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World Of Commodore Amiga-Sydney/ Australia From OpalVison Video to Color Computer's Amiga non-linear Video Editor, thousands view the latest innovations in Amiga technology Down Under. Sydney's Tire Daily Telegraph Mirror ran three full pages of news and advertisements for the Amiga which appeared on the first day of the event. Over 50 exhibitors and companies were represented while more than 25,000 attendees appeared during the three days of the eventWorld Oi Commodore Amiga, Sydney 1993 was a success! WOCA (July 2-4) attracted attention at a level rarely seen in other countries. The Amiga is a very popular computer platform in Australia and the Amiga users are involved. With WOCA Sydney's continuous free seminars, special demonstrations, and Amiga product developers from around the world, Amiga users had plenty with which to bl' involved. Once again, Commodore Australia hosted WOCA at Darling HMb0t1r. The 5200 million facility is without exception the best facility used by CBM for these events. With good pub I ic transportation, reasonably located (with a continent the size of the United States and a smaller population than New York, "reasonably located" becomes a relative term), and assorted shops, restaurants. and museums in the immediate area for nil members of the family, Darling Harbour is an ideal place to attract Amiga users

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Document sans nom Special Reports Chicago CES and Sydney WOCA V’ ion Set sembler In this issue:
• Pixel 3D Professional vs. Interchange Plus Spiral Effects with
Art Expression Analog Con in a Digital World Coming
Attractions: new Amiga games.
I Reviews:
• Word Constru
• Resource Dis
• ProControl Caligari 24 Gary Rayner... Jt trJan from Down Under
)$ iifcfning Amiga video tipside down.
We Put Your Pieces Together Puzzled about music and the Amiga?
Look to us for the answers!
At The Blue Ribbon SoundWorks, we’ve developed a strong lineup of talent. Each of our products receives the special care it takes to produce a winner. That’s why you’ll find a Blue Ribbon on every box!
Take SuperJAM! With this ff* v , automatic 1 copyright- free composer, you’ll ' be writing the next hit song or creating the perfect soundtrack for your video production in no time. SuperJAM! Comes with over 30 different musical styles and a backup band that performs beautifully, whether it’s Mozart or Motown. And with the Extras Disks for SuperJAM!, you can instantly increase your repertoire with styles like Fusionist, Funkjungle, harmonies, non-destructive editing, and an unlimited number of tracks for recording only begin to describe it.
Plus, you can integrate it seamlessly with SuperJAM!
If you’re into MIDI but don't need full power, check out Bars&Pjpes, music software made simple. BarS&Pipes features multi-track recording, graphical editing, tempo mapping and more.
Baks&Pipes is expandable, so it grows as you do.
Once the music is flowing, pick and choose from the Bars&Pipes Add-on Series; These packages make Bars&Pipes or Bars&Pipes Professional even more fun to own.
Use the Creativity Kit to invent fresh musical ideas, or the Pro Studio Kit for complete control of your MIDI studio. The Internal Sounds Kit eliminates the need for MIDI altogether.
Imagine, multi-track recording inside your computer! To round it off, we present Rules for Tools, documentation and C source code for writing your own musical features.
Rachmaninoff and Rockapeggio.
Our One-Stop Music Shop turns your Amiga into a powerful music machine! This hardware-software combination includes all you need to get 16-bit stereo multi-timbra) audio for an incredible price!
When you’re ready for multi-track recording, automated mixing, notation printing and state-of-the- art MIDI sequencing, P R O F E S S I O N A L you’re ready for BAKsScPiPits Professional, Special effects, multi-media sync, sophisticated To get organized, grab The PatchMeistcr, our graphical, uni- versally-configurable MIDI patch librarian. It comes with ret dozens of MIDI f drivers and templates. Don’t see what you want?
Make it yourself with the special driver creation feature. And, The PatchMeister integrates easily into Bars&Pipes Professional for the ultimate composition environment.
Want to triple the capacity of your MIDI studio? Use Triple Play Plus, our MIDI interface that includes 3 sepa- rately-addressabfe MIDI outs for 48 simultaneous MIDI channels. Of course, ---« we designed it especial- L ti ly for our software. No compatibility problems here.
Synchronizing with video and audio tape is simple with SyncPro, our universal SMPTE synchronization box for audio, video and multi- media production. SSS Bld Ssbii™swith SyncPro Ribbon software and works with any Amiga application that supports MIDI Time Code.
The Blue Ribbon SoundWorks.
When it comes to quality, we don’t miss a heat!
THE BLUE RIBBON SOUNDWORKS LTD North Highland Station Post Office Box 8681 Allanla, Georgia 30306 USA
(404) 315-0212 fax (404) 315-0213 1 he Blue Ribbon SoundWorks.
Bars&Pipes, Bars&Pipes Professional. Bars&Pipes Add-on
Series,Creativity Kit, Internal Sounds Kit. One-Slop Music
Shop, Pro Studio Kit, Rules for Tools, Mulli-Media Kit,
MusicBox A. MusicBox B, SuperlAM!. The PatchMeister. Triple
Play Plus and SyncPro are trademarks of The Blue Ribbon
SoundWorks, ltd. All other product and brand names arc
trademarks and or servicemarks of their respective holders.
Rocket Scibvce made Simple ...HIGH FLIER VERSUS “SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED” Integrated video genlock Cg5 Q
1. 5MB 24-bit, 16.8 M color frame buffer (j5 Real-time
framegrabber digitizer & o De-interlaced video flicker
eliminator - & IHU-S' with RGB, composite, S-VHS
input outputs (S3
Optional VIU-Cr pro-grade component transcoder (Betacam, M-ll
compatible)
input outputs 39
2-way moveable, sizeable PIP (picture in picture) display,
(video over application or application over video) .
Digital and analog key inputs ....cs5 o
Captured image retouching processing (Si Video switcher
transitions c?5 Q Real-time 24 bit paint E$ Cg5
Titling character
generation . V)
Animation 3-D rendering .. s5 q Karate
game ...... O 5$ The VIU Advantage: With
some 24 bit video boards you pay your money and take your
chances. Chances that they'll be up and flying in the future.
Chances that all the "enhancements" they promised will be
around tomorrow.
Let's be fair. Where do things stand todayl IV24 From the very beginning we figured that people who purchase a serious video card want much more than fun and games. GVP is serious about video! So IV24's Video Interface Unit gives you i on a . O | more choices for inputting and outputting video signals than any other Amiga® peripheral on the market, Period.
Nobody else gives you a VIU splitter, let alone one that integrates video from computer sources, component tape formats, composite video, even broadcast professional formats in any combination you can imagine. GVP also offers an international [PAL] standard FV24.
Software Brigade Desktop Darkroom™ • Capture images in Desktop Darkroom or bring stills in from other applications for professional processing and retouching, using filters, special effects and color separation.
My LAD'” • Hot-switch between 2 video sources with 50 packaged video transitions for live action production studio effects.
Macropaint-IV24™ 2.0 • (New release Significantly enhanced!)
Paint 24 bit graphics from a stunning palette of 16.8 million colors.
Then key video over graphics or graphics over video. Access Arexx scripts directly.
Caligari24™ • IV24's newest software bonus is a complete 3-D modeling animation rendering package. Desktop animation's future on your Amiga today.
In a showdown of 24 bit video boards, IV24 rules the pack. So how will you spend your video future airborne at full thrusters..,or grounded, waiting for parts?
For more information or your nearest GVP dealer phone 215-337-B770 71) Forlechnical informntion, phone 215-354-9495 V 1 i GREAT VALLEY PRODUCTS, INC. 600 CLARIS AVENUE, KING OF PRUSSIA, PA 19J06 USA PHONE 2T5-337-8770 • FAX 2T5-337-9922 IV24, VIU, DeskTop Darkroom, MyLAO, and Macropaint are trademarks ol Great Valley Products, Inc, Caligari is a trademark cf Octree Software, Inc, Amiga is a registered trademark ol Commodore*Amiga, inc. OpalViston Is a trademark cf Centaur Development. Al other trademarks are the property ol their respective owners.
COMPUTING Volume 8 Number 9 September 1992 CONTENTS Adventures with Aladdin 4D,
p. 30 K Ijjj It's a Qirl7 '7VU mir&rfc tevtS" Cards for All
Occasions, p.36 Spiral Effects, p.50 Word Construction Set,
p.13 Wing Commander; p.86 In This Issue o0 Adventures with
Aladdin by R. Shamms Mortier Part III focuses on Lists:
Attributes, Textures, Foreground, Background, and Overlays.
36 Cards for All Occasions!
By Dan Weiss A tutorial on how to create your own invitations, note cards, and announcements.
41 Head to Head by R. Shamms Mortier A feature-by-feature look at the leading Amiga object format translation packages Pixel 3D Professional and Interchange Plus.
46 Summer CES Video Toaster 4000, AmiLink Professional, and more, highlight the summer event in Chicago.
50 Spiral Effects by Dan Weiss Creating spinning art with Art Expression using the Transform function.
53 Can Do by Randy Finch Part I of a three-part series features a comparison with Visual Basic.
66 WOCA Australia Commodore Australia host a major Amiga event with products and exhibitors from around the world.
Caligari 24, p,21 78 Analog Control by Scott Wolf A look at analog joystick adapters for the Amiga.
86 Coming Attractions by Henning Valenkamp A look at upcoming Amiga games including BC Kid, Combat Air Patrol, Goblins 2, and more!
Reviews Word Construction Set by Rick Manasa Word Construction Set is a group of related programs designed to help students develop word recognition and vocabulary skills in a fun setting.
6 Resource Disassembler by William P. Nee With the Puzzle Factory's new version of ReSource, the capability to disassemble code is within your grasp.
20 ProControl by R. Shamms Mortier Find out why Mortier describes ProControl as a diamond-valuable ADPro-ARexx utility.
21 Caligari 24 by R. Shamms Mortier Mortier claims version 3.0 as the best yet in the family of Caligari packages.
And Furthermore... Gary Rayner is an Amiga developer with over six years of Amiga product success.
Now Mr. Rayner's Australian development company, Opal Tech, is preparing to release the video modules to their highly successful OpalVision. AC caught up with him in Sydney to discuss the past, present, and future of video production on the Amiga.
Columns 8 New Products & Other Neat Stuff by Elizabeth Harris This month features AmiVRI, The BreadBoard, Foray, SCSI Expander, and more.
New Products, p. 10 25 cli directory by Keith Cameron Cameron explains what script files are, why they are useful, and how they are written.
27 Bug Bytes by John Steiner This month The Director vs. AG A, Janus v2.1, HP DeskJet 550C, X-Cad Designer, and more.
New Products, p. 10 58 Arexx by Merrill Callaway Callaway discusses what he learned at The Fourth Annual REXX Symposium for Developers and Users.
Roomers by The Bandito Commodore takes a licking, but will it keep on kicking?
The Video Slot, p.74 74 The Video Slot by Frank McMahon Art Department Professional's latest upgrade, version 2.3.0, is the subject of this month's Video Slot.
81 Diversions Hook, Cytron, Dune, and Caesar are featured in this month's diversions.
Diversions, p.81 Diversions, p.84 Departments Editorial List of Advertisers 80 Feedback Public Domain Software....94 And Furthermore .96 WOCA Australia Commodore Australia not only gathered a world of products and Amiga developers together, but also demonstrated some of the best Amiga products available from Australian Amiga developers.
There's only one source for Amiga technical information.
Amazing Computing For The Commodore AMIGA '1'' ADMINISTRATION Publisher: Joyce Hicks Assislanl Publisher: Robert J. Hicks Administrative Asst.: Donna Viveiros Circulation Manager; Doris Gamble Asst. Circulation: Traci Desmarais Traffic Manager: Robert Gamble Marketing Manager: Ernest P. Viveiros Sr.
EDITORIAL Managing Editor: Don Hicks Associate Editor: Jeffrey Gamble Hardware Editor: Ernest P. Viveiros Sr.
Senior Copy Editor: Paul L, Larrivee Copy Editor: Elizabeth Harris Video Consultant: Frank McMahon Art Consultant: Perry Kivolowitz Illustrator: Brian Fox Contributing Editor: Merrill Callaway ADVERTISING Advertising Manager: Wayne Arruda AC1 TBCR uuiga Call 1-800-345-3360 and discover the technical side of your Amiga.
1-508-678-4200,1-800-345-3360, FAX 1-508-675-6002 Amazing Computing For The Commodore Amiga™ (ISSN 1053-4547) is published monthly by PiM Pubiicotlons. Lnc.,Cutront Road. P.O. 8ox214Q, Fall River, MA 02722-2140. Phone 1-508-678-4200, 1-800-345-3360, and FAX 1-508 675- 6002,
U. S. subscription rate Is S29.95 fpr one year; S46.0Q, two years
Subscriptions outside the U.S. ore os follows: Conoda & Mexico
538.95 (U.S. funds) one year only; Foreign Surface $ 49.97. All
payments must be in U.S. funds on a U.S. bank.
Due to erratic postal changes, all foreign rates ore one-year only.
Second-Class Postage paid at Fall River, MA 02722 and additional mailing offices.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to PiM Publ cotions Inc.. P.O. Eox 2140. Fall River. MA 02722-2140, Printed in the U.S.A. Entire contents copyright© 1993 by PiM Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. No pari of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from PiM Publications. Inc.. Additional First Class or Atr Mail rotes available upon request. PiM Publications, Inc. maintains the right to refuse any advertising, PiM Publications inc. is not obligated to return unsolicited materials. Ail is- quested returns must be received with a self-addressed stamped rnailer.
Send article submissions in both manuscript and disk format with your name, address, telephone, ond Social Security Number on each to the Associate Editor, Requests for Author's Guides should be directed to the address listed above.
AMIGA”' is a registered trademark of Commodore-Amlgo, Inc., Commodore Business Machines, international Dstributored in the U.S. 5 Canada by international Periodical Distributors 674 Vo de lo Voie. Ste 201. Sctena Beoch. CA 92076 6 Ingram Perodcais he.
1226 Heit Quaker Blvd., Lo Verne tN 37086 Printed in U.S.A. A MA ZIN G C() MPVTISG 4 Power Up Your Amiga !
Don't let anyone tell you that your A500 is obsolete!
A500 USERS Adding a GVP A500-HD8+” or an A530-Turbo+™ will make your A500 feel like a totally new machine. Our A530-Turbo+ will make your A500 fly 4 times faster than an A1200 and many applications will run almost as fast as on an A4000! All this for much less than buying a new A1200 with a hard drive!
Both the A500-HD8+ and the A53Q-Turbo+ feature beautifully styled cases, fast DMA SCSI controller with external SCSI "pass through", SIMM sockets for adding up to 8MB of FAST RAM expansion, built-in high-speed SCSI hard drive (choose from 40MB to 540MB!}, "Game Switch” to disable the whole unit for compatibility with older games, and GVP's exclusive internal mini-slot expansion connector for adding our optional 16MHz PC286 (PC Emulator} module!
The A530-Turbo+ also features a 40MHz 68EC030 CPU (accelerator}, optional 40MHz 68882 FPU (Floating Point math co-processor, and 60ns, 32-bit wide FAST RAM.
If you already own a hard drive, call for details on our great "A530-Tuibo+Trade-Up!” deal.
Stock 500 Stock *1200 ASJO-Turbo A1200 _____The A 1200’sAGA graphics A1200 SCSI RAM+ supports faster our tests show that A1200's 14MHz cannot really take advantage of a 68882 running faster than 33MHz.
If you want your A1200 to fly past the A3000 and approach the A4000's performance, our A1230 Turbot* accelerator (a.k.a. "JAWS") is for you. The A1230 Turbot features a blindingly fast 40MHz 68EC030 CPU, SIMM sockets for up to 32MB of fast 60ns, 32-bit wide memory expansion, and an optional 40MHz 68882 FPU.
USERS are great, hut they eat up memory and can be slow with the built-in 68EC010 processor and no FAST RAM. GVP now offers two exciting Power-Up solutions.
GVP's A1200 SCSI RAM+™ (a.k.a. "FANG") features SIMM sockets for up to 8MB of 60ns, 32-bit wide FAST RAM expansion, a high performance DMA SCSI controller allowing installation of an internal 2.5" SCSI hard drive, and an optional 33MHz 68882 FPU. The optional external SCSI connector kit allows you to attach laige SCSI Hard Drives, CD-ROM drives, SyQuest drives, Tape Backup drives, or any other external SCSI device. Although the
* without using a Zorro ' expansion slot or a nL.UL U Don't let
anyone tell you that USERS the A2000* is obsolete! Adding
aGVPG-Foice040 33MHzT' Accelerator will make your A2000
outperform the fastest A4000 040 and you'll spend a lot less!
If you are on an even tighter budget try our G-Foice 030 40MHz™
Accelerator and you will zoom past both the A3000 and
A4000 030.
All our G-Force Accelerators feature a high- performance DMA SCSI controller and 4MB of fast .
60ns, 32-bit wide RAM, expandable up to 16MB by .
Using our 4MB SIMMs. The G-Force 040 33 also • accommodates our new state-of-the-art 16MB SIMMs allowing expansion up to a massive 64MB • of fast 60ns, 32-bit wide memory. Our optional SCSI Hard-Drive mounting bracket turns either model into the ultimate "Haid-Disk-Card"
* peripheral bay.
The G-Force 030 40 is equipped with a 40MHz 68EC030 CPU and 68882 FPU while the G-Force 040 33 features a I 33MHz 68040 CPU (with built-in FPU and large cache memory) as well as a high-performance RS232 serial port backed up by two FIFO hardware buffers to prevent data loss and a parallel port to give you more flexibility to add modems, multiple printers, digitizers, etc....!
Don’t feel left behind by the A4000, power your A2000 beyond it with the awesome processing power, flexible SCSI interface, and unmatched expandability of a GVP accelerator.
We didn't become the largest Amiga developer by accident it took hard work, dedication, and engineering excellence, Don’t take a chance. Choose GVP the winner of 4 Amazing Computing Reader's Choice Awards for your storage and acceleration needs.
GREAT VALLEY PRODUCTS, INC.*600 CLARK AVENUE, KING OF PRUSSIA, PA 19406 USA PHONE 215*337*8770 • FAX 215*337*9922 Amiya is a reyisterted trademark of Conmodore-Amiga. Inc All other trademarks are the property ol their respectrve owners
o 1993 Great Valley Products, Inc. A lew words about the tests:
The cpu and fpu test results were generated by AIBB 5 5 by
LaMonte Koop The Render test results lor the A200Q were
generated with Lightwave 3D by NewTek. The HAM and Hard Disk
test results were generated with DiskSoeed *.2 by MKScft.
Worried Investors Falling Stock Prices Declining Market share Executive Turmoil Dropping Revenues Massive Layoffs And this is not even Commodore, Dissatisfaction at Apple Computer?
It is in practically every' newspaper. It is on the coverof almost every news or business magazine. It is the story of a giant computer company who has seen its market threatened, watched its profits dec! Ine, and felt the heat of competitors as it battles to maintain its proprietary platform in the marketplace. But it is not Commodore, it is Apple Computer, The July 26,1993, cover of Fortune magazine shows a proud but tired John Sculley with the headline, "John Sculley: Odd Man Out." The eight-page article and sidebar inside tells of a dynamic man who has reached further than his
current job could take him. It discusses Sculley's dreams and Apple's realities. I suggest anyone even slightly interested in Commodore or Apple should read it.
The bottom line at Apple appears to be that investor unrest and market share are important. In early June, Apple Computer announced that profits would fall below expectations. One estimate had the figure at only S485 million, which (according to Fortune) is the same level as 1990. In addition, market share has flattened at 12% and is far below the corporate officers' goal of 20%.
Apple's stock prices sank from S57 per share to MO. On June 18, John Sculley announced that he was resigning as CEO but would remain as chairman.
In all fairness to Mr. Sculley, everyone at Apple has officially staled that the decision was Mr. Sculley's idea. His removal from the daily business of Apple will leave him free to envision the future for Apple as he has done over the last several years. He will also retain his salary which was S1.65 million last year.
While Michael Spindler (50) replaces John Sculley (54), few believe he will do it with thecharisma that John Sculley had. However, that was the same com ment m ade abou t John Sculley when he replaced Steven Jobs at the power position of Apple in 1985. And though both Sculley and Jobs were placed in positions of no power, Sculley seems more appropriate for the role of a dreamer than his predecessor.
It was under Sculley that Apple started creating diverse opportunities through large commitments to research and development.
Accord ing to Fortune, Apple's R&D bud get is "...an estimated S680 million this year." This budget will generate a flood of new products and standards in the next two years. It is hard to believe Sculley would want to leave Apple before these products are seen. However, if he stays, he will be forced to witness first hand the business of reworking Apple.
While rumors and changing predictions have placed Apple layoffs at anywhere from 900 to 3,000 employees, the latest figure is, according to a syndicated article by John Markoff, 16% of its work force, or approximately 2,500 people. The remaining employees will face a company-wide pay freeze to continue indefinitely. However, all executives from the vice president level up will take a 5% pay cut.
Commodore ft has been the subject on almost every Amiga electronic bulletin board in the country Commodore layoffs. Commodore losses, Commodorestockprices, and basically Commodore fear. They question CBM's ability to attract new developers and software to the Amiga platform. Even as the Amiga is becoming hotter than ever in video with the introduction of llie Video Toaster 4000 and their competition OpalVision (please see the CES and WOCA articles in this month's issue), there is doubt about the company.
Some of this comes from the announced losses by Commodore of which a good portion were paper losses from inventory "downsizing." Some of this comes from the way Commodore stock has been bumping along at the bottom at around S3 to S3.875 per share. Probably the best thing for Commodore would be for all of us to ignore this, but it isn't that easy. Sometimes we need to face the facts to be sure we know what they mean.
In the "Roomers" column this month, The Bandito takes a hard swipe at Commodore. This is probably the best analyzed, researched, and composed article the Bandito has ever submitted. It had to be, because it is the most controversial.
When the Bandito's column arrived, we went to work. I had no desire to publish the piece withoutattempting to check thesources.
We pulled material from CBM's annual report as well as their quarterly updates. I then phoned a few of the large stock brokerage firms and discussed CBM's current position and possible future. While we were never able to track down the reasons for all of the Bandito's comments, almost every fact and figure in the article has been reviewed and verified.
It is another article everyone interested in Commodore, even Apple, should read. By reading both, Commodore watchers may get an idea about some of CBM's problems.
The Differences WhileApplemanagementfaced its problems and offered solutions, Commodore International remains silent. A highly paid (by Apple standards) executive turned over the reigns of power when he felt he was no longer effective. He did not scrap the people who had followed his orders; he took responsibility.
The Amiga is a great computer with powerful technology. It is time Commodore faced its responsibilities and did what it can to make this platform all it was meant to be.
Anyone with any other agenda should be at least as honest as Mr. Sculley.
Corporate salaries are paid for performance. Stockholders buy stock as an investment. Computer users place their trust and expectations in to a computer company every time they purchase a piece of hardware. Developers create software for platforms they believe to be superior and profitable. People join companies to experience the growth potential these companies create. Anything less than a full dedication to these people's dreams and expectations is unacceptable. The high, powerful, corporate titles at an international level are positions of trust. When that stewardship is no longer
applied, it is time to say good-bye.
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From simple to sophisticated, PhonePak is taking care of business... and working overtime!
GREAT VALIEV PRODUCTS, ISC.* 600 CLARK AVENUE, KING OF PRUSSIA, PA 19406 L'SA PHONE 215*337*8770 • FAX 215-337*9922 PhonePak VFX and Operator are trademarks o‘ Great Valley Products. Inc. Amiga Is a registered trademark ot Commodore-Amiga. Ire. All other trademarks are the property ol their rtspecltve owners.
O!993 Great Valley Products. Inc. 1942 The 1942 color multiscan monitor provides analog RGB (15.75KHz) and VGA(31.5KHz) scan modes with support for the Amiga computer's Advanced Graphics Architecture™ custom chip set requesters. A built-in amplifier and left and right speakers enable the 1942 to provide quality stereo sound. The 14-inch monitor sc reen has a .28mm dot pitch and is equipped with a tilt and swivel base. Commodore Business Machines, Inc., 1200 Wilson Dr., PA 19380, (215) 431-9100. Inquiry 200 NEW PRODUCTS a tolother teat &ta.hh A4091 The A 4091 is a full-size autobooting
controller card with an integra ted 3.5-inch drive mount, The card fits intothe Amiga's Zorro III slot. Compatible with SCSI-1 devices, the card also includes internal and external SCSI-2 connectors supporting up to seven devices. The fast SCSI-2 control le r provides transfer rates of up to 10MB per second. Users of the A4091 in an Amiga 3000 or 4000 system requires a Buster chip revision K, AmigaDOS™2.04 or higher, and supported processor cards. Commodore Business Machines, Inc., 1200 Wilson Dr., PA 19380, (215) 431-9100. Inquiry 201 AmiVR!
AmiVR, the video-based 3D Virtual Reality viewing system, gives you a video interface and liquid crystal shutter glasses for viewing field-sequenttal 3-D stereoscopic video. You can connect the system to the video output of vour Amiga for full color stereoscopic 3-D Amiga graphics. The AmiVR synchronizes the glasses directly from the Amiga video signal's syne. For the A3000 and A4000 you' 11 need the A520 video adapter.
Other model Amigas all have NTSC video output which can be used direct with AmiVR systems and the NTSC video input of your Amiga 1084-type monitor.
MegageM, 1903 Adrin, San hi Marin, CA 93454, (805) 349-1104. Inquiry 202 Amiga Online Reference Manual v2 Area52 is proud to announce the release of a new AmigaGuide based help and reference system, designed for both novice Amiga users and experienced Amiga users. Using charts, reference tables, and indexes, over 350 pages of text is provid ed on a single floppy disk for use in learning about the Am iga system or referencing valuable indexes containing help using AmigaDOS commands, the AmigaShell, the Workbench, and general aspects of the computer.
Area52 Software, 107 River Park Drive, Liverpool, NY 13090. Inquiry 203 Benchmark Modula-2 Assistant Benchmark Modula-2 Assistant, the first new Armadillo Computing release, is a hypertext-1 i ke too I which provides an intelligent, automatically-updated index of all Benchmark and user-created definition modules. It also con tains an automatic "make" facility and numerous utilities to simplify Modula-2 programming. ArmadiUa Computing, 525 Man mount Drive, Austin, TX 78723, (512) 926-0360.
Inquiry 204 The BreadBoard1 The BreadBoard ($ 398)isequipped with five video amplifiers three with delay lines. One amplifier is dedicated as a Program Output.
Another can be strapped as Program or Preview. The three delay channels can be strapped for In- putsl-4, Key Source Signal (Alpha Channel) or Key Insert Video Signal, The BreadBoard cables into the Video toaster's feature connectors the six externa] BNC connectors are not utilized. The BreadBoard mounts inside the Amiga in one of the PC expansion slots. Power is supplied by the PC bus. No bridge board is required.
Delay lines can be strapped for a wide range of delay and adjusted for unity gain. All outputsare rear- mounted BNC's. Dual BreadBoard configuration achieves maximum flexibility: four Delayed Inputs, two Delayed Key Si gnals, and four Program Preview Outputs.
PreVue Tech i wlogies, P. O. Box 2617, Grass Valley, CA 95945, (300) 356-
8863. Inquiry 205 Campaign II The system has been updated to
include all the post-warvehicles over 10(1 new 3-D shapes
from Abrams toT72s! A11 of the modern weapon systems such
as guided missiles, rockets, homing m issiles, laser
rangefinders, gun stabilizers and night sights have been
added.
Animated infantry can be deployed from personnel carriers into the battlefield. And now, not only can you drive al! Of the vehicles in an improved 3-D environment, but you can even fly the helicopters too!
But the real strength of Campaign II is in its strategy. After long consultations with military strategists, Campaign II has emerged as the most comprehensive simulation, not just for warfare, but of the whole strategy of running an army as viewed from all levels.
Available October 1993. Ready Soft Incorporated, 30 Wertlieim Court, Ste.
2, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada L4B IBS, (416) 731-4175. Inquiry 222 DKB 1202 Realize the full potential of your A1200 with the DKB 1202 expansion board. The DKB 1202uses the Motorola 68881 math coprocessor clocked at 16MHz, speeding up math-intensive operations, a must- have feature if you do any morphing or animation, image manipulation, or ray tracing.
Handles up to SMB of 32-bit memory, has built-in real-time clock, and fits into trap door for easy installation. DKB, 50240 West Pontiac Trail, Wixom, Ml 48393,
(313) 960-8751. Inquiry 206 Dreamweb In a city in the future,
one force controls the lives of people, the Dreamweb.
Powers of good and evil wrestle in the subconscious of
every person, a sort of virtual world of dreams. But, all
is not well in the Dreamweb. Evil is now so strong, it
threatens to wipe out good forever and control the Dreamweb
for eternity. The guardians of the Web have summoned one
person to break the control of evil and fight for the good
in this world. One person against a power so strong you
cannot begin to comprehend it outside vour dreams. That one
person is Rvnn. Ryan is you!
Available November 1993, ReadySoft Incorporated, 30 Wertheim Court, Ste. 2, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada L4B 1B9, (416) 731-4175.
Inquiry 223 ENLAN-DFS Interworks introd uces itsEthem el- based Distributed File System for the Amiga. This product allows complete sharing of devices, directories, and peripherals, t urning your Amiga system into a networked workgroup environment.
ENLAN-DFS provides the software you need to interconnect a workgroup of Amiga computers.
The Commodore A2065 Ethernet adapter provides the hardware interface. ENLAN-DFS permits transparent disk and file sharing, printing, and even centralized file backup. Interworks, 43191 Camino Casillas, Ste. B2469, Temecula, CA 92592, (909)699-8120. Inijinry 207 The World’s First Multi-Platform Emulation System!
_TM SrnpL-irjT EMPLANT is a hardware software product that is designed to allow the emulation of virtually any computer using the Amiga. A simple software driver and ROM(s) from the computer to be emulated are all that is required! Custom programmable logic allows the EMPLANT hardware to actually become the exact hardware of the computer it is emulating.
» File Edit Mode Image filler Select Window QyJ DeikPitlure.lerm (RGB, 1:11 Multiple emulation modules can be run at the same time using a single EMPLANT board!
Full color MAC llx emulation!
Support for up to 16 colors is provided for non-AGA machines. A4000 owners can use a full 256 colors! Support for the Retina Video board allows you to have a 16 million color Macintosh! Utilities Unlimited,Inc. Is working closely with other video board manufacturers to provide support for their video products, such as: The Resolver, Firecracker, EGS, Domino, Rainbow ll lll, Merlin and many more!
Support for AMAX formatted floppys and hard drive partitions, MAC hard drives, SyQuest cartridges, AmigaDOS devices (RAD, VDO, DHO, etc.), and MAC floppys (requires SYBIL hardware, sold seperately) is provided With easy to use setup menus. EMPLANT running Adobe Photoshop in full color!
They said it could never be done... Like ALL of the emulation modules that will be released for use with the EMPLANT hardware, the MAC llx emulation module MULTITASKS with the Amiga’s operating system! You can simply pull down or flip screens and get back to the Amiga side!
...and the MAC stays running at full speed! Speaking of speed...A 25Mhz A3000 runs the MAC llx emulation exactly twice as fast as a real MAC llx! Just imagine the speed of an ’040 Amiga! The emulation runs ALL known MAC programs, and in FULL color, (if the program supports color)...and all while MULTITASKING with the Amiga!! (MAC llx emulation module ‘requires* an accelerated Amiga - 68020 or 68030 68040 w MMU) and 256K MAC ROMs (not provided). Not all emulation modules will require accelerated machines. Four megabytes of memory is recommended for use with System 7.
Future emulations... Since the EMPLANT’s hardware is so versatile, a completely new and different computer can be emulated by just changing the emulation software patch and the ROM(s). MAC QUADRA, Mega ST, IBM AT (386 486), C64 128, Atari 400 800, and even game machine (Genesis SNES) emulators are planned in the near future.
Utilities Unlimited, Inc, offers four different EMPLANT versions: BASIC EMPLANT system, OPTION ’A’ - BASIC EMPLANT system with dual high speed serial ports AppleTalk support, OPTION ’B’ - BASIC EMPLANT system with high speed SCSI interface, and DELUXE - BASIC EMPLANT system with both dual high speed serial ports AppleTalk support AND high speed SCSI interface.
BASIC EMPLANT system - $ 279.95 OPTION 'A’ EMPLANT system - $ 349.95 OPTION ’B' EMPLANT system - $ 349.95 DELUXE EMPLANT-$ 399.95 SYBIL Hardware - $ 99.95 Please add $ 10.00 for shipping and handling (all orders are shipped via UPS Blue label). C.O.D. Fee - $ 5.00. All EMPLANT packages described above come with MAC llx emulation software and necessary device drivers. ROM(s) are not shipped with this product. Sources available upon request.
Dealer inquiries welcome! Foreign dealers welcome!
Utilities Unlimited, Inc. 1641 McCulloch Blvd. Suite 25-124 Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
(602) 680-9004 Orders only (602) 453-6407 FAX
(602) 680-9006 Tech calls (602) 453-9767 BBS NEW PRODUCTS
andother (eat stu Foray Foray (S55) is a pictorial
database for mushroom identification and information. Foray
is designed to be ea sy-to-use. Even someone who has never
picked a wild mushroom and doesn't intend to, can enjoy
Foray simply as a pictorial information source. The experi
enced mushroom hunter can modify the included information,
add new records, or create entire new databases. Foray is
designed to assist the serious mycologist, offering the
matrix for an extensive multi-genus database.
Records may be retrieved bv Genus, Genus.species, common name, or by selecting feature keys and initializing a search. Cye2eye design, 206 6th Are. West, Seattle, WA 93719, (206) 281-9165. Inquiry 208 Panorama!M Version 3.0 Push‘Button Publishing has shipped Panorama Version 3.0, a program for the creation, manipulation, and renderingof fractal landscapes for the Amiga. The program incorporates the latest technology in fractal landscape algorithms, making pictures of astounding beauty and realism from mathematical calculations.
No knowledge of math is required to use Panorama. The program's automatic, preset selections for ail of its many parameters are configured to produce nice pictures the firs! Time. From there, users can customize any of the vast number of possibilities to produce custom effects, refine the realism, add trees, and sculpt the fractal math algorithms that perform the magic.
Inventure, 114 Market St., Morrison, CO 80465, (305) 697-5270 Inquiry it210 I PlaqueGrounds PlaqueGrounds (S99.95) is a new package consisting of 104 IFF 24- bit, high-quality textured plaques to use with 24-bit and AGA paint programs. These NTSC and PAL compatible background plaques are dimensionally rendered in eight different textures, four styles, and various sizes. PlaqueGrounds requiresTMB of hard d rivestorage (JPEG). Kara Computer Graphics, 2554 Lincoln Blvd., Ste. 1010, Marina Del Rey, CA 90291,(310) 578-
9177. Inquiry 211 SCSI Expander The ATTO SCSI Expander elimi
nates the limitation of seven devices on a SCSI bus by
mapping each SCSI bus ID to seven additional devices.
This increases the maximum number of SCSI devices to 49.
The ATTO Expander manages transactions and device
mappings between two indepen- dentSCSI buses through the
use of Logical Unit Numbers. Operation is completely
transparent to the host. Special options allow high- level
functions such as disk striping, disk mirroring, and disk
spanning to be added to any existing system without
drivers or system changes. A TTOTechnology Inc., Baird
Research Park, 1576 Sweet Home Rd..A mhcrst, NY 14228-2170,
(716) 688-4259. Inquiry 212 SCSI-TV The SCSI-TV is a SCSI
controller for the Commodore CDTV multi- media player. It
installs easily in the expansion port accessible at the
rear of the CDTV, without opening the case. SCSI-TV sup
ports the AUTOCONFIG™ and Autobooting with Rigid Disk Block
support for hard drives. SCSI-direct protocol allows
backup programs to use SCSI tape d rives. True DMA
provides fast data transfer and low CPU overhead. The SCSI-
TV interface allows the CDTV to connect to virtually any
SCSI device. Full technical support is available directly
from AmiTrix.
AniiTrix Development, 701193Ave., Edmonton, Alberta, T6B 0W7, Canada, (403) 425-1746. Inquiry 213 Simkat Ethnic Fonts Simkat Ethnic fonts (S100) offer a large variety of Semitic and non- Latin fonts in Assyrain (Syriac), Arabic, Persian (Farsi), Afghani, Ottoman (Turkish), and more.
These fonts are geared towards Amiga multi-media applications, they come in four different packages. Package(s): [T] for Video Toaster CG, [PI for Deluxe Paint, [R] for Rashumon VVP, [V] for General Video applications. Each package comes with an 80-page user manual with key maps, layout, and 47 key stickers. L.C.P.S., Inc.,
P. O. Box 2015, Schiller Park, 1L 60176, (708) 678-7183. Inquiry
224 SupraTurbo 28 The new SupraTurbo 28 accelerates Amiga
500 and Amiga 2000 computers from 7MHz to 2BMHz, installs
easily with no need to replace the existing processor, and
maintains Supra's reputation for price performance leadership
w i th i ts suggested price of SI 99.95. The SupraTurbo 28 is
fully compatible wi th the 68000 processor this enables it
to run with most software written for the 68000 processor.
However, there may still be cases where the user wants or
needs to slow the computer back to 7MHz for certain
applications.
To meet these needs, the SupraTurbo 28 has both an externa] on off switch as well as a soft- ware-driven speed control. Supra Corporation, 7101 Supra Drive STV, Albany, OR 97321, (503.) 967-2400.
Inquiry 214 Syndesis 3D-ROM Syndesis Corporation announces the release of the Syndesis 3D- ROM (S499.95), a CD-ROM containing more than 500 freely distributable 3D models. The 3D- ROM is a spectacular demonstration of Interchange Plus, Syndesis's 3-D file format translation system. The3D-ROM includes a cross-referenced catalog of the objects, including background information about the translation process and how the objects can be used in many 3-D programs. The Syndesis 3D-ROM also contains demo objects from 3-D modeling companies. Tire disc also contains more than 400 tileable,
wrappable bitmap image texture maps for coloring 3-D models. Syndesis Corporation, P.O. Box 65,235 South Main St., Jefferson, Wl 53549, (414) 674-5200. Inquiry 215 The Toast Timer™ Tire Toast Timer (S298) solves one of the more troubl esome problems when integrating the Video Toaster into a large video system.
With the Toast Timer, the timing reference of the downstream switcher can be also used as the timing reference for the Video Toaster. The Toast Timer effectively "back times" the switcher's genlock reference so that it also can be used by the Video Toaster.
This is particularly useful for those switchers that either have no tim- ing adjustments or produce a non- adjustable Black Burst signal.
PreVue Technologies, P.O. Box 2617, Grass Valley, CA 95945, (800) 356- 8S63. Inquiry 216 T-Rexx Professional is a highly integrated Arexx script generation environment with powerful tools specifically designed for the NewTek Video Toaster. T-Rexx can also automate the functions of 11 other important products, and, because it is completely user configurable, you can add support for the products of your choice.
Benefits Create sophisticated scripts without any knowledge of Arexx.
You simply point and click. T-Rexx even displays your scripts in plain English!
All T-Rexx tools are connected together creating a fully integrated system. You need leam only one user interface to master every aspect of T-Rexx Professional.
You can quickly and easily manage large quantities of Toaster Framestore images. Convert Framestores to and from RGB (in full color and fidelity) without requiring a Toaster.
Accept commands via a serial or parallel port. Your entire studio, not just your Toaster, can be controlled by T-Rexx giving you more time for producing results instead of hunting for solutions.
Includes support for the following products: Ami Link. Art Department Professional, BCD-2000A, DQ-Taco, MediaPhile, MorphPlus, PC-VCR, Personal SFCII, Personal TBC III, Pixel 3D, SunRize Studio 16 and VISCA.
T-Rexx allows you to create interactive or automated multimedia presentations by linking the Video Toaster to other hardware and software products.
T-Rexx's ability to be synchronized to events from the GPI, serial port, parallel port, keyboard, Arexx or timer means you've got the widest array of options available for your creative use. T-Rexx can even automate the recording of your finished presentation (including audio) onto video tape or single frame recorders.
RS.DUnvv F S-Hh_W.. If FA. Sr» 11 li-.luii-y r5.PIin*tLoid rA.Hrui** ... Your script is shown in plain English on T-Rexx Professional's main screen.
ActionFX and OrganicFX to 'H- You can create your own T-Rexx provides powerful batch produce custom results for your demanding clients. Using T-Rexx’s special effects processing, dozens of new FX can be created from a single source.
You can create and modify Toaster projects creating exactly the configuration which best meets your needs.
Develop scripts in a fraction of the time it used to take using T-Rexx's unique Real Time Mode. You can test your scripts as you write them, alerting you to any mistakes instantly.
Using one consistent, easy-to- leam user interface, you can control any program that is Arexx compatible or any device that can processing tools which save you time and disk space. Process images as they're produced automatically, without having to store intermediate results.
T-Rexx helps you get the most of your system investment because an integrated system is greater than the sum of its parts. T-Rexx Professional is the Toaster System Integrator!
Framestores can be converted to from RGB, previewed and organized using FramestoreFM 925 Stewart Street Madison, Wl 53713 608 273-6585 The following names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the indicated companies: T-Rexx Professional, MorphPlus. FramestoreFM, LightTV, ShareFX, and Art Department Professional: ASDG Incorporated. Arexx: Wishful Thinking Development Corp., Deluxe Paint: Electronic Arts, Brilliance: Digital Creations, Inc., Amiga: Commodore- Amiga, Inc.. Video Toaster. Toaster. Toaster Paint, and LightWave 3D: NewTek Incorporated. Other trademarks are the property of
their respective holders. The Video Toaster Logo is copyrighted by NewTek Incorporated and is used with permission. Copyright © 1993 by ASDG Incorporated T-Rexx Professional is backed by ASDG, a solid company providing innovative products and qualitv customer support since 1986.
NEW PRODUCTS
Q. idotfte, (eattfta
• Other Neat Stuff* Amiga G-Lock Greatly Enhanced GVP announces
the completion of version 1.16 of the G-Lock control software.
This major software update delivers yet more power and
versatility toG VP's popular Amiga genlock. Volume 1.16 boasts
the following enhancements: Expanded control options including
support for the Amiga's parallel port; Improved operation and
synchronization withall VCRs during rewind, fast-forward, and
pause; Clean switching between two synchronized composite video
sources; Automatic software startup capability for use with
kiosks and other presentational applications; Developer support
with extended documentation on disk. The update is now
available on the GVP BBS at (215) 337-8770.
Great Valley Products, 600 Clark Avenue, King of Prussia, PA 19406,
(215) 357-8770. Inquiry 217 Armadillo Computing Armadillo
Computing is proud to announce its acquisition of Avant-
Garde Software, publisher of Benchmark Modula-2, Benchmark
Source Level Debugger, Benchmark add-on libraries, and a
book on Amiga programming. Armadillo Computing,
5225Marj mount Drive, Austin. TX 78723, (512) 926-0360.
Inquiry 21S Digital ‘Collage Now 24-Bit Digital »Coil age now comes in two Amiga formats: IFF and TFF24. For those users with standard Amiga graphic modes, DigitaHCollage offers HAM texture tiles and 16- color overscan backdrops every month, as well as motion clips that directly load into DeluxePaint's "Move" requester. For users with 24-bit boards, the new Digital »Collage24 features the same 10 texture tiles and five backdrops contained in the standard graphics version, but the images are JPEG compressed in their original 24-bit color. DRC Sequential Graphics, 57 F.ast 400 Nin th 9,
Provo, UT 84606-2987, (801) 373-
9579. Inquiry 219 Migraph ColorBursf Migraph, Inc. is shipping
the Migraph CoIorBurst™, the first color hand scanner for
Amiga systems in the United States. The Migraph
ColorBurst lias these powerful features: Five scanning
modes: Super Color Mode, Greyscale, Color Dither Halftone,
and monochrome line art; Six scanning resolutions: 50-400
dpi based on the currently selected scanning mode; Migraph
ColorKit™ software scans, displays, and saves color,
greyscale, and monochrome images in IFF file
format,mduding24-bitIFF; 64 true greyscale levels can be
scanned at 400 dpi; Compatible with Workbench vl.3, v2.x,
and v3; Supports the new AGA chipset; and more. Migraph,
Inc., 32700 Pacific Highway S., Sic. 14, Federal Way, WA
98003, (206) 838-4677. Inquiry 2 09 TRSL Relocates
Technical Resource Systems Laboratory, makers of Charts &
Graphs V 3.0, has relocated from Las Vegas, Nevada to
Chester, Pennsylvania. Technical Resource Systems
Laboratory, 729 Engle St., Chester, PA 19013, (215)
497-2S45.
Inquiry 221 Thunder Ridge Distributes TSSnet TSSnet (5395), which was formerly a Syndesis product, is now being developed and distributed by Thunder Ridge. TSSnet is an implementation of the DECnet network protocol for the Amiga.
Thunder Ridge, Inc., N9353 Benson Rd, Brooklyn, WI 53521, (608) 455-
1039. Inquiry 220 New Products ntid Other Neat Stuff is compiled
bp Elizabeth Harris.
Amiga 1200 CANADIANS!
Shop at Computer Answers and Save with Commodore’s Power-Up Plan!
- 68020 Processor
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- 68030 Processor
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$ 1,468 170 MB $ 1,973 $ 1,559 213 MB $ 2,055 $ 1,624 CDTV Grolliers
& Lemmings S399 (S319 USS) Amiga 4000 040
- 68040 Processor
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- 25 Mhz with CDN$ uss 80 MB $ 2,835 $ 2,238 120 MB $ 3,029 $ 2,393
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Commodore 4091 SCSI-II $ 439 (S349 USS)
(306) 764-5858 Sales
(306) 764-2983 Tech
(306) 764-0888 BBS
(306) 764-0088 FAX Does your old Amiga just not cut it anymore?
Why Should You Buy From Computer Answers?
- Pay in Canadian dollars!
Canadians, you'll know exactly what you'll pay! No foreign currancy exchange, no duty, no brokerage fees & no border delays!
- Americans pay less!
Over 20% less with the value of the US Dollar
- Full Canadian Warranty!
Including on-site warranty with Gold Service1
- Prices may vary in our retail store - Supplies of some items is
limited - Adaptors required for some items - Installation extra
if required -
- Price Sl availability subject to change - U.S. prices vary with
exchange rate - Exchange rales accurate as of add placement -
* ’Power-up* prices only available to present owners of CBM
computers. Ask for details.
Computer Answers (306) 764-5858 917 - Central Avenue, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. S6 V - 4V2 REVIEWS quirements, and the American Educational Institute requirements for the Teaching of English, It reveals its British roots but those of us who speak American shouldn't have any trouble. It also lets you moke up whimsical and impossible words like "blintlet' and "sluckish." The student can try these on had the slice of pie.
R'v|T o DROP I TEST .. w SOUND Y TO I DOUBLE LIST ErftSE Word Construction Set is a group of related programs designed to help the primary grade through high school student develop word recognition and vocabulary skills in afun setting. Students are asked to put words together by selecting beginnings, middles, and ends of words displayed on construction blocks. The Amigasays the word in a sentence while displaying a picture describing the word or activity. You are asked to fill in the blank word in the sentence by selecting the different building blocks that make up the word from the
wall of word segments on the screen, Word Construction Set combines phonetics with word pattern recognition to give the student a set of skills for pronouncing unfamiliar words that contain familiar components.
Follows the Rules Word Construction Set follows the reading and spelling skill guidelines of the English National curriculum, the Australian and New Zealand English Language re- Build words from the consonant wall.
Word Construction Set Educational Software for the Amiga words out as well. "You had the blintlet slice of pie" might not mean much to me or you immediately, but with the help of an inventive seven-year-oid, it will make sense eventually.
Word Construction Set is not copy protected, comes on three disks, and is designed to be run from the floppies. If you're working with one of the newer Amigas, you may have to copy the narrator.device from an earlier version of the operating system, as Word Construction Set requires it to pronounce the words.
I did manage to install it on my hard drive, but I had to assign the disk names to the appropriatelocationandcopytheSchool font to my system Fonts directory. None of Below: Word Construction Set main screen.
Right: The Project Screen, where atl the words to be constructed are displayed.
This ts documented in the manual, how- ever.soyou'reonyour own it you need to set up Word Construction Set in other than the default manner, Once installed, Word Construction Set multitasks nicely, with only a winch sprite poking through to my Workbenchscreen fromthe program. While there is no listing of system requirements.
!'d guess that Word Construction Set is designed to run on the basic A500system.
Most products from Down Under or Europe seem geared toward this configuration.
Word Construction Set consists of seven different programs designed to help the student understand how words are made from seven different perspectives.
Each one of the seven buildings focuses on a different aspect of building a word. The mainscreenshowsalandscapewithseven building sites. Once selected, the student is presented with a building framework that he must til! In with the building blocks he will create. When he selects Construct, he's taken to a Project screen, where all the words he’ll have to put together are listed.
The screen also displays a picture describing the word or activity, if you click on the word, the program will pronounce it for you. This gives you a good idea ofthefocus and the difficulty of the selected lesson.
That are made up of two complete words, like doormat and moonlight. The Homophone Observatory tackles the difficult concept of homonyms words that look or sound alike, but have different meanings (pair and pear, there and their, etc.). The Prefix Factory divides prefixes into different meaning groups, such as Quantity (eg.
Bicycle and tricycle) and Not (eg. Impossible and irrational). Finally, the Base Hotel hosts words with a Greek or Latin root.
Words such as '‘inanimate" and “unanimous" contain the Latin root "anim,” for example. I found many of the combination roots fascinating. Knowing that “gradient" is derived from two root words meaning PROJECT: .BRSES STAGE: .JUDG .
Judiciary u rn ,i_i n Construct;
r. lit SET 1 Hard Hats Not Required Once you've checked out the
Project screen, you're ready to put on your hard hat and start
buiiding. The Main Menu lets you select from one of the seven
building sites. The Consonant Condominiums concentrates on
consonants in single and dual syllable patterns. Vowel Village
covers long vowels, diphthongs, silent ’e' endings and how
‘r's affect the way a word is pronounced. Castle Endings
deals with how words end. Plurals that end with 's' or ’es',
superlatives (-er or -est), and the differences between
-tion and -sion are covered. CTV, the Compound TV Studio,
goes over compound words. These are words "steps" and "place,"
or that 'deceptive1' comes from words meaning "down take in"
enhances my understanding and use of these words, Each word is
divided into logical patterns and placed on the wall, where
you must select and recombine the syllables into words based
on the prompts provided by the Amiga. The left blocks
containthebeginningsoundsofaword(br, ch, spl, etc.) and the
right blocks hold the endings of words (et, ight, ong, etc.).
Sometimes there are three blocks for o prefix, base of the
word, and a suffix. The center b loc k is where the word
sections are joined to make a complete word. The sentence
strip displays the prompt minus the word you must supply.
Sometimes the prompts Include a picture and a sentence,
sometimes a definition or meaning. Either way, there's
sufficient help for the old narrator.device, The words are
highlighted as the sentence is spoken. The List icon takes you
back to the Project screen, so you can see and hear how a word
Is supposed to look and sound. You can also select a
different list of words, if another list is available for that
project. Clicking on the Sound icon will pronounce the re
quested word for you out of context. The Amiga will pronounce
the word you've built, which may not be the same as the
requested word, when you cl ick on it, The re is plenty of
this type of feedback to help keep the student moving through
the lessons. The Reports feature will keep track of the
students progress and even print out a nifty certificate to
document his or her accomplishments. You can erase the word
block with the E rase ico n and all the records can be wiped
clean with the Rebuild feature.
Comments and Concerns Word Construction Set covers the material it intends to cover and it does so in a coiorfui and thorough fashion. It has some technical and conceptual glitches, however, that should be pointed out. The bitmap graphics are a bit chunky. This makes It hard to decipher the smaller pictures, There is a certain amount of necessary disk swapping, which always seems to be asking for trouble with the younger set.
Some schools set up their classroom computers in a host-file server type system.
The inability to easily install the program on a hard drive will be a nuisance for those used to this type of arrangement.
The conceptual and design problems are a larger concern. The manual is well laid out, but sparse. On its own, the manual does not provide the teacher or supervising adult with enough background and support information (for example, the meaning of diagroph) to develop a lesson based on the program components of the Word Construction Set. Perhaps it is intended as a supplement to a standardized teacher's resource that goes into the covered areas more thoroughly, If so, this should be stated somewhere. There are definite jumps in skill level required to get through the whole program. The
program virtually requires an odult or older child on hand. While there is nothing wrong with this arrangement, it limits the programs usefulness in a primary grades classroom setting.
It's quite possible for a child or an adult for thot matter to be able to put the pieces of the word puzzle together without having the slightest idea of what the word means. This is especially true in the Base Hotel and Prefix Factory. It's hard to endorse whole-heartedly a program that seems to divorce word pronunciation from word meaning and understanding.
Simple definitions, to accompany the use of the word in a sentence, wouid go a long way toward oddressing this concern. It's also hard to follow the logic of pufting such words as '‘jurist” and "dialogue" in the same Project In this case, words that have “judg" as their root. Again, some simple explanation of how "dialogue," "logical," and "biology" all have "judg" as their root word would be appreciated.
There is no facility in the Word Construction Set for creating your own list of words. This is not a bad thing, but it makes you wonder why the authors didn't use a digitized voice for pronouncing the words. The authors of PhunnyPhonemes decided to use the narrator.device because they wanted to make it possible for parents and teachers to create their own word lists. There are directions on how to do this in the PhunnyPhonemes manual. While it is possible to do this in Word Construction Set, it is not documented, nor is it easy. Under these circumstances, why not go for the clearest
pronunciation whenever possible a nd at least digitize the word and senten ce list? The narrator.device has been left behind In the latest version of Workbench.
While this won't be an issue for a while, it will get harder, not easier, to find Amigas capable of running programs like Word Construction Set (a questionable decision on Commodore's part, at best). Though not stated anywhere, one has to believe that an adult's participation is not only encouraged but mandatory to help decipher the Amiga's pronunciation, My daughter Morganandherteacher gave it the once-over from the non-adult point of view. They both thought the presentation was best suited for the 6-7 year old set, even though some of the content was more appropriate to an older child or
adult. The game got boring after about 10- 15 minutes for my right-brained 12-year- o!d, and didn’t have a large enough payoff to complete a section, in her view, Her teacher thought thot someone more into puzzles and erector sets could really get hooked on the construction metaphor, and might never leave the game at all, Conclusions The Word Construction Set wou Id be a good addition to your educational software arsenai, regardless of your grade level. Combined with other such programs and a sound curriculum, it can play a significant part in helping the beginning j student navigate the
complex waters of the English language and give the older : student something to sink his teeth into. The colorful screens and game puzzle approach should help retain a child's interest far better than rote learning and memorization drills. Without adult supervision,however, the Word Construction Set could easily discourage your younger child when she moves into its more difficult sections. If you stay with your child, the Word Construction Set con be a valuable tool in her education.
Word Construction Set Lascelles Productions Ltd.
401 Lascelles St.
P. O. Box 959 Hastings New Zealand Phone Number: 0064 6 878 9652
Inquiry 227 Resource Disassembler by William P. Nee Are you a
natural snoop? Curious about all those short programs written
in C? Ever wonder if you could examine the code that makes up
a program? Now, with the Puzzle Factory's great new version of
Resource, the capability to disassemble code is within your
grasp, A warning though, ReSource will not teach you the
basics of assembly language. You need a foundation and then
let Resource build onto it. To recognize some of the code you
must be familiar with opening libraries, the structure for
screens, ill For Amiga Programmers windows, menus and
gadgets: you need to be able to recognize an Intuition mes
sage when you see one and tell an IDCMP class flag from a
window flag. The AC's TECH magazine has a good series on as
sembly language for beginners starting in V2.1. ReSourc e
comes in a stu rdy box with a 96-page manual and three disks.
Disk 1 contains mainly the libraries and an install program,
Disk 2 contains all the fcf files (what values go into which
register), amiga.lib, and all the structure files. Disk 3 has
the docs and tutorials. There are seven sections in the manual
covering everything from an overview to advanced topics.
After reading the introduction I had to try installing
Resource on my hard disk. The manual says Resource will work
on any Amiga from the 500 to 3000 and you do need version 1.3
or higher along with a minimum of 1 Mbof storage RAM more for
larger files. The installer program is very complete and I
suggest you read it before running it. There is a trial mode
you can run first, a feature I've never seen before. I
instclled every file even t hough som e aren' t needed
initially; I figured it's easier to delete files than to go
back and try to add some.
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Fax (605) 342-2247 Overseas Distributor Inquiries Welcome Once ReSource was up and running it was time to look at the menus. At first there seem to be an overwhelming number of thembutasyouworkwiththeprogram the more frequently used items are easy to find. There is an excellent feature called Online Help. Just press the HELP key and then select any menu item ond a description of that function with ail related menu items will appear; some descriptions are a few lines while others are several pages.
And, if that isn't enough, there's Hyperhelp, Several words or phrases in the help text are lightly underlined, By using the arrow keys you can highlight any of these phrases and bring up further text explaining the specific phrase. And that text may contain underlined text which can bring up more text, etc. The manual says that you can go 256 levels into the textl I'm not that hyper, but I did find myself 5 levels down. Just keep using the backspace to return to the program level.
There is a short tutorial that gets you started in disassembling osimple program.
I followed if through step by step and had a completed .ASM file in about 10 minutes.
There is an almost magic menu item in PROJECT called disassemble, This function will review the entire code, try to make ASCI I text, assig n text na mes to labels, separate code from data well, you get the idea. Once the big picture is completed it's up to you to start filling in the pieces.
Since the EXEC library is always at location 4, you can tell when it's loaded into an address register. Then, when you see an offset for that address bring up the S2 menu. EXEC library; this will automatically convert that offset to it's function name - OpenLibrary, GetMsg, CloseLibrary, etc. The ASCII strings for the various library names will have already been disassembled so you can read the name and know which ones are being opened. Since dO contains Ihe library address you can label addresses DOSBASE, INTBASE, etc. Now. Whenever that library is referenced throughout the program, its
name will appear, If it's INTBASE, for example, and the offset is OpenScreenJhen you know the location in aO must refer to the screen parameters.
You can go to this location and rearrange the code In the form of a screen structure. LEFT AMIGA B, W, or L will force the code to byte, word, or longword format. And you can add remarks after any data or code line to explain what it means.
But since the Screen, Window Menu, etc., formats are always the same, use one of Resource's best functions, MACROS, to cut down on repetitive work.
A ReSource macro is simply a compilation of all the menu selections or key presses up to the point where you end the macro. You might combine the first five words into decimal format on one line with a remark. Combine the next two bytes on one line as the pen colors. The next word is the Vi ewMod e so use the li brary symbols to convert this to HiRes. Lace, etc. After the next word for screen type are four longwords for font, title, gadgets, and custom bitmap pointer. If any of the locations are not 0 you can start examining those locations. When your macro is finished use the End Macro
menu function and there it is ready to be used whenever you want, Be sure to save any macro you make before quitting the program.
O ne of the first things I d id was to make nine macros for Screen, Window, Menu, Menultem, MenuSubltem, Gadgets, IntuiText, Border, and Stringlnfo. Macros 1 to 9 correspond to the keypad 1 to 9 so all you have to do is press kp2, for example, when you've found the window location and there's all the window data. IDCMP classes and window flags spelled out, gadget location, etc. I've mentioned key presses a few times and that's another of Resource's strong points. Almost every Intelligent Interactive Disassembler Resource "ReSource is fully-featured and flexible... Everything is fast.
The program is astonishing in many ways. The massive size of its internal tables boggles the mind. I admire the remarkable accuracy with which it makes intuitive guesses at the nature of certain bytes." Jim Butterfield, Transactor Vol. 2 5 Macro68 "It has probably the largest set of directives ever seen in an assembler, a nice macro facility, pre-complied resident includes, Arexx support, the best customer support anywhere, and its fast. '¦ JLM. Byhalia, MS Buy both programs and get $ 30 off!
MSRP for each program i:; S150.
VISA The Puzzle Factory, Inc. Call: 1-800-828-9952 or long word with any new vaiue. If you add new tines of code you' II have to save the file as a .ASM and reassemble it. ZAP could be used to change screen window size, IDCMP and window flags, increase the starting number of jet fighters in a game, etc. Finally, a word about tech support, After using ReSource for a few weeks I had some questions so I called the number in the manual and spent over 30 minutes talking with Jeff Lavln, the owner of The Puzzle Factory. While he is not the writer of ReSource, Jeff is very familiar with it and
answered all of my questions.
Every reviewer has to have a "wish list. “ I would only like to see two odditions to ReSource. First, a quick way to edit macros, even before you save them: and next an “undo" button that would cancel just the last operation (wipe out that incorrect macro. Etc,). It is a good tool for those who wish to break down and examine different programs. All in all, ReSource V5.10 is an excellent product for the individual who knows some assembly language and wants to Increase their knowledge.
Powerful Macro Assembler Circle 119 on Reader Service card.
Menu function has a corresponding combination of one to four key presses. Many, such as "e" for EXEC Library, 'd" for DOS Library, or ”g" for GRAPHICS Library, are obvious and easy to remember.
You might want to write down a list of the key presses for the menu items you use most. And you can modify these key commands to any combinations. Be sure to check, however, to see if the combination is already in use, My only change has been to make ESC the key to quit the program completely, There is a second and more involved tutorial included in the manual. During the course of disassembling this program you 11 be walked through a Gadget macro, There is one mistake in my manual. It keeps referring to “kp9" as the key for creating a label but this should be ’kp"; using "kp9" will
execute macro9. This tutorial also shows you how to disassemble code when all variables are referenced as an offset from a specific address register, usually a4 or a5.
I first saw this type of programming in the FAST FRACTALS article by Hugo M. H. Lyppens (.Amazing Computing V4.11). Resource has made this way of programming easier to disassemble and is also a mini-lesson on how to use It. Not only does this technique cut down on code length and increase speed, but you can also write to a variable this way, something you can' t do using Label(pc).
The current Resource version (V5.10) will handle code written in the old 68000 Motorola syntax and the new 68020 030 multiple operand format. You can set a "preferences" to always show which style you're used to. And you can have the program use or not use common macros like PUSHM, POPM, BLO, etc. There are a lot of possible initial settings to use so experiment and find which suit you best. There is also a speed control for macros so you can step through them one line at a time by clicking the LMB while the title bar tells you what the next command will be; a very good way to debug your
macros before saving them.
The last function about Resource I want to mention is its ability to modify and add to existing code Using the menu function ZAP you can over-write a byte, word.
ReSource The Puzzle Factory
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If You Don't See It Here, Call Uel eompmsK . S ijtss Ask
any Amiga artist or animator, and the answer is always the
same: Art Department Professionalfiom ASDG is one of
their most prized p ieces of softwa re.ltloadsand saves
both screens and animations in just about any format you
can imagine, up to and including the ability to address
NewTek's FrameStores, works on the compression and
decompression of images, and "operates" on them with a
bucketful of magical transformations, It has been
Arexx-compatibie for a long time, meaning that those of
you who are studied adepts in Arexx coding could always
whip up a script to automate the entire process and batch
the effects. The ADPro manual goes to great pains to walk
you through from authoring something like it themselves, it
retails for about a hundred dollars, and there will
probably be various “bundle" configurations in the future
that will bring that price down. The manual is thorough and
clear, and the software is a long- awaited gem. ADPro users
are going to want to rush out and purchase it, as it is the
first release of several products that will address the
same thing albeit in different fashions. It works!
The ProControl Interface ProControl is best loaded into the same drawer as ADPro so that it can find all of the Loaders, Operators, and Savers it needs. It takes a few moments to input all of these no limit to the complexity of the process.
Once finished, scripts can be saved and loaded later to address future applications.
The first step ProControl users take is to configure their "screen type," which is the same as working with the "Screen Control" section of ADPro. This is done by point- clicking on the interface gadgets in the middle of the ProControl screen, When complete, the "Inject" button is activated, an action that places the numeric equivalent of that screen type in the script, Hl-Res Vert Horz Interlace, for instance, is screen type 27. Next, a rendering type is chosen from the section just below screen type, and another target line is automatically placed in the script, followed by a "dither type”
from the list.
ProControl A Needed ADPro Utility ]?. Shamms Mortier A Palette and Balance button are activated next. The associated lists allow you to interface with all of the palette and balancing operations that ADProcontains.
This is accomplished through very well designed integrated menus that allow alterations at a giance, The wonder of the ProControl interface remains its ability to contain all of the complicated features of ADPro on such a small yet readable screen.
As you work with ProControl, adding Loaders, Savers, and Operators, along with other strings, you wili see that it creates an Arexx script on the AdPro Actions screen on the ProControi interface.
Several suggested ways to implement ADPro through Arexx, taking it for granted that you are burning with desire to get started. But let's tell the truth.
There is a game of pretend going on, We don’t freely admit the truth to each other, afraid of derision and public shame, but very few Amigans that I have ever spoken to are fluent in Arexx, So the inevitable question is, “Has the marvelous Arexx doorway in ADPro been created for just a handful of users?" Up until now. That answer would have irritated ADPro's developers and embarrassed the rest of us, But wait, what's that on the horizon? It's ProControl, a diamond-valuable ADPro- Arexx utility.
ProControi was written by Doug Crane, and ifs distribution is a combined venture with ASDG. And little wonder that ASDG should jump on this software. It saves them lists, and once that's done, they appear for selection on the ProControl screen, it also automatically loads ADPro itself, so that you can always get to ADProeasily Though it will function on a machine with only 512K.
I wouldn't try it. After all, at 512K, ADPro itself has serious limitations and probably won't work as expected at ali, At this point in the game, WB 1.3 users need very seriously to consider upgrading to 2.x and beyond, As you work with ProControl, adding Loaders, Savers, and Operators, along with other strings, you will see that it creates an Arexx script on the "ADPro Actions" minl- screenonthe bottom right of the ProControl interface. This script is completely interactive, in that selections can be deleted and modified either automatically or manually as you go, Any script can also
coll upon other nested scripts, so that there is really The first image-oriented line in the script is related to an image and Its access pathway. With whatever type of Image ProControl loads, a complete file requester pops up (Figure 2). This requester also includes parameters for image compositing, and multiple access paths can direct ProControl to get images from different sources. Images chosen are moved info a special Process list, A palette loader works in a similarfashion. Along with loading and saving scripts, along with comment files which remind you what they were designed to
do. ProControl also allows you to save "States." States are scripts that remember image files and file paths as well as other commands. A Preference menu allows you to save default paths and file extensions to be used when images are saved.
(continued to pnge 24) I here ore many changes in Caligari24 I 3,0. This inexpensive ($ 249) version of I the Caligari line of software for the I Amiga is the best yet in the family of I Caiigari packages. The first indication I that things are really different this time around, however, isn't in the software at all, but. In the new manual of clear and concise documentation and helpful tutorials. This is the firstCaligari manual that really walks you through the Caiigari looking glass, and is by far the best. Thanks for this is owed to Roman Ormandy, Caligari's author, It's really a nice
bridge to the software and its myriad of tools and processes. The Caiigari 24 software is also the first package in the Caiigari group to admit its connection to the Amiga by sublimating its previous, and irritating to most Amiga users, attention to Targa and Vista files. Yes, these options are stiil there for those Amiga animators that have somehow ignored the fact that the present glut of Amiga 24-bit boards matches anything the competition can offer at a fraction of the cost in most cases, but it's hoped that the Big-Biue Apple- addicted Amiga user community is becoming a welcome but
diminishing minority. Having reviewed every major Caiigari package over the years for Amazing readers, I am happy to continue the process with this article. In addition to touching upon the various Caiigari beils and whisties, I'd like to dwell more thoroughly upon the new advances this version offers over its progenitors.
Buzz-Word Designer Since its inception, Caligari's most enjoyable feature has been its Object Design screen. Recently, we've all been bombarded by the term "virtual reality."
Octree is using that term in its promotional efforts to allude to the Object Design screen, and i fully support that message.
Virtual Reality is the best way to describe the look and feel of designing objects in Caiigari, especially in the Perspective mode. You actually get a feel for the 3-D wireframe elements you move, rotate, and resize. The entire perspective plane can be rotated and zoomed as well and it's even possible to achieve a fish-eye lens look to the environment while ail of this is going on.
Elements of a complicated object can be "glued" together in a hiearchal fashion and saved. This is great for moving selected elements of an object in an animation, since it makes it easy to c reate smooth movements.
Object Design is where color lists are targeted to object elements, and where you can use the library of Caligari "primitives" sphere, cone, cyl inder, cube, etc. as well as take advantage of the extruder module to design your own objects and object parts. Extrusion as well as lathing functions are supported. But now there's more. The Extruder module also allows you to import a two-color 2-D drawing made in a paint program so that you can trace around it. Logo animators take notice.
Pe rh aps a future version will add the capability to import D2Dobjects directiy, as from Soft Logik's Art Expression software, or even PostScript files. Not that the present situation isn't appreciated. There are two new processes here that I must mention. One is theabilitytodynAMIGAily “Quad-Divide" a selected object, This operation multiplies the polys of a selected object by four each time it is applied, giving you a much finer grid when using the Point-Edit functions.
The new addition is the Deformation tool.
With this baby, you can stretch an object's polygonal grids in any direction, and achieve some very nice organic forms.
There is an excellent tutorial utilizing this process that allows you to practice while building a nice little spaceship. As with previous versions of the software, you can do a hi-res test render of a selected object by tapping the render button. A polyshaded image appears in seconds, and in far less time each suceeding time the rendering of the object takes place. This is one of the fastest Tenderers around for previewing. Images can also be printed out at this time, and colors can be assigned to various parts.
Point Editing At this juncture, most of the Amiga professional 3-D packages allow some form of point editing. This means that you can selectapoint.edge.orplanarpolysurface on an object and stretch, extrude, rotate, or resize it. Very complicated forms can be created in this manner. Again, the new manual offers an excellent tutorial for getting used to this process, the same spaceship tutorial mentioned above. What makes the process in Caligari so enjoyable is that you can actually feel the response of edited points because of the Design Module interface. You could take a sphere, for
instance, and use the point-editing features to pull and stretch it until a face was created on its surface. The point-editing tools are very intuitive to use, and a snap to get used to with just a little practice.
After saving objects on disk, they can be loaded into a scene for finished rendering and animation. The objects, by the way, do not have to be created in Caligari atone since the software allows the importation of Lightwave, Imagine, Sculpt, DXF, and VideoScape files as well.
Scenes can be either keyframes in an animation or groupings that are to used as pictures. You could even save a scene as a picture, and then turn around and use it as a texture for an object, thereby creating an "environment map," an ostensible reflection of the world on a refiective surface. Once you have imported an object into a scene, it can be cloned or copied and there is a big difference. Cloned objects can be manipulated just by acting upon the parent object. Copied objects, on the other hand, are Individual in nature, and do not feact to any manipulation of the parent. The
Scene module can be rendered either as a ''QRender" or as a "BRender." As a Qrender, the image can be previewed in a hi-res format, It is in the Brender (Broadcast Render) mode, however, that real 24-bit results are possible.
The Intricacies of Brendered Images in Caligari 24 Caligari 24, as its name suggests, was created, or maybe even renamed, because it has become obvious that the Amiga is now a 24 bit graphics platform* and it's here to stay, Therefore, Caligari 24 renders images and frames to suit that environment. The Amiga user who doesn't own a suitable framebuffer or 24- bit card is missing out in general, and as far as this software is concerned, to create the renderings that really wow your friends and confuse your enemies, you've got to have other hardware as well. DCTV owners will thrill at the way
Caligari 24 writes to their black boxes, and OpalVision users will be even more ecstatic, Even Amiga owners of the now defunct HAM-E device from BlackBelt will find solace in Caligari 24's ability to write to that format. To sum it up.
Caligari 24's Broadcast Rendering (BRender) module addresses most of the Amiga ‘ s professional qualify 24-bit engines, and even takes the AGA machines into account.
The Brender menus allow you to target ali of the quality rendering possibilities you need as an Amiga animator, Texture mapping, for instance, is set in this module.
Caligari 24 now accepts any Amiga 2-D work as a texture map. All you have to do is to tell it to translate the image, and then set the map type: planar, cylindrical, spherical. ! Still do not understand the way that you can graphically alter the projections via the texturing interface, This is an area that needs more tutorial guidance in the docs, As for Brender's capacity to target various material properties to a selected object, sliders and options abound. There is Hue Saturation Vafue for color, a 256-leve!
Transparency slider, and my most favorite,..the metallic settings. Caligari 24's metallic looks are some of the best in the business, in addition to being able to react to your input in the design of various metallic surfaces, Caligari 24 has a library of loadable settings thct mimic gold, silver, brass, steel, and several other surfaces.
You can also design, name, and save your awn to the same library. Metallic surfaces ore also best to use in conjunction with transparency settings for glass objects, Surfaces may also be faceted. Garaud, Phong, or Metallic, and can be slightly to thoroughly anti-aliased .Youcantargetan image to accept IFF 24-bit backgrounds and foregrounds as well. At anytime in the rendering process, a Ctrl C keyboard command will abort the rendering, Lights There is no limit to the number of lights that can be set in Caligari 24. The problem is. They have no graphic Icons on the screen, so you must
infertheir position by numerical means, This is a serious shortcoming of the software, and one that I keep harping on in Caligari reviews. At a time when ail of the competition allows you to g raphically place lights Lightwave 3.0 even allows you to use the light as a camera position in addition to giving you a graphical image to reposition it Is time Octree found a way to address this one irritating anomaly. Other than that, however, the lighting options in Caligari 24 are very thorough, A nice addition here is the new "Move Eye to Light" button, which does increase the intuitive capacity
of light placement. Lights can be specular or diffuse by degree, and either infinite, giobai. Local, or spotlights. Their beams can be from wide to narrow, and they con be any color you desire.
Animating About half of the Caligari 24 manual is dedicated to the learned use of the scripting language Caligari uses to animate images. 1 know some folks swear by scripts, but I have always preferred the visual approach. To suit others like me, Caligari 24 offers a visual keyframe option, much like that used by Lightwave and other Amiga 3-D software. Use is simple. Just place your objects in a scene and target that scene as a keyframe. Next, advance the frames to a suitable number, maybe ahead by 10 or 20, and move the objects to a new position Then create another keyframe, Do this as
often as desired. Finally, compile theframes a button is provided and play the wireframe sequence for preview. If not satisfied, makechanges.lt satisfied..render the animation to disk, The ANIM menu has to be used as a first step even if you wa nt to write outjust one finished Brendered frame.
Animated results can be batch-processed insottwarelikeASDG'sADProofBlackBelt's ImageMaster, and tweaked or edited in Dpoint.
Conclusions Caligari 24 is another serious Amiga 3- D 4-D software package. At one time, it was the only software around that you could use to get true broadcast results.
That's so because it addressed framebuffers and renderers that existed only on PC systems, and did this through the Amiga BridgeBoard. But times change, and the Amiga now has some of the most professional software and hardware around for video work. Instead of giving up the ghost, as some other software has done, Caligari has steadily been revised and upgraded, taking advantage of the latest trends in computer graphics, and even setting some trends itself. Caligari 24 requires a fat hard drive in addition to the other niceties mentioned, because It writes temporary files to the hard
drive while doing its rendering tasks. Though I haven't had any problems with this, it sometimes makes me nervous.
The object modeling screen is os wonderful as ever in this edition, and is greatly enhanced with the deformation tool and the quad divider. The fact that it handshakes with so many of the other Amiga packages doesn't hurt its longevity either.
The revised manual is very well organized and sets the pace for any upgrades that may follow. My comments about graphic lights still holds, and! Hope this is addressed in the near future. The Brendering functions, including addressing Amiga IFFs for texture mapping is a welcome addition.
This software remains as an Amiga package with which you can create serious and qualitative professional work.
Caligari 24 Octree Software 1955 Landings Drive Mountain View, CA 94043
(415) 390-9600 Inquiry 229 ProControi continued from page 20
More Features Amazing Computing Your source for reviews of
the latest Amiga products.
Amazing MICA ProConirol has some nice nesting features, allowing scripts to be colled from within scripts. It actually treats images in a script as "real" before the operators actually make them, so that images not yet saved to a file can be called upon to take another alteration. This makes for fast and more intuitive scripting. All of this is accomplished by activating the “Files" button in the Load requester.
Animating Batches!
At last! Now many of your favorite operators can be applied to batches of images, creating exciting new animation possibilities. ProControi allows you to initiate motion on two ways. Numerical values may be incrementally Increased by any amount during a looped running of a script. This is done by using the formula “xfy" in any numerical input area. Here, ”x" equals the starting value, “f" means "Finish," and *y" equals the ending value. For instance, If you needed an image to rotate a total of 100 degrees in ten degree increments, you would use the string "101100" where the rotation is
called for. In those situations where exact pixel movements are to be delineated, the formula "xdy" is used. Here “x" stands for the starting position, "d" means "delta" (change coefficient for an animation frame), and "y" equals the number of pixels to be moved.
Let's say you wanted an Image or brush to move in the negative z plane by ten pixels each frame, starting from a z position of
100. You would find the z input area and write "100d-10."
ProControi allows this numeric scripting in any of the
ADPro operators that have numeric input boxes. To animate,
you must also toggle the “Set Iteration" feature by double
clicking in any line in the desired animation script. By
setting an Iteration number equal to the number of frames
you want in the animation the script will run that many
times.
There is a special "Use This Setting" toggle associated with the iteration feature that even allows you to skip the iterations for desired cases. By using multiple Loaders on the same image and treating the numeric indicators differently, images may take turns and twists during the finished piece.
Correction In Amazing Computing 8.8, August 1993, the product information for T-Rexx Professional was incorrectly listed. The error appeared on page 38. T-Rexx Professional was attributed to the incorrect company. The correct product information for T-Rexx Professional is as follows: T-Rexx Professional ASDG, Inc. 925 Stewart St. Madison, WI 53713
(608) 273-6585 We apologize for any inconvenience this may have
caused.
- 4_ 24 Amazing Computing Sample Scripts Just to give you a
little feel for ProControi scripts, here are a few that ad
dress some alternate situations:
1. This script will load in a NewTek FrameStore, change its color
to gray, halve its dimensions, flip it horizontally, make it a
negative, then render it as a 16-color hl-res interlaced
overscanned IFF to a file. By selecting any of the lines and
setting the iterations to 10, it will do this operation on the
same picture 10 times in a row, creating an animation file
on disk in the process.
Screen Type 27 Loader FrameStore 1 Operator Color to Gray Operator Halve Operator Horizontal Flip Operator Negative Render Type 16 Execute Saver IFF Image End Of Script End of Batch
2. Here is a script that loads a JPEG file, antiques it and
places it in perspective, and then renders it as a simulated
halftone to the screen, From there, it is rendered as a HAMS
file and saved. As with the other example, this could also be
set to be a multiple-framed animation.
Loader JPEG 1 Operator Antique Operator Perspective Operator Sim Print ha Screen TyPe 27 Render Type HAMS Execute Save ANIM Image Fast End of Script End of Batch Hoped-for Revisions It would be nice if some of the visual operators automatically triggered ADPro to bring up those specific interface screens, so that a more graphical, rather than numerical, exploration of the input variables could occur. Other then that, this software is extremely intuitive and of value to all ADPro owners, it is easy to use in most cases, and when your ADPro animation desiresget more complex, a thorough read
ing of both the ProControi and ADPro manuals should suffice.
ProControi ASDG 925 Stewart St. Madison, WI 53713
(606) 273-6585 Inquiry 230 cli directory by Keith Cameron In
recent months,! Have reviewed what I consider frequently-
used Amiga DOS commands, if you have understood these
commands, then you should be ready for the next step:
writing scrip! Files.
First of all, just what exactly is a script file. Those of you familiar with the Amiga will recognize that a script file is executed each time you power up your computer. In your 's' directory, there is a very important script file called "sfartup-sequence." Recent versions of Workbench may have other additional script files in the 's' directory, such as "Shell-startup." Those of you coming from an MS-DOS environment may wish to think of script files as the Amiga version of batch files.
Technically, script files are text files containing one or more AmignDOS commands that are executed in sequence. 1 find them to be especially useful for performing repetitive tasks, Let me provide an extended example.
I am a teacher. The computer I use at school is one that my students have access to. I maintain an electronic grade book on that computer. It is installed on the hard drive, and 1 have installed a menu that requires a password to enter the grade book. This provides some security from students messing with the grades. Still, I have taken another precaution to protect it from students who might wish to tamper with grades or erase them altogether. Each time I update the gradebook, I execute a script file which copies the update to a floppy disk which I can then lock away in my filing cabinet. Now
rather than typing a lengthy command line, such as "copy gradebook Sthsixweeks dfO:'' 1 simply enter "gradecop" and hit the return key. Not only does this provide protection, but 1 can also take the grades home and work on them using my home computer. This illustrates how a script file can reduce repetitive work. There are other advantages of script files as well, but for me, this is the major advantage.
Now, how do you write a script file? It really isn't that difficult.
A script file, as I said, is simply one or more AmigaDOS commands working in sequence. Let's look at an example of one. Printed below is a copy of the startup-sequence from my computer.
C: version NIL: addbuffers NIL: dfO: 15 Pailat 21 Resident; NIL: C:Execute PURE ADD makedir ran:T ram:Clipboards ran:env ran:envoys copy NIL: SNVARC: ran:env all quiet noreq assign EKV: rantenv assign T: ram:t ;set up T: directory for scripts assign CLIPS: rara:clipboards assign REXX: s: if exists sys:Monitors join NIL: sys:nonitors -( ?.info) as t:non-start execute t:mon-start delete NIL: t:mon-start endif run blanker 120 BindDrivers aetenv Workbench $ Korkbench setenv Kickstart Skickstart iPrefs echo "Amiga Release 2. Kickstart Skickstart, workbench Sworkbench" conclip mount speak:
mount aux: mount pipe: path ram: c: sys:utilities sysisystems: Bys:prefs ays:wbetartup add if exists oys:tools path sysstools add if exists sys:tools commoditieB path sys:tools commodities add endif endif if $ Isys keyboard) HOT EQ M*$ sys keyboard}" setmnp SIBys keyboard) else PickMap sys: initial endif if exists s:user-startup execute s:user-startup endif loadwb First of all, as a type of review, let’s consider how 1 inserted this startup-sequence in my article. I could have painstakingly sat down and typed in each line, but this would have taken a considerable amount of time. Instead, I
used the JOIN command, as illustrated below: J03K DF1 : SCRIPT DPO STARTUP-SSQUEh’CE AS D?1:SCRIPT1 in this example, my article is named "script" and the startup- sequence is joined to it to make "scriptl." That's how easy it is.
Now, back to the script file.
If you examine this script file closely, you will notice that the first word in each line of the script is an AmigaDOS command, There are several present that we have looked at in the past few issues, like MAKEDIR, COPY, PATH, DELETE, and LOADWB.
There are still others that I have described in the past year, such as ASSIGN, RESIDENT, JOIN, EXECUTE, RUN, and SETMAP. There are also a few I have not discussed yet, for example ADDBUFFERS, SETENV, CONCLIP, and MOUNT. Then, there are a few that are specifically used in writing script files. These are FAILAT, IF, and ENDIF. I hope to look at these in the next month or two.
The point 1 hope to make here is to demonstrate that there is nothing complex about script files. They can use common, everyday AmigaDOS commands just like those we have discussed month after month. If you are a regular reader of my column, you will have absolutely no problem.
When you boot your Amiga, it automatically looks to the startup-sequence for instructions. As it reads this script file, it executes each line. If a line is improperly written or the command is missing, the computer will stop and present you with a requester informing you of the problem. After you respond to the requester, the computer will continue to execute the commands in the script.
For example, look at the fourth line of the script, the one that begins with RESIDENT. This lint', when exeucted, makes the EXECUTE command resident; that is, it temporarily adds il to the internal command list. EXECUTE is not an internal command, if you were to remove this command line, EXECUTE would not be added to the internal list. In the next line, the script creates four new directories in the RAM disk: T, Clipboards, env, and sys (in the env directory previously created).
In the commands listed in the startup-sequence, don't be concerned at this point about NIL. NIL is simply an output device that files can be written to. Everything written So NIL is eventually thrown away.
As you go through this list, you will undoubtedly be confused by certain command lines; 1 am too, Don't let this deter you from trying your hand at writing script files, though. Yours don't have to be as complicated and certainly not as Long.
You can alter this startup-sequence, too, if you iike. About one- third of the way down, you will notice this command line: "run blanker 120." I added this, it tells AmigaDOS to run the screen saver program called Blanker which is found on the Extras disk. The 120 tells the blanker to wait 120 seconds after keyboard or mouse inactivity before blanking the screen. Since I have added Blanker to my 'c' directory, no path designation is needed.
You can also delete lines. For example, if you want to have a true command line environment, delete the last line: "loadwb." With this line missing, you will have no Workbench screen. Some of you may have also noticed that I have already deleted a line from my script; "endcli." Since I like working from the CLI, I chose to delete this line from my script so that the command line screen will remain. However, I also like to have the Workbench available, so I have left the "loadwb" line there.
Rather than delete lines from a script such as this, you can simply place a semicolon at the beginning of the line as in this example.
;endcli The semicolon is a signal to AmigaDOS to ignore the command.
Then, at a later time, you can simply remove the semicolon and the line is ready for exeuction. You can also use the semicolon at the end of a line to document what vou are doing. Here is an example: ;endcli ; I ir.ay want to add this comnand later Everything to the right of the semicolon is ignored. Those of you familiar with programming will begin to see some similarities between script writing and programming, especially as regards such documentation.
Now that you know what a script file is, let's look briefly at how one is created. To create a script file, you need to use a text editor or a word processor which allows the file to be saved in ASCII. Ail you do is enter the commands you want in the order you want. Be sure to have one command to a line. If you are new to this, don't hesitate to use semicolons to document what you are doing.
After you have created the file, give it an appropriate name and save it. Basically, when you are ready to use a script file, you can either use the EXECUTE command with the name of the file or you can simply use the file name. For now, it is better to use the EXECUTE command. At another time, we will discuss and examine when it is best to use which. To execute a script file, type the following in from the CLI: EXECUTE SCRIPTFILS RETUR!4 That's all there is to il. Then, as each line of the script is read, it is executed. To see a good example of using a script file, refer to an article of
mine in the January 1992 issue of this magazine. For those of you without access to that magazine, let's consider another situation.
As I've said before, I am a teacher by profession. I have four computers in my current classroom. As i acquire new programs, I install them on the hard drives of these computers. Since these computers are not networked, this means that 1 have to repent the copy procedure for each computer. Likewise, other classrooms in the building have four computers as well, and these teachers often want these programs loaded into their hard drives. Since some of these teachers are not very computer literate, that means I must go around and personally load the programs into each computer, one at a time. To
save myself a lot of trouble, I began writing script files to do the repetitive work.
Say, for example, that I have three new programs 1 wish to copy to my hard drive. Let's call these programs Gradebook, Game, and Tutorial. Before copying, i would have to create a directory for each one, and the directory could have the same name as the program. Thus, 1 would begin writing a script which would look like this: KAKEDIR DHO! GRADEBOOK DH0:GAME DKQ: TUTORIAL COPY DFOiQRADSBOOK DEO:GRADEBOOK COSY DFOiOAME DH0:GAMZ COPY DFO:TUTORIAL DEO iTUTORIAL First of all, notice that I created all three directories with a single AmigaDOS command. Next, I copied the programs from a floppy in the
internal drive to the designated directories on the hard drive.
Finally, I did not include the customary RETURN instruction, as this is being written by a text editor, not in the actual command line.
1 would save this script file (using LAZY as the name of the file perhaps) to the floppy disk that all of the other programs are on. I would then go from computer to computer, simply tvping EXECUTE DF0:LAZY RETURN al the command prompt of the Shell CLI. The computer would then execute each line, creating directories and copying programs as instructed. Rather than having to go around and personally copy the programs on the computers of other teachers, 1 could simply write the command line above on a note and let them do it themselves.
The amount of effort 1 have saved is substantial. Remember that I'd have to write the command at least once anyway, so 1 have created no work whatsoever.
To further compound this task, say that these other teachers wanted to run a screen saver on their computers.! Could then simply add more lines to the file above.
These lines might look like this.
DELETE DEO S STAETUF-SEQU3KCE CODY DF0:S7ARTD?-SEQ'JE»CE DHOiS COPY DFO : BLANKER DHC ; C These lines tell AmigaDOS to delete the startup-sequence that is currently on the computer and replace it with another one, like the one printed near the beginning of this article. Of course, this new one already has blanker listed so that it would be run upon booting.
The final iine makes a copy’ of the screen saver program on the hard drive.
Basically, I have attempted to explain what script files are, why they are useful, and how they are written. Anytime you have a series of AmigaDOS commands that need to be executed repeatedly, try putting them in a script fife. In future columns, we will examine how to write more complex script files and make them executable from an icon for those of you who prefer Workbench.
Please Write to: Keith Cameron ch Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 s tips hints workarounds
suggestions updates fixes by John Steiner The Director vs. AG
A Robin Hoare of Hokianga Software in New Zealand writes to
note that he has written three educational applications which
have been selling quite well. The programs were written in The
Director language, developed by the Right Answers Group's
Keith Doyle. It appears that the programs now crash on the
Amiga 1200 with AGA graphics chips.
"I have twice written to Right Answers, but have had no reply. The help phone number has been disconnected.
Robin comments, "It is a complete disaster for me to rewrite the programs in another language as it would be so time consuming. 1 have tried the built-in WB 1.3 chip emulation, but no go." Docs anyone have any suggestions for Robin? If you have a solution, drop me a note; I'll pass it along.
Xerox 4045 Driver Bob Schulien sent E-Mail noting be has a printer driver for the Xerox 404? Printer. He lias sent lire driver to Mr. Fish, and comments that it can now be found on oneof the Fred Fish disks. He noted that he's used the driver to print graphics from 'Tax Break' and 'Pro Page 2.1.' AE High-Density Drive Phil Combs provided via E-Mail an answer to questions about using the Applied Engineering High Density Drive mentioned in the June 1993 Bug Bytes." His answer was as I expected. As Mr. Combs pointed out in his article on high-density Amiga drives in thejuly 1993 issue of Amazing
Computing, putting information on a disk in high- density format is done bv cutting the drive speed in half. Phil notes, "it seems that AE attempted a half-speed hack on an IBM drive, but couldn't get thedriveto lock at half speed. They did getitio lock about 180 r.p.m., and made up for the difference in software. When 2.(1 came outwith itssupport for the Amiga Hddrive, they probably realized the drive needed major mechanical rework, and they probably shuddered at the thought of having thousands of these drives returned to them."
High-Density Drives, CDTV, & More... Max Daymen of Colorado Springs, CO, also wrote with comments regarding high density drives on the Amiga. He notes that the 2.05 ROM has built-in support for high-density drives, but the 2,04 ROM handles them just fine. The version of Setpatch in the 2.1 upgrade patches the
2. 04 ROM to properly use high-density drives, "although 1 have
not had problems prior to installing 2.1." Max continues,
"Also, only high density drives that spin at 150
r. p.m. can be used in the Amiga. You will notice when you
install a high density drive into an Amiga system, formatting
disks will take twice as long in high density mode whereas the
IBM handles read write operations at twice the normal speed
when in high density mode."
Max also wrote regarding Jim Goos' question about RAD in the June 1993 "Bug Bytes." He writes, "The RAD disk should work just fine with a 1 (or 2) MB Agnus and OS 2.1. Previous to OS 2.1, you had to type 'SETPATCH r' after every reboot or you would lose the RAD disk. The only reasons for a RA D disk not working are an improperly set-up RAD disk, or NON-autocon fig memory in the system. If yoursy stem does not autoconfig all memory, the RAD disk may be placed in RAM (i.e., 32-bit RAM) which disappears after reboot."
Max has a question about Screenmode in OS 2.1. He writes, " The problem is that after 1 open certain programs on the workbench screen, then quit, Screenmode ceases to function." After running a program that exhibits the problem, and the Screenmode requester loads, "1 dick on a mode, then hit 'use'. A requester appears stating to 'Close all windows except for drawers, then click OK'. Well, there are no windows on the screen. It repeats this cycle four or five times before the requester stays long enough to choose a button, and ultimately I must choose 'Cancel.'" If you have any comments, pass
them along; I'll print them here, Janus v2.1 Doug Hart wrote another E-Mail letter to comment further on the limits v 2.1 software for the Bridge Board, He notes, "The code will not even run unless Enforcer is used. Commodore even supplies a copy of Enforcer with tile upgrade. I am not a developer but I understand Enforcer is used to capture bad code calls (hits) that would GURU the system." He wonders whether or not that makes the Janus upgrade an example of proper Amiga programming.
BAD v4.13 Ross Knepper sent E-Mail to comment that he also owns BAD version 4.13. He writes, "It does not recognize my A4000's 124MB Seagate IDE Hard drive. It seems to think I have no hard disk at all."
Anyone suggest any workarounds or have any other comments on this bug?
Arexx vs Directory Opus 4 Jonathan Potter sent E-Mail regarding Glen Corl in's problem with Director] Opus as reported in the July 1993 "Bug Bytes" column. He notes, "There are two main reasons why lie could be having problems running Arexx scripts from Directory Opus 4. The first is that the Arexx port namehas changed from version 3. The old port name,"dopus_rexx" has been changed to "DOPUS.l" (to be compliant with Commodore's style guide). Second and third invocations of the program will be called DOPUS.2, DOPUS.3, etc." He continues, "One side note to this; if he is launching Arexx scripts
using the tiny A button or from buttons configured as Arexx functions, it should not generally be necessary to specify art}' port name, as the default port will be that of the launching program."
"The second reason he could behaving problem is that the conversion done (automatically) to make 3.41 configuration files work with Dopus 4.0 'lost' the old function type definitions. Therefore, any old function defined as being Arexx became defined asa normal AmigaDOS command. He needs to re-configure these functions, changing their type to Arexx again."
INOVAtronics Calling Mr. Corlin Greg Glaser of INOVAtronics also wrote to comment that he tries to respond to every letter a customer writes to his company, but wonders if Mr. Corlin's APO address is causing a communications problem. Anyway, Mr. Glaser notes that the change in Arexx address from Dopus to DOPUS.l is most likely causing Mr. Corlin's problem.
HP DeskJet 550C Bill Davis of Picatinnv Arsenal, NJ, sent E-Mai! With a couple of questions about using an HP DeskJet 550C with his A1000. He wondered about the availability of a printer cable for connecting the two units. He noted that his local Am i ga dea ler wa s of no help. One excellent source of Amiga-specific cables is: Redmond Cable Corp. 17371 A1 NE 67th ST. Redmond, WA 98052 Bill also asked if thereare available printdrivers which work under
1. 3 other than the commercial driver Super_DJC2 advertised in
the June 1993 issue. If you know' of any drivers, pass the
information along; I'll let everyone know.
Attention Zaak O'Conan!
Dan James sent E-Mail noting he has information wanted by Zaak O'Conan, and I was to have Zaak contact Dan. Zaak, I've misplaced your E-Mail address, but if you drop me another E-Mail line, I'll pass Dan's address on to you.
Troubled NEC CDR-25 User Greg Bastow sent along an E-Mail letter regarding his experience with a NEC CDR-25 external, portable CD-ROM drive for his Amiga
3000. He was under the impression that this was a standard SCSI
drive that would simply plug into the back of his Amiga
3000 and function properly. Unfortunately he ran into
problems.
He writes, "I bought the XF.TEC CD-ROM filing system software (as it is highly recommended to me by a number of other I3tiS System Operators). At first it seemed to work, but it would lock the SCSI bus when AmigaDOS Xetec-software polled the device. At first I thought it was a problem with either the filing system software, or something to do with my drive’s situation (this drive made my SCSI bus full) and how they were communicating to each other.
"After working with the software for several days, and changing my d rive setup a lot 1 thought it best to go back to Xetec to see if they had any suggestions. 1 spoke with Fred in Technical support and he offered a number of suggestion for me to try. I moved the ID of many of my drives around, making the CD-ROM live in many different locations on the SCSI bus. 1 even went so far as to piug a 2091 controller card in and see if it would work. None of these changes solved my problems 1 Oohh the drive would still freeze the SCSI bus when polled. It would take anywhere from several minutes to
more than 30 minutes of steady usage for this to happen. All [ had to do, was turn the unit off and on and it would 'correct' itself.
"After two weeks of fighting this drive, 1 made a desperate phone call to Paul Reeves at Asimware. Even though I had not bought his filing system, he was more than willing to help me, and enlighten me.
Through the information I received from him, and Commodore Business Machines themselves I learned that this is not a standard SCSI mechanism and it has problems working on Amiga 3000's. I have sold the mechanism and 1 am on die hunt for a real SCSI CD-ROM drive.
"I am letting you know in hopes this information will save someone else a lot of time, effort, and sleepless nights!" Thanks for the warning, Greg; that's what "Bug Bytes" is ail about.
Greg Bastow also sent E-Mail regarding a patch bug fix for Moonlighter Software's popular AmiBack Tools package. The latest version is 1.02 and the patch fixes a couple of small problems with the program. The latest version of AmiBack is 2,0g. He also notes that they have also released a package called AmiBack Bins Tools which contains their powerful backup program AmiBack, and AmiBack Tools in a single package.
Scalable Fonts Michael Haephrati sent E-Mail regarding problems programming with scalable fonts. He writes, "when asking the system fora double size of the same Compugraphic font, I usually can't know for sure what will be the width of each character of the new size. Is it possible to have control on the width and not the height? Can [ askforanewsizeinwhich every character's width (spacing, etc.) will be exactly 2X from the original?" Anyone with expertise in using Compugraphic fonts want to comment on Michael's question?
Maverick v5 Steve Hostettler of Toledo, Ohio, sent E-Mail regarding the program, Maverick. It can be purchased through Software Support at 1 -800- 356-1179. He writes, "If you wish to utilize Maverick be prepared. You will need the 'passwords' to the programs you are trying to de-protect and in some cases (for track protection or other types of 'hard' protections) you will need Maverick's 'Back-up Buddy' floppy drive. Version 5 is the latest version of Maverick for the Amiga."
He also notes, "! Have found another program called Lockpick which works similar to Maverick but does not require the 'passwords' or the special drive. Maverick, however, will copy and or de-protect more programs than Lockpick. But it is nice to have both programs."
DCTV Anims & The Director Barbara Sattler of San Pedro, CA, wrote a three-page letter filled with programming information directed to Norman Wersan's request for help in running DCTV animations in Director2. I photocopied her letter and passed it on in its entirety to Mr. Wersan. To summarize her comments for others interested in using DCTV and Director2 the problem with DCTV images is that the coding for DCTV display is imbedded in the upper left corner of the image. Therefore it is essential that the image be complete and positioned properly in order for this information to be read. Most
display programs handle this automatically, but Director2 allows so many options that you must make sure that it is set up correctly yourself. Just use the POSITION command at the start of your script. She recommends POSITION 100,24, however you may want to experiment with different placements yourself. Thanks, Barbara, for taking the time to write.
Distant Suns v4.2 Bug Dr. Scott Michael of Conyers, G A, wri tes regard inga bug in Distant Suns version 4.2 from Virtual Reality. One of the new features is the ability to save a startup-state that Includes all of the settings that you usually use, such as star magnitude displayed, markers, field of view, and initial direction. If you save either Colormap-IF orColormap-Stars as anything except normal, the initial screen will flash the starfield for an instant then blank out the stars. Planets, markers, the sun and the moon continue to be displayed. To get the entire display you can 1.
Reload the startup state from the menu, 2. Toggle the twilight option off Switch; this works even if it is already off, or 3. Save the startup-state with the Colormap options in the normal position so that it will load without problem and select an option other than normal after the program loads.
Dr. Michael notes that Tim Finer of Virtual Realitv told him that they are aware of the bug and are currently working on a fix.
Roctec Drive, X-Cad Suggestion Mark Spitzer of Remlap, AL, notes that he purchased several inexpensive floppy drives to replace the old drive he had been using.
After finding each inexpensive drive giving a high number of read write errors, even on high-quality brand-name disks, he began to wonder if there might be some problem with his Amiga. He decided to try one more time and spent an extra S14 for a Roctec Ultra-Slim drive.
He notes, "It works flawlessly, is quieter, and seems more precision- made both in appearance and operation; also it even has a no-click feature built in and is absolutely quiet without a disk in it."
He also notes that Maverick (mentioned above) is a copy utility program that has a parameter that removes dongle protection for a program listed as X-CAD 3d 1.1.” This feature might be used to help Rick Geren's problem with X-Cad Designer as mentioned in the June 1993 Bug Bvtes.
Pefect Sound Parallel Adapter Harry Runge of Reston, VA, writes to comment about J. Lewis's problem getting the DSS Sound Module to work on the Amiga 1000. He notes, "Perfect Sound sells an adapter for the parallel port. I had the same problem with getting the Golden image hand scanner to work.
The Perfect Sound adapter cured the headache. As 1 recall, it cost £10.95." Write to; John Steiner c o Amazing Computing Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 ...or leave E-Mail to John Steiner on Portal 73075,1735 on CompuServe Internet mail can be sent to John_Steiner@cup.portni.com FAX John Steiner at (701)280-0764 StretchinG ince 1986, DKB has been a leader in the creation of peripherals for the Amiga. We thought you'd like to know why... s
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With Aladdin 4D: Part Three In Aladdin 4D, a list is represented by three hierarchal requesters that allow you degrees of input so that specific graphics can either be added to the screen or made to appear with specific properties once they are on the screen. There are five main Lists in A4D: Attributes, Textures, Foreground, Background, and Overlays. Knowing your way around A4D Lists also helps you when it's time to create and alter Gases, Waves, and animation Paths. Little wonder then that we should pay attention to the structure and use of Lists.
As stated, an Aladdin List is really a group of three connected requesters. The first list allows you to add a new List, clone a list already addressed in the project, delete a selected one, and cleanup the List categories. Normally, you would add a List at the start of the project. After selecting Add, you then move on to a button that reads Control. Clicking this button brings up the second of the three associated List requesters. This list is named the Control. This Control Lisl allows you to load previously saved Lists, or to save the list you are working on when you are ready. This is
where you also can rename the List, This second requester allows you to determine how many times your object's attributes will change over time by offering you a dedicated area where you can input a numeric string. There is also a toggle between Cycle (runs the objects Attributes from beginning to Left: With the options in Ihe Member Control AttList requester, attributes like color and transparency can be targeted to specific 3-D objects.
Opposite: The top figure uses Ihe Line Type called Poly Centers, and the bottom uses its opposite, Edges. These features can be animated, so that a flying object might start out as a solid, and then change into one of these line types.
L T r end as many times as requested) and Periodic (runs the objects Attributes from beginning to end, then from end to beginning, as often as you request). The attributes that define the 3-D character of any object can be animated over time just as the object can. The default is obviously a "cycled" time of "1," since most objects in an animation would probably have the same look during the whole animation, but that need not be the ease, When first applying Attributes to an object, you move to the third requester of the group bv clicking on Member Control from the second requester.
This session, the Attvibutes List: how to navigate around it and understand what it can do.
R. Shamms Morlier The third requester is called the Member
Control, it is from here that specific object attributes are
determined and applied to your selected 3-D object. Since the
step-by-step tutorial that follows has a good deal of space
devoted to this third requester's use, we won'! Spend time
here describing it in detail.
When you begin a project and have designed an object that is ready to receive some material attributes, you bring up the Attributes List which one-by-one opens these three requesters for input. When the Attributes are decided upon i.n the last requester (Member Control) of the AttList and you Accept the decisions you've made, you are marched through the same three requesters in reverse order, having to accept each in turn. This is so that you have an opportunity to alter each option. As you can imagine, a project that has dozens of objects on screen can have dozens of AttLists associated with
it.
Basically, lists are descriptive information concerning objects and groups of objects that are somewhat independent of any specific object, since they can be saved and later applied to new objects in know what Amiga.
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For a better sense of Amiga direction, call 1-800-345-3360 totally different animations. AttLists are really books in a special library dedicated to saving the "personality traits" that objects display, and which can later be applied to or "worn by" any 3-D object that comes along.
Tutorial Step One After creating any simple object in A4D and selecting it, go to the Polygon menu option and select Attributes. Up pops a requester that has five options at the bottom, while a red string of text reads "No ATTLists" at the top. The five options are Add, Delete, Clone, Cleanup, and Control. There is also a button that reads Accept. Our first choice is to Add a list that will be connected to our chosen object, so dick on Add, and watch as a listing is added that reads "AttList 1," which is also now highlighted in red. We could Delete this or any other AttList in the stack, Clone
it, or Cleanup the listing.
For now though, in order to proceed to our next plateau, let's just hit Control and move on.
Step Two After hitting Control, we find our screen has popped another requester. This one is the AttList Control requester, and it has its own set of features. First, the AttList name appears at the top. This name can be edited (renamed) to your liking, and it is suggested that you do this.
At the bottom of the AttList Control requester is a Cycles indicator that show's how many times your AttList will be applied during an animation. The default is 1.0, but can be altered. If, for instance, it reads 3.5, then this AttList would he applied 3-1 2 times for the duration of your animated frames. As the side button shows, the cycles can be applied in a cyclic fashion during the animation, or in a periodic way (meaning that the cycle will ping-pong from forward to backward during the animation). If you set the AttList to demand that the colors are to change from red to green and have
the low'er settings set at 3.5 and Periodic, and have the total animated frames set to 70, then for the first 35 frames the object will turn from red to green 3.5 times, then cycle backwards from green to red another 3.5 times before reaching the last frame. If you can't quite understand this, the best way to get a grasp on it is to experiment and take your own notes while watching what's going on. Hitting Member Control brings up the next requester in the AttList string.
Step Three: Member Control All that we have done up to this point is to prepare ourselves for interacting with this third requester, because this is where the real action is. At the very top of the AttList Controller are three bars that control the way your objects attributes are animated. Every attribute that is targeted on any object can change over time. This means objects can change color, reflective capacity, response to wave sources, transparency, hardness, and any other present or future attribute that may be added along the way in A4D. The top animation bar is time sensitive, allowing
you to set the overall time an animation is to address, and it's supported by two interactive slider areas below which allow you to set the initial and ending segments of the animation. There are two other supportive numerical input areas that allow you to set these parameters in either or timing or frame units. In addition Easing in and out are supported, that is, speed increases and decreases as the animated object moves through space.
The type of Attribute animation, whether cycled through in one direction or periodically played from start to finish and then Aladdin 4D 2.3 has arrived!
This upgrade is offered only to A-1D registered users. To begin with, it's for math coprocessor users only, and will not run on unaccelerated machines. It comes with a clearly illustrated 18-page manual addendum. Considering its ingredients, you will want to send for it ASAP.
Version 2.3 has new procedural textures: eight tiles (Burst-Sine, Circles2, Fireworks, Radial, Spirals, Spirals-Sawtooth, Ripplcl, and Ripple2) and a new Samples Scalar variable for the Noise procedurals. These are all illustrated and tutorially explained. There is a new bitmap texture method called Tiles completely different from the A4D Shingles type. It can put multiple or partial images on each single polygon of an object. A new reporting feature prevents you from accidently disabling a bitmap when you're not supposed to, preventing major problems.
It is now possible to load JPEG files directly into A4D. At this time, 1 don't know of any other Amiga 3-D 4-D programs that load JPEG directly. Imported Geo files (VideoScape ASCIIs) can now be scaled during import. Pains have also been taken to give A4D the expected full 3-D interface look, A4D Gas renders have been made more accurate and responsive to rotation commands, as well as increased rendering 20 to 50. Another addition is full support for the new 24-bit Retina board, including saves.
Rendering can now be doubled on either or both the horizontal and vertical dimensions, or halved. Doubling increases rendering time, but gets rid of all jaggies as a result. Halving a render is good for previews.
Another Aladdin first is the new shadow acceleration routine.
A4D now uses a technique similar to JPEG for ray tracing shadows, reducing their rendering time by factors of three or more! This is a lossy technique, meaning that if you select to push the rendering up too far, shadowed areas will be adversely effected. But you can easily get tliree to five times the speed on shadow renders without noticeably affecting the quality of the work at all, especially for animations.
An excellent two-volume tutorial tape is also offered, fully explaining many of the more esoteric features of A4D by Greg Gorby himself. In addition to the A4D visuals, the tapes will give you a chance to see the masters behind the curtain, Greg Gorby and his abie assistant Devon Graham. The upgrade cost for 2.3 is $ 39.95 plus S&TI, and the cost of the tapes is S54.95 plus S&H.
Here are the AttLists requesters associated with all of the tutorial steps presented in this article.
Backwards, is set in this requester. One of the unique features in any animation program can also he turned on here by switching the BKGRD (background) on (default is off). A polygon targeted to this setting appears as an opaque section of the background graphic, becoming invisible to the viewer. But it is still a separate plane in reality, so objects passing through or around it seem as if they are magically appearing from the background. Backgrounds, in A4D or any other programs, are traditionally impossible to penetrate in this fashion as they are really not a part of the 3-D scene, but
exist at an untouchable dimension in back of everything else. The only other way to utilize the background as an object is to paint it to a plane placed at some numerical distance in back of the scene, but then you have problems of placement and sizing.
A list of interactive Attribute sliders is the heart of this requester. With them, color, material reflectivity (a object's ability to be self illuminating), the quality of its hardness, the size of the highlights it has when light plays upon it, the degree of its transparency and also the thickness and light sensitivity of that transparency, its sensitivity to wave sources and reflection mapping can all be experimented with in both visual-proportional and numerical terms.
Line Types This feature cannot be found in any other 3-D 4-D program. It transforms a solid 3-D object into a composite skeletal 3-D structure.
The user is in control over the type of structure involved and the thickness of its members. Five structure types include Normal (the expected 3-D object), Edges (the connecting edges of the object's polys), Centers (centers of polys), Points (points at which polys meet), and Point Centers. Use is easy. Select any poly in your scene, bring up the AttList requester, and go through these options selecting both type and size, then render.
Shadows Once shadows are toggled on, they can be placed on objects in several ways. Any object can cast and or receive a shadow. Another option is to toggle on the self shadow control, meaning that an object such as a bowl might cast a shadow on its internal concave shape as well as on the table it sits on. Shadows are completely slaved to non-global light sources in terms of placement, intensity, and color, so light placement is critical to understand when working with shadowed surfaces.
But Most Importantly The essence of the magic made possible in this requester is animation. Any of the qualities that a targeted object has can change over time. That might mean that a blue glass sphere gradually (or suddenly) achieves the look of a hard yellow plastic ball and then reverts to its transparent self again in an infinite mesmerizing loop.
The object might show waves rippling across its surface in response to a wave source, and then be still and unaffected. Coupled with textural (see the first Amazing A4D tutorial) and deformation processes, altering an objects material attributes in A4D over the time of an animation is the third way to achieve dramatic and novel results.
When you're finished attaching various attributes to your otiject, the three AttList requesters are Accepted in reverse order.
After previewing some rendered frames of your objects and scene, you can always go back and change or revise them by bringing up the same Attl .1st requester again.
• AC* Please Write to:
R. Shawms Mortier c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 Cards for All Occasions!
By Dan Weiss By the time you read this something wonderful will have happened to me: I will have a newborn baby in my arms. Truth to tell, I'm not much with knitting, so baby booties were out of the question.
So in preparation for the coming of my daughter, I decided to design the birth announcement. The more I looked at the project, the more I realized that this is exactly the sort of project that readers of this column will be called on to do many times in their career. Sure it's easy to run down to the local card store and pick up a stack of announcements, but here is a chance to make a personal statement. And baby announcements are by no means a stand-alone project. Announcements of all kinds, for business gatherings, weddings, even birthday parties follow much the same process. So this
month we roll up our sleeves and tackle the real-world problem of designing and implementing a birth announcement.
IVanieCC 9-fannafi Weiss Jjf.rr tfds cMld xtv prayed and t k Lord fattipiocn. W ** a* fad of tffo 1 SattwZ H'AT ftr.
As a single project, the announcement has enabled us to look at many facets of publishing in a single issue as opposed to ttlL‘ quality that several. It provides a solid jumping-off point for the creation of gain the ability business announcements and invitations. And tear on our Design for Reality a 1 A 1 P V ii c O Q 3 [T cB Q 15BSS ? I D I 2 » I »] The first step is to design the project around the limitations of what we have available. To be sure, there are wonderful kits and supplies from specialty paper places that can be used os the basis of invitations. But in our case we want to
look at what can be done with simple off-the- shelf supplies. To slart off with we should think in terms of the 8.5" x 11" page. That's not to say that the announcements will be that big, but rather that's the amount of space we have to work with.
To image the file we will use a high-quality personal printer, in this case a laser printer, to create the camera-ready art. This artwork will then be reproduced using the local quick copy service to create two-sided invitations- While it can be cute to create individual personalized invitations using a word processor and its mail merge feature, the overall results are not equal to we should expect, By using flic quick copy shop, we to create many announcements with minimal wear equipment. Focusing in on the standard North Quickly & Easily Create Your Own Invitations, Note Cards, Thank You's,
& More!
American letter-sized page allows the greatest freedom, because it is the lowest common denominator of laser printers and quick copy shops.
Another reality check comes from the paper itself. While wedding invitations on heavy paper with a high rag content are very impressive, they just won't run through a photocopy machine.
Realistically, the best we can expect is card stock at about 30 to 40 pounds. For the uninitiated, the weight of paper does not refer to the weight of a single sheet, or that of a small stack. The actual formula used is obscure at best. But to give you a frame of reference, the paper used in most photocopiers is 20-pound paper. So a rough feel for 40-pound stock is that it is a doubled sheet of photocopy paper.
Lastly we come to the envelopes. Standard letter envelopes don't really seem to "sav" this envelope contains an announcement.
To remedy this, we will use special invitation-sized envelopes, they are 4.375" by 5.75”, just large enough to handle one quarter of a page.
What Do We Want?
The big question in any project of course is, just what do we want to produce? In the case of the baby announcements, all we arc trying to send is a simple notice concerning our baby's birth. With other announcements we may need to include RSVP cards or other such miscellania. But for now, let's focus on the basic baby announcement.
The Baby Announcement As mentioned before, the envelope can handle an invitation that is one quarter the size of an 8.5" x 11’’ sheet of paper (4.25” x
5. 5"). This means we can have a card that is 4.25" x 5.5", a
piece of paper 5.5" x 8.51 folded in half, or a full 8.5" x
11" page folded in quarters. The project of creating an
invitation out of a page folded in quarters is a great
introduction to desktop publishing project, but something that
vve have moved beyond. For the baby invitations, we will use
the 5.5" x 8.5" page folded in half. This gives us four 4.25"
x
5. 5" surfaces to work with. To visualize what we are doing, take
a sheet of letter paper. Fold the top down to meet the bottom.
Cut or tear the paper along this fold. Take one of the pieces
and hold it so that it is taller than wide. Fold the top down
to meet the bottom again. This is our invitation. For easy
communication of where vve are, write a one on the front flap.
Open the invitation and write a two on the top part and a
three on the bottom part. Finally close the invitation, flip
it over, and write four on the back. Traditionally, Ihe reader
only expects there to be information on Panel 1 and Panel 3,
but we can use the the other spaces as well if we are
creative.
For Panel 1, the front cover, let's experiment a little. We could lead off with a strong piece of dip art such as a teddy bear or a baby rattle. If we wanted to be more gender-specific, bowing, of course, to gender stereotyping, we could use a sports figure or a piece of sports equipment for a boy, and a ballerina or doll for a girl To go with the clip art we could choose a gender neutral statement like "It's a baby," or the more traditional "It's a Bov Girl.'' But as mentioned in the opening of the article, this is a chance to make a statement. For fans of trains, the image of a locomotive
with the caption "Now arriving at the Weiss home..." can evoke a special feeling. The point is that traditional is fine, but if you are going to go to the trouble of making the announcements yourself, be creative.
In the case of my announcement, I shunned clip art in favor of using the simple beauty' of my daughter's name. Keep in mind the Although a birth announcement is used as an example, these steps can be applied to cards for any occasion, audience of this announcement, namely people I had not spoken to recently, and the unfamiliar name would have added impact. With the traditional "It's a Boy Girl!" Type cover, all that is usually remembered is that the child was a boy girl and was small average big. Leading with the name, recipients will be more likely to remember my daughter's first name.
To support the "image" of the name in a calligraphic script, Zapf Chancery Medium Italic, I captioned it with a Bible verse. T'd like to say that I have the knowledge of scholars and could mentally review the Bible and choose the needed reference, or that 1 used some liigh-tech CD-ROM Bible to find the verse. The truth is far more mundane and amusing. I caDed my mother, who is a hit of a 3ihk scholar, and said "I know -here were 5 lororHaitnahs'tn the Old Testamom can you look a reference in the 3 bk- that f can use for the haSy announcements?" To which she instantly replied "ISave me verse
you -A ar;:; it's : Samuel 1:27To thas date, no computer can take that vague a request and process it so quickly. Which is why computers will never replace my Mom, or any other kind of laffi la ffieSwilaiiin, chough. I was debating on whether- the front was too Bare. Perhaps a clip art ioraer would liven it up. But then I had to do arte of the reality checks talked about in the beginning. As I was planning to use a laser printer to generate my OhlirtttirtWAtfc J couidr.': get closer to .5“ Of any edge since one or more of the edges would not be printable. .After moving in that mucn, any sort
of border would consume indfe space tSffi i had left to give. Slearly this is a Case where pi e-printed forms would have an advantage. Instead, I divided to me the dead space itson me boruer arc! Left the ... .... - , - . - design as originally planned.
AnnoLuKement. Fkp Tara; .
Here is where feebody of the announcement lies. How you phrase the information comes if is eosy to create your own announcement cards. Doing it yourself will also save you money.
Gender Date and Time of Birth Weight and Height Other relevant information may be what hospital, what day of me week, parent's names and possibly those of siblings.
For mv announcement I lead of with "It's a Girl!" This is a due to those recipients who may mistake "Danielle" for "Daniel." Next, I wanted to be able to send the announcements out ASA5 after the birth, so I cheated a little. I simply left blanks, underlines actually, where the important information would go. This way I could fill them out at the hospital. Of course, ir the baby was a boy, I was sunk plain ar.d simple, rilling in.
The information by hand would seem to break the continuity of the text, but considering the chaos of the situation, it is not at all unacceptable. Obviously with a business announcement where there is more time to prepare, handwritten additions would be unacceptable.
' ‘The, miracCe a After the body of iriormarioii, I aecided fo conclude with another quote, This time i used the source of contemporary popular music lyrics and came up with "TKa Miracle of Love" from Queen's "The Miracle ' This gave me a sttOng fop and bottom to visually support the body text. The entire Bmte Was set in Zapft Chancery Medium italic with no text smaller IhaniS points; It's amazing how 112 points can look against 73 joints as ip the layout or Panel % Getting a 486SLC BridgeBoard?
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Vixa MC COD (308| 745-1243 Voice (3081 745-I246FA.X Lastly, I wanted to "sign" my work. This is a vanity that is not weli served in commercial work, but for a personal piece like this it is a chance to take pride in what you do. Turning to Panel 3,1 placed a line of text at the bottom of the Panel: "A Weiss Original Copyright 1993,” This, of course, has a double meaning. While the announcement was an original, my daughter will be as well.
A Letter Home What about Panel 2? This is perhaps the most important panel.
As mentioned earlier, my audience was made up of people I had not been keeping in close contact with. If I was going to let them know of my daughter's birth, why not take advantage of the opportunity and update them on what else is going on? Panel 2 then offers a space for me to add a personal note. I contemplated placing some text on the top of the Panel serving as a start for the letter, but decided against it. If I had placed some text, it would have boxed me into writing a letter to everyone, and would also have destroyed the balance of the page. This apparent separation of the type and
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The Envelope, Please Now that we've examined the announcement, what about the envelope? We are restricted in that the envelopes don't feed through photocopiers well. If they did, we could design a playful cover that would visually cue the recipient as to the good news.
Since we can’t print the envelope, what are our options? Well, we can print the cover in a different way, via rubber stamp. Bv first designing it in on the computer and then having it converted into a rubber stamp, we can effectively transfer a DTP design to the front of the envelope. In the process we get to get away from simple black toner "ink" and interject a bit of color. This trick also works with business announcements. A rubber-stamped "Urgent" letter will often attract more interest that a plain envelope.
And Now... The question in your mind now may be, so why a baby announcement as a project? For several reasons really. As a single project the announcement has enabled us to look at many facets of publishing in a single issue as opposed to several. It provides a solid jumping off point for the creation of business announcements and invitations. Finally, there is a huge, under-supported market out their for these announcements, I recently received a slick catalog of available announcements. When all was said and done, the 16-page catalog did not seem to offer more than about five variations on a
very simple set of themes. There were only 15 typefaces available to choose from and the prices were quite high. I submit that any regular reader of this column could out-perform this company.
Which just goes to show that there is money in desktop publishing.
Afterword A quick final note. 1 am starting to receive feedback and sample work from readers of my articles. Many are encouraged and believe that they can now handle desktop publishing, and have taken on many new and exciting projects. My advice to those of you that are holding back is to get going. Don't sit on the sidelines anymore, get into it. Start off simply by creating things for your own use, then branch out. One reader takes examples of what she feels is lousy work and reworks them as practice. It's a great idea, and one 1 encourage others to try.
• AO The Layout As mentioned, the announcement takes up only half
of a page, so what to do with the other half? Use it to make a
second announcement. If you go back to the layout we
discussed, you can view Panels 1 and 4 as one page and 2 and 3
as another. If we place two Panel Is at the top of a page side
by side, and two Panel 4s at Please Write to: Dan Weiss c o
Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 Head to Head Pixel 3D
Professional vs. Interchange Plus A feature-by- feature look
at the leading Amiga object format translation packages by It.
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Interchange Plus and Pixel 3D Professional are the leading Amiga 3-D object format translation packages. Each offers a variety of features and performs its tasks equally well. This article outlines the features of the two products and takes note of functions specific to each product.
Plxel3D Professional With loads of features, Pixel 3D Pro (PixPro for short) has hit the ground running.
PixPro needs 1MB of Chip RAM to run. It installs easily on a hard drive, is not copyprotected, and comes with a 48-page manual. It conies with some tutorial graphics for experimentation, and does not multitask, Object loads and saves PixPro now loads the following formats: LightWave, 3DPro, Turbo Silver, DXF AutoCAD, Wavefront, Digital Arts, Videoscape Binary and ASCII, Imagine, Sculpt 3D, Draw- 4D and Pro, Caligari, and Vista Pro and Scenery Animator DEMs. It saves all but the DEM files.
Also added is a save in a special PixPro "Router Bit” format. Router Bit applications are special cases of the beveling function, with the addition of allowing the user to import and save any polygon as a Router Bit. This continues PR3D's move towards being a "generic modeler" as well as an Object File Translator. Once created in a paint program and imported, simple polys are saved to a Router Bit file where they can be used later to apply unique bevels to a selected object, usually a text object or a logo, With a special Phong mode, the bevel itself can later be Phong shaded in a Tenderer,
while the edges where the routered edge meet the object will remain sharp. You can select either or both the front and back of an object to be Router beveled. Both the inset and height of the bevel can be interactively altered.
Bit Map conversion to a 3-D object is PixPro's central area of use. Its speed has The InterChange-Plus interface Is simple in design and easy to understand increased at least two times over its 2.0 release. When my PixPro package arrived, 1 used it immediately to address a deadline. I had scanned in a logo from a background set I designed for instructional television, and a computer graphic animation's last frame was going to be faded into that set Edges of both the animation frame and the live set the logo was taken from had to match exactly. Scans often result in rather poor aliasing, and
tine resulting jaggies ruin any visual. So I used PixPro's special smoothing algorithm on the imported scan. The operation was fast and exacting, and the jaggies were all but gone. 1 then used this scan to extrude the logo, and plugged it into the animation. Quite a number of data points were added to my object, but the rendering results were impressive.
3-D from 2-D All of PixPro's operations are accomplished on a visual interface, much like that in the best Amiga 3-D 4-D programs.
Movement of all objects is mouse-interactive, so that you can see any of the planes that have been manipulated before you save the results.
After 2-D artwork is imported into PixPro, there are two basic ways to turn it into a 3-D object. The first is to extrude it, that is, to The interface for Pixel 3D Professional has been completely redesigned to give it more of a Workbench 2.x look and feel.
Give it depth along the Z plane. PixPro also allows you to alter the dimensions of the depth as it moves (X and Y skewing), so that extruded surfaces can be either larger or smaller than the objects face, as well as the default of remaining the same size. The saved out colors of the Extruded section, front, side, and back of the object can be altered from a 32-color list.
Spinning or lathing is the second way to create a 3-D object from a 2-D surface. A special Spin Settings requester pops up on the screen. The most important settings here are the nnes that determine the "spin" axis. PixPro allows you to choose the X-, the Y-, and the Z-axis positions in any of three varieties: left right and or top bottom and middle of each axis. A special "axis offset" feature allows all axis settings to be altered on n pixel-by-pixel basis.
Different objects result when the spin axis is altered. The start stop degree of the lathing is next to be set. Lathing a 2-D object 180 degrees instead of 360 for instance creates an object with a semicircular face. The "depth" of the spin in all axis can also be altered.
Because PixPro contains these graphics tools as well as its library' of object format translators, it may also be used by the beginning Amiga artist to experiment with 3-D techniques before purchasing a more expensive 3-D program that will render the results.
The Data Requester Every object drawn on the PixPro screen stores its data settings and info in a Data requester, allowing you to numerically alter and manipulate that data as you render wireframes or shaded representations on the screen. Here is where a little knowledge concerning the different 3-D formats can save you time and increase the efficiency of later renderings. For instance, some of the 3-D objects created in certain Amiga 3-D programs use only triangular polys, and other programs demand other additional poly info before rendering can take place. As all of these transformations
can be targeted in the associated Data Requester, it would be very helpful if PixPro's manual provided more background data on the various 3- D object formats it addresses. Polygon Flipping, for instance, attempts to re-rotate all polys in a clockwise order, something LightWave, Videoscape, and 3D Pro demand. Polygon Division makes all polys three sided by splitting those with more than three sides, and some Amiga 3-D Tenderers demand triangular faces on the polys. Polygon Doubling is an alternate way to achieve objects that LightWave and other Tenderers can digest and render. Polygon
Reduction rebuilds polys on the same plane. Vertices (Point) Reduction reduces proximate vertices and points through user input. Each poly can be selected and have its colors adjusted, Other manipulations can be addressed as well.
Special Elevation Maps PixPro allows you to import a painting produced in a paint program with color "intensity" ( relative brightness ) in mind, so a 3-D "bump map” of the image can be created.
Some dedicated tutorials would be helpful here to develop this idea further. The manual suggests that brushes are more beneficial than screens to import in this mode, in order to control the size of the images.
More Attributes of PixPro There are four default buttons that can be set to operate on all images and text that is loaded in for manipulation.
They target Smoothing, Extruding, Beveling, and Spinning.
This makes it easy to redesign images, or develop libraries of unified logo treatments. Any and all configurations in PixPro can be saved and loaded back later. A full list of lire operations can be started from keyboard hotkeys as well as specific menu selections. T here is a one-level undo function included. A multiple-level undo function would be more helpful, since the program is so creatively feature thick.
Edit Mode PixPro's Edit mode offers the user ways to refine the 3-D object that are precise and exacting, so that when it is exported to the targeted rendering platform, it's set to be processed. The View Window is where most of the PixPro editing takes place though various menu selections allow numerical editing as well. Editing requires that you leave the default perspective mode in trade for a front, top, oi1 side view. The object appears as either a wireframe or a wireframe with points. Test renderings are done in Perspective mode.
PixPro's editing functions are handled by eight dedicated actions. In Edit mode you can select and move any points on an object, including "magnetic” moves where a group of points is moved in a specific direction. "Pick" gives you the power to choose any number of points at the same time, while UnPick does the opposite. If you want to select all of the points on a specific polygon, use the Linked operation. UnAll deselects all selected points on Writers Game Players Programmers Amiga Enthusiasts Do you work your Amiga to its limits? Do you do create your own programs and utilities? Are you a
master of any of the programming languages available for the Amiga? Do you often find yourself reworking a piece of hardware or software to your own specifications?
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Amazing Computing for the Commodore Amiga is one of the world's leading Amiga magazines. We are constantly looking for new authors and fresh ideas to complement the magazine as it grows in a rapidly expanding market.
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Points may be removed from the object with the Delete
function. Subdivide adds a point between iwo selected ones,
thereby giving you specific control over edge smoothing
operations. Swap is the final operation to he mentioned,
swapping selected with unselected points on the object. With
alt of these editing tools, you can fine tune your object
before it heads out to a specific library, The suggested list
price of PixPro is S249, with an $ 85 upgrade cost to previous
users.
InterChange-plus 2.0 Interchange was the first of its kind on the Amiga market. Long before the visual interface of Pixel 3D from Axiom software hit the shelves, Interchange was making a mark among Amiga artists and animators. Interchange has always been a non-graphic interface product, that is, you can't see the object files you import for translation. Many Amiga artists and animators trust the Syndesis name and know that when the numbers stop running, their object has been successfully transmuted to the chosen format.
InterChange-plus has no Caiigari converter, but does address other unique object file formats that Pixel 3D does not. Interchange also has a huge library of primitive type faces, ready to extrude and export. Interchange has a far more inclusive manual then Pixel 3D, including in depth documentation on how all of its included file formats are constructed, and how to take advantage of this information during the conversion process. Interchange also automates the problem of axis orientation by always addressing the targeted format, caused by the way different formats name the XYZ- axis.
You should also know that Interchange has the capacity to load whole scenes of objects (LightWave, Sculpt, etc.), and to preserve the color, specularity', and other data in the files it converts.
This is an attribute not contained in PixPro. Some Amiga artists and animators may find this capacity very alluring.
If it’s special converters that lure you into purchasing one or the other program, then obviously you will peruse this list for the converters important to you.
PageRender-3D A couple of years ago, Mind ware International of Canada was hyping a superlative 3-D program called PageRaider-3D with full- page color ads in all the Amiga trade magazines. 11 did tilings no other Amiga 3-Dware since theb lias been able to accomplish, it ended its life at version 1.3, and Mindware literally disappeared from the perceivable universe overnight. One of the tricks PR3D did was to generate various "arrays." Arrays are mathematical groupings of an object, matrices that have so many objects on the X- axis, so many on the Y, and so many on the Z (all user definable,
including the "distance" between pairs).
InterChange-plus comes with a 23-2-D vector fonts library1 called "InterFonts." These are all different font families, and cover most of the design needs that any Amiga videographer could desire from serif to sans- serif to fancy designs (and bold, italic, and other style parameters may be added as well). Loading the InterFonts is just as easy as loading a 3-D object file, and interchange boasts an "add text" interface that I wish other developers would study. Interchange allows you to write five lines of centered or justified text in the chosen font, 1 hen, by' altering the numeric values in
the extrude and other settings, it generates the 3-D text object in your chosen object format.
InterFonts may display specific surface attributes like dull, shiny, mirror, glass, and wireframe.
Some targeted savers however, may not use these surfaces. Each line in the text can have a different height as well as different extruded depths from .001 to 2000.
There is a special "backsides" selector which either gives the text objects solid or hollow backs. All settings may be saved and loaded again. All text may have a "smoothness" value in a range from 1 to 15.
Interchange Plus In the illustrations that accompany this article, I have attempted to give you a few visual examples of how powerful both Pixel 3D Professional and InterChange-plus are. It is my advice that any Amiga professional graphics person think about adding both PixeL3D and InterChange-plus to their library if at all possible, because each addresses different formats and has special tools and or libraries. Besides the specific converters that y'ou might need in your Amiga work, you might want to add InterChange-plus for its depth of object translation and its excellent font
capabilities. The suggested list price of Interfont Plus is $ 99.95 with an upgrade cost to previous users of $ 50.00.
• AC* Pixel 3D Professional Axiom Software 541 West 98th St 322
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I Summer CES 1993 The Video Toaster 4000, AmiLink Professional, Psygnosis, and more, highlight the Chicago event, The Summer Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago, IL. (June 3 to 6) attracted over 50,000 buyers, press, and other trade personnel on the first three days of the event which were reserved for trade only and over 37,000 consumers for the open event on Sunday, June 6. This edition of CES included several special pavilions, including Multimedia, Personal Video, CD-ROM, Home Office Comp uting, and Home Office Automation and Security.
NewTek The North Convention center appeared to be the best attended portion of the show with NewTek's Video Toaster 4000 booth sitting like a jewel as the first booth in the hall in the section dedicated to personal video. The crowds surrounding the booth were watching the almost non-stop demonstrations of NewTek's new Video Toaster 4000.
This smart, new upgrade of their current video system not only enhances the abilities of the older toaster with new features and effects, but comes with an update to LightWave 30.
The new LightWave allows users to see their animations in real time in HAM mode as well as take advantage of the 4000's AGA chip set.
Although the Video Toaster 4000 was demonstrated at NAB (see the article in the July issue of AC), the general consumer day on Sunday became the first time the Toaster 4000 was demonstrated to the open market.
NewTek's Donetta Colboch, director of marketing, was quoted in a CES letter, "We feel that we are laying the groundwork for the future. The crowds have been great, the reception for our product has been great. This is really the first opportunity for people to be exposed to our product and to see it in action.
The CES is consumer oriented and the attendees arc looking for the technology for consumers and pro-sumers."
NewTek Vice President Paul Montgomery stated, "NewTek's goal has always been to create a broadcast-quality video production tool at a price everyone could afford. Theorigi- nni Toaster stunned the Video industry, attracted thousands upon thousands of people who were looking fora low-cost videoproduction sol u ti on. The T oaster 4000, with i ts po wer- ful new capabilities and lower price, is the next step in the personal video production revolution."
DinoFrenzy: Both Sega and 3DO have liscensed products based on Jurrasic Park.
Tim Jenison, NewTek's President, also stated, "The Video Toaster 4000 is designed to utilize the increased capabilities of the Commodore 4000 computer. This powerful combination of new technologies has resulted in hundreds of new features in the Toaster 4000, many of which have never been available before on any video system at any price," On LightWave 3D, Paul Montgomery went on to state, "We designed it to have all of the power and functionality of a 530,000 animation workstation, but maintained the biggest strength of the Toaster namely, it's easy to use."
Currently LightWave 3D is being used by top animators and special effects artists in Hoi ly wood. NewTek has not only gained credi t for Babyloi 15 (March issue of AC) and Unsolved Mysteries, but the Toaster 40(10 is currently being used to create 3-D graphic effects for Steven Spielberg's new series SeaQuest DSV to air this fall on NBC. Private screenings of some of the special underwater animations and effects were given during the show.
This was the first major event which demonstrated Commodore's and NewTek's joint agreement at marketing the Toaster and the Amiga. With NewTek doing the major play, Commodore executives were quietly meeting with corporate executives in a small office on the main show floor. While this was a departure from CBM's Winter CES open booth, it was a return to theSummerCES.CBM opted to sit out last year's CES because it was open to the Public for one day. This year, CBM hand led the problem by obtaining private office space to the side of the show and holding closed- door meetings with selected
CES attendees.
Gold Disk & RGB Also located in the Personal Video Pavilion was Gold Disk with the Video Director for the Amiga and Windows. This unique system offers simple on-screen control of your CamCorder and VCR. Video Director users may log and catalog individual film clips and crea te m u I tiple dip libra ries where the Amiga, not the user, keeps track of film clips, tapes, and sections for full editing convenience. This allows an almost seamless capability of creating fully edited production.
RGB Computer & Video, Inc. was also on hand to demonstrate their latest improvements to the AmiLink video editor. With the introduction of the Video Toaster 4000 by NewTek, RGB has redesigned AmiLink to introduce the AmiLink VT4000™. The VT4000creates a seam- less integration between the Toaster 4000 and your editing tools. The Toaster 4000 post production tools are controlled and automated from the AmiLink VT4000 interface which resembles the Toaster 4000 interface by following the same user interface guidelines.
AmiLink's dearly labeled function buttons allow easy recognition and control of Toaster DigitalEffects, the new Toaster Character Generator,Toaster Chroma FX video filters, Toaster Linear Keyer, and all three of the Toaster Digital Video buffers.
The AmiLink VT4000 runs on the Video Toaster 4000 without a second computer. It can handle sixteen VTRs and four record decks. It has advanced Match-Frame capabilities with six forms of Match Frame ed i ts a nd reads VITC and LTC 5MPTE EBU time code for zero- frame accuracy. With support for synchronization with Bars&Pipes and Studio 16 audio systems and more, AmiLink VT4000 is a "must see” for any Video Toaster 4000 user.
RGB also introduced the AmiLink CLP™ Personal Video Editor1* which has been promoted as a device that can be used by anyone "small independent producer to the seasoned post-production veteran." AmiLinkClP gives all levels of videographer users control of a wide range of commercially available equipment. The AmiLink CIP is also fully upgradeable to the professional level AmiLink products. Incorporating individual device features such as the SONY RC Time-Code on some SONY products, AmiLinkClP offersflex- ibility and advanced features to a wide range of user-designed systems.
AmiLink CIP includes all the fuctionality of the professional model. You may add audio mixers, the POD (Jog Shuttle console), additional switchers, as well as any peripheral supported through AmiLink. This new upgrade allows AmiLink CIP to control an expanded number of devices. While the professional versions a f Ami Link allow frame-accurate control of more advanced videodecks and other equipment, AmiLink CIP controls industrial grade equipment so the average user can generate post-production product with ease and confidence. AmiLink VT4000 and AmiLinkCIPare available from RGB
Computer & Video Inc., 4152 Blue Heron Blvd. 118, Riviera Beach, FL 33404 (407-844-3348, FAX: 407-844-3699.
SNASM Although Cross Products Ltd. Was not an exhibitor at CES, several corporate executives made the trip from England to discuss their SNASM development system for the Amiga Front and Center: The North hall in the McCormick center was one of the busiest spots in CES. In an area traditionaly reserved for the latest new game developers, NewTek dominated with non-slop demonstrations of the Video Toaster 4000.
While 3DO (Left Top) and Phillips CD-I (Left Bottom) created a show of force, CBM opted for a quiet closed office on the show lloor.
And other platforms. SNASM offers professional development systems for the A500 (connected to the A500 expansion port) and the A600 A1200 with a PCMCIA port that leaves the expansion ports available for other devices. SNASM allows full control of the computer to create products with complete use of the full memory of the computer and allows the computer to boot as normal. When the machine is booted into the operating system, an OS legal debugging stub can be run to permitremotedevelopment and debuggingof products while co-existing with the operating system and the use of intuition etc.
Since the SNASM development system resides on a PC and is connected to the Amiga as described above, cross platform production is greatly enhanced, The time required to develop Amiga software can be amortized with the development of Genesis, SNES, and Mega CD console. All systems will benefit from Cross Products newest introduction, SNASM 2.
SNASM 2 is a new 32-bit system which allows debugging of multiple targets on-screen simultaneously. SNAMS 2 also offers an advanced interface with menus and multiple windows. Both SNASM systems are available from Cross Platforms Ltd., The Calls, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2TEH, England (0532429814, FAX 0532 426163).
Atari and IBM Atari used SCES to introduce their new 64-bit game machine, the Jaguar. The Jaguar is an interactive multi-media system based on an Atari-designed proprietary 64-bit RISC processor. The Jaguar will feature 16 million colors in24-bit color graphics. Ttiepromised hardware will provide shaded 3-D polygons which can be manipulated in real time. Jaguar will also perform real time texture mapping and special video effects. With a proprietary Digital Signal Processor for audio, a double-speed compact disk peripheral to play audio CD, CD+G, and Kodak's new Photo-CD®, a list of
3-D titles in development, and a S200 introductory price, the Jaguar is attracting the attention of industry insiders. This has already been evident with IBM who, in a joint announcement with Atari after CES, stated that IBM would help produce the low-cost hardware.
Introductions are planned for San Francisco and New York this fall with full national distribution in 1994.
Game Issues Merit Software announced the second Tom Landry Strategy Football game to be released by September. Tom Landry Strategy Football Deluxe Edition will retail for $ 49.95 with a long list of enhancements suggested by players. Landry Deluxe offers fans complete editing control over all players. New offensive formations include Power 1 (left and right), "Blue," "Trips," and Shotgun with four wide receivers, With a league editor, complete team editing, and the ability to select a team members name and attributes, the new Landry Football user will have a great many opportu
nities just as in a real football game. Merit Software is at 1371)7 Gamma Road, Dallas, TX 75244 (214 385 2353, FAX: 214 395 8205).
Psygnosis came toCES with a new owner.
The major game developer, who created the very popular Lemmings, announced that it had been purchased by Sony. No information was available as to the purchase price, however Psygnosis employees seemed to be extremely pleased with the opportunity.
The new ownership will not slow down the release of severe i new games for the A mi ga.
Hired Guns, the massive multiple player, action, role-playing game will be released in September at $ 59.95. Combat Air Patrol, a fast- action aircraft simulation which can be used solo or linked to another Amiga, will be released by August at $ 49.95. Combat Air Patrol also offers multiple views, authentic sound effects, pre-mission reconnaissancephotos, and more. Walker, the highly awaited 3-D realistic Walker battle game will be available this fall at S49.95. These will join the Lemmings sequel, Lemmings 2: The Tribes (S59.99) which is currently being released.
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• 'H S’ s When I was a kid I had a SpiroGraph™ set. It was full
of little plastic gears and rings that allowed me to draw
interesting designs. The set also came with four colored pens
that allowed me to create colorful versions of these designs.
Best of all it came with a "recipe" book that explained how to
make the really neat designs.
The problem was that 1 could never get it to work like the book.
I'd slip out of the ring, the pen would gum up, the paper would slip 01* 1 would just plain do it wrong, i loved the designs, but it was just too much trouble. Recently though I had a chance to recreate those designs with the new drawing program Art Expression. Art Expression incorporates a function called Transform that allows you to duplicate an object while rotating, scaling and moving it. Art Expression also has a tool that makes regular polygons polygons it O » A IA O ?
?
A A X £ i ** with equally spaced sides that combines well with tire Transform function to recreate those old designs. Add to all this the advantages that you don't have to be dexterous, have many more colors to choose from, and can play with a design without tiring, and have a diversion for adults and children alike.
To help out in your exploration of what's possible, we will look at the underlying ideas as well as the "recipes" for creating the designs. So let's start with the Transform function.
Transform Start off by drawing an oval that is about five times as wide as it is tall. Select it and choose Transform from the Effects menu. Enter 19 for the Repeat Number, 0 for both Move boxes, 100 for both Scale boxes and 9 for Rotate. Hit OK. Presto, you've just created your first design. This design was the only one ! Could ever do with the old manual tools. (Figure 1) Some important notes about what these numbers mean. The Rotate number is the most important, and comes from dividing the 360 degrees in a circle into the number of steps you want. In this case I wanted 40 steps. To get the
rotate angle, divide 360 by 40 and get 9. Since we are rotating the oval around its center, we need to cut the number of steps in half, as both halves of the oval look the same.
Then we need to subtract one more, since the program leaves behind the original oval we started with. So 40 divided by 2 minus one is 19. If we used a larger Repeat Number, the ovals would stack On top of each other. If we used a smaller number, there would be a gap. Sometimes playing with the number of steps can yield interesting results.
Let's try the same tiling again, but with a Triangle drawn with the regular polygon tool. The regular Polygon tool is the one in the toolbox that looks like a triangle. Hold down the shift key when you first dick on it, and this will bring up the control requester for the tool. Right now we want a triangle, so select that and click OK. Now the tool will draw triangles when you use it. When drawing with this tool, you will get a circle until you let up, and then it will draw the polygon in the space where the circle was. Play around with it a bit, then draw a triangle about four inches tall and
wide. This time the number of sides that are the same are 3 (tire three points of the triangle) so we use the same formula, 360 divided by 5 degrees divided by 3 sides then minus one gives 23. This is the number of Figures 1 & 2.
Steps we should use. Try it out. Now try it again with only 15 steps.
This is a case where the incomplete design is also very attractive.
(Figure 2) The same formula can be used for hexagons (5 steps 10 degrees), rectangles (8 steps 10 degrees) and any other regular polygon. You will notice that as the number of sides increases the "thickness" of the design decreases, and the inside space gets bigger.
This is so because the polygon becomes a closer and closer approximation of a circle.
Add Some Color Simply doing these in black is a shame on a computer like the Amiga. Next time before starting a design, change the color of the line of the object. This makes the entire design the new color. Let's take it one step further, let's color the steps of the design. Start with the oval in the first example. Color it red. Set the Repeat Number to five and the Rotate angle to 9, and hit OK. Next select the last oval drawn, and change its color to green. Repeat the transform; the numbers are the same, so don't change anything. Select the last drawn oval again, and change it to blue.
Transform again. Finally select the last oval drawn, change its color to black. Select transform and change the repeat number lo 4. This brings our total to the original 19 we used the last time. Hit OK, and look at the new colorful design. (Figure 3) More Objects, More Fun Lei's try the same designs, but with multiple objects. Draw three squares, each about half the size of the previous one. Use the Align tool from the Object menu to align on the centers both horizontally and vertically. After they are aligned, set each rectangle to a different line color. Select all three rectangles and
group them using the Group command in the Object menu. Finally, use Transform and sot the Repeat Number to $ and tiie Rotate angle to
10. As you can see the results can be spectacular. The more
objects you group together, the richer the results. (Figure
4) Set the Point Another trick that creates unusual designs
is changing the rotation point. Normally when an object
rotates, it spins about its center. But Art Expression allows
you to set the point that is used for rotation of the object.
To show this effect in action, draw a rectangle that is about
five times as wide as it is tall. Select Set Rotation Point
from the Effects menu. This will give you a crosshairs to set
the rotation point with. Click down the rotation point at
about the middle of the rectangle, but one inch below it. If
you notice, there is now a little blue X below the rectangle
when it is selected; this is the rotation point. Now select
Transform and trv these numbers; Repeat Top to bottom: Figure
3, Figure 4, Figure 5.
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A A
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i. mganiHi ijurr?.HE ML Top to bottom: Figure 6, Figure 7, Figure
6.
Number 35 and Rotate 10. The reason for such a high repeat number is that the object is no longer spinning about its center and "repeating" it self. You can also see that with the rotation point changes, the pattern is different from when rotating about the center. Let's piay with the rectangle some more. Move the rotation point so that it is to the right of the rectangle bv about an inch, but in the middle vertically. Use the same numbers in Transform. The result is a much bigger design that somewhat resembles a flower. To heighten the effect, select all of the rectangles in the design and
set the fill to a solid yellow. (Figure 5) Scaling Transform Lets get back to the Transform feature now. Two of the boxes we skipped over are the Scale boxes. The left hand box sets the X scale, and the right hand one sets tire Y scale. Most of the time you will use them together so it doesn't really matter. Start off by drawing a circle about and half an inch around. Next set the rotation point about an two inches below it. Fill the circle with blue. Select transform and set the Repeat Number to 72 and the Rotate angle to
14. Now before vou click OK, set the Scale to 99 and 99. Now dick
OK. You've just created a perfect spiral. Try it again, but
with the Scale set to 98 and 98. It's amazing how much just
one percent scaling can change the design. (Figure 6)
Dissimilar Groups Another way to get unusual designs is to
combine objects that are at odds with each other. To try
this, draw an ova! That is five times as wide as it is tall.
Then next to it draw an oval that is five times as wide as it
is tall. Color the tall one green and the wide one yellow.
Group them together and select Transform. Set the Repeat
Number to 35 and tire Rotate angle to 10. The Move and Scale
number should be 0 and 100 respectively. Click OK. If you
play around with the position of the two objects relative to
each other, you can generate a lot of different results.
(Figure 7) Groups of Solid Objects The final trick is to
group solid objects and transform them.
The one limitation is that you can't set the rotation point of a group, so you have to trick the program, by creating a long or tall group that has its center where you want it. A simple way to play with this is to create three circles and place them in a roughly triangular arrangement. Fill each circle with a different solid color. Select them all and group them. Use Transform and set the Repeat Number to 9 and Rotate to 40. See how the objects interweave? This can be taken even further. The design that leads off this article uses the same ideas. (Figure 8) Going from Here At this point many
readers may be thinking that this is a pretty trivial use for a powerful program like Art Expression, but you would be wrong. Using a drawing program to design logos and letterheads is one valid task, while exploring art is another. 1 encourage you to sit down and try these and other designs. Get your family involved as well. Designs like these are very easy to understand. Also the designs make great conversation pieces printed out. *AC- Dan Weiss is Vice President of Research & Development at Sofi-Logik Publishing Please Write to: Dan Weiss c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 CanDo: An Interactive
Authoring Tool Part 1 Comparison with Visual Basic by Randy
Finch After having used Microsoft Visual Basic (VB) in the
Windows environment on my PC-compatible for a while, I
decided that! Would like to have a similar tool for my Amiga.
After studying reviews in several magazines, I decided that
CanDo was probably the closest thing to VB available for the
Amiga. I called INOVAtronics, the producers of CanDo, and
asked a representative how CanDo compared to Visual Basic.
After talking for a while, 1 realized that he was not very
familiar with VB. However, after asking some rather probing
questions, I decided that CanDo was what I was looking for. I
was pleased with certain features of CanDo and disappointed
with others. Since that original purchase, I have upgraded to
version 2.0 of both CanDo and VB. 1 thought it would be
worthwhile comparing these two products to see how one of the
top visual programming tools for the Amiga stacks up against
one of the top visual programming tools for the PC.
First off, let me mention that CanDo 2.0 and the standard edition Df VB 2.0 have the same list price ($ 199). There is a professional edition of VB available for a higher price (S495). Also, there is a version of VB available for DOS.
CanDo is one of the 1 more powerful authoring systems available for the Amiga.
1 Can Do is called an interactive software authoring tool while VB is called a visual programming system. For all practical purposes, they are the same except that CanDo has its own unique programming language while VB uses a modern structured version of the BASIC programming language. If you are familiar with BASIC programming, you would probably be able to come up to speed with VB faster than with CanDo. However, as we shall soon sec, there is much more to interactive visual software authoring and programming language tools than keywords and variables. In both CanDo and VB, the user
interface is designed visually. No coding bv the programmer is needed. This is the great appeal of visual programming: you have to code only the application-specific parts, not the generic interface parts common to most programs, What VB Can Do, CanDo Can Do (sometimes) Upon loading VB and CanDo, you will find several similarities and several differences. VB has a menu bar and toolbar window, a toolbox window, a project window, a properties window, and a blank form (Figure 1). The menu bar contains all the pull-down environment, you must select a graphics resolution supported by your graphics
display card. Once set, all programs run in this resolution. Also, all programs run on one screen. In contrast, the Amiga can have multiple screens each containing multiple windows. This helps the display stay more organized. The problem with not having multiple resolution screens available to the programmer is that you have to design your interface for the lowest common denominator which is currently VGA (640 x 480,16 colors).
If you design your interface in SuperVGA (800 x 600 or 1024 x 768, 256 or more colors), it may not look right on a computer that only has VGA. Also, you may want your application to have multiple screens at different resolutions. This is easy on the Amiga, but hard- to-impossibleon the PC.
Controls or Objects VB and CanDo have many different interface objects, called controls in VB, that can be added to an application. Some objects are common to both; others are only available to one or the other. Some of the common objects are pull-down menus, command buttons, CanDo has the edge when it comes to creating an executable file for distribution. You can create a shorter executable file that requires the shared cando.library. menus that let you navigate through the program while the toolbar contains buttons that let you more quickly execute some of the most frequently-used menu
functions. The toolbox window contains buttons for each of the interface controls that are available to your application. VB Professional contains some custom controls riot available in the standard edition. The project window provides a list of the forms, code modules, and custom controls used by your application. The properties window provides a list of properties of the currently selected control or form. The blank form can be used as the initial form in your application. Pul! Down menus, interface controls, and a toolbar can be added to the form.
CanDo starts up with a blank card. There is no difference between a blank card in CanDo and a blank form in VB. On a separate screen overlaying the bottom of the blank card, the menu bar, toolbar, and toolbox are displayed in a combined way. This is called the Main Control Panel (Figure 2). Everything you need to navigate the CanDo environment is on this panel.
VB supports a Windows feature called Multiple Document Interface (MDI). An MDI form acts as a container for child forms.
This allows your application to handle several projects at once and share code in the process. This can be simulated with CanDo, but it is not so easy.
T o an Amiga user, the method used to display the control panel is not unusual. However, it points up one of the great advantages that the Amiga has over Windows: multiple resolution screens on the display simultaneously. VB offers no such interface because Windows offers no such interface. Within the Windows text entry boxes, and list boxes. Some objects are common to both products but are more easily implemented in one or the other product. For example, check boxes and radio buttons are much easier to handle in VB. However, incorporating animation is much easier in CanDo.
VB includes a combo box control that is absent in CanDo. This control is essentially a text entry box and a list box combined.
Therefore, it can be simulated in CanDo but it takes a bit more work.
Also, VB includes some controls that allow you to design a custom file requester. This is more difficult with CanDo; however, CanDo does have a pre-built file requester that can be included in your application. A pre-built file and font requester is available in VB Professional as a custom control.
One particularly nice feature of VB not found in CanDo is the frame control. This control acts as a container for other controls. You can group several controls together in a frame and when the frame is moved, all the enclosed controls go with it. This makes it easy to lay out functional areas of your application interface and then reorganize it later. The appearance of a frame can be simulated in CanDo but the functionality is not there.
VB has a grid control for spreadsheet-like input that is missing from CanDo. Also, your VB application can be an OLE (object- linking and embedding) client and can also exchange data with other applications using DDE (dynamic data exchange). There is no equivalent to OLE on the Amiga that I am aware of. Hotlinks and Arexx are the closest things to DDE on the Amiga. CanDo supports Arexx but not Hotlinks.
CanDo gives you more control over the appearance of objects than does VB. You can easily give your interface a 3-D appearance.
VB Professional comes with some 3-D custom controls but they require you to use a set gray background for them to look right.
With CanDo you can create 3-D objects on any color background.
When it comes to drawing shapes such as lines, circles, rectangles, etc. on the screen, VB wins out. You can draw shapes easily and modify their sizes quickly. CanDo will let you draw on the screen, but it writes code for you instead of directly incorporating the shape into the window. When you want to modify the shape, you have to either edit the code or redraw the shape, forcing CanDo to write new code. The old code must then be erased.
VB is much better at handling the resizing and moving of controls than CanDo. In VB, you move a control by clicking on the control and dragging the mouse. Also, when the control is clicked on, an outline box with resizing handles is drawn around the control. By clicking on the resizing handles and dragging the mouse, the control can be resized in any direction quickly and easily. In CanDo, you must click on the object to bring up the object's edit requester. A few more dicks will get the object moved or resized.
This is not very efficient, VB Professional comes with some tools and documentation that help you to create your own custom controls using a C C++ compiler. Additional controls (objects) can he added to CanDo through the Xtras button; however, there is no information with the software about how to do this. The ability to add your own custom controls mav not be of interest to the casual programmer, but it is still important. There are tons of custom control packages for VB available from third-party companies. I know of no such packages available for CanDo.
Code One Both VB and CanDo use the event-driven programming paradigm. In short, this means that the user interface is made up of controls or objects (i.e.,menus, buttons, text entry boxes, list boxes, etc.). As the user interacts with the interface using a mouse, keyboard, joystick, or some other input device, certain object events occur. I:or instance, if the user dicks on a button, that button will receive a click event. Therefore, most of the code you write for your application is telling the system what to do when an event occurs.
VB takes an object-oriented approach to its controls while CanDo takes a control- oriented approach to its objects, In VB, controls have properties, methods, and events. A property is some attribute of the control such as width, font, name, etc. Some properties can be set at design and run time. Others can be set at only one or the other.
A method provides a functional operation on an object.
Anyone familiar with C++ will have no problem with this concept.
Suppose I have a list box with a name of IstNames and I want to add another item, in this case a name, to the list. 1 would invoke the Addltem method of the list box.
When you double-click on a control in your VB application interface while in design mode, a code window appears. A dropdown list shows all of the events available to the chosen control.
When you select an event in the list, VB creates a subroutine shell. It is up to the programmer to fill in the subroutine to make the program functional.
CanDo takes a different approach. Objects have properties just as VB controls do; however, they are not obtained or set in the same manner. To obtain a property, you sometimes use a command and other times a system variable. For instance, if you want to obtain the current window's size limits, you would use a command as follows: = Microsoft Visual Basic (design] ?
A Fiin Frlit View Run Hphnrj Options Window Hf*!p
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SB p Projectl View Code Forml .fan ¦ff ANIBUTON.VBX CM DIALOG VBX GAUGE.VBX GRAPH.VBX GRID.VBX KEYSTAT VBX .-jpPM rriMM vnx | Forml Form 1±1 [Forml AuloRediaw False ?
BackColor &H80000005& BorderSlyle 2 - Sizable Caption f orml ClipControls True ConlrolBox True DrawMode 13 * Copy Pen DiavaStyle 0 ¦ Solid DrawWidth 1 F nahlerl T rue FillColor QOOOOQOOt!
FillStyle 1 ¦ T ransparem FontBold True Fontltalic False FurriNainc MS Sans Serif Fonts ire
8. 25 FoniS trikethiu False ?
Like Visual Basic, CanDos power lies in its interface.
Figure 1. Visual Basic 2.0 Interface GetWindowLitnits MinXSize, MinYSize, MaxXSize, HaxYSize However, if you want to obtain the current window's title, you would use a system variable: CurrentTitle = WindowTitle Notice that in both of these examples, no reference is made to which window you want the information for. The information can only be obtained for the current window, if you want the information for another window, you must make it the current window. To make things more confusing, the window title is set with a command rather than assigning a value to the system variable WindowTitle:
SetWindowTitle "I Don't Like Titles" In a similar fashion, if you want to perform an operation on an object, a command is used rather than a method. To disable an object with a name of MyObject, use the following statement: DisableObject HyObject When you click on an object hi design mode to bring up its edit requester, there will be a series of command buttons, one for each of the events that can be handled by the object, When you click on one of these event names, an editor appears with a blank page. You can fill in any code you want to execute when the event occurs. This is very similar to
VB except for two things: (1) CanDo has less events available to its objects and (2) CanDo does not create a subroutine shell. The latter difference makes it slightly more difficult lo call one event routine from another event routine.
As you can see, there are quite a few differences in the way VB and CanDo handle objects. I prefer the method used by VB; however, I am sure others will prefer the method of CanDo.
Varying Variables VB and CanDo are quite comparable when if comes to standard variable types and operators. The usual complement is available in both products. VB has a currency tvpe variable that can be very useful for someone writing financial software. It also has a variant data type that can mutant from one variable type to another.
VB also allows user defined variables that look a lot like C structures.
CanDo has features that makes it far superior to VB when it comes to handling variables. These features are the dynamic sparse arrays and user-defined record variables. Arrays are dynamic because they are created as needed and sparse because tlrev are not dimensioned and do not necessarily have consecutive indices.
Record variables lot you create highly complex user defined variables without ever having to predefine the structure of the variable. This works somewhat like stems do in Arexx. Thus, you can have a variable that looks like the following: KyDaca.Account[6] .Najne without ever defining the inherent structure of the variable. Also, if Account[1] through Account[5] have not been referenced yet, no space will be taken up for them. This is due to arrays being sparse.
These user-defined variables are exploited in a very interesting wav to allow for easy data entry to your application. Also, highly complex user variables can be saved to and retrieved from disk with one command.
Documenting Documents CanDo allows you to create documents that can be edited and displayed. There are many commands available for manipulating documents. No equivalent feature is available for VB. I will be discussing this in detail in the second part of this article also.
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Lines of Code VB allows you to add pictures to your application just as CanDo does. Of course, the products support different graphics file formats. VB supports bitmaps, icons, and metafiles. CanDo supports IFF pictures and brushes.
When it comes to stringing pictures together to make an animation, CanDo is the dear winner. VB allows you to sequence several picture files together to create an animation, but the availability of the ANIM file format on the Amiga allows CanDo to excel in this area, (Note: CanDo actually uses BrushAnims rather than ANIMs. A conversion utility is included in the package.)
Commands are available for loading, moving, and removing BrushAnims. Also, individual scripts can be executed as each frame is displayed. This is a very powerful feature for synchronizing events.
Sound Off CanDo is definitely the leader in Lhe area of sound because VB does not support sound except for being able to beep the speaker with the BEEP command. CanDo allows you to add SSVX sound files to your application. Commands arc available for loading and playing sound files as well as setting the channel and volume. A script can be executed when a sound begins and another when it ends.
Help!
VB conies with extensive on-line context-sensitive help. It is essentially like having the manuals on-line and available at the touch of a button. CanDo has an on-line help system, but it is not nearly as extensive as V’B's and it is only partially context sensitive.
VB Professional comes with a help compiler. This allows you to create some rather complex context-sensitive help for your own application. However, creating the files that the help compiler needs is not for the light-hearted. You must use a word processor that can write files in the Rich Text Format (RTF). Some rather complex codes are needed. The task is easier if you own Microsoft Word for Windows and custom templates. Even so, the planning and know the program was created in Visual Basic. Given the stigma BASIC has of not being a professional level language, ibis can be a problem.
Summing Up As is typical when comparing similar products, each one needs some of the features of the other to make it a super product. VB is geared towards creating productivity software and therefore lacks the animation and sound capabilities that are needed for game and multimedia applications. Also, to be even more valuable as a productivity software development tool, it desperately needs the flexibility of the user-defined record variables and dynamic sparse arrays that are included with CanDo.
CanDo is geared towards just about any kind of application. It excels at database development because of the flexible user variables. The sound and animation capabilities help it excel at multimedia applications and games that don't need the speed of assembly language. However, to ever be used for the development of higher end productivity applications, it needs to have a way for third party companies to add custom objects and a standard way to add context-sensitive help.
CanDo gives you more control over the appearance of objects than Visual Basic. You can easily give your interface a 3-D appearance. VB Professional comes with some 3-D custom controls but they require you to use a set grey background for them to look right.
Organization that is required for good context-sensitive help can be overwhelming to the casual programmer.
CanDo offers no integral way of creating a help system for your application; however, you can design your own. You will have to determine what your file format will look like and how you will access it and display it on the screen. If anyone has developed a way of easily doing this, 1 would like to hear from him or her.
Compiling CanDo has the edge when it comes to creating an executable file for distribution. You can create a shorter executable file that requires the shared library cando,library. This shared library can be used only by people who own CanDo. Alternately, you can create a significantly larger (about 130KB) stand-alone executable file that requires no other files except, of course, your support files like animations, graphics, sounds, etc. When distributing your program the latter way, no one can really tell how you created il. It could just as easily have been written in C. VB does not allow
you to create a stand-alone executable file.
The freely distributable dynamic link library VBRUN200.DLL is always needed. I have heard some professional programmers say that this destroys the effectiveness of the language because, since the DLL file has to be distributed with your program, vour users will There you have it. As 1 continue to program with VB and CanDo, 1 will be anxiously awaiting both Visual Basic 3.0 with CanDo extensions and CanDo 3.0 with Visual Basic extensions.
Well, 1 can hope, can’t I?
Note: lust before submitting this article for publication, I received notice that VB 3.0 was about to Iv released. As I feared, it docs not have any of the CanDo features I wanted. However, it now has a powerful database engine from the Microsoft Access product, hierarchical lists, and more. OK, tnovatmnics, it's your turn. Let's see a powerful new CanDo 3.0 that'll blow our socks off.
• AC* Please Write to: Randy Finch cfo Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 ,j- INSIDE by Merrill
Callaway Early this winter, I received a telephone call from
Cathie Dagar of SLAC, The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.
She had heard of my book, The Arexx Cookbook, and invited me
to attend the Fourth Annual International REXX Symposium at La
Jolla, California, at the end of May. 1 decided to go after I
had learned that Michael F. Cowlishaw, who invented the parent
language of Arexx called REXX, would be attending. I was
disappointed to learn that William Hawes, who ported REXX to
the Amiga, calling it Arexx, would not be attending, but I
thought it worthwhile to go and find out more about my
favorite language and what others were doing with it on
various platforms all over the world.
It was a most interesting gathering from many standpoints. This month, I'd like to relay some of the REXX lore 1 learned at the symposium, and discuss some of the ramifications of REXX as its future relates to the future of the Amiga.
A Short History of REXX Mike Cowlishaw, who is currently an IBM Fellow working at the IBM U.K. Laboratories, started work on the original REX hack in
1979. He had designed five computer languages and RFXX is his
latest. In the beginning he derived the name from Reformed
eXecutor, and later changed to REXX for Restructured
extended eXecutor. These acronyms have lost most of their
original meaning in these days of Graphical User Interfaces
and windows, but all that reforming and restructuring was
intended to make mainframe computer code less arcane and
more readable as plain English.
The idea for the original language was for it to feature instruction syntax that anyone could program in: the language for "the rest of us," as it were. Mike started work on the original REXX as an IBM mainframe language to enable electrical engineers and other "non-programmers" to write macros and programs all by themselves, without having to call on software engineers to do it.
The original effort was not an officially sponsored IBM development. After Mike worked on it over 4000 hours, the first version shipped. A few years later, IBM adopted REXX officially.
Everything I Ever Wanted to Know About REXX The Fourth Annual REXX Symposium for Developers and Users Rare Combination The genius of the language is in the fact that it is simple and powerful. One can code complicated algorithms in REXX because it's a fully-featured language, but the code can be followed easily because of the understandable syntax and structure. Many so-called "power" languages are written for machines lo understand, rather than humans. The inverse is true of REXX, but power is not sacrificed! Actually, the simplicity of REXX has been a sort of hardship: people just don't
believe that something so easy can be powerful. The affection 1 and the others who attended the symposium feel for our pet version of REXX is ironically much like the affection we Amiga users feel for our machines running AmigaDOS.
One of the conclusions I came to at the symposium is that Arexx is arguably the finest implementation of REXX anywhere! We have tile best language on the best machine using the best operating system. I found much agreement and even empathy among the REXX crowd that the best is not always the most popular.
REXX Runs on Many Platforms IBM VM mainframes, Unix workstation platforms, IBM OS-2, MS-DOS and even Windows Pcs, the Apple Macintosh, and of course the Amiga have various implementations of REXX, some better than others and some with compilers. Right now, the fastest growing segment of REXX development is under OS-2, which ironically is the most Amiga-like of the versions I saw. It is also Amiga-like in that it is ignored by the press and considered "dead" by the "Windows" crowd. As you might expect, OS-2 is far better than MS-DOS Windows as an operating system. For instance, it is a "real"
multitasking OS, and not a shell running over MS-DOS.
REXX Compilers 1 compared notes with Walter Pachl, Manager of Development Support and Test, from IBM's Vienna Software Development Laboratory about the Amiga RexxPlus compiler as it compares with the latest mainframe REXX compiler, which Walter is responsible for testing. After comparing notes, I discovered that the stats and specs on the RexxPlus compiler are similar as to speed increase, but tire code blows up bigger on the Amiga version: a 4:1 increase as opposed to a 2:1 increase in size for the mainframe compiler. OS-2 has several products that write REXX code and then compile executables
from it.
OS-2 REXX vs Arexx The OS-2 environment has advanced the farthest of any of the REXX platforms. Under OS-2, REXX is included just like Arexx is on the Amiga, as part of the Operating System. The differences There were five GUI "front ends" demonstrated that write REXX code. Visual REXX for OS-2 is under development by Eric Giguere of University of Waterloo and Watcom.
Eric is the author of Commodore's AMIGA Programmer's Guide to Arexx.
Between them are interesting. The Amiga has the advantage of a unified if small market. Most Amiga developers are solidly behind putting Arexx ports and command sets into their products. This cooperation was toward the top of everyone's wish list for the other platforms, and 1 confess I was a bit smug when it came to question and answer time after each lecture. I'd usually be able to point out that the Amiga already had that feature or the other as they named things thev were aiming for.
OS-2, on the other hand, suffers twice: first from underdog status as an operating system against Microsoft and Window's, and second, from second status behind BASIC. Microsoft, the giant now bigger than IBM, with over2000 "millionaire stockholders" in its employ, is solidly behind Visual Basic (VB) as its "language for everyone else." Microsoft will never support REXX, although third- party developers such as Quercus offer REXX for MS-EXTS machines. Bill Gates is committed to Basic and will not change his mind, even though BASIC and VB are demonstrably inferior to REXX. As i said, these
REXX folks share our Amiga attitude. But they must first win a niche for an operating system (OS-2) and then try to persuade developers to put API's (Application Program Interfaces , the equivalent of Arexx ports), in their software products. Also, I wonder whether liie profile of the OS-2 user includes a penchant for programming his own stuff, i predict that OS-2 will not reach number one status, but will carve out a niche for itself similar to but probably much bigger than the Amiga market.
For the moment, Arexx is the best implementation of REXX on any PC platform.
Arexx is not all good news, however. While Commodore and the Amiga are moving slowly, Arexx is static. Commodore was invited to send an Arexx representative but declined. As far as 1 know there isn't any R&D or even support for Arexx going on at Commodore. They obtained it from Bill Hawes, who isn't developing Arexx anymore as far as anyone knows. Commodore commissioned one book, The Amiga Programmer's Guide to Arexx, and that's about it for support. When REXX goes through another upgrade, Arexx will no longer be current. A REXX upgrade is underway that will include some, if not all, of
the 10 most user-requested features, listed below.
Well Connected Amiga Client Software Will REXX Pull Ahead of Arexx?
Tire other platform developers are moving rapidly, and I predict that REXX capability will surpass Arexx in the next year, particularly on OS-2. OS-2 can hold its own against Windows, contrary to popular belief, i've said before that Arexx, and the developer support of Arexx, is what really sets the Amiga apart. My days of saying this may be numbered. Let me give you some examples of the REXX cutting edge that is sure to draw support from OS-2 software product developers. Simon Nash of the IBM
U. K. Labs is developing Object-Oriented REXX, called Oryx, after
the African antelope that is also its acronym. Tire prototype
he demonstrated is remarkable. It has a Graphical User
Interface (GUI) to write all the code. The objects encoded by
Oryx appear as icons on the screen. They can be connected and
communicated with in unique ways. It's as if you could
send receive messages to from your procedures and not just
send messages to entire applications.
Oryx will make modular programming easier than ever! It will blur lire distinctions between procedure, application program, and data.
Oryx will allow users to tailor just the features they need to fit into their system. Tools can be smaller and more specialized, letting users assemble the exact applications they need.
Large project management productivity can be greatly enhanced whether a program development effort, VideoToaster® applications, database management, order entry, extensive desk-top projects or any team effort requiring file sharing.
Requirements: Software; Novell NetWare® Version 2.15 or higher, installed on network file server; Amiga WorkBench Version 1.3 or higher, KickStart 1.2 or higher.
Oxxi inc. P0 Box 90309, Long Beach, CA 90809 USA
(310) 427-1227 FAX( 310) 427-0971 Circle 160 on Reader Service
card.
IBM is developing yet another one, not named yet, and finally, there is a shareware V-REXX on BBSs.
The Amiga has one "Visual-ARexx" front end that I have seen and tested, and 1 like it very much: T-Rexx by ASDG. This is a sort of specialized Toaster Arexx front end, but it can be adapted to general use. I'd like to see T-Rexx modules for writing code for more IBM research is showing that REXX is first class as an OOP language.
Object-Oriented Programming is the hot topic in programming now.
Graphical Interface REXX Programming There were five GUI "front ends" demonstrated that write REXX code for OS-2 machines. Visual REXX for OS-2 is under development by Eric Giguere of University of Waterloo and Watcom. Arexx insiders will recognize Eric as the author of Commodore's Amiga Programmer's Guide to Arexx. He is no longer working on any Arexx projects, having gone over to OS-2 full time.
VisPro REXX by HockWare was another offering for OS-2; it shipped the day of its presentation, May 20. In addition to Oryx, stuff than just video. Maybe I'll write some myself. Send in your suggestions.
Arexx Representation As it turned out, I was the only Arexx guy there. That was embarrassing for Commodore, as if they'd notice, hut an excellent opportunity for me. I was invited to join the International REXX Language Association's steering committee, which held its first meeting over lunch at the symposium. Our purpose is primarily to promote REXX in all its versions. A document is under development to specify the range of commitments and services 1RLA will undertake, such as newsletters or BBS e-mail listings of information.
Join the REXX Symposium!
I might point out that the REXX Symposium is open to anyone at all. The only catch is that attenders and speakers alike are charged a fee of S300 to attend or speak. Next year the fee may go up, and the symposium is to be held In England, in either Winchester or Oxford, my choice. The Fourth Symposium attracted only developers, but it was open to users as well. I'm not sure how much of a draw it would be for Amiga Arexx users, given the lack of interest shown by Commodore, but it is a chance to meet people 011 the cutting edge of REXX development. Amiga developers certainly will see
opportunities and ideas to pursue. The people from SLAC, who arc used to life in the fastest lane of all (linear accelerators), asked me why Commodore doesn't support their products more. The only answer I could think of that these guys could relate to was, "You know what anti-matter is; now meet anti-marketing!”
10. Put in a Digits condition so that SIGNAL ON DIGITS could trap
unexpectedly overprecise numeric data.
9. Allow expressions in stem references.
Next j=j+-I nextk-k+1 eay fred.nextj.nextk also allow different notation; say fred.(j+l.k+l] or say fred. j+1).(k+1)
8. & 7. PARSE enhancements.
Parse caseless (matches miXeD case) Parse lower (translates lower case first)
6. Variable Call target or "indirect call".
Where="anyname" call(where) a, b calls "anyname".
The genius of the language is in the fact that it is simple and powerful, One can code complicated algorithms in REXX because if s a fully-featured language, but the code can be followed easily because of the understandable syntax and structure, The Future of REXX
5. Change and count functions.
Needle = "is" haystack = "This is the time" new = "at" say countstr(needle,haystack) say changestrlneedle,haystack,new) would return "2" in the first instance, and "That is the time" in the second.
4. Call bv reference or aliasing.
Call fred p, q+1, r. fred: procedure use alias a, ,c.
Fred: procedure use arg(a),b,(c.)
By the way, on the Amiga, you can accomplish somewhat similar references back to the calling program using the REXX Rainbow Library Scries Stem Array Functions by the Dineen Edwards Group. This is a powerful feature, but it opens a can of worms that can get you into complex trouble! But it's number four on the list to call by reference.
Let's look at some of the points discussed by Mike Cowlishaw about where REXX is going, and hope that Commodore will support Arexx more. Presently there are 20 commercial implementations of REXX on almost all significant platforms. There are 41 published books and manuals, five in 1992 alone; 60 if you count second editions and service guides. There are 10 to 211 million users on all platforms of which only 5% to 10% are programmers. REXX has its own ANSI standard X3J18 since 1991. The original book on REXX by Mike Cowlishaw has sold over 100,000 copies.
As hardware speed increases, REXX, an interpreted language, is being used for a wider set of applications than ever before. REXX speed is measured in clauses per second (cps); an IBM or Amiga PC expects to process around 27,000 cps; on a RISC-based machine, 42,001) cps; and 011 a mainframe anywhere from 90,000 cps to 465,000 or cps.
The Top Ten Countdown The top ten language improvements asked for in the 300 or so e-mail messages Mike Cowlishaw receives every day are as follows in countdown order from number 10 to number one.
Amazixg Computi.xg
3. External procedure expose. At the moment, you can only
variables expose in an interior procedure in REXX. This lets
you expose your variable table from an exterior routine. This
is similar to the above and you can do this in Arexx with the
above library's assignarray function.
2. External DO. This is to iterate over all the taiis of a
compound variable. The tails are ihe part(s) after the stem
(up to and including the first period). This lets you iterate
automatically over an entire array.
Do tail over fred, say fred.tail end tail
1. Date and time conversions was number one on the request list!
Say(date('usa',19930827,'standard'J would display 08 27 93 What About REXX Trends?
The number one trend is that REXX is migrating from the mainframe to the desktop. Amigans can be proud of Arexx because we were "doing it way back when...." Hie Amiga was the first PC port of REXX because it was the first multitasking PC. Now OS-2 is going strong because it is multitasking too. OS-2 people feel ignored just as we do.
Tire second trend is networking, which encourages standardization of applications and languages. REXX is by far the easiest of Inter-Process Control (IPC) languages. We had demos of UNIX Perl by Larry Wall, its author, and MS-DOS Windows Visual Basic by
R. .P. O'Hara of Microsoft. Neither of these languages comes
close to REXX. Perl is powerful but inscrutable. VB is messy,
ugly, and convoluted. And it doesn't do IPC. O'Hara, who wrote
one of the early books on REXX, said he was teaching his son
REXX!
IBM research is showing that REXX is first class as an OOP language. Object-Oriented Programming is the hot topic in programming now.
REXX books and manuals will increase. Mike showed a graph with a steep climb over the past few years.
Contacts If you would like to get a free copy of the proceedings of the Fourth International REXX Symposium please write: Publications Dept. SLAC, MS 68
P. O. Box 4349 Stanford, CA 94309 The 1992 REXX Symposium
Proceedings are in SLAC Report 401.
The 1993 REXX Symposium Proceedings are to be published in September. Write to SLAC to find out the publication number or contact by e-mail: TechPubs techpub@slac.stanford.edu Cathie Dagar cafhie@slac.stanford.edu Jim Weissman jhw@cup.porfal.com 1 would like to see more Amiga developers gel involved in supporting REXX, because as REXX gains in popularity, so will the Amiga. REXX could be one of the standard means of networking the Amiga with other platforms.
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Amazing Computing for tbe Commodore Amiga, AC's GUIDE and AC's TECH provide you with the most comprehensive coverage of the Amiga coverage you would expect from the longest-running monthly Amiga publication.
The pages of Amazing Computing bring you insights into the world of the Commodore Amiga. You'li find comprehensive reviews of Amiga products, complete coverage of all major Amiga shows, and hints, tips, and tutorials on a variety of Amiga subjects such as desktop publishing, video, programming, and hardware. You'll also find a listing of the latest Fred Fish disks, monthly columns on using the CU, and working with Arexx; and we'll keep you up to date with new releases in New Products and Other Neat Stuff.
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World Of Commodore Amiga Sydney, Australia From OpalVison Video to Color Computer's Amiga non-linear Video Editor, thousands view the latest innovations in Amiga technology Down Under, Sydney's The Daily Telegraph Mirror ran three full pages of news and advertisements for the Amiga which appeared on the first day of the event. Over 50 exhibitors and companies were represented while more than 25,000 attendees appeared during the three days of the event World Of Commodore Amiga, Sydney 1993 was a success! WOCA (July 2-4) attracted attention at a level rarely seen in other countries.
The Amiga is a very popular computer platform in Australia and the Amiga users are involved, With WOCA Sydney's continuous free seminars, special demonstrations, and Amiga product developers from around the world, Amiga users had plenty with which to be involved.
Once again. Commodore Australia hosted WOCA at Darling Harbour. The S200 million facility is without exception the best facility used by CBM for these events. With good public transportation, reasonably located (with a continent the size of the United States and a smaller population than New York, "reasonably located" becomes a relative term), and assorted shops, restaurants, and museums in the immediate area for all members of the family, Darling Harbour is an ideal place to attract Amiga users and wanna-be's.
Opal Technology Attracts Crowds Opal Tech (please see the associated article on page 96 of this issue) displayed their new OpalVision support modules for video with promised delivery by fall of 1993. This unique system piggv-backs video and audio manipulation modules on their already popular OpalVision card. While this process does raise the price of the entire unit, the added benefit of choosing a system built to a user's needs and allowing the user to expand hardwa re as needed gives Opal Vision a distinctad vantage over other systems.
In addition, OpalVision has been created to work on RGB video. This not only offers the best video for manipulation, but allows the video to be processed in standard Amiga mode until the image is ready to be seen or recorded. This universal use of video allows OpalVision owners to be either NTSC or PAL compatible, opening new video production possibilities for Europe and Australia.
With completely user-configurable video effects, audio control, and an open system that allows users access to their favorite software tools, OpalVision was well received. Standing- room-only crowds gathered to watch the Opal Vision modules perform during seminars and in large demonstrations at the Opal Tech booth. The monitors were carefully studied as OpalVision flipped, twirled, spun, texture mapped, and morphed live video images. All of the special effects were created in real time.
Australians a re supportive of their fcllowcoun- trymen, but there ts little doubt OpalVision would receive the same accolades from Amiga users in any Amiga event.
Australian Developers Australian developers rarely have an opportunity to attract world attention for their products, so few missed WOCA. While many developers shared booths with their distributors, a few either joined forces with other developers or user groups, or created stands of their own, KickBoard Plus from Unitech Electronics allows users to switch between 2,0x or 1.3 ROMs. Unitech has also created what thev believe is the only SCSI interface cable that will connect a second internal hard drive (not a Quantum) in the A1200 at $ 49 AUS.
John Rowe was demonstrating his Key* board Overlays for the Amiga 500, 1200, 2000, 3000,4000, and CDTV. These plastic overlays come with support disks for the programs.
Rowe lias overlays for AmigaDOS 1.3 and above and the DeluxePaint IV versions. John Rowe is an accomplished artist who won first prize in the popular voting for his animation "Encounter" at the International Festival of Computer Art Bit.Movie '93 in Riccoine, Italy.
WOCA Variety!
Digita's chief officer, Jermy Rihll from London (far left), Commodore's Archade pavillion (above center), open demonstrations of OpalVision (lower center), and live music (above) performed by Master of Ceremonies, Paul Jenkins (Pixie), offered diversity to thousands of Amiga users.
Phoenix Microtechnologieshas a long list of products they either sell for other suppliers or have created. Phoenix's products include the ACE Joystick Adaptor to connect an [BM- stvlc analogue joystick (great for flight simulators) on an Amiga and the Resurrection replacement motherboard for the A1000, which, depending on the options, will upgrade your A10OO to current standard software levels in either PAL or NTSC, Phoenix's Aladdin Professional was in use the entire exhibition, running spotlights and lighting effects in the Commodore distribution area.
A CID So f twa re w a s d c m o n s t ra I i n g Bi if z2 ($ 95 U.S.), a full implementation of extended BASIC. Blitz2 offers a wide range of support tools and features to take direct advantage of the Amiga, Blitz2 will compile a finished program for use as a demo, application, or game.
PC Task 2.0 (S50 A US), from Alchemy Software Development, is a PC software emulator for the Amiga. PC Task will work in multitasking with your Amiga 500 or better, requires MS-DOS 5.0 or 3.3, and will address your Amiga's memory and peripherals.
Color Computer Systems wowed professionals and amateurs with their Media-Flex digital, non-linear, PAL NTSC, and online video editing system. Media-Flex uses two Amiga 4000s working in a single tower, which integrates online editing, video compression, eight tracks of 16-bit CD-qualitv digital audio, 2-D and 3-D graphics, titling, image compositing morphing, and more. The complex system is organized through a user- friendly graphics interface with a base system price of S40,000 AUS. Color Computer Systems also offers a wide range of Irainingcourses, hardware, video production and
duplication services, graphics production, and more for the Amiga video artist.
Desktop Utilities updated their Contact free-form database contact manager software to version 1.2 and they have created a 24-bit i maging newsletter, 24-bits ana pieces, for Amiga artists. Commercial Productions of Australia offered information on their Amiga training course on AmigaDOS, 3-D Modeling, Animation & Graphics, Video Production, and more.
C. P.A. also demonstrated their Amiga Stop- Frame Controller
hardware and software interface system that will display
24-bit images from a large variety of Amiga products. Desk
top Utilities also offered a single-fra me recorder
solution. Diamond Edit from VvaveFrame, for the Amiga 500 and
up.
GP Software offered a variety of Amiga solutions. CPFax-Amiga ($ 159 AUS) is a complete Amiga fax solution that works with most fax modems. GPTcnn-Amiga ($ 99 AUS), a terminal emulation program; GPTonch ($ 200 AUS), a touch screen driver with Arexx support; and printer drivers for the Canon BJ300 330 or Canon BJC800 Color arc also available.
M e g a D i s c demonstrated their large selection of public domain software.
DigiSoft demonstrated their new arcade action game, Overkill.
Mindscape promoted the newly- enhanced Miracle Piano teaching system with support for Bars&Pipes compo- sition software.
The Miracle also lias two song collections volumes available. Each volume contains a variety of 40 songs in both easy and difficult formats.
QuickNet, an Amiga network Ethernet solution for the A2000, A30Q0, or the A4000.
Selling for $ 499 AUS for the twisted pair version and $ 469 AUS for the thin Ethernet module,QuickNet is available from Norman Pakes at Resource Management Force.
Neriki offered an assortment of video solutions. The Australian video supplier produces tire Neriki Imagemaster genlock tor the Amiga, the Neriki Desktop genlock for the Amiga as well as distribution amplifiers and switches.
RUSH Software is the supplier of over 18 different educational software programs created for the Amiga using CanDo. These versatile programs teach all ages; and they range in price from $ 75 AUS to $ 29 AUS. They have also created Teachers Markbook ($ 110 AUS), a mul- tiple-classroom grade-book program.
Even a few exhibition services were run or monitored by the Amiga. SIDAT provided security' for the exhibition with their propri- ACID Software 10 St. Kevins Arcade Karangahape Road Aukland, New Zealand 649 358 1658 INQUIRY 240 Alchemy Software Development
P. O. Box 188 SouthLand, Victoria 3192 Australia 03 583 8806,
FAX: 03 585 1074 INQUIRY 241 Australian Amiga Developers
Ass.
Chairman: Sieve Wemyss (SA) 08 254 2261, FAX: 08 254 2261 INQUIRY 242 Bruce Smith Bocks PO Box 382 St Albans, Herts. AL2 3JD England 0923 894355 FAX: 0932 894366 INQUIRY 243 Color Computer Systems 288 Alexander Drive Dianeila. West Australia 09 375 3018. FAX: 09 375 3019 INQUIRY 244 Commercial Products of Australia
P. O. Box 187 Vauduse NSW 2030 Australia 02 337 6255 INQUIRY 245
Commodore Business Machines 67 Mars Road Lane Cove NSW 2066
Australia 02420 7777. FAX 02 428 3607 INQUIRY 246 OVERKILL
by DigiSolt Australia is One of the first arcade action games
(or the Amiga to utilize the A400D and A120D AGA graphic
resolutions.
Desktop Utilities P O Box 3053 Manuka. ACT 2603 Australia OS 239 6658. FAX 06 239 6619 INQUIRY 247 etary Amiga security system. The system not only monitors the facility and sends warnings and alarms, but also activates cameras that track movement and save video pictures of the invaders. With the help of GVP's PhonePnks and special leleplione kiosks, Interacta Computer Systems polled the attendees on a variety of data concerning the show, Commodore, and their Amigas. Not on]}' is the information valuable for this event, but will it will assist show coordinators as they plan next year's
marketing and advertising.
Wall Street Video provides training for the Amiga and its applications. Their An Introduction to the Amiga i200 video tape was a best seller.
Australian dealersImpactCamera House, MEGHEAD, Ami-Tech, Brashs, Harvey Norman,and more,sold a tremcndousamount of products to a hungry Amiga crowd.
The Rest of the World Bruce Smith Books represented their extensive line of Amiga books from Mastering Amiga Assembler to the Amiga Gamer's Guide.
Meridian Software Distribution Director, Paul Burgess, offered a variety of European and WOCA Sydney Companies Mentioned Due to differences in international telephone exchanges, p ease consult with your operator on the correct procedure for contacting these companies.
GP Software 21 Aloomba Rd Ashgrove QLD. Australia 4060 617 3661402 INQUIRY 240 GVP 600 Clark Avenue King Of Prussia. PA 1S406 (215i 337 8770. FAX :(215) 337 9922 INQUIRY 249 INOVAtronics 8499 Greenville Avenue Sic- 209B Dallas. TX 75231 214 340 4991 INQUIRY 250 Interacta Computer Systems 315 9106 INQUIRY 251 John Rowe s Aussi© Amiga Overlays
P. O. Bo* 420 Toowoomba QW 4350 Australia 076324444. FAX 706
381906 INQUIRY 252 Megsdisc Pty Ltd.
Freeport 80. P.O. Box 759 Crows Nest. Australia 2065 02959 3692 INQUIRY 253 American software at special savings to attract attention to their London mail order sales.
Digita also arrived from England to demonstrate the new Wordmrth v2AGA word processing software that now takes advantage of the Amiga 4000 and 1200 special graphics features for spectacular color text and graphics manipulation.
Power Computingdemonstrated and sold a wide range of Amiga products from their own design and as a representative for other Amiga firms. The Greyscale Powerscan V3.0, the Colour Powerscan V3.0, the PC1204 4MB memory expansion card, and the XL 1.76MB high density drive were only some of the products available.
Great Valley Products was represen led by their Australian distributor, who showcased the G Lock genlock, DDS8+ sound digitizer, a series of expansion products for the Amiga 500, and more. Innovatronics demonstrated the new version of Directory OPUS directory utility, the CmiDo! now with AGA support. MoonlighterSof twaresponsored their Amiga back-up software, AmiBack. The Arexx CookBook author, Merrill Callaway, was on hand topromole the use of Arexx, and distribute his book, published by Whites tone.
Once again, the Australian World Of Commodore was an event rewarding to both attendees and vendors. Commodore Australia worked hard creating theeventand they should be congratulated for their effort.
The next World Of Commodore will be in Pasadena, September 10-12. This event was extremely successful last year don't miss it!
• AO Rush Software 149 Stafford St Gerroa NSW 2534 Australia 042
342107 INQUIRY 260 Mmdscape international 5 6 Gladstone Road
Castle Hill NSW 2154 Australia 02 S99 2277 FAX 02 899 2348
INQUIRY 254 Neriki Fordray Manufacturing Pty. Ltd 6 Hawthorne
Place Leewocd, Orange NSW 2800 Australia 6163 62 9901, FAX:
6163 62 8675 INQUIRY a 255 OpalVision Opal Technology C O
Centaur Development
P. O.Box 4400 Redondo Beach. CA 90278 310 787-4533 FAX: 310
222-5882 INQUIRY 256 Phoenix Microtech nologies 18 Hampton Rd
Keswick. S.A. 5035 Australia
08) 293 8752, FAX: 08 293 8814 INQUIRY 257 Power Computing Unit
8 Railton Road Woburn Road Jnd Estate Kempston Bedford MK42
7PN England 0234 843388. FAX: 0234 840234 INQUIRY 258
Resource Management Force 02550 4244 INQUIRY 259 Sidat
Security Pty. Ltd
P. O. Box 974 Rozeile Sydney. Australia, 2039 612 555 0690, FAX
612 555 0350 INQUIRY 261 Sigmacom Unit 17 20-24 Gibbs St
Miranda 2228 NSW Australia 02 524 9845. FAX: 02 524 9839
INQUIRY 262 Unitech Electronics
P. O.Box 137 Minto
N. S.W, Australia 2566 02 820 3555. FAX: 02 602 6685 INQUIRY
263 Wall Street Video P O Box 097 Chatswccd NSW 2057 Australia
02 411 210B INQUIRY 264 Wordwonh C O Digita International Ltd
Black Horse House Exmouth EX8 1JI England 0395 270273. FAX:
0395 266893 INQUIRY 255 Whitestone (ARex* Cookbook) 511-A
Girard SE Alburquerque. NM 87106
(505) 268-0678 Inquiry 266 OpalVision attracted large crowds at
the World Of Commodore Amiga in Sydney.
"The Toaster uses recorded or canned graphic anima tions. The Roaster chip is usin g about nine different algorithms. That is effectively the equivalent of 80,0000 gates. Ours is algorithmic. We can tell the Roaster chip what we want and it performs the operation. This leaves the Amiga free to create other Amiga graphics over the top. The Roaster is completely configurable. You can get in therewith a spline editor, set key points, and spin it around in real time. We have a wide variety of effects that vou can change i minediately. Since it is completely random pixel addressable, we can do
full rotations, perspectives, wrap video on a teapot, and even morph it in real time."
The system is extremely flexible with explanations available for icons and buttons appearing on the screen in real time. You can even move your effect icons around into a setup for your own use.
On audio, "We have aninput for a sound sampler so that the sound can be modulated with the visual effects."
There is only one OpalVision for any Amiga. "You will find that the Roaster will do just as much on an A m i ga 21)00 as on an Amiga 4000 with full acceleration." There is even an adapter for the Amiga 1200, which allows a full OpalVision and the Video Suite to be connected.
When will OpalVision ship? Mr. Rayner was not ready to commit when we would be able to buy the OpalVision video modules.
"We are in final testing at the moment, it is hard to pick a precise date. We are getting things to the market as fast.is we can while still paying full attention to every little detail."
" We probably could ship withina month, but we would like to spend more time getting more effects together, having the software a lot more tested. We want a bullet proof, mature system before we release it to the public.
It will be worth the wait."
Cary Rayner obviously gets his desire for perfection from Iris background and he is patientenough to take care of the small things.
However, his compulsion for perfection does not slow him d own. He has learned slot since he was two obviously he knows a great deal more about propellants today.
Opal Tech C O Centaur Development
P. O.Box 4400 Redondo Beach, CA 90278
(310) 787-4530 FAX: (310) 222-5882 Inquiry 239
• AC* Roomers The Bandito wallops Commodore!
Is it fair?
By The Bandito [T iese statements and projections presented in "Roomers" are minors in the purest sense. The hits of information are gathered In a third-party source from whispers inside the industry. At press time, these rumors remain unconfirmed and are printed for entertainment value only.
Accordingly, the staff and associates of Amazing Computing cannot be held responsible far the reports made in this column.I Commodore in Trouble The Bandito has pulled together a special report on Commodore's situation from a variety of public and private sources.
This special all-Commodore edition of the Bandito is brought to you by that long- running Pennsylvania show, The Commodore Follies.
Well, loyal Amigans, as the old saving goes: If you don't laugh, you cry. Our favorite computer is once again being poorly served by its manufacturer. We all know that Commodore has had its ups and downs over the years, but this time the problem is particularly acute. Let's provide a little background first, so we can view recent events in the proper perspective.
As one insider said about what's happening to Commodore "It's self- destruction in the Osborne tradition."
According to the Bandito's informed sources, the announcement of the A121)0 and A4000 late last year really hurt Amiga sales over the crucial Christmas selling season. The problem was especially bad since Commodore reportedly stopped shipping A2000's in order to push the limited stock of the new Amigas. This tactic might have worked better if early production runs of the new Amigas hadn't been plagued with manufacturing problems, including a defective Buster chip, which caused severe shortages of A 1200s and A4000s right when they were needed the most. So Commodore stopped selling
computers it had, while the computers it was supposed to have didn't arrive on time. This is a bad situation.
From what the Bandito has been able to piece together, December sales were below November sales, and January sates were off hose numbers bv an incredible 70%.
Commodore then, in January', fired most of their sales staff and reduced the head count in West Chester. As far as sales go, this left only three salespeople and one servicepcrson west of the Mississippi.
Meanwhile, Commodore has been losing market share in Europe, their former sales stronghold. How much of a stronghold is Europe? Look at the numbers: in its last fiscal year (ending June 30,1992) 88% of Commodore sales came from Europe; a mere 8% from North America (the remainder in Asia and Australia). While Commodore is still Ifl in European unit sales (though possibly not for long), their dollar share is sinking fast.
In 1991, Commodore was number one with 1 3.4", of the personal computers sold in Europe. In 1992 Commodore's market share dropped to 12%*, even though they slashed prices vigorously. In dollar-value, Commodore is 4 in market share, because of the low prices of the majority of Amigas sold (A500s and A600's).
Commodore's dollar-value share is still sinking in Europe; it's dropped from 5%* in 1991 to 4.4%* in 1992, out of a S22.6* billion market. Ohviouslv, the invasion of low- priced clones into Europe has hurt Commodore at the liigh end, and the skyrocketing sales of videogames in Europe has hurt them at the low end. This year's unit share and dollar share numbers promise to be much lower. ( Editors Note: ’These figures could not be confirmed as of press time.)
Commodore Strikes An Iceberg Now, with this grim picture staring at Commodore's management at the beginning of the year, the bad news struck with full force at the end of March. ("Beware the ides of March, Caesar!") Commodore's had bad news before, but this news set a new standard for awful.
Commodore International Limited reported a net loss of $ 177.6 million, or $ 5.37 per share on sales of S120.9 million for the third fiscal quarter ended March 31,1993.
This is a heckuva loss for a company whose shares were valued only at about S4 apiece before this announcement. Compare this to earnings of $ 4.1 million (S.12 per share), on sales of $ 194.6 million in the same quarter a year ago.
So nine months into their fiscal year (as of March 31,1993), Commodore has lost a whopping S273.6 million; that's an amazing S8.27 per share. A year ago, Commodore was riding high with net income of S49.5 million, ($ 1.47 per share) in the same period. Total sales for this fiscal year's nine month period were $ 517.2 million; last year it was $ 770.3 million in the same span of time.
That's a 33% drop in sales, folks. So Commodore's total net worth (shareholders' equity) for the entire company is now only S30 million. As you might imagine, the stock market has not responded positively to this news. Commodore shares lost more than 25 percent of their value after this announcement, failing to S2.87 on the New York Stock Exchange. Now they're hovering around S3, sometimes as low as $ 2.75, Only a year ago the shares were worth $ 11. And the year before that, they hit S20.
What's Commodore's explanation for all this? Let's look at what the official press release had to say (The Bandito's comments are in brackets, like this|: "Overall the sales decline of almost 41) percent for the quarter was primarily due to prevailing economic softness in all of the Company's major markets, especially Germany. There was also significant pricing erosion for the Company's older Amiga models and TC products. Unit volume of Amiga products declined 25 percent while Anriga revenues declined over 45 percent. PC unit volume increased 3(1 percent, but revenues increased only slightly
from the prior year. C64 computer sales were nominal in the quarter." (Translation: They had to chop prices on Amigas, but that still didn't help the sales. Massive price cuts on PC clones helped move boxes, but meant their profits were cut to the bone. And nothing they did could sell C64s.| COMMODORE INTERNATIONAL LIMITED AND SUBSIDIARIES Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations (Unaudited; SOOO's) Periods ended Three Mon Mine Months March 3!
199?
1992 1993 Met Sales 120,900 $ 194,600 $ 517,200 $ 770,300 Cost of Sales 232,200 140,300 618,400 538,300 Gross Profit Loss) (111,300) 54,300 (101,200) 232,000 Operating Expenses 55,800 49,100 146,100 168,600 Operating Income (Lobs) (167,100) 5,200 (247,300) 63,400 Interest Expense, Net 5,000 2,800 13,900 11,200 Other Expense (Income) 5,500 (1,900) 11,700
(100) Income (Loss) Before Income Taxes (177,600) $ 4,300
(272,900) 52,300 Provision for income Taxes - 200 700 2,800
Met Income (Loss) (177,600) $ 4,100 (273,600) $ 49,500 Net
Income I Loss) Share $ (5.37) $ .12 $ (8.27) $ 1.47 Average
Shares Outstanding
33. 086
34. 137
33. 068
33. 782 Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets (Unaudited; $ 000's)
March 31, March 31, 1992 Cash and Investments $ 21,500 $ 60,800
Accounts Receivable, Met 152,100 255,400 Inventories 106,700
202,200 Other Current Assets 10,000 9,400 Total Current
Assets 290,300 527,800 Other Assets 83,900 108,200 Total
$ 374,200 $ 636,000 Current Debt (Motes A and B) $ 115,300
$ 71,800 Other Current Liabilities 191,800 165,800 Total
Current Liabilities $ 307,100 $ 237,600 Long-Term Debt and
Other 37,100 60,300 Shareholders' Equity 30,000 338,100 Total
$ 374,200 $ 636,000 "The unit sales decline and severe pricing
erosion during the quarter, primarily in the month of March,
had a substantial adverse effect on profitability for the
March quarter." (Translation: We lost lots of money.| "In
light of this significantly changed business environment, the
Company reevaluated projected inventory values and determined
that writedowns of $ 65 million were required to reduce
inventory, including the older Amiga products, to current
estimated net realizable value." I We came to our senses and
admitted that our inventory of A2000s and A500s wasn't worth
a whole lot.) "In addition, the Company made a provision of
$ 70 million for special pricing and promotional allowances,
additional restructuring costs, and asset writedowns."
(Translation: Since we don't know any real marketing tech
niques, eve'll just cut prices to try and lower our inventory
levels, Somebody'll buy it if we make it cheap enough. |
"Irving Gould, chairman and chief executive officer, stated:
"We are extremely disappointed with our results for the first
nine months of this fiscal year. We believe that Commodore's
technology, brand name and distribution network continue to
have significant value and we are exerting all of our efforts
to restructure the company to take advantage of these values
during this period of severe difficulty.” (Translation: I
hope to hell 1 can get some of my money out of this damn
company.)
The Band i to has never shown you this before, but in this crisis it's important for everyone to see just what Commodore's position is. So here's their balance sheet.
"(A) Current debt includes $ 46 million of Senior Notes, S13 million of which were repaid on April 12, 1993, as required. As of March 31,1993 the Company is in non- compliance with certain financial covenants under the Note Agreement with respect to the remaining S33 million. The lender has waived non-compliance through the end of July 1993 in order to allow the Company to pursue a debt restructuring."
"(B) Current debt at March 31,1993, includes a S10 million 11.75% demand loan from a company controlled by the chairman of the Company. On April 12,1993, an additional $ 7 million was borrowed, with S9.5 million being repaid May 24,1993, through the sale of inventory. The remaining $ 7.5 million debt is collateralized."
What Does It Mean?
Looking closely at the balance sheet, a few interesting facts become apparent. While Commodore's net sales for the quarter are down nearly 40%, their cost of sales for the same quarter, has gone up 65%. Some of this must be promotional allowances and the like, but it's not a pretty picture.
Commodore is now in "non-compliance" on a $ 33 million loan from a large insurance company and has until Julv 31, 1993 to come up with a new way to pay.
Commodore is currently trying to convince lenders that this year's Christmas will be a good one, unlike last year. Even Commodore admits that if thev have another Christmas like 1992 that the company will be in very, very bad shape.
So what does Commodore plan to do about this situation? Publicly, all they've said is that they will focus first on getting their debt problem taken care of; then thev'11 try to sell their inventory as effectively as they can.
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I’.O. 'Box 309 'Ettsivortk'Wl 54011 715273-6180 Meanwhile, if you look at the second note attached to the balance sheet, you'll see that good old Chairman and CEO Irving Gould has loaned Commodore $ 17 million dollars recently to help tide them over until times get better. Of course, this loan is at a rate of 11.75% interest, which is pretty good in these days of 3% to 4% savings accounts.
Not a bad rate, if you can get it. Certainly better than the return Irv is getting on his stock right now. You'll notice that the loan is collateralized against inventory, so Irving isn’t taking any chances here. Makes you wonder, though, if Commodore couldn't have gotten a better deal on a loan somewhere else. After all, they do have collateral, don't they?
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Banditti has gotten the latest report on executive salaries in
the computer business, and it sure makes for interesting
reading.
Commodore’s Stratospheric Salaries Now, you may remember last year, that the Bandito told you that Irving Gould and Mehdi Ali were among the very highest paid executives in the computer business. You might think that with Commodore's pathetic financial performance in the past year that perhaps they might have reduced executive salaries a trifle. You know, somehow linking executive pay with executive performance.
After all, these fellows are supposed to be in The Memory Location New England's 1 Amiga Dealer!
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Charge of the company, and are therefore responsible for the financial performance of the company, right?
Well, it seems like that's wrong. They're at it again. Mehdi Ali is the fourth highest paid executive in the computer business, raking in a cool $ 2,000,000. Although that is a 17% drop from last year, when he made $ 2.4 million. (Note: the company's sales dropped 40% for the quarter and the stock has dropped more than 70% over the past year.
At some places, that would be far more than enough to get you fired, let alone having your salary lowered.) Irving Gould is 7, with a yearly compensation of only $ 1,750,000. Yet Commodore ranks eighth overall in company size, and their stock dropped 70" u over the previous year.
Commodore's corporate earnings were covered in more red than a Schwarzenegger movie. Yet Mehdi and Irving continue to pull in outstanding paychecks.
Where's the justification for Mehdi's and Irving's salaries? The Bandito can't see any way that their compensation is tied to corporate performance. Gould must have a wonderful set of golfing buddies on the board; they appear to be little more than motorized rubber stamps. Say, what if Mehdi gave up half of his salary and used it to buy some advertising for Amigas in the United States? Now there's a radical idea.
Well, to be fair, Irv's stock holdings were worth only $ 28.8 million this year, a 69% drop trom last year. So at least he is feeling some effects from the company's poor performance. And after the latest financial news, his stock is worth less than ever. With MEMORY
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19% of all Commodore shares, Gould does have a strong incentive to see Commodore's stock prices rise again.
Axe Me Again In an immediate response to the fiscal crisis, Commodore has decided to bury the hatchet in the back of its already weakened
U. S. operation in West Chester. The staff cuts hit everywhere,
from engineering to marketing; staff in some divisions was
reduced by more than two-thirds, according to The Bandito's
spies. Engineering Services dropped from 18 people down to 5,
for instance. CATS, Software Engineering, Product Assurance,
and other groups were also sliced thin by the cuts. Who got
cut? A lot of PC clone people, but also a number of Amiga
software engineers and support people, too. But certainly with
a 40% drop in sales for the quarter, you've got to expect some
healthy reductions in staff to bring the payroll in line with
income. Let's just hope they're not getting rid of the people
they need to keep those new Amiga developments coming.
The 24-Bit High-Res Overscan Picture Commodore's neglect of the U.S. market is finally having an effect, as strong European sales no longer exist. Not only has the European economy been weak, Commodore is rapidly losing market share to other competitors. U.S. PC clone companies have invaded Europe and cut heavily into Commodore's PC clone business. Western Europe doesn't want Cft4s any more, and Orders Only; 800-735-2633 Info & Tech: 408-899-2040 FAX:-I0M»-S7« BBS; 401 580 sjfcjKi to -bin g« WitkJjl Notic* Atonce Pk GVP PC286 . SCSI II Fast Card....
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increasing popularity of SNES and Genesis (taking away the
action gamers), and the lower prices and more aggressive
marketing of Macintosh and PC done into the home markets.
Which leaves the professional markets for the Amiga as identified by Commodore: multimedia, presentations, kiosks, training, and video. Well, the Macintosh and the PC Clone (in its various forms) have pretty much conquered the multimedia and presentation markets; the Amiga doesn't have a prayer there. Video is the only place left, and both the Mac and the PC arc being promoted heavily in that area. The Video Toaster is the only weapon that can be wielded against them. And Commodore has Eastern Europe can't afford them. The Amiga is losing market share rapidly as action gamers pick up a Super
Nintendo or a Genesis instead of an Amiga. As far as action gamers go, a SNES or a Genesis is much cheaper than an Amiga, has roughly equivalent performance, and has more titles, at least more of the newest titles and licenses.
So Commodore's European stronghold is vanishing. Which means that their neglect of the U.S. market is really hurting them, as they have nowhere else to look to for sales.
In the U.S., the market for the Amiga as a home computer has all but disappeared, destroyed by a lack of availability of Amiga software (as the chain software stores drop G-Force 030 25Mhz 1MB 120HD S 585.70 G-Force 030 4QMhz 4MB 120HD S 633.75 G-Force 030 50Mhz 4M8 120HD S 1013.95 G-Force 030 25Mhz 1MB S 391.40 ©-Force 030 40Mhz 4MB S 596.30 G-Force 030 50Mhz 4MB S 791.35 G-Force 040 33Mhz 4MB 120 HD$ 1184.60 A1230 040 40MhzlMB 882 S 643.30 Hard Drives SCSI MAXTOR 120MB S 217.55 MAXTOR 213MB S 285.35 MAXTOR 1.27GIG S 12*5.00 MAXTOR 540MB S 672.95 MAXTOR 1.02GIG S 1014.95 GVP A1200-85 S 298.55
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Not surprisingly, NewTek has focused on marketing the Video Toaster rather tiian trying to sell Amlgas.
Commodore has to focus all its attention on the Amiga, and rebuild that market step by step. They've got a lot of ground to cover, so it's a good thing that they're finally getting busy. What remains to be seen is whether they have the ability to pull off this resurrection.
Is Commodore for Sale?
Now that Commodore stock is so cheap, and their net worth has plunged to a very low level, the buyout rumors are buzzing like flies around a dying horse. Who would want to buy Commodore, and why?
Will it be HP, trying to get a foothold into the consumer market? Sega or Nintendo, trying to move up into the home computer market?
Some company that would like a strong European distribution network? Silicon Graphics, who is interested in the consumer market? NewTek, trying to secure the basis for the Video Toaster?
The Bandito hears that several companies are sniffing around Commodore right now, though Commodore isn't really interested in selling. What would happen if someone did buy Commodore? It's a pretty safe bet that if anyone buys Commodore, they will sell off one or more divisions, and there's a good chance Commodore might be completely dismembered. Obviously, Commodore's previous marketing strategy didn't work, so any new owner would try To order send $ 15.00 (U.$ . or Canadian funds only) by cheque or money-order to: Movie Trivia 1 Mouse Trap Software
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Something different. A new owner would doubtless focus on the part of the business that they are interested in and sell the rest.
For instance, if the new owner was into desktop video, anything not connected to that would get sold (like the C64 and the PC clone lines), and the Amiga line would be restructured along those lines (no more low- end Amigas, for instance).
Now with only 33 million shares out there, at S3 a share, the company is worth only $ 100 million at best, Bill Gates could buy it with a week's allowance. Heck, even NewTek could probably raise enough to swing the purchase. Looked at another way, all you need to do is spend $ 50 million to get 51% of the shares and you can run things, regardless of Gould's 19% ownership, But you can bet Gould controls a lot more shares than that 19%; he probably holds proxies for well more than 50%. Else he wouldn't still he in charge of things, not with the current financial results.
Counter Argument Some industry insiders say that this fiscal problem isn't as bad as it looks. It's yet another crisis in the series that Commodore has had for years, although perhaps worse than most. And all the hoorah about staff cuts and inventory writedowns is nothing to worry about; Commodore is merely downsizing (or "rightsizing," in today’s jargon). While it's frightening to do it all at once, this does some important things for Commodore. It shows them the dangers of relying solely on the European market; it reinforces the importance of the Amiga line, AhtGASOFT 1521 EAST TRUXTUH
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And the relative loss in value of the PC clone and C64 lines, thus focusing CBM's attention on the Amiga, where it belongs. This gets rid of all the old inventory, cleaning the slate for faster production of the new Amigas.
The downsizing of the company is due to the new focus: Amiga first, foremost, and only. No more PC clones; most of Lhe engineers laid off were PC clone engineers.
They may continue to market the C64, but no development effort will be spent in that direction. The Amiga and Amiga technology are where Commodore's future lies, and management (finally) seems to realize that.
So while there will be turmoil for a while as Commodore adjusts So its new size and creates a new corporate vision to go with it, in the long run Commodore will survive.
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Certainly there's the core of a good company there; with some proper management it could once again be a major force in computing. While the financial picture looks dismal right now, things can change rapidly in this business. One industry observer even predicted that Commodore will make a profit next quarter. "They took the bad news all at once, so they could get past it and move forward," he said. "Now they're positioned for growth, and the hardware price cuts will stimulate demand." We'll see, won't we?
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Do you know of any rumors, gossip, scuttlebutt, or just plain dirt? If so. Become a professional tattletale and pass these tidbits on to: The Bandito c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 Jl II 1 f 1 n b 1 by
Frank McMahon This month we'll go over ASDC s latest upgrade
to the popular image manipulation program Art Department
Professional Going from 1,0 to 2.0 was quite an advance last
year and this year the jump from 2.0.0 to 2.3.0 is just as
substantial. While far from an overhaul, it does provide some
much-needed additions as well as basic restructuring of the
standard layout.
Professional's When I first installed ADPro 2.3.U on my 4000, the first thing I noticed was how sluggish the screen redraws were. I thought maybe 1 had accidentally installed the non-floating point unit version (68000) by mistake. So i reinstalled it. Same thing. I tried running it on an Amiga 2500 and it was back to the normal speed, with requesters snapping on-screen in no time. Finally I realized that if you install ADPro 2.3.0 on an ACA machine, the default screen is comprised of 256 colors. 1 found tiiis out by grabbing a screen using the Load Screen loader and checking the screen
controls color amount. While it's a nice feature, it is fairly unnecessary to have a lo-res four-color control screen default So 256. It does make all screen refreshes lag even with a 68040, The fix? The tool type "ADPROSHALLOW" can be added so that the ADPro screen will be only three bitplanes instead of eight bitplanes. You will not be able to see 256 shades when you composite multiple images but your general work will go quicker due to the responsiveness of the interface. The good news is that all screens used for composition that previously were limited to 16 colors now carry a full 256-
greyscale palette on ACA machines.
2. 3.0 74 Amazisg Computing After installation, the first thing
you'll notice is a little regrouping of the main interface
screen. Color Controls are now in the top left with the Image
Operators directly below it. On the right are the Savers and
Loaders with the Screen Controls underneath.
First let's go over the new savers and loaders. A major part of Adl’ro’s claim to fame is the programmers at ASDG concentrated on multi-platform compatibility early on. They have constantly updated and enhanced the amount of different files from other computers that can be brought in to the program. One of the newest loaders and one that I find extremely handy is the Video Toaster Framestore loader. Up until now the only way to get images out of the Toaster and into ADPro was to go through the tedious process of moving the FrameStore out of tire buffer and into TnmlerPiimt and then saving it
as an RGB file. This step is now eliminated and all you have to do is choose the Framestore loader and load it os you would any other file. It loads in compressed and non-compressed 2.0 Framestores but any attempt 1 made to load 1.0 Framestores resulted in an error message. I'm sure ASDG has forgotten about 1.0 files blit 1 just happen to have a collection backed up on floppy from when 1 first started with the Video Toaster and it would be nice if ADPro supported all variations there are only a few- of the Framestore files as the Toaster does. In addition to loading, you can also save
Framestores directly within ADPro; by the way, this doesn't require a Toaster to be on or even installed in your Amiga. The saver allows you to turn compression on or off. Compression does create much smaller files but it's still unclear if there is a loss of picture quality.
On a video screen it is not noticeable but if you plan to use the Framestores for other purposes, such as RGB output, it might be best to save it uncompressed. Like any other picture format, if you save the file as uncompressed you get the maximum amount of picture data, whereas compression has to leave something out to achieve its smaller file size. You can also set the Filter when saving to between L) and 4. Zero may produce more dot crawl but produces the sharpest images while 4 may eliminate dot crawl but introduces bleeding. I'd recommend 0 as standard and go up to 2 or 3 only if you
notice some shimmering or flickering on your image when rendered into the Video Toaster buffer.
Another new loader saver is Anim. While it does not exactly allow loading an animation, it does read an ANIM file and let you select which frame you want to load and process. There is even an option to count the frames in case you're not sure how many the animation contains. The Anim saver is where the real power comes in. You can process a frame or group of frames and then save them to an ANIM file. First you create or select an ANIM file. Then you process a frame and use the Anim saver to lack it on to the end...it's that easy. The saver displays your filename, width, height, type, and
number of frames. During compression you can select Smaller or Faster. Smaller will optimize the ANIM for file size while the Faster gadget will encode the ANIM faster and not worry about compressing the actual ANIM frames. There are two types of animation compression methods as well. Opcode 5 is the standard animation file that is used in many programs. Opcode 8 is a new format that will probably produce files a little larger, but those files will play back faster on any Amiga and up to twice as fast on an AGA machine. Opcode 8 (AnimS) is noi as widely supported yet but could be the way to go
if you have a 4000 1200 and want to achieve the maximum frame rate in modes such as HAMS. In addition, there is a Wrap-Up command that copies the first two frames and moves them to the end of the animation to create a smooth looping animation.
The Dpaint loader saver is quite impressive, it allows you to directly access Deluxe Pniut IV AGA's buffer; however it does require AmigaDOS 2,04 or later, as does Deluxe Paint IV AGA. Also, it works only with version 4.6 or higher of Deluxe Paint IV AGA.
But if you have an earlier version than 4.6 the installation procedure of ADPro 2.3.0 will upgrade it! The Dpaint loader will allow you to load the current picture or frame in Deluxe Paint, which must also be running. If you want a different animation frame then you can select it within ADPro and then choose "Show Dpaint" to see what you're about to load in. This will be a boon to AGA animators. Say you are working in Deluxe Paint and you are starting a new scene.
You want to darken the background or add an effect such as emboss, oilpaint, or morph. Simply load ADPro, move the frame into ADPro, process it, then save it back directly into Dpaint's buffer! It really is as easy as il sounds and it works perfectly. You can either load a Dpaint page, the entire image as defined in the Page Size requester, or just the currently displayed portion excluding the titlebar and toolbox. Between the Anirn loader saver and the Dpaint loader saver, animation creation is greatly enhanced on AGA machines. In addition, there is a similar load save option for OpalVision
except it is an operator. It allows you to use the OpalPaint program to touch up the image currently in ADPro's buffer and then save it back to ADPro.
Page 75: ToasterFrame of flower processed with ADPro 2.3.0 OilPaint operator.
Above: ToasterFrame processed with ADPro’s new Twirl command.
The Firecracker saver has been standard and now comes the addition of a Firecracker loader. This allows loading whatever is currently in the board's buffer into ADPro. You can specif)' the board number, buffer (A or B), and the horizontal vertical size.
Another new loader saver is called Temp. This is basically a temporary buffer that ASDG recommends as an Undo. Well first of all this is no undo, but if is handy. Whenever you are doing something irreversible, you save your current image to the temp buffer. If the result of the operation is not what you wanted, von simply reload you original image from the temp buffer. The problem is, you would need to do a Temp save before every action.
It's tedious via the requesters but thankfully ASDG provided Arexx scripts to attach to function keys. It's easy: just rename the included Arcxx Load Tump and Save Temp tiles to whatever function key you would like to use. Then you can just hit FI to save a temp file and F10 tn undo (load the temp file). A new loader is included for the Vlab Digitizer from MacroSystem, enabling the user to bring a digitized image directly into ADPro. A OpalVision saver is now included that allows scrolling the display as well as centering the screen with the mouse pointer.
Several new operators are included with version 2,3,0. Antique transforms your image to an old-style sepia tone. Collapse does simple morphing by letting the user take a circular part of the image and pull it towards the center of the circle. It is most useful in creating caricatures using digitized images of people's faces. It can also be used to alter existing textures or add surreal effects to common photos. The method for resizing and moving the circle is straightforward and is used with many of the visual operators.
Images in visual operators are displayed in 256 greyscale on AGA machines. KillTemp is an operator that frees up the memory in your Temp buffer by deleting the current image. You can tell if there is an image in your Temp buffer by choosing the "About" button and seeing if there is an asterisk next to the buffer size value. Polar Mosaic creates a tiled image in the form of a circle divided by pie- styled cuts. Options include Fast or High Quality; the latter takes longer but produces a more precise final image. Rotate takes a circular section of the image and turns it. It is all done visually
in greyscale with the mouse. Sint Print is a new operator that lets you simulate what the printout of your graphic will look like. There are various dithering options such as halftone and ordered. 1 wirl, as the name implies, takes a circular part of the image that you set and spins it as many degrees as you input. Other enhancements include 256 greyscale on the loader composite screen, although it is still lores, two new dither modes, global dither amount (1-256), support for new AGA modes such as Super72, a ton of Arexx scripts that do everything from loading and showing Firecracker images
automatically to converting an image to an oil painting, and a fantastic new manual. The manual includes excellent reference material, tutorials, and pages upon pages of Arexx commands and techniques. There are several small programs that are included such as Splitz & Joinz that break up a large image to fill several floppies. But the amazing part is that here are versions of this program included for Mac, Windows, and DOS! So if vou want to transfer huge images to almost any platform, it is now possible. Thebiggest part of this new ADPro version is the improved FRED program. It allows
sequencing of operators and effects to create professional animations and multiple file output. This program alone deserves a column in itself so I’ll save it for a Video Slot in the near future rather than breeze through it in the limited space this month.
So how has ADPro matured over the years? Well it's a standard and it's a favorite for several reasons. One reason is that most of us have been using it for years, before anything else even approached its capabilities. Another reason is it produces professional output very quickly, ft has fewer features than similar programs but those features have been polished and tweaked for maximum speed, efficiency, and professional output. It’s familiar and not overly complex, But it is time to move on. ADPro needs to be rewritten from the ground up and incorporate more real-time processing via display
boards the lack of real-time display options now is the program's main drawback. Most of the time you never see what you are working on, unless you constantly keep sending it Volume 1 Tutorials feature color pallette manipulation, image compositing, Text Visual Operations, Tile Visual Operations, Scaling, FRED & More. S39.95 S39.95 each or $ 69.95 for both (includes shipping 2 day mail) Call for shipping rates outside U.S, Free Gifts with each order. Add $ 10.00 for C.O.D.’s To order call 1-800*453-8308 anytime To receive a FREE information packet call anytime 602-893-3988 or write to: Amazing
Art Pro 5037 East Keresan Phoenix, Arizona H5044 Visa, Mastercard, C.O.D’a, checks, and money orders welcome.
« Please allow 2-3 weeks for check orders.
IVeafiMiak Mxincnt mva Circle 151 on Reader Service card.
To your framebuffer or keep re-rendering it. The next version will be a reworked edition, and I'm sure will not fail to amaze. The competition has gotten extremely hot in the past year and ASDG is surely aware of it. Do I use the other image programs more these days? Well, 1 like lmageMnster because of the real-time display with my Firecracker board, but 90% of the time I’ll turn to ADPro for image manipulation. While not as diverse in the feature department, it’s faster than the other programs, is much easier to move around in, and produces crisp, excellent output. With the new features like
ToasterFrame loading saving, Dpaint buffer access, Premade Arexx macros, and the much improved FRED processor, Art Department Professional's latest version should be in every video production department.
Please Write la Frank McMahon c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 Analog Control in a
Digital World by Scott Wolf Diehard computer jet jocks already
know about the highly realistic control that analog joysticks
give to MS-DOS flight simulations, not to mention the addition
of a second, seperately functioning fire button.
Since analog sticks use potentiometers instead of switches, aircraft control is smooth and relative to the amount of input applied. Over a dozen Amiga games now support analog sticks but where do you insert that big IBM plug into your Amiga? Some sort of adapter is needed, and thanks to four considerate sources, some sort of adapter is available.
A look at analog joystick adapters for the Amiga.
First up are the D.K. Analog Joystick Adapter, a simple 3.5-inch cable with a screw-together 15-pin IBM connector at one end and a screw-together 9-pin Amiga connector at the other, and Steven Nicholas' Analog Link. The Analog Link is quite similar to the D.K, but with a longer (9 ] 2") cable and a black rubber strain guard on the IBM end. The analog IBM stick will now function plugged into the Amiga joystick port via the adapter. However, since there is no software standard for handling analog devices, the results are sometimes unpredictable. For example, in Domark's MiG-29 titles and
MicroProse's F-15 Strike Eagle II, lire fire button functions are reversed; Button 1 fires rockets and missiles while Button 2 fires the internal cannon This reversal occurs with all of the adapters in t his article.
Additionally, since the range of resistance in potentiometers varies from stick to stick, the D.K. adapter and Analog Link will not always function properly in combination with non-standard joysticks (Kraft's Thunderstick), or those that have no "trim" controls (Thrustmaster's Flight Control System). Die Thrustmaster FCS ($ 99.95), modeled after the control stick of an F-4 Phantom, is tile ultimate flight simulation joystick; it sports an additional two buttons and a "hat" switch a miniature four-way stick at the top used to switch views in IBM sims. Of course these extra features won't work on
the Amiga.
The problem is that Thrustmaster depends entirely on game software for calibration, and so, titles like F-15 Strike Eagle il, 78 Amazing Computing Analog Joystick Adapter
D. K. Products 122 Rockland St. Dedham, MA 02026
(617) 326-1006 inquiry 231 Analog Link Steven R. Nicholas 1219
Meadowheaven Ln. Derby, KS 67037
(316) 788-5253 Inquiry 232 DP IBM Analog Interface DigiPrint,
Inc.
P. O. Box 13016 Richmond, VA 23225
(804) 560-1769 Inquiry 233 Amiga Smart Port InterACTIVE Digital
Devices, Inc. 2238 Nantuckett Ct. Marietta, GA 30066
(404) 516-0248 Inquiry 234 Knights of the Sky and EA's Birds of
Prey won't work with the D.K. or Analog Link FCS combo.
Jaeger's Fighter Duel Pro, the MiG-29s, Spectrum Holobyte's
Flight of the Intruder and Micro Prose's superb World
Circuit work fine.
Next up is the DP IBM Analog Interface from DigiPrint, Inc. At first glance, the DP looks just like the Analog Link. Closer inpection reveals not only higher quality molded connectors, but a three position switch on the IBM end of the adapter. I his switch is mounted on a small circuit board with four capacitors connected to the analog joystick's pots. The different control sensitivities provided by the switch actually allow the Thrustmaster PCS to work with every game I tried.
Also available from DigiPrint is the DP IBM Mouse Interface.
This device allows you to use not only an IBM bus mouse with its incredible pinpoint accuracy of 400 dots per inch, but trackballs and mouse-pens as well. Like DP's Analog Interface, the Bus Mouse Interface has machine molded connectors and requires no special software. Suggested retail is S I 4.95. Last, but definitely not least, is the Amiga Smart Port from Inter- ACTIVE Digital Devices. The Smart Port is a 3x4-inch precision molded box tess than an inch thick, with inputs for mouse, digital joy-stick, and an analog joystick. The appropriate device becomes active with a single click of its
firebutton and an LED indicates an active analog stick. The Smart Port also comes with two 3-foot extension cables, a 15-page operating manual and a 3.5-inch diskette with the "SmartPortCal" utility program. Used in conjunction with the X and Y adjustment screws on the Smart Port, ibis utility allows accurate calibration of even the Thrustmaster stick. Additionally, with IDD's Came Pori Adapter (sold separately) and a "Y" cable, a second analog stick and rudder pedals may be connected for throttle and rudder control; currently, only Fighter Duel Pro supports rudder pedals. The Game Port goes
for $ 14.95. The onlv problem 1 encountered with the Smart Port was, once again, with MiG-29. Not only were the fire buttons reversed but the cannon fired continuously on its own. Peculiarities with F-15 il, Knights of the Sky, Birds of Prey and SubLOGIC's Flight Simulator 1! Are rectified in patch programs also from IDD; the K.O.T.S. patch enables throttle and rudder pedals, too. At $ 52.95 the Amiga Smart Port is definitely in a league of its own; however, the advantage of not having to physically switch joysticks for different games and the fact that the Smart Port is unlikely to become
obsolete make it worth considering despite the hefty price tag. »AC* Please Write to: Scott Wolf c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 21411 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 Amiga Games With Analog
Joystick Support Domark Konami MiG-29 Fulcrum Air Warrior
MiG-29M Super Fulcrum MicroProse Dynamix F-15 Strike Eagle II
Red Baron F-19 Stealth Fighter A-lOTank Killer Knights of the
Sky World Circuit Electronic Arts Gunship 2000 Birds of Prey
Spectrum Holobyte Jaeger Flight of the Intruder Fighter Duel
Pro SubLOGIC Flight Simulator 1!
A50Q A600 A1200 200 WATT Big Fool UniversalSwitching with fan ....84.95 A2000 fan 200 watts orig. Amiga 94.50 A500 45 watt (heavy duty) .67.50 W i vliip VklKklwuie 15' ¦ Kt-M x Ksrtg vlurgi- -
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them you saw their advertisement in Amazing Computing!
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Don't be tooled by the low price. This really works! S69.95 MegAChip 2000 ™ Includes 2MB Agnus chip, FREE chip puller, Amiga Troubleshooter, and Final Test diagnostic diskette. Buy the MegAChip from us and we'll give you the 8373 Super Denise (ECS) for S23.50 .$ 196.50 Switch-ltt: Most Popular ROM Switcher Etectronic ROM selector switch by Global Upgrades Inc, allows for compatibility of ALL your software. Switch between 1.3 or 2.0 ROM from your keyboard. Does not overlap the 68000.....$ 24.95 Buy Switch-ltt from us with the 1.3 ROM
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4 MB SIMM 1x32 70 for above .....$ 136.95 8 MB SIMM 2x32 70 for above .....$ 269.95 AMIQUEST 21 2" PCMCIA ADAPTER FOR IDE REMOVABLE DRIVE FOR A600 A1200 Call for details ....$ 139.95 A500 Motherboard- Includes all chips (1.2 ROM & 1 2MB Agnus) $ 94.95 With 8372A 1 meg Agnus installed ...$ 129.95 Super Denise 8373 Upgrade .....- ....$ 27.50 Fatter Agnus (8372A) 1MB with chip puller.
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J Hook by Rob Hays One of the latest releases from Ocean Software is Hoof:, the graphical adventure based on the Stephen Spielberg movie of the same name. For those who haven't seen the movie, the story concerns a man named Peter Banning who has forgotten he was once Peter Pan. His children are kidnapped by Captain Hook, and Peter must travel back to Neverland to rescue them. This Is where the game begins. After a short animated introduction, t'ou are plopped down in the middle of Pirate Town, with no idea where Hook has taken your kids or how to get them back.
The majority of the screen is devoted to your view of Peter's world, with a row of action icons and an inventory display below.
Actions are limited to Look At, Talk To, Pick Up, Use, and Give To. The game is entirely mouse controlled, with the exception of the pause key. For instance, if you want Peter to talk to another character on the screen, dick on the Talk To icon and then the image of the person you're interested in talking to. Peter will walk over and a sentence will appear above his head. Click the right mouse button to cycle through available phrases, which change with the character and the circumstances. When you find what you want Peter to say, click the left mouse button. The text changes color, Peter's
mouth moves, and the answer appears above the person you're conversing with.
You'll have no doubt when you do something to advance your cause, because the image of Hook on the left side of the screen will snarl and shake his hook menacingly. If you get stuck and need help, try talking to Tinkerbell. She's that ball of light constantly circling above your head. Ask too much or too often and you will get a curt reminder that "You're Peter Pan, you figure it out." Keep in mind that Peter Banning is basically a coward, and if he balks at doing something risky, keep insisting.
He will eventually overcome his fear and continue.
You quickly leam that in order to get to Hook, you have to look like a pirate, so your first task is to beg, buy, or steal some pirate clothes. Since no one is interested in taking your out-of- town checks, buying is out. After collecting enough clothing to pass as a pirate, you can sneak onto Hook's ship.
Tinkerbell talks him into allowing time for you to prepare for the battle, and you make your way to the tree home of the Lost Boys. Here you engage in some training, solve the remaining puzzles, and regain your memory. At this point the game is basically over because you sit back and read explanations from Tinkerbell, then you're transported back to Hook's ship for the anti-climatic battle. The sword fight with Hook is controlled by your conversation. Say the right phrase and Hook backs up a few steps. The wrong phrase allows him to advance.
The solutions (b most of the puzzles in Hook are relatively straightforward. My eight-year- old nephew, who is nof an expert computer gamer, was able to solve them with little assistance from me. In fact, this might be the perfect introduction to computer adventuring, or the solution to a rainy weekend with a house full of kids.
The graphics and animations are adequate, but tend toward cartoonish. On the other hand, I thought the sound effects were very good. They were well integrated and not overwhelming, ranging from seagulls and waves, to a creaky door swinging in the breeze. When music plays, it fits the mood of the area nicely.
Hook is supplied on four copy-protected disks, and although the Amiga version cannot be installed on a hard disk, the game will use two floppy drives if you have them.
Up to five positions can be saved on a separate disk, and games can be saved at any time. Hook requires Kickstart 1.2 or higher and 1MB of RAM. Since you must boot from the floppy, there is no problem playing on AGA machines. However, unless you're a speed reader, you may need to repeat the same phrase two or three times before you arc able to read the entire reply if you plav on an accelerated Amiga, but otherwise the game runs properly.
Hook Ocean of America 1B55 O'Toole Ave, Ste. D-102 San Jose, CA 95131
(408) 954-0201 FAX (408) 954-0243 Inquiry 238 character, lets
Cytron choose between the plethora of weapon options,
control certain aspects of the center's security system,
get hints for the level, and retrieves energy for itself.
Cytron, however, is far from just your average kill 'em and forget 'em shooter. It contains a multitude of different puzzles that must be solved, or averted, in order to obtain passage to the exit teleporters. A large part of solving tire puzzles in this game depends on the unique nature of the Cytron robot; it has the ability to separate into two smaller and different robots, named "Cyt" and "Ron." This feature is a realty nice addition to the game and adds a whole new level of strategy, as the player can control only one of them at a time, but still must keep an eye on the second droid, lest
it gets demolished by persistent enemies.
The puzzles range from activating pressure plates, to flipping switches in a correct sequence, to activating one, or the other, of the smaller Cytron robots. Many levels require the two robots to split up and negotiate separate narrower passages, in an effort to help the other robot out. As 1 said before, this mitosis is very keen.
In addition to nil of that, there are secret codes found throughout the game that will lead to bonus levels where energy and extra weapons are available for plunder. Some of these codes, when used early on in the game, actually allow the player to warp to later rounds, thus preventing him or her from having to complete levels that have already been sweated through and won. This feature has, oddly enough, been omitted from the instruction manual, but is easy enough to figure out; it's also very useful, since the game has tiv G H E n T Cytron by Jason D'Aprik In Psygnosis' latest shooter, a top
secret research center has been overrun by its robotic workforce; and a prototypical, ultra-sophisticated, and armed-to-the teeth robot named "Cytron" has been sent in to rescue the scientists before the lab goes nuclear. Boy, now where have I heard that one before?
Actually, Cytron is a very good game, extremely reminscent of an old favorite C64-gamc of mine called Paradroid, which has an essentially similar plotline.
From its excellent, if very short, cinematic opening sequence to the great rock soundtrack on the title screen, to the actual game itself, everything, for the most part, looks and sounds great. But, coming from Psygnosis, that should be a given.
The game is played from a top-down, or plane view perspective, rather like Gauntlet, and all of the graphics are suitably small, but nicely detailed and realistic. Game play is great and extremely fast; depending on the stage, this game veritably flies. The player controls the Cytron robot throughout the complex in an effort to rescue at least a minimum number of scientists, access computer terminals, which, depending on the terminal type and clearence level of the no other sort of save feature. There are also five different options for controlling the game, ranging from the simple one-button
joystick to two joysticks, or even two mouses.
Weaponry in the game is plentiful and for each of the three facets of the Cytron robot, there are specific guns that are especially made for only one of them, and some of these guns carry a specific purpose in terms of puzzle-solving. The enemies in the game range from mindless, unaware drones to intelligent hunters that will chase after either Cytron, or actually go after scientists in an effort to kill them. If too many scientist are killed, then you'll have to play the level over, as you need to rescue at least three to make the teleporter open.
There's also the detonater to worry about. Spend too much time dallying around a level and the whole floor disrupts in a tremendous explosion. Also, the more intelligent robots can actually activate the detonater when they detect Cytron.
Cytron is chuck full of power-ups, interesting puzzles, and fast-paced action. There are a whole lot of subtle things that the player finds out by accident as the game progresses that certainty increase gaming life; my favorite one is the "Pacifist Bonus," which is awarded to the player at the end of the level for not killing most, or all, of the enemy robots.
My only real problems witli the game were the painfully slow initial loading time from the boot disk and the fact the gameplay screen is not covered at all in the otherwise fairly lengthy manual. Overall, however, Cytron is an excellent game of its type; i recommend it.
Cytron Psygnosis Limited 675 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 497-5457 FAX (617) 497-6759 Inquiry 237 Dune by fnson
D'Aprile To be perfectly honest, I wasn't expecting much
from this game. I assumed that it would be, well, boring.
So imagine my surprise when 1 was treated not only to a
fantastic opening sequence, with incredible music and
graphics, but to a game that is fascinating, fresh, and
extremely hard to pul away.
The storyline is basically the same as that of the book and the movie, to which it carries a greater resemblance. The player takes the role of Paul Atreides, who, along with the rest of his family, has just come to the planet of Arrakis better known as Dime in order to mine for the most valuable substance in the universe, the spice Melange, Unfortunately, the House of Harkonncn has had a stranglehold on the spice trade and on the only natives of Dune the Fremen for a long time and do not care for com petition. It also doesn't help that the House of Atreides and the Harkonnens are sworn
enemies.
The game itself is part animated role-playing and part militaristic-style strategy. As Paul, the player must go throughout the desert landscape in an effort to convince the Fremen natives to help him mine for spice and, eventually, fight for him against the Harkonnens.
A good deal of the game consists of finding new Fremen recruits and mining enough spice to send out to the Emperor, who gave the Atreides permission to come to Dune in the first place. Don't listen to the Emperor, or get him angry with vou; he might send out his feared Saudaukar stormtronpers, an outcome likely to result in more then just losing spice.
As the game progresses, Paul will find that the exposure to so much spice is actually changing him and giving him strange powers. He will gain Ihe ability to communicate with the Fremen over long ranges, telepathicallv, and will often have visions when there is trouble that lie should be aware of. All of this adds up to remarkable gaming interest.
Another important facet of the game is that Ihe Fremen hold a dream that someday the desert planet will become a more habitable, life-holding place.
Helping the Fremen to carry themselves closer to this goal is an important aspect to the game's completion.
The graphics in the game range from very good to stellar and the music is just incredible, which, incidentally, is actually available on CD. Whenever Paul talks lo someone, a closeup of the person appears on the screen, with a comment box beside her.
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Characters respond to you differently, depending on how you treat them. Neglect communing with Fremen too much and they lose confidence in you, but gain the faith of their leaders and they stand behind you unswayingly.
The cast of characters is vast and intriguing and, while there is a rather linear way that the story progresses, the gameplay is very much left up to the player, and gaming options constantly increase as the game progresses. The main complaint I have with the game, However, stems from the fact that once the player has engaged into conversation with a character, he has very little control over the direction of the talking.
Apparently, it's assumed that if Paul is seeking a certain type of information, he automatically inquires about it of them, and if they know anything about it, then they will tell him at some point in the conversation. Also, the responses Paul receives from the characters around him should have been more varied and animated; instead they sometimes seem very stale and one-dimensional.
Dune looks and sounds great; it also runs very smoothly from floppies and the swapping between its three disks is fairly minimal. From political intrigue and exploration, to military strategy and diplomacy, the range that Dune covers is great.
But, even more than that. Dune isn't boring and it doesn't bog down the player with complex instructions, or confusing concepts. In fact, you'll probably barely even need to look at the manual before starting to get into this very time-consuming game.
Dune Virgin Gomes Inc. 18061 Fitch Avenue Irvine, CA 92714
(714) 833-8710 FAX (714) 833-8717 Inquiry 236 Caesar by Rob
Hays it seems to me that one of the fastest growing types
of entertainment software around is city simulators. The
frustrated city planners among us can play "what if...”
with street layouts and building placement, Previously we
have been able to try our hands at everything from ant
farms to railroad empires.
With Caesar, Impressions Software allows you to play this game in ancient Roman times.
Caesar places the new player as Governor of a Roman Province in 13 B.C. Because the terrain of the Province is randomly generated, every game will be different, even when you are assigned to the same Province. At first, you are the Governor of much empty' space.
And you begin by filling some of that space with the basic necessities of life roads and houses to attract citizens to populate your city, and industries to provide work for your people and pay them wages that can be collected by you as taxes. Soon, your city begins to prosper, more people move in, houses expand, the marketplace grows, and everybody is happy although the water supply is inadequate. Then there is some malcontent causing trouble because hts high density' housing has deteriorated to slums, everyone wants more services with lower taxes, and to keep things interesting, there are
Barbarians to contend with.
All of these problems and more confront the would-be Caesar in this two-disk game.
Caesar requires the player to operate in and keep track of two different levels. In addition to the city level, where you have the above problems to contend with, there is also the provincial level where you must nurture and protect several cities within your province. While there are similar functions in both levels, such as road building, each also has its unique commands. The city level, for instance, includes provisions for police stations and city walls. At the provincial level you can instruct your army units to patrol certain areas, and build forts and Great Walls.
The main display shows approximately ten percent of the available land area in detail, with a smaller map in the corner showing the entire area. Building development and other actions are automated for you. If you build houses in a desirable location, more people will want to live there and you car watch as the simple tents you provided expand to houses and then multi-story structures.
All of your actions are carried out with the mouse by clicking on icons along one of several tool bars at the bottom of the screen. If you can't remember what the icons represent, a box shows the function represented as you move the mouse pointer across them, Note that the icon for creating a well is misidentified as a tower. Buildings of all types, from houses to coliseums, are placed in tire same manner click the appropriate icon and the mouse pointer changes to that item. Pick a suitable spot and click the left button once to place the building.
Luckily you are given access to some high-powered assistants to ease the burden of ruling. At any point you can click on the Forum icon and obtain vital information ranging from tax levels and industrial output, to your standing with the Emperor. If you can manage to keep your city from deteriorating or being destroyed by the rampaging Barbarians, the Emperor may decide you deserve a promotion. Hang on long enough and you may even rise to the level of Eniperor yourself.
Combat between rampaging Barbarians and your army Cohorts are handled very simply. A screen appears allowing you to choose from four basic tactics. The computer decides who won, based on unit strengths, morale, and your chosen tactic, and then informs you of the outcome. An exception is if you also own Impressions game G iorf2. This will allow you to link the two games, giving you total control over combat situations.
Caesar allows the new player to choose from three levels of difficulty, and within limits you can determine your province's initial funding level.
The game can be installed on a hard drive and is not copy protected. While it must be started from the Shell or CLI and does not multitask, Workbench does return intact after playing.
Owners of accelerated Amigas will need to turn the CPU caches off when playing, or boot from the floppy. AG A owners must either boot from the floppy, or access their machine's boot menu by holding both mouse buttons while booting. At the boot menu screen, click once on the Display Options button, then from the Chip Type list select either Original or Enhanced. One MB of RAM is required.
Documentation includes a 30- page tutorial that allows you to begin building quickly, and a 135-page manual with detailed explanations of commands and options. As with other impressions games I have seen, fully half of the manual is devoted to a historical overview of the period portrayed in the game.
Caesar is extremely playable, and while the non- standard requesters make game saving and loading more difficult to deal with than need be, you will find vourseif spending hours staring at your monitor thinking "What if I tore down the Colosseum and replaced it with an Oracle..." Caesar Impressions Software 7 Melrose Drive Farmington, CT 06032
(203) 676-9002 FAX (203) 676-9454 Inquiry 235 HERD'S A SNEAK
PEEK at several new Amiga games. Most of them should be
available by the time you read this or are on the way. All
information for this article was gathered from demo copies,
so features are subject to change, but probably not much.
On the heels of last summer's popular movie, the computer version of Alien 3 (Probe Software) is coming to the Amiga. Unlike most licensed titles, the game doesn't follow the plot of the movie too closely.
As Ripley, your task is to blast away the ugly insectoid aliens while rescuing your fellow prisoners in this multi-level platform game. You must be very careful when wandering around, as the lightening-quick aliens often seem to bolt out of nowhere, and it's easy to run out of ammunition. All the technical aspects of Alien 3 are very good, except for the rather bland graphics.
?START OPTIONS Jr. LliJ Reminiscent of Chick Rock (AC V7.4) and Prehistorik (AC V7.8), BC Kid (Ubi Soft) also draws on the caveman theme. This time the hero is a little boy who looks as though he came from a "Peanuts" cartoon. His objective boils down to rescuing his girlfriend from the dinosaurs by getting through several levels of enemies, his only weapon being his incredibly hard skull. The game play is standard fare, although I liked the kid's ability7 to climb walls with his teeth. BC Kid's colorful graphics and limited difficulty' make it ideal for young players.
Combat Air Patrol (Psygnosis) is so similar to Electronic Arts' legendary F A- 33 Interceptor that you'd think they were both produced bv the same developer.
Like Interceptor, CAP has great game mechanics, fast graphics, and multiple views of your airplane. CAP goes further by adding detailed airplane animation that can be seen when your view is from the outside of the plane, and it's based on missions during the Persian Gulf War. "Superb" says it best.
Goblins 2 (Coktel Vision) lets you play the parts of Pingus and Winkle, two mischievous goblins who must rescue the stupid Prince Buffoon from a life of servitude as jester to the evil Amoniak. Accomplishing this feat requires solving quite a few logical puzzles, many of which are mind-bendingly challenging or just plain weird. Getting stuck isn't so bad considering that mistakes often have humorous results, none of which are game-ending.
The attractive cartoonish graphics, sprightly music, and fluid animation don't change the fact that this game is tough. Recommended for experienced players only.
Gunship 2000 (Microprose) improves upon the original Gunship, one of the most popular helicopter simulators. Cockpit graphics are exceptional, as is your maneuverability a refreshing change from the more rigid controls of an airplane. Random missions Out of This World II Goblins 2 prevent boredom, and you Slave a choice of helicopters. There's even speculation of additional mission disks. Everything works so well that there's little doubt Gunship 2000 is the best helicopter simulator available.
With the release of Hired Guns, Psygnosis finally recognized the Amiga's operating system. It's about time they produced a game supporting hard disk installation, the use of extra memory, and friendly interaction with Workbench, although no multitasking. In any case, Hired Guns thrusts you into a high-tech future where you, as Rorian Deevergh, and your team of mercenaries are hired to rescue hostages from Graveyard, an aptlv named planet. Of course the mission soon evolves into a Sife- and-death struggle. Amazingly, up to four people can play this role-playing game simultaneously. Each player
gets a quadrant of the screen showing his or her character's view on the 3-D world. Besides the usual role-playing stuff, you get an array of powerful weapons, automapping, and great gameplay. This one promises to be an outstanding game.
It seems that a sequel to the critically' acclaimed Oaf of This World (Interplay), AC V7.9, is in the works.
Tire demo, animation shows a character, probably the physicist Lester Knight Chaykin from the first game, being pursued, ultimately crashing his hoverbiko in a jungle. I couldn't glean anything else, except that the developers undoubtedly retained the unique flavor of the original. Let's hope this game is actually released soon.
Rond Rush (Electronic Arts), a strangely-named motorcycle racing game, adds a new twist to the genre. Instead of simply trying to cross the finish line ahead of y'our opponents, you can fight them while careening around the course at high speeds. Take them out by punching them, kicking them, or slamming their motorcycles with your own. You might expect a crash to kill your character, but instead he runs back to his motorcycle to rejoin the race. Excellent control and fast-moving, multi-layered scenery heightens the realism of the game.
Trolls (Flair Software) is another colorful platform arcade game aimed at children. You guide your troll, based on the neon-haired troll dolls sold as novelty items, through his world in search of miniature trolls, balloons, and other miscellaneous things. Difficulty is comparable to BC Kid, and there isn't too much violence.
After what seems like nn eternity well over two years the Amiga version of Wing Commander (Origin) is finally here. Everything that made it so successful on the PC has been ported over to the Amiga, except the graphics. The 16-color Amiga version, which could have had 32 colors, relies too heavily on dithering. Perhaps the rumored AGA version will overcome this obstacle. In this game, a race of cat-like aliens called the Kilrathi are at war with humanity, and you are a space fighter pilot in that conflict. Basically, you fly a variety of missions.
Wing Commander's flight simulation stands out from the crowd by using detailed bitmaps rather than polygon graphics. This could be a landmark game for the Amiga.
• AC* 24-bit Video and Graphics System OpalVision™ Main Board A
true 24-Bit frame buffer and display device with 16.8 million
colors available for every pixel and a moximum resolution of
768 x 480 (580 PAL). An Internal card, it operates
automatically in NTSC or PAL mode in any Amiga computer with a
video slot (including the Amiga 4000). It's powerful VLSI
graphics coprocessor enables stencil modes, a host of
transition effects and smooth, hardware-controlled priority
switching and scrolling panning effects. The board's
state-of-the-art design allows smooth fading of pictures,
color-cycling effects, and smooth, double-buffered 24-Bit
animation. Includes critically acclaimed and award winning
OpalPaint1*, Opal Presents1* and OpaiAnimMATE1* software.
The best is now even mo Feature Comparison New Tek Video Toaster 4000 OpalVision' 2.0 (Main Board, Video Processor & Video Suite ) Hardware Operating Mode: 6-Bit Composite Video Hardware Operating Mode: Real-Time. 24-Sil RGB Supported Broadcast Standard: NTSC NO Supported Broadcast Standards: NTSC PAL Inputs Outputs: 4 Videa inputs 2 Video Outputs NO NO Inputs Outputs: 9 Video Inputs 5 Video Outputs Key in out Master Sync tn Supported Video Standards: Composite Video NO NO NO Supported Video Standards: Composite Video S-Vtdeo Y R-Y B-Y YUV Betacam) RGB Audio Mixing S-Band Equalization ID
Audio Inputs (5 Stereo Pairs) 2 Audio Outputs (1 Stereo Pair) 35ns Character Generator 35ns Character Generator II Compatible with all Amiga 3D software Includes lightwave 3D HAM-B. Maximum 256.000 color animation playback generated through Amiga 4000, not the Video Toaster Hardware Full-Color, 24-Bit. Reol-time animation playback in multiple modes Genlock with Luma keying Chroma Keying on any color Video Sandwich Keying Transparency Keying Transparency Keying Integrates into Ihe Amiga Environment Frame Butler accessible by all Amiga Software Takes over the machine Limited Frame Butter
accessibility la 3rd party software Numerous pre-set DVE effects Veclor-bosed elfects editor (or unlimited custom etlects.
Numerous, pre-set DVE effects NO Optionol de-interlacing of Video and Graphics Includes Award-Winning OpalPaint1 ' software with real-time 32-Bit painting Includes Toaster Paint . Operates tn infeiiot quality HAM mode, renders to composite software for viewing Time-Base Correclion unnecessary for Frame Grabbing Time-Base Correction usually required for Frame Grabbing 'OpalVision is Awesome!'' 'The verdict was unanimous...Brilliant. Camcorder Amiga Shopper .an enormous range of creative possibilities.
It's a spectacular product' ¦Computer Graphics World Amiga Computing Stale-ot-the-Art features’ 'The best paint program’ Amiga World Amiga Video Journal 'The overall champion ol Amiga paint programs.
.the finest, most versatile paint package on the Amiga.
Desktop Video World TV Technology Video Professionals Prefer OpalVision m- "We installed the OpalVision Main Board in an Amiga 4000 last JL, September and it has worked very well for our company, inanimation j’ | E HI work, the ability to show a client motion tests at thirty frames a second T. I bl IV) via Opal AnimMATE is a great help as well as an outstanding sales tool. , Sit a prospective client down and go through four ortive past animation 5 ¦ I projects (playing back in real time with OpalVision rather than using , . | H I video tape) and you've got a heck of a presentation. ~ The
OpalPaint software is a great tlmesaver also, turning out beautiful aaffilK-W .r7- still graphics with ease. The ability to use scalable tonts with Workbench
3. 0 puts this system into the Paintbox class for rendering
fonts. The »F extremely advanced software and the fact that
OpalVision outputs an B HBBSltfUi i% RGB signal rather than
NTSC gives it the edge over the competition.
You can output directly to component devices and never go through composite video. At Sinister Video, we researched all the 24-bit systems available and decided on OpolVision. We've never looked back."
Mac McAlpin, Sinister Video Group, (os Angeles For information: 1-800-621-2202 Manufactured and Diitribulnd b Centaur Development
P. O. Box 3959 Torrance, CA 90503 Phone: (310)787-4530: FAX:
(310) 222-5BB2 BBS: (310) 7B7-4540 Created by: Opal Tech
Sydney. Australia OpaTVsron. Orralpayd. Opal Ftesenls.
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QpotVision Rooife, Chip an; liodcnvirlc PI Opol technology,
ltd OSOWfCiXlAIC is a tiademarSt Of Conlqur OcuoXXJinon!. Inc
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Circle 147 on Render Service card Feedback Letters to the
Editor edited by Paul L. Larrivee Digital Highway The Future
Is Now!
I read with great interest your last editorial, "Digital Highway," AC V8.7.1 just wanted to tell you that what you describe as the future of television has already happened here in Quebec, Canada.
The local cable company is called Videotron. Its specialty is cable distribution by optic fibers. Now ! Understand that this isn’t something new but has been around for a couple of years or so. However, Videotron has started offering its consumers something called Vidcoway. This consists basically of a small box onto which you attach the TV cable and then the TV itself. A remote control Is provided the subscriber. The setup is touted as an interactive television set.
What does it do? Let's assume you're watching a hockey game. You can now choose any viewing angle you want just by pressing a few buttons on your remote.
Want a rerun of the last score? No problem!
Just press those buttons again! You see a product, an ad really, that interests you?
Again, press a few buttons and immediately you have additional information on the product. Want to play games with others on the network? There are plenty of games available. And the number of services is growing each day like being able to check your account at the bank.
Of course, the television networks themselves have to be modified in order to offer these special services. But the technology is already in place.
I just wanted to point out what we have here. Keep up the good work. 1 very much enjoy your magazine!
Mario Vachon Montreal, P.Q. Canada In Ihese days of enterprise and entrepreneurs, it takes no time for a new technology to establish itself in our culture. Editor A Few Words to Commodore Upper Management Commodore can't afford to ignore the businesss market. Multimedia is not a market unto itself. Multimedia will sell only if the combined package provides a real- world solution to the end user. It must make the lives of end users easier, reduce mistakes, or provide a way for them to make lots of money. The reason that the Amiga has succeeded in the video market is that it does just that.
However, video and kiosks are a limited market. The projections of growth in the video market are based on the assumption that companies will do their own in-house video work instead of paying some outside firm to do it.
The Amiga will be able to capture that growth if they have enough presence in the business market to be trusted by businesses.
Businesses in the U.S. like to think tliey are open-minded. The truth is that they are very conservative. Unless they recognize the name and know the reputation of a product, they will not buy it. Instead, they will pay one-hundred times more for something that is one-hundred times less capable just so that thev can feel comfortable with it. This is how Mac and IBM platforms are succeeding in eroding Commodore's market share in the video market with products that are less capable.
Commodore has attempted to get the Big Name companies to develop products for the Amiga. There are many reasons why these attempts have failed. The question here is, why do we need these big name companies? If asked, most people would say it is because the Amiga needs the credibility that a Big Name provides.
However, if you look at the issue from the point of view of a business, you can see the real answer. Most people work as part of a team. These people exchange information every hour of every day. A business can't afford the hassle and delays associated with retyping and reformatting documents when they are transferred between programs. The result is that the company forces everyone to be the same.
The business does not so much care about the specific package as it does care about the data. If the Amiga is capable of transparently sharing data with the Big Name packages, then it has a chance.
90 Amazing Computing What Must Be Done:
1. Commodore must compete in the business market. Apple Computers
did not succeed by throwing up their hands and saying, "We
can't compete in that market," as Commodore has done. This
market has a big influence on the home and video markets.
People want to be able to take their work home, and in-house
video workers need to be able to share the work done by others
in the company.
2. Commodore must advertise blanket advertisements to get the
name Amiga respected and recognized. You can’t target only
those areas where there are Amiga dealerships. There must be
fertile ground to enable Amiga dealerships to crop up in new
areas.
3. Advertisements must be conservative. Cartoon-type ads don't
endow a computer with company respect. They get blown off by
serious businesses because they believe the ads are for
Nintendo-like machines. The successful strategy for the C- 64
will not work in this day and age. The evidence is all around
you. Commodore!
Don't be the dunce in your group! Instead become the sophisticated, knowledgeable Amiga user who, of course, you basically are.
Study the GUIDE!
Ronn F. Black Westerville, OH 43081 These same sentiments have been expressed in bits and pieces, here and there. This is probably the first time we've seen the ideas put together so cogently all in one place. Let us hope passionately that someone is paying attention before it’s too late! Editor Please write to: Feedback Editor c o Amazing Computing
P. O.Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 Readers whose letters are
published will receive five public domain disks free of
charge.
Summer '93 AC’s GUIDE to the Commodore AMIGA Available now at your Commodore Amiga dealer
* Vol.7 No. 4 April. 1992 Highlight include: "Foundation", a
review by Dave Spitler "AdPro 2.0", review by Merrill Callaway
"ATonce Plus", review by Rich Mataka AC s Back Issue 7 M.''
Also, construct a database using your favorite authoring
system, customize your start-up sequence, and create and
produce your own video!
Fcl ? Vol.7No.5May.1992 Highlights Include: "Pelican Press", a review of this entry*level DTP package by Jeff James "AdIDE 40 Amiga 500 Hard Drive Kit", review by Merrill Callaway "Building an Amiga MIDI Interface", super project by John lovine Also: AC's annual Desktop Publishing Overview! This issue includes a look at the top DTP packages as well as a study of printers, fonts, and clip art available for the Amiga.
* Vol.7 No.6 June 1992 Highlights Include: "Freeze Frame Video
Recorder", review by Merrill Callaway "HP DeskJet Color 50QC",
review bv Richard Mataka "MREAD", a programming project by
Chuck Ward in Plus: Don't miss an exciting edition of our Arexx
feature by Merrill Callaway or 3-D animation with Dpaint IV in
"The Video Slot", by Frank McMahon.
¥ Vol.7 No.7 July 1992 Highlights Include: "Modem Rundown", A comprehensive look at modems for the Amiga "G-Force 040', a review of GVP's 040 accelerator, by Rich Mataka "Superjam," a review of ihis superb music maker from The Blue Ribbon Soundworks, by John Sleiner "FounDex," a tutorial using Foundation’s stacks and scripts, by Dave Spitler Plus, a look at telecommunications and the Amiga including hardware, software, and services.
? Vol. 7 No. 8 August, 1992 Highlights Include: "Digi-View 4.0", by Matt Drabick "GVP's Digital Sound Studio", review by Malt Drabick "3D Effects from 2D Amiga Art", tutorial by Shamms Mortier Plus: Super Arexx Column or full !
Video Toaster UpDate featured in The Video Slot!
And Much Afore Vol.7, No.9, September, 1992 Highlights include: "Professional Calc," review of Gold Disk's premier accounting software by Bill Frazier.
"True Basic 2.0" A review of the latest release of the True BASIC language by Paul Castonguay.
"Developing Desktop Savvy," a special project for your favorite DTP software. Using specialty papers to create brochures and pamphlets, by Pat Kaszychi.
"The Video Slot" This month, learn about the new features of lm a gem aster, by Frank McMahon, Don’t miss AC's super game coverage in Drwrsrons.
* Vol.7, No. 10, October 1992 Highlights Include: "Amiga
Warrior," Commodore's newest Amiga is a fighter capable of
bringing the best of the Amiga to the American consumer,
"Megagage.M's CellPro," a review by Merrill Callaway.
"Multi-colored Text in Dpaint 111," A tutorial to produce dazzling effects with your text, by George Haasjes.
"Game Creation wilh AMOS," create your own Amiga game, by Jack Nowicki.
'* Vol.7, No.ll, November 1992 Highlights include: "Amiga 4000," Commodore creates a bold new direction in Amiga computing with expanded graphic resolutions, modular CPU, and more.
"Progressive 040 2000," a review by Rick Mataka.
"Remap Magic," Loam why this tool is your besl bet for making use of your palette.
"Beginning C," Chue Xiong covers some of the basics of the C language.
* Vol.7. No.12, December 1992 Highlights Include: "Polishing
Basic Programs," Marianne Gillis shares the secrets of BASIC
programming experts.
"Banners," A tutorial on creating banner-length printouts, by Pal Kaszycki.
"Structured Drawing St TueBASIC," paul Castonguay shows how TrueBASIC fully supports any level of hierarchical structure.
Also, complete reviews of Voyager 1.1, P1XOUND, VistaPro 2.0, and OpalVision, W Vol.8. No,l,Januaryl993 Highlights Include: "Creating a Story board in Final Copy," see how to layout your animation storyboard in Final Copy, by R Shamms Mortier.
" A Look at 24-bit Libraries," Shamms Mortier looks at 24-bit libraries.
"Using Laser Disk Players with the Amiga," Rom Battle examines the benefits of laser disks as a source of video images He also shows an easy way to set them up.
Plus: A complete review of the new A1200 & coverage of Comdex Fall 92 Sc the FES-London.
I' VoI 8, No.2, February 1993 Highlights Include: " Extending the AMOS Sort," Dave Senger looks at the AMOS sort function.
" Business Cards," Soft-Logik’s Dan Weiss gives an in-depth tutorial on how to create your own business cards.
"AD1012," a review by Rick Manasa.
AND! A special sneak preview of the One-Slop Music Shop from Blue Ribbon St complete coverage of the WOCA Toronto!
I' Vol.8, No.3, March 1993 Highlights Include: "Babylon 5," the Amiga changes the way TV shows are made, by I vs Paul Robley "AmigaVision Projects," by William Murphy "Art Expression," review by Merrill Callaway PLUS: Creative business forms St CES Winter '93 H Vol.8, No.4, April 1993 Highlights Include: "TriplePlay Plus & SyncPro", reviews of two great music products by Rick Manasa "CanDo," a review of the application development system from INOVAtronics, by Rob Hayes ALSO: Super VideoSlot for April, Arexx, cli, and greal Diversions!
* Vol.8, No.5, May 1993 Highlights Include: "Directory Opus",
review of the latest version of Directory Opus and a start-up
tutorial by Merrill Callaway "Media Madness," explores the
inside of Blue Ribbon Soundwork’s new Media Madness, by Todor
Fay & David Miller "SuperJAM 1.1," a review of Ihe latest
release of SuperJAM! By Rick Manasa "ImageFX," review by R.
Shamms Mortier ALSO: Super VideoSlot for May The New Graphics
Modes,!
R Vol.8, No.6, June 1993 Highlights Include: "AMOS Turns Professional",review of a major upgrade hailed as a comprehensive development system, by Jimmy Rose "Searching Medical Literature," using the Amiga to tap the vast resources of medical on line services, by Dr. Michael Tobin ALSO: Newsletter Design, Arexx Programming, Hot Diversions
* Vol.8, No.7, July 1993 Highlights Include: "TypeSMlTH 1.0",
review of Soft-Logik s new font editor, by Merrill Callaway
"OpalPalnt 2.0," review of the latest version of this paint
program for the OpalVision board, by R. Shamms Mortier
"Structured Drawing," basic features and advanced techniques,
by Dan Weiss "DeluxePaint IV AG A," review of the latest paint
package for the AG A machines, by R. Shamms Mortier ALSO: Super
VideoSlot, Arexx, and New Products!
« Vol.8, No 8, August 1993 Highlights Include: "Amiga Vision Professional", review Commodore's upgraded authoring system, by Douglas J. Nakakihara "Art Department Profcsional 2.3," review of the latest release of Ad Pro from ASDG, by Merrill Callaway "Professional Page 4.0," the latest incarnation of Pro Page, by Rick Manasa "Pseudo Radiosity Effects," why ray tracing is not an accurate model of true light behavior, by Mark Hoffman 'T-Rexx Professional", a review of the latest release of T-Rexx from ASDG. By Merrill Callaway ALSO: AC Phone Book: A directory of Amiga Developers!
¥ AC's TECH, Vol. 2, No. 1 Highlights Include: “Build Your Own SCSI Interface" by Paul Marker "CAD Application Design Pari Hr by Forest Arnold “Implementing an Arexx Interface in Your C Program" by David Blackwell 'The Amiga and the MTDI Hardware Specification" by James Cook AC'S TECH and more!
¥ AC's TECH, Vol. 2, No. 2 Highlights Include: “Programming the Amiga in Assembly Language Part 2", by Forest Arnold “Implementing an Arexx Interface in Your C Program, Prt 2", by David Blackwell “Iterated functions Systems for Amiga Computer Graphics", by Laura Morrisson “MenuScript", creating professional looking menus easily and Quickly, by David Ossono And Much More!
* AC’s TECH, Vol. 2, No. 3 Highlights Include: “HighSpeed
Pascal," by Dabid Czava, “PCX Graphics," by Gary L. Fait.
“Programming the Amiga's GUI in C Part 5," by Paul Castonguay, “CAD Application Design Part 4 ' by Forest W. Arnold.
And Much More!
¥ AC's TECH, Vol. 2, No. 4 Highlights Include: "In Search of the Lost Windows," by Phil Burke "No Mousing Around," hide that annoying mouse pointer with this great program, by Jeff Dickson, "The Joy of Sets," by Jim Olinger "QuarterbackS.O," a review by Merrill Callaway.
¥ AC's TECH, Vol. 3, No. 1 Highlights Include: "Comeau Computing's C++," A review of this great new C compiler by Forest Arnold.
"Programming the Amiga in Assembly Language Part 5," by William Nee "Make Your Own 3D Vegetation," Laura Morrison shows how to use iterated functions to create 3D trees and plants.
PLUS! The HotLinks Developer's Toolkit ON-DISK!
¥ AC's TECH, Vol. 3, No. 2 Highlights Include: "016," An arcade game programmed in AMOS BASIC, by Thomas J, Eshelman.
“Programming the Amiga in Assembly Language Part 6," by William Nee “Wrapped Up with True BASIC," Text and Graphics wrapping modules in True BASIC, by Dr. Roy M. Nuzzo "ARexx Disk Cataloger," An AmigaDOS manipulator that produces a text file containing information about the floppy disks you want cataloged, bvT. Darrel Westbrook ANDiOTS MORE ON DISK!
3360 343
• r) . - Z) WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN MISSING? Have you missed
information on how to add ports to your Amiga for under S70,
how to work around DeluxePaint's lack of HAM support, how to
deal with service bureaus, or how to put your Super 8 films on
video tape, along with Amiga graphics? Do you know the
differences among the big three DTP programs for the Amiga?
Does the Arexx interface still puzzle you? Do you know when
it's better to you use the CLI? Would you like to know how to
go about publishing a newsletter? Do you take full advantage of
your RAMdisk? Have you yet to install an IBM mouse to work with
your bridgeboard? Do you know there's an alternative to
high-cost word processors? Do you still struggle through your
directories?
AtfTECW* Get Creatim Or if you're a programmer or technical type, do you understand how fo add 512K RAM to your I MB A5D0 for a cost of only S30? Or how to program the Amiga's GUI in C? Would you like the instructions for building your own variable rapid-fire joystick or a 246-grayscale SCSI interface for your Amiga? Do you use easy routines for performing floppy access without the aid of the operating system? How much do you really understand about ray tracing?
The answers to these questions and others can be found in AMAZING COMPUTING and AC's TECH.
LiiskhijJ wilts WMMi* ¦* Alt*** rtyaieni la*
* ItUttfMWUtat llH- Wf** iii a w bufuat, fwt VoiflfX? "Wtjfllta +
Tmt IttSS? Nam|M» fAMJG5 ‘AtlONS The Fred Fish Collection Below
is a listing of the latest additions to the Fred Fish
Collection. This expanding library of freely redistributable
software is the work of Amiga pioneer and award winning soft
ware anthologist, Fred Fish. For a complete list of all AC.
AMICUS, and Fred Fish Disks, cataloged and cross-referenced for
your convenience, please consult the current AC's Guide To The
Commodore Amiga available at your local Amazing Dealer.
Fred Fish Disk 859 Ocmp A utility that allows you to compare two disks block by block. Written in order to chock tho reliability ol tno Video-Backup)* System, (VBS), Dcmp can create a Me containing a list ol ditlenng sectors which can be used in conjunction with a disk-editor to correct the defects.- Version i 51, an expen mental release. Works with all Amigas using Kieksiart l .3 or higher and supports reqitoolsj library. Also comes with Fcmp, a fife compare utiMity. Includes C-sourae Author; Tobias Fert»er DirKing A very powerful replacement tor the AmigaDOS 'List' and ’Dir1 commands It
gives lull control on tho format ol the directory listing and what Information should be printed The directory can be sorted on any bold, or on several holds in the order you want Supports many litters, such as name and date, arid me filters can be made effective on fifes only, direcones only or on both You can also define a pattern for each level of the directory tree.
Has an LFORMAT option which is useful lor generating scripts. A unique feature is tha ability to monitor the scanning process English version supplied. German. French and Dutch versions available from the author Version 2.12e, an update to version 2.11e on Misk number 784 Binary only, shareware. Author. Chris VarxJiorondonck Nev.Date A replacement for me AmigaDQS Date command. Bestfes the usual date options.
New Date enapes date output in your own defined format. NewDato also supports English. German.
French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Danish Finnish and Polish datenames Version t 10. Binary only, freeware Author; Chris Vandferendonck PARex Replace Strings in any tile, whether plain tent files or pure binary Mes. By using scripts you can define any number ol search and replace strings to be used lor processing a file. You can use aft ASCII codes when defining these strings, so non- printable characters are no problem. PARex makes patching files very easy Version 2.12, binary only, shareware. Author Chrts Vandierendoncfc PPMC The Powetpacker Mini Ctone. PPMC is poworpacker library meeting
gadtoots library It s a OS2-0+ uMity, useful lor packing and unpacking text and data tiles It has a compieto Cll interface and is focali ec under OS2.1 and higher. This ts version 12c. An update to version t ,2b on disk 812 Some new enhancements as the multiple Me packing andor unpacking under Shell and many codo optimizations. Includes Danish, Dutch and French catalogs, a 6B03Q version, hypertext docu montation and source tor SASr'C. Author: Roza Elghazi Fred Flth Disk 860 AzMake A work environment lor Aztec C You can compile, assemblo, link, print, etc your programs by clicking a gadget.
Typing in the Snell ts out Verson 2-3.
An update to version 1.1 on disk number 586 Binary only, shareware. Author. Christian Fnedei bBascUl An easy to use versatile, yet full featured database program. Search or sod on any held, (undelete records, print mailing labels Or envelopes, get printouts In many formats, scramble fries, Hag records, and more Fields nre usar- contgurabte. So bBase can bo used to keep track of addresses, tape or video collections, recipe tiles, or anything else you can think ol * one program does it air bBaseitl is a greatly enhanced successor to tBasell Version 1.1. an upgrade to bBasetl. Version V5.5 on dsk
710- Binary only.
Shareware. Author: Robert Bromley Cconvert A utility to convert IFF files to raw bitplane data It leatuies options to create sprite caia lists or interleaved bitmaps. It can generate RAW files os well as linkable object Mes Version S .82 Includes source In assombior. Author; Klaus Wissmnnn LazyBench LazyBench is a utility lor lazy peoplo with a hard disk cram med full of goodies which are difficult to reach because they are buncd away in drawers inside drawers inside drawers m side drawers. Supports toois and projects ard both OS 1.3 and OS 2.xx versions are supplied with this distributed.
LazyBench for the OS 1 3 opens a little window on the Work bench screen and delivers a fuhy configurable menu which brings up lo 30 applications at your fingertips LazyBcnch lor tho OS 2 xx adds an item under tho Workbench 94 Amazing Computing 'Tools' menu, installs itsell as a Commodity and waits in the background. Use its hot key combination to pop its window and then select an application from a list of up to 10Q applications.
Versions I 01 (OS 13) and 1 04 (OS 2.X*). ah update to tho version 1.00 on disk number 839 Binary only Author: Werner Mircko' Pfrani Mmterm Minimizes boolean algebra formulas Mlntem can minimize formulas with up to 15 variables Version
2. 0 lor AmigaOS 2.04 an higher. An old version (1,1) is included
tor users still requiring OS 1.2 1 3 compatibility. Binary
onty Author: Achim Parkalia Syslnfo A brand new release of
this popular program. It reports interesting information about
the configuration ol your Amiga, including some spcod
comparisons with other configurations, versions ol the OS
software, and much mora. Version 3 18, an update to version
3.11 on disk 820. Binary only.
Author; N« Wilson EiKLEiah Disk 861 AskReq Yet another balchlile requester, simitar but unrelated to the program of me same name on disk number 827. Opens up a window, displays a message and solicits a YesTto type answer from the user. Requires OS2.x, version 1 00. Both English and German versons and includes source in Ct*. Author Harald Peht KingFisher A specialized database tool providing maintenance and search capabilities for the descriptions of disks in the format used by this library. KmgFisher's database can span multiple (floppy) disk volumes, can be edited by toxt editors that support
long text lines, can add disks directly trom unedited email or usertet announcements, car remove disks, rebuild a damaged index, find next o' previous software versions, pnnl or export (parts of) the database, and more Includes a database ol drsks t -850 This is version 1 30, an update to version 1.15 on disk &08. Binary only Author: Udo Schuormann Eied Fifth Disk 862 BEAV 'Binary Editor And Viewer, is a full featured binary lilo editor. Just about any operation that you could want to do to a binary file is possible with BEAV. You can: Insert or delete in the middle ol a tile thereby changing
it’s size; Edit multiple files in multiple windows and cut and paste between them: Display and edit data in hex. Octal, decimal, binary, ascu. Or ebtdc tormats; Display data in byte. Word, or kmg word tormats m either Intel or Motorola byte ordering, Send the formatted display mode lo a Me or printer Tho display and keyboard handing functions lor BEAV are based on me roe macs Version 1 40, portable, and includes source and makefiles lor several other systems. Author; Poter Reilley, Amiga port by Simon J Raybould BioRhythm An intuition based easy-to-use program that shows your 3 basic
BioRhythms plus the average- ¦rhythm* Take a look, dump it to your printer and make your plans for "when to do what' This is version 2 2. An update to version 10 on disk 759 This version has some new features and is 400°.
Taster Binary only, PAL version C-5ource available tram author on request Author; Thomas Amfeidt GlobeAnm An animation which displays a smoothly rotating earth Includes separate versions lor both PAL and NTSC systems. Author; H&nnu Mikkola PhoneList Simple phone list database, unique in the fact that it allows easy usage trom either the WorkBench or CLI Allows you to add, delete, search ond create an alpha-sorted list. Author Michael Holfmann ScopePrmt Simple program for d sptayingpnming Oscilloscope simulations of sine and square waves Presents you with a two-channel o-scopo and allows you to
input the frequency, phase, and amplitude ol the signal(s). Version 1 0. Binary only.
Author; Wim Van den Broeck Fred Fish Disk 063 GuiArc A graphical user interface for cli-basod archivers like lha. Arc, ape. Zoo. Etc It has the Took 8. Tool' ol a directory tool and can perform all basic actions on archives. Such as Add. Extract. List. Tost, Doloto, ate You can enter archives as though they woro directories You don't have to know anything about archivers. Fully conligurable (Archivers not ncluded). Version 1 10, requires ArmgaDQS 2.0*, freeware, binary only. Author: Patrick van Beem.
Lutfar The game of Noughts and Crosses, the object is to get exactly five 'Noughts' (six doesn't count!) In a tow up down'acfoss or diagonally, before your opponent gets five "Crosses" in a similiar fashion. 0, 1 or 2 human players, rewind and ahead buttons Version 1 0. Freeware, binary only, (Source available from author), Author: Magnus Enars&on Lyr-O-Mat A simple, tun program designed to generate sentences out of a word list and a sentence pattern database. German and English database Inducted.
Version l .0 Binary only. Author; Karlheinz Klingbei of CEKASOFT MPE A compiler tool for users of the MzAMIGA programming environment. MPE does the same |0t bettor than your batch life You can do everything with the mouse or the nghl amiga key. With this Modula-2 Programming Environment you can compile, link, and run your program, When thoro is an error, the editor is started automatically You can set all switches for M2C, M2L M2Make.
M2Project. And M2LtbLink. This is vsrs'on 1.60. an update to version t.30 on disk 766. Binary only Aufhot; Marcel Timmermans NetMount A tmy application that simplifies the ParNet mount procedure. You need ParNet (see dis 400) from The Software Distillery to use NetMount Binary only Author Tobias Ferber Noisome A commodity that allows you to play sound samples when a key or mousebutton is pressed.
Of a disk is inserted or removed You can have different samples for the space and return keys as opposed to other keys, special samples for the mousekeys. A sample to be played instead of tho visual display-"boop" and more.. The samples are played in mono or stereo, and two can bo played simultaneously The audio allocation priority can also bo sot, Includes several sound sampfes Version 1.0, binary only Author David LarsSort PcwerPlayer A very powerful, user fnendly and system friendly module player It can handle nearty all modyie-fprmals. Can read powerpacked S xpk- packed modules and comes
along with its own powerful cruncher that uses the ih.ribrary. Has a simple to use interface and an Arexx port Version 3.9, a major update to version 3 4 on disk
769. Binary only, now shareware. (Previous versions wore Iroownre
) Author: Stephan Fuhrmann Fred Fish Disk 864 Charge Small
CLI-only program to translate numbors trom one numbering
system io another. Binary, octal, decimal and hexadecimal
numbers are supported Version 1.00, includes source m C*+.
Author Harald Pehl MouseAccoi Yet another mouse accelerator, thrs ono implemented as a commodity. II you find the built- in accelerator loo stow, try this one. Requires at feast AmigaOS 2 04 Version 1.07, an update lo version 1,01 on disk 497. Includes german version and source in C. Author: Stefan Sticht SCAN8800 A specialized database program to store frequencies and station names for shortwave transmitters It can also control a receiver for scanning frequency ranges. Version 2.33. an updaio fo version 2.28 on disk 812 Binary only Author- Rainer Redwetk Fred Fish Disk 865 AnliCtcJaVir A link
virus delector and oxterm ruitor Also detects olher types ol virt. This verson can detect: 126 Boothock. 12 Link: 23 File; 5 Disk-Vatrdaior; 5 Trojans, and 3 Bombs. Automatically checks each inserted disk lor bootbiock and disk-vaiidator viruses. Can scan all files of a specitied directory for known ink viruses, and constantly monitors memory ard system vectors. Version 2.0. an update to version t .8 on disk 842. Snareware.
Binary onty Author: Matthias Gutt Back&Fronl Sends a window to the bach or bnng it to the IfCCt with defined actions For example, bnng a window in Ironi by doubfe-ciieking m it and send it back with tno middle mouse button Any keyboard or mouse event can be trapped. Number of required actions can be changed (double-click vs tnpteciick). Implemented as a commodity.
Requires at least AmigaOS 2.04. Version 1.09. an update to version 1 03 on disk number 497.
Includes german vorsion and source in C. Author Stolan Sticht Genealogist ArJay Genealogist is a specialized database lor keeping track ol genealogical information, H features a lull, easy lo use Intuition interface. Tho program ts totally non-sexist and secular in nature, and correctly handles multiple marriages, "unconventional" marriages, adopted children, and unmarried parents. The printed reports include descendant and pedigree charts, personal details reports, lamily group sheels, and incex lists ol people and families. Free-lorm note tiles can bo creatod using any editor, and IFF
pictures can be viewed using any IFF viewer, from within the program, Other features include dynamic onscreen ancestor and descendant charts, extonsivo online context-sensitive help, flexible "regular expression' searching, and multiple Arexx pons with an extensive command set. Up to 1000 people per database, with databases held in RAM for maximum speed and responsiveness PAL or NTSC. ArrxgaDOS 2.04* required 1 Meg RAM recommendod Version 3.04, binary only. Author: Robbie J Akms Erect Fish Disk 866 CFX Crunched File examiner allows the user to examine and find tiles using several different
search criteria CFX knows a huge amount of tho current Amiga liloiypes, including a vast number of "cruncher- types CFX can also give in-depth disassemblies of crunched fifes, including most address crunched Mes, re locator crunched files, and some major archive crunched types This verson requires kick 1.3 or 2.0. Version 5 275 an update to version 5 242 on disk number 750 Binary only. Irooware. Author. Bob Rye and Marcus Mroczkowski Degrader Degrades your machine to try and get badly written programs lo work. Allows you to block memory, add non-autoconfig memory at reset, turn audio filter on
or off, intercept privilege violation errors, switch oft cach&burst modes and can slow down a last machine. Also can swap tho boot drive and force 50Hz or 60Hz.
W4I do things straight away, after one reset o* alter every reset Verson 1,30, an update to version 1 00 on disk number 562. Binary only Author. Chris Hames DRED The Disk REDucei. This program allows the user io arrange data on a set ol disks using a best til algorithm II you havo ever found it difficult to figure |ust which files should go onto which floppy, then DRED Is for you1 Most ol the time (mere are exceptions!) You can achieve 99% fullness of ftoppos'media, Requires kick
1. 3 or 2.0. Version 2 003 007, binary only, freeware. Author:
Boa Rye, Marcus Mroczkowski and Bran Ocallaghan Fioczy
Disassembles the Foozle FidoNet mail management system logftle
into readable, human understandable statistics. Floozy's
output is clear and concise and fully covers all aspects of
Floozy use. All message base names, number ol messages, and
irVout packelsbylosizos are nolod and further slats are
calculated on those figures. Requires kick
1. 3 or 2.0 Version 1.0204, binary only, freeware. Author: Boo
Rye Oseilograph An emulation of an oscillograph, with five
internal signal generators. The internal signals can be fieety
edited, even mathematical functions can bo used External
signals can be used when a digitizer is connected to the
Amiga.
This program can be used for teaming, demonstration, and even simple technical applications The german original and the engiish translation are included, as well as a set of oscillations Version 2.0, binary only. Author Michael Genmer PC-TaskDemo PC-T&sk is a software IBM-PC emulator.
It allows you to ran the majorily of IBM-PC software on your amiga with no additional hardware. Runs just like a normal application allowing mulfitasking to continue The program has a graphical user interface and no additional lilesystemdovico mounting is required A few clicks with the mouse and rt is operational. VGA.
EGA, CGA. MDA. Serial, Parallel. Mouse. 2 Floppy drives and 2 Hard drives are emulated.
The hard drives can bo partitions or hard drive files like the bndgeboard can use. This is the demonstration version 2.Q1 lull version is available from the author. Binary only. Author: Chns Hanes Xerox4045A printer driver lor printers supporting the Xerox 2700 command set. The 4045 (a hulking 8 PPM laser uml), is probably lhe mos! Popular member ol this family, so ii got the name The focus of this version was to gel the dot graphic functions working. This appears to be working correctly as printing tram Professional Page V2.1 and Tax Break have been successful in 300X300 graphics mode.
Version 1.0. Author: Bob Schuiion EhmLEMlDIsK 867 CenferScreen A commodity which confers the Irontmosl screen horizontally on hotkey, Useful 1 you normally operate with overscan screens and an ok) program opens a normal size screen Requires a! Toast AmgaOS 2.04 Version 1.07, an update to version 1 03 on disk 497. Includes german vors'on and source in C. Author Stelan Sticht CorrpiexPlot Allows the Iranstormation of a drawing by a complex function The drawing can be edifed with tho mouse (line, circle and fill modes included), and generators lor cartesic and pola- nefe can bo used. Tho Ireely
edliabfe complex function then changes the drawing in many interesting ways. Both onglish and german versions are included (and some demo drawings) Version t 0, binary only. Author Michael Genlner DeiuxePacManA pacman type game Commercial quality, with ex cel Ion! Graphics and responsrveness. Automatically adjusts to either PAL or NTSC Can be controlled with a joystick, mouse, or keyboard. Written in assembly Version 14. An upgrade lo 'PacMan' on disk
717. Sharowaio, binary only Author; Edgar M Vigdal GeiDate A
small program that allows users with an A500 or A1000
withojt a Battery backed-up clock to set the date and time
from the startup- sequence. The user is prompted for the
current date and time Tho last dato ime entered becomes the
delault Jor lhe next boo!. Binary only Author James We r
LoftyMouse Yet another LoltyMouse, this one implemented as a
commodity Swaps lhe fell and right mouscbuiton lot lefties
Requires at least AmigaOS 2 04 Version I 06, an updaie b
version 1.04 on disk 497. Indudes german version and source
m C Aulhor; Stetan Sticht Fred Fish Disk 868 CDTV-Player A
utility (or ail those people, who'd like to ptay Audio-CD's,
while multitasking on workbench It's an emulation ol CDTV's
remote control, but is a little more sophisticated Access to
the archive even without a CD-ROM-Drrve (i o. AMIGA
5004000), although you can’t play a CD PROGRAM & KARAOKE
(live on-sereeni included Recognizes Cds automatically.
AREXX-Porl for usage in other programs Version 2.0. an update to version t .8 on disk number 849. FISH-WARE, binary only. Author; Dante! Amor MouseBlanker Blanks the mouse pointer after a defined limeoul or if you press any key. Implemented as a commodity Requires ol least AmigaOS 2.04. Version i .21, an updato to version 1,13 on disk
497. Includes german version and source in C. Author: Stolen
Slktht Request Opens the OS 2 0 autorequester from scnp!
Files. Title, text, gadgets and publicscreen of the requester can be changed by commandline options. Requires al least AmigaOS 2.04. Version 1.04. an updato to version 1.00 on disk 497 Includes source m C Author: Stefan Sticht RussianFont Three Russian Vector Fonts, with a special Russian key map that matches the Russian typewriter These lonts are compatible with Russian Fonts lound under WINDOWS (= easy exchange) Versions 0, update to version on disk number 805 Designed with FontDesigner.
B-nary only, shareware Author Daniel Amor Smaus A highly configurable ‘SUN-mouse’ utility, implemented as a commodity with a graph tea!
User interface. It act vales the window under the mouse pointer if you move or after you have moved the mouse o' if you press a key. You can specify titles ol windows which shall not be deactivated using w Idcards. Requires al least AmigaOS 2.04, uses locale.library if available Includes enghsh and german docs, german catalog Me. Version t.t7. Shareware, binary only. Author: Stelan Sticht Fred Fish Disk 869 Clock A simple Clock program but with the handy feature that you can "snapshot" the clock to stay wilh any screen or it can bo free to pop to the fronlmosl screen automatically. Up lo 4
alarm times can be set, which can simply put up a requestor or cause some program lo run in background. Hourly chimes can also be made to run a program (I E a sound sample player).
Uses locate, library with OS2.1+ Version 2.00, binary only. Author: Bernd Gmnwald CL SEP92 This is the September 1992 release ol Cheatbst lor the Amiga. Cheatlist rs a collection of vanous forms of help (cheats, hints, codes, etc.) for Amiga games. Included in the package ¦s PokeList, a simitar file which details pokes usable with the Action Replay cartridge. The September release covers 500 games, and on average, another forty games are added each release. Shareware. Author: Various, compiled by Peter Monk Unr A smalt configurable digital clock (Uhr ts german for 'clock'}, that makes use of
the FormatOate)) lunction in WorkBench 2.1’s locate library, Requres at least Kickstart 2.04 and WorkBench 2.1 Version 1,03. An update to the version on disk 757. Includes source in C. Author: Stolon Sttcht Fred Fish Disk 670 AmigaGuide Archlvo distribution of Ihe AmigaGuide hypertext utility direct from Commodore Contains developer examples and loots for AmigaGuide under V34 V37 and V39, plus a new free print sign send-in distribution license lor AmigaGuide. Anvgaguide.library, Wdisplay, and their Icons. Author: Commodore Business Machines FoEowMouse A pair ol small blinking eyes following
me mouse movomonts on the screen. Runs from both the WorkBench and CLI Version 1 2, an update to the version on disk number 757.
Includes source m PASCAL Author. Kamran Karimi Installer Archive distribution of the Amiga Installer utility d reel from Commodore. Contains Vi .24 of the installer, documentation and examples for developers lo use when developing their software Also contains various enhancements and fixes detailed in the documentation enclosed The documentation has also been enhanced and brought up lo dale, Aulhor: Commodore Business Machines So’lProiect A software disk wnte-proiection With the permission of the user, disables floppy wntes even on wnte*enab!ed disks Switches lo enable disable states with a
gadget. Runs from both WorkBench and CLI. An update to ’AskFirst’ on disk number 753. Includes source in assembly. Aulhor: Kamran Karimi StackCheck A program that determines ihe maximum slack usage of another program It uses a completely ditforenl melhod than all Ihe other stack-watching programs like WalchSiack or Xoper and is very reliable. In mosi cases il does not require any CPU time to do its work. Verson
1. 0, includes source for Artec C and GNU C. Author: Gunther
Rbhricri SWAP Memory management may be considered es one ol
the weak poms ol Amiga OS. SWAP was written as a trial lo
provide swapping for Amigas without any special hardware, The
mam intention is lo lot Ihe user choose a task, swap it lo
disk so that its occupied memory is released.
And do other things, Later on, he could swap the program back lo mam memory and lei it continue Irom the pomt it was interrupted.
Includes source in C and assembly. Author; Kamran Karimi WmdowShuffie Activates and brings lo front nexi or previous window with hotkeys Hotkeys can be changed Implemented as a commodity.
Requires at toast AmigaOS 2-04 Version 1 07.
An update lo version 1 05 on disk 497 Includes german version and source in C. Author: Stefan Sticht Fred Fish Disk 871 A Backup A very powerful backup utility that may be used both lor hard disk backup and lor file archiving Has a full Intuiiion interface, a 'batch' mode, can save,toad Me selection, handle HD Hoppes, use any external compression program, ole.-, Includes both English and Fronch versions Version 2.43. an update Irom vorsion 2 4Q on disk 838 Shareware, binary only. Author: Denis Gouneiie DlmpWin A GUI interface for Disk-lmptoder (included) by A J. Brouwer. Dlmp is one ol the
most efficient disk archivers available for the Amiga. It offers 7 dilleren! Levels ol compression, the ability to create sell-extracting archives.
MULTIPLE CYLINDER RANGES, ability lo work with any floppy compatible device (such as RAD & FMS disks) and it can also add a text Me to the archive that will bo displayed during extraction Via Ihe GUI interface, Qtmp-Wm will invoke Dlmp and tell n wnat lo do Dlmp-Wm version 1 0, Qlmp verson 2.27. Requires AmigaOS 2.04*. Binary only. Author. Colin Beil (DImp-Win) and AJ. Brouwer (Dlmp) Planetarium An astronomy program which displays and animates the planets of the solar system at specie times Useful for quickly and easily determining the bosf limes to wow the planets, observing retrograde, eic.
Version 1.0, OS 1.3.
2. x. 3 0 compatible Shareware, binary only Author; Jim Schwartz
SlatftamStat-RAM or SD0.' Is a very lost recoverable ram drive
that takes advantage ol FFS under WB2 or FFS International
under WB2.1 or 3.
This work is based on ASDG s VDO:’. ASDG- RAM has been reliable for many years since it was placed in the PD. However it has always been slow because it usos OFS, or old life system On an accelerated machines. SD0: Is up to 7 times taster, and averages 5 limes taster than Ihe original VDO; It's also 4 to 5 limes faster than RRD It survives the deepest re boot, even tho CoidReboot of rokick ng a KS Me.
Verson 1.5, binary only. Author: Richard Waspe Trasrtlcon A WorkBench 2.x application icon lo delete files. Puts an icon at a possibly user defined positon on the WorkBench screen, that deletes all files that are dragged onto ft. This is version 1,4. An update to version 1 2 on disk number
839. Binary only Author: Mark McPherson UmvConq A strategy game
wfiere two human players battle for control of the universe
The game has several variables that allow the players to
vary tne density of planets, me initial number ol ships, and
Ihe length ol play Status information is continually updated
to allow the player to concentrate on strategy, not
statistics. Includes digitized pictures and sound. Version I
08 Compatible with WB 1 3 & 2.x. Binary only Author Randy
Wing Fied Fish Disk 872 Convort A unis conversion utility
inspired by "Units" ( by Gregory Simpson) but is easier to
use and can be customized by changing ihe data Me (eonv dat)
atone and decs not require recompilation of the program.
Vt.3. binary only.
Author: Davtd Whitmore.
ToolManager Part 1 o! A 2 pan release of the very popular program by Stefan Becker. This part contains LHA archivos of the binary tiles and graphics, Pan 2 can bo lound on disk number
873. ToolManager is a lull featured program lor either WorkBench
or CLI lool management.
Includes the ability to add menu items to the 2.x Toos" menu, add WorkBench icons or dock WincowS Features multi-column docks that automatically detect largest image size, Arexx.
Sound and Locate support Verson 2.1, an update to version 2 0 on d=sk rumber 752 Includes source, lots of graphic images, and programmers support for using the toolmanager.iibrary. Requires 2 x for full functionality Author Stelan Becker Fred Fivh Oiik 873 Cross A program that creates crossword puzzles. Has a message data hie to allow oasy translation into almost any human language, with English and German currently supported. This is version 5.1, an update to verson 4.1 on disk 537. Includes source in M2Amiga Modula-2 Author: Jurgen Weireii Flnf A Vbiy versatile directory listing utility. It
can examine the contents of hies and display a short type doscriphon In addition, Flnf has a wholo slew of options that allow you to litter tiles by type, date, age. Size etc., as well as recursive directory descending, and adjustable output formatting So next lo simply listing directories, Flnl s extremely uselul lor creating hybrid commands lhai perform functions closely tuned lo your specific needs Version 1.15, binary only.
Author; Peter Struijk MRIconSort MRIconSort is a nifty little tool which will alphabetically sort and align your icons and optionally create icons for hlesand drawers when don I have them If you have drawers with tons ol icons which are a hopeless |umt la, this program is lor you! Version 1.01. binary cniy.
Author Mark R Rinfret TooiManager Part 2 of a 2 part release of me very popular program by Stelan Becker This part contains an LHA archive ol the source, TeX docs and programmer's support fries Part 1 can be found on disk number 872 ToolManager is a lull featured program lor either WorkBench or CLI tool management Includes me at toy to add menu items to the 2 x Tools" menu, add WorkBench icons or dock Windows, Features multi-column docks that automatically detect largest image sze. Arexx. Sound and Locale support. Version 2.1, an update to version 2.0 on disk number 752. Includes source, lots
of graphic images and programmer's support for usmg Ihe toolmanager library Requires 2.x for full functionality Author. Stelnn Becker Fied Fish Disk 674 DFA NOT just another address utility. DFA(ddress) features email support, dinting, different lypos ol printing addresses, lull commodity support, application icon. Arexx port, ton! Sensitive windows and can be fully directed by the keyboard. This is version 1.23. lots of enhancements and bug fixes since version i .1 on disk number 782. Shareware, binary cnly.
Author Dirk Fodertetn TWA A commodity thal remembers Ihe last active window on any screen If screens are shuffled, the window is automatically ro-activaied. When thai screen is b-ought to front. Version 1.2, an update to version 1.0 on disk number 781.
Binary only Author Matthias Schotor Fred Fish Disk 875 Adoc A help utility lor the Amiga Features include automatic search ot any work on which you clicked, ability to use AutoQoc and AmigaGuide files, support ol locale library, an AREXX port, and more Version 3 01, an update to version
1. 21 on disk number 747. Binary only. Aulhor.
Denis Gouneiie Aprf A print utility with a lull Intuition interface, a preview function, page selection, lino numbering, multi-columns mode, customizable headers and footers, an AREXX port, an AppWindow. And more. Includes botn English and French versions. Version 2 11. An update to version 1,40 on disk number 747. Binary only.
Aulhor Denis Gouneiio Azap A ‘new general on" binary editor, ablo to odil files, memory o* devices like hard disks It can open several w ndows at tho same ttmo.
Supports locate library, and handles all QS3 0 file systems, This is version 2 04. An update la version 1 00 on disk number 759. Binary only.
Author Dens Gouneiie Blanker An attempt to p'ovide the Amiga community with a futurecompatci®. Easily expandable screen blanker. Provides a a platform lor others to write custom screen blanker modules and not have to worry about the difficulties associated with setting up a Commodities interface and deaimg with concurrency problems Version 2 3.
Includes source and several sample blanker modules Author Mena el D. Bayne KiILAGA Allows you to run old, badly written, programs (mainly demos and some games) from your A12004000 hard disk without having to continually reboot and switch chip settings. On return Irom tho program, tho system returns to full AGA stale Version 2.0, binary only. Author: Joiyon Ralph SeekSpeed Measures the seek performance ol any valid device. Il works by using me system's very accurate E clock and measures the time taken for seeking and reading varying numbers ol sectors under both sequential and random access.
Every lest is performed 100 times il possible, and me average reported. GUI interface, can be run form the CLI or WB, Requires OS2.04*. Vorsion 37 12, binary only Author: Richarc Waspe Fred f)«h DilK B76 ArmyMmerAn ultimate 'XMmes-type' game that integrates all ol me best aspects ol ihe previous Amiga versions of the game Options tnctode Automatically mark or clean the neighbours ol a square; Sale start (no explosion at first c&ck): Safe click (gadget-like behavior tor squares); Question marks (for configuration analysis) You can also specify your own custom board settings. The game has a very
useful paiteo option, sound effects, ngh-score tables and a vory mce interface It works under OS vl 3 or
2. 0, NTSC Or PAL Version 1.1. an update to version 1.0 on disk
number 851. Binary only.
Author. Alain Lalernero BatdeStar A lun text-based adventure game. It is reminiscent of Dungeon (aka Zork) and Adventure. You start out on a space ship under attack and must get ott and back to the planet.
Parted from UNIX, with very little 'amiga-i- zation". Runs from the CLI only. Includes source Author; David Riggte, Amiga port by David Ingebrolsen Etfld.Fl8h.Dllh 877 Lyapunovia A mtndboggmgly colorful program thal produces (racial pictures from a simple mathematical formula called “Lyapunov Space'.
Lyapunovia pictures vary Irom colorful candy to mean melal (or something), offering you everything you ever wanted in visual representation ol mathematical abstractions Lyapunovia has been tested on all Amigas Irom Wbi 2 lo 3.1. The program supports AGA graphics, floating pomt units. 68020* CPUs, and 24-bit output (lo 65000 x €5000 pixels!). A zoom factor of 10,000.000.000.000,000 cs possible Version 1.5, an update to VI .0 on disk 784 This s the full program, the ditlerence botween tho unregistered and the registered version has been eliminated Binary only, shareware.
Author: Jesper Juul Fred Fish Disk 878 bBaselll An easy lo use, versatile, yet lull featured database program mat wio run on any Amiga Search or sort on any hetc, print mailing labels, (un)detete records, mail merge, get reports m many formais. Scramble lies, flag reccros. Ana more. Fields are user-configurable, so bBase can be used to keep track ol addresses, tape or video collections, recipe files, or anything eiso you can think of one program does it all!
BBaselll is a greatly enhanced successor lo bBasell Version 1 3. An updato to version 1 I on disk number 760 Shareware, binary only.
Aulhor: Robert Bromley DockBrushes Filly plus 16-color dock brushes lor use with Topi Manager. AmiDock, or |ust as Icons.
Author David Voy DrChip Four utilities lo make your C programming life a Me easier. Included are: ccbA C-source code indentation beautifier; fiistgeneraies lists ol functions from either C orC+ * hies; hdrtogViM.
Z, and emacs support tags; toproloconvorts source code lo and Irom eld K&R stylo to the new prototype-using style Binary only, freeware Author: Dr. Chartes E Campbell, Jr.
Scypmon Machme-language montor with many features. Provides you win all functions like assembler, disassemble, search, transfer. Ml.
Tractdoadings etc. Version 1.7. fixes 2 nasty bugs of version i .6 and should now run without errors Binary only. Author Jocrg Bubiath Fred Fish Disk 879 DiskTestA utility lo lest the integrity ol floppy and hard disks, a la Norton Utilities Version 2 10. An update to version 2 03 on disk 828 Requires AmigaDOS 2,04 or later. Public domain, includes source. Author: Maunzio Loren Find A pattern matching program which uses the weighted Levensthein distance aigonthm.
Requires QS1.04 or later, Commodity and Arexx Support. Manual m ArmgaGuido format. Version
1. 0. Includes source. Author: Karlheinz Klmgboi!
Millim A utility that generates ml Hi metered paper with linear or logarithmic scale (both In x nnd In y) on a PostScript lino printer (on whatever printer, with a PostScript interpreter like Post from Adrian Aytward, disk 669) Pubic domain, includes source in PostScript. Author Maunzio Loreli.
Watcher A little title-bar commodity which can be customized to show various information such as ihe free space on hard drive partitions, free memory, system time and dale etc. Font and Overscan sensitive, can jump between public screens by decking on it's Zoom gadget, includes WatcnerProls, a utility that allows you to Customize what Watcher displays and its general behavior Verson V37. Includes source Author: Franz Hemmer Qberon This is a freely distributable demo version ol a powerful compiler for Oberon-2. Oberoo-2 is one of the most modem object-oriented languages This language was
designed with the aim to increase the power ol Modula-ll and to extend it with object-oriented facilities while reducing its complexity. This implementation features a parallel incremental garbagecoiioctor, a runtime source-level debugger, Iasi compilation, optimized code, language extensions to access AmigaOS, etc. Version 3,0, an update to version
1. 16 on disk 380. Binary cnly. Author: Fridtjof Stebert
SnapWmdow A small utility lhal allows you lo attach window
activation pop window-to-fron: to function keys This allows
you lo instantly find and activate tho desired window Also
includes a sunmouse and screen blanker. Version 1.0, binary
only. Author: Jason Scolt Chvat To Be Continued______ |n
Conclusion To the best ol Pur knowledge, the materials in this
library are freely distributable This means they were either
publicly posted and placed in Ihe public domain by their
authors or they have restrictions published tn their rites to
which we have adhered I! You become aware of any violation ol
the authors' wishes, please contact us by mail IMPORTANT
NOTICE!
This list is compiled and published as a service to the Commodore Amiga community forinlomiationalpurposes only, Its use is restricted to non-commercial groups only!
Any duplication for commercial purposes is strictly forbidden. As a part of Amazing Computings, this list is inherently copyrighted. Any infringement on this proprietary copyright without expressed wnllen permission of the publishers will incur the full lorco of legal actions, Any non-commercial Amiga user group wishing to duplicate this list should contact: PiM Publications, Inc.
P. O.Box 869 Fall River, MA 02722 AC is extremely interested in
helping any Amiga user groups rt non-commeroal support lor Ihe
Amiga
• AC* OpalVision's creator, Gary Rayner Gary Rayner with his
creation.
Among the latest exports from Australia, is Opal Technology's OpalVision. While OpalVision is marketed and sold throughout the world by Centaur Development in Redondo Beach, California, the Australian enterprise, Opal Technol- ogv, is the original creator of OpalVision and is also the Australian distributor. Under the leadership of Gary Rayner, its young (22) chief executive, Opal Technology (also known as Opal Tech) is about to release its long-awaited Roaster chip and Video Suite products. Since these extensive video tools are available for both the NTSC and PAL markets, Opal Tech has
become one of the first companies to offer a video and audio editing solution to videographers around the world.
Gary Rayner Gary Rayner is an old hand at Amiga technology, he has been producing products for the Amiga si nee 1987. His first company created M1D1 interfaces for the Amiga but his love of inventions started earlier.
"When I was about 2 years old, my parents caught me in the backyard with a shower head. ( was determined that I was going to make a rocket.
The only disappointing thing was 1 didn't know about propellants at that stage and it was a bit disappointing that it didn’t take off." Stated a calm Mr. Rayner before the doors opened on the final day of The World of Commodore Amiga in Sydney.
Mr. Ravner's parents have several businesses. They oivn a catering business and his father has a large banana distributing and ripening business. This is where he learned about hardwork.
"1 designed a car headlight dimmer when I was ten vears old to stick on a car so when a car came towards you, the lights would dim automatically and then go back up when they went passed. It only had one bug and that was in the rain, when you went down a dip, you would see the reflection of your own head lights in the road, it would flash down and then you wouldn't see it.
Then they would flash up and flash down. It was an interesting little invention."
However, it was not just inventions that caught his eye. At the ago of twelve, he went to high school and was introduced to the cutting- edge of technology for the time, Apple II's. He invented a paint program that worked with an analogue joystick. "1 have always been interested in art," stated the quiet Rayner.
”1 saw some people using paint boxes on television shows and also at a television station where 1 had some job experience for a while."
Rayner confided, "About this time the Amiga came out, and I think I had one of the first Amigas in Australia. I started playing around with some ideas of getting some more color out of it."
"My first prototype was six Amigas sticky- taped together. I was using one to provide the upper half of the red signal and one for the other half of the red signal so you had 256 levels of red, the same for green, and the same for blue. The six Amigas were working together so that 1 had a full 24-bit paint box system working back in 1987."
Mr. Rayner said with a smile,"I was hoping I could get something together but I wasn’t sure people would jump at the idea of buying six Amigas and using them together."
During this time, Mr. Rayner produced a MIDI interface, a disk drive for the Amiga, and a sound sampler. "The problem was that kicking these off, you went for a long period of time without any income. You finally reached the bottom of the barrel. You went out, got a job, and Just part of the OpalVision team from left lo right: Prashant Maharaj, James Flynn, Rob Roy, Gary Rayner, Felicity Butler, Greg Niles.
Saved some money. When I finally started designing the video paint box system, 1 sold my car and left myjoband pushed itall into designing." That first system was Color Burst, but due to some "commercial incompatibilities" it did not do as well as it could have. So he went back to designing a new system.
"At first, OpalVision was an all-in-one box.
It didn't have the power that the current version has, but we didn't realize that not many people want everything all at once. Some people want a video paint box for animation, other people want genlocking and frame grabbing, and other people want a complete setup to do everything for them.
This is when we came upon the idea that the most powerful arrangement would be to m ake it modular so people could buy what they want when they wanted it. You can add things as time goes by so that everything is loadable to make it as obsolescent proof as electronics can be these days."
Gary Rayner holds the title of Design Director on the OpalVision project. While he designs a lot of the hardware, he works with other designers in a team effort. He is also involved with the software interfaces and then hands these off to a software programmer for coding.
The original OpalVision was called Frame Grabber Genlock for the OpalVision. It could switch between two video sources. But, Rayner stopped production on the device right before shipping he was not satisfied. "It had to be better by a wide margin than anything else on the market. The whole concept was to make a Video Suite a complete video production studio."
"It had to have high-quality audio with good control. It had to have superior digital video effects. It had to have much better source inputs and outputs. Composite video was just not good enough."
He wanted the best, because he wanted to sell to a wide market. "We are not selling so much to Amiga owners. You will find that a lot of people will become Amiga owners because they will become OpalVision owners."
"We have some effects today that cannot be done on a system for less than $ 30,000. We have three-dimensionai rotations in real time with live video. We can rotate in all three axis X, Y, and
Z. " "While I don't want to compare OpalVision with the Toaster,
people are going to make the comparison. It wasn't designed to
be a Toaster replacement. OpalVision is full RGB video all the
way through so that it is the highest quality in which you can
possibly transfer video. TheToaster is composite which is the
lowest form in which video can be transfered."
(continued on page 68) YFQf
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