a guideline. You should check with a lawyer about your state's laws before signing and witnessing your will.

Paint 64 Disk

Paint 64-Four unique graphics program with documentation on the disk.

Draw-a hi-res drawing program

Hi-Res Painter-a good hi-res painting program.

P-Perfect 2.OP - a medium res painting program

Grafpax.CZ - lets you make charts from numerical data.

[Photo: World of Commodore/Amiga Show, King of Prussia, PA, Sept. 15-16. Several User Groups were represented. We added some of our material and met many new faces at the User Group functions.]

Secretary Notes

Secretary Notes 9-10-90

The official board was called to order at 7:30 P.M. by Bob Nunn, president.

Officers present
Bob Nunn, President
Cheryn Nunn, Newsletter Editor
Jim West, Librarian
Wayne Moore, Treasurer
Richard Coffman, Secretary

Guest-Jerry Ryan

Copy Session 29 September, 1990 at State Tech. Fulton Hall, Room 222. Bring your disk drive if it needs cleaning. It's free.

Ham Fest October 13 and 14. The club will have a booth set up. Will sell notebooks with back issues of this year's newsletters, all punched and in a neat package. Will also have programs for sale.

Demos for October. Bank Account. After the break a demo of "Write Stuff".

The board voted to buy some blank disks from a member.

The board has appointed a nominating committee. They are Guy King, Harv Slemmons, Mike Bures, Thomas Holbrook, Pete Norton, and Andrew George as alternate. The nominating committee will be meeting soon to find people willing to serve as officers for 1991.

Meeting adjourned at 9:20 PM

Respectively submitted

Richard Coffman, Secretary

Treasurer's Report


OPENING BALANCE 08-16-90 $ 196.88
MEMBERSHIP DUES (9 Members) 180.00
TOTAL $ 350.00
TOTAL $ 233.22
CLOSING BALANCE 09-10-90 $ 313.66


[Photo: World of Commodore/Amiga Show, King of Prussia, PA, Sept. 15-16. The Qlink Sid group were well represented and had some top pd collections as well as giving one of the best seminars.]

Write Stuff Revisited

A Review by Cheryn Nunn

I thought it was about time I told all our members who haven't heard of or experienced "The Write Stuff" a little about it. This is absolutely the greatest word processor for the C64/128 ever produced. It is intuitive and easy to learn to use. The basic commands are menu driven, while more advanced functions are accessed in one or two key strokes, using keys that make sense (CTRL, i for insert mode, for instance). The list of features is too numerous to mention here, but I will try to give you a sampling to whet your appetite.

Features include automatic word wrap, 80-column preview (shows formatting), user-definable keyboard macros, delete, transfer, copy text, supports 17XX ram expanders, hunt/search/replace, mail merge, tabs, word/paragraph count, merge and append files, read/write PRG/SEQ/USR, ASCII to Screen Code to True ASCII and back, automatic page numbering, and the list could go on.

One of the best features about The Write Stuff is the printer customizer. This will let you input your printer's printer codes, so that The Write Stuff can take full advantage of your printer's capabilities. That means if your printer will underline, you can send the correct printer code from Write Stuff to make it happen. I've even been able to get a Sears Daisy Wheel Typerwriter that was computer interfaceable to print using The Write Stuff.

I have yet to find a file I cannot convert using The Write Stuff. You may have to replace some odd characters that come across such as formatting commands from other types of computers, but usually they are things like quote marks or carriage returns.

Do you run a BBS and need to save text files in 38 characters for viewing on a 40 column screen? Write Stuff can do it in a couple of keystrokes. Write Stuff will also do one pass double column printing which makes it great for printing our newsletter.

The Write Stuff is totally memory resident except for the dictionary and when loading and saving files, of course. The dictionary is one keystroke accessable and can be loaded into your RAM unit for faster access.

I do a lot of computer work, both at work and at home but EVERY TIME I sit down to use the Write Stuff, I get excited all over again. I am constantly learning new things it will do.

Your next question might be how much this program costs? That's the best part. The 64 version is $12, with spell checker $18. The 128 version is $22, with spell checker $28. There is also a three disk set of templates, business letters, forms, etc., where you fill in the blanks, for only another $6. You can't beat this price anywhere. This price is available to you alone as a member of MCUC.

Classified Advertising

Wanted: Used or out of production Educational Commercial software for the C-64. Any and all subjects considered but especially intersted in any spoken languages, any sciences (especially Biology, Chemistry, Astronomy, Psychology, Meteorology, etc.) mathematics beyond Algebra 1, Microlawyer, Aptitude Enhancers (especially by Britannica). Packages with documentation and original packaging preferred. Will consider trades for titles. Philip Campbell 683-5147 or post on the BBS in the For Sale area. Thanks.

An Apology, Of Sorts

by Harv Slemmons

In August's MCUC magazine Cheryn and Bob were kind enough to publish a small monologue, or better yet "diatribe", against all of the shoddy instruction booklets put out by many software authors to accompany their sometimes useful program diskettes, chief among my targets were the GEOS family of fine programs.

Since then several things have happened to force me to alter, not abandon, my previous steadfast and unalterable stance vis a vis GEOS. Presidents and governments change, why not me? I am still unalterable in my opposition to the heavy duty copy protection BSW feels obliged to saddle we Commodore users with for no good and logical reason, although at this late date I realize it would be too difficult and costly to remove it. Be that as it may we still have GEOS to work with and try and figure out and that is the gist of my writing here, now.

First, let me review those things that have transpired to allow me to alter my unalterable position.

  1. The much revered MacIntosh has a user interface much like GEOS, and who can argue with the long term success of Big Mc.
  2. I finally received my long awaited copies of geoFile, geoCalc and (sorry Bob and Cheryn) geoPublish. The disks looked just like any other disk, but the instruction books were just what an instruction book should be. This proves that a disk is just a disk, but a good instruction book is a good two hours reading.

All of the above conditions and the vivid recollection of some wonderful and exciting work I saw done on GEOS made me want to try again, and get it right this time.

I was able to get geoFile up and running, designed my first file and partially filled it with ease. I am a veteran, a scarred veteran as the saying goes, of other data bases that demand such precision in placement of fields and field classification as to make them difficult to use and very inflexible. GEOS, on the other hand, may not be as fully equipped for calculations and relative field functions, but it was actually fun to work with, mainly because it is admirably changeable. I hope and anticipate that geoCalc and, eventually, geoPublish will be as easy to use. I'm really excited about the possibilities.

Which brings me full circle. Is anyone else out there even remotely interested in mastering all phases and applications of GEOS? I know there has been at least one seminar for GEOS sponsored by MCUC, but it was too short for all but the most cursory presentation, but it was good for that.

What I envision is a small group meeting at someone's home to play with and learn about GEOS one module at a time, and learn ALL about it from each other. A time to ask "stupid" questions we may not have time for at general meetings, or are embarrassed to ask at any other time.

If this idea holds any fascination for you please call or write me and let's get on with it.

Harvey Slemmons
3680 Marion Street
Memphis, TN 38111
(901) 452-5273

Thanks for listening.

MCUC Wants YOU!!

It's that time of year again. The nominating committee has been selected and will be meeting soon to find people to serve as MCUC officers next year. It's also time for each of you to consider what benefits you have received from the club and whether it's time for you to give something back.

The most common thing I hear from people is "But I'm not an expert with the Commodore". You don't need to be an expert. The officers are there to lead the club and take care of the club's business. There is plenty of talent within the club to draw from for meeting demos, classes, etc.

What is the benefit of being a club officer?

Here is a brief synopsis of each officer's responsibilities.

President-provide leadership for the club, preside over meetings, coordinate MCUC functions, submit a budget.

Vice-President-Assist the president, oversee committees, keep a record of the fiscal properties of the club.

Secretary-maintain minutes of MCUC business meetings, conduct written correspondence, keep current role of the membership, assist the Treasurer if the Treasurer is unable to perform duties.

Treasurer-Maintain financial records, pay bills, provide monthly financial report.

Librarian-Maintain club disks, insure that software released is Public Domain, collect new software for release, provide for distribution of club software to membership.

Newsletter Editor-Responsible for production of the newsletter each month.

Education Co-ordinator-maintain calendar of proposed classes, make arrangements for classes, report in the newsletter and at meetings information about classes.

There are other lesser duties for most of the officers, but these are the highlights. Provision is made in the by-laws for the establishment of committees to assist the librarian and newsletter editor. Both of the offices are fairly time-intensive. If you don't feel you can serve as an officer, but would like to assist one of the officers, let them know. All help is appreciated.

If you need further information about a particular office, call the current officer. If you feel you can serve as an officer for 1991, contact someone on the nominating committee.

October 13th & 14th are the
dates to remember. The youth
building at the Fair Grounds is
the place. MCUC will be there!
This year we will have 3 booths
of fun! Special Hamfest software
releases available!! If you like
electronic gear by the ton and
lots of computer gear then this
is the place to be. We still ain't
sure of the hours but we are
going to be there early.

Power-Backed Compatibility Interface for C-64 and C-128 REU's

(Available 4th quarter of 1990)

RAMLink (without internal RAM) $149.95 With 1 Megabyte installed $149.95
RAMLink with RAMCard (1Mb) $259.95 With 2 Megabytes installed $239.95
RAMLink with RAMCard (2Mb) $349.95 With 3 Megabytes installed $329.95
RAMLink with RAMCard (3Mb) $439.95 With 4 Megabytes installed $419.95
RAMLink with RAMCard (4Mb) $529.95 1 Megabyte SIMM (user installed) $100.00
Other Options:
RAMLink Battery-Backup Unit $24.95 Parallel Cable for CMD HD $14.95

Shipping: US: $10.00 (UPS Ground), $18.00 (UPS 2nd Day), Add $4.00 for COD (US only), CAADA: $20.00 (Parcel Post) Note: Prices and specifications subject to change without notice.

RAMLink is a multi-purpose hardware interface designed to overcome the limitations of C-64 and C-128 RAM expanison units while providing other substantial benefits. RAMLink delivers the performance and compatibily lacking in other RAM products by providing a highly compatible and efficient DOS interface. This interface allows vast amounts of current software to utilize any Commodore REU (1700/1764/1750) Berkeley Softwork's GEORAM, Performance Peripherals' RAMDrive or CMD's RAMCard as if it were a disk drive. RAMLink may also be used as a stand-alone RAM expander and provides a parallel interface for the CMD HD series of hard drives. RAMLink plugs directly into the C-64/C-128 cartridge port and provides a special REU port and a pass-throu port for attachment of other types of cartridges. It is also possible to combine the use of RAMCard with any of the other RAM expanders mentioned for at total of up to 16 Megabytes of RAM storage.


RAMLink gives you the speed you expect from a RAM disk. Unlike Commodore's RAMDOS, RAMLink is not bogged down by constant memory swaps. This enables RAMLink to perform up to 20 times faster than RAMDOS with most types of file access. In addition, RAMLink has built-in JiffyDOS Kernal routines to provide greatly increased speed and other features when accessing serial drives equipped with JiffyDOS. RAMLink also provides a parallel port for connection to CMD's HD Series Hard Drives, for ultra-fast hard disk access.


RAMLink's specially-designed hardware interface combined with a built-in operating system (RL DOS) give it the ability to work as a RAM disk with almost all commercial software. RAMLink's DOS is active immediately upon power-up (no software to load) and does not require the use of any RAM or vectors in the computer. As a result, RAMLink's DOS cannot be accidenatally disabled or overwritten by software. RAMLink also supports all Commodore DOS commands (including block reads and writes), enabling it to be compatable with the many programs that utilize these commands.

RAMCard - Internal RAM expantions for RAMLink which may be used in addition to REU memory or by itself.

Battery-Backup Unit - Protects against data loss during power failures or when RAMLink us unplugged.

Parallel Cable - Connects the CMD HD drive to RAMLink for high-speed paralled data transfers.

1 Mb SIMMs - Allows end users to add RAM to RAMCard.

CMD Creative Micro Designs, Inc.
50 Industrial Drive, PO Box 646
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
ORDERS ONLY: 1-800-638-3263
BBS: 1-413-525-0148
Information: 1-413-525-0023
FAX: 1-413-525-0147


Power-Backed RAM Expander
with a Commodore Compatible DOS
Designed and manufactured by

A Fresh New Approach to RAM Expansion

RAMDrive Prices

Available 4th quarter of 1990

RAMDrive 512K (512K RAM) $149.95
RAMDrive 1M (1 Megabyte RAM) $199.95
RAMDrive 2M (2 Megabyte RAM) $289.95

Shipping: US: $7.50 (UPS Ground), $16.00 (UPS 2nd Day), Add $4.00 for COD, CANADA: $15.00 (Parcel Post). Note: Prices and specifications subject to change without notice.

What is RAMDrive?

RAMDrive is a new approach to RAM expansion for the Commodore 64 and 128 computers. RAMDrive may be used as a stand-alone RAM expander or may be combined with RAMLink for a more flexible RAM disk system. RAMDrive plugs directly into the C-64/C-128 cartridge port and provides a RAM disk drive system which, when used with the supplied DOS, is compatible with standard Commodore DOS commands. RAMDrive greatly enhances the capabilities of your system by providing high-speed loading, saving, and many other standard DOS functions. The RAMDrive hardware/software interface provide a high degree of compatibility to allow vast amounts of current software to utilize RAM as if it were a disk drive. RAMDrive is power-backed to protect the contents of RAM when your computer is switched off or may use a battery in place of the power unit to protect data when power failures occur. RAMDrive will also work in conjunction with a Commodore REU on a modified Aprospand Bus.


RAMDrive user RL DOS to give you the speed you expect from a RAM disk. Unlike Commodore's RAMDOS, RAMDrive is not bogged down by constant memory swaps. This enables RAMDrive to perform up to 20 times faster than RAMDOS for most types of file access. In addition, RAMDrive's version of RL DOS has built-in JiffyDOS Kernal routines to provide greatly increased speed and other features when accessing serial drives equipped with JiffyDOS.


RAMDrive's specially-designed hardware interface combined with the RL DOS operating system give it the ability to work as a RAM disk with almost all commercial software. RAMDrive's DOS is active immediately upon power-up after the initial setup procedure and does not require the use of any RAM or vectors in the computer. As a result, RAMDrive's DOS cannot be accidentlly disabled or overwritten by software. RAMDrive's version of RL DOS also supports all Commodore DOS commands (including block reads and writes), enabling it to be compatible with the many programs that utilize these commands.

Why Choose RAMDrive?

RAMDrive, with its extensive DOS and power-backed features, is an obvious choice over any other standard RAM unit available. For those who don't need the extensive capabilities of RAMLink, RAMDrive provides an affordable alternative without sacrificing compatibility or speed. RAMDrive may also be used in combination with RAMLink to battery-back a portion of RAM without RAMLink's optional battery backup unit.

CMD Creative Micro Designs, Inc.
50 Industrial Drive, PO Box 646
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
ORDERS ONLY: 1-800-638-3263
BBS: 1-413-525-0148
Information: 1-413-525-0023
FAX: 1-413-525-0147

World of Commodore/Amiga Show

King of Prussia, PA Sept. 15-16

[Photo: Mark Fellows of CMD, seated, demonstrates the new Ram Link while Charlie Jr. writes orders.]

[Photo: "I need 10 proofs of ID on this check for a 100 meg hard drive", says Charlie Sr., CMD]

[Photo: Prototype Ram Link, these babies are scheduled to ship in the next few weeks.]

[Photo: Charlie Jr. takes another order for the new Ram Link.]

[Photo: Prototype Ram Link along with it's battery backup. Ram Link can be expanded up to 16 megabytes with inexpensive SIMMS making it, in my estimation, the first practical RAM drive for any computer!]

[Photo: Doug Cotton of CMD shows Geos Joe a new prototype desktop for the hard drive.]

[Photo: A newcomer to the C= is Artisoft. Chris & Pat didn't like the way DMBBS worked so they bought out the author and have released a superior version 5.0 of the program centered around the CMD Hard Drive, in fact they shared CMD's booth.]

Charlie Christiansen Jr. and Mark Fellows are the creators of the now famous Jiffy Dos. Charlie Sr. provides support for the business end.

October Special MCUC Custom Notebooks $5.00 ea.

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.

Data Tech Services, Inc.
6870 Hillshire, Suite 19, 20 & 21
Memphis TN 38133
Data Tech offers full service
repair on not only COMMODORE
but all types of computers &
peripherals (except Macs).
We are dealers for Star Printers,
Creative Micro Designs and other
name brand merchandise. Come
see us at our newly expanded

Authorized Commodore
& Amiga Repair Center!


Officer's Articles 3, 8
Disks of the Month 4
Ham Fest Disks 7
Write Stuff Revisited 9
Harv Slemmons on GEOS 10
MCUC Offices 11
Spec Sheets-Ram Link & Ram Drive 12
World of C= Highlights 14

901 362 0632