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Amiga Imaging Specialists 35mm Slide & Negative Imaging Color Prints I Transparencies and ANY Amiga format (incl. JPEG 8 New AGA modes) Call TODAY and ask about our f REE TRIAl Off ER! Circle 125 on Reader Service card. GET HOOKED! On CD-ROMs from ''Fish Disk" creator Fred Fish Being Amiga users, most of you are already familiar with the "Fred Fish" floppy disk library series . You know the "Fish Disks" have continually led the way with the very latest in freely redistributable software since the Amiga's introduction in late 1985. But are you aware of the latest news from Fred Fish and Amiga Library Services? The award winning "Fish Disk" series is now available directly from Fred Fish on CD-ROM! Introducing FreshFish, FrozenFish, and GoldFish, a unique CD-ROM series developed by Fred Fish and Amiga Library Services to provide the Amiga community with more and more megabytes of the latest and greatest in freely redistributable software. Fresh Fish TM Published every 6 to 8 weeks, this CD contains newly submitted material and other useful tools, utilities, games, libraries, etc. All material will be in both archived (BBS ready) and unarchived (readyto-run) form. Frozenf ish ' Published every 6 months, this CD will include as much material as possible from previous FreshFish CDs. The first release of this CD in April 1994 will also contain the entire 1,000 floppy disk "Fred Fish" library. All material will be in archived form only. Goldfish 1 This two disk CD set will contain the entire 1,000 floppy disk "Fred Fish" library in both archived and unarchived forms. Don't wail lo reel in the best sohware you could ever find for your Amiga system! For more information or to place an order, write or call: Amiga

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Document sans nom Special Offer for AC Readers!
AMOS (US), AMOS Compiler, and AMOS 3D all ihree for only $ 99.99: Bring your Amiga to Life!
AMOS - The Creator is like nothing you've ever seen before on the Amiga. If you want to harness the hidden power of your Amiga, then AMOS is for you!
AMOS Basic is a sophisticated development language with more than 500 different commands to produce the results you want with Ihe minimum of effort. This special version of AMOS has been created to perfectly meet the needs of American Amiga owners. It includes clearer and brighter graphics than ever before, and a specially adapted screen size (NTSC).
"Whether you are a budding Amiga programmer who wants to create fancy graphics without weeks of typing, or a seasoned veteran who wants to build a graphic user interface with the minimum of fuss and link with C routines. AMOS is ideal for you." Amazing Computing, June 1992 P Define and animate hardware and software sprites (bobs) with lightning speed.
Display up to eight screens on your TV at once - each with its own coior palette and resolution including HAM. Interlace, half-brite and dual playfield modes).
Scroll a screen with ease. Create multi-level parallax scrolling by overlapping different screens - perfect for scrolling shool-em-ups.
P Use the unique AMOS Animation Language to create complex animation sequences for sprites, bobs or screens which work on interrupt.
Play Soundtracker. Sonix or GMC (Games Music Creator) tunes or IFF samples on interrupt to bring your programs vividly to life.
Use commands like RAINBOW and COPPER MOVE to create fabulous color bars like the very best demos.
Transfer STOS programs to your Amiga and quickly get them working like the original.
Use AMOS on any Amiga from an A500 with a single drive to the very latest mode! With hard disk.
AMOS (US) AMOS BASIC, sprite editor. Magic Forest and Amosteroids arcade games, Castle AMOS graphical adventure, Number Leap educational game. 400-page manual with more than 80 example programs on disk, sample tunes, sprite files, and registration card.
AMOS Compiler AMOS Compiler. AMOS language updater, AMOS Assembler, eight demonstration programs which show off the power of the compiler, and a comprehensive, easy-to-use manual to develop lightning fast software.
AMOS 3D Object Modeler, 30 new AMOS commands, and more. AMOS 3D allows you to create 3D animations as fast as 16 to 25 frames per second. You can display up to 20 objects at once, mix 3D with other AMOS features such as sprites, bobs, plus backgrounds, and more.
Limited l ime Offer for AC. Readers only!
Get all three AMOS packages at one great price. Order today by sending your name, address (physical address please all orders will be shipped by UPS), and S99.99 ("plus $ 10.00 for Shipping and handling) to: AMOS Special. PiM Publications. Inc.. P.O. Box 2140. Fall River. MA 02722-2140 or use your VISA. MasterCard, or Discover and fax 1-508-675-6002 or call toll free in the US or Canada: 1-800-345-3360 Please allow 410 6 weeks for delivery.
AMOS written by Frangois Lionet.
C. 1992 Mandarin'Jawx Country of Origin: UK Create breathtaking
graphical effects as never before Circle 134 on Reader Service
Strength in Numbers GVP is the best Solution On any Amiga Great Valley Products has been the technological leader in Amiga peripheral and enhancement products since 1988. We consistently provide you with the best quality add-ons for the Amiga computer... bar none!
USA EGS 28 24 Spectrum, Performance Series II. Image EX. G-lock, IV-24. G-Force '030 Combo. G-Force 040 33 Combo. 40C8 SCSI II. IoExtender, PhonePak VFX. And 0SS8+ are trademarks of Great Valley Products, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners EGS 28 24 SPECTRUM" Go Beyond AC A Graphics with this real-time, 24-bit, true-color graphics enhancement card. Programmable resolutions up to 1600x1280! 800x600 in 24-bit!
We include a custom display pass-through cable for single- monitor use. Many applications are ready-to-run and we include the acclaimed EGS Paint as a bonus too!
Tiring workstation graphic power to your Amiga today and sec what you've been missing!
CIRCLE 329 ON READER SERVICE CARD TBCPIus'" This professional quality, ail digital time- basc-cotrector |TBC| uses state-of-the-art 8-bit 4:2:2 video signal processing...Plus it provides a real-time video frame-grabber and 16.7 million color trame-bulfer ...Plus there is a full SMPTE EBU time-code receiver generator...Plus this incredible product trill transcode composite and Y C inputs...Plus a „ _ 3 channel video input switcher |in composite T I) I' and Y C) ...Plus programmable video special effects! J - i s CIRCLE 330 ON READER SERVICE CARD g ___ Performance Series H'“ At 50Mhz, you can
own the fastest A1200 in the world! Add up to 32MB of highspeed 32-hit RAM, tuday! With the added power of a SOMhz FPU, your floating point operations have never been speedier. A simple connection in the AUOO’s 'trapdoor' never voids a warranty, and with the Series II you have the added versatility of our custom option slot.
Add the fastest SCSI interface on any A1200 with the A1291 SCSI Kit. It just plugs in from the back. Other expansion products coming soon!
CIRCLE 331 ON READER SERVICE CARD ImageFX ” Totally Integrated Image Processing. This is the only Image Processing package you will ever ncctl.
Period. This is the professional solution that brings you not only interchange between various image formats such asTIF and GIF andTARGA, but also a full-featured 24-bit, real-time paint and touch-up program. Sec the work you are doing while you do it! Edge feathering, Alpha channel, CMY HSV YUV YIQ operations, integrated scanning, regionalized processing... It's in there!
CIRCLE 331 ON READER SERVICE CARD G-Lock™ Bring live video, audio and Amiga graphics together and do it on any Amiga! Get connected with the wurld of video with our built-in transcoder to convert input video to composite, Y C, RGB or YUV outputs! Full support for AGA systems as well as the 'classic' Amiga 500,
2000. And 3000. Acclaimed interface controls make this easy to
use and simple to control. Scala™ users even get an EX
module to use G-Lock in their multimedia applications.
Add G-Lock's included dual-input audio panel and it's simply the best choice (or every personal Amiga owner.
CIRCLE 333 ON READER SERVICE CARD n -24'“ 2,0 The Ultimate Genlock This is what you have been searching for in a professional quality genlock for your Amiga 2000,3000 or 4000. This integrated hardware design provides the crispest, cleanest genlocked video on the Amiga desktop. With options lor RGB, composite, SVHS, llctacan: and M M compatible inputs &. Outputs as well as a 24-lnt, 16.7 million color frame-buffei and real-time Eramcgrabber digitizer, this is the Amiga genlock every professional needs. Powerful included software completes this picture as the Ultimate Genlock.
CIRCLE 334 ON READER SERVICE CARD G-Force ‘030 Combo"1 GVP's classic Cumbo card accelerates your Amiga 2000 to new heights! This integrated design slips into the processor option slot in your system and instantly provides dramatic performance improvements. Easily add up to 16MB of fast 32-bit RAM. Gain expansion and versatility with our powerful SCSI II interface, allowing you to connect up to 7 devices such as hard drives, SyQuest removables or CD-ROM drives.
Feel the power of G-Force today!
CIRCLE 335 ON READER SERVICE CARD G-FORCE G-Force ‘D40 33 Combo"' The classic Combo taken to the Ultimate Extreme Your applications will blaze with the awesome power of a 33Mhz 68040 processor. Give that muscle some room to fiex with room for up to 64MB of fast 32-bit SAM. Of course our award-winning SCSI i! Interface is integrated for maximum performance and we include the bonus of ioExtender capability with an extra parallel port and a buffered high-speed serial port. Hot "toast" served here!
CIRCLE 336 ON READER SERVICE CARD 4008 SCSI 11'“ Bring the world of SCSI within your reach with this easy-to-install buard. Instantly gain access to thousands of peripherals such as hard drives, SyQuest removable media and CD-ROMs. Add up to 7 devices to your Amiga 4000 and smile. As a leader in Amiga peripheral technology since 1988, we still maintain support for A2000 owners too, even providing 8M1! Of RAM expansion on the card.
Advanced surfacc-mount technology allows any user to mount a 3.5" drive directly to the card, providing for maximum convenience. Get the GVP SCSI difference!
CIRCLE 337 ON READER SERVICE CARn ioExtender" Feeling trapped- Let GVP extend your horizons wilh our easy-to-use ioExtender. Contained on a single card, you will find an additional parallel port, allowing you to connect a printer and a digitizer (such as DSS8+) at the same time. No more messy, unreliable switch boxes! We include two, that's right, two high-speed, FIFO buffered serial ports. No more dropped data Dr hogged-down computers when transferring data via modem (at speeds in excess of 57,600!|. Free your ports and regain performance _ on your Amiga with ioExtender!
PhDI* PhonePak VFX'“ 2.0 If you are calling for VoiceMail Press if you would like to send a Fax, Press 2.
It you would like to have this automated, scheduled, time date stamped and call you when you have new mail, get PhonePak VFX 2.0 today! Fully integrated, allowing unlimited mailboxes and private fax receiving. Send faxes from any program that prints. Call in remotely and retrieve (axes sent earlier. Plain paper or paperless faxing.
Call routing with Centrex PBX support, and more!
CIRCLE 339 ON READER SERVICE CARD _______DSS8+™ Clearly Superior! This is the quietest, most professional and attractive digital sound sampler yet made. Assembled of high-impact clear polycarbonate, this is the sound sampler to own for the Amiga. The versatile Digital Sound Studio software includes a multifaceted program for sampling, editing, song composition, stereo sound playback as well as creation of .MOD format songs.
CIRCLE 340 ON REAOER SERVICE .CARD Volume 9 Number 6 June 1994 CONTENTS In This Issue CanDo Tutorial by Randy Finch In this installment, a detailed discussion of the tools available in CanDo for handling icon files and playing music files. Create a program to select, enter, and play music files from a list.
39 NAB Show AC travels to Las Vegas for the latest releases and announcements from NewTek, ASDG, DevWare, Centaur, RGB, and more.
45 Making an Article Database by Doug Nakakihara Create a simple database to keep track of magazine articles using the HELM authoring system.
55 A Survival Guide to CD-ROM, Part I by Mark Rickan The first in a four part series designed to take the confusion out of CD-ROM devices.
Bubbles vs. Heat by Dwinn Craig Fargo’s Primera Color Printer and Canon’s BJC-600 go head to head in this in-depth review.
87 1994 Reader’s Choice Awards Ballot Amazing Computing's 3rd Annual Reader’s Choice Awards promises to be the best yet. The past year has brought the most interesting explosion of new products the Amiga market has ever seen, increasing the competition for the old favorites. Cast a vote for your favorite products.
Bubbles vs. Heat, p.82 Reviews 14 TypeSMITH 2.0 by Merrill Callaway A review of the latest update to Soft- Logik’s font manipulator.
16 The A64 Package 3.0 by Henning Vahlenkamp This new release brings quality C64 emulation to your Amiga.
19 MIDIquest 4.5 & TECHquest by R. Shamms Mortier Unlike other programs which address only a small number of synths, the SoundQuest products offer support for most synths on the market.
Art Department Professional v2.5 by Merrill Callaway The new ADPro version boasts a multitude of new features and a crisp new interface.
Features 24 Online by Rob Hays This month, a look at the Amiga sections on the Delphi system in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
74 Digital Image Special F X by William Frawley A simple ripped page effect created with ADPro can add creative flair to your images.
Columns A Survival Guide to CD-ROM.
8 New Products & Other Neat Stuff TV'Text Professional 2.0, The Stocks Program, Bible Scholar 3.0, B-29, & Crouton Tools 4000 round out the items found in this issue’s New Products.
26 cli directory by Keith Cameron Keith continues with part three of his comprehensive AmigaDOS glossary.
Bug Bytes by John Steiner Ethernet & A4000 revisited; keeping tost page breaks in Final Copy, problems with FinalWriter; bad video on a G-Lock; VGA screen blanking; and diagnosing startup problems are among the topics discussed in this month’s Bug Bytes.
51 Inside Arexx by Merrill Callaway Create storyboards for animations or videos with Arexx and ADPro.
61 Roomers by The Bandito Commodore’s financial roller coaster, RISC, CD-i, CD32, and the shareholder’s movement top The Bandito's list this month.
Sync Tips by Oran Sands An interesting use for TypeSMITH in video applications.
86 CD33 Reviews CD32=Amiga with Microbotics’ SX-1 expansion interface. Also, The Chaos Engine and Microcosm are free with CD32.
89 Diversions This month: Cardiaxx and Quack from Team 17 and Titus the Fox from Titus Software.
Departments Editorial 6 List of Advertisers ......80 Feedback ...37 And Furthermore .96 Ouirlcs Slcmknrlilrr anil Rcnhc Goertzen ace relatively unknown to the Amiga community but not for long. They have crcalcil llic luirdiuii'c for !NvwTok% lulc*t incut, 'flic Flyer.
Anuizing Computing For The Commodore AMIGA' ADMINISTRATION Publisher: Joyce Hicks Robert J. Hicks Donna Viveiros Doris Gamble Traci Desmarais Robert Gamble Ernest P. Viveiros Assistant Publisher: Administrative Asst.: Circulation Manager: Asst. Circulation: Traffic Manager: Production Manager: EDITORIAL Don Hicks Jeffrey Gamble Ernest P. Viveiros Sr.
Oran Sands Perry Kivolowitz Brian Fox Merrill Callaway Managing Editor: Associate Editor: Hardware Editor: Video Consultant: Art Consultant: Illustrator: Contributing Editor: ADVERTISING Advertising Coordinator: Traci Desmarais Amazing Computing For The Commodore Amiga'" (ISSN 1053-4547) is published monthly by PiM Publications, Inc., Currant Road, P.O. Box2 MO 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 for one year. Subscriptions outside the U,S ore as follows: Canada & Mexico $ 38.95 (U S funds)oneyeoronly;ForeignSurface $ 49.97 All payments must be In U.S. runds on a U.S. bonk. Due to erratic postol changes, all foreign rates Ore one-year only.
Second-Class Postage paid at Fall River. MA 02722 and additional moiling offices.
POSTMASTER Send address changes to PiM Publications Inc.. P.O. Box 2140, Fall River. MA 02722-2140. Printed in the U.S. A. Enlire contenls copyright' !993byPiM Publications, Inc All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without writlen permission from PIM Publications. Inc.. Additional First Class or Air Mail rates available upon request. PiM Publications. Inc. maintains the right to refuse any advertising, PiM Publications Inc. is not obligated to return unsolicited materials. All requested returns musl be received with a self-addressed stomped mailer.
Send article submissions in both manuscript and disk format wllh your name, address, telephone, and Social Security Number on each to the Associate Editor.
Requests for Author $ Guides should be directed to the address listed above.
AMIGA™ is a registered trademark of Commodore-Amiga, Inc.. Commodore Business Machines, international Dslreulored h the US. & Canada by International Periodical Dtshbutors 674 Vo de la Vase. Ste 204, Sotora Beach. CA 92075 & Ingram PeeodrcoS tec.
1226 Hel Quoker 0vd., La Veme TN 370S6 1-500-678-4200,1-800-345-3360, FAX 1-508-675-6002 Printed in U.S.A. THE Amiga Imaging Specialists 35mm Slide & Negative Imaging Color Prints Transparencies and MORE!
ANY Amiga format [incl. JPEG & New AGA modes) Call TODAY and ask about our FREE TRIAL REFER!
T l m V V J Or or a
'V 33Sfl| PeeCee's Digital haiery Mini Street Fall River, MA 0Z72D-S12G enn bib ng 1 1 FAS DflS.EFS.93DB DBS S01.G7B.93DS [9B0D BM1I UUG.BI0.U01t Circle 125 on Reader Service card.
On CD-ROMs from "Fish Disk" creator Fred Fish Being Amiga users, most of you are already familiar with the “Fred Fish” floppy disk library series . You know the “Fish Disks” have continually led the way with the very latest in freely redistributable software since the Amiga’s introduction in late 1985, But are you aware of the latest news from Fred Fish and Amiga Library Services?
The award winning "Fish Disk" series is now available directly from Fred Fish on CD-ROM!
Introducing FreshFish, FrozenFish, and GoldFish, a unique CD-ROM series developed by Fred Fish and Amiga Library Services to provide the Amiga community with more and more megabytes of the latest and greatest in freely redistributable software.
FreshFish™ Published every 6 to 8 weeks, this CD contains newly submitted material and other useful tools, utilities, games, libraries, etc. All material will be in both archived (BBS ready) and unarchived (ready- to-run) form.
FrozenFish™ Published every 6 months, this CD will include as much material as possible from previous FreshFish Cds. The first release of this CD in April 1994 will also contain the entire 1,000 floppy disk “Fred Fish” library. All material will be in archived form only.
GoldFish™ This two disk CD set will contain the entire 1,000 floppy disk “Fred Fish” library in both archived and unarchived forms.
Don't wait to reel in the best software you could ever find for your Amiga system!
For more information or to place an order, write or call: rs. Amiga Library Services SJ_L.-ON 610 N. Alma School Rd., Suite 18 f 1 1 1 Chandler, AZ 85224-3687 USA creators of the “fish disks” Phone Fax: (602)917-0917 Features (Note: Arthived=BBS Ready ¦ Unarchived = Ready-To-Run) GoldFish April '94 FrozenFish April '94 FreshFish May '94 Single CD-ROM 9 9 Two Disk CD-ROM set • Floppy Disk Library Series (Disks 1-1000) Archived • 9 Unarchived • New material not previously released on floppies or Cds (Approx. 100-150 Mb of new material).
Archived 9 9 Unarchived 9 New material from previous FreshFish Cds not found in floppy disk series Archived 9 9 Unarchived 9 GNU Tools Utilities, Binaries & Source Code Archived 9 9 Unarchived 9 Commodore Native Developers Update Kit (NDUK) libraries & developers tools (Not freely redistributable) Archived 9 9 Unarchived 9 "Useful Material" that includes misc. utilities, games, libraries, documentation and hardware software reviews Archived 9 9 | Unarchived 9 "PufferFish" - Special utility for uncompressing "archived" files from CD floppy disk collection onto standard floppies • 9 9
"KingFisher" - Special database "search" program with GUI front-end 9 9 9 (2-Disc Set) FreshFish,Frozen Fish, and GoldFish moy be purchased with cash, check (US Dollars only), VISA or Mastercard from Amiga Library Services. Please add S3 for shipping and handling in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. Add $ 5 elsewhere. (For package of up to 4 Cds).
Circle 106 on Reader Service card.
UIITIIKIAL (HIM Intermission Last month I addressed this column as if it were the first act in a Shakespearean play.
Not because I believed my broken prose is anywhere near the quality of Mr. Shakespeare, but 1 felt the trials and tribulations of Commodore were more suited to a Shakespearean tale. With the changes that have occurred over the last few weeks, many people are looking at the entire Commodore story' as a tale more attuned to Stephen King than William Shakespeare.
1 have a different perspective. If last month’s efforts appear more like a first act, then this month can only be considered an intermission.
Hold That Tiger On Friday, March 25, Commodore released their financials for the last three quarters to show an additional loss of $ 8.2 million on sales of only $ 70 million which were down from the same quarter's figures of the year before of $ 888 million in sales with a loss of $ 76.7 million. While the loss has been reduced dramatically, so has the sales.
This is more than a little surprising, since CBM had privately been reporting that they were selling out of stock in almost every' market. It was not surprising when it was discovered that these markets were not receiving the product they needed in order to make the sales.
Shortages of CD32 and Amiga 1200s have plagued the best efforts of Amiga dealers in North America. While Europe was being provided the majority of the stock they needed, the North American Amiga dealers (especially those in the U.S.) were being starved for equipment.
A recent shortage of monitors for the Amiga 4000 have caused serious problems for Amiga distribution. Several distributors have attempted to resolve this problem by making private deals with monitor manufacturers to create the specialized monitor configuration required by the A4000. The only problem is that these independent efforts require the distributors to make large individual projections on the amount of equipment they can sell. In addition, the price for the monitors cannot be amortized over long runs supported by a world volume. Each distributor is on his own to create his best deal.
Commodore U.S.A. Normally, a sales market's best interests would be safeguarded by their individual sales division. In the case of the United States, this would be Commodore Business Machines Inc. in West Chester, PA. However, even before the resignation of Jim Dionne as President of this extremely important division. Commodore International, the main company and director of all Commodore divisions, has been slowly dismantling this valuable asset. Contrary to every reasonable recommendation, Commodore International has reduced staff, constricted budgets, and created a situation where
individuals were powerless to do their jobs. All of this was done under the auspices of controlling costs.
In lasl month's column, I mentioned the trials and tribulations exerted on Mr. John Dilulu, CBM U.S.A.'s Director of Marketing. He had been quoted by a couple of dealers who were not satisfied with comments he allegedly made while at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas this past January. While 1 believe the comments were taken out of context and were obviously based on frustration with the market and the constraints applied to his job, Mr. Dilulu was still placed under a great deal of pressure by the Amiga community. Whether it was for this reason, or because he was offered an
opportunity he could not readily refuse, Mr. Dilulu has left Commodore for another company.
Apparently there is only a few individuals at CBM West Chester who is in administration and is available to answer questions and provide support. Although these individuals are competent, there is no possible way that they can do the work required to keep Commodore U.S.A. in the public eye and functioning. If for no other reason than the fact that they have been given very little authority.
The slack from CBM USA appears to have been taken up by the overworked staff of Commodore International. Now they are not only responsible for the management and needs of Commodore worldwide, but they are also supposed to address the individual requirements of the high potential American market.
Rumors Abound While trading of Commodore's stock has been halted and the head officers are saying nothing, rumors have been springing up all over the world. 1 have received calls from as far away as London from people attempting to track down the latest rumor.
A British magazine reportedly published an April Fools joke which rumored that Philips was going to purchase Commodore. Before the ink was dry, the rumors were flying across the Atlantic. Most people were concerned that if Philips did buy Commodore, Philips would dismantle the Amiga technology, steal what they wanted, and use pieces of it in their CD-i.
First, it is hard to believe that Philips would need Amiga technology since, for the most part, it would be incompatible to their own format. The reality is that if CBM is sold, it will be to someone who needs the Amiga for what il can deliver.
Nothing To Fear I believe Commodore's current situation could generate far more good than evil. Commodore International's management must now act or the situation will be given to someone who will. This is the first positive sign to Amiga users.
The second is that anyone interested in the technology, will want to keep it going. Unlike other products, the Amiga keeps several viable and productive industries alive. Video is only one example of the Amiga's prominence. In Europe the Amiga is one of the prime entertainment market platforms and the CD32 has been labeled as the number one CD-ROM platform.
What we have is a situation where a valuable commodity that has been ignored and underevaluated is now in a position to be purchased. Someone will want it. And they will want to keep the Amiga in place.
Perhaps even market and sell it.
For now, we must wait in the lobby.
The doors are closed until the next act. We can hear the preparations on stage as the stage hands change the scenery, but we must wait for the lights to flicker before we can reenter the theater.
To be continued... ART DEPARTMENT PROFESSIONAL VERSION 2.5 The Best Don’t Rest Facts:
• ADPro is the only image processor to consistently rank in
the Amiga’s top 10 best sellers.
Amiss 'Ainm kJ99i
• ADPro has won the Amazing Computing Reader’s Choice Award every
This screen shows just one of the many ways to configure ADPro's new interface.
• ADPro is now more powerful and easier to use than ever before!
Shown are the button interface with floating module lists and render window.
With the track record and reputation ADPro has earned, you might think we’d be content to rest on our medals. Fat chance.
In fact, we’ve just made our biggest improvements ever, including:
• An all new (totally style guide compliant) user interface
where no major feature is more than a mouse click away
• Support for many new graphics boards including the Video
Toaster, Retina, Picasso II and all EGS compatibles
• Over 100 pre-written Arexx programs ready to go
• The best poster printing around, especially on the new FARGO
Primera Dye Sub Printer
• More special hardware support (like the DPS PAR and Digital
• More image formats • More tutorials
• More image processing operators
• And the list just keeps on going If you’re a seasoned
professional, ADPro has been listed as a “Must Have” for years.
And if you’re just starting out, you can’t make a safer, more
secure choice than the easiest-to-use ADPro ever.
PPPARTM£NI So see your dealer right away and get the best get ADPro!
Circle 102 on Reader Service card.
925 Stewart St. Madison, Wl 53713 (608)273-6585 Art Department Professional is a registered trademark of ASDG, Incorporated. Other trademarks are the property of Iheir respective holders NEW PRODUCTS and other neat ftoftn Stock Watching Made Simple The Stocks Program ($ 40) provides powerful technical analysis of stock prices using numerous studies including candlesticks, traditional bar charts, three moving averages, MACD, trendlines, average volume, and more. It generates buy and sell signals based on customizable trading rules and graphs daily, weekly, and monthly charts using simple ASCII
data files. Akexx and on-line Amiga Guide help text available.
Bug Free Development, P.O. Box 7042, Nashua, NH, 03060. Inquiry 206 TV Text Professional 2.0
2. (1 ($ 199.95), the latest update to their popular video titling
and presentation program. New features include built-in
support for Postscript Type 1, Intellifont, and Qfont scalable
type faces; interactive, on screen text sizing, stretching,
and character spacing; text smoothly rotatable to any angle;
and image sequencer with wipe effects. The ability to apply a
variety of stylistic effects, such as shadows, outlines, metal
lie, glints, and strobes to text has been retained from the
previous versions along with its background generator among
other features. TV'TFXT Professional
2. 0 requires a minimum of 1MB Chip RAM and AmigaDOS 2.04or
A hard disk is recommended.
Zuma Group, Inc., 6733 N. Black Canyon Hwy., Phoenix, AZ 85015,
(602) 246-4238, Fax (602) 246-6708. Inquiry 204 GFX-CAD Price
Drop Grafx Computing announced new prices on its GFX-CAD
product tine.
The 2-DCADprogram, GFX-CAD, with its award winning interface, has been reduced from $ 359 to $ 299. The 2-D 3-D products, GFX-CAD 3000, with the 2-D and 3-D interfaces, has been reduced from $ 649 to £499. In addition, now included with the GFX-CAD products are demo tutorial disks and a manual for the programs. Grafx hopes that the new prices will allow a wider audience to experience what they claim is (he most advanced, fastest and productive CAD programs available for the Amiga, Grafx Computing, 6680 Wiltsie Rd., Panama, NY, 14767, (716) 782-2629.
Inquiry 205 Catch a Wave Vvavctools ($ 450) is a 16-bit stereo disk recorder which samples, edits, and plays back CD-quality audio direct from a hard drive. Sample rates include32,44.1, and 48KH .. An optional module is available to add SMPTF, reader genera tor, cue list, and DSP for 8-track multi track mixdown and real-time effects.
Digital Audio Designs, P.O. Box 5068, Fullerton, CA, 92635, (714) 562-
5926. Inquiry 207 Graphically Speaking Simple Stat Graph is an
entry level statistical and graphical data analysis tool
for the Commodore Amiga. SSG's Intuition-based Interface
and spreadsheet-like editor make data ana lysis almost
effortless, many common graph types and statistical tests
are supported. Powerful tools are provided to process
data into any desired format. Many graphical output formats
are supported.
Douglas Stockman, 38 Tyron park, Rochester, NY, 14609, (716) 288-0387. Inquiry 208 Custom Tees and Accessories twr MKM Digital Imaging Company wants to put your computer graphic or photograph on one of their products.
Printed in 16 million colors on one of the following: tee shirts, Christmas stockings, Christmas ornaments, calendars, aprons, sweatshirts,coasters,plaques, metal plates, and kitchen hot pads. Great for gifts, promotions, and fund raisers. Color brochure available. Also available from Digital Imaging, custom imprinted mouse pads, "I Love My Amiga" tee shirts, and Amiga mouse pads.
Digital Imaging Company, P.O. Box 557, Florissant, MO, 63032, (314) 830-1200. Inquiry 209 High Resolution Output from your AMIGA™ DTP & Graphic Documents You’ve created the perfect piece, now you’re looking for a good service bureau for output. You want quality, but it must be economical. Finally, and most important...you have to find a service bureau that recognizes your AMIGA file formats. Your search is over. Give us a call!
We’ll imageset your AMIGA graphic files to RC Laser Paper or Film at 2400 dpi (up to 154 Ipi) at a extremely competitive cost. Also available at competitive cost are quality Dupont ChromaCheck ™ color proofs of your color separations films. We provide a variety of pre-press services for the desktop publisher.
Who are we? We are a division of PiM Publications, the publisher of Amazing Computing for the Commodore AMIGA. We have a staff that really knows the AMIGA as well as the rigid mechanical requirements of printers publishers. We’re a perfect choice for AMIGA DTP imagesetting pre-press services.
Wfe support nearly every AMIGA graphic & DTP format as well as most Macintosh™ graphic DTP formats.
For specific format information, please call.
For more information call 1-800-345-3360 Just ask for the service bureau representative.
Treasury of Knowledge Reference EasyScdjMl'sTreasury of Knowledge ($ 74.95) includes Old NewTestament parallel passages, Puritan Confession, Spurgeon's Catechism and the new Topical Text Book. This collection contains thousands of useful references, ready to use at tire click of a mouse button.
Inquiry 210 People’s NewTestament Reference The People's New Testament Reference ($ 74.95) features thousands of references and commentary for each verse of the New Testament.
Completely integrated into BibleScholnr 3.0. Gain new insight into the new Testament with this informative on-line reference.
Inquiry 211 Bible Scholar 3.0 EasyScriptl's Bible Scholar 3.0 ($ 89.95) contains over twenty new features and full A4000 68040 support. Bible Scholar 3.0 enhancements include: improved search; improved program navigation; more maps; full cut, copy, and paste functions; custom map display; new graphical search range select; support for EasyScriptl's new reference modules; and more. Upgrade for registered users is $ 34.95. Complete BibleScholar with KJV translation is $ 159.95. Greek or Hebrew lexicons $ 74.95, N1V, NAS, or NKJV translation modules $ 89,95.
Inquiry 212 Thompson Chain Reference The Thompson Chain Reference (74.95) is a valuable source of information for Bible scholars and is now available for BibleScholar 3.0. Explore and incorporate relationships of Old and New Testament figures and concepts with this on-line reference.
Inquiry 213 EasyScript! Software 10006 Covington Drive Huntsville, AL 35803
(205) 881-6297, Fax (205) 881-1090.
V-Station 3300 On The Ball v 1.23 V-Station 3300 ($ 1295) is a desktop video editing and post- production system. A B roll, and direct Video Toaster control from V-Station software are among many features. V-Station supports VTRs using Sony Control-L, Panasonic Control-M, Sonv V1SCA, RS-232C, or RS-422A Machine control protocols.
FutureVideo, 28 Argonaut, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656, (714) 770- 4416, Fax (714) 770-4667. Inquiry' 214 On The Ball vl.23 ($ 39.95) is out and has over fifty enhancements over the last version. On the Ball is an electronic organizer with many of the popular organizer features such as calendar, appointment reminders, address lists and rolodex functions, label printing, and more. This latest release fixes hugs found in earlier versions. Areas improved include the update appointment function, address book handling, and documentation for two new Arexx functions.
Pure Logic Software, 789 Butterfly Rd., Quincy, CA, 95971, (205) 802-7345. Inquiry 215 CanDo Makes real programs real easy.
Painlessly creating your interface is just the beginning. The key to making real programs is CanDo’s English-like scripting language. Even if you're a beginner, you can still use CanDo’s tools to write programs for you. While easy to learn and use, the commands are so powerful you can create programs which would take 10 times longer to write using a language such as C - even presuming you had years of programming experience.
CanDo Is programming for the rest of us... Ordinary people all over the world are using CanDo to create real applications such as: databases, utilities, animated multimedia presentations, kiosks, training systems, and all sorts of games. CanDo enables you to explore your imagination and make the things you never thought you had the time or experience to do.
TRONICS interactive media Inovatronics, Inc. 8499 Greenville Avenue Suite 209B Dallas, TX 75231 USA Tel: (2141 340-4991 FAX: (214) 340-8514 Inovatronics, ltd. Unit 11, Enterprise Centre Cronborne Food Potters Bar Hertfordshire EN6 3D0 ENGIAND Tel: +44-707-662861 FAX: +44-707660992 Inovatronics GmbH im Heidkamp 1 1 W-5000 Cologne 91 GERMANY Telephone +49-22 1 -875 I 26 FAX +49-22 I -8704747 Circle 114 on Reader Service card.
Raw Releases Raw Entertainment has announced a series of titles expected to be released in the 3RD and 4TH quarter of 1994.
Suez’73 Suez '73 ($ 34.95) is a modem day strategic simulation with full color graphics and digitized sound. Based on the GDW board game of the same name, the game covers the Arab-Isrneli conflict of 1973, Mongol Commander Take command of the Mongol hordes inMongol Commander ($ 34.95), a strategic simulation of the battles of Ghengis Khan. With infantry, light and heavy cavalry, and archers. A1 includes animal physiology tracking based on how and what you feed your animals from the surrounding fauna.
B-29 Play one or all of thecrew members on oB-29 on a multitudeof detailed missions. B-29 (29.95) was ten man years in the making and is one of the most detailed flight simulators ever produced. With no "3D outof cockpit graphics", intelligent Al, historical accuracy, and additional features have been allowed.
Wildfire Wildfire ($ 29.95) is a good old fashioned shoot-em-up with a twist a save feature. At the end of each of the fifteen levels, the game allows saving, eliminating the frustration of dying at the start of the final level and having to start from the beginning.
Severed Heads Severed Heads ($ 29.95) isasd-fi horror adventure game. Women are being found murdered and beheaded. A drug corporation has been implicated. Can you solve the mystery? Icon driven interface includes a menu conversation option for involved interaction.
Bravo Romeo Deila Bravo Romeo Delta ($ 29.95) is a nuclear war game simulation, detailing strategic requirements that may yet still be needed, for nuclear war between the East and West. You have complete command of [CB.Ms, SLBMs, SSBNs, and bomber bases. You are provided with tactical warning and attack assessment compliments of NORAD.
R. A.W. Entertainment, 957 NASA Road One, Ste. 146, Houston, TX
77058, (713) 286-2386. Inquiry 216 The Blue & The Gray The
Blue&TheGray from impressions brings the great battles of
the American Civil War to your Amiga.
Lildifl I $ • Support armies of several hundred thousand men in battles ranging from small skirmishes to the largest conflicts of the war. Other features include atmospheric sound and music, easy to use interface, wide variety of weaponry, river and rail support, and includes the first battle of Bull Run. Additional battle disks are available separately.
Impressions Software, 222 Third Street, Ste. 0234, Cambridge, MA 02142. Inquiry 217 Oregon Support Oregon Research has picked up two former Microdeal products, ColourMaster and VideoMaster. ColourMnster is an automatic color splitter for use with VideoMaster. It allows you to digitize color stills quickly and easily. You can then build color sequences with the VideoMaster software. The VideoMaster version is actually new. It features full AGA support and isdesigned foruse with the A1200 or the A600 via the PCMCIA slot. The VideoMaster allows you to digitize color pictures and sound
Features include theability to digitize video clips, stills, add audio, make digitized movies, and more.
Oregon Research, 16200 S.W. Pacific Highway, Ste 162, Tigard, OR 97224, (503) 620-4919, Fax (503) 624-2940. Inquiry 218 Art Department Professional v2.5 ASDG has released the newest update to their popular image processing package. Art Department Professional 2.5 ($ 299.) Has a host of new and improved features including a redesigned user interface.
ADPro offers a choice of several style guide compliant user interfaces. ADPro's GUI now runs on many third party display boards, such as the Picasso, taking full advantage of the RTG technology. ADPro features support for six new file formats including CDXL animation format. The professional conversion Pack, available separately, has also expanded its file format support to include SGI, Alias, and Wavefront formats. ADPro 2.5 now directly supports the Fargo Primera printer.
The new version includes more than 100 pre-written Arexx programs, many of which arc interactively customizable by the user. ADPro now allows users to define their own Arexx programs which can be directly incorporated into ADPro's configurable user interface.
ASDG, 925 Stewart St., Madison, Wl 53713, (608) 273-6585. Inquiry 219 Crouton Tools4000 DevWare announced its latest entry into the Video Toaster arena. Crouton Tools 4000 ($ 74.95). Crouton Tools 4000 is the first Video OS and graphic production software in the Toaster market. Over 60 applications can be directly controlled from Crouton Tools 4000. Extensive support is available for ADPro, ImageFX, ImagemasterR T, TV Paint Professional, Brilliance, and more. It also features a complete video logging system, a directory of Toaster-smart utilities, 140-page manual, and an instructional video
DevWare, 12520 Krikham Court, Ste. 1, Poway, CA 92064, (800) 879-0759, Fax (619) 679-2887. Inquiry 220 Three from Tritec Tritec Marketing has released several new products for tire Amiga.
The first, COMDEC ($ 4500), is a JPEG compression board. The board features video and audio compression programmable between 3:1 and 128:1 ratios for video and 3: to 40:1 16-bit stereo audio compression. COMDEC has to be used in conjunction with the Director 11 graphics board. The second release is the Director II (S2800) 32-bit graphics board. The board features on board genlock, live image capture, 4MB of video RAM, optional coprocessors, and expansion possibilities. It supports up to 1600x1024 screens. The third release is Kcy+ ($ 2700), a coder, decoder, transcoder and multi-level keyer
for use with the Director II graphics board. It will code, transcode, and decode RGB, YUV, YC, or composite signals to RGB, YUV, YC, or composite. It also has an Amiga genlock and three levels of key.
Tritec Marketing Ltd., 54-56 Station Approach, S. Ruislip, Middlesex, England HA4 6SA, 081-845-1400, Fax 081-842-2781. Inquiry 221 Digital Musical Instruments Red Pohaku Productions has released Digital Musical Instruments and the World of MIDI ($ 29.95), a new video tape designed especially for musicians and computer users who want to become familiar with digital music technology. The tape shows how to choose, use, set up, and trouble shoot the full range of digital musical instruments, from a single keyboard to an entire system.
Red Pohaku Productions, 1621 Dole St. 1008, Honolulu, HI 96822, (8(18) 945-9288. Inquiry 222 Operating System 2.1 and 3.0 tutorial
3. 1 &
3. 0 An Introduction to the Amiga: Operating System 2.1 & 3.0 is
the latest release in The Amiga Professional Tutorial Series.
Although Ibe Amiga is considered to be among the most
user-friendly of computers, this 95-minute, VHS video tutorial
is certain to dispel any anxiety concerning the exploration of
its unique capabilities. Using a step-by-step approach, from
basic concepts required for understanding the computer, to
more advanced file management and editing techniques, the tape
covers areas that are often inadequately explained in the
manuals. Of particular advantage over written tutorials is the
video's demonstration approach; the opportunity to follow the
actual mouse- clicks, menu selections and keyboard inputs
serves to impart confidence to the novice and new ideas to the
seasoned user who has never fully exploited the Amiga's power.
Included with the video tape is a diskette containing shareware and sample programs featured in the tutorial. In addition to file organization, these programs provide helpful feedback to anyone customizing their system for the first time.
CP Productions, P.O. Box 103, St. Peters, PA 19470, (800) 570-7300. Inquiry' 223 REVIEWS stair-step edges to all the diagonals. An outline font, on the other hand, is really a mathematical formula about how to draw the font using lines and curves.
Since a formula is independent of the final scale of the drawing, outline fonts may be scaled with impunity. Outline fonts are really just specialized structured drawings. Structured drawings and outline fonts always reproduce at the maximum resolution (sharpness) allowed by the monitor or printer.
Font Formats There are several outline font formats available to the Amiga which nr™vi flSSfeuLnBihSE ii mi ~ gMfii ijzcp I 1 par _ I 3257151 I 33lT An Upgrade to Amiga's Only Font Editor TypeSMITH vl ,0 was the first outline font editor on the Amiga. Soff-Logik Publishing has improved and enlarged the capabilities of the original TypeSmith in version 2,0. Briefly, TypeSmith is an outline font editor. The user of TypeSmith may create, edit and save outline fonts. There are two kinds of fonts on the Amiga; outline ond bitmapped. The Topaz 8 system screen font is a bitmapped font composed of
rectangular pixels. They look OK as long as you don't resize them. If enlarged, bitmapped fonts look 'jaggy" having TypeSMITH v2.0 by Merrill Callaway y 0 ih: r ?
Jt M
- * t- H m a A a i (.5
* 1 * TypeSmith 2.0 also supports. It can load and save
Compugraphic Intellifont, PostScript Type 1, and Soft-Loglk
Outline fonts. It can export PostScript Type 3 fonts. TypeSmith
offers no support of Softwood's Nimbus Q fonts used by
FinalCopy and FinalWriter, FinaiCopy and FinalWriter can use
PostScript and Compugraphic, however, so they have access to
fonts you create in TypeSmith after all If you really needed to
modify a Nimbus Q font in TypeSmith, you would have to grab a
screen with each character of the Nimbus Q font displayed and
then take it through TypeSmith's autotrace feature where you
could clean up and modify each character. You would in effect
have to creole an entire font In a different format. There are
plenty of ready to go PostScript Type 1 fonts available,
however, so this would be a rare occosion.
One of the major problems with PostScript fonts is that they are not the same across platforms. The Amiga uses the MS-DOS format, but PostScript fonts in Mac and Windows format are far more common. TypeSmith 2.0 adds an important feature; the ability to load Windows format PFM files and Mac format fonts. Users need no longer worry about what format their purchased fonts are in; TypeSmith will load them.
TypeSMITH 2.0 sports a variety of new and improved features.
14 Amazing Co.
If PUT IS Cm TypeSmith can export the metric and data files required by Gold Disk's ProPage and ProDraw. Compugraphic fonts designed or modified with TypeSmith 2.0 may be used with the Workbench 2.0 and above. Simply install them with the system utility Fountain lntellifont. The TypeSmith manual provides a full discussion of font formats which is welcome information for this complex subject.
Who Needs a Font Editor?
There are five groups of people who need to use TypeSmith and will consider it a must-have program:
1. Font designers who need a foreign, new, or original
typeface~say a Russian alphabet, or a set of mathematics
symbols, or a special font style.
2. People who need to odd logos or other specialized "characters"
to an existing font for use in letter heads or publishing
(don't forget to give a copy of your new font to your service
3. Users who need to convert a font from one format to another.
Not all programs support the same format font, so you may need
to convert an entire font if you use it in another program.
Your service bureau may not support Compugraphic fonts or Soft-Logik fonts and you may need to convert to PostScript Type 1 which everybody supports, You can save disk space by converting all your fonts to one or two types instead of the same designs in different formats.
IntetllTont Options |q±i Sans Ser if ( HornaI _) Sna 1 L _ Ser if _) Ita I ic C“ M e d t ort Ser ipt _ Sachslant Large Noue ity Capitals _) Spec i a 1 Extra Light r_ N o rn a L r~ T ext _ Light _) Condensed D isp[ay Noma 1 Extra Condensed Text & Display 1 Bo Id Expanded Hath Extra Bold Extra Expanded Gener i c _) Out t ine Monospac ed 1 Create •dot and
• netric files for Gold Disk© programs jZ | Generate Hints Saue |
£ancei 1
4. Users of downloaded Public Domain fonts moy need to clean them
up or rearrange them. Often a good design is poorly executed
in these free fonts. I once found a font that was missing a
letter! With TypeSmith, I just made a replacement.
Install Arexx Macros £1 Jrexx HRexxbeno.tsrx [3 F2 [Rexx MooeCharacter.tsrx cS F3 jRexx ReducePo ints.tsrx r3 F4 [Rexx MakeL ibrary.tsrx [3 F5 |Rexx LoadL ibrary.tsrx r3 F 6 I [3 F7 I [3 F8 I [3 F9 I e3 f 1 e I e3 Clodifier CM None j Save | Use | iancel |
5. People often need to go the other direction and create a
bitmapped font from an outline font so that your screen fonts
match what the output looks like.
TypeSmith to the rescue.
What’s Hot? What's New?
Soft-Logik no longer licenses TypeSmith from BSC, the German company who first marketed TypeSmith under the name “FontDesigner". Soft- Logik is now the sole worldwide source for TypeSmith. Control and service should improve.
The interface has been made to adhere to the Amiga Style Guide and to follow the family resemblance of Art Expression and PageStream. This Is one department where no changes means good news. Who likes to learn a completely new interface? I don't. The additional features fit into the look and feel seamlessly.
There are more Arexx commands in version 2.0 to extend the control flexibility of TypeSmith even more. To help you get started, there are demonstration scripts included in the package, Information on them is in the on-disk release notes. A new script simplifies converting Compugraphic to PostScript fonts. Arexx macros may be assigned to Funclion keys.
TypeSmith continues to be a HotLinks "subscriber". You can subscribe to a bit map picture "edition" which is then placed in the background of character windows so that you can manually trace them.
TypeSmith 2.0 is fully AGA compatible, and in AmigaDOS 2.04 and higher, it takes advantage of additional features.
Version 2.0 now has an autotrace feature. You can now draw a font on paper and scan it in (or create it in a paint program). TypeSmith can then autotrace your pictures of each character. There are three settings to autotrace. Normal, Medium, and Accurate, but you will still need to spend a lot of time redrawing or cleaning up the character outline.
Autotrace may save a little time but it's far from a cure all. In some cases it's a hindrance, I tried autotracing a few Amiga bitmapped fonts and found the results to be disappointing. The autotrace algorithm is really "stupid" in interpolating the stair-step outlines of blown up system fonts. Thejaggies completely confuse it. Curiously, it couldn't even trace an "E" composed of all straight lines properly! Its “edge defection" seems to depend heavily on lots of pixels in the image, because if your character's ILBM picture is a 640x400 high resolution 2-color picture having very small
jaggies, the autotrace does a fair job. There are still hours of editing to do before the font will look first class. Even with a high resolution picture there will be many, many points you'll need to delete aiong straight sides, and much smoothing to be done.
The A64 Package 3.0 by Henning Vahlenkamp R E V I E W S Another new feature is bitmap font support. You may now create, edit, and save a bitmap font in PostScript and Soft-Logik formats. Compugraphic Intelllfonts do not have a bitmap component to their format. The TypeSmith bitmap font editor is easy to use. Like a paint program showing the outline behind a grid of pixels, The editor will automatically fill in a first estimate of the character, and you can clean up the image manually.
Conclusions TypeSmith is the best outline font editor on the Amiga but it is also the only font editor. There is nothing else to compare it to. So if you need an outline font editor, you must buy TypeSmith. It serves a useful and even an essential purpose for people who deal with fonts.
I am most disappointed with the so- cailed autotrace feature. ! Wouldn't buy the upgrade just to get autotrace.
Also annoying was the occasional screen freeze up I encountered when trying something ’'illegal". The manual quality was downgraded from spiral to perfect binding so it won't lie open on your desk. On the plus side, the ability to import Mac and Windows fonts is a bonus, as is the ability to edit and save bitmap fonts using an outline as a guide. The look and feel of TypeSmith
2. 0 are very professional and straightforward to use. All
things considered, TypeSmith 2.0 is a very useful, valuable,
and worthwhile product.
TypeSMITH v2.0 Soft-Logik Publishing
P. O. Box 510589 St. Louis, MO 63151-0589
(314) 894-8608 Inquiry 200 IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE a dozen years
have passed since the introduction of the Commodore 64, the
largest-selling computer in history. As a long-time C64
user before switching to the Amiga, I get a little
nostalgic now and then for the "good old days." Sure the
Amiga is a quantum leap ahead, but the C64 - revolutionary
in its time - introduced millions to the wonderful world of
personal computing. While I certainly don’t advocate
turning back the clock, it is nice to rekindle some of the
old memories with The A64 Package 3.0 (TAP), a new
commercial version of an Amiga shareware C64 emulator
that's been around a few years.
If you're familiar with the ancient GO-64! Or The 64 Emulator 2, you may be wary of TAP. Those earlier emulators left a lot to be desired in the performance department, and weren't really useful for much beyond file transfers, Happily, TAP fares significantly better. In fact, I dare say it is absolutely the best C64 emulotor ever created for the Amiga.
Like its predecessors, TAP consists of a main program to handle the emulation, some utility programs, and a hardware interface that connects to the parallel port (gender changer required for the A1Q00). Shaped like an oversize dongle, the interface accepts a C64 serial bus cable at its free end.
Allowing you to use C64 peripherals such as disk drives and printers, It works fine, but the fit is a tight one on my A1203: the interface squeezes against the right audio cable. TAP can be run from its two floppies or a hard disk, where it consumes less than 1 MB of storage, An attractive, professionally written manual rounds out the package.
The Emulation Upon running A64, the main program, you're greeted by the classic '*** COMMODORE 64 BASIC V2 "** startup message on the familiar blue screen. Actually to get this, you need to copy the contents of a real C64's BASIC and Kernal ROMs into files that go in TAP's Data directory. The manual clearly explains how to do this. Without these files, TAP relies on its own ROM emulation which is not quite as compatible. Anyway, the A64 environment works the same as a real C64 right down to the full-screen editor and BASIC 2.0 language. The only obvious differences are the physical ones.
For example, there’s no support for the C64’s Popular C64 games such as Monfazuma’s Revenge run well.
It E V I E Vi S cartridge, user, or cassette ports since the Amiga doesn't have them, and C64-specific keys had to be remapped for the Amiga keyboard. Despite the lack of a user port, A64 is able to emulate C64 modems with Amiga ones.
As for performance, the biggest variable is your Amiga's power. While you probably can get by with any unaccelerated 1MB machine, 2MB and a 68020 is the bare minimum for acceptable results, On my At 200, TAP runs many programs at full speed and without any trouble if they are text- based or not too graphics-intensive, C64 programs with lots of graphics scrolling, raster IRQs, or other sophisticated video techniques either don't work at all or require a really fast 68030 68040-based machine. Even the fastest processor won't solve the problem of sprite flicker when too many C64 sprites are emu
lated at once although I don't see why blitter objects couidn't be used instead. A64 also has a habit of choking on programs with custom fastloaders.
I must say that graphics are clearly A64's weakest link. Nevertheless, it handles them far better fhan any of its predecessors. Games, such as Montezuma's Revenge and Treasure Island, with mostly static graphics and few video tricks, actually run very well and in the C64's full 16 colors.
On the other hand, the sound emulation is perhaps the strongest link.
Using the 6581sid.library, which goes in your LIBS: directory, A64 can faithfully reproduce the C64’s SID (Sound Interface Device) chip, even on slow AMIGAs. When I played some SIDPIayer files (similar to Amiga .MOD files) with Stereo Player 10.3,1 could have sworn I was listening to a real C64 - an amazing achievement!
Pressing both Alt keys pauses A64, revealing a menu system in the typical Amiga style. The menus allow you to customize many operating parameters Including disk drive, printer, joystick, and RAM expansion support. Using Amiga drives (floppies, hard disks, etc.) is limited to loading and saving files, while Amiga printers will only be able to print text. The RAM expansion emulates the 1700 (128K), 1764 (256K), and 1750 (512K) REUs plus nonstandard 1MB and 2MB configurations. Yes. A64 multitasks too.
In addition, there are numerous graphics and sound settings whose effects are usually trade-offs between The A&4 Package comes with a variety of tools to make CM emulation both productive and fun.
R64Toals V2.0 Copy Mode No Conversion 1 1 Source Destination Device Nane Device Nane 51 C64 88 61 ftaiga HD2;revieus a64 PRG rasputin 9984 PRG reflections 14848 PRG rocky star deno 38464 PRG roiling stoned 9984 PRG s 4352 PRG shoe 3840 PRG sony cd show 12288 PRG speech deno 1 8192 I 1 PRG suinth 18944 A PRG t 4352 V Devices Assigns | Parent Devices Assigns Parent ST ||BB, OK,00,00 jur aivzmg nap me ss 1: Looking for valid opcodes.. __ ft I I f .. ..If '.I ! .. t Pass 2! Looking for seif-nodifying code... 61 Modified Opcodes Relieved Pass 3: Finding code percentages...
* Block B Contains 40.2K Code * Block 1 Block 3 Block 5 Block 7
Block 9 Block B Block D Block F
83. 4k Code
2. 95K Code
0. 7BK Code
8. 00K Code 78,3k Code 3,17k Code
0. 00K Code
0. 00K Code Block 2 Contains 12.0K Code Block 4 Contains 5.85k
Code Block 6 Contains 0.B8K Code Block 8 Contains B.BBK Code
ft Block R Contains 6,611! Code Block C Contains 5,95k Code
Block E Contains 0.00K Code 3 4k Blocks Selected SsH Connand
Listing 1 'FI' Play Song 'F2 ' Play Selected 'F3' Play All
Songs 'F7' Play all from Selected Song 'RETURN' Select
'R'or'P' Repeat Last Song 'F4' Repeat 0FF 'F5' Change Disk
'F6' Clear Selected 'F8' Exit Player Ts angels a i nt2 ang i e
another dneb baby's jeans badnedicine big iron black velvet
blow candles bluegrass ',' Play Left Side '.' Play Right Side
'C' DOS OoMNands 'D' Disk Directory 'HOME' Top of List 'CLR '
Bottom List 'SPACE' Parameters 'COM KEV' Menu «2 emulation
quality and speed. Switching to two-color mode, for instance,
may greatly speed things up. But it doesn't look very nice.
Among the settings, the sprite-collision-detectlon options are
my favorite, as they allow cheating in games where collisions
affect the number of lives. For many purposes, the default
settings are fine, though you can load and save custom ones.
Certain programs may require specific settings to work, so some experimentation is in order. Other bonuses include capturing the C64 screen as an IFF graphic, using different character fonts, and patch files. Supplied by Questronix, patch files allow A64 to run selected programs that normally wouldn't work.
The last major feature is A64Mon, a C64 machine language monitor invoked through A64. Opening on Its own screen, this monitor acts as though A64 were a reai C64, so you can work directly with 6510 code, assembling, disassembling, and doing anything else imaginable to it, including executing it instruction by instruction. You can even view and modify C64 chip registers and memory. A64Mon resides completely outside the C64's memory, giving you a complete, unobstructed view inside your simulated machine, C64 programmers will love it.
Utilities For file copying and printing, TAP supplies a separate program called A64Tools. Resembling and functioning like a traditional Amiga directory utility, A64Tools has two windows from which you select source files and their destination, In copy mode the destination is a C64 or Amiga drive, while print mode supports C64 or Amiga printers.
Only text flies will print, but anything Song Selejctor i Arrows Hove List Stereo Player Uersion 10.3 = =a«e= By Mark Dickenson except C64 REL (relative) files con be copied. And when printing, be aware that Amiga-specific characters won't print correctly on C64 printers ond vice- versa, In both modes, transfers can be verbatim or with ASCII, PetASCII (the C64 version of ASCII), and screen code (used by some C64 wordprocessors) conversions.
All the functions of A64Tools are duplicated in a bunch of small command line programs for those who prefer that interface. The one extra program sends Commodore DOS commands to a C64 drive to perform functions such as disk formatting or file renaming.
There's also Convert, a utility for the more technically inclined, that can improve C64 program speeds by a factor of two. A64 normally acts like an interpreter, taking C64 machine language instructions and replacing them with equivalent Amiga ones to execute on the fiy. Convert effectively compiles C64 programs saved as map files (memory images) from A64, creating code files (Amiga machine language). Code files themselves run from within A64, but still require their corresponding map files as auxiliaries for some reason.
As you might expect, the catch is a limited success rate. BASIC programs and those that use undefined instructions or self-modifying code tend to resist conversion. Moreover, the manual shows how a novice can convert programs automatically, but it often seems that manually Isolating memory address ranges in the program becomes necessary - a fairly tedious process that I won't dweil upon. Getting the most out of this program requires a good knowledge of C64 architecture.
Wish List Considering that TAP is in its third revision, there are some features it should have had by now - features that The 64 Emulator 2 has long since had, They are:
1. The ability to read 1581 3.5” disks in Amiga drives.
2. Amiga drivers for C64 serial printers.
3. Data files on Amiga disks that emulate C64 drives.
4. C64 1351 mouse support.
5. Better compatibility, as usual,
6. Fast loading from C64 drives, a la the Fast Load cartridge.
7. 1581 partition support in A64Tools.
8. More standardization via ASL requesters and an Installer
9. The ability to create stand-alone Amiga programs with Convert.
10. C128 emulation.
The only true bug I found in the package Is the messed up screen A64 produces on AGA machines; booting in ECS mode remedies it, AGA support should be a top priority for the next version, as it would likely solve some of the graphics emulation limitations.
Final Thoughts Recommending TAP is quite easy if you want to run C64 software on the Amiga or just transfer your old data files.
C64 veterans, such as myself, looking to satisfy their nostalgia will find it interesting too. Both the quality of the package and its performance place it miles ahead of its predecessors, making it the only logical choice, not to mention the only one currently on the market. Then again. Utilities Unlimited has been promising C64 (hardware?) Emulation in its Emplant advertisements, so perhaps TAP will have some real competition in the near future.
If you'd like to try before you buy.
You can check out a demo of the previous 2.0 version of TAP on Fred Fish 555.
The A64 Package 3.0 Questronix
P. O. Box 340265 Hartford, CT 06134-0265
(203) 666-8260 Inquiry 201 1 E V I E IV S SoundQuest is o
Canadian company that should be known and appreciated by
any Amiga user who is using MIDI to create and record
SoundQuest has been a supporter of the Amiga for many years, producing software of the highest calibre for professional and hobbyist Amiga MIDI pursuits. Unlike other software that is centered around developing sequences (data strings of notation that can be played by using specific “player" modules, like Dmusic, MusicX.
Bars and Pipes, and ethers), the SoundQuest products center upon mofe basic sound operations, manipulating and refining the infernal samples of specific MIDI sythesizers. Unlike other programs that address a small number of synfhs, the SoundQuest products offer support for most of the sound modules and synths on the market in one way or another, SoundQuest produces two programs Amiga MIDI music obsessives should be aware of: MID quesf and TECHquest.
MIDIquesf 4,5 and TECHquest from SoundQuest
R. Shamms Mortier MIDIquesf Every MIDI synthesizer stores a
pathway to it's internal banks of samples in a format called
SysX, which means “System Exclusive". With access to the
synth's SysX file, it is possible to reorganize and even edit
the synth's internal sounds. MIDIquesf is software devoted to
this purpose. MIDIquesf is implemented not only on the Amiga,
but also for Windows, PC-XT AT, Mac, and Atari-ST. All of
MIDIquest's extensive features (except those specific to PC
and Windows) are resident in the Amiga version. As of version
3.0, MIDIquesf supports over 200 mokes of synthesizers and
sound modules. MIDIquesf has a group of modules: Universal
Librarian, Universal Editor, Database, Library, Sound Checker,
and Driver Creator File Conversion utilities.
Copyright 1990 91 92 93 Sound Quest Inc. Universal Librarian This is the module used to store and retrieve sounds from whatever MIDI instrument driver represents the instrument you have connected to the in out ports of your Amiga-MIDI interface. All operations are supported by an extensive “Fast Tips" file that can be accessed at any time.
General Roland Dump Request 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 8 0 0 0 0 8 8 (heck Sun 8 0 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 Ho Ho Receive Universal Editor Both the entire Banks of sounds on your synth as welt as specified single instruments can be edited in this module. With the use of the standard cut copy paste operators, you can easily adjust and manipulate all of the sounds on the connected synth, either within one Bank or between Banks, The order of the sound patches can be modified as well. One of the nicest features is that any sounds can be mixed and blended with any other sound patch and then renamed
and stored. As you would expect, the sounds can be “auditioned" at any step along the way. Sounds are edited using a graphic editor in addition to adjusting numeric parameters.
Data Base For quick loading purposes, the data base can send entire instrument setups out to your connected instrument, Data can be automatically sorted by manufacturer, instrument, file size. Time, or the file name.
Library Limited only by your available RAM, you can store as many instrument patches as desired in the Library, sorting them by name, note, or comments. You can move whole Patch Banks into the Library or build new Banks. You can also build multiple Libraries.
MIDI QUEST v4.05 Sound Checker There is an awesome previewing testing tool that can generate notes, chords, and even arpeggios. You can also play standard MIDI files on the spot (both MIDI type 0 and 1), including initiating tempo changes and looping.
There's also a MIDI Monitor which allows you to see the data being received by your Amiga or output to the sequence player either graphically or numerically.
A MIDI Controller window generates all needed MIDI commands.
Driver Creator and File Conversion Not for the timid or inexperienced, these attributes allow you to create instrument drivers different from those already on file. MIDIquesf uses a macro language that assists in these tasks. The separate File Conversion routine translates files saved by other vendor's editors and librarians info MIDIquesf format files.
Uses Have you ever wished thal you could develop specific sounds or banks of sounds for particular projects, and dump them to your favorite synth for performance or recording? Now you can do this and much more (even just reconfiguring a bank of sounds might help make a recording performing project easier). Sounds can also be saved to disk for later use.
A special window for Amiga users contains controls for screen resolution
o I Driver Creator Kindow elp IE3IB Figure 1. Each of the
MIDIquesf windows has a separate help file to walk you through
the SysX editing possibilities.
The Synth Driver Hindow is used to create a new driver to control connunication with an instrunent to load a particular type(s) of data. This driver also holds all of the tnfornation necessary for bank editing when the data loaded is a bank.
The window itself is quite sophisticated and when first using it, you will e your nanual, The uindow is conprised of 9 najor sections foil probably require which hold the Mowing inf ornat ion: and interlace as well as screen color controls. Memory level and use can also be checked here.
TECHquest You must first be knowledgeable In the use of MIDtquest before TECHquest can be of any use to you. TECHquest installs on your hard drive by simply dropping it into the same drawer in which MIDIquest resides. TECHquest creates and modifies "Templates" for MIDIquest use. A 'Template" is a graphic doorway that allows users to communicate with specific instruments within the MIDIquest environment, allowing for the exchange of SysX data.
The "Template” is the way that an instrument's data appears on your screen, so various gadgets. Boxes, and borders can be added In TECHquest.
Gadgets are added very easily by simple mouse movements. The parameters of all gadgets can be altered. The text attached to gadgets can be modified and created as well. It is advised that beginners in TECHquest explorations import an already existing instrument template, perhaps one similar in some way to the parameters of the desired instrument.
Gadget creation and modification is central to the use of TECHquest. To know how to modify and or create gadgets for a specific instrument requires that you first become aware of your instrument's SysX requirements, usually found in that Instrument's documentation, in other words, you have to know how your instrument transmits and receives information before you con design a data path, Conclusions and wishes Be very careful when installing this software it does not use the standard Commodore Install program (I wish it did). When loading in synth SysX drivers to your hard drive (chosen from
the extensive list of possibilities), you can cause the program to crash if you click on the "yes" (load) button while the program is grinding away loading a file.
A pointer that looks like a red hand warns you (it turns back to an arrow when a load operation is done), but I didn't think twice about this and crashed the system severely. The program should be made fool proof In this respect, especially for fools like me.
You can also crash 1he system if you forget to copy the "HDInstall" icon into your target location before running the install script. Though pointed out clearly in the manual, i'll bet that several users will do what I did (because it's the more standard way to proceed) and click on the HDInstall icon when it appears in the MIDIquest drawer, The standard Commodore HDInstall process would fix this. TECHquest is an easy install, as you just copy or drag it to the same location that MIDIquest resides in.
Users of MIDIquest version 4.0 to
4. 06 can upgrade to version 4,07 for As told by AC Tech 3.4 and
Amiga World Aug. '93... One Company Still Supports The Amiga!
One Amiga language has stood t he test of time.
This new package represents the fourth major upgraded release of F-Basic since 1988. Packed with new features.
5. 0 is the fastest and fullest yet. The power of C with the
friendliness of BASIC. Compatibility with all Amiga platforms
through the 4000...compiled assembly object code with
incredible execution times... features from all modem
languages, an AREXX port, PAL and ECS AGA chip set
support...Free technical support... This is the FAST one
you've read so much about!
F-BASIC 5,0™ System $ 99.95 includes Compiler, Linker, Integrated Editor Environment, User’s Manual, & Sample Programs Disk.
F-BASIC 5.0™ + SLDB System $ 159,95 As above with Complete Source Level DeBugger.
Available Only From: DELPHI NOETIC SYSTEMS, INC (605) 348-0791
P. 0.0oi 7722 Rapid City, SD 57709-7722 Send Check or Money Order
or Wrile For Info, Call With Credit Card or C.O.D Fax (605)
343-4728 Overseas Distributor Inquiries Welcome S10.00 (as
long as you are a registered user). Version 4.07 contains some
minor but possibly important-to-you fixes. For one, MIDIquest
will now open on any WorkBench screen, including AGA systems.
Saving to disk allows you to use the SoundQuest or the
standard Amiga file requester. There Is a slight change in the
I O displays, and one of the sliders in the MIDI Controller
window no longer auto snaps.
By the way, about my experiments with the One-Stop-Music-Shop, and what you should do to access it with this program. First, connect the OSMS to your MID! Interface, both in and out.
Next, turn on the Computer and access the special "Loop Back" program for the OSMS, Now boot up MIDIquest and bring up the MIDI Controller window (which shows a small keyboard on the screen). Voila! You're ready to begin experimenting with MIDIquest. The only thing I caution against is using the "play chords” or “play sequence" options while the MID! Controller is up on the screen. It brings up a permanent red hand pointer which freezes the system, I am busy at this point trying to write a Template in TECHquest for my Midic MusicBox module, however I am not ready to report success yet.
I am very impressed with the speed and options of MIDIquest.! Especially enjoy altering the sounds on my Yamaha TG-33, and storing the results to disk for later use. All in all, these are wonderful MIDI software packages for the experimentally inclined musicians who are interested in modifying the sounds their instruments produce.
MIDIquest TECHquest SoundQuest, Inc. 2-131 W. 13th Ave.
Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1V8 (BOO) 667-3998
(604) 874-8971 Tech Support
(604) 874-8971 BBS FAX inquiry 202 THE LAST TIME I REVIEWED
ASDG's indispensable image processing program Art
Department Professional (ADPro), it was for a major upgrade
to version 2.3.0. ADPro version 2,5, the latest incarnation
of this essential program for computer artists and
videographers, looks and feels more like a brand new
product than an upgrade, but the price to upgrade from
2. 3.0 is quite reasonable, $ 45. The list price of $ 299 remains
unchanged, should you be buying ADPro for the first time. The
only difference between the complete package and the upgrade
package is that first time buyers get a three ring notebook
binder. Those on the upgrade path get a compietely new set of
pages to put into their old binders. Besides new manuals, both
packages come with six disks. There are three program disks,
one tutorial images disk, and two patch disks, one for those
who own Epson scanners, Polaroid Palettes, Profession
Conversion Packs, or other custom extensions of ADPro in the
form of loaders or savers; and one patch disk for owners of
Deluxe Paint IV AGA, Since I have reviewed ail versions of
ADPro from its release in 1991,1 have come to appreciate two
things. First, the modularity of the program allows the
easiest installations and upgrades possible. ASDG's pursuit of
excellence is remarkable, showing up first in how easy it is
to install such a complex product, and later as you begin to
use ADPro.
The Art Department Professional Version 2.5 by Merrill Callaway The second thing i appreciate is that ASDG never issued an upgrade until they had features to add that made an upgrade worthwhile and until they had the program as good as it could be.
Far too often "upgrades" are just bug fixes. Not so with ASDG.
What is ADPro?
¦ Color 1 768 X 482 760 x 479 ¦
- 24 bit (True col 1 15 !C full No Dithering Tenp ertpty V
- Conputed Palette v Red Upi4v I Execute 1 Set Render Screen.
For beginners considering computer image processing, there is no better software to get first than ADPro, except perhaps a good paint package.
One word of caution, however, graphics, by their nature, eat up RAM.
The more RAM you have, the better
o I Sauers | S3 | q& a | Loaders 1 Ed 1 G& FC24 IFF FRRMEST0RE
Button Interface. Each “favorite” button may be customized with
a selection from the “tear off” lists.
ADPro will serve you. There are always those minimalists out there who try to run graphics programs on 1MB of memory, but that will not work here, I recommend that you have at least 5MB of RAM. ADPro 2.5 will not work with anything below AmigaDOS System 2.04, and a fast processor is more of a necessity than a bonus.
ADPro evolved from an image file format conversion and scaling utility into a suite of modules that give the professional computer artist or videographer unprecedented power to process images, Those who have minimal systems should upgrade their systems first, because all graphics programs need computing horsepower, RAM, and large amounts of hard disk storage.
ADPro's structure is modular.
Modules are called "loaders", "savers", and "operators." Loaders load image files In various formats, or "load" images from devices such as flat bed scanners.
Savers “save" images, not oniy in various formats even those used by Macs and IBMs but to devices such as display boards, Primera Dye Sublimation ana preferences printers, PostScript files, and so forth. Image data comes in two flavors; raw and rendered (image) data. ADPro loads raw data and the program allows the user to render the raw data in various ways. There are controls to manage render screen format, palettes, contrast, brightness, gamma, dithering, etc. that do not alter the raw data.
ADPro also offers "operators" which do alter the raw data. Operators can scale the image, convolute pixels (to sharpen the image for instance), blur the image, colorize, crop, apply text to, or tile images, among dozens of other things. ADPro can composite images together, emboss, make transparent, and apply all sorts of other special affects in endless ways.
In addition to loaders, savers, and operators, ADPro includes an auxiliary program FRED, for Frame Editor, to batch process animations and other sequences of images, One of the many uses of FRED is to composite one animation over another one. Through Arexx, the user can create "pseudo" loaders and savers, and user defined commands, that operate seamlessly inside the ADPro or FRED interface.
ADPro can run modules from MorphPlus and vice versa. MorphPlus is like ADPro with a different set of operators, and different auxiliary programs.
ADPro processes images, but doesn't create them as in a paint ¦sal jgi.sa i ea H ist_EquutIzat Horizonta I F Ii 1 ivt ens itv_Rang Int erlace K iI Itenp L ine_firt lied lan_F i I ter Hosai t NegatIue OpaIPa int Pat tern Per spec t i vt* Po I ar_Nosa ic Rec tangle Ret tangle„VIsu Ref rac t Ren Isolat ed_P Rendered„To_Ra Ripple Rot I Rot ate Saturat ion Scale Seal *Ut i I Sin_Print Sphere Text_V isua t Tile TiIv_V isuaI Tuirl Uert ical_FIi p Warp _ColorCharcoaI _DoubIeS i ze _Enboss _Freseo _Highlight _M irror _0lI Pa int _RenapKRerende _Rot ateInage _Sc a I eloPlX*Ifi _So Iar ize_ | Po I
ir.tlosa t c program, ADPro is so versatile that it is possible to make original art without ever resorting to a paint program. All you need is an original image from a scanned photograph or a painting.
Images can be operated on to make something completely new. ADPro is a large package. The manual has over 500 pages. Since there isn't room to list all its features, we will just highlight some of the new features.
What's New?
My first surprise using ADPro 2.5 was the completely new interface. As the Amiga matures, more and more developers are following the Amiga Style Guide for System 2.0 3.0. While the old style ADPro interface was quite serviceable, the new one is much better, because we recognize the familiar way to work with System 2.0 and
3. 0 windows, requesters, menus and gadgets. Rather than the
low-res gray screen with the trademark speedometer in the
middle, and the large print, there are now several windows
with normal menus and system fonts) that open on the
Workbench or on a user specified screen in various high or
low- res formats, and various numbers of colors. There are two
types of interface you may specify in the "settings" menu:
either "button" or "list" Interface.
Button lets you put your three favorite operators, loaders, and savers into buttons. If you need different operators, loaders or savers, you may open small separate "tear off list" windows with a scrollable list. Double clicking on the item name or pressing Enter after a single click selects the item, wilt launch one of them When an item is selected, its name appears in a "selected" string gadget. If you wish tp put your selection into one of the "most popular buttons", while the name (of the operator, loader or saver) is in the "selected" string gadget, and its tear off iist window is active,
you select a menu item, Setting Set Module, and select module number one, two or three. The selected operator, loader or saver appears in the corresponding button one, two, or three in the main interface.
A single click on the button will launch the module. You may reset these as often as you wish with a few mouse clicks. The button interface Is great for doing repetitious tasks when you don't want to write an Arexx script for it. You can set a collection of buttons to do the work and fly aiong.
Corrections In the article "The AGAChip set and Amiga Gaming: CD32 to the Rescue!", AC 9.4,p.84, the chart on page 87 was given an incorrect caption. It should read as follows: "Software sales by percentage in the United Kingdom, Dec. 26-31, 1993. Source Jim Mackonochief, Mindscape UK Dec. 26-31 1993 UK Gallup Survey."
We apologize for anv confusion this may have caused.
In the May 1994 issue, AC 9.5, we listed the incorrect address information for KeyBang!
The correct address information is: KeyBang!
KeyBang Software 11417 July Drive, Ste. 304 Silver Spring, MD 20904
(301) 681-7965 The second type of interface is called a “list"
interface. If you de-select "button interface" from the
menu, all the choices appear as lists in the main window,
which may be resized to make the lists as big as your
screen will support. There are six lists (4 to launch
modules, and 2 for information) in the window, with the
usual sliders alongside to browse the list. Selection is
the same: double click on the item, or press Enter after
selecting the item with a single click. List interface is
great for doing artistic things when you are not sure what
you will do next. Simply set the window to maximum size and
you can see most or all your choices in scrollable lists.
It's very easy to go back and forth between interfaces. You
may save a default configuration, or you may save named
configurations for use in different jobs.
They did some very productive thinking at ASDG when they designed this new interface. There are keyboard shortcuts for everything, and handy buttons to set the type of render screen, and to execute or redisplay the rendering. If you already use ADPro, you can learn the new interface in a few moments; if you are a newcomer, this interface is much easier to learn than the old one, because of standardization, For instance, the standard menu, Project Open, is now equivalent to the non standard "Universal loader".
There is a standard Print As.., menu in addition to the older "PrefPrinter saver".
Primera Support The interface was a welcome surprise, but the main reason I wanted to have a iook at the new ADPro is the support it provides for the Primera printer's Dye Sublimation Photo Realistic option. The Primera will perform at a higher level than the Commodore printer.device will support: 24-bit (16.7 million colors) as opposed to only 4096 colors supported by the printer.device. In other words, you need a custom software driver to take advantage of the Primera Dye Sublimation for the Amiga. I especially like the new ADPro driver for the Primera Dye Sublimation printer option.
Atmospheric gradients now print without any discernabie "banding” as they did with the old-style 4096 colors and the preferences dye sub driver, because ADPro's ail new driver now prints dye sub with true 24-bit color. Typically. ADPro is the first application to supply a 24-bit driver for this hot color graphics printer.
The custom Primera Dye Sub driver is hidden away in the Preferences Printer Saver which is a tittle confusing until you understand. ADPro 2.5 does not make Dye Sub Option prints using the Amiga Preferences driver for the Primera, but it does use the Amiga Preferences driver if you are printing in standard wax thermal transfer mode. Once the ADPro Preferences Printer Saver opens its window, there is a menu item. Project Print Jo Primera (Dye Sub) to select the 24-bit driver. The other choice is Project Prinf_To Preferences when you wish to use another printer or use the Primera in Wax Thermal
Transfer mode.
If "Primera (Dye Sub)" is selected, then another menu. "Primera" becomes active, where you can set paper size, whether to dither or not, a print spool directory, a self test, and the heat Bill Q I HDPro; Hot Key = alt shift IFF IMPULSE IU24 JPEG MACPAINT PflR_PEG PCX PICT POINTER aRT RENDITION RIPPLE SCREEN SCULPT SGI SUNRRSTER Po lar Mosaic RectangIe Rectangle.Vtsual Ref ratt Rcn_3so1ated_Px s Rendered_To_Rau Ripple Ho I 1 Rot ate Sat urat I on Sc a Ip Sc a(eUtiI Sin_Pr int Sphere Text 11 tsua I Tile flFF |Po I ar„Mosaic Dpro’s List Interface. Double click on an item to launch it. Note the
“active" list is highlighted.
Pressing "Enter” will launch the item appearing in the lower gadget of the active list.
F C 24 FrfiMESTORE GIF ICON IFF IMPULSE IW24 JPEG OpflLVISI ON PCX PTCRSSO PICT POSTSCRIPT PREFPRINTER QRT TUT Co lor 768 x 479 15« full Tenp enpty setting. This menu is inactive and ghosted if you have not selected Primera Dye Sub in the Project menu.
ADPro's Preferences Saver is capable of much more than the standard preferences driver, as if can perform very large prints up to 999 pages square, tiled from standard pages. It also has many other enhancements such as various dithering patterns.
The ADPro preferences saver will boost any strip printer's gray scale output to a full 256 gray scale.
Additional Features The display options have been enhanced. You may now render your images to any supported Amiga screen, to graphics boards such as the Retina, the Picasso, the FireCracker24, or any EGS compatible board. You can also render to a window on any public screen or to one of the Video Toaster's frame buffers.
The compositing controls are better. Alpha channel files may be non- IFF formats, as can be the image to be composited. One use of the Alpha channel is to make transparent "lenses" that "refract" the underlying image.
Embedded Alpha Channels in images may be extracted, used or ignored.
You no longer need to convert Alpha channel files to gray first. ADPro converts them automatically. A range, rather than just one RGB value may be deemed to be transparent. "Nearly black” could therefore be made transparent. The composite screen now fills the monitor screen, and a gray scale rendering of the underlying image may be rendered to assist you to compose RrexxScript Seale2Rrea Sea Ip2PInflsp iRRexxScr i pt
- FC24: Board 768x482 768 x 482
- 24 bit (True color) No D 11 heri ng
- Conputed Palette _Se_L Render Screen.
Images. Alas, you cannot also render the Image to go on top, so you still have to guess. Throughout the new ADPro, extensive keyboard shortcuts have been implemented for easier and alternate access to the interface for experienced users.
ADPro has a new "tear off” window listing "User Commands", so you con access your favorite Arexx routines in a convenient window list. These can be made into buttons in the button interface made. A file requester for launching Arexx routines is available from the menu, too. User Commands need not have Arexx naming conventions to work properly.
New file support is provided for: CDXL, FLC, ICO, and ICON files, and the UNIVERSAL loader has been updated to support these formats, If you have the Professional Conversion Pack (PCP), the new ADPro provides a patch disk to update all the old loaders savers as well as add these new ones: ALIAS. SGI. And WAVEFRONT. I like ASDG because you only need to buy PCP (or other expansion packs) once. They take care of all these upgrades in the ADPro upgrade.
FRED, or Frame Editor for animators is a program you get with ADPro FRED has been improved to reflect more of the Amiga Style Guide, better AnimOps, and a new supply of FRED Arexx scripts for you to use.
There are many miscellaneous new features. Scaling to pixel aspect now offers the option to hold one aspect constant during the scaling. There are new Arexx commands added to what is already one of the best Arexx command sets on the Amiga. You can lock the screen mode and depth so the next loaded image must use these values.
The new manual is superb. The typesetting and illustrations are sharp and the writing style Is clear and informative. The informal style avoids needless jargon. New terms are explained. There are many illustrations and charts to assist your learning. A tutorial section is included in the manual to walk you through the learning curve.
There is a disk of tutorial images to use with these lessons. After sections explaining the general operation of the ADPro interface and the operation of each saver, loader, and operator, there is an extensive reference section with each command and its Arexx format.
The Arexx ADPro_RESULT and RC values are arranged in convenient tables.
Appendices of Troubleshooting, Hints and Tips, Third Party Developer Support, PrefPrinter Dither Type Samples, Additional Utilities (including Sentry, a program to monitor batch processing), and an extensive index round out the (arge manual.
Conclusions ADPro was already a classic program: one every graphic artist and videographer could not do without.
ASDG has added some important new features, and Improved some old ones, As a bonus, they include a brand new interface that makes using ADPro feel much better.
Art Department Professional 2.5 ASDG Incorporated 925 Stewart St. Madison, Wl 53713 (60S) 273-6585 Inquiry 203 amiga telecommunications To the ancient Greeks, Delphi was the center of the world. If you had any questions that needed answering, you would go there to visit the oracle of Apollo. The modern Delphi may not be in the center of the world, but it can still answer just about any question.
I am speaking of the online service named Delphi. While its hometown of Cambridge, Massachusetts may not be the center of the world, thanks to the Internet the answers to your questions will probably be more accurate than those from tire oracle.
Those with long interest in online services may remember a company called General Videotext, begun in 1981. This was an idea-ahead-of-its-time service to provide text to your television.
With the rise of personal computers and modems, the company changed its name to Delphi, and became a mainstream network along the lines of Genie and CompuServe, in October, 1993 Delphi was bought by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, making it part of a family that includes TV Guide magazine and the Fox TV network.
The biggest difference between Delphi and the other services we have looked at, is its connection to the Internet. Internet, for any who don't know, is actually a collection of computer networks.
Originally cultivated to foster data exchange between academic and governmental computer systems, Internet has grown to mammoth nniH ttrnu: FU _ erence Krvtert atnnent and Ganes Groups and Clubs Internet Services Mai I Hetiber Directory Shopp mg Travel and Leisure Using DELPHI Workspace Macintosh ICONtact mpat bk 6 Graph COMPUTING proportions. Internet's scope is far beyond what can be covered here, but for an overview of what it can mean to Amiga owners, read Henning Vahlenkamp's article in the February issue.
For Amiga users, Delphi itself is a mixed bag. The person in charge of the Amiga Special Interest Group has not been online for over a year, according to recent messages. The users have been trying to get the Delphi administrators to appoint someone new, and the situation may have resolved itself by the time you read this.
This is not a critical problem so far, mainly manifesting itself as out- of-date classified ads, and the like. The database has been well maintained, and is up-to-date, including recent additions to the Fred Fish collection.
One interesting section in the Amiga SIG is the Foil area. Here, any user can browse through questions from inquiring minds.
Previous responses are tabulated and displayed as percentages of respondents, as well as actual numbers of votes. You can also read comments left by voters. If your mind is curious about something not already asked, you can create your own Poll question for others to answer.
Delphi uses a text-based menu format, (Figure I) but without numbered choices. To indicate a choice, you tvpe the word for that selection, although the first two or three letters will work. To find the Amiga SIG from the main menu, (Figure 2) type Computing Groups, or Com. Then Amiga, or Ami, and vou are there. From the main SIG menu, your choices include joining a conference, working with e-mail, checking the Forum for bulletin board messages, and moving to the Database area for files, All of these are similar in function and form to equivalent areas on CompuServe and Genie.
Left: Figure 1.
Opposite Top: Figure 2.
Opposite Center: Figure 3.
The biggest plus is the nearly complete access to the Internet (Figure 3).
Unless you already have access through your school or workplace, Delphi may be the least expensive way to connect with what is being touted as the best current example of the proposed information superhighway. While you may not be directly connected to the Internet through Delphi, it is the next best thing to being there. Internet utilities such as Gopher or FTP, allow you to search for and transfer files, and Telenet allows you to remotely log on to other computer systems around the world. The Usenet feature lets you stay up-to-the-minute on many topics.
AMIGA Menu: Annoimceneivts Conference Databases (F t les) Entry Lon Forun cnessages) MAIL (Electronic) tlenber Directory Pol l AMIGA What do you want to do? For WELCOME TO V X Set Preferences Topic Descript ions Mho's Here Uorkspace C I ass i f teds This bounty of information brings up one of the down sides to Delphi. As of March 1994, the fastest modem speed supported is 2400 bps. 9600 bps speeds are being experimented with at various access sites, but are not generally available. With the potential for huge amounts of information coming to you from computer systems around
the world, your allotment of free storage space on Delphi can quickly fill up, and requires constant management.
1AIN Uhat do you uant to do? Internet I I I ?
_ _ SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP Helping vou connect to everywhere!
Walt Houe Wfll. THOME , INTERNET SIG Manager Jim Monty JIMMONTY), Assistant Manager VRX UMS MS-DOS) Rndv Eddy (VIDGflMES), Assistant Manager (Library, Mac) 0 Internet Basics, Your Online Recess to the Global Electronic Superhighway_ Walt's neu book, written specially for Delphi Internet users can nou be ordered online. Type GUIDES 1 for details 2 nenbers in Conference.
Press RETURN for Internet SIG Menu: Transferring all of this information to your home system will be much easier once faster access speeds are the standard.
What does it all cost? Delphi has two pricing plans. The 10 4 plan is $ 10 per month with the first four hours of usage included. Additional hours are S4, The 20 20 plan isS20 per month with 20 hours included. Additional hours are $ 1.80, and Internet access adds S3 per month to either plan. There is a one time fee of S19 to join the 20 20 plan, but if you sign up within the first calendar month, this is reduced to $ 9. There are no communications surcharges if you cail between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. weekdays, or anytime weekends and holidays.
R. HAYS5@GENIE.GEIS.COM. To send it to me at CompuServe, your
address line should read 72764.2066@compuserve.com. Note that
the comma in a CIS user ID changes to a period for Internet.
For Delphi, it would be: RHAYS@delphi.com. That's all for now.
Next month we will take a look around [SIX and see where the developers hang out. See you online!
V b ¦ -AC* Remember, 1 can be reached as:
R. HaysS on Genie RHAYS on Delphi 72764,2066 on CompuServe For
U.S.Mail: Rob Hays
P. O. I3ox194 Bloomington, IN 47402 Please include a SASE if you
need a personal reply.
Curious? Set your modem and terminal program to 24011 bps, 8- N-l, and dial 1-800-695-4002. At the Username prompt, enter JOINDELPHI. At the Password prompt, enter NWS94. This wilt give you five free hours on Delphi during the calender month that you call. Full details arc provided online. If you are already on the Internet and want to try Delphi, you can telenet to "delphi.com" instead of dialing.
Speaking of Internet, 1 received e-mail from Eddie Goldstein, who reminded me that both CompuServe and Genie have e-mail connections to the Internet. This means that if you know someone's e-mail address and you have access to any of these networks, you can send that person e-mail across nets. If you are sending e-mail from Genie or CompuServe, you follow the normal procedures for your system. The procedure for converting a CompuServe or Genie user ID to an Internet address depends on the system. Using my user Ids as examples, address me at Genie as: cli directory by Keith Cameron AmigaDOS
Glossary, Part 3 This is the third in a series of articles dedicated to defining terms used in relation to the command line, or Shell. Only those terms used frequently in AmigaDOS are included. This is not intended to be a glossary of computer terminology in general. Last time, we finished with the letter T, so this month we will pick up with the letter 'K' as there are no terms of relevance beginning with the letter People who are proficient tvpists often prefer to keep their hands on the keyboard rather than moving back and forth to the mouse. For such people, keyboard shortcuts are a
blessing. By pressing certain key combinations, such as ALT + S, you can do many things that you can do from the menu bar. AmigaDOS also makes use of keyboard shortcuts, as I've discussed before. You can, for example, use keyboard shortcuts rather than the front to back gadget.
Recently, an aquaintence from Midland, Texas called to ask for my help. It seems that when he pressed certain keys, foreign looking characters appeared rather than what he expected.
Somehow, it seems that someone had altered his selected keymap.
The Amiga is an international machine. To be able to accomodate people of different languages and or alphabets, it is necessary to allow them to choose their own language. The keymap command allows you to select English and several other languages. Also, within each language there are national differences. For example, even though British English is basically the same as American English, there are still other differences that must be accounted for, On the American English keymap, for instance, there is no way to produce the British pound sign, and there is no American dollar sign in the
British English keymap. Such keymap selections are usually designated in the "startup-sequence" file.
In the format of the AmigaDOS command line, there is a provision fora keyword. In using the COPY command, for example, there are two keywords (EROM and TO) that are optional.
They are part of the command line. In some situations, keywords are required.
If you write script files, you know what a label is. It is simply a point in a script that is referred to. Thus, execution of a file can be moved forward or back by designating certain labels. Think of labels as street signs.
Although not central to AmigaDOS and the command line, you should have at least some idea about what libraries are. They reside in the 'libs' directory and consist of data which are vital to the execution of other programs. There are various libraries out there, and probably most Amiga users at one time or another have been told by a requester that a certain program is unable to run because a certain library cannot be found. Libraries, by the way, are most easily loaded onto your system by using the Shell.
Last month, I told you about She term global. This month, we look at local. Local means that only items within the program currently running are affected. For example, some applications allow you to create macros (rather like keyboard shortcuts). When you do so, these macros are local and will only work within that particular program. Say that you create a macro on your terminal program that will print your password when you hit the FI key.
Hitting the FI key will only print that password while that terminal program is running. If you hit FI while you are in your word processor, your password will not print. In the word processor program, FI may have another function, Hopefully, after reading about local above, you now know what a macro is. Check out the documentation of your favorite applications and see if they support macros, if so, there may be a way for you to program that application to allow you to do something with a single keystroke that took several commands to do before, in my terminal program, for example, I have
configured it to type in several words or groups of words. For example, 1 use the foreign transfer protocol on Internet and have programmed my application to type in ail of those long, complicated numbers, as well as passwords and computer addresses. Not onlv is it quicker and easier, it eliminates mistakes. If you are not using macros, you should be!
Although memory is a term not limited to use 111 the Shell, using the Shell exclusively can save memory, so i have chosen to include it here. Memory refers to the size of the internal circuitry which allows programs to run. The less memory that is available, the fewer programs that can be run; also, the size of programs is limited. Some programs, for example, are too large for some ing of this concept is vital to effective computer use, especially if you expect to understand paths. Basically, a path is an address; it is the location of a file. It lists ali of the directories subdirectories
that must be passed through in order to reach the intended file.
Directories are separated by the slash ( ). Here is an example: dfl:magazines amazing eli glossary When working with numerous files in the Shell, it can be very advantageous to use pattern matching. Patterns basically refer to characters that are common to numerous files. For example, if you wanted to move all files that end in the ".txt" extension to another directory, you could do so by designating the pattern. If you keep this concept in mind when you name your files, it could save you considerable work later. For example, I often use the same base name for my articles, but 1 assign
different numbers to them. For example, the base name for each is "article" but each has a different number. This one, for example, is "artide27." Thus, if 1 want to work with all of my articles, 1 simply match the common pattern, which is, of course, "article."
Certainly everyone knows what a prompt is. If the computer is ready to receive information from tire user, the prompt will be Last month, I told you about the term global.
This month, we look at local, Local means that only items within the program currently running are affected.
Computers to handle. On the Amiga, icons and other graphics on the Workbench consume memory. If you are short of memory, tine more reason to be using the Shell, which doesn't sacrifice memory to graphics.
For some people, especially old-timers on the Amiga, the greatest draw of the Amiga is its ability to multitask. Other systems are catching up with the Amiga in this area, but they often do so through software rather than hardware. A multitasking machine can run several applications at one time. For example, I enjoy being able to download a large file via my telecommunications program and, while waiting for the file to arrive, turn to my word processor and work on an article.
When you open a file from the Workbench, you double-click on its icon with the mouse and it begins running. From the Shell, you type in the program's name and execute the command line to open it.
When you enter a subdirectory of a directory, the original directory is the parent directory. Each subdirectory, of course, has a parent directory.
Some people like to further subdivide their hard drive into partitions. An 80MB hard drive, for example, may be divided into one 40MB section and two 20MB sections.
One of the hardest things for me to explain to beginning computer users is the concept of the directory tree. An understand- displayed. Li the Shell, the prompt (if you have not altered the default) designates the process number, like this: 2 , Each file can have a protection bit, which may also be referred to as an attribute. Setting the protection bit 011 a file can designate it as read only, for example, or whether it can he deleted or not. If you share a machine with others, you may want to investigate this concept further, as it can protect your flies from being tampered with. Only pure
commands can be made resident. This is one of the protection bits.
Next month, I will conclude this series on AmigaDOS glossary.
• AC* Please Write to: Keith Cameron c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 bytes tips hints
workarounds suggestions 4_- O updates fixes by John Steiner
Ethernet and The A4000 Revisited Michael Taylor responded via
e-mail to Roland Fox's question regarding TCP IP, and the
A2065 Ethernet card mentioned in Bug Bytes Feb. 94 The TCP IP
package from Commodore is listed as AS225. Most Commodore
distributors don't distribute it any more as far as I know. I
had to call New York to convince than to send Commodore Canada
the package, because they didn't believe that I wanted it. The
version is 36.1, Dec. 1992, and that is the most current
version for sale. There is the beta package which was never
released to market, but was very popular with developers. So
there are shareware and free programs that make use of a never
released package.
There is hope, AmiTCP, which uses any SANA-II device driver is available, the current version is 2.3, with 3.0 available soon. I am using it right now with the A2065 card with no problems.
I have not seen or tried ENLAN-DF5, but Envoy might work with AmiTCP better, but I haven’t tested it. I don’t think that any Ethernet card can be controlled by two protocol stacks on the Amiga, but if they can, Envoy and AmiTCP would be the likely candidates. AmiTCP is available via Fred Fish disks, Fred Fish CD-ROM, and via Aminct FTP sites.
Ishar II AGA Hard Disk Usage Pete, who ieft no last name or city, sent e-mai! With a question about Ishar II AGA. He writes: I bought Ishar It AGA recently, and find it very enjoyable. I ran into a problem or possible bug. In tlw brief manual it says that you can run it from a hard drive, but this does not work on my stock A4000. Do you know of any fixes for this? It runs fine off of the [floppy] disk drive. I tried assigning the disks to the drawer on my hard drive, but this did not help any.
Mathieeedoubbas.library Guru When Using Version Jeff Harris sent e-mail regarding Henning VahlenKamp's problem with the Version command and its use with Mathieeedoubbas.library. He notes, When I first heard about it, I tried it on my A1200 with no hard drive, and just 2MB of memory, and sure enough, I got the guru. When I read today that Mark Odell did not get it on his machine, that got me to thinking... perhaps it was something in the startup-sequence. So I used the boot menu option to bypass startup-sequence, and tried Version on the library. No guru!
So I eventually isolated the problem to Rexxmast. IfRexxmast is not run, no guru. Once Rexxmast is run, gum! I tried stopping Rexxmast by using Rxc, but it still gurued. So, the library file is obviously corrupted in memory by Rexxmast. I did notice, incidentally, Iasi week, that Rexxmast requires the mathieeedoubbas.library to run. Now as to why and how Rexxmast causes the problem, I have no idea, and as far as I know, no one is doing any further development work on the basic Arexx interpreter.
14. 4 KB Modems and the Amiga 1000 Greg Suiro sent e-mail
regarding a problem he is experiencing.
He is having trouble connecting a 14.4 KB Zoom Fax modem to an Amiga 1000, even though he is using the same cable that previously worked with his 1200 baud modem. He notes that the MR light begins to blink once the computer is turned on. Greg speculates that pin 21 on the Amiga side has some incompatibility with the Zoom Fax Modem. RTS CTS was set in Preferences and in software and the proper initialization string is being sent. Tf you have hooked up a 14.4 KB modem to your A1000 and you have some suggestions for Greg, let me know.
Keeping Lost Page Breaks in Final Copy
E. M, Greene of Ridgecrest, CA writes that he accidentally
discovered a workaround for a bug in Final Copy regarding the
loss of forced page breaks. He notes. Make sure that forced
page breaks (right-Amiga "L") are preceded by a non-blank
line; otherwise the breaks are not saved and can even
disappear while editing (adding or deleting graphics, for
Multiple Hard Disks and the A3000 Dr. Barlow Soper of Ruston, LA wants to know if it's possible to connect a second 1-inch high hard disk on top of the factory installed drive in an A3000. He has two floppy drives already installed in his A300.0 so he is not able to use the second floppy bay as a hard drive bay. Assuming there are no clearance problems with the case (I don't know how much room there is on top of the original drive), there is no electrical reason that! Know of that would preclude both drives from working. Hard drives should not be run upside down, and as long as any drive
electronics are not shorted against the metal surfaces inside the A3000, just about anything goes. I might also suggest that there are several 2.5-inch drives now available in a wide variety of capacities. There may be room elsewhere inside the A3000 case to mount one of these compact units.
Problems with Final Writer Dr. Soper also ran into a problem with Softwood's Final Writer.
Final Writer would dump the first page of the document to the printer but not output anything. I had to take the printer "Off Line" and push "Form Feed", which only printed the first page, other pages were lost, never dumped to the printer.
After several phone calls and written correspondence, he returned the program and Softwood refunded his money. After all of that, however, he really likes the program, and would like to know if others have run into this problem, and whether or not they have solved it. He asks that if you have similar problems, that you might contact Softwood directly with the information so that they might be made aware of others having similar problems or any solutions to the problem.
Bad Video on a G-Lock Peter Bagnato of Atlantic Beach, FL writes, I have a problem using GVP's G-Lock that maybe someone can help me with. am having a horrible lime getting the colors to show correctly on the tape I am recording to. My 1942 monitor shows a perfect mixture of video and Technical Writers Software Reviewers Programmers Amiga Enthusiasts Do you work your Amiga to its limits? Do you 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
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you should be writing for Amazing Computing and AC's TECH Amazing Computing and AC's TECH are the best Amiga magazines available! We are constantly looking for new authors and fresh ideas to complement AC magazines as they grow in a rapidly changing market.
Share your ideas, your knowledge, and your creations with the rest of the Amiga technical community become an Amazing author.
For more information, call or write: Author's Guide
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 1-800-345-3360 computer
generated graphics, hut the output on video tope and TV is nil
wrong, too dnrk and colors are incorrect.
I don't know if there are any adjustments to timing on this specific unit, but if so, that could be the culprit? More likely, however, is some kind of mismatch in the video connections between the video components. While impedance mismatching on video connections is relatively tolerant, there are combinations of hookups and configurations that can exhibit problems. Try eliminating excess video cabling to connect the svstem as simplv as possible. Are there any readers with anv other suggestions?
Alternate 1960 Monitor Driver Robert Austin of Algonac, Ml writes, Is there n DblNTSC Did PAL driver available for the At 200 with a I960 monitor other than the one furnished with WB 3.0? The furnished driver locates the screen sc far to the right that the 1960's horizontal control cannot pull il hack far enough to be usable, This effectively slops use of the HiRes Laced No Flicker display mode.
As I don't have this monitor, I'm assuming that Mr. Austin has adjusted both text and graphics screen preferences to be sized and centered, and he is still having the problem. Any suggestions, readers?
ProWrite ProCalc Landscape Print Speed Workaround Mr, Austin also included a workaround for ProCalc's extremely slow printer output when using the sideways option.
1. Set the Operating System's Printer Prefs to wide tractor.
2. Set the right margin to the number of characters in the row
3. Send the ProCatc file to disk instead of the printer.
4. Reset Printer Prefs.
5. Load Pro Write and set the page width to accept the needed
number of characters.
6. Load the ProCalc Printer file, set the printer options in
ProWrite to Landscape and print the job,
M. A.S.T. Fireball Controller and Workbench 2.1 Doug Koehler of
Bettendorf, 1A writes with a question about his A2000 with
M.A.S.T memory card and Fireball controller. He notes, I am
currently running Workbench 1.3 and would like to upgrade to
2. 1. My problem is, the M.A.S.T. controller is incompatible with
2.1. When the new ROM is installed, the computer refuses to
boot, even from the floppy. The screen alternates between
white and gray. If I remove the Fireball card, the Amiga boots
from floppy and 2.1 appears to operate normally. I have tried
to contact M.A.S.T. at their Sparks, NV address with no
success. Is there any hope of getting this card upgraded or
should 1 just “bile the bullet" and purchase a new controller
If you have any experience with the Fireball Controller and Workbench 2.1 update, let me know, I'll pass the information along.
[Editor's note: As far as we know, M.A.S.T. is no longer a valid company in the United States.] VGA Screen Blanking During Game Play Jeffrey Powell of West Covina, CA writes, I recently purchased a popular game (Frontier, by Cametek) for my 3 year old A3000 (6MB RAM running Workbench 2.1). I have been experiencing a peculiar problem when running this software: My VGA monitor will ''blank”, as if il is off, while game sounds remain in the background. This occurs whether the program is run from the hard drive or the floppy, and occurs only with this game.
I thought that il was a software bug, and returned the game.
However, the store where I bought the product, and Gametek, claim that the bug does not exist, and the problem is with my hardware.
I have never heard of a hardware problem that caused the video lo disappcnr while leaving other functions intact, and don't relish the expense of turning the machine over to a repair shop to wot around for the problem.
If you have rim into any similar problems, and have discovered the culprit, let me know.
Diagnosing Startup Problems Tony Criss of Juneau, AK writes specifically in regard to Lu Beranek's problem with his A2630 and the DBK 2632 RAM expansion. His suggestion, however, is valuable when trying to root out any startup or initialization problems. He writes,
I. too, was having problems with my 2500 system after installing
a DBK 2632 RAM expansion board. Upon power up the screen would
start up, the disk drive would light up, and the system would
promptly hang up.
I noticed that on occasion the system would start to come up and then hang up on the initial startup sequence. This got me to thinking that what 1 had was a system timing problem. Two programs were trying to access the same hardware at the same time.
Upon examination of the start-up sequence, I discovered that the command "PPLoadSeg" was installed at the beginning of the startup script. This program call was put there by a software installation loader of a font package which I own. When I placed this command further down into the startup-sequence script, the lockup at bootup problem went away.
I would suggest that Lit remove his DBK 2632 so that he can get his computer up and running again. Then carefully look at his startup- sequence to see if it has been altered in any way by another program. If so.
Remove the program calls and place them in the “User Startup" drawer.
Replace the DBK 2632 and try it again. If the problem si ill occurs then try to troubleshoot the system by placing "echo" commands which describe the location of the program at key points in the startup sequence. For example, place the command ‘ECHO "setclock command now executing"' directly before the setclock command in the startup sequence. Carefully watch the screen and see where the system hangs up. This will give you a good indication of where the problem is.
The technique Tony describes has helped me in many cases, especially after running into a problem just after a new software installation. It's well worth taking the time to modify your startup- sequence to identify it's progress as it's working. You might even consider making the echo commands a permanent feature of your startup.
That's all for this month. If you have any workarounds or hugs to report, or if you know of any upgrades to commercial software, you may notify me by writing to: John Steiner c o Amazing Computing Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722 ...or leave e-mail to John Steiner on Portal 73075,1735 on CompuServe Internet mail can be sent to John_Steiner@cup.portal.com FAX John Steiner at (701)280-0764 (8:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Central time, Monday-Friday)
• AC* CanDo: An Interactive Authoring Tool Playing Music and
Handling Icons by Randy Finch In this installment I will
discuss the tools available in CanDo for handling icon files
and playing music files. I have included my program,
YeOldeSongPlayer, which makes use of these tools. It allows
music files (Sound Noise ProTracker, Oktalizer, and MED) to be
selected and entered into a list. The music files can be
played, and the file list can be saved and loaded. This program
operates on the Workbench. Its interface is shown in Figure 1.
A print-out of the program is shown in Listing 1.
Overview of fhe Program YeOldeSongPlayer's interface consists of one card named SongPlayer containing one list box object named SongList, one timer object named WaitForSongEnd, and five text buttons named Select, Load, Save, Play, and Next.
Tbe list box is used to display the list of selected music files. When a music file is selected within the list box, it begins to plav.
The Select button is used to display the standard Amiga file requester (part of asl.library). Multiple files can be selected by holding down the SHIFT key while clicking on the filenames. Upon clicking the OK button in the re- quester, the selected filenames are inserted into the SongList list box.
The Save button is used to save the current list of music files to disk. The filename is obtained through the file requester. YeOldeSongPlayer is unusual in that the list is saved as part of an icon file using the ToolTypes feature of icon files. Only an icon file is saved. For example, the list might be saved to an icon file named MySongList.info, There will be no associated MySongList file as is normal. Of course, this can be confusing to some users and is not recommended. However, I use it here to illustrate the powerful tools available in CanDo for handling icon files.
Set the icon default tool to SYSYeOldeSongPlayer. Remember that while designing a program within CanDo, the deck file on disk is a CanDo project file. To convert this project file to a tool file, TheBinder or TheMultiBinder utility, included with CanDo, must be used to convert the project file to a stand-alone program, or tool file. This bound program must be in the main director)' of the system disk for the default tool of the icon files to be correct. Alternatively, the default tool could be changed within the YeOldeSongPlayer deck.
Since the music list icon files have a default tool, they can be double-clicked to launch YeOldeSongPlayer which will insert the music file list associated with the icon file into the list box. Also, several music list icon files can be selected simultaneously by holding down the SHIFT key while selecting the icons. By either doubleclicking the last selected icon or by doubleclicking the YeOldeSongPlayer tool icon after selecting the last icon, YeOldeSongPlayer will begin execution.
Each list of music files in all the selected icon files will be added in turn to the list box. This allows music filenames to be grouped by some criteria and then combined easily at a later time.
The Load button is used to load a music file list saved with the Save button. A file requester is used to obtain the filename.
O j Workbench o| Y Hide Son9 Player Conpre&s m Ran Di&k QmDo2.5i ttwic a D.Hit Ban CanDo2.Bi Husic BOD Look!
CudDo2 . SlVBuaic BOP. The Hunter Ml CinDo-1 0t Figure 1. Interface for YeOldeSongPlayer Nothing compliments this Like these... S'jp-d'-v; cp A'jOio Diijit i*!
Summer 19.94!
• Wf'WSC
• A Dote
• A lefici »C
• Huge Nomden Pert 2
• Pf e AC CL IDE AMIGA Amazing Computing far the Commodore Amiga.
AC’s GUIDE, and AC's TECH provide you with the most
comprehensive coverage of tire Amiga coverage you would expect
from she longest-running monthly Amiga publication.
The pages ol Amazing Computing bring you insights into the world of the Commodore Amiga.
You'll find comprehensive reviews of Amiga products, complete coverage of all the major Amiga trade 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 ol the latest Fred Fish disks, monthly columns on using the CLI and working with Arexx; and you can keep up to date with new releases in "New Products and Other Neat Stuff."
AC's Gl IDE to the Commodore Amiga is an indispensable catalog of all the hardware, software, public domain collections, services and information available for the Amiga.
This amazing book, updated every six months, lists over 3,500 products!
AC's TECH for the Commodore Amiga provides the Amiga user with valuable insights into the inner workings ol the Amiga. In-depth articles on programming and hardware enhancement are designed to help the user gain the knowledge he needs to get the most out of his machine.
For subscription savings information, call 1-800-345-3360 SongPiayerl SongPlayer2 Only files with an extension of .info are displayed since all lists are saved as icon files.
The Play button starts playing the first music file in the current list. The WaitForSongEnd timer object checks every second to see il the song is still playing. When the song finishes, the next song in the list will begin. This will continue until the Iasi song in the list has finished playing. AL this point, playback quits, it can be restarted by pressing Play again or selecting a file in the list box.
The Next button will stop playing the current music file and begin playing the next one in the list, The BeforeAttachment Script This script executes when the SongPlayer card is first activated. It first initializes some variables that will be used later in the program and then sets the default directory to SYS: using the SctCu rrentDirectory command.
An icon is created with the Makeicon command. It lias four parameters: buffer name, and type of icon (TOOL or PROJECT), icon image file or buffer name, and alternate image file or buffer name. The icon created is named SongPlayer (note that this is the same name as the card) and is 1 project icon. The first image is set to a brush file named SongPiayerl, and the alternate image is set to a brush file named SongPiayer2. Both brushes were created in Deluxe Paint. They are shown in Figure 2. SongPiayerl will be the icon image seen on the Workbench screen when it is unselected.
SongP!aver2 will be the icon image seen when it is selected (see Figure 1). The default tool for the SongPlayer icon is set to SYS:Ye01deSongPlayer using the SetDefaultTool command.
Two documents are created: Songs and FileList. The former Is used to hold the list of music filenames; the latter is used to hold the names of the multiple icon files selected before executing YeOldeSongPlayer. Tire icon file list is inserted into the current document, FileList, with the command InsertStartingMessagc.
When a CanDo program is executed from the Workbench, this command inserts the names of all selected icon files. If the program is executed from the CL1, this command inserts all of the parameters following the filename on the command line. The InsertStnrtingMessage will only work properly after converting the CanDo project file to a tool using TheBinder or TheMultiBinder.
Although not used in YeOldeSongPlayer, if you ever need to know whether a CanDo deck was started from the Workbench nr the CL!, the system variable StartedFromWorkbench can be tested.
If it is equal to TRUE, the program was started from the Workbench, otherwise it was started from the CL1. If a program is started from the CLI, the command line string will be returned in a system variable named TheCommandLine.
After inserting the icon filenames into the FileList document, the cursor is moved to the top of the document. Each icon file, in turn, is loaded into a buffer named Temp using the Load icon command. The icon file's tool types list, which contains the names of music files (see Save button below), is inserted into the Songs document using the InsertToolTypeList command. Thus, if several music filenames have been grouped and saved as separate icon files, the groups can be combined very easily by selecting ail of the icon files before executing YeOldeSongPlayer. Alternatively, the program can be
executed from the CL! With multiple parameters as fallows; YeOldeSongPlayer Songs 1 Songs2 Songs3 This has the same effect as selecting the Sorigsl, Songs2, and Songs3 icons on the Workbench using the SHIFT key and then double-clicking the YeOldeSongPlayer icon.
To dose out the BeforeAttachment script, the current working document is set to Songs since it is the only document that will be used in the rest of the program.
The Select Button This button is used for selecting multiple music files to be added to the list box. When it is pressed, its OnRelease script performs several commands. First, the SetFileRequestMode command is used to set the multi-select mode and to specify that icon files should be rejected. Next, the SetFileRequestPattern command is used to set a pattern of ?, or all files. This information is used by the AskForFileName function. When the standard Amiga file requester appears, it will show all non-icon files and allow multiple files to be selected while depressing the SHIFT key (see
Figure 3). The current directory and filename are passed to the requester via the variable File. When the Select button is pressed for the first time, File will be equal to NULL (set in BeforeAttachment).
Therefore, the default directory of SYS: (also set in BeforeAttachment) will be used.
If the Cancel button is pressed on the file requester, then Files will be equal to NULL and no further action is taken. If the OK button is pressed, then Files will be a string containing all of the selected filenames separated by a line feed character (ASCII 10). In this case, the song currently playing is paused, the variable PiayFlag is set to FALSE, the Songs document is cleared, and the variable Files is typed into the document. Finally, the first filename is extracted from the f iles variable using the GetWord function and assigned to File. This allows the path and filename of this file
to be used as the default when the Select button is pressed the next time.
The first filename must be extracted because the file requester gets confused if it is passed multiple filenames.
The Load and Save Buttons These buttons are used for loading and saving a list of music files. Their OnRelease scripts are very similar. In each, the appropriate file requester modes are set, and the file pattern is set to ?.info. Thus, the file requester will display only icon files.
REGULARMODE] causes the file list in the requester to appear normally; SAVEFILEMODE causes the list to appear in inverse, giving the user visual feedback that a file is about to be saved rather than loaded. The variable SongsFile is used as the current path and filename for the requester. When the Load or Save button is pressed for the first time, this variable will be equal to NULL (set in BeforeAttachment). Therefore, the default directory of SYS: (also set in BeforeAttachment) will be used. The selected filename is assigned to the variable NewSongsFile if the OK button is pressed, a NULL is
assigned to NewSongsFile it the Cancel button is pressed. If NewSongsFile is not equal to NULL, then its value is checked to see if the filename contained I herein has an extension of .info. Several string functions are used in this determination; NumberOfChars, FindChars, and LnwerCase.
In the case of the Load button, if the selected file is indeed an icon file (lias an extension of .info), then several things occur. The song currently playing is paused, the variable PlayFlag is set to FALSE, the .info extension is stripped from the filename in NewSongsFile (using the GetChars string function) and the result is assigned to the variable SongsFile, the icon file is loaded into the Temp buffer (the Loadlcon command automatically appends .info to the filename), the Songs document is cleared, and the too! Types of the icon in the Temp buffer are inserted into the document In order
for all of this to work properly, the selected icon file should be one that was saved using the Save button. Otherwise, an erroneous list or no list at all will appear in the list box.
¦srt In the case of the Save button, if the selected filename has an extension of info, it is stripped off because the Suvelcon command, like Loadlcon, automatically adds this extension. The SetToolTypeList command moves the text in the Songs document to the too! Types list in the SongPlayer icon (created in BeforeAttachmcnt). Finally, the Savelcon command saves the SongPlayer icon with the selected filename (variable SongsFile).
Play & Next Buttons, SongUst List Box, & WaitForSongEnd Timer All four of these objects are very similar in that they all depend on the global routine PlayNextSong. When the Play button is pressed, the cursor is moved to the top of the Songs document and PlayNextSong is executed. When the Next button is pressed, the cursor is moved to the next line in the Songs document and PlayNextSong is executed. When the user clicks inside the SongList list box, the cursor automatically moves to the line selected.
Therefore, it is only necessary to execute PlayNextSong, The WaitForSongEnd object is an interval timer that, when active, executes its Occurred script every second. This script checks the current value of the system variable CurrentSongName. This variable is equal to NULL if no music file is currently playing, otherwise it will be equal to the name of the music file currently playing. When CurrentSongName is NULL, meaning that no song is currently playing, and PlayFlag is TRUE, meaning that one has been playing, then the cursor is moved down one line in the Songs document and PlayNextSong is
executed. This is not a very good way to determine if a song has stopped playing. Unfortunately, there is no command to test directly when a song lias finished playing. A tech support person at INOVAtronics said they are planning to add this feature in a future release.
The PlayNextSong Global Routine This routine first checks to see if the WaitForSongEnd timer is currently active, or attached. This is done with the ObjectAttached function. If it is currently attached, it is detached. Next, the currently playing song is paused. The FileTvpe function is used to determine if the file represented by the current line in the Songs document is of type Music, If it is not, the cursor is moved down a line and the next file is checked. When a file of type Music is found, it is played using the PlaySong command, PlayFlag is set to TRUE, and a delay of five seconds
occurs before reattaching the WaitForSongEnd timer object. The delay allows time for the music file to be loaded before reactivating the timer. Five seconds should be sufficiently long for rather large music files to be loaded from a hard drive. However, this delay may need to be lengthened when loading large music files from a floppy drive. Finally, when the end of the Songs document is reached (TheLine equals NULL), PlayFlag is set to FALSE.
E I U»rkb*i».
A l Ye OI d* Song P|«y. r 11 wcr hr r ieai n; (wwm* CudWZ M tti3ic a D Bit ttvn CanBeZ 51 tfaaic IttD Lookl CaBDoZ &t |fcisic BOD.Tlic UunLer V*0IdrSonqPI*y*r Rw Diib Ml (•riOo-t ¦ L: il RTF ‘ ( •uDo-Hli Bsl':BTf-«Sr*" Ai-.ili 1 %'AVA% SS!:is:rt LliiiK li'AVAi Dr«u*r |t It l l - I OE.Itie flutiTTT OK I Voluws. I Parent | im*l | 0 Figure 3. Amiga File Requester with Multiple Files Selected The Cool Down Period Well, we have been at it for quite a while. It’s time to enter the cool down period of this exercise. Be aware that YeOldeSongPlayer is a very basic program. Many enhancements could
be made such as checking the file type before adding it to the list, allowing the order and content of the list to be modified, allowing lists to be concatenated from within the program, etc. There are also commands available such as SetSongVolumeand SetSongTempo that could be used in conjunction with some extra buttons to adjust volume and tempo while a song is playing. Fee! Free to take this basic program and embellish it. I would like for vou to send me a cop}' of the improved program.
Listing 1 YeOldeSongPlayer Deck Listing 1. YeOldeSongPlayer Deck
* Deck "YeOldeSongPlayer"
* Time 15;34:55
* Date 02 20 94
* Card(s) in deck.
* Card "SongPlayer"
* ************
* 1 Card(s), 1 were printed.
* Natural order of Cards
* Card "SongPlayer"
* Global Routine(s) in deck.
* Routine "PlayNextSong"
* ************
* 1 Global routines(s), 1 were printed.
* Card "SongPlayer" BeforeAttachment ; used to be OnStartup Let
File*’"* Let SongsFiles"" Let PlayFlagsFALSS
SetCurrentDirectory "SYS:" Makelcon "SongPlayer",PROJECT ,
"CanDo:Brushes SongPlayer1n,"CanDo:Brushes 5ongPlayer2"
SetDefaultTool "SongPlayer", "SYS:YeOldeSongPlayer"
HakeDocument "Songs" MakeDocument "FileList"
InsertStartingMessage MoveCursorTo STARTOF DOCUMENT While
TheLineo"" Loadlcon TheLine,"Temp" WorkWithDocument "Songs"
InsertToolTypeList "Temp" WorkWithDocument "FileList"
MoveCursor DOWN EndLoop WorkWithDocument "Songs" EndScript
Window "UserWindow" Definition Origin 104,34 Size 440,200 Title
“Ye Olde Song Player" NumberOfColors 4,69632 WindowColors 0,1,0
; Detail, Block, Background WindowObjectS CLOSEBUTTON
DEPTHBUTTONS DRAGBAR windovFlags activate tofront workbench
EndScript OnCloseButton Quit EndScript EndObject List
"SongList" Definition Origin 19,18 Size 400,140 Font "Elite",11
; FontName, PointSize PrintStyle BOLD ,2,3 t Style, Penl, Pen2
TextColors 1,Q,JAM2 i PenA, PenB, DrawHode Border DOUBLEBEVEL
,2,1 j BorderStyle, MainPen, ExtraPen Document "Songs" ; where
the text cooes from EndScript OnRelease do "PlayNextSong"
EndScript EndObject TexcButton "Select" Definition Origin
20,171 Font "sapphire",14 ; FontName, PointSize PrintStyle BOLD
OUTLINE ,2,3 i Style, Penl, Pen2 TextColors 1,0,NORMAL PenA,
PenB, DrawHode Text " Select " Border EMBOSSED ,2,1
BorderStyle, MainPen, ExtraPen Highlight OUTLINE ButtonFlags
NONE EndScript OnRelease SetFileRequestMode hultiselectmode
.rejecticons SetFileRequestPattern " ?"
Let Piles=AflkForFileNamefFile,"Select Multiple FileB”,200,150 If Fileso"" Song PAUSE Let PlayFlag=FALSE Clear DOCUMENT Type Files Let File*GetWord(Piles,l,Char(10}) End If EndScript EndObject TextButton “Load" Definition Origin 110,171 Font “sapphire",14 ; FontName, PointSize PrintStyle BOLD OUTLINE ,2,3 ; Style, Penl, Pen2 TextColorB 1,0,NORMAL ; PenA, PenB, DrawMode Text " Load " Border EMBOSSED ,2,1 ; BorderStyle, MainPen, ExtraPen Highlight OUTLINE ButtonFlags NONE EndScript OnRelease SetFileRequestMode HEGULARMODE ,NONE SetFileRequestPattern " ?.in£o" Let
NewSongsFile=AekForFileName(SongBFile!I".info","Load Songs File",200,150) If NewSongsFileo"" Let NumChars=NumberOfChars(NewSongsFile)-4 if FindChars(Lowercase(NewSongsFile),".info",l)sNumCharB Song PAUSE Let ?layFlag=FALSE Let SongsPile-GetChars(NewSongsFile,1,NumChars-i) Loadlcon SongsFile,"Temp" Clear DOCUMENT InsertToolTypeList "Temp" End If Endlf EndScript EndObject TextButton "Save" Definition Origin 192,171 Font "sapphire", 14 ; FontName, PointSize PrintStyle BOLD OUTLINE ,2,3 ? Style, Penl, Pen2 TextColors 1,0,NORMAL ; PenA, PenB, DrawHode Text " Save " Border EMBOSSED ,2,1 ;
BorderStyle, MainPen, ExtraPen Highlight OUTLINE ButtonFlags NONE EndScript OnRelease SetFileRequestMode savefilehode ,N0NE SetFileRequestPattern "i?,info" Let NewSongsFile°AskForFileName(SongBFile|[".info","Save Songs Pile-,200,150) If NewSongsFileo"" Let NumChars=NumberOfCharB(SongBFile)-4 If FindChars(Lowercase(SongsFile},".info",l)=NumChars Let SongsFile=Getchars(SongsFile,l,NumChars-l) Endlf SetToolTypeLiBt "SongPlayer","Songs" Savelcon "SongPlayer",SongsFile Endlf EndScript EndObject TextButton "Play" Definition Origin 271,171 Font "sapphire", 14 ; FontName, PointSize PrintStyle BOLD
OUTLINE ,2,3 ; Style, Penl, Pen2 TextColors 1,0,NORMAL ,* PenA. PenB, DrawMode Text " Play " Border EMBOSSED .2,1 ; BorderStyle, MainPen, ExtraPen Highlight OUTLINE ButtonFlags NONE EndScript OnRelease MoveCursOrTO STARTOF DOCUMENT Do "PlayNextSong" EndScript EndObject TextButton "Next" Definition Origin 346,171 Pont "sapphire",14 ; FontName, PointSize PrintStyle BOLD OUTLINE ,2,3 ; Style, Penl, Pen2 TextColors 1,0,NORMAL ; PenA, PenB, DrawMode Text " Next " Border EMBOSSED ,2,1 r BorderStyle, MainPen, ExtraPen Highlight OUTLINE ButtonFlags NONE EndScript OnRelease MoveCursor DOWN Do
"PlayNextSong" EndScript EndObject IntervalTimer "WaitPorSongEnd" Definition Duration 0,1,0 ; Minutes, Seconds, Jiffies EndScript Occurred If CurrentSongName="" and PlayFlag=TRUE MoveCursor DOWN Do "PlayNextSong" Endlf EndScript EndObject
* End of Card "SongPlayer"
* **» *****
* Global routine "PlayNextSong" If
ObjectAttachedl"WaitForSongEnd") DetachObject "WaitForSongEnd"
Endlf Song PAUSE While FileType(TheLine} "Musicr' and
TheLineo"" MoveCursor DOWN EndLoop If TheLineo"" PlaySong
TheLine Let PlayFlag=TRUE Delay 0,5,0 ReattachObject
"WaitForSongEnd" Else Let PlayFlag=FALSE Endlf
* End of routine "PlayNextSong"
• AC* Please Write to: Handy Finch c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 ?
B K Feedback Letters to the Editor CD32 & Atari Jaguar: The good, the bad, and the ugly; Untapped markets within CBM's grasp; A call for Origin Systems’ return; and a note from Commodore Asia-Pacific CD32 Pro’s and Con s Dear AC, 1 received my CD32 in early January and I love it...for the most part. I received it just after I received my Atari Jaguar. Let me tell you that the Jaguar is junk! My Jag started making a loud piercing hissing sound. When 1 called Atari, they said it was normal, (In fact, I went to my friend's store and it did the same hut quieter.)
Atari has received so much hype on the Jaguar that it is sickening.
The system as a whole stinks although Atari makes it seem that it is a dream machine. Enough said, I just sold it two weeks ago. The CD’: is so much better 1 can't believe it. I have bought over twenty games for the CD'2 and a lot of them are junk. Please review and warn your readers about games such as Chambers of Shaolin, Seven Gates of Jambala, Dangerous Streets, Fire Force and a few others.
Games like these will not sell the system!
I would like to ask you why Commodore hasn't started advertising the CD32? Atari started before the Jaguar was released!
Maybe all of us Amiga users can contribute to raise a fund in order to put advertisements in other non-Amiga magazines for Commodore. (seriously!) 1 want so bad for the CD'2 to succed in the U.S. f even wrote Commodore a letter about their advertising (no response yet).
My main reason for writing to you is that my CD12 with my monitor and that is fine. But I like to bring it to two of my friends who own game stores. They have a TV that I hook it up to to demonstrate it to customers. When it is on a TV the screen seems to be in the lower right corner. This leaves a broder on the top and left side making it difficult to see the bottom and right side. Is there any way of fixing this? The Tvs are newer models so I can't adjust the screen at all. I did notice that CD Football seems to be positioned correctly. How can 1 get the demo disc for the CD12? I would
like to show it to my friends because they have the ability to carry the Amiga CD22 in their stores if they choose.
Sincerely, David P. O'Connor Rochester, NY Thank yon for the high interest anti praise for CD2-’. We believecommodore has a winner. As for Commodore itself, please read on. Concerning your CD'' display problem, we have forwarded your letter to CBM's engineering department for an answer.
What Is CBM Up To?
Dear AC, I have just finished reading the letters written to this column in AC Volume 9, Number 4, April 1994. The last letter in the column from Ken Dahlstrom describes what 1 have been concerned with for quite some time now. What is CBM up to? Four years ago I walked into the local Software Etc. store and could not believe what I saw on display, here was my all time idol B.B. King) and others praising a computer (A500) capable of everything I ever wanted to do, music, graphics, art and what? Animations?
Here I am in 1994 and just purchased my A2Q00HD with 030 at 25mhz, 200mb HD, Opalvision, Imagine 2.0, VistaPro 3.0, Final Copy and a host of other software. I am also the owner of a small video production service, building clients everyday that arc still amazed at what 1 can do from the confines of my home. I became an Amigan four years ago, and even though I now have to purchase everything through mail-order, 1 still tell people that the Amiga is the way to go if they want highend capabilities at a low-end price.
So why am i concerned? I remember a commercial that ran for approximately two weeks on one of tire big three networks. It showed a limpid poo! And rising up through the water were the work horses of the Amiga series of CBM computers. I know it may sound crazy, but I felt proud to be a part of the elite group that owned one, then, nothing. No ads, no commercials, not even support from the very place 1 purchased my A500. Imagine the feeling of walking into the store every week looking for that software you've been waiting for, only to see the selection diminish one shelf a! A time. When 1 asked
the clerk that sold me the machine what was going on, he replied " There's not a big demand anymore. Sorry."
Thanks to AC I am kept up to date on news and developments on my precious gem, and will always be a loyal Amigan, but 1 must know if CBM will ever do what is necessary to let tire public know what is available in owning an Amiga computer.
Sincerely, Gregory M Alexander New Orleans, LA
P. S. I live in one of the less fortunate neighborhoods in the
city, and there are a lot of talented and gifted artist here,
many of whom are deserving of a chance to excel, and their
work seen. Exposing them to my A2000 and the software it
holds, have given them a window to many possibilities. I could
not have done it with the higher cost of Macs & IBMs. CBM must
recognize this market untapped, shouldn't they?
Unfortunately, Commodore has not always tided or even reacted in a way that would make good sense to the rest of iis. While the sayings "the grass is always greener" and “You should walk a mile in another man's moccasins" could apply, they do not. Certainly we do not know all of the problems and concerns that plague the upper management of Commodore international, but their current actions (or inactions) toward the North American market have generated extreme problems for them, (Please see the editorial in this issue.)
Unfortunately, the current lenders of Commodore International are facing their toughest problem yd. Tiny must convince investors and their vendors that they have the best interests of Commodore and its customers at heart. Their past record will be of no help.
The positive side is that the Amiga will survive and the transformation which Commodore is now forced to go through can only help the platform.
However, no matter how well CBM does or does not do, it is important to remember that it has always been the Amiga users who have championed and driven this machine. With this force behind a newly directed Amiga, the current users should see some very exciting changes.
Looking For the Origin Dear Amazing, I own an Amiga 1200 with a 120MB hard disk. I'm writing to trv to get support to convince Origin Systems, Inc to begin making software for the Amiga again. "Ultima VIII: Pagan" is being released, but of course only for MS-DOS machines (at least for the present) and it looks to be a very impressive game. 1 own Ultima VI (the last Ultima that will most likely ever be released for Amigas) and I had some troubles getting it installed on my hard disk. 1 sent a letter to Origin Systems asking if they knew of the situation, or if they could help me. 1 got a letter
back with a suggestion, but also noting that until Commodore begins to truly support the Amiga again, and until sales of the AGA machines arc- shown to be strong, they will discontinue support for tire Amiga.
With the strong sales of the Amiga 1200,1 think that there is a good case for Origin to port games over to the Amiga format. Even if it means leaving the pre-AGA Amigas behind, its worth having Origin Systems back on the Amiga scene. Bringing these games over to AGA Amigas would be easy, since the graphics are compatible. So I'm trying to get Amiga owners to write letters to Origin Systems, Inc in an attempt to get them to continue their Amiga line of software. Their address is: Origin Systems, Inc PO Box 161750 Austin, TX 78716 Thank you.
Sincerely, Matthew J Harnell East Lansing, Ml The improvement of the Amiga platforms marketing effort (see the reply above) as well as a major introduction ofCD32 in the United Stales, should bring Origin Systems as well as a great many other developers back to the market. Remember, it is not personal (or at least it should not be).
These vendors will supply product when they can see lliai their development, production, and marketing resources will yield them the best reward.
CBM Australia Lives Dear AC, A small suggestion: please ask vendors, etc, to supply their fax number and or e-mail addresses. This would help people not in the same time zone contact the vendors. We are always getting asked these details by our developers and dealers. Also, do you have the fax number for Ameristar Technologies?
Commodore Business Machines Asia-Pacific 12 6 Gladstone Road Castle Mill, Sydney, NSW 2154 Australia We ask that vendors supply as much contact information as possible, including fax and e-mail numbers, when updating their AC's GUIDE listings. This way we can be sure that we are providing the Amiga community with the mast complete collection of product and vendor information available. As for Ameristar Technologies, their fax number is the same as their telephone number 1-516-698-0834.
If you have a letter for Feedback, send it to: Feedback do Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall Rivery MA 02722 NAB '94 The National
Association Of Broadcasters' yearly event creates several new
announcements for the Amiga.
This year's National Association of Broadcasters (March 21 io 24, Las Vegas) was even bigger than iast year. With hundreds of companies offering a broad range of products for both the television and radio broadcaster and Nall's new emphasis on multimedia by including a multimedia portion (beginning with last year's event) to the exposition, NAB has seen an increase in both its size and prominence. Scheduled seminars included discussions and demonstrations on consumer platforms (3130, SEGA, Cdi, Macintosh, and others) as well as industry concerns such as broadcast and cable legislation (and
regulation), HDTV, and future markets. However, the main attraction, as always, was the exhibiting companies and their announcements.
The Flyer NewTek started the NAB festivities a day early. On Sunday, in three separate scheduled meetings before standing-room- only crowds, Tim Jenison, Newtek's founder and President, demonstrated NewTek's newest hardware achievement, the Flyer. The NewTek Flyer is a tapeless editing system that can operate at lossless capacity and deliver D2 quality video from Amiga hard drives. In order to accomplish this, NewTek created their own standard for video compression, VTASC.
VTASC stands for Video Toaster Adaptive Statistical Coding. This special in-house compression technique does not rely on standards such as JPEG or MPEG which were designed for other mediums.
VTASC was designed specifically for the compression of video (with the accompanying audio) in real time. VTASC and the flyer have been mainly the work of hardware specialists Charles Steinkuchler and Kenbe Goertzen (see the AndFurthermore close-up on page 96).
Offering a variety of compression ratios, 10 to 20 Times Faster than an A4000!
Raptor with DeskStation Technology's V.P. of Engineering, Blais Fanning the Flyer can operate in a completely lossless D2 state or it can be reduced for longer play times to an SVHS level or lower.
NewTek asserts that the Flyer ($ 3995 suggested retail) is the first D2 quality tapeless editing system. The Flyer runs in conjunction with the Video Toaster and (for best performance) requires a minimum of one 1GB drive for recording and playback and two 1GB drives for editing. However, a completed Flyer Toaster non-linear editing system can be created for less than 512,000, many limes lower than other systems.
The early version of the user interface shown at NAB was extremely Toaster-like in its operation. To edit a piece of film, the operator clicked on a crouton (a picture icon of a video clip) and placed it in the video sequence. Some concern was voiced because the early software did not support a time-line interface for editing. However, a NewTek spokesperson stated that even after the Flyer's user interface was completed, NewTek expects third party developers to create additional hardware and software products to address the needs of the entire market by licensing the VTASC technology. NewTek
has created VTASC in the hopes that it will become the next major standard in video compression technology.
Mr. jenison also demonstrated a few improvements to Toaster Paint that will be available with the Flyer. An improved Toaster Paint, as well as other software improvements created with the Flyer, should also be available as upgrades to non-Flyer Toaster users when the Flyer is released. Mr. Jenison stated that NewTek plaits to release a beta version of the Flyer by June with a consumer's version available in September.
Toaster Gets Passport In an effort to support the millions of potential users in worldwide non-NTSC standards instead of the Toaster's native NTSC, NewTek and Prime Image announced an agreement to bring together the Video Toaster writh Prime Image's Passport
4000. The Passport 4000 offers digital video signal handling
capabilities such as conversion to international video
standards including PAL, SECAM, PAL-M PALrN and NTSC 4.43.
Prime Image is considered a leader in transcoding time base
correctors, synchronizers, standards converters and still
video stores. The Passport 4000 uses a new "pass through"
interpolation technique that does not degrade the signal to
convert from one standard to another. The Passport 4000
also offers time base correction synchronization, digital
effects, and adds AT bus expansion slots for the Amiga
4000. The time base corrector synchronizer can transcode
composite or Y C out and features an ultra-stable freeze
frame field.
Bill Hendershot, founder and president of Prime Image, Inc. stated, "Prime Image's customers around the world have let us know there's tremendous pent-up demand for the Video Toaster in diverse video format applications. Given this demand and given the standards conversion technology Prime Image has pioneered, it's a natural fit for Prime Image and NewTek to work together."
Tim Jenison, founder, owner and president of NewTek stated, "The Video Toaster equipped with the Passport 4000 is going to bring desktop television production to vast new markets."
ScreamerNet In a transition from the Screamer rendering hardware announced last year, NewTek will be marketing the software portion of the technology as ScreamerNet ScreamerNet is Windows NT compatible and allows LightWave 3D users to take advantage of the rendering power offered by workstations that utilize Intel, MIPS and DEC Alpha processor chips. ScreamerNet's suggested retail price is $ 1995 and will support up to eight machines.
In a press announcement released bv NewTek, Tim Jenison stated, "As we pursued development of the Screamer hardware it became evident that high speed processors were quickly becoming commodity items. Rather than NewTek trying to keep up with the hardware wars, we decided to release software that will allow LightWave users to select the rendering machine of their choice."
"LightWave 3D has become the animation package of choice for most of the cutting edge action shows in Hollywood," stated Jenison. "Television programs such as seaQuest DSV, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Babylon 5 and RoboCop are using the Video Toaster and LightWave 3D Play Paul Montgomery, the former Vice President of NewTek is now founder and President of PLAY, Mr. Montgomery has been joined in this effort by Kiki Stockhammer, Mark Randall, as well as several other notable former NewTek employees. The team decided to expand their imprint on the video and broadcasting market by addressing
opportunities available today.
Mr. Montgomery held his first public press conference in conjunction with a presentation by Private Channels (please sec the associated article) to a standing room only audience at Caesar's Palace. Mr. Montgomery outlined what he and his new company wanted to achieve.
"At PI.AY we have a better idea, it is called Desktop Broadcasting. The way we see the future of this unfolding, is that using the desktop video technology and computers, you will have the way that television of the future will be formed."
"There is a saying we have at PLAY, 'The best way to predict the future is to create it.'" "The promise of the information superhighway could be here now. Not five years from now, not two years from now, but today." "Play was formed to help set the trend and the future of TV- And we are real excited about these opportunities that are out there today."
Paul announced a strategic alliance between Play and Private Channels to create Private Television.
Mr. Montgomery stated later that he is extremely interested in working within the Amiga development community to organize and create the tools for the next great step in communication personal television. »AC* to push thi' envelope'of visual effects. With the introduction of ScreamerNet tliev will have access to the rendering power they need to completely redefine the standards for effects in television and film production."
Raptor Replaces Screamer DeskStation Technology™ through one of the new third party agreements with NcvvTek, announced Raptor. Raptor is hardware evolution of the Screamer hardware unit first announced by NewTek.
The device was originally created for NewTek by DeskStation Technology.
When NewTek decided to market just the software portion of the technology, DeskStation entered into an agreement to develop and market the hardware.
According to DeskStation executives, the Raptor can complete a 10 hour LightWave 3D rendering in under an hour.
The Raptor stands on the floor at 3 1 2' tall by 1 I 2 feet wide by 2 feet deep. The black case houses 2 mother boards, eacli controlled by its own r4400 MIPS processor. The Raptor contains 128MB of RAM and is available either without ScreamerNet™ software ($ 13,900) or with ScreamerNet ($ 15,900). Requirements include a NewTek Video Toaster (Amiga 4000 version preferred), an ethernet card for your Amiga, and LightWave 3D version 3.1. DevWare's Crouton & More DevWare was showing a variety of products for the Video Toaster including their newest release, Crouton tools.
Crouton Tools is the easy to use Video Operating System (VOS) from DevWare, Inc. It boasts 1100 Pre-defined video tools, 150 NEW synergistic functions, ToasterSmnrt™ Directory Utility and Visual Logging System. Greatly accelerating your pre- and post-production video it seamlessly integrates your applications directly within your Toaster environment.
System requirements for Crouton Tools is as follows: Video Toaster System 2.0 or above, Amiga DOS 2.04 or above, minimum 4MB RAM and a 68020 processor or above.
DevWare also showed Toaster Toolkit 4000. This system breaks all barriers for harnessing creative control over your NewTek Video Toaster Environment- allowing for presentation professionalism powered only by your imagination. Although the Toaster was designed to let you have interactive control over it, Arexx programming skills were still a must. The Toolkit's Sequence Editor changes all of that, allowing you to create, execute, save and manipulate sequences graphically and easily. The Arexx commands are shown in plain English for ease of understanding. Slideshows can be created of your
favorite FrameStores. These are just a few of the features in the system.
This full power version works with Video Toaster version 2.0, 3.0 and 4000 systems.
Cocoon is DevWare's full featured morphing program, it is called a "second and a half generation" morphing system.
This means that the interface is a combination of the vector based method used in most PC and Amiga morphing systems, and the more advanced outlining method employed on high end graphics workstations costing hundreds more. Cocoon was designed to be powerful, fast and easy to use. The interface and the morphing system are written to allow' the user full creative freedom, and the built-in compositing PreVue Technologies’ IrtterVue™ and DejaVue™ controllers provide additional options to a Video Toaster workstation.
Features eliminate the need for separate image processing programs to achieve multi-layered effects. It can also be used professionally at high resolutions-to create stunning broadcast quality effects. Or, it can be used as an animation tool for the graphics hobbyist. Cocoon works on any Amiga with 3MB or more RAM. SMB is required for high resolution morphs. A hard drive is required with less than 4MB of RAM and highly recommended otherwise. List price is $ 99.95. Private Channels On Sunday, Private Channels, a development by the people who created the Desktop Video Wizards Network, announced
Private Channels custom information channels service. This private "narrowcast service" allows businesses and organizations to incorporate national information into specialized SCALA presentations presented to their employees or customers.
Skyline is a software link to the Davis Instrument Weather Monitor II weather station. The software allows users to display current temperature, wind direction, wind speed, barometer and with additional accessories also displays current humidity and rainfall. The software is available separately or bundled with the weather station hardware.
Dateline is a daily news service covering national news and information.
Bottomline is a daily news service covering Wall Street financial and business news.
Lifeline is a daily news service covering employee health and wellness information.
These daily feeds can be incorporated into your own company Information Channel or Private Channels can remotely program your channel for you, SCALA Scala's InfoChannel IC50L1 was announced at NAB. The IC5B0 (upgraded from the 1C400) provides full support for MPEG, an automatic system for logging and invoicing ads as used on cable stations or in networked kiosks, as well as several new and or improved features to facilitate authoring.
Jon Bohmer, Scala's founder and president noted, "SCALA is going to drastically expand the commercial insertion market by bringing multimedia to it while dramatically lowering the cost at both the high and low ends. The Time is right the industry is going digital. Scala will lower costs for those who now do commercial insertion. But low costs together with the increase in TV channels will also open the market up to many others."
Dynamic Motion Positron Publishing announced the introduction of Dynamic Motion Module™ for NewTek's Lightwave 3D™ at NAB.
Dynamic .Motion Module is the only software program available that allows LightWave users to automatically create motion paths for their 3D objects. It is the only program to provide collision detection and object response for LightWave.
Companies Mentioned 30 Media DevWare, Inc. Ploy Prime Image
P. O. Box 341161 12520 Kirkham Court 5214-F Diamond Heights 19943
Via Escuela LOS Angeles, CA 90034 Suite 1 Blvd.
Saratoga, CA 95070 Tel (310) 392-7901 Poway, CA 92064 Suite 704 Tel: (408) 867-6S19 FAX: (310) 842-7336 (BOD) 879-0759 San Francisco, CA 94131 FAX: (408) 926-7294 Inquiry 238 Inquiry 241 Tel: (800) 306-PLAY Tel: (415) 647-PLAY Inquiry 247 ASDG. Incorpoialed Heifner Communications FAX: (415) 647-7539 Private Channels 925 Stewart Street Inc Inquiry 244 7711 Compuler Avenue Madison, Wl 53713 4451 1-70 Dr NW Edina, MN 55435 Tet: (608) 273-6585 Columbia, MO 65202 Positron Publishing
(612) 896-9898 FAX: (608) 271-1988
(314) 445-6163 1915 N 121st St Suite D
(612) 896-9899 Inquiry 239
(314) 445-0757 FAX Inquiry 242 Oamaha, N£ 68154
(800) 365-1002 orders Inquiry 248 DeskStalion Technology
(402) 493 6280 SCALA 13256 W.9Blh Street NewTek, Inc.
(402) 493-6254 2323 Horse Pen Road Lenexo, KS462I5 1200 S.W.
Executive Dr. Inquiry 245 Suite 2D2 Tel: (913) £99-1900
Topeka, KS 66615 Hernon, VA 22071 FAX: (415) 647-7539 Tel:
(800)-847-611 T PreVue Technologies Tel: (703) 7I3-090D
FAX: (913) 599 4024 Tel: (9133-228-B000 PO Box 217 FAX:
(703) 713-1960 Inquiry 240 FAX: (913)-228-800l Inquiry
243 Grass Valley. CA 95945
(800) 356-8863 Soles
(916) 477-2905 FAX: (916)272-1528 Inquiry 246 inquiry 249 To
create motion paths for LightWave objects, users simply
define certain physical characteristics of an object, such
as mass, velocity, elasticity and direction of travel and
allow the program to calculate the animated path. If DMM
detects that objects collide, it automatically calculates
the effect of the collision on any dynamic object in the
This collision detection function allows the user to create flawless object interaction, such as a cue ball breaking racked billiard balls, a single domino failing and setting an entire row of dominos in motion or a roulette ball rolling around, bouncing and coming to rest on the roulette wheel. DMM can accurately create this collision response and motion because it relies upon the laws of Newtonian physics to predict how objects with certain physical characteristics will move and interact. Positron will begin shipping DMM immediately following NAIi with a price tag of $ 179.95. Also announced
was a limited time offer of a $ 10.00 discount coupon for DM M to anyone purchasing their popular Video Toaster™ how-to bt ok "Mastering Toaster Technology" and the DMM program directly from Positron. The books comes with various fonts torToasterCG, a logo loading utility program and floppy disk-based interactive tutorials on the Toaster 4000. The book and its accompanying software has a suggested retail price of $ 49.95. "Answers to Television Technology" is a 250 page book filled with answers to the most-often asked questions Smith has encountered in his popular video engineering seminars
and Technical Smithy column in A Video Magazine. The book covers general equipment issues, such as proper storage of NiCad batteries, cameras, computers, recorders, picture displays, video processors, test equipment, video switchers and effects equipment and audio equipment. When purchased alone from Positron the cost is $ 29.95 (plus shipping and handling).
However, for anyone ordering a soft cover edition of Smith's "Mastering Television Technology" for $ 49.95 the "Answers" book is FREE (plus shipping and handling).
Addilional Sights ASDG was demonstrating some of the new image manipulation software they have created for the SGI. However, an ASDG executive stated that the professional touch- up software, No Strings Attached, would be available on the Amiga in a new edition. No Slrings Attached is an automatic touch-up program that cleans marks and scratches created on original film. When processed, each frame is cleaned so that stray lines, gate scratches, drop outs, and even strings are removed. The final image is commercial quality, Heifner Communications, Inc. announced The COZZY 4000 + The Cozzy 4000
with ZORO slot for the YC+. Video Toaster 4000 owners can now install the YC+ board, along with their Video Toaster card in the COZZY. Moving the Video Toaster card out of the A4000 saves 1 slot and now you save yet another slot by installing the YC+ card in the COZZY, It features a 45 watt power supply which runs the Toaster card and ZORO slot relieving the overworked A4000 power supply. An RS170b, 5 output blackburst generator frees you from having to use a valuable camera and distribution amp to sync your equipment. Now you can supply a timing sync to all your video equipment easily. The
sturdy steel case matches the footprint of the A4000. It mounts above or below the 4000 and can easily support the weight of the computer and monitor. Installation is easy with no modifications required to any equipment or cards and they also offer technical Support. Now shipping it retails for $ 449.95. PreVue Technologies announced InterVue™ which gives the user hands-on control of the Switcher, giving them better control of their video. It extends the most often used (and most valuable) controls for that familiar, big-switcher feel. This is a very powerful control system for the Video
Elissa Rubenstein, President of 3D Media, was on hand at NAB to demonstrate the variety of ways 3D Media can make 3-D art stand out. The company uses a technique that combines up to seven images of a "live" or computer model image and then creates a transparency that appears 3-dimensional. The transparency can be mounted in a lighted display box.
3D Media can also produce 3-D art in other media in quantities of 1 to 5000 or more. The art can be supplied as still pictures or a computer file from Amiga, IBM, or Macintosh. Ms. Rubenstein suggested that the stiil pictures should be created by a professional 3-D photographer. Please call for more information before supplying art.
• AC* Practical Typography for Amiga Desktop Publishers by Ben
Richards TIME WAS, all anybody had on their desk was a
typewriter. The typewriter keyboard, representing the
capability of the mechanism it drove, was the universal
communication interface. And somehow, though there's a world of
difference between a micro-computer and that old-time gizmo,
the typewriter, we're still stuck with a functionally deprived
keyboard. An optimal keyboard for desktop publishers would
possess many more function-specific keys, doing away with the
obscurity of multi-key commands, and maybe the mousey menus,
Why bother pointing this out? Because, as a typographer operating a sendee bureau, I've had countless opportunities tocoach desktop publishers in their moments of difficulty, which are many,and are so often the result of a vague reliance on typewriting skills, DTP software, for all the blame it gets, is hardly ever at fault anymore for awkward typography. Amiga software has evolved to the point that in competent hands the final product cannot be identified as mere "desktop publishing." The reason it so often turns out looking like "desktop publishing" is because people are still operating in a
typewriter frame of mind.
As more people delve into page layout and design, there is an increasing need for everybody to study a little basic typography. This ancient craft has been digital for a decade now, so it merely remains for people to upgrade their desktop know-how. The myth that desktop publishing is easy is only partly true: Stacking words up next to each other is easy. Constructing a professional page is a matter of skill not so hard when you know how, but it takes a little longer resulting in a coherent, visually interesting "document," not some bland text object So now, for those of us who need to produce
the occasional flier, brochure, newsletter or business card, here are some basic guidelines that might improve your efforts in desktop publishing.
Design Space There are two mistakes a desktop designer is liable to make starting out. These are setting the type too big, and filling up all the available space. These errors often happen together. For one tiring, there's a tendency louse big type to improve legibility on the screen, but mostly people are inclined to make the most of their page.
The thing to do is to regard your page as an empty space, like a painter's canvas, out of which your type and graphics will emerge. Don't bury the paper in a morass of ink; let some air into your page by reducing the size of your type and increasing the line space a little. Let your headlines float above your text and below the top of the page, and be generous with your margins all around.
Desktop publishers are not constrained by antique typewriter conventions of type size and line space, indents and strict horizontalitv. Behind the paper's flat surface is a third dimension, and with graphics or with type alone you can create a feeling of depth. Headlines can reach out and grab. Text can be up front and amusing, or laid back and soothing, or boldly emphatic to command further attention. Depending on your purposes there are endless effects possible with digital typesetting nowadays, but keep in mind that morphing your type too exuberantly is pointless and annoying. There is an
event horizon beyond which weird perspectives and bizarre effects will nauseate the reader. So don't go there without a design concept in mind.
Working with alphabets on a printed page, we can use letters and rvords as striking graphic features; in headlines, or wherever it's appropriate in the design of your page. Thus a variety of typefaces to choose from enhances the possibilities of visual creativity. There are hundreds of public domain and shareware PostScript fonts around, many of them useful. You'll want a dingbats font for special characters, such as ballot boxes for your business forms, and decorative punctuation. Get a feeling for the mood each of your typefaces creates in a word, % * O + * ? * ?
A line, a paragraph. See how two different fonts work together maybe they don't! M ixing typefaces on your page can be tricky; two is most often enough, in any case. Different faces offer contrast and character, but you should maintain consistency; headlines and subheads contrasting with text, and so forth.
Rudiments One of the surest, dreariest signs of "desktop publishing" is the use of inch marks instead of quotes, footmarks instead of apostrophes.
Undoubtedly a carryover from the old-time limitations of typewriter composition, I guess it's a natural mistake, but nobody who knows better is going to use those dull inches and foots on their printed page.
Desktop publishers all over the place perpetrate this error. Only desktop publishers do it. AMIGAids, your left-hand opening quote is achieved by hitting that button on your keyboard just above the tab button, twice. Your close quote is two apostrophes. British usage differs slightly.
Another typewriting trait is the use of two word spaces at the end of sentences. As the bedrock of DTP is proportional fonts now, professional usage requires that we put just one word space after the period ending a sentence. Upon adopting this standard, you'll instantly notice that your text is no longer full of big square holes where you used to put all that extra space. Trivial, I suppose, but how professional do you want your page to look?
And again, of the few means of emphasis available to typewriters, that of underlining words is unacceptable in typography, for we have the use of italic fonts to serve that purpose.
There is a group of PostScript effects that should be used with extreme caution. The worst of these is the Boldify effect. All this does is offset a second image of thecharacter and create a smudge of the two together. Lettcrspacing in such boldifications is equally smudged and cockeyed. The use of Slant is not quite as bad, perhaps, if that's the only way you can approximate italics without underlining, but the characters are stiff and tipped offbalance. Furthermore, if the job is going to a service bureau you can be pretty sure your lack of a bold or italic printer font is going to result
in error a stretch of default Courier on that expensive imagesetter print. Also when printing from high resolution imagesetters, the Outline effect often produces a very thin hairline, sometimes hardly visible. The Shadow effect is usually better accomplished manually, within your page layout program.
Textboxes "Less Box = More Fun.” That's what I keep telling people as I help unravel the mishmash of textboxes all over their pages, when they've added or deleted or in some way changed their original material and now have to realign, resize or remove various elements. The key to the box thing is formatting. It's easier and more efficient to use those line space parameters, those indents, tabs and alignment controls, to put your type where you want it, all in one box. Then, when vou change something, everything else readjusts automatically.
Your best bet is to type everything that's going on the page into one box. Then format. Naturally, anything that's going to be separately skewed, twisted, tilted or slanted gets a box of its own. And headlines very often get separate treatment.
For instance, in com posing a menu for your restn urant, you want a headline and several subheads categorizing the lists of items, prices and descriptions. You're well along in this composition and suddenly you find it's necessary to go back and insert "Xtra MonstraBrgr." If your page is composed ofseparate boxes foreach headline orsubhead, different boxes for different things, then when you add to the list you're going to have to move ail those boxes around to make room, and hassle with lining them up again.
Why bother with all that? Use predefined parameters; style sheets, tags, etc., for each different type style. Or, create samples of your various elements, in just a few lines, perhaps in a box off the page.
These lines of type embody the specifications, so you can grab one and insert it where its Specs are needed, all the way along. The specs from a previous line are always in effect at the next line’s starting point, so type your new material after the first character you insert. Then go back and delete that character. Now, when you add your XtraBrgr to the list, everything below will flow along the page, all in one box, in the most natural way.
Lines o’Type On the other hand, life isn't always easy inside a text box. It can get pretty tedious if you're cramped for space. Each line of type on the page might need special attention.
Headlines and display type should always be carefully letter spaced. Look to advertising for examples of disciplined typography.
Realize that the kerning pairs provided with a font seldom situate characters optimally on all occasions. What 1 sometimes do is tighten a line of display type until most of the letters just barely touch. A 400% screen magnification is good for this. Then, I'll adjust the remaining letters individually, until they are just touching those adjacent, so the whole line is way too tight, but consistently so. Then I’ll loosen the line to the correct overall spacing this can be from tight to loose, depending on the job and look again at individual letter pairs, again manually adjusting them so
there's neither spnciness nor clumped-togeth- emess happening on that line.
You don't have to be so picky with text. You might pay some attention to the capitals beginning sentences; don't let the following letters touch, or drift too far out along the baseline. The main things with text are; consistent overall spacing, controlled hyphenation and line breaks, avoidance of widows and orphans and proofreading.
Proofreading is so important it's impossible to stress its importance strongly enough, without damaging your brain. Read each Word, Comma, Period. Everything!
Consistent overall spacing comes in two flavors; aligned to one margin or the center, and aligned to both margins. The one I like best is ragged right, variously known as block left, left justified, left aligned. So long as you can maintain the ragged right edge of your column fairly tight breaking each line as dose to the maximum line width as reasonably possible, and hyphenating no more than three times in a paragraph, you'll have a good block of type without too many embarrassing holes gouged in the side. The shorter your line length, the more problems you'll have. Tracking the letter space
in individual lines is a key tactic to avoid hyphenating everything in sight. Don't let things get too tight.
Alternately, justified type is used to achieve a solid block of type flush on both margins. But as you can observe in any newspaper, vast acreages of paper real estate can open up in themidd le of the text block as words drop to the next line, or scatter across the entire line width.
It's exactly the same problem as in left aligned type, uglier when it happens, and the same solutions appiy.
Widows and orphans have a life of their own. Don't leave them hanging around. Always work small widows back into the paragraph, or push another word down to keep them company. Longer words, like "significant," will be alright. Orphaning a line is just as bad as widowing a word. When a paragraph has to split between columns, take along or leave behind at least two lines.
• AC* Please Write to: Ben Richards c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 How many times have you
thought to yourself, "I remember reading something on this.
Now what magazine and what issue was that?" Well, this
tutorial will show you how to create an article database using
Helm, from Eagle Tree Software, to help you with your memory
Making an Article Database Program with Helm By Douglas J. Nakakihara Each entry in the database consists of essential information about an article: key words, the publication, and a description. You can flip through each entry or do a word search on the entire database. There is also an index page that alphabetically lists the entries by key words. A simple click on a key-word line and the corresponding page appears, This is actually a highly modified version of the demo book "Bookbase" that comes with Helm. You can look at that if you want to get an idea of what this project will ultimately
look tike.
Begin by selecting "New" from the Book menu. Call the book "ArticleBase" and click OK. Answer "No" to the Copy-current-form requestor. Select "Display" from the Author menu. Choose "(NTSC:High Res)" from the display list. The dimensions should be 640 x 200 and the colors should be eight. Click OK.
There are two main pages in this book, each having its own form. Following the list of each page's objects will be a brief discussion of the highlights of the scripts and object parameter settings.
Page One Select "Page" from the Author menu and name this page "IndexPnge". Select "Draw Tools" from the Tools menu and add the objects listed below.
The Button tool is the fifth one down in the right column. It looks like a rectangle with a shadow. The procedure for adding objects is to select the tool from the toolbox, click and hold the left mouse button, and drag out the object. Release the button when done. It is not critical that the object be drawn in the correct location, as the size and position will be numerically set in tbe object's parameter settings. (Hint: the cut and paste functions can speed things up.) To display an object's information requestor, double-click it.
If a parameter is listed just by name, like "Show Name", then that means it should be active. If it is supposed to be inactive, it will be listed like "Show Name-OFF." Also, some parameters may already be set by default.
BUTTON 1: General: (Left Width Top Height) 0 640 0 200, Name=ABC, Cannot Move. Color: 5. (The 5th color from the left.)
Pen: Show Name=OFF. Border: Filled Frame, Thick=5, Color=4.
BUTTON 2: General: 380 240 10 180, name=ArticleBase, Cannot Move, Color: 3. Pen: Show Name (i.e., this should be active), Location=Top Center, Style-Shadow, Color=2. Shadow: Solid.
Border: Filled Frame, Thick=5, Color=4.
BUTTON 3: General: 400 200 30 20, Name=@FFind, Cannot Move. Color: 4. Pen: Show Name, Location=Center. Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick=l. Highlight: First Plane.
BUTTON 4: General: 400 200 55 20, Name=@UUpdate Index, Cannot Move. Color: 6. Pen: Show Name, Location=Center. Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick=l. Highlight: First Plane.
BUTTON 5: General: 400 200 80 20, Name=@CBrowse Cards, Cannot Move. Color: 4. Pen: Show Name, Location=Center, Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick=l. Highlight: First Plane.
BUTTON 6: General: 400 200 105 20, Name=@IInformation, Cannot Move. Color: 4. Pen: Show Name,
I. ocntion-Center. Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick=l. Highlight:
First Plane.
BUTTON 7: General: 400 200 130 20, Name=@QQuit, Cannot Move.
Color; 4. Pen: Show Name, Location=Center. Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick-1. Highlight: First Plane.
The database is designed to make it easy to locate information.
The Textfield tool is the sixth one down in the left column. It looks like the letter T with a square around it.
TEXTFIELD 1: General: 20 350 10 180, Name=Index, Cannot Move. Options: Allow Search=OFF, Attach Slider, Line Selection, Lock Text, Outside Slider, Wide Margins. Color: 4. Pen: Show Name, Locntion=top center. Shadow: Solid, Size=2. Border: Filled Frame, Thick=5, Color=4.
TEXTFIELD 2: General: 400 200 160 19, Name=Pagecount, Cannot Move, Ignore Input. Options: Allow Search=OFF. Format: Center. Color: 4. Border: Filled Frame, Thick=3, Color=4.
Page One Scripts Now add the scripts for all of the objects on page one. To add a script, hold the control key While you double-click the object.
Page One Explanations The @ symbol, used in some of the object names, followed by a character, indicate which character in the name should be a shortcut keystroke. So if a button's name is ©CBrowsc Cards, hitting the C key will be the same as clicking that button. When the "Show Name" setting is active, the shortcut letter will be underlined on tire button.
Buttons 1 and 2 provide a nice looking backdrop for the various objects on the page. The Find button (3) provides the same function as button 13 on page two. A requestor prompts the user for the search text. (Note that the "with Searchtext" portion of the command uses the contents of the container "Searchtext" as the default answer.) The response to the requestor will be stored in the container "it." The script makes sure the allowsearch parameter is active for all text fields and then displays the next page that matches the search criteria. By locking the display before the search and
unlocking it afterward, the process is visually cleaner.
The Update Index button (4) creates a list of all of the keywords and places it in textfield 1. Note that as long as the do- loop has not reached the last page, a new line (i.e. carriage return) is added after each keyword's line. After the list is placed in the textfield, the total number of pages, less one (for the index page) is placed into textfield 2. The "set pointer to 6" command changes the pointer to busy, A value of 0 turns it back into an arrow.
This script performs no pre-sorting operations; keywords are taken in page order. For this reason, the user should sort the database, before updating the index. The button to do this is on the following page.
The Browse Cards button (5) brings up page two, the first database entry. The Information button (6) displays a requestor containing author information or anything else you might feel appropriate. Tire Quit button (7) quits the book, but only if the user really means it!
Textfield i uses an outside slider so the user can scroll the list up and down.
Page Two Select "New Form" from the Go menu to start creating the second page. The second page must be created entirely by editing the form. [ bis way, as pages are added for new entries, the new pages inherit all of the objects on the form. Select "Edit Form" from the Edit menu to edit the form. You may want lo go to the Edit menu again to make sure "Edit Form" is checked.
Don’t do this because it may confuse you, but if you now went back to the previous page, it would be blank. Why? Because you are in the edit-form mode and the first page Iras no objects on its form.
All of the objects were added to the first "layer" by default. To see the objects, you simply turn the edit-form mode off. (Actually, since the form for page one will only be used once, we could have added all of the objects to the form of that page as well.)
BUTTON 8: General: 0 640 0 200, Name=ABC, Cannot Move.
Color: 3. Pen; Show Name=OFF. Border: Filled Frame, Thick=5, Color=4.
BUTTON 9: General: 20 600 10 155, Name=ABC, Cannot Move.
Color: 4. Pen: Show Name=OFF. Shadow: Solid. Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick=l.
BUTTON 10: General: 10 80 175 20, Name=©SSort, Cannot Move.
Color: 6. Pen: Show Name, Location=Center, Color 2, Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick=l. Highlight: First Plane.
BUTTON 11: General: 90 80 175 20, Name=@AAdd, Cannot Move. Color: 4. Pen: Show Name, Location=Center, Color 2, Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick= i. Highlight: First Plane.
BUTTON 12: General: 170 80 175 20, Name=@DDelete, Cannot Move. Color: 4. Pen: Show Name, Location-Center, Color 2. Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick=I. Highlight: First Plane.
BUTTON 13: General: 250 70 175 20, Name=@FFind, Cannot Move. Color: 7. Pen: Show Name, Location=Center, Color 1. Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick=l. Highlight: First Plane.
BUTTON 14: General: 320 70 175 20, Nnme=©RRepeat, Cannot Move. Color: 7. Pen: Show Name, Locntion=Center, Color 1. Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick=l. Highlight: First Plane.
BUTTON 15: General:390 80 175 20, Name=@I Index, Cannot Move. Color: 4. Pen: Show Name, Locntion=Center, Color 2. Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick=l. Highlight: First Plane.
BUTTON 16: General: 470 80 175 20, Name=@PPrevious, Cannot Move. Color: 4. Pen: Show Name, Location=Center, Color 2. Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick=l, Highlight: First Plane.
With button 16 active, select Actions from the Object menu (or hold the shift key and double-click the object). Drag "Go To" up to the "Select Up" area, using the left mouse button, and release it. Set "Previous Page" and "Current Form Only" to active. Click OK.
BUTTON 17: General: 550 80 175 20, Name=~@NNext, Cannot Move. Color: 4. Pen: Show Name, Location=Center, Color 2. Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick=l. Highlight: First Plane.
With button 17 active, select Actions from the Object menu.
Drag "Go To" up to the "Select Up" area. Set "Next Page" and "Current Form Only" to active. Click OK.
TEXTFIELD 3: General: 30 580 25 15, Name=Keywords, Cannot Move. Options: Allow Search, One Line Onlv. Format: Alignment=Left, Color=l. Color: 5. Pen: Show Name, Caption, Location=Top Left, Color=8. Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick=1, Reverse Pen Order.
TEXTFIELD 4: General: 30 580 50 15, Name= Publication, Cannot Move. Options: Allow Search, One Line Only. Format: A!ignment=Left, Color=l. Color; 5. Pen: Show Name, Caption, (continued on page 63) ORDER LINE *'usa & Canada includes 2 FREE GAMES Package includes an Amiga 1200 computer w powersupply, mouse and TV adapter plus these great software titles: Pinbafi Dreams arcade pinball simulation. Trolls ACA, and Quick write word processor.
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Callaway What is a Storyboard?
Animators and videographers frequently make what is called a "Storyboard" before they tackle a complex, full motion project. A storyboard is sort of a "comic book" or illustrated paper version of the animation or video. Certain key frames are sketched, and sometimes text is attached, to document the way the action flows. Storyboards are useful and economical both for planning a concept and for selling the concept to a potential client.
The Idea It came to me while reviewing the Primera color printer and the new ADPro (v2.5) with the Primera 24-bil dye sublimation driver, that together with an Arexx program, these would make a very reasonably priced video storyboard generator. Using dye sub, a videographer could make photo-realistic storyboards good enough to impress even commercial clients with the output. All you would need to do would be to grab a few frames of video, paint a few animation frames, or otherwise create the key frames of the story in your Amiga. Then, with an appropriate Arexx program, ADPro could
automatically compose these shots into a storyboard for you and let you print to the Primera (or any Preferences strip type printer). The program could also save descriptive text about the frames you have used, what their path filename is, and any other relevant information. This text data could be imported into any word processor or editor, and you could insert notes or story text, already indexed to the frames in tire storyboard.
The Program Specification There are a number of decisions to be made, some of them by the user and some coded into the program. I made some (1 hope) reasonable assumptions about what kind of storyboard to make.
The beauty of Arexx is that, if you disagree, it is a simple matter to change my numbers to make your own custom image groupings, t chose to group the storyboard images 2 by 2 in a horizontal or landscape page of overscan dimensions (768 by 482 pixels), with a one pixel line in between each image, it seemed to me that text data was best placed on a separate page, indexed to each picture with frame number and length. The program also adds these numbers in white letters to a black rectangle in the Upper left cornel1 of each image as a handy key to the text data. Frame numbers bring us to the
next important decision about what sort of "front end" to use to select the images in the first place. Since we are using ADPro to compose the storyboard, and since animators and videographers would probably use ADPro's auxiliary Frnme Editor, FRED, to process their sequences, it seemed a good idea to let FRED be the means to select the images to go into the storyboard. Other choices could have been Directory Opus, or a file requester from ADPro itself. FRED, however, has all the l ight stutl to make a storyboard even while your animation is in progress. If you are not an Left; The FRED
screen. Note that our programs are in FREDOperators: animator, FRED may be used to assemble any list of images in a sequence, so artists who want to print groupings of their work may use FRED equally well. 1 chose an image aspect of 768 x 482 (normal overscan) to reflect a typical frame on a video or an animation or a picture in landscape orientation. The programs will scale any image to fit the space without losing the image aspect, but if your pictures are mostly vertical or portrait orientation, you may want to change the numbers for the backdrop into something that matches the image aspect
of your work more closely in order not to waste space on the page.
Program Operation Open FRED while ADPro is running. I made this small program and saved it to a file called "StartFRED" in ADPRO:Commands2 directory, the place for custom user commands: * StartFRED • ADDRESS COMMAND 'ADPRO:FRED' EXIT 0 You can make "StartFRED” into a user button bv opening the User Commands "tear off' list, selecting "StartFRED" and then "Settings Set Module" 1,2 or 3 to put this program into one of the three user buttons. Now you can start FRED from ADPro with one mouse dick on the button.
After FRED is open, select Project New and a blank sequence window will open. The Edit Insert menu will now give you a FrameNo. 1 "Data:WP Articles MorphPlus BabOOO" Length 1 Page 1 Count 1 FrameNo. 2 "Data:WP Articles MorphPlus BabtHJl" Length 2 Page 1 Count 2 FrameNo. 4 "Data:WP Articles MorphPlus Bab002" Length 1 Page I Count 3 FrameNo. 5 "Data:WP Articles MorphPlus Bab003" Length 1 Page 1 Count 4 FrameNo. 6 "Data:WP Articles MorphPlus Bab004" Length 1 Page 2 Count 5 FrameNo. 7 "Data:WP Articles MorphPlus Bab005" Length 2 Page 2 Count 6 FrameNo. 9 "D,ita:WP Articles MorphPius Bab006" Length
1 Page 2 Count 7 in the case of a storyboard composed of 7 consecutive images from an animation. Note that if a "frame" has a duration longer than 1, then the frame numbers are adjusted accordingly. We need the variable Count to see how many actual images we are using in our Storyboard. Frames 2 and 7 above have a length of 2, so the frame count changes accordingly. This demonstrates why we need to calculate Count instead of relying on Frame number. I leave it to the reader to load, format and insert text for your own frames in your favorite word processor. With an Arexx compatible word
processor it should be relatively easy to make some additional code to take this a step further automatically.
Create Storyboards for Animations or Videos with Arexx and Art Department Professional choice of loading one image, an entire range of images (an animation's frames) or an entire directory of images. Load a sequence of images using the FRED menu (see ADPro's manual for more details). When thev are loaded, select all the images you want in your storyboard with the "Edit Select All" or Ctrl-Left Mouse Click while the pointer is over the picture label. The selected pictures will be green and or "pressed in". You may also get FRED to make "stamps" of each selected image, a miniature thumbnail
picture. Non' with the sequence window selected, select the menu "Scripts Process..." and select "Storyboard.fred" from the list requester. Now click on "Process" and away we go! You will get a program prompt in ADPro to supply the directory for program output (default RAM:). Next, you will be asked for a string to name the storyboard, the default being "StryBrd", but you may call this root name anything you like. For every four pictures selected, there will be a page in your specified directory named "StryBrd. 1", "StrvBrd.2", etc. The pages are numbered as the images in the sequence in FRED
are composed left to right, top to bottom, 2 by 2 on each page. Finally a file called "StryBrd.data" contains the text from each image, for example: How FRED Scripts Work You must remember that FRED can launch Arexx programs but FRED is not controllable through Arexx, Therefore, using Arexx with FRED is a little tricky. FRED is designed to batch process every image file in a sequence as selected by the user.
Scripts that come with FRED are designed to be added to a list of processes to apply to each selected image in turn. Once the next selected image file is loaded automatically by FRED, the process list is executed from top to bottom, and then the next image is loaded, and these steps repeated until all the sequence is processed. FRED scripts (saved in FREDScripts: when you installed ADPro) operate like functions then. That is why the manual warns you to "return something" as in an "EXIT 0" instruction. FRED won't go from one function "tool" to the next in the process list unless the last one
returned 0 for success. Every FRED script MUST have a suffix ".fred" to work properly.
In addition to being designed to perform a list of processing tools on each image, FRED will also do "pro" and "post" processing, when you want to do something only once before you process each image, or after all have been processed. In our example, "StoryBoard.fred" processes each selected image in our sequence; "StoryBoard.fred.pre" runs before any images are loaded; and "StoryBoard.fred.post" runs after all images have been processed.
Left: A typical page from a storyboard.
An argument, "UNIVERSAL", to make the current loader UNIVERSAL.
W m.. ¦ asm I - This is an automatic feature of FRED. All three programs with the same root name and two with ".pre" and ".post" suffixes will in every case run in the order given above.
FRED is only a front end to take care of loading and sequencing the image files. All the processing is done in ADPro and the Arexx address is "ADPro" as it normally is. These three programs are completely separate processes and operate on separate things
(i. e. each image file). FRED automatically passes certain
sequence- or file-specific arguments along with the call to
each program, and each program may parse these arguments to
obtain information such as number of frames, frame number,
etc. If we need to exchange data between programs, we may
also use the Arexx Clip List.
The Program Flow Communication between separate Arexx programs is easy using the functions SETCLlP("name",value) and GETCLIP("name"). The "name" is in quotes because it is case sensitive. The value may be anything: a number or a quoted string; quoted, unless you want strings all in capital letters. You may set a (name, value) pair in any Arexx program and retrieve it later from another program. The clip list persists until the operating session is over (reboot or off). You may reset (name,value) pairs as we do in the clean up program, "StoryBoard.fred.post" simply by calling SETCLIP("name")
with no value given.
Pre Processing The ".pre" program asks for user input, using two standard "FREDfunctions" to get a directory and to get a string. This demonstrates how FRED can use the functions already supplied with ADPro with no further effort on the programmer's part. There was, however, a small bug in these two canned programs which are fixed, as noted in their listings. Next, the program loads a "standard overscan" 768 x 482 white backdrop to use for compositing images into the storyboard and saves it to a file, "RAM:story". We need to pass the root name of our storyboard, the director}' we choose, the
image counter (initialed to D), and the page number (initialized to 1) so these are set in the dip list. The ".pre" program also opens a file for writing our text, and then closes it. This clears the file to empty. Later, in the main program, we open it to append lines of information. The program uses another of the supplied scripts, a FREDfunctions:GetLoader, with The Main Program The sequential processing first reads in the variable from the clip list. It then calculates the new counter from the initialized or last counter, using one of the arguments, FirstCaIlCell, passed by FRED Sr from
the loaded image, and parsed by this program into its component parts.
The text data goes into our file, appended to the data from the last image processed. Next the image is scaled to fit one fourth of the backdrop without changing its image aspect. 1 took a regular ADPro script, ADProScripts:ScaleToFillArea.adpro and modified a line to take arguments, This turned it into an external function and it was not necessary to code a scale to fill routine from scratch. The requesters asking for the width and height are left in, however, so that it may be used normally. I ensconced them in an IF statement to check the datatype of the arguments so, if no arguments are
supplied, they work as originally written.
The next two sections put a black rectangle in the upper left hand comer of the image, and using the rather lengthy text operator, the frame number and its length are drawn there in white.
If all you want is four images without text information, just comment out these two sections.
The scaled, tagged image is saved in the TEMP buffer. The SELECT block immediately after this determines which quadrant we will put the image into. Thecount 4 (the " " indicates remainder division) acts as modular arithmetic, yielding 1, 2,3, or 4 regardless of how big count gets. The result specifies which quadrant to put the image into. If quadrant 1, then the blank backdrop is loaded from RAM, the image composited with 0, 0 offset, and the new image saved to "StryBrd.n" where n is page number n. The next three quadrants, instead of loading the blank backdrop, load this "StryBrd.n" and add
to it, the offsets changing according to the quadrant. The last quadrant also increments the page count.
The Post Processor The last thing is to ask, do we want to print the pages in the storyboard? We use an OKAYN multiple choice requester to get a print or cancel button to click on. If we cancel the program exits after clearing all the clip (name,value) pairs. If we choose to print, we already have the last page loaded, so we count backward down to the first page. The visual or GUI print interface is loaded here. 1 was unsuccessful in performing Arexx settings of the regular PREFPR1NTER saver. A bug kept causing system crashes. With the GUI, you set all the settings the first time through,
landscape, page size, set aspect to image aspect, etc., and on subsequent prints, GetADir GetAString * just print the next one. The program will load each page in turn.
Once ASDG fixes the PREFPR1NTER Arexx bug, we can do settings and print all this automatically. Storyboard building is now easy with Arexx, ADPro, and a color printer.
* * GetAString *
* $ VER: GetAString 1.1.0 (5.11.93)
* This Arexx script contains a function which asks the user to
* a string.
* Title - text shown to the user asking for a string.
* DefaultStr - default string.
* IsRequired - TRUE, if the string is required; FALSE, otherwise.
* EnteredStr - the entered value, or "" if aborted.
* This script should work with current versions of Arexx.
* This script requires ADPro v2.5.Q (or higher) .
* Copyright © 1992-1993 ASDG, Incorporated
* All Rights Reserved
* TRUE=1, FALSE=Q values removed by M.Callaway
* caused malfunction due to conflict with isRequired=TRUE
* assignment.
22'X * TRUE, FALSE values removed here. * PARSE ARG Arguments
PARSE VAR Arguments '"'Title"" '"'DefaultStr'IsRequired .
Title = DQ f| Title 11 DQ DefaultStr = DQ || DefaultStr ] I DQ continue s TRUE DO WHILE (continue = TRUE) ADPRO_TO_FRONT GETSTRING Title DefaultStr EnteredStr = adpro RESULT IF (RC -= 0) THEN DO IF (IsRequired = TRUE) THEN DO ADPRO TO,FRONT OKAYN ‘"GetAString’" "’This 3tring is required."' '"Retry I Cancel"' IF (RC * 0) THEN DO EnteredStr = DQ I I DQ continue = FALSE END END ELSE DO EnteredStr « DQ I I DQ continue = FALSE END END ELSE continue = FALSE END * SCREEN TO FRONT "FRED" * RETURN EnteredStr EXIT 0 END * do while * •SCREEN TO FRONT "FRED"* RETURN EnteredDir EXIT 0 (continued to
page 61) A Survival Guide to CD-ROM Part I: Choosing a CD-ROM Drive by Mark Rickan If you have ventured into your favorite Amiga software outlet in recent months, you've likely witnessed an interesting transition. The coveted shelf space tradition- j ally reserved for packages containing magnetic disks is being overtaken by a new medium. Just as the cumbersome 8" floppies were superseded by the 5.25" format, ¦ and these were in turn rendered obsolete by the 3.5" standard, the microfloppy is destined to become extinct. Its successor is a rigid, luminous platter which irrevo- | cably changed the
music industry over a decade ago - the compact disc or CD-ROM.
The primary difference between the audio CD and CD-ROM systems involves the extent of error handling, Due to the fact that the accuracy of computer data is critical, additional provisions were added to CD-ROM drives in order to ensure that the integrity of the information stored on the discs could be maintained, Despite the fact that current CD-ROMs are confined to read-only memory, their immense capacity and inexpensive production costs have made them the chosen storage medium for personal computers. Industry pundits like InfoTech have estimated that sales of CD- ROM drives arc expected to
nearly quadruple in number over the next three years. At the same time, the number of CD-ROM titles in print is projected to increase from 5,283 in 1992 to 11,765 in 1995.
With this increase in market volume, competition among vendors is yielding performance gains at reduced costs. For Amiga users, this translates into quality drive mechanisms which are available for a reasonable investment.
This article is the first installment in a scries dedicated to the CD-ROM and its use with the .Amiga, in this issue, we will take a look at factors which must be taken into consideration when purchasing a CD-ROM drive. In addition, we'll attempt to dispose of some of the technospeak which lias come to be associated with these devices. Following this, we will explore some of the facets of this technology which have made it so compelling to both consumers and computer enthusiasts alike.
Rrn ftsInrnoto The AsimPhoto Pictorial Directory.
The Evolution of the CD-ROM In its current incarnation, the CD-ROM is largely derived from the optical digital audio disc standard developed by Sony and Philips in the early 1980s. After the worldwide introduction of the first audio Cds in 1984, it quickly became apparent that digitally encoding information on an inexpensive mass storage medium was becoming increasingly viable. Based on the same disc structure, laser scanning technology, mastering, and duplication methods used for audio Cds, the CD-ROM standard emerged.
Throughout the compact disc industry, the audio standard (or CD-A) is formalized within a publication known as the Red Book, while the CD-ROM standard is outlined under the stipulations set out in the Yellow Book. The primary difference between the audio CD and CD-ROM systems involves the extent of error handling.
Due to the fact that the accuracy of computer data is critical, additional provisions were added to CD-ROM drives in order to ensure that the integrity of the information stored on the discs could be maintained. Amazingly enough, the CD-ROM is considered to offer one of the lowest attainable error rates of any mass storage medium -as little as I bitoff per quadrillion bits (or I in 1,000,000,000,000,000).
Measuring 120mm (4.72 inches) in diameter and 12mm thick, a formatted CD-ROM offers a minimum storage capacity of 540 megabytes, with most current discs averaging about 650 MB. In real terms, this translates into roughly 175,000 printed pages or the equivalent of 750 standard 880k Amiga disks. This data is stored along a 3 mile spiral track of almost 2 billion three-dimensional, silvered pits which are burned into the information-bearing surface of the master disc. This surface is surrounded by a reflective metal coating which in turn is covered by a layer of protective lacquer which seals the
disc off from the surrounding environment.
Information is read from the disc by means of a scanning laser beam which sends a tiny beam of light through the transparent upper layer of the disc and onto the silvered pits. This system allows the densely-encoded data to be read without involving any physical contact or wear, preventing any long-term degradation of the CD-ROM itseif or the information it contains.
Table 1.0: CD-ROM Drive Features Summary Model MSRPi Int Ext XA MS Buffer Access.- Transfer MTBF.i Warranty Supports Chinon CDS-435 $ 495 y y_n n 64k 350 150 25,000 1 year y .
Chinon CDS X-535 $ 645 y y y y 256k 250 300 50,000 1 year y NEC Multispin 38 portable $ 425 n y y y 256k 280 300 50,000 2 years y NEC Multispin 74 84 $ 450 y y y y 256k 280 300 50,000 2 years y : : - -. :C C':V. ; .
. • ;,tj .....T !
• • • ¦ viy ¦ ' NEC Multispin 3XE $ 600 y y y y 256k 195 450
50,000 2 years y Philips LMS CM215 $ 579 y n y y 64k 360 150
20,000 2 years n . ; Pioneer DRM-604X Jukebox $ 1845 n y y V
128k 300 600 20,000 1 year n Plextor DM-3024 5024 $ 399 y y y y
64k 300 265 50,000 1 year y „ . | 111 S81j|8| | ?
• H . T SI s ft 5 Kyi VattHR 111111 Rf Plextor DM-3028 5028 $ 439
y y y y 64k 240 335
50. 000 1 year y $ 459 y y n y 256k 300 300 Sony CDU-561 50,000 1
year mm Toshiba XM-33016 3301E $ 599 y y y y 256k 330 Toshiba
XM-3401B 3401 e tManufacturers Suggested Retail Price
(external models unless stated otherwise) 2Access time
(milliseconds) 3Transter rate (kilobytes per second) Jmean
Time Between Failures (total hours estimated by manutacturer)
sToll-free technical support
50. 000 1 year n
50. 000 1 year n mmmm 150 y Yes n N o But why are they so
Despite the fact that the CD-ROM has become highly-regarded because of its incredible storage capacity and durability, it has become equally infamous because of its somewhat tardy performance. Due in large part to the fact that CD-ROM drives make use of high-precision optics, the time it takes to position the optical head in order to access the desired information is quite slow. While CD-ROM transfer rates range anywhere from 150-600kps (kilobytes per second), access times remain between 195-50Gms. This places the typical CD-ROM drive in a transfer rate category approximately half that of
most hard drives, with access times 10 to 20 times slower than their fixed-disk counterparts. Fear not however, as leading manufacturers like Pioneer, NFC Technologies, and Plextor (formerly Texel) have announced CD-ROM units which offer double, triple and even quadruple performance over their older siblings. This means that by today's standards, comparably-priced drives are now quite capable of handling the large blocks of data used for displaying photorealistic pictures, animation, and full motion video. Still no speed demons, but not bad for a device which can read discs storing the
equivalent of about 12 billion bytes per pound.
Chinon America Inc. 615 Hawaii Ave.
Torrance, CA 90503
(800) 441-0222
(310) 533-1727 (FAX) inquiry 227 C o ¦ BHB (0 E o 4 c O D T3 O
NEC Technologies Inc. 1255 Michael Dr. Wood Dale, IL
(800) 388-8888
(800) 366-0476 (FAX) Inquiry 228 Pioneer New Media Technologies
Laser Optical Systems Group 2265 E. 220th St. Long Beach, CA 90810
(310) 952-2111
(310) 952-2100 (FAX) inquiry 229 Sony Electronics Inc. 3300
Zanker Fid.
San Jose, CA 95134
(800) 352-7669 Inquiry 230 Hitachi Home Electronics (America)
Inc. Multimedia Systems Division 3890 Steve Reynolds Blvd.
Norcross, GA 30093
(800) 241-6558
(404) 279-5696 (FAX) inquiry 231 Philips LMS 4425 ArrowsWest Dr.
Colorado Spring. CO 80907
(800) 777-LMSI
(719) 531-018 (FAX) Inquiry 232 Plextor 4255 Burton Dr. Santa
Ciara, CA 95054
(800) 886-3935
(408) 968-1010 (FAX) Inquiry 233 Toshiba America Information
Systems Inc. Disk Products Division 9740 Irvine Blvd.
Irvine, CA 92713
(714) 583-3111
(714) 583-3133 (FAX) Inquiry 234 TAX BREAK The Intelligent,
Intuitive Tax Preparation Program TaxBreak, the
easiest-to-use preparation tool for your personal computer
Tax return preparation can be frustrating and confusing.
TaxBreak provides you the tools to speed up the process, and minimize errors. Best of all, TaxBreak allows you to load two returns simultaneously to see which particular tax scenario will save you the most money.
¦ Perform "What if calculations with multiple returns and estimated amounts ¦ Use mouse or keyboard for versatility ¦ On-line content -sensitive help.
¦ Pnnts IRS-acceptable facsimile printouts ¦ Easy movement between forms, schedules, worksheets and line itemizations is standard for TaxBreak Just click on the applicable fine and the back-up form appears ¦ Itemization back-up available for each fine item ¦ Pre-defined worksheets for backup to schedules ¦ Zoom in or out of high and low resolution 9 A constant display of the "bottom fine" helps you analyze your tax status as you prepare your return ¦ On-screen look-alike forms and schedules Forms and Schedules fully Integrated with TaxBreak 89: Form 1040 Form 1040A Schedule A: Itemized
Deductions Schedule B: Interest and Dividend Income Schedule C: Profit or loss from Business Schedule 0: Capital Gams & Losses Schedule E: Supplemental Income Schedule Schedule F Farm Income 8 Expenses Schedule R: Credit for the elderly or Disabled Schedule SE: Social Security Self Employment Tax Form 4562 Depreciation £L Amortization Form 2441: Credit for Child & Dependant Cai'e Expenses Form 8806: IRA, Non Deductible Contributions. Basis. S, Nontaxable Distributions Farm 2106: Employee Business Expenses Form 3903: Moving Expenses Form 8615: Computation of Tax for children Under Age 14 Form
4868: Application for Automatic Extensions $ 79.95 Updates from previous years $ 29.95 Oxxii, me.
Post Office Box 90309, Long Beach. CA 90809-0309. U SA Phone: 13101427-1227 * FAX (31QI437-0971 XA-Compatible, Multisession, PhotoCD... Huh?
As with the introduction of any piece of new technology, the CD-ROM has generated a sizeable amount of jargon. Apart from distinguishing between access and transfer rates, most users will have likely encountered the terms XA (for extended architecture), multisession and Photo CD. Simply stated, CD-ROM XA is an extension to the Yellow Book standard and allows for a track on a CD-ROM XA disc to contain a combination of computer data, compressed audio data, and video picture data. This enables CD- ROM drives to read the interleaved information by programming the hardware to separate the audio
signal from the computer data, to decompress the audio, and play it through the audio jacks. This process occurs at the same time the hardware passes the data to the computer.
Be forewarned however, as a large number of CD-ROM drives do not offer support for CD-ROM XA, and all applications making use of CD-ROM XA require specific software for each computer platform. Adding to the confusion is the fact that many CD-ROM drive vendors have designated their drives as either 'XA-ready' or 'XA-compliant.' Units marketed with an XA-ready specification are capable of reading the XA extensions, but are not able to convey all of the interleaved data. XA-compliant disc drives bv contrast, have the ability to read computer data and audio-visual information at the same time. For
the moment, XA compliance has proven to be of limited concern, but it will become essential once integrated multimedia and entertainment packages become more readily available.
To understand where the term 'multisession' is derived, one must take into consideration the fact that every CD lias an index Circle 159 on Reader Service card.
In its current incarnation, the CD-ROM is largely derived from the optical digital audio disc standard developed by Sony and Philips in the early 1980s.
After the worldwide introduction of the first audio Cds in 1984, it quickly became apparent that digitally encoding information on an inexpensive mass storage medium was becoming increasingly viable.
Which contains details concerning the tracks which are found on that disc. With audio Cds, information such as the number of songs and their total length is conveyed as soon as tire CD is inserted into a compact disc player. With special-purpose writable CD-ROM discs however, multiple indexes must be written each time data is added to the disc. A CD-ROM drive which offers multisession support can read these additional indexes and conforms to the specifications of the "Orange Book" standard set out by Philips, Sony and Kodak. Older first-generation CD-ROM drives arc restricted to reading an
initial disc index, much iike their audio counterparts.
Photo CD is a proprietary format developed by Kodak and introduced to the consumer and professional photographic and desktop publishing markets in 1992. Most simply, Kodak PhotoCD allows for the transfer of 35mm film, negatives, and slides to disc.
These images are typically submitted to a photographic processing lab where they are then scanned and burned onto XA-formatted CD-ROM discs. By conforming to specifications outlined in the Orange Book standards, Photo Cds allow for additional photographs to be written to the disc in a number of sessions. Images stored on the disc may be read bv CD-I players, dedicated Kodak Photo CD players, and CD-ROM drives offering both XA and multisession support. For image processing and manipulation of FOREST DISKASAURUS AMIGA SOFTWARE HARDWARE PERIPHERALS EURO MAGAZINES AUTHORIZED COMMODORE AMIGA
We specialize in hard-to-find products -- let us search out the software you’ve been looking for!
Please send S1 for a copy of our monthly newsletter catalogue featuring the latest Amiga products, reviews, news, and FOREST DISKASAURUS 35 Albert St., P.O. Box Forest, Ontario, Canada NON 1 JO TEL FAX 519- Circle 111 on Reader Service card.
These images on computer, additional Photo CD software must be used.
CD-ROM and the Amiga While most users will undoubtedly be familiar with Commodore's CDTV and CL) - efforts, the integration of the CD- ROM with the Amiga desktop platforms remains in its infancy. This may be attributed to a number of factors, but the most fundamental are the lack of support for CD-ROM devices in the operating system and the dearth of CD-ROM software available for the Amiga. By all accounts, both of these situations are destined to change quite dramatically. Third party Amiga developers have responded to the first situation by introducing CD-ROM support software which is at
once both inexpensive and extremely flexible.
In addition, as software grows in magnitude and the cost of manufacturing CD-ROM discs continues to drop, many Amiga software developers are releasing their applications and supplementary data discs on CD-ROM. There are literally dozens of titles currently available, ranging from compilations of public domain software, fonts and clipart, to games and educational packages.
Taking advantage of this technology on the Amiga basically requires a SCSI CD-ROM drive, an integrated or aftermarket SCSI controller and connecting cable, and one of the CD-ROM driver packages which are currently available. Because SCSI CD-ROM drives are manufactured in both external and internal configurations, any Amiga with an integrated SCSI controller may have a CD-ROM drive up and running in a matter of minutes. For A2000HD and A3000 series machines, the on-board SCSI controller allows for an internal CD-ROM drive to be inserted into any vacant
S. 25" drive bay. Due to their diminutive stature however, the
A50D, 600,1200 and 3000 series Amigas are restricted to the
use of external CD-ROM units, Finally, the A4000 may support
an internal CD-ROM drive provided that a SCSI controller card
has been added. The IDE hard drive controller bundled with the
system is not capable of supporting the custom CD-ROM drives
which are so prevalent in the IBM PC compatible market.
So what should I buy?
When looking for a suitable CD-ROM drive for your Amiga, try to keep a few things in mind, First, consult your dealer or controller documentation or make sure that the SCSI card you are using will support the drive you are intending to buy, Then, take into account what benefits the CD-ROM will provide you. Will an older, stngle-speed unit with limited features accommodate your needs? If you intend to use the drive occasionally to retrieve an odd program, font, or 24-bit background, the answer is probably yes.
But, if you foresee a constant need or find yourself intrigued by the possibility of using Kodak Photo Cds, you would be better off opting for a unit which offers increased performance and support for the XA and multisession standards. Table 1 provides an overview of many of the drives currently available on the market.
This may be used to help gauge your needs and determine the size of the investment necessary to fulfil these needs.
Finally, a word of caution. Don't be enticed by all the giveaways and incentives offered by many of the drive manufacturers and mail order companies. Discs and drivers bundled with CD- ROM drives will by and large be specific to the PC or Macintosh and be of limited use to Amiga enthusiasts. In future issues we ll take a look at the Amiga CD-ROM device drivers on the market and evaluate some of the leading CD-ROM titles. For now, take the opportunity to seek recommendations and share experiences with other Amiga users or your dealer. Finding the combination which is right for you may take a
bit of homework on your part, but it will certainly pay off in the end.
For now, I think I’ll browse through the electronic text version of Moby Dick. Or perhaps take a look at some of those NASA satellite images of Mars or...
• AC* Please Write to: Mark Rickan c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 GetLoader ¦ARexx
continued from page 54 *
* * GetLoader **
* * $ VER: GetLoader 1,1,0 (5.11.93) **
* * This script requires FRED vl.4.0 (or higher). Also required
* * ADPro v2,5.0 (or higher), **
* * Copyright ©1992-1993 ASDG, Incorporated
* * All Rights Reserved V ADDRESS "ADPro" OPTIONS RESULTS NL =
'0A1X PARSE ARG loader retoode = 0 LFORMAT loader IF (RC -= 0)
THEN DO ADPRO„TO„FRONT OKAY1 "Cannot find the - )| loader II "
loader." I I NL |], "It must be located in your" II NL II,
"Loaders2 directory."
SCREEN,TO„FRONT "FRED" retcode = 10 END RETURN ret code *
* * Specify the area to scale to.
* XSIZE ImageWidth = ADPRO_result YSZZE ImageHeight s
ADPRO,RESULT * Modifications by M. Callaway * ¦ If this pgm
called as a function, get arguments * ARG MaxWidth, MaxHeight
"FREDSCRIPTS:FREDFunctions GetANumber" '"Enter area*'s width"'
ImageWidth 1 99999 TRUE IF (RESULT e (1-1)) THEN CALL ErrorOut
10 MaxWidth = RESULT CALL
"FREDSCRIPTS:FREDFunctions GetANumber" '"Enter area''B height"'
ImageHeight 1 99999 TRUE IF (RESULT = (1-1)) THEN CALL ErrorOut
10 MaxHeight = RESULT IF (MaxWidth * ImageWidth) & (MaxHeight *
ImageHeight) THEN DO ADPRO_TO_FRONT OKAY1 "No scaling to
CALL ErrorOut 10 END ELSE IF (MaxWidth = ImageWidth) t (MaxHeight = ImageHeight) THEN CALL ErrorOut 0 ScaleToFillArea.adpro END * End of modifications by M. Callaway * *
* * Perform the percent Beale.
* PctWidthDiff = MaxWidth * 100 ImageWidth PctHeightDiff =
MaxHeight * 100 ImageHeight IP (PctWidthDiff
PctWidthHeight) THEN PctDiff = PctWidthDiff ELSE PctDiff =
PctHeightDiff PCT_SCALE PctDiff PctDiff IF (RC -= 0) THEN DO
ADPRO_TO_FRONT OKAY1 "Could not scale dimensions" tl NL I I,
"by " II PctDiff I I "V" CALL ErrorOut 10 END CALL ErrorOut 0
'27'X DQ = '22'X TRUE » 1 FALSE = 0 TempDefaults
*"T:TempADProDefaults" *
* * Save the current environment.
¦ SAVE_DEFAULTS TempDefaultS PARSE ARG ExitCode IF (EXISTS( TempDefaultS )) THEN DO LOAD_DEPAULTS TempDefaultS IF (RC -= 0) THEN DO ADPRO_TO FRONT OKAYl "Error restoring settings," END ADDRESS COMMAND "Delete NIL:" TempDefaultS END EXIT ExitCode *
* * See what type of data is loaded in ADPro HorphPlus.
V CALL "FREDSCRIPTS :FREDFunctions Chec)(ForRaw3mageData" TRUE IF (RESULT -= 0) THEN CALL ErrorOut 10 Story Board, fred *
* StoryBoard.fred
* SVER: StoryBoard,fred 1.0.0 (10.3.94)
* This program can be run from an InvckeADPro list to make a 2 X
* Story Board of 4 images, displayed comic book fashion on a
* oriented display, *
* Clips Used & Set:
* "Counter" - Counts frames in Storyboard, 4 per page.
* "PageNum" - Counts pages in storyboard.
* Clips Used:
* "StoryDlr" - Directory where storyboard is stored.
* "StoryMame" - Root name of Storyboard.
* This script requires FRED vl.4.0 (cr higher) to run. Also
required is f ADPro v2.5.0 (or higher),
* Copyright 1994 Merrill Callaway, WHITESTONE
* All Rights Reserved CALL SETCLIP!"PageNum",page*1) END
OTHERWISE EXIT 10 END EXIT 0 StoryBoard,fred.post *
* * StoryBoard.fred,post
• * $ VER: StoryBoard.fred.post 1.0.0 (11.3,94)
* * If the StoryBoard.fred script appears in the InvokeADPro
* * this program cleans up after making Storyboard,
* * This script requires FRED vl.4.0 (or higher) to run. Also
required is
* * ADPro V2.5.0 (or higher).
• *
* * Copyright 1994 Merrill Callaway, WHITESTONE
ARG FrameNum FrameFName Length LoadFlao FirstCallSeq
FirstCallCell .
Sbdir=GETCLIP "StoryDir") Sbname=GETCLIP I"StoryName") count=GETCLIP £"Counter")+FirstCallCell CALL SETCLIP("Counter",count) page=GETCLIP("PageNum") * save data for text processing later * CALL OPEN(¦fdata',SBdir ISBname'.data'.A) dataline='FrameNo.' FrameNum FrameFName 'Length* Length 'Page’ page 'Count' count CALL WRITELNf'fdata'.dataline) * scale the picture to fit one-fourth of screen * CALL "ADProScripts:ScaleToFillArea.adpro" 394, 241 * tag the corner of the picture with frame data * OPERATOR "RECTANGLE" 007528"-!" 000 Stringls"F "framenujn Btring2="L: "length OPERATOR "TEXT
COMPOFFSET 0 0 SAVER "IFF" Sbdir||SBname"."page "PAW" END WHEN
COUnt 4s2 THEN DO loader "universal" Sbdir11SBname"."page
ISBname"."page "RAW" END WHEN count 4=3 THEN DO LOADER
COMPOFFSET 0 242 SAVER "IFF" Sbdir!!SBname"."page "RAW" END
WHEN count 4=0 THEN DO LOADER "UNIVERSAL" Sbdir I I Sbr.ame".
ADPRO TO_FRONT f* ask if user wantB to print * OKAYN '"Print
Control"' '"Print storyboard to ' "PrefPrinteriCancel"' IF
filebaserGETCLIP("StoryDir")I IGETCLIP("StoryName") DO
page=totalpages-l TO 0 by -1 SAVE_GUI * Use GUI to make
settings and print. * IF page=0 THEN LEAVE LOADER "UNIVERSAL"
filebase"."page END END * Clean up the clip list and exit *
cleanup: exit 0 CALI. SETCLIP ("Counter") CALL SETCLIP
("PageNum") CALL SETCLIP ("StoryDir") CALL SETCLIP (
"StoryName") ADDRESS COMMAND 'Delete RAM:story.'
EXIT 0 Please Write to: Merrill Callaway c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 HELM continued from
page 46 Location-Top Left, Color=8. Border: Bevel 2 color,
Thick=1, Reverse Pen Order.
TEXTF1ELD 5: General: 30 580 75 86, Name=Doscription, Cannot Move. Options: Allow Search, Attach Slider, Mouse Scrolling, Word Wrap. Format: Alignment=Left, Co!or=l. Color: 5. Pen: Show Name, Caption, Location=Top Left, Color=8. Border: Bevel 2 color, Thick=l, Reverse Pen Order.
The Selector tool is the seventh one down in the right column.
It looks like three exclamation points on their sides, surrounded by a square.
SELECTOR 1: General: 570 40 14 10, Cannot Move. Tvpe: Information, Page Number, Offset -1, Color: 4. Border: None.
Page Two Scripts Now add the scripts for all of the objects on page two. When you have completed adding these scripts, unseiect "Edit Form" from (he Edit menu and exit the edit mode by clicking the arrow button on the top-left corner of the Draw Tools window. Click the close gadget on that window as well. The database is now ready to use.
Page Two Explanations The Sort button (10) takes advantage of Helm's built-in sorting feature. This sorts all of the pages using the Keywprds-textfield.
Since tile Index page has no Keyword tcxtfield, it always ends up first.
The Add button (11) adds a new page if the user wants one.
This has the same result as selecting New Page from the Go Menu.
Note the new page will have all of the same objects, but they will be empty, because they were added to the page's form. The Delete button (12) performs a delete page operation, after asking for confirmation.
The Find button (13) has the same script as button 3, described above. Note that the Find button scripts both declare the container Searchtext to tie global. Containers are local by default, which means after the script is executed the container's contents are forgotten. A global variable survives and when called in another script, will still have its contents. This means that Searchtext retains its contents in all of the Find scripts.
J Index ilrii: StL'sir Find A3080 Problens Buster flrtiga Link Netuorking Dpa int IV Co tor Cycling Dpaint IV Tips DTP Titles Fonts Ganes Platfom Jinny GoIdenGate 48&SLC Hein Deno Article Database Movienaker Tricks Retina Screen Modes Retina Screens Toaster 4080 Toaster CG Toaster Fonts Toaster Sourdough Update Browse Cards Infornat ion Quit 15 records The script for the Repeat button (14) first checks to see if the Searchtext container is not empty and then performs the same search routine as the Find button. In other words, buttons 13 and 14 are identical except that 14 doesn't prompt you
for input and assumes the search text has already been entered.
The Index button (15) returns the user to the index page. Note that the Previous (16) and Next (17) buttons don't have scripts.
Although their operations could have been accomplished with a script, it is easier to give them Actions instead. Actually, button 5 could have used an Action instead of a script. Notice too that the Next button name lias the tilde symbol (~) preceding the @ symbol.
This means that the Return key is also a shortcut for this button.
Textfields 3 and 4 use the "One Line Only" setting to prevent entering multiple lines in this field, which would mess up the index listing on page one. Note also that Caption is turned on in the Pen options. This makes the object's name visible outside of the object's area. The Reverse Pen Order option reverses the order of the colors Helm uses for the border. This makes the object look indented instead of raised. Textfield 5 has a slider, but unlike Textfield I, does not use an outside slider for appearance reasons. Mouse scrolling allows the user to drag the list up and down by holding the
left mouse button.
Selector 1 is a tiny object whose purpose is only to display the database entry number. This just happens to be the page number less one (for the index page), which is accomplished by setting the Offset option to -1.
If you have any trouble running your ArticleBase, make sure you have typed all of the scripts correctly. Object naming is also very important for certain operations, so make sure you have those right too.
If you look at the demo book "Bookbase," you'll notice that there are screen transitions between pages. You are welcome to put these in. However, I found them annoying after a while as they tended to unnecessarily slow up operations.
I created this database because 1 needed a way to keep track of LightWave articles and tips. As I read articles and tips on LightWave 1. Put a yellow sticky note on the pertinent pages. When I'm done with the issue, 1 enter the information on the marked pages into ArticleBase. Now when I'm using LightWave and want to look something up, I simply switch to the Workbench and double-click on the ArticleBase icon, which I keep right next to the StartToaster icon. If 1 discover something on my own while using LightWave, it's just as simple to add a new entry 1 use "Hints" as the publication name.
Of course, ArticleBase can be used to track other types of articles as well. Furthermore, this Helm book can serve as a model for building any type of database you want with Helm. The neatest thing about using Helm is the you can freely distribute the finished product along with the Helmbrowser, so others can benefit from your hard work.
An extensive index helps to locate information in the database.
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The pages oiAmazing Computing bring you insights into the world of the Commodore Amiga.
You'll find comprehensive reviews of Amiga products, complete coverage of all the major Amiga trade 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 CLI and working with Arexx; and you can keep up to date with new releases in "New Products and Oilier Neat Stuff Amazing Computing ...is its sister publications.
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Tlir Oxnplrie IHWil Hr firmer fAMIGA AMIGA POWER Hill ...like having a library at your finger tips.*” rim a cr» Lwuphk* WtTWT IbntHrr £ 1 melon lotatlbHnnM Kk*ktxif VkW« Scftrr *re ud nenf “...first, only, and as always, best technical “The Bible’ for the Amiga...” The GUIDE for every Amiga user!
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Here are the scripts for all of the buttons: * Button 3 - Find * on SelectUp begin Global Searchtext ask "Bnter search text;" with Searchtext if it is not empty begin sec pointer to 6 lock display But it into Searchtext go to page 2 set allowsearch of textfield "Keywords" to true set allowsearch of textfield "Description" to true set allowsearch of textfield "Publication" to true unlock display find it set pointer to 0 end * Button 4 - Update Index * oa Se lee tup begin set the pointer to 6 lock the output put empty into tempindex get the number of pages for r = 2 to it begin go to page n
put textfield "Keywords" after ten.pinc.ex if n is not it then put newline after tempindex if the name of this page is not textfield "Keywords" then set the name of this page to textfield "Keywords" end go to page "indexPage" put carp index into textfield "Index" put (it - 1) * " records n" into textfield "Bagecouat" unlock the output set the pointer to 0 end J* 3uttcn 5 - Browse Cards * on SelectUp begin go to the next page end * Button o - Information * on SelectUp begin Answer "Written by Douglas J. Nakakihara n" £ "April 15, 1S94" end « Button 7 - Quit * on SelectUp begin answer "Do
you want to Quic nthis book?" With "®KNo" or "GYYes" if it is "Yes" then quit end * Textfield 1 - Index * on SelectUp begin go to page (line clickedline of me) end * Button 10 - Sort * on SelectUp begin sort by (textfield "Keywords") end * Button 11 - Add * on SelectUp begin answer "Do want to add a new page?" With "Cancel" or "Add" if it is "Add" create page erv* * Button 12 - Delete * on SelectUp begin answer "Do want to delete this page?" With "Cancel" or "Delete" if it is "Delete" delete this page end * Button 13 - Find * on SelectUp begin Global Searchtext ask "Bnter search
text:" with Searchtext if it is not empty begin set pointer to 6 lock display put it into Searchtext 25 Beta Ct N, San Ramon, CA 945831 Phone: 800-838-1031 Fax: 510-838-0689 set allowsearch of textfield "Keywords" to true set allowsearch of textfield "Description" to true set allowsearch of textfield "Publication" to true unlock display find it set pointer to 0 end end i* Button 14 - Repeat * on SelectUp begin Global Searchtext if Searchtext is not empty begin set pointer to 6 lock display set allowsearch of textfield "Keywords" to true __ . _ , set auiowsearcn or textrreac. "Description" to
true set allowsearch of textfield “Publication" to true unlock display find Searchtext sec pointer to 0 end else begin answer "No search parameter set. Use 'Find'" end enc * Button 15 - Index * on SelectUp begin go to page "IndexPage" end
• AC- Please Write to: Douglas Nakakihara c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 In The Bandito oomers
[These statements and projections presented in "Roomers" tire
rumors in the purest se ise. The bits of information are
gathered by a third-party source from ivhispers inside the
industry. At press time, these rumors remain unconfirmed mid
are printed for entertainment value only.
Accordingly, the staff mid associates of Amazing Computing cannot be held responsible for the reports made in this column.i The Commodore Financial Roller Coaster Well, it sure makes you dizzy to watch the gyrations at Commodore. The Bandito has extracted some figures from Commodore's annual report, and there are some interesting numbers to look at. Even if it does make you want to stagger away, holding your head and wishing for one of those little bags the airlines hand out. Those ups and downs are bad enough, but it’s the curves that really get you. Let's take a look at some of what
Commodore's been going through.
Commodore's net sales decreased 35% in fiscal 1993 to $ 591 million compared with 5911 million in fiscal 1992 and $ 1,047 billion in fiscal 1991. According to Commodore, the decline in fiscal 1993 and the latter half of 1992 was due to economic softness throughout all major markets, especially Europe, and intense competitive pricing pressure. Nice trv, guvs, but how come other computer companies doing substantial business in Europe didn't have the same problems? Could it be better management?
(OK, we'll leave Atari out of that comparison; they've managed to have even worse financial problems than Commodore.)
An important fact to note is that the Amiga product line accounted for almost three fourths of the total sales decline for the year. About half of the Amiga sales drop was because they didn't sell as many boxes; the other half of the loss was from lower prices. If you want to look at raw numbers, Commodore sold about slightly over 800,000 Amigas of all types in fiscal 1993, compared with 1 million Amigas in fiscal 1992. This is not a desirable trend line, folks. Especially when you consider that Amiga unit sales were up 38% in 1991,17% in 1992, then they dropped 20% in 1993. The Amiga product
line accounted for 59% of net sales in fiscal 1993 compared with 63% in fiscal 1992 and 56% in fiscal 1991.
This is a nasty curve, isn't it? We've all been hoping that Commodore would concentrate on the Amiga product line, but when they Start to try, the sales go down.
Seems like Commodore's having trouble finding a business model that works for them.
Commodore PC clones sold well in 1993, but margins were so low that it just wasn't profitable for Commodore to continue selling them. Now the Commodore brand name has been licensed to other manufacturers of PC clones in Europe and Canada, Yes, someone is actually paying for tile right to use the Commodore name on their computers, strange as that may seem.
At least Commodore won't be distracted by that business any more. But they can't remain ignorant of it; like it or not, the Amiga has to compete against PC clones and Macintoshes in the marketplace.
And finally, the venerable C64 product line has reached the end of its remarkable life span. According to figures released by Commodore, C64s accounted for only 4% of net sales in 1993; they were 13% in 1992 and 16% in 1991. C64 unit sales in 1993 were less that 200,000 units; in 1992, it was 650,000 units and over 800,000 units in 1991.
Commodore's last hope for the C64 was the potential for selling them to Eastern Europe, Russia, and emerging countries in the Third World, but hey, even those folks know they want a more mainstream computer than the C64.
On the positive side, Commodore's bank debt in June 1993 was the lowest it has ever been in a June quarter of any year back to 1985. Of course, their sales are much lower, too. And Commodore has done all the easy things to raise cash and improve cash flow. Any cuts they make from this point are carving right into the bone.
Lately, things have been looking up for Commodore. Their creditors have given them some breathing room, and CD?2 is selling well, Still, Commodore needs to do more than just sell CD?2 if they want to be a $ 1 billion dollar computer company again.
Or, rather, CD?2 needs to sell in amazing numbers if that's going to be Commodore's main revenue source. If CD?2 sells well, and there's lots of CD?2 software selling, then Commodore does pretty good. Commodore gets S3 for every disc of CD?2 software that sells, you know. That's a nifty little trick that they borrowed from 3DO. Nice money if you can get it. Still, the Amiga line has taken a pretty big hit because of Commodore's money troubles. Can Commodore bring it back to life?
The greatest problems Commodore now faces are price performance and software development. While the PowerPC and the Pentium chips duke it out over who's the most powerful, the manufacturers have been busy cutting their prices. You can now get a 68040 Macintosh for S850; a 33MHz 68040 Mac with three slots runs less AKIGASOKT, Ir C.
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Armadillo Computing 5225 Marymount Drive. Austin. Texas 78723 Phone Fax: 512 926-0360 Internet: jolingcr@bix.com MasterCard and Visa accepted Turbo Pascal - Only Better than $ 2,000 (yon do have to throw in a monitor and keyboard for another $ 500, though). White Amiga 4000 prices are still absurdly high, with no sign of any sharp reductions on the horizon. Apple's new PowerPC Macs that can run Windows start at less than $ 1800; for that price you get 2 to 5 times the power of a 68040 with native mode applications, Meanwhile, Intel is pumping up the performance of Pentiums while dropping the
price; you'll be able to get Pentium computers tor less than $ 2000 in a few months.
No RISC With 68060 While nothing's happening in the line of converting the Amiga to a RISC chip, Amiga owners do have hope for higher- powered computing. Motorola is releasing the 68060 later this year, which will at least double the performance of the 68040, bringing Amiga computing into the realm of RISC chip power. Faster clock speeds of the 68060 will provide 4 or 5 times the power of the fastest 68040, which will certainly bring some added zip to your 3-D rendering.
But there's a down side to this 68060 chip, too. While it certainly is powerful, and Motorola plans on bringing out '060's that run at even higher clock speeds, the chip isn't going to be cheap. Especially since Apple won't be buying any, and Apple used to be Motorola's biggest customer for 680x0 chips. Limited production means high prices, so those '060's won't come cheap.
Don't hold your breath waiting for the 68080. Motorola is concentrating on producing better versions of the PowerPC chips. It looks like the 68060 is the last of the line, w'hich gives the Amigas only a year or two where they can keep up with the speed of other chips on the market. Then the Amiga will either have to make the leap to a new processor, or fall completely behind in the race for more powerful computers.
Making the jump to RISC isn't trivial.
Apple managed it, but only after several years of intense, expensive product development and amazing PR efforts.
Commodore doesn't have the money or the software engineers to make the jump to a RISC chip, at least not with AmigaDOS.
And if it doesn’t have AmigaDOS, it's not an Amiga, no matter what CPU is under the hood.
What will Commodore do? The Bandito doesn't know, but hopefully someone will figure it out soon. There's no time to waste.
Commodore Still 2 in UK The Bandito's foreign correspondents report that the Amiga's market share among the entertainment-minded in the British Isles has slipped from its dominant spot last year to the number 2 position behind Sega. While strong CD-1- sales helped, the C64's sales dropped like a stone over the last year, which left room for Sega's amazing growth to pull it into first place. The Super Nintendo is a strong third place, while the PC market is small but growing very rapidly as hardware prices drop.
What will happen in the future? Well, Commodore should do well with CD1- if new software continues to be of good quality. But they're going to need some major marketing muscle to compete with videogame marketing. Sega sure knows how to spend money on advertising, and Nintendo's no slouch cither. Commodore will have a tough fight on their hands to maintain their spot in the European market.
Commodore Wins Judgment Prowling the information superhighways looking for cyber roadkills, the Bandito found the interesting databyte that Commodore may have actually won a court case worth a large sum of money. From what the Bandito can determine, Commodore has been in some disputes over foreign taxation, and a court finally found in their favor to the tune of about $ 20 million dollars. (Apparently, the dispute was over Japanese taxes; perhaps this will help the balance of trade somewhat.) Commodore could use a few million dollars from out of the blue. Maybe it could go into some
advertising expenditures; you remember what those are, even if Commodore doesn't.
Or how about manufacturing a few of those long-promised but never-available A40G0T's? Any of the above would be fine; just as long as it doesn't go into the executive bonus pool. If Commodore executives were rewarded according to the company's profit performance, they'd be having their houses foreclosed on right now.
Is CD-i Becoming CD-RIP?
According to some well-informed sources, at the end of the year Philips will pull the plug on CD-i if it hasn't started selling big numbers. And since it never has, you can bet that Philips will bail out after Christmas, There are no miracles waiting in the wings to rescue Philips' aging technology; even their infomercials won't do the trick. We're gonna he seeing CD-i players liquidated through those bargain catalogs pretty soon. Then Philips can spend their money trying to make DCC a hit, even though no one appears to care about a digital cassette format. Wton't these guys ever learn?
Shucks, it only took them how many years to figure out that CD-i was a loser?
The Bandito could've saved them a billion dollars, if only they'd listened. But no, they had visions of coming up with the next CD audio player. You know, all those CD-ROM box makers compare their growth curves to CD audio players. It never occurs to them to compare themselves to the growth curves of other electronic formats, like Betamax or laserdisc players. Get a due: New formats fail far more than they succeed. Just ask Steve Jobs.
CD32 Picking Up Steam From reports the Bandito's heard, CD3- sales in the UK and Europe and doing great. Some sources claim well over 50,000 units sold during December atone. And while American software developers haven't bothered to develop for it, a number of the European publishers arc very excited about the box. In fact, we may see some of the European publishers licensing titles from American companies to put on CD32. This way, we may actually see some of those PC CD-ROM and 3DO titles appear on CD3-; we'll have to import them from Europe, though, Looks like mail-order is going to be
about the only way to get a lot of this Eurosoftware for the Amiga, since stores that actually carry Amiga software are few and getting fewer, (Let's not even try to find a store that still stocks a full line of Amiga products.)
Commodore Resumes Manufacturing Amigas For far too long, Commodore has not been manufacturing 1084S monitors and A1200 Amigas, using their limited capital to produce CD 's instead. But to the rescue rides an unlikely white knight one of Commodore's US distributors. Here's what their press release had to say, along with the Bandito's comments in brackets: Following a meeting between Microsphere Inc officers and Mehdi Ali, Microsphere announced that both the Amiga 1084S monitor and the U.S. version of the Amiga 1200 computer will be again produced by Commodore and available in the United States.
[Makes you wonder just what was said during that meeting... the Bandito can hazard a guess. Microsphere probably offered to pay for the manufacturing of the hardware, and no doubt cut themselves a very good deal oh it. You can bet Commodore isn't getting the margins they used to on those items. And what does this do to other distributors in the US market?! Both products have been out of production and unavailable to
U. S. customers since late 1993. Microsphere Inc., is a leading
national distributor of Commodore-brand and other video
According to Larry Boyll, Dealer Sales Manager for Microsphere, the 1084S monitors as well as another model, the 1942, are expected to be in Microsphere's warehouse as soon as mid-March. "The renewed availability of these products will be a big boost to the Amiga channel. Our dealers have told us that their sales of Commodore's flagship product, the Amiga 4000, could be significantly higher if suitable monitors were available.
Microsphere has offered monitors from third party suppliers to fill the void, but we know our dealers will be delighted with the combination of value and performance of the 10B4S." A major application for the Amiga 4000 is video processing in conjunction with the Video Toaster from NewTek, According to Boyll, the unique specifications of the 1084S monitor make it particularly appropriate for Video Toaster installation.
Do you use Microsphere president Roger Dooley said the Amiga 1200 is also an important product, "The Amiga 1200 has been an extremely popular computer in Europe, and new software that takes advantage of its high-resolution graphics is constantly coming into the market." Iyeah, too bad it's not coining into the software storesJ In addition to traditional home computer users, value added resellers (VARs) and video dealers have found the Amiga 1200 is an excellent platform for information kiosks, video titling, and other multimedia applications. The Amiga 1200 is expected to be available for
shipment to Microsphere's dealers in early April or sooner.
Availability of both the 1084S monitor and the Amiga 1200 is expected to continue throughout 1994, Ms long as Microsphere keeps paying the bills, ho doubt.I Other products being introduced by Commodore and available through Microsphere are the CD3- multimedia game player and an enhanced Amiga 4000 with more expansion capability for video applications.
Microsphere Inc., in business since 1982, has dealt with Commodore and related products for more than ten years. Based in Mishawaka, Indiana, Microsphere has sixty employees and had 324 million in sales in
Shareholders Make Waves Af Annual Meeting Here's some news hot off the highway about Commodore's annual meeting. It seems that Commodore's board members were closely questioned by irate shareholders, dealers, and users about inept management, poor marketing and general incompetence. And a good time was had by most everyone, too, in the balmy Bahamas.
Of course, there's a lot to complain about when the shareholder equity is about negative 510 per share. The audience wasn't shy about making suggestions, including a call for Irving Gould to step down and let someone else take his place.
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Commodore's officials and board members, of course, tried to lay the blame for their problems on the poor economy in Europe. This is, of course, a very inadequate excuse; good management would have seen this coming and taken appropriate steps in advance (like most other companies doing business in Europe did).
The shareholders soundly defeated the proposed amendment to Commodore's articles of association, which would have eliminated shareholder approval for large decisions such as mergers and sales of company assets. This certainly showed the shareholder's faith in the current management's ability to make good decisions.
At least everyone agreed that something must be done. Gould even met with the Commodore Shareholder's Movement after the board meeting.
Interestingly enough, Mehdi Ali wasn't at the meeting. Maybe he anticipated the fact that the meeting wouldn't exactly be the Mehdi Ali fan dub.
Commodore Australia Can't Find A Buyer Well, no one stepped forward at the last minute, so Commodore Australia has gone away. An accounting firm was tapped to act as administrator when Commodore Australia became insolvent after Westpac Bank indicated it would not roll over CBM's bills. The total debt is believed to be around AUSS3M (USS2M) with a similar amount owed to Commodore International.
In mid-February Commodore Australia was put up for sale, though (interestingly enough) the Australian distribution rights for Commodore computers were not included as part of the sale. There was some interest, but the offers weren't good enough, and they decided just to sell the whole thing off in pieces, instead.
Most of the warehouse stock has already been sold off. Who bought it? Surprise, the company that will now be handling distribution of Commodore computers in Australia, Commodore Asia Pacific. You might be interested to note that this company is run bv Pat Byrne, who (it so happens) was the managing director of (surprise) Commodore Australia.
The Bandito says litis looks like an interesting shell game, where assets are shuffled around and the same people end up doing the same business with the same product. The only thing different is that the debt gets left behind, and Westpac Bank ends up short a few million. Somehow, the Bandito doesn't think that Commodore International will have as much of a problem collecting on its money, Oh, and the Bandito is amused to note that there have been stories over the past month or so that Aussie dealers have received shipments of Commodore computers without insides, or even boxes without
computers. Seems like there's more than one way to make a profit; amazing how much margin there is if you only ship the box and not the computers.
CEBil Report Well, Commodore was actually showing some things off at the CEBit show in Germany. While thev may not go to a New York show, Germany is still important to Commodore. The long-awaited A4000T was shown, along with assurances that it really is going into production. The Bandito only wishes that at this point Commodore would drop in a 33MHz or 40MHz 68040 instead of the 25MHz version. That would give buyers some added incentive, don't you think?
Commodore also displayed their CD- ROM drives for the A1200 A4000; these are, of course, fully CD?’- compatible. Many CD?- titles were shown, including a number of movies.
Strangely, Commodore was showing some newT product lines: Telephones and typewriters. The Bandito hopes that this isn't a hint at the company's new product directions. Now, the Commodore socks you could buy, those wrere kind of cool. No Commodore wallets for sale, which is just as well. They probably wouldn't hold much money, anyway.
• AC* Pssst!
Become a professional tattle-tale.Send rumors, tidbits, and other gossip to: The Bandito c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 Sync Tips Definitive
How-to for Video by Oran Sands I'm going to make a public
admission here. Secretly, when no one is looking, I fire up my
Amiga and do a lot of desktop publishing. Me, a desktop video
wizard producing printed materials! The shame of it all!
Well, I just guess it's my creativity overflowing into other areas and it can't be stopped. But I'll tell you this, it certainly hasn't hurt my video work. In fact, it's given me more tools to get the video work accomplished.
As any video jockey will loll you, you can't have enough fonts. If you're like me, you almost need to have an entire partition of your hard drive dedicated to fonts. You'll always be wishing that you had more of this tvpe or that type and in a bigger size or smaller. Basically you'll just never be satisfied! That's pretty much the way desktop publishers feel as well, but they did something about it.
Let me introduce to the video world a program called TypeSMITH from Soft-Logik the publishers of PageStrcam and Art Expression.
TypeSMITH is the ADPro of the font world, it allows you to change one font format to another and to modify and manipulate them at the same time. More importantly it can he used to create Amiga bitmap fonts that are scalable and compatible with most all of your video software regardless of the original source of the fonts. The desktop publishing world has created a huge market for fonts and that market is filled with fonts that range from free, downloadable public domain typefaces to medium cost, CD-ROM collections that are simply overflowing with them. Most of these fonts are in Postscript
format or TrueType with very few available directly in AGFA's Intellifont format, the standard AmignDos font format. With TypeSMITH you can convert all day and have exactly what you need.
TypeSMITH 1.0 featured the ability to import Postscript Type 1 and Type 2 fonts and convert them to Amiga bitmap format or to Compugraphic outline format. While converting to a Custom type can be created using elements from a scanned image.
Bitmap format is useful it's really a bit shortsighted. You might need that font today in a 36 vlt (vertical lines tall) size but i'm betting that tomorrow you'll need something else. So why haul out TypeSMITH every lime you think you need another size of a font?
Why not convert to a scalable font such as the Intellifont format?
So that s just what 1 ve been doing. Loading in Postscript fonts from numerous sources (all legally obtained, and that's a topic for another column) and then making them scalable Intellifonts.
There's a bit more to it than just that of course so let's walk through what we need to do.
Working with TypeSMITH First load a PostScript font into TypeSMI TH. This is accomplished by first asking to create a new font and then importing either n Postscript Type One or a Compugraphic Intellifont. You can also import an IFF bitmap, an Amiga bitmap font ora DR2D object. We'll play with those features later.
Once the font is loaded in you merely export the font in whatever format you need. The choices here are PostScript Type One outline or metric, Postscript Type Three, Compugraphic Intellifont, or as an IFF DR2D drawing. The choice for us is to use the Intellifont selection. When exporting this, do not export it to the standard home for such fonts, but to somewhere else on your hard drive or to a floppy disk. This will keep things uncomplicated in the near future.
Once exported it needs to be "installed" using a program found in your SYSTEMS drawer (we're talking AmigaDos 2.x here). This program facilitates the installation of Intellifonts for use by the Amiga. You'll see a window called Source Typefaces.
Your new fonts will appear here after you select your Outline Font Source from the list of volumes presented after activating the Outline Font Source disk icon. Clicking on the name of the font you wish to install will mark it for installation. You can mark more than one font if you wish. Then select Install Marked Typefaces to begin the process. The new fonts will be installed to the font directory you choose in the right hand window but the default is usually the correct one. It takes a while for this to occur so sit back and wait until its finished. Going to the right hand window select
Modify Existing Typefaces and the new window you'll see will list all of the installed Intellifonts.
Selecting a font will let you see what the predetermined type sizes are. These are not the same as actual bitmap fonts, these are just the selections that will pop up in an application looking at the fonts that are available (such as DeluxePaint), You can determine that there are other sizes that will appear if you so choose or you may actually create Amiga bitmap fonts at this point that will be usable bv programs that won't use scalable font technology. One such program for me is my character generation software, CC2 by Sheriff Systems, This software uses its own font format and permits the
use of anti-aliasing for very smooth non-jaggicd characters. CG2 is supplied with a conversion utility' for making Amiga fonts into CG2 fonts AMD it also anti-aliases them (two levels worth) during the process. This is why I create bitmaps in all sizes of my Intellifonts! Using these fonts in CG2 has greatly expanded my selection of typefaces and they're better looking than iho same fonts in DeluxePaint because of the anti-alaising. If I need that in a Dpaint image I simply save the CG2 screen as an IFF file to load into my paint program. Using TypeSMlTH lias given me a new freedom to pick and
choose the font that best represents the topic I'm illustrating.
TypeSMITI 1 also allows me to change or add to an existing typeface. Remember when we mentioned the ability to import an IFI; DR2D object? This is pretty handy if there is a certain character or logo you need to use over and over, Let's sav I need to use the Amazing Computing name in it's banner form in most of my work.
Wouldn't it be handy to have it available as a character on my keyboard? And if it was scalable that would be neat too! Let's do it!
First we need to make the logo an Amiga bitmap image. I'll use a scanner and ADPro to input the image and then crop it to si .e. Cropping it allows me to use the scanner's resolution to the iv-yiPtr t.u _______ I'd SafipIv H«t* m 1 5 Hula fI 11ur ¦ rra Curut Fit m 1 5 nn Output ? Iltnei and Curv»| Co 1 or Bat fc«jr oOnd Ir»r* t The firgure illustrate steps taken to duplicate the Amazing Computing logo and create a similar type style.
Max for better definition of the logo. If necessary use ADPro (or whatever) to convert the image to a 2 color image, i.e. black and white and no grays. Next we import the logo bitmap into a paint program if it needs trimming or touch-up. Then 1 used BME which is a program supplied with Art Expression. BME can take a bitmap image and convert it to an IFF DR2D structured graphic. It does an amazingly good job at this.
Now fire up TypeSMlTH and open a font that you use a lot (or create a new one as desired). Now import the DR2D graphic into the character space in the alphabet where you want to always find the logo. You can replace existing characters but don't get rid of one you might need some day. Now align it and size it as necessary.
(Keep in mind that some programs and CC2 as well do not allow access to the full character set so pick a character that WILL appear). Now proceed to export the font as an Intellifont and install it as described earlier. Make Amiga bitmaps as needed and enjoy.
My current employer recently chose a new type style and designed a new logo as well. I just converted the Postscript font as needed and imported the logo after scanning it and voila I'm producing videos that adhere to the new corporate graphic standards (before even our desktop publishing department could).
TypeSMlTH is a dream cotne true for Amiga video users and the new version, 2.0, is supposed to handle Postscript fonts for Windows, do ils own bitmap-to-structured graphic conversion (often called auto-trace) and a host of other neat things. And don't forget, just because you're a Toaster user doesn't mean TypeSMlTH won't help you. The new Toaster software allows the use and modification of Postscript fonts, one of the exportable formats output by TypeSMlTH.
Don't forget to write or Emaii us with your video questions either here at Amazing Computing ATTN: Sync Tips or via Portal as ojsands or via Internet as ojsands@portal.cup. See you next month!
• AC* Please Write to: Oran J. Sands c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 DIGITAL IMAGE SPECIAL FX
PART VIII: Page Effects by William Frawley Yet a few more tips
to jazz up an image for DTP and MultiMedia presentations using
ADPro, OpalPaint, ImageFX and Arexx Following closely on the
heels of the fourth part of this series, Photo Edges, this
month's topic, expands on that theme with an exploration of
related techniques for adding reverse highlights, protruding
platforms, and ripped page effects. Because of the varied
nature of these methods, categorizing the lot wasn't easy.
Therefore, I have chosen to call them Page Effects.
Reverse Highlighting Above right: Figure 1. An example of the subduing effect of reverse highlighting parts of an image. This allows more important elements like text to stand out from the background photo.
For our litilc exercise, methods for using either ADPra, OpalPaint, or ImageFX will Lie directly or indirectly explored. We'll begin with the easiest project and continue through to tire most difficult. From there, we'll examine the benefits of writing pseudocode and finish with a look at the highlights of the included Arexx scripts for ADPro.
Reverse Highlighting Starting things out is a process which effectively renders selected portions of a page or image less obtrusive. By doing so, text or other elements placed over those regions of reduced intensity arc allowed to stand out without interference from the background image. This technique of reverse Left: Figure 2. Adding a simple raised platform to an image couldn't be easier, especially with Arexx. This image was created using the included ADPra macro Platform.adpro" in under 4 minutes.
Highlighting is most prevalent in many contemporary brochures and catalogs.
Several ways of accomplishing the same effect exist in most of the image processing programs we will be dealing with in Ihese tutorials. For example, once the reverse highlight shape and location on the background image is determined, you have the option of either altering the color balance via the brightness parameter or simply painting a colored polygon, usually white, with some amount of transparency to effectively reduce the color saturation in said region.
Let's try a quick and easy example, a simple rectangle centered in the middle of an image. Any of the aforementioned programs, including ImageMaster, will suffice, as only a basic rectangular fill tool used in conjunction with some form of mix ratio transparency or brightness contrast mode is necessary.
Bright Center To begin, load in a background image. Any texture, pattern or scene will do fine. Next, depending on the software you are using, draw a filled rectangle over 3 4 of the center of the image. If you're using ADPro, choose the Rectangle_Visual operator and enter the values 255 255 255 (white) into the Color gadgets and a Mix value of approximately 50, give or take 10. This composites a white rectangle over the background with 50% transparency.
Is suspended over the image from whence it came, complete with a soft-edged drop shadow. An elegantly subtle effect, but enough to take note of. Here's what to do in ImageFX.
Load your background image into the primary buffer. Click once on the Scissors icon to cut out a full brush; the box shape should already be selected, Now cut out a rectangle that is 3 4 the size of the image, centered and leaving equal spaces on all four sides. Note first the starting coordinates where you placed your cursor and finally the size of the brush that you dragged out. These will both be displayed along the top of the title bar. Enter the Brush Operations menu to now Save Brush for later recall.
Now we need to create the shadow which will appear on all four sides underneath the raised platform. Because the brush handle is located in the center of the brush, calculate from the coordinates noted previously the point where the brush exactly lines up with the background. This is the anchor point for all future operations.
Making sure that the Region is set to Brush, enter the Sizing Operations menu and click on Scale. We want to increase the size of our brush so enter 413% in both Percent gadgets and Okay the requester. Now enter the Drawing Options menu by doubleclicking on the Dotted Freehand tool and change the Mode to Color, Blend to about 50%, Alpha to Off, Edge to Feather-ln and a Radius of about eight, Okay the requester. In the palette, make sure Starting things out is a process which effectively renders selected portions of a page or image less obtrusive. By doing so, text or other elements placed
over those regions of reduced intensity are allowed to stand out without interference from the background image.
This same process can be carried out in the other programs, but they also allow you to affect the area within the rectangle using any of the other available "modes" in addition to the Paint mode. In OpaiPaint, for example, a slightly different effect can be achieved by using the Brightness or Contrast mode, instead of applying a white, semi-transparent rectangle in Paint mode. Decide how you want to tone down the background and choose the appropriate mode, in ImageFX, simply Limit the affected "region” to Box and then select the desired action, such as increasing the value (V) in the Color
Balance menu.
In any case, whether your "painting" a semi-transparent white region or increasing the brightness, the result is the same. The component values of the underlying pixels are being increased, and the saturation levels are being reduced. Now simply add your text or other elements over this region and see how much more it becomes readable (Figure 1). Now let's move on to an interesting page effect useful for any image to be used as some form of background motif.
The Raised Platform Effect This idea was borrowed from the "Tips & Tricks" section of one of the catalogs 1 received from Image Club, a popular supplier of fonts and clipart for desktop publishers. For this effect, any of the programs mentioned thus far can be used. What we'U attempt here is to take a section of a background image and make it appear as it the color black is picked and now stamp down this shadow brush at tiie anchor point noted earlier. The result should look like a shadow with feathered edges.
Reenter the Brush Operations menu and Load in the original brush that you previously saved. This time Scale the brush by 105% in both dimensions. Again enter the Drawing Options menu and readjust the Mode to Matte, Blend to 100%, Alpha to Off and Edge to Normal. Now stamp this brush down at the same location, tiie anchor point.
That's it! Do your results look like Figure 2? The steps to achieve the same results in OpaiPaint are nearly identical with the exception that you are afforded the luxury of three brush bays instead of just one. ADPro users should examine the pseudo-code for a rough outline or simply use the included Arexx macro entitled "Platform.adpro." Let’s now take a look at a slightly more involved but proportionately more rewarding technique for achieving a ripped page look in OpaiPaint. ImageFX users should follow along as well, but for those of you with ADPro only, an industrious solution may exist
with the aid of DeluxcPnint when it comes to those required paint operations.
The Ripped Page Look For this tutorial, you'll need two images; one that will be "torn,” and the other to serve as a background for tire ripped page.
In OpaiPaint, first load in the image to be torn (Figure 3A). We'U refer to this image as "RipPic" and the background as "BackPic" from here on.
Next, select white from the palette and click on the Continuous Fill Tool. Somewhere near the middle of the page, draw a vertical rip using a jagged stroke from top to bottom, then over to one side, back up and then over to close the outline fill (Figure 3B).
Now pick a medium gray from the palette and repeat the procedure as before except follow the previous rip in general but in detail with different jags and slightly offset about 1 4 of an inch (Figure 3C}. This uneven tear should make it look like the image is the emulsion on top of the white paper backing.
Pick a bright red color in the palette which will now serve as our stencil color to distinguish it from any of the image colors and then enter Stencil mode. Using the Magic Wand tool, click in the white, "paper" area of the image to define the region that we want to fill as the stencil. You should now see a red outline surrounding this area only. If so, to finish the procedure, dick again anywhere in this region to fill it (Figure 3D). If more than just the white paper region was included in the outline, decrease the Edge Tolerance for the Magic Wand until the proper setting is reached.
Since we want to paint in this white region, while still in Stencil mode, select Invert to reverse the areas that get stencilled.
Now everything should be stencilled except the white area (Figure 3E), Exit Stencil and return to Paint mode.
Next, we want to set up two nozzles. Make one a mediumsized Airbrush with a weight of 100%, and the other a mediumsized Solid nozzle. Now comes the tricky part, so be sure your Stencil is turned on.
BriteCenter.adpro vl.O * *- * * * * Calculate rectangle dimens ions and offsets. * * BriteCenter.adpro vl.O V *-
- * * V * by William Frawley * Wr=TRUNC(Percent 100 *W) • *
Hr=TRUNC(Percent 100*H) * March S, 1994 V * V
Left=TRUNC((W-Wr) 2) * Reduces color saturation in a centered,
rectangular * Top=TRUNC (H-Hr) 2) * region of current image
in memory.
• * * f ... * * * Do it I V OPTIONS RESULTS
I*- * ADDRESS 'ADPro* Operator "RECTANGLE" Left Top Hr Hr "-V
255 255 255 50 ADPRO_TO_FRONT *- * * Exit.
* *¦----* * -- * * Display title k get user info.
* *-* Okayl "Finished!"
0kay2 "BriteCenter.adpro vl.O by W,Frawley" EXIT IF RC=Q THEN EXIT GetNumber ,wSize(%) of Attenuation?*" 80 20 100 IF RC-=0 THEN DO Okayl "Wrong Parameter!"
EXIT END Percent =ADPRO._RESDLT *.-- * Get current image dimensions.
* r-*f Xsize * image Width • WsADPRO_RESULT Ysize * image
Height • HnADPRO_RESULT Using a series of short strokes with
the Dotted Freehand tool, create a weathered look within the
white paper portion of the image by utilizing, roughiy in this
order, the various modes such as Diffuse, AddNoise, JiggieVert,
Smear and, finally. Smooth (Figure 3F). These combinations of
draw modes will add variety to the overall noise you'll create
for the tear. Use all these modes at 100% strength for quicker
results, and be sure to use Smooth last to take the edge off
the artificial tarnished look you've created. I've found the
best results occur when using the Solid nozzle to Smear the
gray into the white and the Airbrush for the Smoothing, but of
course feel free to experiment.
Remember, you've stencilled everywhere but the white area, so you don't have to worry about messing things up, but more importantly, the stencil serves to maintain the shape of the paper portion by not allowing the white to bleed into both the image and the gray area. The importance of this will become apparent later on.
Now turn the Stencil off and double-click on the Scissors tool to enter the Brush Cut Mode menu. Select Color and Okay the requester (in ImageFX, you would double-click on the Scissors tool to show a small "m"). This allows you to use one color as a matte which doesn't get picked up in the brush. Therefore, since we now want to just pick up the color image and the white paper area, pick the color of gray in the palette that you chose to overlay on the white. Click on the Scissors toot again and with the rectangle, pick up the entire image except for most of the gray area which won't be needed
Assuming this brush exists in Bl, right-click on B2and Copy the brush from B1 into this B2 bay. While still in the Brush Manipulation menu, click Edge to feather the brush B2 by about eight and exit the requester. We now have our RipPic in BI and the shadow for RipPic in B2, so now Load in your BackPic replacing the previous image (Figure 3G).
With brushbay B2 still selected, change the Color Source in the Drawing Mode and Effects menu to Paint Pot, and select black from the palette. Turn on Transparency at 50% and then stamp this brush down slightly offset from the location of the original RipPic to create a shadow (Figure 3H).
Now select brushbay Bl and change the Color Source back to Multi Color to use all the color information in this RipPic brush.
Turn off Transparency and then stamp down this brush offset and over the shadow to complete the process (Figure 31). Try adding other elements (Figure 3J) over the page for more complexity (Figure 4).
Pseudo-Code For those just starting out in Arexx programming, it's a good idea to get into the habit of conceptualizing your program by jotting down the basic procedures in what's known as pseudo-code.
By formulating the steps involved in a more general English language-like fashion, you'll save time when it comes to actually writing the Arexx code and eliminate the nebulous process of pulling the next command out of the blue.
Platform.adpro vl.3 . * -* ¦ * • Define variables for temporary pics.
* * Platform,adpro vl.3 *-* * * by William Frawley
HainPic=Pathl1"Main" * Concatenate filename to path
• 1 * PlatformPic=Pathl|"Platform" * March 2, 1994
AlphaPic=Path11"Alpha" * ShadowPic=Path|1"Shadow" *
Transforms center of current of image into a raised !* platform
with drop shadow.
* *-* ***************+*****««*••••••••« ......a*..*.** * Save MainPic to Path (If grayscale, convert to color).
'ADPro' IF Typeb"GRAY" 1 Types"GRAY BITPLANE" THEN DO Operator
image to chosen path * *-* IF RC-sQ THEN DO * Hello, get
current image dimensions & old SAVE format.
* Okayl "Save MainPic Failed!"
*-* EXIT END Okay2 "Platform.adpro vl.3 by W.Frawley" IF RC=0 THEN EXIT •-V GetFile '"Select Path for Temporary Pics" "RAM:" * Compute PlatformPic and AlphaPic's size and offsets.
* IF RC=10 THEN DO *-* Okayl "Error!"
EXIT WpaTRUNC(W*.75) * PlatformPic Width and * END Hp=TRUNC(H*.75) * Height 15% of MainPic * Path=ADPRO_RESULT Left=TRUNC((W-Wp) 2) * TopLeft-hand offsets * Xsize * Image Width • Top=TRUNC (K-Hp) 2) * for cropping V W=ADPR0.RESULT Ysize * Image Height * WpScale TRUNC(Wp*l.05) * Dimensions after scaling * H=ADPRO_RESULT HpScale=TRUNC(Hp*l.D5) * by 5% in both dimensions * Sformat "IFF" LpScale*TRUNC (W-WPBcale) 2) * TopLeft-hand offsets ¦ PrevSF=ADPRO_RESULT * Old SAVE format * TpScale*TRUNC((H-HPscale)12) * for final composite * To me, the process of pseudo-coding is much
easier and more similar in nature to actual coding than diagramming more visually abstract flowcharts, in other words, the jump from the pseudo-code stage to the programming stage requires minimal effort on your part.
For example, shown below are the pseudo-code steps I used for the Arexx macro listed at the end of this article, "Platform.adpro." Note the generic nature of the code and how easily it can then be adapted to any of the various applications' proprietary command syntax.
Pseudo-code for Platform.adpro:
1. Save Main image to RAM: or swap buffer if available.
2. Crop center 75% of image.
3. Scale cropped image (platform) 5-10% larger.
4. Save image as Platform.
5. Create Load a solid black (8-bit grayscale) Backdrop same size
as Main image.
6. Add a medium gray Rectangle to the Backdrop, centered and 13%
larger than Platform.
7. Blur 10 times and Save IFF as AlphaPic.
8. Create Load a solid gray (24-bit color) Backdrop same size as
Main. Save as Shadow.
9. Load in Main image.
10. Composite Shadow, centered, using the Alpha channel AlphaPic.
11. Composite Platform, centered at 100% mix ratio.
The Macros Mow let's briefly examine the actual code. We’ll only focus on the major points that need clarification. First, take a look at Platform.adpro. Notice that when loading a Backdrop in ADPro via Arexx, you must assign a dummy name to the image on the Load line or else ADPro will not execute the Backdrop command.
Also, when using Arexx to draw a rectangle in ADPro, specifying a thickness of "-1" in quotes prevents Arexx from thinking that you wanted to subtract 1 from the previous argument.
The next argument "255 255 255" specifies the color, in this case white, of the rectangle. Note that even though the manual states a single value is used for drawing in a gray scale image, I've found that an error will be generated without all three RGB values and the Mix value following them.
When running these macros, if you have a limited amount of RAM, make sure to choose an appropriate medium with at least several megabytes of free storage when prompted to save the temporary images created in the process. Depending on the size of the image you're processing, choose to buffer the images in RAM if you have at least 12MB, as this will speed things up considerably.
Next time, we'll wrap up this series with a look at Stuff that didn't make It in the previous topics, including an automatic Arexx Asterization script, a really cool gradient border and some more goodies.
H *AO Image Club Graphics Inc.
U. S. Catalog Fulfillment Center c o Publisher’s Mail Service
10545 West Donges Court Milwaukee, Wl 53224-9967
(403) 261-7013 1-600-661-9410 Inquiry 226 The Future Please
Write to: William Frawley c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 Well that's all 1 can
squeeze in this month. If you have any suggestions for
graphically related topics that you would like to see covered
in future issues, please fee! Free to drop me a line care of
Amazing Computing. It possible, an Arexx solution will also be
attempted for ail of us push-button weenies out there.
Wrect*TRUNC(Wp*l.0B) • Shadow rectangle larger * Operator "RECTANGLE" Lrect Trect Wrect Hrect "-1" 125 125 Hrect=TRUNC(Hp*l.08) * than PlatformPic * 125 100 Lrect=TRUNC((W-Wrect) 2) * TopLe£t-hand offsets • IF RC-=0 THEN DO Trect=TRUNC((H-Hrect)12 ) * for cropping * Okayl "Rectangle Failed!"
EXIT END •-* • Create PlatformPic. * DO i-1 TO 12 * Blur edges of hole where *-• Operator "BLUR" 00 * ShadowPic will be composited * END * through for a soft-edge look * Operator "CROP_IMAGE" Wp Hp Left Top IP RC-=G THEN DO Save AlphaPic "RAW" Okayl "Crop Failed!"
EXIT END *-* * Create ShadowPic (medium-gray).
V Abs Scale WpScale HpScale *-* IF RC~=0 THEN DO Okayl "Scale Failed!"
Lpormat "BACKDROP" EXIT Load "Shadow" W H "COLOR" END IF RC-*Q THEN DO Save PlatformPic "RAH" Okayl "Load Failed!"
IF RC-=0 THEN DO EXIT Qkayl "Save Platform Failed!"
END EXIT END Save ShadowPic "RAW" *-* •-* I* The Big Finale!
* * Create AlphaPic 8-bit Alpha channel for shadow). * •-V
.--* Lformat "IFF" Lfonnat "BACKDROP" * Black portion to be
trana- *!
Load HainPic Load "Alpha" W H "GRAY" * parent when used as Alpha • IF RC-=0 THEN CO t* channel *f Okayl "Load Failed!"
IF RC*=Q THEN DO EXIT Okayl "BackDrop Failed!"
END EXIT END Operator "BLUR" 00 * Blur HainPic for Depth-of-Field * * effect * Right: Figure 3. The process of creating a ripped page took. Load in your image (A). Draw the ripped paper in white (B). Draw the background matte color (C).
Create the stencil with the Magic Wand tool (D). Invert the stencil to pralect the matte color and image (E).
Add detail to the white area to create a tarnished, ripped look (F) and pick up the screen as a brush.
Load in a new background image (G). Stamp down a black semi-transparent copy of the original brush with feathered edges for the shadow (h). Stamp down the original ripped page brush (I). Text was created using a stencil to mask out the background and draw a gradient filled rectangle over the single color text (J).
Below right: Figure 4. The final ripped page image with drop shadowed text created entirely within OpalPaint.
For the varying height text shadow, the original ripped page brush was used to "paint1 a stencil to prolect the upper half of the image and then inverted to protect the lower half. Two different text brushes with different shadow heights were created and stamped on Ihe seperate layers.
Lforinat “ALPHA" Load ShadowPic AlphaPic 0 1 IF RC-=0 THEN DO Okayl "Load Failed!"
EXIT END Lformat "IFF" Load PlatfonaPic LpScale TpScale 100 IF RC-=0 THEN DO Okayl "Load Failed!"
EXIT END *-• • Cleanup and Exit.
•-* ADDRESS COMMAND 'C:Delete' KainPic ADDRESS COMMAND 'C:Delete' PlatfonaPic ADDRESS COMMAND 'C:Delete' AlphaPic ADDRESS COMMAND 'C:Delete' ShadowPic Sformat PrevSF Okayl "Finished!” EXIT A mazing Computing & Acs TECH SIZZLING SUMMER SPECIALS!
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Which printer packs the biggest punch?
THIS ARTICLE COMPARES TWO COLOR PRINTERS for use with the Amiga computer. One is the Canon I3JC-600 and the other is the Primera, The conclusions are based on numerous tests of the two printers side by side under similar, if not identical, conditions. I purchased both printers at exactly the same price and both with a 30 day money back guarantee. I'm sending back the Canon and keeping the Primera.
R 0 V G B V Low Saturation Hediun Saturation Pure Co I or M e d i un Value Low Val Lie Similarities both printers are sheet fed and can accommodate a stack of about 50 sheets of paper at the input side. Best prints are made on coated paper stock. Both printers are capable of producing transparencies. Both are roughly the same size and occupy about the same space on your desk top. Both are in the same price range - affordable. Both are capable of either color printing or gray scale printing and show no raster lines under either circumstance. Both printers eject prints from the front of the
machine. Both have strong points as well as weak points - no surprise. Both printers were judged mainly on the visual quality of the prints which they produced. Printing time and support were aiso strong influences on conclusions.
Differences The Canon is a bubble jet printer whereas the Primera is a thermal transfer Above, this color chart was sent to both printers to compare the quality of output.
Left, the Primera Color Printer and the Canon BJC-600.
Opposite, to lest dithering, a simple pattern was printed on both units.
LLLLlli L-LiLlLCL'tL iMllb' L-bLLLLLbb VS lllLlc Cannon BIC tiC printer. The Canon uses four cartridges of ink, yellow, cyan, magenta and black, supplied in the form of small cassettes to be installed on the print head which moves horizontally across the print during operation. The Primera uses a wide ribbon (8" wide) which contains panels of wax in each of the four colors. A monochrome and a 3-color ribbon are other options.
In the Primera S 3-color printing, the yellow is transferred first to the paper which is then sucked back into the printer and the magenta is laid on top of the yellow. The paper is partially ejected to show you what is happening and then is sucked back in to put the final color cyan on top. The final color print is then ejected.
Canon paper is loaded at the rear and is ejected from the front whereas in the Primera the paper is loaded in front and ejected in front. The Canon, as typical with ink jet and bubble jet printers, lays down its picture line by line, putting all of the colors down in each line as it progresses. This means a difference in the communicating time between the computer and the printer since the Canon only requires one line of information at a time whereas the Primera requires information about the entire print before the cycle starts.
Tire Canon begins to print shortly after the print signal is sent from the computer whereas the Primera sits and does nothing for anywhere from a few seconds to a minute while it digests all of the information.
Even though the Canon starts to print the image before the Primera, the whole printing process takes longer. Once the Primera has digested all of the information it needs, the printing cycle is only about 2 minutes regardless of the size of the file that is being worked on. This means that typical printing times for the Primera with large and complex color images is about four minutes compared to about eight minutes for the Canon. It is clear that the Primera wins the speed race.
On coated paper the Canon prints look dull and have a difficult, if not impossible, time reproducing a good black because the surface is essentially rough, after the printing, and does not absorb light as well as if it were glossy. By contrast, the Primera lays down a waxy ink on the surface which even feels slick like the surface of a printed magazine. The blacks, even with only three colors, are deep and rich and provide a much snappier looking print than Canon. This is not a fault in design but rather a difference in the two techniques which cannot be overcome by wishful thinking or a
change in paper or any other sort of magic. The Primera wins again.
The Canon claims 360 dots inch; the Primera claims 208 dpi.
Equal to eight lines per millimeter. The human, eye at arms length viewing distance, is barely able to resolve ten lines per millimeter if the eyes are young and 20 20. Consequently, no difference in the resolution in the two machines seems to appear in the prints. For an objective test of this feature, 1 prepared a bar chart of different spacial frequencies (pixels per inch) on the screen of the Amiga. I printed this chart on both machines. On both, the finer lines at arms length began to look gray, having lost their contrast due to merging. Under a ten power glass you can see that there is
some dithering that mixes the black and white together so that they appear gray. Consequently a resolution claim is not meaningful for a dithered color print, as all of them are. That seems to explain why the difference in claimed resolution does not show up in a real picture. The same target was printed on both machines in the Black & White mode, whereupon the contrast was regained along with loss of the gray look. Under a 10-power magnifier, both printers produced sharp, high contrast lines with ragged edges due only to the grain of the paper. On film, the results woutd have been better yet.
Both printers can make film transparencies suitable for overhead projection. However, thePrimera can make films suitable for transfer to T-shirts and other materials such as porcelain, heat resistant plastics and other heat tolerant surfaces.
Heat transfer images are water-proof while ink jet and bubblejet images will smear when wiped with water, printed on any of the surfaces tested.
Support The Primern package included a driver on an Amiga disk with an install program which worked without a hitch. It put the Primera driver into the preferences list along with the other printers already there. There are three things to load in the Primera namely paper, ribbon and software. I was up and running without any difficulties in a short time.
The Canon came with an envelope containing a driver for the IBM and one for the MAC, but nothing for the Amiga. I talked to the supplier who said that as far as they knew it was compatible with an Epson LQ2550.1 called the Canon HOTLINE, they gave me the same song and dance and even though they also make the BJC- was so extensive that I usually aborted prints after 20 minutes half way through the print. So it looks like 40 minutes would be a typical printing time. That happens to be a nice feature about the Canon, namely that you con abort the printing at some point, whereas with the Primera
you've got to go with the flow. Primera offers a four color ribbon priced only slightly higher than the three color ribbon but it makes fewer prints. They also offer a monochrome ribbon which makes considerably more grey scale prints than either of the color ribbons.This is easy to understand since a fixed length of roll will accommodate only a fixed number of panels. The following chart shows the number of prints that can be made from three color, four color and monochrome ribbon. It also shows something about the prices of the ribbons as sold by Fargo Electronics: The number of prints is:
400 Monochrome S40 roll = 10 cents print 115 3-color ..$ 45 roll =40 cents print 804-color .S45 roll = 56 cents print The Canon uses four cartridges of ink, yellow, cyan, magenta and black, supplied in the form of small cassettes to be Installed on the print head which moves horizontally across the print during operation. The Primera uses a wide ribbon (8“ wide) which contains panels of wax in each of the four colors.
800, they had no drivers for the Amiga. They also have a bulletin board with drivers which you can download but again it's for the IBM and the MAC nothing for the Amiga. I spoke to a man who knows the SYSOP of the BBS at Canon and suggested that they start an Amiga section, because there are a million Amigns out there and without some kind of a driver they will never sell anything to their users. He said he would relay the message because it sounded like a good idea.
Meanwhile I searched amongst several bulletin boards having read an article somewhere that there is a man in Germany who has a Canon Factory which specializes in making printer drivers for the Canon. Fred Fish Disk 738 listed a driver for the BJC-800 and similar Cannon printers. After 1 installed the driver in the Preferences printer list, tests were made with the Canon. Results indicated that I had found a useful, maybe not optimum, driver since the two machines responded differently to different kinds of Amiga software packages. 1 operated both printers from three different software
packages namely ADPro, DcluxePamt AGA, and Brilliance. Prints from Dpaint and Brilliance were dark on both printers and neither program has any sort of provisions for changing the brightness or contrast or color balance.
On the other hand, ADPro has all of this capability and worked well with the Primera in lightening up the prints to where I could see details in the shadows as well as in the highlights and 1 could adjust contrast and gamma to get a full range color print.
However, when 1 tried to drive the Canon from ADPro, the time The price per print for the Canon is likewise calculated, as follows: Using a total of $ 33.50 from Tencx as the price for all four ink cartridges and their stated number of prints per set of cartridges as about 135, gives a price of 25 cents print. The ink cartridges can be purchased separately so if you do a lot of black and white printing the black cartridge is going to go first and its replacement does not require you to replace the yellow, magenta or cyan.
Controls The Primera has two buttons on the front and two LED indicators. One is for power and the other is for online. Blinking of the online button at different rates indicates different kinds of trouble, if there is any and there seldom was when I made my tests.
The Canon control panel on the other hand has about eight buttons.
One is power, one is online, another is form feed and in the center there is one button that allows you to choose one of four conditions indicated by four LEDs. There are two more buttons on the right which allow you to tell the printer whether you're using thick stock or envelopes as compared to normal print paper. It's prettv obvious to me that the Primera was designed strictly to produce good color graphics and even though there is a resident font which could Lie used for printing documents, it seems to me like expensive overkill.
1 personally see no need for such a thing in a color image printer.
The Canon, on the other hand, has a whole bevy of fonts and a lot of control buttons and dip switches, etc. which make me believe that they intended for it to be the only printer on your desk, to be used for wordprocessing, spreadsheets and all other manner of text printing and ocassionally for printing color graphics.! Found it to he quite good at all of the Other things, but the color graphics are not up to snuff when compared with the Primera.
The Primera manual is short and to the point and in big print tells you how to get moving and also how to get out of trouble when you encounter it. The Canon manual is about a half inch thick and has about 150 pages, ail of which are necessary to tell IBM people and others about escape codes, font choice, form feed, tab spacing, and other information that has nothing to do with making a good picture.
Tire Canon manual is all in the English language whereas the Primera manual contains about ten pages of FCC warnings in eight different languages. Seems like a good opportunity to learn another language if you feel so disposed.
Tests I tested both printers using about four different images, one of which was the ad for Brilliance, as seen on the back of many magazines along with an announcement "Now Shipping.” I chose that because it's familiar to many Amiga owners. Another image Product Information BJC-600 Canon USA One Canon Plaza Lake Success, NY 11042
(800) 221-3333 Inquiry 224 Primera Color Printer Fargo
Electronics Incorporated 7901 Flying Cloud Drive Eden
Praire, MN 55344
(800) 327-4622 Fax (612) 941-7836 Inquiry 225 was the Opal
Vision logo which contains many subtle shades and tonal
gradations, etc. and is a very good test for printers which
are designed to produce artful, pretty prints. Getting more
technical, I used the reference palette included with
Deluxe Paint, showing six basic colors at five different
levels of saturation. The fourth image was the resolution
target which I described earlier. Just looking at the
prints side by side lined up on the floor showed the
Primera to be the winner in every case because of the
better saturation in the blacks and generally better
appearance because of the glossy surface, Primera prints
when compared to the magazine ad at the same viewing
distance were essentially equal in color, contrast,
saturation and resolution. I put a couple of the prints,
same image from different printers, side by side on a copy
machine and found that the Primera was again the big winner
as seen by the color copier. Also, photographs of the
prints side by side on the floor showed the same
differences to the camera that were visually obvious.
Nofes Only 3-coior and monochrome ribbons were tested for this report. A photo kit and a 4-color ribbon are also available for the Primera, but arrived too late for testing and reporting. The 3-color ribbon produces an excellent black when viewed normally with front lighting. Under supercritical conditions, transmitted light, the blacks show a slight greenish cast. It is probable that 4-color would cover this up but 1 would expect no dramatic improvement under normal viewing conditions. The photo kit should show significant improvement, judging from the sample included with the PR package.
Conclusions Based solely on the difference in visual print quality, the Primera is an outstanding printer compared to anything 1 have seen on the market other than 55,000 machines or a printing press. The Canon may have appeal to those who are looking for a jack of all trades printer in one box, but there are faster, cheaper and better ways of printing documents of equal quality.
Worth noting, the Primera uses a friction drive to run the paper in and out between laying down the sequence of colors.
There are some registration marks in the self-test image, and even under 10X magnification no color fringing can be seen. A remarkable achievement for a friction drive. The Canon should not have a registration problem since all colors are running along on the same carriage with the four bubble jets concentrated at the same point on the paper. As expected, no color fringing was seen when printing fine black lines in the resolution target.
• AC* Please Write to: Dwinn Craig c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 CD32 SX-1 turns CD32
into an Amiga 1200 Two free programs with CD32 purchase!
CD32 Expansion Interface Microbotics has announced the SX-1, an expansion interface that will allow the CD52 to be connected to most Amiga computer devices. The assembly plugs on the back of the CD!2 without interfereing with the Full Motion Video Module expansion.
With the SX-1, CD12 owners can now add an 2.5" internal IDE hard drive. With an optional RAM activation kit, there is also an internal; 72-pin SIMM socket for one 1, 2, 4, or 8MB 1x32 SIMM. However, if the Full Motion Video Module is in place, the SIMM expansion is limited to a maximum of 4MB.
Externally, the SX-1 offers a wealth of expansion opportunities. There is an RGB connector (the same as the Amiga 1200) to connect an RGB monitor. An external IDE interface to connect 3.5" IDE hard drives. A parallel interface is included to use printers, scanners, or other devices. A standard Amiga floppy drive interface for a 3.5" external floppy drive increases the CD12's capabilities to include floppy disk software (with an optional floppy drive). A 9-pin serial port makes it possible to attach a modem, or other standard serial device. The AT type 101 keyboard connector can only be used if
the keyboard translation chip is also installed.
In addition the SX-1 includes both an Audio input and a hardware switch. The Audio input allows the user to mix additional audio with the CD32's CD-quality audio output. This is not only ideal for presentations but it is great for Karaoke play. The hardware switch will turn the SX- 1 on or off in case there is a software incompatibility.
White their was no suggested price at press time for the RAM socket option or the Keyboard translation chip, the SX-1 will retail for S199 and should be available by mid Spring.
Commodore Freebes If you arc one of the consumers who waited to buy your CD'2 in the U.S., Commodore is biindeling two free games with each system. Although CBM has not made an official announcement, Amiga distributors have been told that Microcosm and The Chaos Engine will be two free games either Microcosm is one of two games Commodore is reportedly bundling with CD32 consoles sold in Ihe United States.
Included with every CD12 in the United States or available with a mail-in coupon.
Although neither game was available at press time in an NTSC format, we have been able to get a description from the developers (any wild claims are theirs).
Microcosm Microcosm has been defined by Psygnosis as a view of mankind regarded as being the epitome of the universe. Time is rapidly running out for corporate mogul Tiron Korsby. He's been injected with a microscopic probe know as "Grey M" which is coursing through his blood stream.
A rival corporation. Axiom, is to blame, their diabolical mission: total mind control.
Your mission is to track down and destroy this intruder. Using the latest in micro- submersible technology you must navigate through the world of veins, arteries and organs within his body to find and confront "Grey M".
Features of the game include: over 500 megabytes of gameplay, graphics and sound data, cinematic presentation of photo realistic images and full motion video sequences, genuine interaction with rendered backdrops, Psygnosis' exclusive Fractal Engine Technology™ allows smooth video transfer. There is also a digital audio soundtrack by the rock legend, Rick Wakeman. Psygnosis promises that with Microcosm you have the best of both worlds, a movie packed with furiously addictive gamepfav and a game with visuals to match anything Hollywood can produce.
The Chaos Engine Sometime during the last century, an experimen! With time, space and earlv computers created a bizarre machine. Baron Fortesque was the inventor's name and the machine was The Chaos Engine. The machine, at first primitive, became incredibly powerful and went crazy, turning ordinary humans and household pets into razor toothed, armour-plated killing machines.
The Thug, Preacher, Mercenary, Gentleman, Navvie and Brigand are six mercenaries for hire. They are armed with over 25 weapons and other special destructive devices. Pick any two characters to form your party and enter the World of Chaos.
This adventure covers four graphics worlds and 16 levels loaded with fiendish traps, puzzles and secret passages. Get your hands on sawn-off shotguns, molotov cocktails or other devices and buy or blast your way through the hordes of different monsters to do battle with the ultimate killing machine, The Chaos Engine!
• AC* mazing Computing's Reader's Choice Awards Official Entry
Ballot Vote Today!
Amazing Computing's readers choice award election is open to all readers of AC throughout the world. This is your opportunity to promote the companies and products you believe are providing the most value and service to the Amiga community.
This is your means to demonstrate your appreciation for spectacular products offered and superior service rendered.
First, register your ballot by Supplying your name, address, and Amiga model number in the space provided. This is necessary to be certain the Amiga community obtains a fair and impartial vote. No duplicate entries please. Photocopies of this ballot are acceptable; however, we must limit votes to one ballot per Amiga user.
Second, list your favorite Amiga programs and Amiga vendors in the space provided with the best being on top and the least 011 the bottom. You are limited to four entries per category (except CDTV CD32).
State Country Painting or Drawing
1. _ 2 Desktop Publishing Accessories (fonts, clip art, etc)
1. _
D. _ 4.
Be legible; If we cannot read your entry, we will not be able So count it.
Third, give us your thoughts.
At tine end of the ballot is a space for your comments, suggestions, concerns, and ideas for the Amiga market. Please take a moment to address the Amiga issues that are important to you.
Fourth, mail your ballot to; Vote Amiga' 94
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 Don's dL'lay! In order
to be counted, all ballots must be postmarked by August
Don't miss this chance to reward the products and vendors who have supplied you with the tools to do more with you Amiga.
Look for the results of IC's Reader Choice Awards in the December issue of Amazing Computing and the Winter '95 edition of AC's CU DE fo the Commodore Amiga.
Word 1.
Processing Education
1. _ 2, 3.
4. .
2. .
3. . 4.
Text Editors (commercial or public domain)
1. _ Au thoring Systems 1,_ 2.
Presentation Programs
1. __ 2 Image Processing
1. __
2. _ 3 ._ 4 .___ Telecommunications Software; Listed below are 18
categories of software. Choose your favorite software package
from each category. List up to four (4) packages from each
category. If you list more than one (1) product, place them in
order of importance with the best on top, second in second
place, etc. Each category will be marked separately from the
others so be sure to grade your choices separately.
Completion is not required! You need not fill in every category or even every line in each category.
Please vote in those areas where you have strong commitments. Your vote will be as important as you make it.
Please complete the following. Your vote cannot be counted if you do not register here.
Name_ CAD (Computer Aided Design)
1. _
2. _
3. _ Language Programming
1. _
2. _ 3 .__ 4 ._ Business Packages (spreadsheets, database,
finance, etc) 1.
(please give model number ie A1200) Please, one vote per Amiga user.
Desktop Publishing own and Amiga.
City 3-D
1. _
2. _ 3 ._ 4.
. Zip_
2. .
3. . 4.
3. . 4.
Music (MIDI, digitzers, editor librarians, etc)
1. _ Utilities (backup, DOS conversion, print, miscellaneous)
1. _ Animation
I. _ Desktop Video 2.
3. _ 4.
PLEASE VOTE! Your interests, concerns, and preferences are important to the entire Amiga community.
Amazing Computing's Reader's Choice Awards Official Entry Ballot page 2 Hardware: Listed below are 12 categories of hardware. Choose your favorite piece of hardware from each category. List up to four (4) items from each category. (Be sure to list the maufacturer with the product.) If you list more than one (1) product, place them in order of importance with the best on top, second in second place, etc. Each category will be marked separately from the others so be sure to grade your choices separately.
Completion is not required! You need not fill in every category or even every line in each category. Please vote in those areas where you have strong commitments. Your vote will be as important as you make it.
Hard Drive Controllers
1. _ Accelerators
1. _
2. _ 3 ._ 4 ._ 2 Optical Tape Drives Video Switcher Cards
1. _ 2.
3. . 4.
4 ._ Emulators for other Computers 1__ Video Hardware Accessories 2,
3. . 4.
3 ._
4. ____ CD-ROM
1. _ Scanners Digitizers 2_ 2.
3,’ 4.
4 ._ Memory Expansion Laser Printers
1. _
2. _
3. _ 4 ._
1. _ 2,
3. 1___
4. _ Graphics Cards Dot Matrix or Jet Printers
1. _ 2, 3.
4. ._ 1.
2. _ 3 ._ 4 ._ Entertainment: Because there are so many different
types of games on the market, we are unable to list each
category separately.
Please list your favorite game(s) and apply the rating system to you choicc(s). Also, you are given the opportunity to list your favorite game manufacturers and grade them accordingly.
Favorite Gamc(s) 1.
Service: This is an opportunity to grade Amiga companies on their service. List up to four (4) companies and grade them on these areas: responsiveness to customer's needs, user registration process, courtesy, tech support, upgrade availability, and availability of assistance (for tech support, questions, orders, etc).
Best Manufacturer 1.
2 2 D. 3.
Best Manufacturer(s) 1.
Best Technical Support 1.
2 3.
CDTV & CD32 Although CDTV CD32 titles may sometimes be the same as their regular Amiga counterparts, there is also a wide variety of entirely new titles. For the sake of space, we have offered one master category for your favorite CDTV & CD12 applications. Please list them below with your favorite as number i and so on, until you have listed all the titles for which you wish to cast a ballot.
1. . 2.
3. ’ 4.
Write In; No ballot would be complete without a write-in section. We have included this area in case we have missed a section of the Amiga market you fed should be included or you have comments or suggestions that you would like to address to the Amiga developer community. Please make your comments, suggestions, and or choices below. Your thoughts are important to the entire Amiga industry. Take a moment and express yourself and attach an added sheet if necessary.
Please Note: Photocopies of this ballot are acceptable, however only one ballot per person will be counted.
The Scale: Place your choices in the appropriate category, Judge a company and or its product bv reliability, customer service, compatibility, upgrade availability, ease of use, features, effectiveness of product, etc. Many products can be placed under more than one category.
PLEASE VOTE! Your interests, concerns, and preferences are important to the entire Amiga community.
Lj very nicely done. The assassin character has the ability to not just jump and shoot like most commandoes, but he can also climb up walls and move across the ceilings. The time limit of each level is not a set denotation type, as with most games, Instead, the character is not killed when the time expires, he only looses a time bonus and, supposedly, enemy reinforcements are called into the level.
Indeed, with so much to explore and find in each level of the game, time becomes irrelevant. Finding the hidden continue coins is important, as the game has no passwords or save feature of any sort, so continuing will probably be important until proficiency is achieved. I would have appreciated two button control, as the single fire button configuration lends itself to sticky control when on the walls and ceilings. It becomes troublesome, sometimes, to jump around when the assassin is perched on a wall, or hanging from a ceiling.
If you do purchase this game from your distributor, make sure to tell them you want Assassin Special Edition and not the original Assassin.
Also, this is a PAL game, as are all of Team 17's products, so a 1MB Angus and PAL hooter are required, or a PAL booted AGA machine.
The game comes on two disks, but oddly enough, does not support dual floppy drives. Fortunately, disk swapping is extremely minimal. Aiso, Assassin has an option to save your high scores to a separate disk.
I enjoyed playing Assassin Special Edition immensely and recommend it for fans of action games. It scrolls in all directions; has multitudes of different opponents to face, then terminate; very interesting blisses and great special weapons. Budget title or not, Assassin Special Edition is a first class game ail the way and easily on par with Team 17's other great games.
Assassin Special Edition In Jason D'Aprile Team 17 seems to have a real knack of knowing what 1 like, after publishing great games like Body Blows Galactic and Alien Breed 2 recently, they threw the knockout punch with the latest in their growing budget series, Assassin Special Edition. The original Assassin was, supposedly, a fairly poor game, so Team 17 redid it, upping the graphics and control, among other things, with startlingly entertaining results.
The game takes place over four different worlds which you will traverse, annihilating everything in your way, in order to make it to the evil Midan, "Tyrant of the Highest Order." One world is a complex filled with missile silos and huge misiles.
Another, known as the "Genetic Asylum," is an eerie, nightmarish landscape, with constant screams in the background and mutant experiments and demented scientists on the prowl for the Assassin. The final world of Midan's Labyrinth is a huge techno structure with hopping droids, mechanized guns and terminator robots that inform you that "I'll be back," when you assassinate them.
As is usual for Team 17's products, the graphics and sound effects of the game are Assassin Special Edition Team 17 Prospect House Borough Road Wakefield, W. Yorkshire WF1 3AB England 011-44-924-291-867 Inquiry 237 Shooters for the Amiga seem to be in short supply lately. In fact, this is the first spaceship shoot 'em up I've seen for, well, a while.
Cardiaxx is a redo of an older version that, apparently, bad really bad play control, So, Teaml7 revamped it and now brings it out again.
On a single disk, Cardiaxx, first off, has a really attractive opening sequence with great music. The graphics and sound in the game are both nicely done and it is a real variation on the standard shooter. Sure, you're still trying to save the universe and all of that from a fleet of Cardiaxx by Jason D'Aprile megalomaniac, isolationist aliens, but tills time, the biggest enemy in the game is time.
Yes, that's right, the player only has a very limited amount of time to destroy so many waves before the game is over. Run out of time and it's game over no matter how many lives you had left.
The really peculiar feature of the game is the ability to scroll right or left almost any time you want.
Indeed, you'll be zigzagging right and left, trying to keep up with the incoming waves through pretty much the whole game. All the time that you're playing, the ship's onboard computer will keep informing you of which direction to go, what new power ups you just got and various other things in it's Computer voice, The look is very similar to the R-Type series of shooters, but the player only fights one wave of aliens at a time, then simply flies to the next wave when the computer teils you to and fights another wave, etc. At the finale of the level, you'll fight a kind of mother ship, then
enter into Deep Space for the bonus round.
The ship can rocket across the screen. This speed factor, mixed with the ability to do 180, is where one of the biggest problems witli Cardiaxx lies. Pressing the opposite direction that your ship is moving in is .1 two function maneuver. Sometimes, it will slow your ship down, or else just reverse you.
You may not always get the response you want.
Cardiaxx Team 17 Prospect House Borough Road Wakefield, W. Yorkshire WF1 3AB England 011-44-924-291-867 Inquiry 236 Manically hard, Cardiaxx does deliver in the area of a diehard plnving experience.
Containing around eight levels, Cardiaxx is not a game to give itself up without a fight. Cardiaxx is an attempt to bring a new spin on a genre that suffers extensively from over-cloning in the way of plot and play mechanics. Cardiaxx is recommendable to those diehard shooter fans who have already crashed and burned their way through the previous shooter offerings from the past.
Ah, nostalgia... Back before the days of digitized graphics, CD-ROM sized games and epic, graphically violent adventures of all sorts, we had Bubble Bobble, a fun, quirky, harmless two player game that was viciously addictive. I'm sure that it has been released on the Amiga, though I've never seen it. It was great on the old C64 and I remember it fondly. But now, thanks to the wondrous Team 17 people over the ocean, the spirit of Bubble Bobble and the slew of others like it is back in the form of Qwak.
Encompassing one disk, requiring 1MB RAM and packing a whole lot of spunk, Qwak is a barrel of fun in a small package. Qwak is two player simultaneous, has more levels then I could count and secrets untold to be discovered.
Visually, it has that sparkling, crisp Amiga look that ail of Team 17's products have and the variety of backgrounds is varied and all look good.
Play control is simple and responsive. Sound is also up to the usual high level of quality that Team 17 attains.
The game itself consists of the players controlling small armor- wearing ducks, possibly knights of some sort, who just go jumping around from level to level collecting enough keys, along with whatever bonus he can get, to open the door to the next level. Plot, as the manual tells us, is completely negligible fora game that's main- indeed only- purpose is to he extremely entertaining.
And it is.
The heroes throw eggs at enemies to dispatch them, hut must be careful not to waste the eggs, as they only have a limited amount at the start (though there are opportunities to collect more frequently).
There are the larger boss monsters that take multiple shots to dispose of and many bonus rooms and hidden treasures.
If two people are playing, then they can, at their discretion, be cooperative to each other or just play viciously and try to foil the other player at every turn.
Spend too much time on a certain level and the sky will Start to rain large and small spiked balls, just to goad you on, or, alternatively, kill your duck. Overall, the little characters in the game are likeable and there is a myriad of enemies to deal with.
Special care was taken to make Qwak just what it was meant to be- a truly entertaining game that you can just pick up and play for a while. It Is successful in those regards and despite it's cartoon-like, childish graphics, it also becomes extremely challenging as you advance through the game. I might add that, like it's predecessors, it's also quite addictive.
Teaml7 seems to constantly put out the best and any new game from them has, thus far, been a sure bet for quality. Qwak is one of a number of "budget" titles that they have recently released and is worth asking your favorite distributor, or dealer for if they don't have it already.
Quack Team 17 Prospect House Borough Road Wakefield, W. Yorkshire WF1 3AB England 011-44-924-291-867 Inquiry 235 Amazing Computing ¥ Vol.8, No.5, May 1993 Highlights Include: "Directory Opus", review of the latest version of Directory Opus and a start-up tutorial bv Merrill Callaway "Media Madness," explores the inside of Blue Ribbon Sound work's new Media Madness, by Todor Fay & David Miller "SuperJAM 1.1 a review of the latest release of Super] AM! Hv Kick Manasa "ImageFX," review by R- Shamms Mortier ALSO: Super VidcoSlot for May The New Graphics Modes!
* Vol.8, No.6, June 1993 Highlights Include: "AMOS Turns
Professional",review of n 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 serv ices, by Dr. Michael Tobin ALSO:
Newsletter Design, Arexx Programming, I Ini Diversions 0) 3 (0
0 ® 0 V a CD E )
* Vol.8, No.7, July 1993 Highlights Include: "TypeSMITH 1.0",
review of Soft-Logik's new font editor, by Merrill Callaway
"OpalPaint 2.0," review of the latest version of this paint
program for IheOpalVision board, by R. Shamms Mortier
"Structured Drawing," basic features and advanced techniques,
by Dan Weiss "DeluxePaint IV AGA," review of the latest paint
package for the AGA machines, by K. Shamms Mortier ALSO: Super
VidcoSlot, Arexx, and New Products!
W Vol.8, No 8, August 1993 Highlights Include: "Amiga Vision Professional", review Commodore's upgraded authoring system, by Douglas J. Nakakihara "Art Department Profesional 2.3," review of the latest release of AdPro from ASDG, by Merrill Callaway "Professional Page 4.0 the latest incarnation of Pro Page, by Rick Manasa "Pseudo Radiosity Effects why rav 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, bv Merrill Callaway* ALSO: AC Phone Book: A directory of Amiga Developers!
¥ Vol.8, No 9, September 1993 Highlights Include: "Adventures with Aladdin",Part ill of this tutorial series on Aladdin 4D, by R. Shamms Mortier "CanDo Tirst installment of this series for CanDo programmers, by Randy Finch "Caligari 24," Review of version 3.0 of this 24-bit software, by K. Shamms Mortier "Coming Attractions," A look Into the future attractions in Amiga games, by I lenning Vahlenkamp ALSO: WOCA Australia & Summer CES!
¥ Vol.8, No 10, October 1993 Highlights Include: "Making Waves", Focus on the wave requester in Part IV of the Aladdin series, R. Shamms Mortier "Clouds in Motion Animated clouds in Scenery Animator, by R Shamms Mortier "Media Madness ' Discover what it can do for Bars&Pipes, bv Rick
M. masa "Bars&Pipes Professional 2.0," review by Rick Manasa
"Bernoulli Multi Disk 150", A review of this great Iomega
ALSO: Commodore's new CD32!
¥ Vol.8, No 11, November 1993 i iighlighls Include: b "CanDo", I bis installment covers developing a custom object by combining several standard CanDo objects, by Randy Finch.
"Brilliance A complete review of this hut new paint and animation program from Digital Creations, by Frank McMahon.
"Online," The introduction of this new telecommunications column for the Amiga, by Rob i lavs.
"Get Graphic: Digital Image F X," The introduction of AC's new graphics column, by William Frawley.
"Picasso II", A review of one of the best new graphics cards available, by Mark Rickvn.
ALSO: WOCA Pasadena; Commodore introduces CD-32! Plus, the incredible LightRave, a Video Toaster emulator!
¥ Vol.8. No 12. December 1993 I lighlights Include: "CanDo Tutorial", Basic concepts behind animations and presentations, bv Randv Finch.
"LightRave Review," A review of Ibis uniques Toaster emulator, by Shamms Morlier.
"Online The introduction of this new telecommunications column for the Amiga by Rob 1 lays.
"Get Graphic Digital Image F X The introduction of AC's new graphics column, by William Frawley.
"Video Toaster 4000 Review", A review of the latest Video Toaster by Shamms Mortier.
ALSO: 1993 Reader's Chioce Awards!
¥ Vol.9, No 1 January 1994 I lighlights Include: "Designing Holiday Cards". Using your favorite DTP programs to create holiday cards, bv Dan Weiss.
"Accent on Multimedia," First in a series exploring the history and concepts behind multimedia, by K. Shamms Mortier.
“Primera Printer Review of this low end, inexpensive color printer, by Merrill Callaway.
"Cummodiire 1942 Monitor," In-depth study of this comprehensive Amiga paint package, by R. Shamms Mortier.
ALSO: Commodore Shareholders Movement ¥ Vol.9, No 2, February J994 Highlights Include: "Amiga on Internet", Exploration of Internet anil its services, by f limning Vahlenkamp.
"EGS 28 24 Spectrum A review of this hot graphics card from GVP, by Mark Hoffman.
"Magic Lantern" A new animation compiling program for all Amiga display modes, by R. Shamms Mortier.
"Gel Graphic: Digital Image F X Using Arexx, Opal Paint, ADPro, and Deluxe Paint to process images, by William Frawley.
ALSO; Exclusive interview with Lew Fggebrecht!
• Vol.9. No 3, March 1994 1 lighlights Include: "Amiga Stars at
Medical Convention", Medical multimedia on the Amiga, by
Michael Tobin, M.D.. "CanDo vs. HELM ' Head-to-head review of
two leading Amiga authoring systems, by Randy Finch.
* ’PD Updale," Fliis month, a description of Ah'tiPtiich 2-9 and
other shareware and freeware utilities, by I terming Vahlenkamp
"Sc.ila MM300 A review of the program believed to be "lint
stuff'’ for anyone doing interactive media work, by R. Shamms
ALSO: And furthermore: The Amiga lakes the stage in the Kroadwav production of The Who's Tommy!
¥ Vol.9, No 4, April 1994 Higliliglits include: "Computer Cafe Serves Up Shasta", Hie design team at Computer Cafe creates ini redible "can-a-malimv” for a beverage commercial, by Robert Van Buien.
"Aladdin 4D Review ' Comprehensive look at the latest version of Aladdin, by R- Shamms Mortier.
"AGA Chipset and the Amiga: CD “ to the Rescue!" What does the future hold for CD32 and Amiga games? Jeff James has the inside scoop, by Jeff James.
"Sync Tips Video returns to the pages of AC, featuring Oran Sands.
ALSO: Exclusive interview with renowned Amiga artist Jim Sachs.
¥ Vo 1,9, No 5, May 1994 Highlights Include: "Desktop Publishing for Profit", Resume design: A simple and profitable way to break into the desktop publishing field, bv Dan Weiss, "24-bil Painting Techniques," Innovative tips and tricks anyone can use to make their computer paintings hx k better, by Mark I loKmart "PD Update This month, iuyaltall 3.0, Alafom u Invader*. Nrw World, and more, by I lenning Vahlenkamp.
"MicroBolics MBX-1200Z," A review of this handy math coprocessor and 32-bit RAM add-on card for the Amiga 1200, by Rob Hays.
ALSO: The long-awaited Amiga 4009 Tower is showcased at the Ccbil shim in Germany.
« AC 's TECH, Vol. 3, No, 2 I highlights Include: "Ole," An arcade game programmed in AMOS BASIC, by Thomas J. Hshclmnn.
"Programming the Amiga in Assembly Language Pari ," by William Nee "Wrapped Up with True BASIC ' Text and Graphics wrapping modules in True BASIC, by Dr. Roy M- Nuzzo "ARexx Disk Cabloger, An AmigaDOS manipulator that produces a text file containing information about the floppy disks you want cataloged, by
T. Darrel Westbrook AND LOTS MORE ON DISK!
I! AC’s TECH, Vol. 3, No.3 Llighlights Include: "Rexx Rainbow Library," A review by Merrill Callaway "All You Ever Wanted to Know About Morphine," An in-depth look at morphing for Imagine by Bruno Costa and Lucia Darsa "Custom 3D Graphics Package Part I," Designing a custom 3D graphics package by Laura Mfrisson.
Build a Second Joystick Port,” A simple hardware project for an additional joystick port by J.iques Hallee.
* AC’s TECH, Vol. 3, No. 4 Highlights Include: "Custom 3D
Graphics Package Part II," Put the finishing touches on your
own graphics package by Laura Morisson.
"TruBASlC Input Mask ' An interesting TmeBASIC utility by T. Darrell Westbrook.
"Time Efficient Animations ' Make up for lost time with this great animation utility by Robert Galka.
"F-BASIC 5.0 ' A review of this latest version of F-BASIC by Jeff Stein.
PLUS: CD32 Development Info!
* AC's TECH, Vol. 4, No. 1 I lighliglvts Include: "Artificial
Life ' Artificial life, intelligence and other technical
tidbits in this piece, by John lovine.
"Huge Numbers Part 1," Creative number crunching, by Michael Greibling.
"Pseudo-random Number Generation," Generating sequences of random numbers almost, bv Cristopher Jennings.
"Draw 5.0 ’ Door prize selection in AMOS Professional, by T. Darrell Westbrook.
"Programming the Amiga in Assembly Language," Complex functions are explored, by William P. Nee.
"Writing a Function Genic for Pro Draw," Create a calendar beginning October I5S2, by Keith D. Brown.
R'ACs TECH, Vol. 4, No. 2 Highlights Include: "True T-BASIC," What do you get when vou cross True BASIC with F-BASIC? You'll be surprised, by Roy M. Nuzzo.
"Huge Numbers Part II ' Creative number crunching, by Michael Greibling.
"Building an Audio Digitizer," Create a simple audio digitizer for your Amiga, by John lovine.
"A Look at Compression," various compression techniques and what they do for you, by Dan Weiss.
"Programming the Amiga in Assembly Language," Using the math coprocessor, by William P. Nee.
"AmigaDOS Shared Libraries ' Examining AmigaDOS librariesand their functions, by Daniel Stenberg.
1-800-345-3360 Hr ’ivm AMIGA H: w.cu Miai A Look at BACK ISSUE SPECIALS!
SEE PAGE 80 FOR DETAILS Have you missed information on how to add ports to your Amiga for under $ 70, how to work around DeluxePamt'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 lull 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?
Or if you're a programmer or technical type, do you understand how to add 512K RAM to your 1 MB A500 for a cost of only $ 30? Or how to program the Amiga's GUI in C? Would you like [he 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?
Gel i re nu_ (continued from page 96) anticipate at least 4 gig drives will be normal entry level drives which give about 24 minutes to one half hour of extremely high quality video or much longer playtimes per drive at somewhat lower quality video.
AC: In order to accomplish the throughput rate and the quality of the Flyer, you have created your own compression technique, different than anything else that is out there. Can you explain a little about that compression technique.
K. G.: The technique was developed to address the requirement to
get rid of fixed pattern noise and bandwidth reduction that is
commonly used in JPEG to allow JPEG "There is a lot of power
hidden underneath that simplistic looking user interface. If
you dig," Charles Steinkuehler data to be compressed and
placed on disk drives. We also wanted to reduce the cost of
the compression hardware and control the cost of the product.
The Flyer's approach has no fixed pattern noise, that is no square artifacts as is common to JPEG when it encounters busy signals. The Flyer can operate in completely lossless modes if the information content of the incoming image allows that. If the image becomes very busy and some information clipping is required, then the artifacts that arc generated are unpatterned low frequency noise that looks like tape noise and in general are very acceptable. It doesn't correlate visually and cause...
C. S.: It looks like video you are used to seeing.
AC; But that is at high compression, high speed?
K. G.: That is at high compression.
AC: Under lossless, you are saying that after ten compressions and decompressions, the image would look almost the same?
K. G.: It would look completely like the original except for the
fact that we are using analog input and output so the physical
world does induce some degradation. But if you are running in
the lossless mode it would be exactly like a D2 recorder.
AC: How long have you both worked on this?
K. G.: I have worked on this for a little over four years. Not
directly on this product hut on the compression approaches in
general, Four years directly related to the NcwTek product and
off and on for the last twenty years or so I have been working
in the compression area.
AC: What did you do before you came to NewTek?
K. G.: I did consulting contract design work for a large range of
customers on electronics products and software.
AC: Any names?
K. G.: Department of Defense, General Electric, Ford Motor
Advanced Products, International Semiconductor, McDonald
AC: Charles, how long have you been with the project?
C. S.: I have been on this project for about two years. Pretty
much since Kenbe move to joined us. Kenbe started the work in
a consultant capacity and then came on board NewTek, When he
came on hoard, I was assigned to the project. 1 have been with
NewTek for about eight years now.
AC: What were you working on before this.
C. S.: .Before this, I was one of the hardware developers on the
Toaster. [ have been responsible for the Toaster 4000 and some
of the changes you have seen in that regard.
AC: Were you one of the people who received the Emmy?
C. S.: Yes, I am. You haven't seen me around. The software guys
seem to have gotten their picture taken more than I did.
Which is quite all right, I am not after the fame:
K. G.: (Quietly) Its the money.
C. S.: Yes, just send money. But, basically it was Tim, Brad, and
I on the original Toaster hardware team. Then 1 pretty much
did the 3000-4000 version and then shortly after that Kenbe
came on board and I started on the Flyer project.
AC: Not to get too personal, but you appear very young.
C. S.: I turned twenty six about two weeks ago.
AC: So, you started working for NewTek when you were 18?
C. S.: Yes AC: Were you fresh out of high school or attending
C. S.: Fresh out of high-school. I started assembling DigiViews
with Tim jenision and Robert Blackwell. 1 continued assem
bling DigiViews on a piece rate basis while 1 went to college
for a year and then I decided to work at NewTek full time. I
sort of migrated into the product development area as the
company expanded. It became obvious that that was where !
Could make my best contribution.
AC: What do you want to make certain that the public knows about the Flyer?
K. G.: It meets the goals. It does a good job of compressing and
playing back video and it does it at a low cost.
C. S.: We will put our video quality recorded onto hard drive up
against anyone here and I think we will win. I have yet to see
a system that has the capability of running tetter video on
the drives and we are also pretty competitive on the price
point which is a NewTek tradition.
AC: You attribute the quality of the video to the in-house compression?
K. G.: Yes, the goals were set for broadcast quality video. There
was not any strong incentive on plavtime. We wanted the
ability to get broadcast quality video, full bandwidth, full
luminance, on to a disk drive. We felt that the market wanted
quality over playtime for editing and so forth. That doesn't
mean that you can't increase the playtime by going to lower
quality modes, but the entire driving force was, "How do we
get high video quality" and everything was done with that goal
in mind.
C. S.: One of the important things too is that VTASC will be
liccnsable to third party developers. We see this as becoming
the video Standard for compression decompression techniques.
AC: And the cost for a system?
C. S.: The Flyer itself will list for $ 3995, so under $ 400(1 gets
you a D2 recorder.
K. G.: Then you need to buy one or more hard drives. You need two
hard drives for editing.
AC: This is in addition to the Toaster?
J. A.: If you are starting from scratch you are going to need a
Toaster, an Amiga, a Flyer, and a couple of recommended hard
drives. You are looking at about $ 12,000. If you are already a
Toaster owner, you are probably looking at something in the
neighborhood of six, seven, to eight thousand dollars for the
Flyer and accessories. So you are still talking about a
tremendous value under $ 15,000 for on-line D2 quality video.
This is unprecedented, you have to get up to the AVID 8000
system for $ 100,000 to come near it.
AC: Can someone license your board and build their own software?
K. G.: That's true and on the current Toaster all of the Toaster
functions are available externally through the AREXX interface
and that will continue to be the case for the Fiver operations
as well. It will he very easy for third party' developers to
build an entire system
C. S.: Plus, there are now third party editing controllers
available that control a couple of tape decks and make the
Toaster do its thing as well. Hopefully you will see products
similar to these except that in addition to controlling the
Toaster, they will control the Fiver as opposed to controlling
a couple of tape decks. Several people have asked about that,
but we can't say anything specific about third party support
at this point.
K. G.: We developed a specific set of goals and the Flyer does a
very good job of meeting those goals in the hardware. I
believe a lot of us have personal beefs with portions of the
user interface software, hut you have to admit that the Fiver
is real easy to use to do a lot of Stuff.
"We wanted the ability to get broadcast quality video, full bandwidth, full luminance, on to a diskdrive," Kenbe Goertzen AC: In the demonstration, you were picking up segments of video and placing them in line as if you were doing a SCALA presentation. Then all of a sudden, you had moving video.
K. G.: You can set the in and out points, set all the
transitions, there is a lot of things you can do. The time
line supporters certainly have a point that you can't do
everything imaginable. But, 5(1 to 80 percent of the customers
out there will be able to do everything they want with this
C. S.: There is a lot of power hidden underneath that simplistic
looking user interface. If you dig.
AC: Now that you have accomplished this, are vou working on something new?
K. G.: We will be working on getting this shipping as soon as
possible. The planned date is September. We are planning lots
of new projects, but we can't talk about those yet.
J. A.: You are going to see a volume of products out of NewTek
over the next 12 to 14 months like you have never seen. In the
past, we did one every year or so, but now you are going to
see a suite of products.
AC: As you said earlier, your a business now.
J. A.: We are a business. We are growing up.
AC: When you discuss lossless compression, what are the restrictions?
K. G.: When you have a person against a background the Fiver can
work at near lossless at 3MB or so. All of the stuff we arc
showing in the booth, is either completely lossless or
effectively lossless. There are a few clips that may have a
little loss, but we didn't baby the system. We just picked
interesting video to play, A lot of the other companies, as we
look around the show, have babied their systems. They have a
person on a black background or they have some people,..
C. S.: Dimly lit people on a dark background..
J. A.: Dark blue colors like a moving bruise.
K. G.: You can do vibrant colors and so forth fairly well with
JPEG, but if the information gets real busy, it is hard to
avoid the pattern artifacts. We have seen very few real busy,
real high information images being shown around. You can't
squeeze the information down to nothing. If the information is
there you, either have to store it or throw it away and we
feel we do a much better job of passing the information
through and not throwing it away than the other approaches at
the high quality levels. But it still varies a lot. You can do
good video at 3MB per second but you can certainly contrive
things that will require much more than that.
AC: As far as degradation to the system, you can go down as low as you want?
K. G.: Pretty much as low as the user wants.
It is a quality and perception thing that is tuneable over a wide range. But, once again, the intent of the whole approach was broadcast quality video.
AC: Understood, but if someone wanted to just create a rough draft.
K. G.: Yes, if thev just want to see something, you can go down
incredibly low. 1 mean very similar to JPEG or even MPEG type
data rates are do-able with this hardware.
C. S.: 1 think the time will be more valuable to the user than
the money spent on the hard drives.
K. G.: My opinion is that the off-line stuff has been driven by a
lack of quality on the first shot.
C. S.: These people charge a minimum of $ 300 to S400 an hour. If
you spend an hour to record your tape and then you want to go
back to redigitize it for another half hour to an hour? I
don't believe they will want to do that.
K. G.: I believe that is our strength. We definitely cannot do
everything that everyone else can do. But for the person who
wants to do broadcast quality expeditiously on a low budget,
we can do that. We can do a great job of that.
J. A.: And don't forget all the Toaster effects. People will want
this type of editing and consider how it compares to the other
systems when thev can throw in 300 video effects, LightWave
3D, Toaster Paint.
Nobody else has this.
K. G.: All the transitions are in real time.
Basically it is a low cost, real time, on-line, on-the-air editor. 1 expect people to set the compression at one of two settings. They will either set it for full broadcast quality, basically D2 type operations, or they will set it for about SVHS levels depending on what their planned end result is. 1 think they will use it as an on-line system producing final results straight through.
That is what we have intended the Flyer to do. Certainly you can crank it down and run at a low-res mode and work through the creation of edit decision lists and preparation. That is not what we are targeting. We are targeting the guy that wants to do it all in his office with this hardware and nothing else.
Early reports are that these men have hit their target very well. NewTek's announcement created a large stir at NAB and afterward.
• AC* Where's Fish?
As of press time, the Fred Fish Collection had not increased from the disks reported in AC's May issue. We will continue the Fred Fish list with the next release.
For a complete listing of the Fred Fish Disks currently available with cross indexes, read the Summer '94 edition of AC's GUIDE to the Commodore Amiga on sale at your dealers now.
M A backstage conversation with the NewTek Flyer's hardware design team.
LAS VEGAS, National Association Of Broadcasters March 20 to 24. Charles Steinkuehler and Kenbe Goertzen are two talented members of the NewTek design group. These team members were responsible for the development and the completion of the hardware for NewTek's newest sensation, The Fiver.
Both Mr. Goertzen and Mr. Steinkuehler were on hand at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas in a rare opportunity to answer questions and explain NewTek's latest announcement. AC was able to talk with the two quiet men as well as NewTek's Jud Alford during a few spare moments at NAB.
AC; Why don't you tell us a little about what you have been doing? What is the Flyer?
K. G.: Well we have been working on a method to get D2 digital
video onto a disk drive as close to lossless as we could do
and keep the price down to a reasonable level.
What has resulted is a one channel recorder, two channel playback video and CD quality audio board that provides very high quality, up to D2 quality level, record and play back, to work in conjunction with the Video Toaster.
AC: Does the Video Toaster control it?
K. G.: Additional Flyer software added to the basic Video Toaster
offering controls the Flyer board.
AC: Charles, 1 understand the software interface is very Toaster oriented, but are there plans for time line interfaces and more?
C. S.: My understanding is there will be no time line provided by
NewTek, Kenbeeand 1 are both involved directly on the hardware
end. While we both have done a large amount of software work
on this project, it has been low level device control or
simulation software. The user interface you see here at the
show was done by other individuals, and is in fairly rough
form. The Charles Steinkuehler (left) and Kenbe Goertzen
(right) take a moment at NAB to discuss their latest hardware
contribution to Amiga video and NewTek.
Final version will maintain the point and dick ease of use you see now, with a lot of hidden power you are not seeing today.
K. C.: Yes the application software where you are moving your
mouse, was not us.
What NewTek was intending to do was to provide a software interface that made it easy to do most straight forward editing applications. With nothing else, you can do probably 80, 90, 95 percent of the editing tasks that exist. In some market areas you can do 100 percent of the editing. For more complex editing, the intention is to use third party packages and have third party developers supporting their products on our machine.
AC: In order to make the Flyer work, what are the minimum requirements?
K. G.: Using the Flyer as an animation recorder, you could
operate tins system with a minimum of one disk drive. As an
A B Roll video editing system you would require a minimum of
two disk drives fairly high end, high data rate drives.
AC: What would be your idea of a minimum transfer rate for the drives?
K. G.: The minimum transfer rate should be a little over 3MB per
second sustainable.
Although of course the higher the better.
AC: Tim Jenison was talking about gigabyte storage. Is gigabyte hard drives really the way to go.
K. G.: Oh yes, One gigabyte would make a useable system for
titling, commercial work, and so forth. The typical system we
would anticipate would have perhaps dual 4 gigabyte drives as
an entry level. Of course disk drives are changing rapidly and
within a short time 9 GIG drives will become a common entry
point. By the time the Flyer will be shipping in September, we
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US$ 37.00 Canada Mexico $ 54.00 1 Foreign Surface $ 64,00 1 year of AC's TECH 4 big issues of the Amiga's Original Disk-based technical magazine!
US$ 43,95 ?
Canada Mexico $ 47.95 Foreign Surface $ 51,95 j Please call for all other Canada Mexico foreign surface S Air Mail rates.
Check or money order payments must be in US funds drawn on a US bank; subject to applicable sales tan, Please return to:
P. O. Box 2140 FaU River, MA 02722-2140 Please place this order
form in an envelope with your check or money order.
YES! The “Amazing" AC publications give me 3 GREAT masons to save!
Please begin the subscription(s) indicated below immediately!
Name Address City __State ZIP VISA DISCOVER Charge my ? Visa UMC ff___________ Expiration Date Signature___________________________ Please circle to indicate this is a New Subscription or a Renewal 1 year of AC It 12 big issues of Amazing Computing!
Save over 49% off the cover price!
US$ 27,00 Canada Mexico $ 34,00 J Foreign Surface $ 44,00 Q 1-year SuperSub i AC+AC'S GUIDE-14 issues total!
Save more than $ 31 off the cover prices!
US $ 37,00 ?
Canada Mexico $ 54,00 D Foreign Surface $ 64,00 0 1 year of AC's TECH 4 big issues of the Amiga's Original Disk-based technical magazine!
US $ 43,95 ?
Canada Mexico $ 47,95 Q Foreign Surface $ 51,95 Please call for all other Canada Mexico foreign surface & Air Mail rates.
Check or money order payments must be in US funds drawn on a US bank; subject to sales tax, Please return to:
P. O. Box 2140 Fall River, MA 02722-2140 Please place this order
form in an envelope with your check or money order.
S-VIDEO AND COMPOSITE GENLOCK AND OVERLAY SYSTEM Only broadcast quality S-Video genlock for less than $ 1000 AGA compatible. Compatible with all Amiga models Two independent dissolve controls Software controllable uu±DiT SuperGen SX $ 749.00 The Original SuperGen BROADCAST QUALITY COMPOSITE GENLOCK AND OVERLAY SYSTEM THE FUTURE IS HERE Create spectacular true color animations on your Amiga. M Paint, digitize and display beautiful full color composite video images on any Amiga.
Capture an image in 10 seconds from any color video camera or stable video source.
Full-featured paint, digitize and conversion software included.
Compatible with AG A 120(1 and 4000 Amigas in NTSC PAL modes. Two to four times the speed of AGA animations (DCTV vs, HAM8) with greater color and resolution.
Compatible with all popular 3D, rendering, and graphics packages including: AD-Pro, Aladdin 4D. AmigaVision.
Brilliance, Calligari, Cinemorph, Draw4D, ImageMaster, Imagine, LightWave, MorphPlus, Real 3D.
Scala, Scenery Animator, Sculpt, VistaPro, and many others.,. DCTV (NTSC or PAL) $ 299.00 Hie Kitchen Sync £ TWO COMPLETE TIME BASE CORRECTORS ON ONE CARD!
The Kitchen Sync provides two channels of time base correction - the perfect tow cost TBC solution for the Video Toaster'".
With a Video Toaster, the Kitchen Sync provides a complete A B roll editing system.
Two complete infinite window time base correctors on one IBM AT AMIGA compatible card.
¦ Absolute IOOf fj broadcast quality
• Composite or Y C video in ¦ Includes easy to use external
control panel
• No waveform monitor needed
• Variable speed strobe
• Freeze Frame, two rock-solid Freeze Fields
• Low' power consumption
• Lowest TBC price per channel ¦ Works with consumer grade VCRs
Kitchen Sync $ 1295.00 RGB CONVERTER Allows the use of DCTV with
standard RGB monitors (1084) in standard NTSC or PAL modes.
Also permits the use of external genlocks like our SuperGen.
RGB Converter $ 199.00 BROADCAS T QUALITY FOR A2000 WITH BUILT-IN PROC-AMP SuperGen 2000s StEMMk. $ 1195.00 SuperGen2000 SuperGen $ 549.00 Genlock Option Required to synchronize the Kitchen Sync to an externa! Video source.
? I tiQA. Genlock Option $ 150.00 S-VHS Option Required to enable S-VHS Hi-R (Y C) video outputs, S-VHS Option $ 99.00 FREE SHIPPING EH on all VISA & MC orders in the US CALL DIGITAL
- aesDIRECT 1 -800-645-1164 Orders only COD - Cash only - add
$ 10.00. Call by 2:00pm PST 5:00pm EST for same day shipping.
9:00am to 5:00pm PST M-F ¦ Worldwide Distributors and Dealers Wanted. Inquiries invited, For technical information call 916-344-4825 CREATIONS P.O. Box 97, Folsom CA 95763-0097' Phone 916’344‘4825' FAX 916’635'0475 SuperGen SX, SuperGen, SuperGen2000s, DCTV, DCTV RGB Converter, and Kitchen Sync are trademarks of Digital Creations, Inc. Video Toaster is a trademark of Newtek, Inc. IBM and IBM AT are registered trademarks of IBM, Inc. Amiga is a registered trademark of Commodore-Amiga, Inc. Firrlo 1 no ftn Dn-ulnr Cnnilm oK.d “Brilliance is user friendly, doing an excellent job with nearly every
function and option that it offers..." AmigaWorld, December 1993 (USA) “The program is so fast and flexible that it makes its Amiga predecessors feel like the old Doodle!
Program on the Commodore 64. Nothing out there can match its feature set, and it's the one paint program I’ve used that’s so fast that it never gets in the way of your creativity."
Amiga Computing, October 1993 (UK) “Brilliance is now leaving Dpaint trailing in its wake the best art package available for the Amiga. It’s very hard to express why I'm so taken by Brilliance, there’s just a feeling of 'rightness'about the way that it works."
CU Amiga, October 1993 (UK) “For many years, Dpaint ruled the roost when it came to supplying incredible graphics power at an affordable price, but no longer. Brilliance has assumed centre stage and is now the Amiga's number one art package."
CU Amiga, January 1994 (UK) “It took a while, but Deluxe Paint Ivhas finally met its match. If you're looking for the best AGA paint program on the Amiga, look no further than Brilliance."
Amazing Computing, November 1993 (USA) Professional Paint & Animation DIGITAL ANNOUNCING VERSION 2.0 Version 2.0 of Brilliance has been designed with productivty in mind.
Several new features enhance this already powerful program.
Features like Flip Frames that allows the animator to flip through drawings. Rub Thru that make compositing easier. Load and Save Tween paths enabling much longer and repeatable brush moves. Faster and more accurate Tweening. True View option lor magnification. And much, much more.
The best just got better!
“ExcellentI Brilliance is loaded with useful drawing and animation features, but it’s not just the sheer number of tools on offer that impresses. Two other big points arise. First, the program is very easy to use, thanks to its intuitive, flexible and well thought- out panel system. The second major factor is Brilliance's speed. Even in HAMS mode, everything zips along beautifully quickly."
Amiga Format, October 1993 (UK) "After using Brilliance for just a couple of days, I'm hooked. It is the only package to be released for the Amiga which can rival DeluxePaint for animation capabilities, and it is a class act. ” Amiga Down Under Nov Dec 1993 (New Zealand) Overall Speed Slow Fast Picture Size Limited By: Chip RAM Yes No Total RAM N A Yes Number of Brushes 29 Number of Anim Brushes 2 9 Number of Screens 2 Lots' Levels of Undo 1 Lots' Levels of Redo 1 Lots’ Load Save Paths Yes Yes Flip Frames No ' Yes Realtime Preview Mode No Yes Full Screen HAM Gradient Fill Slow Fast Max of
Colors Gradient Fill 16 30,000 True 24 Bit Editing No Yes Load DCTV Pics as HAM No Yes Max Animation Speed 30Sps 99fps Ground-up Design lor AGA No Yes
* Limited only by total RAM ...Brilliance kicked Tut's Butt! Si m
Still Not Convinced?
30 Day Money Back Guarantee when purchased directly from Digital Creations as a Competitive Upgrade to Ver. 2.0. Call 800-645-1164 to order.
“It is solid as a rock. Never have I known a first version of any program stand up like this or be so perfectly polished."
Amiga Shopper, December 1993 (UK) COMPARE! Deluxe Paint IV Vs. Brilliance as DIGITAL Digital Creations, PO Bov; 97,|Folsom, CA 95763-0097 Product Information 916-344-4825 • FAX 916-635-0475 ? Orders 800-645-1164 Circle 108 on Reader Service card.

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