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SINCE JOINING AMIGAWOKLD, I've gotten more than a few earfuls. One reader hated my use of the word "ain't," Others blasted us about reviews thev clidn t agree with, and some despised mv editorials, wliich admittedly and pur- poselully overgeneralized and stereotyped users of other computers. These editorials have been called stupid; thev have even been likened to the propaganda that fueled Germany in the Set - ond World War. The majority, reading the very same columns, loved them. We don’t mind getting veiled at. In fact, it shows that you are paving attention, and it helps us put out a better magazine. We get yelled at lor what we write about the Amiga, lint why not also yell at those who ignore the Amiga? That is one of the key points of the grassmots-ori- ented Amiga Developers Association that I announced in last month's editorial. This association does not ollicialh begin until next month, hut whv wait? Whv not start making some noise now? I read a lot of computer publications, and scrutinize them for Amiga content. There ain't (pardon me, isn't) much. To change this, we’ve identified the most important non-system-specific computer magazines. We are taking the liberty of listing them for you (including one important business magazine), along with their addresses and telephone numbers. Write them, call them, and tell them your storv. Keep in mind, though, that these publications primarily cover the business market, and thes need to know how the Amiga is used in those environments. InfnWarld (1060 Marsh Road, Suite 0200, Menlo Park, CA 94025.415 328- 46021 CHIEF CONCERNS You do the 'selling, well do the listening. InjnWotid is one of the oldest and most prestigious of the PC news weeklies. Its focus is on IBM Pcs and Macintosh computers, but lias aggressively added workstation coverage. If thev are going to cover the Amiga, they need to see it used in a business environment, such as for CAD. Presentations, applii atiotis development. Video, or whatever. Compittarumrld (37a Cocliituate Road, Framingham, MA 01701. 5OR 879-0700) Cnwpnte.rworid is the granddaddy of computer newspapers. Like hifnWnrld, tliet need to see the Amiga being used fm serious applications. Unlike Injo- World, Ctinipiiteniurld loves to write about specific, unique, and interesting uses of computers. If you are doing something wild with vour Amiga, drop these folks a line. Thev just might write a storv about you! By the way, Compittemmrld has recently had some very good Amiga coverage. PC. Wct'k (800 Bovlston Street. Boston. MA 02199, 617 375-4000) I his publication is interested in hot news something the Amiga hasn’t been fot a while. We need to make it hot. Let these folks know about the exciting applications available on the Amiga, like video and multimedia. They'll come around. Byte Magazine (One Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 03458. 603 924-9281) According to our sources, Byte already gets a disproportionate number of letters from Amiga owners. A few more won’t hurt, though. Computer Reseller Mews (CMP Publications Inc., 600 Community Drive, Manhasset, NY I 1030. 516 562-5000) 1 his newspaper was one of the first trade publications to realize that the Amiga exists and may well have a bright future. We should let them knots we appreciate the excellent coverage they have given the Amiga, and to keep up the good work. Bu.sinesrweek (McGraw-Hill Building, 1221 Avenue of the Americas. New York, NY 10020, 212 512-2000) Ibis magazine recently published a seven-page article about multimedia, with only one paragraph about Commodore, which the author called the leader in this field. I’ve spoken with some of their technology reporters who are curious about the Amiga.
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U. SA. $ 3.95 Canada $ 4.50 UK £2.50 An IDG Communications Publication WORLD U k ti n Interactive Presentations, Mlade Easy PlO'J'J'JB ' DU = ji&hhtt ijh'j'JJ Graphics, Video, Text Animation & Sound Top 20 PD Picks Reviews, Games & More! MUIIIMEDIA Master Ifi ? The Director ? VIVA Authoring ? UltraCard Just The Facts: What Makes Digi-Paint 3 the Ultimate Paint Program? “Why is Digi-Paint 3 better than DeluxePaint III™ ?” Digi-Paint 3 works in the Amiga’s powerful Hold And Modify (HAM) mode, which allows yon to paint using all 4096 colors simultaneously. By comparison, Deluxe Paint III (by Electronic Arts) operates in less sophisticated modes, restricting you to a maximum of only 64 colors. Advanced features available in Digi-Paint 3-including Colorizing, Variable Transparency, Shading, lighten, Darken and Range Painting- are simply not possible in Deluxe Paint III due to its 64 color limitation. AMIGAWORLD warns, “Competitors may want to head back to the drawing board, because Digi-Paint 3 is hard to beat!” “What makes Digi-Paint 3 better than other HAM paint programs?” Digi-Paint 3 is the only Amiga paint program written in 100% assembly language. Although challenging to program (taking up to 10 times longer than other computer languages), it’s the only way to achieve the incredible speed found in Digi-Paint 3. AMIGAWORLD calls it “the fastest HAM paint program yet" and AMIGA SENTRY estimates it’s, “6-10 times faster" than the nearest contender. Other advanced features found only in Digi-Paint 3 include: antialiased texture mapping, anti-aliased fonts, Arexx support, 1024 x 1024 super bitmaps with auto-scrolling and dithering to 30 bits per pixel (over a billion colors internally, giving you tens of thousands of apparent colors). COMPUTER SHOPPER magazine reports “Digi-Paint 3 is without a doubt the most advanced HAM paint program to date!" “What technical support does NewTek olfer?” Digi-Paint 3 hxs one other thing you won’t find in any ordinary paint program: a toll-free help line. If you should have any questions while using Digi-Paint 3, you’re not on your own. Call NewTek’s technical support team at 1-800-736-7617 Monday through Friday, 8 am -7 pm Central Time. Digi-Paint 3 is available now at your local Amiga dealer or call 1-800-843-8934 or 1-913-354-1146. Incorporated N=wT=k “But is Digi-Paint 3 easy to use?” I’ve learned that no matter how' powerful a program is, if it’s not friendly it’s not worth my time. We designed Digi-Paint 3 with all users in mind-from the beginner just starting out with computers, to the “power user” w'ho demands the most advanced features possible. The spiral-bound manual contains a step-by-step Guided Tour, 11 hands-on tutorials, a color coded reference card, and almost one hundred example photos. Digi-Paint 3’s intuitive user interface was created by Digi-View designer (and NewTek Founder) Tim Jenison and renowned Amiga artist Jim Sachs. It features innovative “Dashboard” controls which AMIGAWORLD regards as “a joy to use” and “very easy to learn and understand”. LNFO MAGAZINE says the new' interface “looks great and works logically”. “What is the Transfer 24 program included with Digi-Paint 3?” Transfer 24 is a separate program disk included in the Digi-Paint 3 package, allowing you to alter any picture's brightness, color saturation, contrast, hue and sharpness, almost as easily xs adjusting the controls on your television set. Transfer 24 also lets you modify the size, palette, and resolution of any picture. These powerful features, known xs “Image Processing", give you incredible control over your final artwork. You can also save your image in any of the Amiga's 24 resolution modes (up to 768x480) making it compatible with all Amiga graphics software. AX MAGAZINE notes that “Transfer 24 gives you even more options xs to the final appearance of your work". AMIGAWORLD declares, “Transfer 24 is great for making overall changes.” GOLD DISK PageSetter II The easy-to-leam, simple-to-use desktop publishing program for quickly creating all kinds of great looking documents. Goltl Disk's PageSetter II Quickly combine text and graphics for dynamic results Bold Italic Underline j I. : 'i A PATTERN AGFA Compugraphic Fonts mean no more jaggies GOLD DISK Gold Disk PageSetter II gives you High Quality Low Cost Desktop Publishing For Dot Matrix Printers. Gold Disk PageSetter II will help you cjuickly and easily produce any kind of document: newsletters, flyers, resumes, ads, brochures, and more. Full Featured PageSetter II is easy to learn and simple to use. Import text from any Amiga word processor or type directly onto your page. Use multiple type faces and type sizes. You can even fill text with user specified patterns. Import bitmap graphics from any Amiga IFF paint program and structured graphics from Professional Draw. PageSetter II will automatically convert your graphics into high quality grey scaled images. Based on Professional Page Gold Disk PageSetter II is based on Gold Disk’s Professional Page - the leading DTP package on the Amiga - and features many of the same powerful capabilities and the same high level of reliability. High Quality Output Because PageSetter II uses the same AGFA Compugraphic Outline fonts as Professional Page, you can oupul your pages at the highest resolution of any preference supported printer. This means you get smooth, jaggie-free. Text and graphics regardless of the type of printer - dot matrix, inkjet, or laser. Key Features Layout:
• Page sizes to 8-1 2" x 14"
• 4 levels of Magnification
• Rulers, grids, columns, margins Text:
• import any IFF graphic.
• Import Professional Draw Clips
• Resize, rescale, crop. & move
• Built-in tools for lines, rectangles, ellipses, and polygons.
• User definable line weights and fill patterns. Requires Amiga w 1 Mbyte, 1 Drive Gold Disk PageSetter II is available for $ 129.95. Current PageSetter owners can upgrade for $ 59.95. If you are a registered owner, please call 1-800-387-8192 to upgrade; otherwise, send payment with manual cover or program disk. AGFA Compugraphic Fonts. Import text from most Amiga word processors. Point sizes from 1 to 127 points Bold. Italic. Underline. Outline, Superscript, Subscript, and user definable pattern fills
• Search replace, cut. Copy. & paste. Graphics: Feature Comparison Gold Disk Maxi Advantage Plan Max size 65000 x 512 x 65000 32760 of sheets Unlimited 3 of graphs Unlimited 8 Max graph colors 16 8 of views Unlimited No Sideways Printing Yes No of funcs 90+ 66 Arexx Yes No Performance Comparison Redraw
2. 35 Save
5. 33 Load
6. 69 Recalc First
5. 15 2nd*
4. 30 2nd**
4. 88 Memory 43216 69832
* With no changes rt sheet;** With changes made to sheet Tests on I Mb Amiga: Spreadsheet: 9 rows x 44 columns Gold Disk Advantage is the most powerful integrated spreadsheet, database, and business presentation package on the Amiga. It devastates its competi-- tion in every category and offers unprecendented business graphic capabilities. Gold Disk Advantage Gold Disk Advantage is available for $ 199.95. If you own any other spreadsheet you can upgrade for only $ 100. Please send payment along with the cover page of the spreadsheet manual. The Power Spreadsheet You Can Count On Ace is being attacked by the evil commander Borf who plans to take over the Earth by using his dreaded weapon the i rtf an to Ray. Only you can guide Acq through treacherous battles to destroy the Infante 'Rav, save Earth and rescue the beautiful Kimberly. Space Acer the arcade follow-up to Don Bluths Dragon’s Lair s is now available for your Amigat with the breathtaking full-siSreen animation and digitized sound of the original laser-disk game Improved compression techniques allow Space Ace to run in 512K w :th more than three times the number of scenes found in Amiga Dragon's Lair* DON BLUTH S Available from your local dealer or ReadySoft. Only $ 59.95. Actual Amiga screer - Also available or coir ; v- Ai.-inST.iBM M.w-e-. ¦ Apple IIGS, and Commodore 64 Dragon sLnlr Space Ace and Blnlh Group Lid .ire registered trademarks owned b> and used i.nde: l.e> Builh Group Ltd ; Ctwacter Designs c 1983 Riuth Group. All rights reserved; Space Ace p'ogrammlng VOLUME 6, NUMBER 2 FEBRUARY 1990 CONTENTS FEATURES Multimedia Is the Message By Oran Sands III and Louis R. Wallace . . 22 It's the hottest buzzword since Marshall McLuhan days 25 years ago. But just what is multimedia? “And For Best ‘Direction,’ The WINNER Is. ..” By Joel Hagen ... 2o First on stage, and rightly so, is The Director the script-based program that’s been doing Amiga multimedia since Johnny (Come-Lately) Apple was just a seed and IBM was only Baby Blue. Author! Author! By Geoffrey Williams .. Its elegant, easy-to-use icon interface may send the new VIVA authoring system to the head of the multimedia class. Play Your Best hand By Michael Hanish ... "Stacking" the deck with HyperCard concepts, UlttaCard is betting on design- it-yourself tools to create interactive multimedia presentations on the Amiga. 30 38 ARTICLES Bringing Home the PD Gold By Harv Laser ..iiO The moderator of Plink's Amiga Forum hosts a double-decathlon olympiad of his Top 20 Amiga public-domain programs. Take Ten and Master MEMACS By Bill Catchings and Mark L. Van Name . 58 Here's an easy 10-step guide to using the compact yet powerful text editor on Workbench I.3's Extras disk. COLUMNS Chief Concerns By Doug Bamey 6 With white horse and lance, the editor continues his crusade against the PC Mac inlidels who hold the media in thrall. Accent on Graphics By Joel Hagen ... 70 This month Joel shows you ways to "force palettes” to achieve striking color effects with an already completed image. INFO.PHILE By Mark L. Van Name and Bill Catchings ...72 Our AmigaDOS experts shift gears and begin a series for new Amiga users yes, it’s "Back to Basics!" Multimedia's hat new juggling act p. 22. POINTERS By Bryan D. Catley .78 Our new programming column focuses this month on Amiga Basic, and how to get around its problems in providing direct access to ROM kernel routines. DEPARTMENTS Repartee .....8 Whether it's a St. Valentine's Day card or a massacre threat, just send it! NOTEPAD .... 10 The Amiga and glasnost; plus reports on shows from Las Vegas to Cologne. WHAT’S NEW? ... 114 New products to part you from your Washingtons and Lincolns. Hors doeuvres . 118 Tips and techniques from fellow readers. Help Key .. 122 Got trouble? Call Lou on the double. Last Licks . 128 More rumor, humor, irreverence, and reader response in our new “Back Page.” REVIEWS TV*Text Professional (Zuma Group) ... 12 Zuma wilt roll a lot of credits with this update of its video-titling original. Amiga Logo (commodore) .. 13 The superb programming language for children of all ages comes to the Amiga. Mail-O-Dex (KarmaSoft American Software) lb A database manager turned on-screen rolodex with assorted neat features. FORMATION (Iconoclastic Software) ... 18 "Form" an attachment to this nifty spreadsheet daiabase page-maker combo. ICON PAINT (Glacier Technologies) vs. Icon Magic (HiTension mast) .... 103 Battle of the icon editors. J etMaster (C Ltd) 108 A top-drawer PCL utility adds extra capability to HP-compatible laser printers. Back Talk . 112 People are talking. . About AW reviews! GAMES The Game Preserve .....89
B. G. is gone off with Hemingway, Finch-Halton, and till the other great white Hunters to seek the mysterious leopard high oil the snowy summit of Kilimanjaro. Amiga gamesters search for new advice.. and so debuts Peter Olaf- son's hints-and-tips column "Crib Notes.” Shadow of the Beast (Psygnosis).. 89 Punch and kick your way through hordes of nasties in this arcade thriller. TARGHAN (Gainstar DigiTek) 89 Colorful graphics lend atmosphere to this arcade-adventure offering. Swords of Twilight (Electronic Arts) .90 Sword-&-sorcery role-playing adventure. Dr. Doom s Revenge (Paragon Medalist Int’l) ......92 The dreaded Doc of Matvei Comics is here! Downhill Challenge (Broderbund) ...94 Four Nordic events in one package. Tank Attack fdrtoort) ....94 A complex strategy offering for the Patton Montgomery Rommel crowd. Joe Blade (DigiTek) 98 Colorful pyrotechnics as Joe battles Bloodlinger in this arcade adventure. Project Neptune (Epyx) ..98 More arcade adventure as Agent Rip Steel tries to stop the Yellow Shadow. WATCH OUT FOR FALLING BLOCKS Be Careful! You will be buried alive by the addictive 3-D challenge of BLOCKOUTr.'" As the 3-D blocks appear, flip, rotate and maneuver them into position as they fall into the playing pit. Fit them together to complete layers, and you’ll steadily clear your way out. But, make one false move, and you'll be buried in blocks. Plus, with more and more complex sets of blocks, faster and faster action and hundreds and hundreds of pits, there’s a version of BLOCKOUT for every player. Contact your local dealer for details. Available for IBM PC®,TANDY®, AMIGA™,and MACINTOSH™ computers. BLOCKOUT is a trademark of Kadon Enterprises,Inc., and is used by permission. California Dreams. 780 Montague Expressway, 403, San Jose, CA 95131
(408) 435-1445 ©1989 Logical Design Works, Inc., CALIFORNIA Stephen Robbins, Publisher Douglas Barney, Editor-In-Chief Dan SULLIVAN, Executive Editor Shawn Laflamme, Managing Editor LOUIS R. Wallace, Senior Editor, Technology LlNDA J. Barrett, Acquisitions Editor Barbara Gefvert Tyson, Review Editor JAN JaCKSON, New Products Editor TlM WALSH, Technical Editor Gene Brawn. Bill Catchings. David T. McClellan, Mark L. Van Name, Contributing Editors Howard G. Happ, An Director Ann Dillon, Design er Laura Johnson, Designer Alan A Korda. Production Supenisor KENNETH Blakeman, National Advertising Sales Manager Michael McGoldrick, Sales Representative BARBARA Hoy, Sales Representative Heather Paquette, Associate Sales Representative, InfoMarket Sales, 1-800-441-4403, 603-924-9471 MEREDITH Bickford, Advertising Coordinator Giorgio SaLUTI, Associate Publisher, West Coast Sales 1-415-363-5230 2421 Broadway, Suite 200 Redwood City, C4 94063 SHELLEY Harmon, Associate Sales Representative, InfoMarket Sales, 1-415-363-5230 WENDIE HaiNES-Marro, Marketing Manager Laura Livingston. Marketing Coordinator MARGOT L. Swanson. Advertising,4ssistant LlSA LaFleur. Executive Assistant to the Publisher SUSAN KaNIWEC, Customer Sendee Representative Publishers Assistant PAUL RUESS, Circulation Director PAM WILDER Assistant Circulation Manager 800-365-1364 P Roger J. Murphy, President STEPHEN D. TwoMBLY. Executive Vice President Publishing Director DENNIS S. CHRISTENSEN, Vice President of Manufacturing Operations LlNDA PaLMISANO, Typesetting Manager Debra A. Davies, Typographer SUSAN Gross, Corporate Production Manager LYNN LagaSSE. Manufacturing Manager LlNDA Ruth, Single Copy Sates Director DEBBIE Walsh, Newsstand Promotion Manager WILLIAM M. Boyer Director of Credit Sales & Collections AmigalYorld (ISSN 0883-2396) is an independent journal not connected with Commodore Business Machines. Inc. AtmgaWorld is published monthly by IDG Communications Iyterborough, Inc.. 80 Elm St.. Peterborough, NH 03458. U.S. subscription rale is $ 29.97, one year: $ 46.00. two years: $ 1)4.00. three years. Canada $ 38.97 = U.S. funds), one year only. Mexico $ 38,97. Foreign Surface $ 49.97. Foreign Airmail $ 84.97 (prepayment is required on Foreign Surface and Airmail subscriptions in U.S. funds drawn on U.S. bank). All rates are one-year only. Second-class jwistagc paid at Peterborough. NH. And at additional mailing offices. Phone: 603-924-9471. Entire contents copyright 1990 by IDG UommunicationvPetcrborough. Inc. No part of this publication may be printed or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher Postmaster: Sent! Address changes to Amiga World. Subscription Services. P > Box 58894. Boulder, CO H0322-8H04. Nationally distributed by Kable News (lo. Amiga World makes every effort to assure tl«* accuracy ol articles, listings and circuits published in the magazine. AmigaWorUl assumes no responsibility for damages due to errors or omissions. N99f&E Free copy of Tltbo Silver 3.0 with purchase of A3001 upgrade kit Up to 8MB Of 32-Bit Wide DRAM what is the A3001 Upgrade Kit from GVP? Optia 3 (UNIX, etc.) 32-Bit 68030 Bus Interlace 25 Mhz 68030 CPU with oscillator 25 Mta 68882 FPU The A3001 Upgrade Kit includes the following: 25Mhz 68030 accelerator board for the A2000.
• Factory installed 2FMhz 6BHK2 Floating Point Processor. ? 4 or SMB of 32-bit wide high performance 80ns NIBBLE MODE DRAM. ¦ Built-in AUTOBOOTing HIGH PERFORMANCE hard disk controller.
• Quantum 40MB or 80MB hard disk drive with an average read access time of 11 ms (19ms on write) and 64KB read-ahead cache. If you already own a hard disk, this item can be optional. What does the A3001 really do for my A2000? The A30O1 provides the following, UNBEATABLE and UNMATCHED features:
• The world’s fastest (and shipping in volume!) Accelerator board for the Amiga The 6R030 CPU includes an on-chip MMU and separate data and instruction caches. According to a recent review in the German "Amiga Magazin," performance is between TWO AND THREE TIMES FASTER THAN THE A2500.
• One of (we are being modest!) The world's fastest hard disk controllers. Measured with "diskperf2," data transfer rates of well over 700KB scc are achieved. Of course this is not surprising as the hard disk controller is built- in directly on the 32-bit bus of the 68030 accelerator board!
• The up to 8MB of 32-bit wide DRAM is fully DMA-able (can be directly accessed by any DMA devicel and is automatically AUTOCONFIGured. The A2500 is limited to only 4MB of (slower) 32-bit wide DRAM.
• GVP's unique DRAM design uses state-of- the-art 80ns NIBBLE MODE DRAMs, which allows full support and advantage to be taken of the 68030's BURST mode. In fact during burst mode, this amazing design manages to achieve an average of ZERO WAITSTATES even at 2 Mhz! This DRAM design is similar to that used in Steve Jobs' NeXT' machine, although that design (according to the BYTE magazine review) uses more CPU waitstates at 2.8Mhz! Amiga is a registered trademark of Commockxe-Amiga Inc. IMPACT and GVP are trademarks of Great Valley Products, Inc. NeXT is a registered trademark ol NeXT Inc. For more information, or for your nearest GVP dealer, call today. Dealer inquiries welcome. Dealers Crde 36 on Reader Server, Card je| Jgjjj) ggg.g -) . 5) 889*9416 • BBS (215) 889*4994 C°'1S1J,,WS °W' 265 *** 68000 fallback mode allows the 68030 CPU to be disabled, to ensure full compatibility with timing sensitive applications (e.g.: some game programs). Sockets are included for 68030 BOOT EPROMs, allowing future flexibility for mnning other operating systems. GVP's unique ASYNCHRONOUS design means that the 68030 has its own dedicated oscillator and runs completely ASYNCRO- NOUS to the rest of the A2000. This means better GENLOCK compatibility (not as sensitive to motherboard clock source) as well as providing the ability to run at any clock speed completely independently of the A2000 motherboard, limited only by the access speed of the DRAMs being used. For the REAL, math intensive, number- crunching fanatics there is an optional oscillator socket, allowing the 68882 FPU to be independently clocked at even higher speeds (e.g.: 33Mhz). ¦ ZERO SLOT SOLUTION! With the fullblown configuration installed (25Mhz 68030 & 68882, 8MB of 32-bit wide RAM and one or two AUTOBOOTing 40MB or 80MB hard disks), the A3001 STILL LEAVES ALL THE A2000 EXPANSION SLOTS FREE FOR FUTURE EXPANSION! The only slot in the A2000 which is used is the Co-processor CPU slot. An equivalently configured A2500 would use an additional TWO valuable expansion slots! This sounds great, but what if I can’t afford to buy the full A3001 kit now and ail I need urgently is a hard disk drive for my A2000? El GVP also offers an "a Sa carte" approach to purchasing the A3001 kit. For example if you are about to purchase a hard disk drive and controller for your A2000, for only a little more you could instead buy the GVP 25Mhz 68030 accelerator board with its built-in AUTOBOOTing hard disk controller and the 40MB hard disk (suggested list price for both is only $ 1495). You would obviously not get the full performance increase mentioned above, until you added our 32-bit wide RAM daughterboard and the 68882 FPU. However, in this case your initial hard disk outlay is not lost and it can be regarded as a "down payment" on your full-blown 32-bit workstation! If you are working on a REALLY tight budget, call us and ask about our "A2501" upgrade kit for the A2000, which outperforms the A2500 with its I6Mhz 68030! This is also available in "a la carte" form! Why did GVP call this the A3001 upgrade kit? The A3001, stands for "A3000 PLUS 1"! 1 Yes, we believe that this solution offers everything the "A3000" may offer PLUS...! Why wait, upgrade your A2000 to an A3001 todav! SINCE JOINING AMIGAWOKLD, I've gotten more than a few earfuls. One reader hated my use of the word "ain't," Others blasted us about reviews thev clidn t agree with, and some despised mv editorials, wliich admittedly and pur- poselully overgeneralized and stereotyped users of other computers. These editorials have been called stupid; thev have even been likened to the propaganda that fueled Germany in the Set - ond World War. The majority, reading the very same columns, loved them. We don’t mind getting veiled at. In fact, it shows that you are paving attention, and it helps us put out a better magazine. We get yelled at lor what we write about the Amiga, lint why not also yell at those who ignore the Amiga? That is one of the key points of the grassmots-ori- ented Amiga Developers Association that I announced in last month's editorial. This association does not ollicialh begin until next month, hut whv wait? Whv not start making some noise now? I read a lot of computer publications, and scrutinize them for Amiga content. There ain't (pardon me, isn't) much. To change this, we’ve identified the most important non-system-specific computer magazines. We are taking the liberty of listing them for you (including one important business magazine), along with their addresses and telephone numbers. Write them, call them, and tell them your storv. Keep in mind, though, that these publications primarily cover the business market, and thes need to know how the Amiga is used in those environments. InfnWarld (1060 Marsh Road, Suite 0200, Menlo Park, CA 94025.415 328- 46021 CHIEF CONCERNS You do the 'selling, well do the listening. InjnWotid is one of the oldest and most prestigious of the PC news weeklies. Its focus is on IBM Pcs and Macintosh computers, but lias aggressively added workstation coverage. If thev are going to cover the Amiga, they need to see it used in a business environment, such as for CAD. Presentations, applii atiotis development. Video, or whatever. Compittarumrld (37a Cocliituate Road, Framingham, MA 01701. 5OR 879-0700) Cnwpnte.rworid is the granddaddy of computer newspapers. Like hifnWnrld, tliet need to see the Amiga being used fm serious applications. Unlike Injo- World, Ctinipiiteniurld loves to write about specific, unique, and interesting uses of computers. If you are doing something wild with vour Amiga, drop these folks a line. Thev just might write a storv about you! By the way, Compittemmrld has recently had some very good Amiga coverage. PC. Wct'k (800 Bovlston Street. Boston. MA 02199, 617 375-4000) I his publication is interested in hot news something the Amiga hasn’t been fot a while. We need to make it hot. Let these folks know about the exciting applications available on the Amiga, like video and multimedia. They'll come around. Byte Magazine (One Phoenix Mill Lane, Peterborough, NH 03458. 603 924-9281) According to our sources, Byte already gets a disproportionate number of letters from Amiga owners. A few more won’t hurt, though. Computer Reseller Mews (CMP Publications Inc., 600 Community Drive, Manhasset, NY I 1030. 516 562-5000) 1 his newspaper was one of the first trade publications to realize that the Amiga exists and may well have a bright future. We should let them knots we appreciate the excellent coverage they have given the Amiga, and to keep up the good work. Bu.sinesrweek (McGraw-Hill Building, 1221 Avenue of the Americas. New York, NY 10020, 212 512-2000) Ibis magazine recently published a seven-page article about multimedia, with only one paragraph about Commodore, which the author called the leader in this field. I’ve spoken with some of their technology reporters who are curious about the Amiga. Let’s make them more curious with a big hatch of letters. So. By all means, keep veiling at us. We are listening, and reacting to your comments (less stereotyping on the way). But let’s also start yelling (nicely and logically, of course) at those who have vet to catch Amiga fever. ¦ Haiti-Disk-On-A-Card THE BEST JUST GOT BETTER Now we have added 2MB of Zero-Waitstate FAST RAM Expansion to our best-selling Hard-Disk-On-A-Card! __ conne additional external! 102MB factory install k drive. Access times of FAST RAM expansion using easy-to-install, state-of-the-art " The Proven GVP Haid-Disk-Card + 2 now gives you even more for less Compare Now you can have a high performance SCSI controller and 2MB of Fast RAM expansion in a single A2000 expansion slot. SAVES EXPANSION SLOT SAVES A Saves a valuable peripheral bay by mounting the hard disk directly (flush) on the SCSI RAM controller board. With close to 10,(XX) Amiga hard disk controllers installed, our performance and reliability needs no further explanation. Our unique DMA direct to onboard 16KB buffer has received rave reviews around the world. Don't ask us, just ask one of our many satisfied customers! Very FAST AUTOBOOTing directly off a hard disk FAST FILE SYSTEM partition, is a standard feature. 1i By saving both a valuable Removable Hard Drive 44MB Removable Storage expansion slot as well as a scarce peripheral bay, your Amiga retains maximum expandability. With our optional Advanced AUTOBOOT EPROMs, we fully support removable media devices (e.g.: Syquest and Bernoulli drivesl with our unique "AUTO- DISKCHANCE" feature. Priced less than most single function controllers. No matter how you look at it you get unbeatable value. Look at the 2MB FAST RAM expansion capability as an (almost) free bonus. All GVP products are backed by our full one year warranty. IMPACT WT-150 Streaming Tape Backup* Experienced computer users know the importance of aking regular ? - ' 40MB hard disk will take over FORTY- BP FIVE 880K floppy disks to back-up. The job can easily take over an hour of repetitive disk swapping. There is a better way! The NEW GVP IMPACT WT-150 Streaming Tape speed, streaming tape drive bundled with probably the best and most flexible backup tape software utility in the industry. This incredible piece of software, which we have called TapeStore," makes backups simple, interesting and exciting. TapeStore can back-up and restore everything from noivii’ individual files (File-by-File mode) to entire disk partitions (Disk Image mode). Support for the portable, industry standard, Unix tape format (tar) is planned for the near future. TapeStore is designed for novices and experts alike: it can be run from the workbench or the CLI. It can be operated using a few simple mouse clicks for daily back-ups, or used to create archive tapes for transferring large amounts of information between machines. Anyone can supply a piece of hardware but ONLY GVP provides the TOTAL SOLUTION. Once again GVP has come up with a w inner! Amiga Is a registered trademark ot Commodote-Amiga Inc. IMPACT and GVP are trademarks ot Great Valley Products, Inc. TapeStore «s a trademark of Great Valley Products. Inc. GREAT VALLEY PRODUCTS INC. 225 Plank Ave., Paoli, PA 19301
* GVP SCSI host adapter required Cirde 145 on Reader Service Card Consumers Cirde 62 on Reader Service Cai For more information, or for your nearest GVP dealer, call today. Dealer inquiries welcome. Tel. (215) 889-9411 • FAX (215) 889-9416 • BBS (215) 889-4994 REPARTEE Comments, complaints, and concerns from Amiga World readers. Bay Blues 1 HAD BEEN waiting, since about the time 1 bought my Amiga 2000, for an AmiEXPO or equivalent to come to the San Francisco Bay area. When I saw an acl for the October AmiEXPO in Santa Clara. 1 immediately made plans to attend with my friend. We were looking forward to games the most, but we were interested in other products, too. Getting to the show required us to use public transportation, because we are both
15. We took a bus, then a train, a bus again, then a light rail. The commute from Marin County took just over four hours; we spent less than two at the show. About one fourth, maybe even one third, of the listed companies did not show up, obviously because of the earthquake. I feel that the show should have been canceled. The show did go on, though, and it was a complete disaster compared to what was forecasted. I hope that AmiEXPO officials decide to hold another show in the San Francisco Bay area. Max Watson San Anselrtw, CIA Doug Digs I FOUND Doug Barney's December ’89 editorial ("Chief Concerns,” p. 6) to be immature and offensive. 1 sincerely hope that it was written to provoke angry replies, and not that he actually thinks this way. If this type of prejudice can get into the editorial of a popular magazine in an enlightened society, then we have some major problems on our hands. I happen to be one of the many people who own and use many types of computer systems. The way not to attract people to the Amiga is to call other computer choices dumb, boring, uncool, etc. We should accept people for what they are, and not what computer choice (or ethnic background, religious belief, car model, etc.) they choose. Ed Parry Sepulveda, CA Digs Doug WHEN 1 READ the Nov. ’89 Chief Concerns column, 1 was pretty sure that I was going to like Doug Barney. Having just finished the Dec. ’89 Chief Concerns, I’m a Ian 100 percent! He has expressed many of what I am sure are typical Amiga owner’s frustrations. Let ine share just one of my private triumphant moments: A former colleague of mine told me excitedly about a "new” educational game (for his IBM done) that get this talks to the child! 1 got awav as quickly as possible so that I could laugh out loud. This is the same person who, when I bought my A1000, sneered and asked "When are you going to buy a real computer?" Thanks for expressing some of my deepest sentiments so accurately, Mr. Barney. Susan O’Neill Toledo. OH Buyer’s Guide Errata BUYER’S GUIDES give rise, regettably, to both sins of omission and commission. The November '89 Games and the December '89 Applications Software Buyer’s Guides were no exception. In hopes that you, our readers, have forgiving natures, the following is submitted: Telephone corrections: Megagem: 805 349-1 104 Rainbows Edge Productions: 718 965-1922 Tensor Productions: 805 685- 6245 Missing from the company lists: MicroSystems Software, 12798 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 202,
W. Palm Beach, FL 33414, 805,790-0770. Capcom U.S.A. Inc., 8:103 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95054, 408 727-0400. Distributor Product corrections: Archipelagos is a Brittanica Fan Fare game title. Ami Virus (S 19.95), a virus protection utility, was inadvertently omitted, as well as the manufacturer’s name and address: Devware, PO Box 215, La Jolla, CA 92038, 619 673-0759. Brown-Wagh Publishing distributes products for the following companies: Circum Design, PAR Software, Softwood Company (Easy Ledgers Accounting program, S295), Sybiz Software, and TR5 Labs. C-ZAR and MidiVU music programs were incorrectly matched with Centaur Software. Centaur is not the exclusive distributor. The correct vendor is Diemer Development, 12814 Landale, Studio City, CA 91604-1351, 818 762-0804. The latest version of ProWrite is 2.5, not 3.0 as listed. Tangent 270's clip art (S29.95-
49. 95) products are: Map Pics-World, Aircraft Heraldic, China, Christmas, and Bird Pics. Zuma Group carries the following: TV*SHOW ($ 99.95), a special-effects generator; TV* I EXT (S99.95), a character generator; and TV'*'TEXT Pro ($ 169.95), for tilling and graphics with special effects. Send your letters to: Repartee, Amiga World Editorial, 80 Elm St., Peterborough, NH 03458. Letters may be edited for space and clarity. ¦ Can You Kick The QIX8 Addiction? When QIX fever strikes, there is no cure! Like the mind- blowing arcade original, QIX is a computer virus that lives deep inside your computer, attacking without warning. Construct a trap in any one of the billions of configurations possible to immobilize QIX. But watch out for SPARX™ and SPRITZ™ and other deadly energy forms! In this electrical world of high-tech infections, mental dexterity and superior strategy are basic to survival. The practice mode turns beginners into addicts. No one is immune! Get your QIX before QIX gets you! I I TO T Actual Amiga screen. If you cannot find this product at your local retailer, Visa Mastercard holders can order direct anywhere in the United States by calling toll free 1-800-663-8067 Taito® QIX® SPARX™ and SPRITZ™ are trademarks of Taito America Corporation. Copyright ©1989 All rights reserved. Atari, Commodore, and Amiga are registered trademarks respectively of Atari Corporation, Commodore Electronics, Inc., and Commodore-Amiga, Inc. Circle 56 on Reader Service card NOTEPAD Compiled by Barbara Gefvert Tyson WESTERN VISITORS TO the Soviet Union are often stymied by the bureaucratic entanglements associated with its less-lhan-open society. But Bill Hanley, Executive Producer for news and public affairs programming at KTCA-TV (a PBS affiliate in Saint Paid. Minnesota) has found a way to cut through the “red" tape using an Amiga. In 1985. Hanley began visiting the USSR with Nicholas Hayes, Prolessor of Soviet Studies at Hamlinc University, to prepare As the Russians Do segments for the McNeil Hhrer News Hour and for a nationally syndicated documentary series on Soviet television called Channel 3 Moscow. One key to Hanley and Hayes’ success at getting an inside look at Russia’s siate-run television industry has been the ability to present their paperwork in Russian, to speed processing and as a courtesy to Soviet officials and bureaucrats. The pair used a Cyrillic-alphabet manual typewriter until they discovered the public-domain file Moscow.font, an Amiga screenTont representation of the Cyrillic alphabet in two sizes (15 and 26 points). Soon Hanley created an overlay for his A500 keyboard from a plastic dust cover. This allows him, Hayes, and their Russian translator Basil Ivanoff, to create documents and label illustrations in Russian using word processors and paint programs. I sing multiple font sizes and graphics, Han lev and Haves can create very attractive documents quickly, and then alter them easily. Said Hanley, "It is really nice to meet with Soviet officials, hand them an outline of our proposals, and get feedback immediately as opposed to waiting weeks for them to translate our request and reply. In addition, because personal computers are a scarce commodity in the Soviet Union, our documents have a certain novelty effect which definitely gets us noticed." Loren Lovhaug booth saw a 68030 Amiga scorching through applications. Yes, Commodore's prominence at the business peoples' show certainly heightened awareness: I even spotted a New York Times reporter dashing over to Commodore's booth to see what ail the fuss was about. DB Show Down As the 38 year-old wall opened up in Berlin, another show the first annual Amiga '89 opened in Cologne, West Germany. Print Technlk, (rom West Germany, demonstrated a line of scanners and digitizers, including two black-and-white photocopier- styie models: the stationary 600 x 300 dpi Professional Scan and the 200 dpi Universal Scan. Print Technics Optical Character Recognition Software, which reads type-written text, works with any of the company's scanners. Gigatron, also German, announced the imminent release of an Amiga laptop computer (with a Fat Agnus chip and either LCD or plasma display), and a motherboard replacement for the A500 offering up to 16MB of RAM and a 2V,-lnch 20MB hard disk. Skyline Computer and Vortex Computersystem (both of West Germany) chipped away at data storage with hard drives tor ali Amiga models. Germany's X-pert Computer Services drew crowds with a 40MHz 66030 board and Black Tower, a space-saving housing for your A2000 CPU and peripherals. The encore show will be Nov. 8-11, 1990 in Cologne. BGT
• XYBOTS: C-64 12H, Amiga, Atari ST. Coming Soon: IBM
• BLASTEROIDS: C-64 I28, Amiga, Atari ST. Coming Soon: IBM At Tengen, we take only the best hits from the arcades and make them available for play on your computer. We let the incredible action in our games do all the talking. Besides, with the roar of excitement in your ears, you probably can’t hear our words anyway. 1623 Buckevc Dr.. Milpitas, CA 95035 (408) 473-9400 Blasteroids, Vindicators, APB, Xvbots: Trademarks of Atari Games; ©1989 Tengen. Inc. Rolling Thunder: Trademark and ©1989 Namco. Ltd. Circle 144 on Reader Service card REVIEWS TV*Text Professional A middleweight winner that may lake the heavyweight title, too. By Gary Ludwick JUST A FEW years ago, when Amiga owners wanted a video-titling program, die choice was simple because there was only one available: TVText. Over the last year, the field exploded. From $ 50 to S300, there are all manner of such programs on the market. Now the folks at Zuma Group, who helped create this category of software, have come back with TV "Text Professional. Not a replacement for the venerable rV*Text, TV’Tex i Professional is an entirely new entry, and while it is true that there are similarities in the looks of the two programs, they are indeed distinctly different. TVText Professional leads off its new approach with a wide variety of screen resolutions. Offering low and high resolutions with or without interlace, each with two (medium and high) overscan options, TV*Text Professional provides plenty of flexibility for most applications. Unlike some programs, '1 V*Text Pro does not let you select specific pixel resolutions (sometimes needed for exact matches with particular paint programs, and so on), but in truth this is a capability very seldom required. The 320 x 200 and 320 X 400 resolutions can use up to 04 colors, and in 640x200 and 640x400 modes you can display up to 16 colors. Use of overscan will not affect the number of colors, but it will eat tip more memory. ']A'*Ttxt Professional is an excellent program that enables you to create logos and unusual text and backgrounds very quickly, and then exchange them with other programs. Jack Jones Southbun, CT A key issue with any titling program is fonts. TV* Text Professional is built around the Zuma Fonts collection, also from Zuma Group. Three font disks are included with the package, and you can order others. Perhaps more important, though, TVText Professional can be used with any Amiga bit-mapped font, and any that follow the ColorFont standard. It) me, this abilitv to import other than proprietary fonts is a must-have feature lor any titling program that wants serious consideration. Personality Inventory Resolutions and fonts are the foundation elements of a titling program. How those fonts are rendered into those screen resolutions . .that’s what determines the program's personality. TV*Text Professional has a lot of personality. Perhaps taking a page front Aegis Video Tiller’s (Oxxi) book, TVText Professional has a wide variety of preset rendering styles. This means that you need not spend hours creating metallic or shimmering effects for your type because the work lias already been done for you. Many of the typeface effects can use color cycling, so you get not only a highly sophisticated look, but glows, glimmers, glims, and sheens that appear animated. Color cycling is an often-overlooked “poor-man's" animation method, and TVText Professional has done an excellent job of putting it to work. Seeing reflected light move across a brushed-gold typeface in a convincing motion is very satisfying, especially when you know that it is the result of pressing just one button. As a bonus, your audience will think you spent hours achieving the effect. TV* I ext Professional’s effects don’t end with preset styles and effects, though. A built-in editor allows you to modify, expand, and combine, or create entirely new effects. These rendering effects can be applied not only to fonts, but also to shapes and imported IFF images (see photo). Outlines, strobe effects, 3-D extrusions, shadows, type outlines, edges, and metallics are all just seconds away from customization. Even the imaginary light source used in creating shadows and other effects is under your complete control. This flexibility and the ease of achieving it is very powerful stuff. While Video Tiller also oilers some very good preset effects, that program does not provide such an easy means of changing or customizing those effects. TVText Professional includes a very good selection of drawing, editing, and background tools as well. Automatic shape generation (circles, boxes, borders, and so on) gives you even more creative freedom for designing tide pages, and you can combine these shapes with special effects (shadows, extrusions, and so forth). IFF images can be imported and used as backgrounds, as can objects such as logos designed in a paint program. You can flip and rotate objects automatically, and apply to them many of the aforementioned effects. When importing, TV*Text Professional lets you choose straightforward transfer, whereby the color palette is translated to the current screen palette, or the extremely powerful and useful Auto-Color mode wherein the program tries to match the original palette to those colors of the screen in use. TV*Text Professional can create gradient dithered backgrounds in eight varieties, and allows you to use brushes or text to create wallpaper or tiled backgrounds. Grids are available, too. To make things easy, TV*Text Professional provides a software toggle switch to lock or unlock the background. Thus, text or titles in the foreground need not affect the background. A stencil mode handles the reverse situation. Flying Colors A review can touch only on the highlights of TV*Text Professional, and the printed word can do just so much for a program so richly visual. TV*Text Professional is easy to learn and use, and produces exceptional results. It never crashed in my tests, and presented very few unwanted surprises. It is not perfect, but you really have to nitpick to find fault. For instance, the program does not supply a "clear screen” gadget, so if you make a mistake or change your mind, you nearly have to exit the program to make the alteration. 1 would also like to see TV*Text Professional offer some poly- fonts fonts that can he bent, twisted, or otherwise distorted for special purposes such as wrapping around a circular surface. Automatic text wrapping on irregular surfaces would be nice, too. Wish lists and pickiness aside, however, TV*Text Professional is a superb piece of work. The 218-page manual is a model of clarity and the tutorials do an excellent job of getting you up and proficient in a minimum amount of time. All this at a very reasonable price makes TV*Text Professional not only the mid-price titling winner, but a program even those with unlimited budgets should carefully consider. 1 could easily make a case that paying more lor a video titling program is just that but not getting more. TV*Text Professional Zuma Group 67113 N. Black Canyon Hwy. Phoenix, AZ 85015 602 246-4238 SI 69.95 One megabyte required. Amiga Logo Learn programming with a fast turtle. By David T. McClellan BASFD ON STUDIES in human learning at the Masachusetts lnstitiute oi Technology, Logo is a nifty, graphics- oriented kid-accessible programming language. Although I have been hearing »- talk about an Amiga version of the language since before the A1000 was released, until now only a very limited public-domain version has been available for Amiga users. Now, at long last, Commodore itself has released .Amiga Logo, and my kids are saved from B.ASIC at last! REVIEWS The Logo language introduced “turtle graphics," a concept designed to help kids visualize the logic of computer programming. Logo asks the child to envision that programming commands can cause a turtle dragging a pen to move across the screen, and thus produce graphics. While Logo is a natural medium for children to think about drawing, planning, and processes, it’s not just kidspeak it also incorporates features suitable for college physics and mathematics. Amiga Logo is a pretty good version of the language and well adapted to the Amiga, although it does have some limitations. It provides menu options for many of the system controls, such as screen resolution, screen depth (number of colors), workspace management (save load quit), and painting with the mouse and on-screen turtle. There are both text and graphics windows. The latter is where painting takes place. The resizable text window, in which you enter and scroll through Logo expressions, provides a simple Emacs-like editor. Using Amiga Logo is much like using any other interpretive environment, such as those for Lisp and APL. In fact, many of Logo's data structures and control primitives resemble Lisp. Logo is surprisingly fast, though the little sprite turtle whizzes across the screen when drawing graphics. Procedures dealing with words and arithmetic execute about as fast as a good B.ASIC equivalent would. Best of all, Amiga Logo comes with a fine set of graphics primitives, and encourages you to add more. It provides a number of drawing modes: You can set pen colors; determine whether the pen is “down" (drawing), “up" (moving, not drawing), or erasing; move and turn the turtle along a patlt (forward or back any number of pixels, left or right some number of degrees); or teleport the turtle with SetPosition, SetX, and SetY. Logo also sports RGB color controls, area fills and floods, and window controls. Powerful as a Logo-Motive Logo is not limited to a turtle making pretties on the screen, though. It has variables, numbers with full arithmetic, random numbers, and trig functions, parenthetical expressions, a number of property-testing primitives, words (names and strings), and lists. Words are strings of characters, ordinarily names such as you'd use in C or Modula-2, but they can also contain blanks, punctuation, and other characters. Also, you can dissect them with Logo primitives such as First, But First (all elements except the first), Last, and Item (returns an indexed element). Lists, sequenced data structures that can contain words, numbers, and even other lists, are even more general purpose (the sequence of items is delimited by square brackets). Front lists you can build arrays, structs (“records” in Pascal), stacks, queues, and whatever else you need. Lisp users will recognize Amiga Logo’s property lists, which act as associ- atively indexed arrays. Normal lists often contain sequences of Logo primitives and procedure calls; the if then else and looping primitives use lists as their block structures. For example, to draw a triangle with the Repeat primitive, you might enter: PenDown Repeat 3 [Forward 50 Right 120] The Repeat commands enters a list of primitives any specified number of times. You can even construct a list of primitives and procedure calls on the fly (in your Logo program), and execute it with the Run primitive. For die-hards and special circumstances, Logo includes Labels and Gotos. It also has the Lisp-like And and Or primitives, to test several conditions and then return a true or false value according to its findings. There's a large set of comparison and feature-testing primitives for conditionals, too, such as “Empty?” which checks a list for its contents. Logo encourages you to write your own procedures, and to do top-down design as you build, calling other procedures and defining them as you need them. You define a procedure with the To command, specifying its arguments at the same time. To make a procedure of the triangle drawer above, you would enter: To Triangle :length PenDown Repeat 3 [Forward :length Right 120] End This triangle procedure has one argument length which is specified on the definition line. A procedure can have any number of arguments, but only system primitives can have optional ones. Logo procedures are recursive, can return values, and can use both local and global variables (Amiga Logo uses a sort of dynamic-scoping model, wherein a local variable overrides a global variable of the same name while its procedure is active). A deeply nested procedure can even return control to a higher-up caller in the event of an error with the Catch and Throw functions unreeling the call stack as it passes control to the higher function. And just as Logo can run a fresh-made list, it can also define a procedure from a list you built. This allows a program to generate special code for handling dynAMIGAlly built data structures, for example, and to generate new looping and conditional primitives, such as case statements. Logo procedures can interact with the outside world. Logo can read a single keystroke or a whole line (which it treats as a list) at a time, and can print variables and procedure definitions. Amiga Logo can also read the position of the left mouse key, talk through the SPEAK: device, and send text and graphics windows to the printer. You can get a directory listing, and save, load, or erase files from the text window. The only disk-file interface Logo procedures have, however, are the abilities to save and load all or part of the workspace (selected vari- Simply The Best Amiga Hard Drive SCPRADRIVF. HARD CARD FOR AMIGA 2000 you buy a hard drive, look around. Look closely. Compare speeds, but also look at Interfaces...Software...Value. We think you'll agree that SupraDrives are Simply The Best Amiga Hard Drives, Here’s why ... Before with revolutionary new WORDSYNC™ INTERFACE Each SupraDrive for the A500 A2000: Autoboots directly from FFS partition • Interface allows super smooth video, sound, etc., with no rude interruptions for hard drive access • Compatible with Bridgeboard™, RAM, digitizers, other boards * Supports MS-DOS disk partitions with Bridgeboards ¦ installs easily • Pre-formatted & ready to use
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1. 3, the Fast File System (FFS), and multitasking make these drives FLY. State-of-the-Art Interfaces. Supra's interfaces (included with every SupraDrive) give you innovative features no one else can match. The revolutionary WordSync™ Interface transfers 16 bits at once, which gives A2000 Supra- Drives DMA speed without DMA hassle. The A500 interface passes the Amiga bus signal through to your other peripherals; without Amiga bus pass-through, your system is severely limited. And all Supra interfaces feature SCSI ports for easy daisy-chaining. The Best Software. After installing the drive, you'll be glad you have Supra's full array of powerful, easy-to- use software. SupraFormat makes formatting a breeze and lets you use up to 30 partitions and various file systems FFS, MS-DOS®, Unix, Macintosh™, and more! SupraEdit lets you access low-level Amiga system information, and other included programs make using a hard disk fun and easy. Irresistible Value. All this is available at a price you'll love. Look into it! Only Supra Corporation an experienced company with a proven commitment to the Amiga and its potential gives you such an attractive alternative: The SupraDrive. It’s Simply The Best Amiga Hard Drive. Ask your dealer for details, or call: Supra Corporation 1133 Commercial Way Albany, OR 97321 503-967-9075 All Supra Products Are Made in the U.S.A. ORDERS: 1-800-727-8772 Circle 208 on Reader Service card SupraDrive WordSync. SupraFormat, and SupraEdit are trademarks of Supra Corp. Amiga is a registered trademark and Workbench is a trademark of Commodore-Amiga, Inc. MS-DOS is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. Macintosh is a trademark of Apple Computer. Variables, Logo gave us an error: "Don't know how to ]". I found it saved the workspace as a text tile which, when read in and interpreted, would recreate the variables and procedures we had built. Unfortunately, the input code can handle input lines up to 240 characters only; a couple of' lists had outgrown this limit, causing Logo to falter. (Thankfully, I was able to retrieve all our work by breaking up the lists and glueing them GmiNG STARTED WITH YOUR AMIGA ables and procedures can be "packaged," as with a Modula-2 module, independently). Further lile-interaction capabilities, along the lines of Read List and Print, would be appreciated. Shell or High Water In the process of testing out a simple application involving several lists, we built some long list variables. We were able to save them, but in trying to reload the Learn to use your Amiga the easy way! Together with primitive calls over several input lines.) Also, 1 could not find a way to imbed comments in a procedure. Logo encourages small procedures, but I like com- menting my work and I want my kids to learn to do so as well. Finally, 1 would like to be able to break a list over more than one line as 1 enter it. As it is. If you hit the Return key while entering a list, Logo tacks a right bracket on the end and closes the list, Because lists are also used for block structuring, this is not my favorite option. Overall, 1 like Amiga Logo. It’s not the kind oflanguage you want to add ISAM to and beat on a database with, but it's excellent lor teaching the concepts and processes of structured programming to elementary- and middle-school kids, josh, my 10 year-old, thinks Logo's neat and fun to figure stuff out with; nine- year-old Zach likes drawing and doing simple procedures, but feels programs take loo long to type in. He's right. . .but that's not Amiga Logo’s fault! Amiga Logo Commodore Business Machines 1200 Wilson Dr. West Chester, PA 19380 215 436-4200 S99.95 No special requirements. Learn how to use your Amiga and all of its amazing capabilities. Every Amiga owner will learn something new with this informative and easy to follow video tape. With over 80- minutes of valuable information, glittering animation, and step-by-step instruction, you'll become a wizard at using the Amiga Workbench, the CLI, peripherals, and Amiga utilities. HOW TO ORDER; Call 7-DAY SOFTWARE TOLL-FREE at 1-800- 525-7329 (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Optima and C.O.D. accepted). Order now and receive GETTING STARTED WITH YOUR AMIGA at the low introductory price of S29.95, plus S4.00 for shipping and handling. (Calif, residents add 63 4% for sales tax.) For FAST 24-hour service call 1-800-525-7329 Some of the features this tape discusses include: ¦ Assembling your computer ¦ Using the Workbench in 5-minutes ¦ Learning about screens, icons and windows ¦ Using the Workbench menus ¦ The Say Speech synthesizer ¦ What is interlace ¦ Adding a printer or memory ¦ Using a modem ¦ Adding a digitizer or a genlock ¦ Caring for your Amiga ¦ Changing the Startup-sequence ¦ and much more. For mail in orders send to 7-DAY SOFTWARE. PO Box 1619. Agoura Hills. CA 91376-1619 (Money Orders and Personal Checks accepted) Please allow 2-4 weeks lor delivery (overnight delivery available call tor details) VKS only NTSC and PAL versions available Dealer inquiries welcome. GETTING STARTED WITH YOUR AMIGA copyright « 1989 by the Banan Company All Rights Reserved Amiga is a registered trademark of Commodore Business Machines, inc Put your cards on disk. By Lou Wallace MAIL-O-DEX IS A simple database manager designed to act as an on-screen replacement to the standard Rolodex name-and-phone files most of us keep on our desks. Mail-O-Dex uses the Workbench screen to hold its requester box containing eight information fields and a variety of gadgets. When the program is active, Mail-O-Dex menus replace the standard Workbench menus. Although you can start the program from Workbench, I found it most useful to start it from my startup-sequence as a *¦ THE BEST FOR YOUR AMIGA® 2000 ¦ Easy-to-lnstall, Autobooting Hard Card with WordSync™ Interface « WordSync Interface Kit also available separately ¦ Interface transfers 16 bits at once, giving DMA Speed Without DMA Problems
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Quantum) $ 1099 40MB SyQuest Removable$ 1199 WordSync Interface Kit $ 19995 SutsraMotMem 2400zi i Half card modem fits in any Amiga bus slot i Up to 5 modems per computer 1 Works with all popular Amiga telecommunications software i 100% compatible with the industry-standard “AT” command set Asynchronous 2400 1200 300 baud operation Compatible with Bell 103 212A and CCITT V.21 V.22 V.22bis Autoanswer Autodial (tone or pulse) Adjustable-volume speaker Nonvolatile memory stores custom modem configuration and one telephone number Includes free subscriptions to popular on-line services $ 199 $ 449 $ 649 $ 849 $ 1049 Made in the U.S.A. $ 179.95 2400zi AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL DEALER, OR CALL: Tl SupraRam 2000 2, 4, 6, & 8MB configurations available Installs easily into any Amiga internal expansion slot Easy to expand from your initial configuration Start with 2MB & add RAM at your convenience i 6MB configuration allows for maximum benefit with the Amiga Bridgeboard ¦ Lets you run larger and more sophisticated programs ¦ Allows creation ot large and extremely fast RAM disks ¦ Test mode & test software make troubleshooting easy ¦ Made in the U.S.A. 8MB RAM Board 0MB with 2MB Installed with 4MB Installed with 6MB Installed with 8MB Installed SupraDrive, WordSync, SupraModem 2400zi, and SupraRAM 2000 are trademarks of Supra Corporation. ORDERS: 1-800-727-8772 Circle 88 on Reader Service card Imiga is a registered trademark of Commodore-Amiga, Inc. background task using RUN BACK (the ARP replacement for the AmigaDOS RUN command). This way it is always easily accessible. Data entry is very easy, as the cursor jumps to the next field when you press the Return key. The eight default field names match those on the Rolodex cards (name, street, city, and so on). While you can change the names to use the program as a general-purpose lile manager, you cannot add fields. By making duplicates of the non-copy-protected program, you can have several different mini-databases, each customized for a specific purpose. Sorting is automatic, with each new entry placed in the proper position in the database. You can select any of the eight fields to be used as the sort criteria. Find it Fast The program has a very powerful yet simple-to-use search option. Just type all or part of a word you wish to locate into the search string gadget, and press the return key. Mail-O-Dex will instantly display the first record it finds that sequence in. If the displayed record is not the one you were looking for, just click the search gadget again, and the program will look for another match. The program allows wildcards and pattern matching to filter the search criteria and make the search more selective. Searches are very fast partly because MOD retains all data in memory so there is no need for time-consuming disk access. While this technique uses up RAM, my 150-entry database comes in well under 10K, and the program itself is only about 50K. The ability to prepare mail-merge files and print mailing labels puts the "mail” in Mail-O-Dex. You can save records in a file format suitable for mail merging with a variety of word processors, including excellence! And Scribble! (Micro-Systems Software), WordPerfect (WordPerfect Corp.), ProWrite (New Horizons Software), KindWords (The Disc Company), Textcraft Plus (Commodore), and VizaWrite (Progressive Peripherals). For label printing, you can specify the number of labels across the page, and select which fields to print. Another print option is the table output format, which prints your fields across instead of down the page. To use the Dial option, which automatically dials the telephone number of the current record, you must have a Hayes-compati- able modem. The eight-page manual is somewhat sparse, but adequate because the program is so simple to use. The bottom line is that Mail-O-Dex works well. It's small, it multitasks, and I found it surprisingly useful and convenient. If this is the type of program that suits your needs, you won't be disappointed in Mail-O-Dex. Mail-O-Dex KarmaSoft distributed by American Software Distributors RR1, Box 290, Bldg. 3 Urbana, IL 61801 217 643-2050 S49.95 No special requirements. Formation Doing a way with form By Morton A. Kevelson, P.E. A DOLLOP OF database, a pinch of page layout, and a smattering of spreadsheet that’s FormAtion, a program designed for the creation and completion of single-page forms. FormAtion makes it easy to create and fill in telephone notes, invoices, sales sheets, or any other form you might need. To begin, you must pick a size for your form-to-be. The default choices are standard page size (8' .,x 11 inches), legal (8' .., x 14), invoice (8' ax5), and max (12' ., x 11); you can also define any other dimensions up to 12' ?x201 , inches. You can change page sizes at any time; if you decide to shrink the dimensions after you have gotten started, FormAtion will Continued on p. 102 Here at California Access™ we believe “Surfs-up" said it best. But don’t take his word. Purchase your own CA-880 disk drive and let us know what you think of this narly drive. Narly Features: p California Access" Ail rights reserved, ' V .-' 7S0 Montague Expw.v. 4403. San .lose. CA 051 xj Tel. (40S) 4.15-1445. Fax. (40SI415-7155 Sicsic "Surfx-up" Sherman it a ficticious character, hoiveter. Malihu, California docs exist.
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B. A.D. analyzes, restructures, and processes ANY AmigaDOS disk such that permanent speed increases will be realized. This is NOT a RAM cache based system! $ 49.95 QUASARSOUND The ultimate stereo sampling sound editing system! Save real-world sounds in IFF formal For use in any music program that supports IFF SSVX sounds. COMBINE THE POWER OF CL1 WITH THE SIMPLICITY OF WORKBENCH!
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• Includes a hard disk backup function! $ 49,95 An instant arcade classic for kids, Oswald stars an adorable blue bear whose goal is lo jump across the floating icc floes, gathering as many gilts as he can along the way. Features colorful graphics, great digitized sound, and a play system that is easy to learn, yet difficult to master. Hurry, OsWALD needs your help! With World Atlas, a fun and educational utility comes to the Amiga. More than an atlas, this program gives you direct access to information and details on more than 170 countries, as well as the SO United Stales. For students, educators, travelers, business executives, or just armchair explorers. World Atlas will provide an incredible wealth of knowledge and entertainment.
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(213) 542-2225 $ 59,95 ILLUSTRATED BV ANDRZEJ DUDZINSK1 U L T I M E D I III tkz A [zteaqz With so much recent attention surrounding it, the term “multimedia” seems to be on everyone’s lips. What is multimedia? Is it a breakthrough in mixing traditional media in a revolutionary new way, or just some fancy juggling of old concepts in new packaging? What software already exists to create multimedia productions? And what new programs are on the horizon that may give the multimedia concept more than just passing-fad status? L like "plastics" to Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, "multimedia" is the current hot buzzword and wave of the future. And like another pop-culture phenomenon of that era the “global village” of Marshall McLuhart multimedia has quickly built up a coterie of proponents and a veil of conveniently confusing hype to spice up its appeal. Not only does it seem like multimedia is the solution to all informational needs, but also in some kind of McLuhan redux, multimedia is the message itself. Despite the fact that some computer makers and the press act as if they invented the concept just last week, the multitasking Amiga has been combining graphics, text, animation, and sound in desktop-video applications for some time now. The Director software that is kind of like a multimedia programming language has been providing the “glue” to integrate all these media for over two years. (See “And For Best
25. For a look at The Director in ‘Direction’ action.) Whether they call it desktop video, interactive presentation, or hypermedia, people in the community know that multimedia, while not exactly old hat, isn’t a brand new Easter bonnet either! What is new is the great interest in and attention being paid multimedia at present. The positive results are new activity and new products in the field. Innovators are looking past desktop video to applications that can reference data on CD-ROM disks and show images from a laser disk. (New modules in I he Director program and the icon-based authoring system VIVA see “Author! Author!”, p. 30 are active here.) A lot of new and more sophisticated thinking is also going into interactive (user-directed) programs that can access a wide variety of information sources and different media. (See “Play Your Best Hand,” p. 33, for a look at UltraCard’s "stack" approach to designing interactive multimedia presentations.) By Oran Sands III and Louis R. Wallace Brave New Worlds of Multimedia In addition to the existing Amiga multimedia packages already mentioned (which will he covered in detail elsewhere in this issue), a number of new programs are waiting in the wings. So in the remainder of our “multimedia overview" we will preview five packages some of which may be out or just about to be released by the time you read this to see ii we can get an idea where multimedia is going. The Commodore Authoring System will allow you to create a fully interactive multimedia presentation using only the mouse and a large selection of icons. Although the program is actually a graphic, object- oriented programming language, the interface should make the system simple to use tin' non- programmers. Using icons that represent elements as diverse as video, pictures, animations, text, and digitized and synthesized sounds, you build a graphic flowchart ol the presentation. User input can be added from the mouse, keyboard, or even a touch screen. Decisions i can be made based on user input bv employing one oi several control icons that perform such program- ming-style functions as 1F-THEN-ELSE, GOTO and LOOP. Other flow modules can be accessed using subroutine calls, and it is even possible to execute external programs via an Arexx port. With a video-disk player and a genlock, you can combine canned video with the Amiga's graphics and animation in a highly controlled manner, specifying exactly how manv frames of video to display. When combined with overlayed graphics, this allows full motion video images to be accessed from within any application. A large number of wipes and transitions are available. Again using only icons and requesters involving tittle keyboard input, you will also be able to use the program to create a simple database. You can use it to store information from users during a session or to supply information to users when requested. Once you finish any application, you can distribute it by creating a runtime version of il to use as your presentation or course. ShowMaker (Gold Disk) is designed to be an interactive multimedia presentation system that will allow you to combine Amiga-generated sound, graphics, and animation with video from laser disks, video tape recorders, and cameras. Bv loading the next elements of your presentation from disk while simultaneously displaying the current sequence, you will be able to create long-playing productions. One of ShowMaker’s strengths is its ability to precisely synchronize sound and music with specific graphic or video events. Other notable features include built-in titling software, several dozen wipes and transitions, and support for Anim, RIF and MovieSctter format animations. On the audio side, it supports MIDI, SMUS, and 8SVX. ShowMaker also supports laser-disk players. From Very Vivid Inc., creators of The Mandala, comes a “hypermedia presentation system" called Interactor, which uses the idea of a theatrical production as a metaphor for the process of creating its applications. Your presentation is thought of as a "play (also called a slack), which in turn consists of a number of "scenes." Scenes contain "backdrops" (pictures) and “actors" (objects), each of which have certain "roles” (or states of being). Interactor supports low-, medium-, and high-res- olution interlaced modes, overscan display, and both single- and double-buffered modes. You are offered a variety of fonts and “softstyles” for text, and you can include such effects as color cycling and fades in your scripts. Besides being able to import a variety of graphics such as pictures and brushes into its presentations, Interactor provides its own animation capabilities that enable you to move sprites and brushes on the screen with full collision detection. This allows the presentation to take specified set actions if certain objects come in contact. Interactor currently supports genlocks and laser disks; additional modules from Very Vivid will enable you to add other hardware devices in the future. One of the earliest programs to allow the multiple and interactive uses of sound, graphics, and animation, DeluxeVideo will soon be available in a revised version from Electronic Arts. DeluxeVideo III adds new features and improves on many of the older ones. No longer using the “dual-playfield" format for its display, which limited the number of colors and resolutions users had access to, Dvideo III now* supports all display modes including HAM, Exu*a_ Halfbrite, hi-res, overscan and SuperBitMap. A major strength of Dvideo III is its full compatibility with DeluxePaint Ill's new animation tvpes, which makes it possible to include Dpaint Anim and Animbrush files, as well as more standard graphics and brushes, in your videos. And unlike the earlier version, Dvideo 111 saves all data separately from the script, so it can be used in other videos as well. (If you wish, however, you can convert your video directly into a standard Anim file, using the MakcAnim utility supplied with the program.) DeluxeVideo 111 supports genlocks and MIDI devices via an Arexx port. It also offers HvperCard- like object-oriented user control. Object motion has been improved with a refined MovePath routine enabling you to define the motion of objects with the mouse. Also new is a relative-motion option, allowing you to attach one object to another. Moving the main object causes the second to follow. Other features include better font control, background patterns, more cut-and-paste options, interactive options for mouse and joystick, and easy video appending. The CanDo (INOVAlronics) authoring system offers many of the same features as the Commodore authoring program. With CanDo, however, you combine objects and events into “cards," then assemble the cards into a “deck," which is the final application or presentation. Objects can he standard graphics, text, brushes, animations, or sounds. They can be presented in a variety of screens and windows, and in conjunction with several opportunities for user interaction via buttons, requesters, “hot spots," and the like. CanDo supports external video and audio hardware, it is Arexx-compatible, and it supports Dpaint Ill's BrushAnim format. Completed CanDo decks can be saved as independently executable applications that you may distribute or sell without any licensing fees. ¦ Oran Sands III is a video producer and engineer for Methodist Hospital of Indiana. Louis R. Wallace is Amiga World’s* Senior Editor. Technology. Write to them c o Amiga World, Editorial Dept.. SO Elm St.. Peterborough. XII 03458. M U L T I M . E D I A hzcLaL And For Best ‘Direction,’ The Winner Is.. One of the creators of The Director demonstrates how it can help you create your own one-man multimedia show. By Joel Hagen I .F YOU NEED to create interactive or standalone presentations using the Amiga, chances are you’re talking about The Director (Right Answers Group, S69.95). Indeed, it occupies a unique niche as the only animation and presentation language for the Amiga. The Director offers powerful control over the Amiga’s hardware strengths in graphics, animation, and sound without forcing a cumbersome structure on an individual's creativity. With the addition of The Director’s Toolkit and some other new modules, the combined power of the program also provides the user with software control over Laser disk players, VCRs, CD players, camcorders, and other external devices. In this article we will focus on how to create interactive and multimedia presentations on your Amiga with the help of The Director. So What Can You Do for Me? In terms of the content of presentations, The Director allows vou to combine and sequence just about any combination of pictures, text, and sounds you can create with your arsenal of Amiga software. The Director supports a choice of animation approaches including playback of Anims created with Deluxe- Paint III (Electronic Arts), VideoScape 3D (Oxxi), FrameGrabber (Progressive Peripherals & Software), or anything that creates standard IFF Anim files. You can add sound to these Anims and change playback speeds. More advanced users might want to load multiple .Anims into memory and chain them together for playback, or superimpose text or other effects on a frame by frame basis. Page-flipping animation using either full or partial screens is another option. This allows a small number of IFF image pieces to be recombined in new ways in response to specified conditions. For instance, an animated character whose arms, legs, and body parts occupy only three screens could walk around and point to different locations for twenty minutes, i AS AN ANIMATION and presentation language for the Amiga, The Director's syntax is patterned after BASIC to make it as familiar as possible, with specific commands added to simplify the creation of presentations and animations. The overall program size is smalt for efficient use of memory. Weighing in at less than 60K, The Director is one of the few programs that will actually function well in a 512K environment, although it will take full advantage of any expansion RAM present. A comprehensive video tutorial course on The Director is available from Right Answers for $ 39.95. The Director works from the CLI with any text editor, even ED in your C directory. A simple slide show could be written like this: whereas an Anim file of identical size would have to end or repeat in just seconds. Similarly, you can reposition a single picture element repeatedly. For instance, you could have a pointing finger move endlessly around the screen indicating various information without taking up much valuable disk or RAM space. Another memory-efficient presentation technique LOAD 1,"landscape" LOAD 2,"clouds" LOAD 3,“dog” LOAD 4,“trees" LOAD 5,“portrait" DISPLAY 1:PAUSE 100 DISPLAY 2:PAUSE 100 DISPLAY 3:PAUSE 100 DISPLAY 4:PAUSE 100 DISPLAY 5:PAUSE 100 This sequence loads five pictures into chunks of memory calied “buffers" and then displays them one at a time, pausing 10 seconds (100 tenths) for each display. The more memory you have, the more buffers you can fill with pictures, sounds, and Anims. The example below gives a precise pathname for locating images, and changes the script from a slide show into a looping page-flip animation by simply reducing the pause from 10 seconds to one-tenth of a second: LOAD 1,“df1:wink1” LOAD 2,"df1:wink2” LOAD 3,"df1:wink3” LOAD 4,"dfi:wink4’' LOAD 5,"df1:wink5” 10 DISPLAY 1:PAUSE 1 DISPLAY 2:PAUSE 1 DISPLAY 3:PAUSE 1 DISPLAY 4:PAUSE 1 DISPLAY 5:PAUSE 1 GOTO 10 A line number has been added to the first DISPLAY command as a label. The last command tells the program to “go to” that labeled line and begin again. The result is an endless loop of the pictures in buffers 1 through 5 page-flipping at animation speed. If the pictures are a logical sequence, like someone winking, the effect will be smooth motion. More complex presentations can be built in logical stages from simple elements such as this one. JH is to avoid using IFF screens for titles or text information. Instead, T he Director’s T EXT command allows you to print directly to the presentation display or to the Cl.I either from the scripL or from an external file. You can use any number of fonts, and by changing PEN colors and repositioning the coordinates of a T EXT statement, you can create on the fly such effects as drop shadows, and embossed, extruded, or stenciled text. For hi-res overscan presentations. This memory-saving feature may be critical. In any resolution, it allows the user to concentrate dtsk and RAM space resources on images, Anims, and sound files. Let's Look at Some Scenarios Getting Started Basic Script Writing Interactive presentations with the Amiga are an excellent alternative to slide shows, flip charts, or chalk talks. At a simple level, you can write presentations that pause at predetermined spots while the speaker elaborates a point being illustrated on screen. The program waits for a keystroke or a mouse click to trigger (he next sequence. This is an easy way for a speaker to deliver a presentation making use of the mouse as a hand-held remote button. At more complex levels, you can create "hot spots" or buttons on graphic screens that recognize a mouse click within a defined area. The click triggers branching decisions based upon the x.y position of the pointer. This kind of interaction is typical in kiosk informational programs, where the user clicks multiple-choice boxes branching to a selection of restaurants, theaters, or shops. Similarly, the program can wait for a particular keystroke to (rigger a branching event, or it can compare an input word or phrase to a stored string to determine correct or incorrect response. Interactive educational programs often make use of this capability. A quiz on films, for example, could wait for the user to select a category such as Mystery with a mouse click in a box, then use the TEXT command to ask randomized questions such as, “Who played Sam Spade in the Maltese Falcon?" The program would then compare the typed answer with the string "Humphrey Bogart" to determine the next event, and catalogue the result for final scoring. Instead of a mouse or keystroke, a touch screen can be used as the interactive interface to the program. The Future Touch touch screen from AMIGA Business Computers (S1095 with monitor, $ 795 with kit to modify existing monitor), for example, emulates the mouse and allows the user to simply touch an area of the screen designated as a hot spoi with a finger rather than move a pointer with a mouse. This is excellent for interactive programs for young children, or for presentations where equipment is exposed to heavy public use where a mouse would be unfamiliar or soon damaged. Director-driven kiosks are being used in airports and hotels in just this manner. The Director’s Toolkit ($ 39.95) contains a number of handy additions to the original Director program that can be called from within Director scripts. Of interest to those involved in multimedia presentations is the MIDI input module. MIDI is the Musical instrument Digital Interface, a communications network for interfacing musical instruments with computers. Using the Toolkit’s MIDI input module with a Director presentation allows a musician to trigger screen events with musical notes, 'f'lie Director gets note on off information (actually note and velocity) as it listens to one of 16 MIDI channels. This information can be used in the same way as a mouse click or keystroke to change the screen display, or to present text information in real-time interaction with the performer. MIDI input can also respond to devices other than instruments. A SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) to MIDI converter can send information via the MIDI input to The Director. While a video plays, the program waits fora specified frame to send its unique SMPTE signal. This can then trigger an Amiga event either on screen or genlocked over the video. In this way, die Amiga could overlay appropriate floor-plan and price information of houses as video of a housing development plays. Prices could be updated in a Director script in minutes without the need of altering or reshooting die video. Hooking up With Some Heavy Hitters In another multimedia vein. Right Answers has just released an experimental driver for Pioneer laser disk players that allows program control over all laser disk player functions. This driver, called LV1DEO, is compatible with Pioneer series 4200, 2200, and 8000, as well as with its industrial LC-V330 auto changer. Via the RS-232 serial interface, a Director script can Play, Pause, single step, forward and reverse, seek to frame number, superimpose text on screen, control speed, eject, and trigger any other remote functions. The LV1DEO module is available on PeopleLink, from Right Answers lor a nominal handling charge, or as part of the AmigaWorld Animation Software Library (a two-disk set costing $ 14.95). Utilizing the kind of hot-spot screen buttons described above, an interactive computet laser disk tool or presentation could be created. Figure I shows a Planetary I mage Library main menu offering the user an initial choice of planets to view. Each planet's selection box is defined as a button by the x.y coordinates of its boundary (see Example 3 in the "Up and Running" sidebar). Clicking the Mars box could trigger branching to another screen such as the MARS menu (Figure 2) in which selection buttons are defined as the quadrangles of a USGS Mars map. Selecting the appropriate sector could then trigger branching to other options, such as "Surface view" or “Orbital view" and eventually loan LVIDEO module command. This could seek to a specified frame number on a laser disk of NASA images, and display the appropriate Viking lander image of the Martian surface (Figure 3). (As a kid who grew up watching “Space Patrol” in an era when the most powerful computer I owned was my Secret Squadron decoder badge, it frankly amazes me to have casually written this last paragraph.) Another interesting multimedia combination with The Director involves using the MediaPhile 1.3MP Infrared Control Unit from Interactive Micro Sys- ? Figure 1. The Planetary Image Library main menu offers a choice of planets to view. Figure 2. Clicking on "Mars” above triggers branching to this MARS menu. AmiguWnrld 21 terns (S195 with software see May ’89, p. 68, for a complete review) and any infrarcd-controlled device such as VCR, CD, TV, or laser disk players. On the MediaPhilc Programmer’s Toolkit disk (SI49) is a Director module allowing program control of multiple devices using commands relayed via Media- Phite’s own infrared LED. .Also, you can plug any Sony device with an S port directly into the MediaPhilc controller. The control unit connects to the Amiga's second mouse port and is also capable of sending signals to a camcorder or to some film cameras. There are wonderful possibilities for linking several devices to the Amiga and The Director for sophisticated interactive displays at trade shows or science fairs. The quality and level of graphic sophistication that is now possible in presentations is remarkable. Digitizers and frame grabbers coupled with powerful paint programs make it possible to create beautiful graphics and animations for the computer screen. 3- D and ray-tracing software, LAD, and malh-function plotters all add to the range of images and information one can present. The philosophy of The Director is not to replace any of this software, but rather to provide a medium through which it can all be used in concert (o create better results. It is now Up and Running; A “Conversation” with The Director IN THE MAIN part of this article, we concentrated mostly on what The Director could do in terms of presenting and combining multimedia elements. Here we focus on how the program operates. The examples that follow are designed to show the various commands and statements and their parameters the very language of The Director Itself in action. Flipping Over Animation Full-screen page-flipping animation can be as simple as the example outlined in the “Getting Started" sidebar. Creating partial-screen page-flip sequences, however, is a bit more complex and relies on The Director’s BLIT command (see “Accent on Graphics" 5, p. 50, June ’89, for more on BLIT). BLIT, like many other Director commands Including WIPE and DISSOLVE, is followed by a series of parameters Indicating which portion of the screen to change. For Instance: Example 1 REM Partial-Screen REM Page-Flipping Test LOAD 1,“df1:screen” LOAD 2,"df1:sequence,' TRANSPARENT 1 50 FOR q = 1 to 8 BLIT 2,10,5,45,130,20,50 BLIT 2,40,5,45,130,20,50 BLIT 2,70,5,45,130,20,50 NEXT This simple animation script looks at a three-image sequence of 20-by-50-pixet rectangles In buffer 2 and transfers them from their x,y locations to location 45,130 in the current destination buffer. The TRANSPARENT statement prevents BLIT from transferring color 0. This allows objects to be “removed" from the background when transferred. A FOR NEXT loop for the BLIT commands runs the animation sequence eight times before proceeding. Page-flip animation normally BLITs from a series of different source coordinates to a constant destination coordinate as shown. Conversely, moving an object over a background would commonly BLIT from constant source coordinates to a series of different destination coordinates. Expressive Text The TEXT command also needs screen coordinates. These are usually provided through the MOVE command, which provides a location for the text to begin. For instance: Example 2 REM Text Test Program LOAD 1,“df1:screen” LOADFONT 1,12,“big.font” 60 DRAWMODE 0 PEN 1,15 SETFONT 1 MOVE 20,110 TEXT “Who was Asta?” LOADFONT lets you preload as many fonts as you like into RAM, assigning each a font number to be used by SETFONT later. PEN 1 is the foreground color, and is set to palette position 15. MOVE sets the beginning position of the text In the image window of the illustrated screen. Repeating the TEXT command with a darker PEN color will give a highlight effect if you offset it with the command MOVE 22,112. At the Touch of a Button Interactive presentations often use on-screen buttons for user response. The next example shows how a screen button can be specified and monitored with an IF ENDIF statement and GETMOUSE command. Example 3 REM Button Test REM Program LOAD 1,“df1:screen" LOAD 3,“df1:pix4” ABORT 2 5 GETMOUSE x,y IF x>127&x 175&y>49&y 93 GOSUB 40 ENDIF GOTO 5 40 BLIT 3,3,2,18,100,284,57 RETURN This loads the main screen into buffer 1, and a screen of images into buffer 2 (see Figures 1A and 2A). The ABORT statement terminates the program If a key is hit. The interactive statement GETMOUSE waits for the user's mouse click and remembers the x,y location of the pointer at that click. (GETKEY would wait for a keystroke, holding the ASCII code of that key In a variable.) The IF ENDIF line checks to see if the GETMOUSE x,y location falls within the boundaries of button A on the main screen. If so, the program executes the subroutine at line 40 which BLITs the top image from Buffer 2 Into the Image area on the main screen. Each button area on the main screen could be similarly Identified and checked each time the mouse Is clicked. Each button could branch the program to a different subroutine such as the animation sequence of subroutine 50 in Example 1, or the TEXT subroutine 60 In the Example 2, possible to go a step further and tie the Amiga into a larger network of devices to create integrated multi- media presentations. With all the options now available, maybe Commodore’s recent media pilch for the Amiga as the tool for the creative mind is less hype than you might think. ¦ Joel Hagen, one of the founding members of the Right Answers Group, is a graphic artist whose credits and projects span a fascinating range from art to astronomy, and software development to science fiction. Write to him c o Amiga World, Editorial Dept., 80 Elm St., Peterborough, NH 03458. Manufacturers’ Addresses Right Answers Group Box 3699 Torrance, GA 90510 213 325-1311 AMIGA Business Computers 192 Laurel Rd.
E. Northport, NY 11731 516 757-7334 The Sound of MID! The MIDI module in The Director’s Toolkit is a substitute for The Director's regular sound module. It contains enhancements to the original sound commands, and also provides MIDI note input. It can be used to synchronize Director animations with external MIDI instruments, synthesizers, sequencers, and so on. To select the Ml Dl modu le, use the command: MODULE “midi” The Director’s SOUND command then allows a program to monitor up to 16 MIDI channels, using specific parameters to indicate the channel and note information, as in: SOUND v,"midi",6,0 In this particular command, the variable v is Ignored. The "mldl" parameter invokes the MIDI module, and 6 is the MIDI channel number the module will monitor. The 0 specifies that only note-on commands will be recognized in this case. This allows you to mask out note-off commands for simple triggering. Other commands can also make use of this monitoring, as In the following example: SOUND v ’wart" This command is similar to GETMOUSE, and will wail for the next note-on In the specified channel. All other MIDI commands will be ignored. Variable v will return both the note and velocity information. To extract this Information, use these computations: note = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 SELECT v%256 (% is The Director’s symbol for the modulo operation), velocity = v 256. If velocity Is non-zero, then it is a note-on command. An iF ENDIF statement can determine if the new variable, velocity, is non-zero and branch to a subroutine exactly as outlined In the button test program. Obviously, this Is a very simple Illustration of the potential of MIDI Interaction. " xs A,. IMAGE SCREEN Heavy Interaction Going a step further to interaction with a Pioneer laser disk player, the LVIDEO module could be made addressable from a Director script with the command: MODULE "Ivldeo” As with the MIDI module, a series of parameters using The Director’s SOUND statement will send and receive information from the player to be used in the program or to control the player. For example: SOUND v,“lv",“5438SE" invokes the LVIDEO module with the “Iv" command and seeks frame number 5438 on a laser disk with Pioneer's search command, SE. Similar operations could be performed with other commands: PL for play, PA for pause, MF for multispeed forward, and so on. On other commands, the v parameter is a variable that can hold Figure 1A. The main screen of the Interactive presentation outlined In Example 3. Information returned from the player. A subroutine that GETMOUSE or GETKEY branches to could seek frame 5438 of a laser disk, and display that image. The MedlaPhile Director module works In a similar way. JH M U L TrI M.E D I A N>hEcLaL Author! Author! With its elegant, easy-to-use interface, the VIVA authoring system could ring down the curtain on other Amiga multimedia-production software. But will the “Hit-in-New-Haven” translate to box-office success on Broadway? By Geoffrey Williams T HE VIVA AUTHORING package (MichTron, SI 99.95) represents yet another approach to creating and controlling interactive, multimedia productions with the Amiga. Other methods are covered elsewhere in this issue From the script-based procedures used by the well-established Director program (p. 25) to the stack-metaphor concept employed by the new UltraCard (p. 38). What sets VIVA apart, however, is its icon interface, which makes creating your own programs very easy. Unlike The Director, which forces you to write script files, VIVA allows you to create presentations by selecting a series of icons. The ability to work with an icon interface is VIVA's greatest strength, and allows you to create programs in minutes that could take hours if you had to write and debug a script file. The learning curve is very short I was creating working “stories" (VIVA nomenclature for an interactive presentation) the very first day I started to play with it, While this one feature is such a significant development that it gives VIVA the potential to dominate the Amiga multimedia field, there are, unfortunately, a few serious reservations about the program that must be addressed (and will be in this article). VIVA: Power to the Users! VIVA (which stands for Visual Interactive Video Authoring) allows you to write interactive programs that can utilize the images from a laser disk as well as display Amiga graphics and play digitized sounds. By clicking on areas of the screen, blocks of text, or buttons and gadgets you create in a paint program, users can choose what information they want to see or what paths they want to follow. With the addition of a genlock, you can create programs that combine Amiga graphics and laser disk images. For example, you could display a single frame from the laser disk, and have objects you created in a paint program genlocked on top of it. By clicking on the objects, the user would be sent to a different laser disk image or a different graphic. Because a single side of a laser disk can contain over 50,000 individual images and play any part of them as animations, the possibilities open to you are staggering. When you first open VIVA, you are presented with i Bye-IRA, Hi8 « sync general, .'-'sfcv-r-i*;. : A DIGITAL DIGITAL C R EATIONS 2865 Sunrise Boulevard Suite 103 Rancho Cordova CA 95742 Telephone 916 344-4825 FAX 916 635-0475 ©1989 Digital Creations. Amiga is a registered trademark of Comodore Business Machines. CREATIONS 2865 Sunrise Boulevard Suite 103 Rancho Cordova CA 95742 Telephone 916 344-4825 FAX 916 635-0475 ©1989 Digital Creations. AMIGA is a registered trademark of Comodore Business Machines. Circle 28 on Reader Service card an upper window, the Storyboard, in which all of the story icons will be placed, and a lower window from which you select die various action icons. These are broken down into several categories, and the bottom row of buttons allows you to select the category you want to work with. When you change categories, a new selection of icons appears in the lower window. To create a script, all you have to do is click on a series of icons and set their individual parameters. They wilt then appear in the Storyboard. If there are more icons in the Storyboard than can fit in the window, you can scroll down through them. Figure 1 shows the VIVA main screen with an assortment of story icons pertaining to a wine promotion campaign in the upper window (Storyboard), while the action icons appear in the lower window. Editing an icon in the Storyboard is easy. Click on it, and a popup menu will appear that allows you to Delete, Move, Edit, Insert, Copy, change the name (each icon is given an individual default name, but you can change the name to anything you want), and test the icon to see what it does. This makes editing very last, as the menu selections are right where the icon is so that you do not have to go back up to the menu bar. When you decide to delete an icon, the program even warns you if other icons are dependent upon it before proceeding. Because there are different icotis for different functions, it is simple to go through the Storyboard and find the functions you want to edit. The mind can identify a simple shape much faster than it can decode text, so it is much easier to edit in this icon environment than it is with a text-based script file. I here are also three icons at the top of the screen that let you print the Storyboard script, run the Storyboard (which you can do at any time to see how things are progressing), and pop up a laser disk controller. The latter looks just like a VCR controller, with Scan (fast forward or reverse), Step (single-frame forward or reverse), and Play (plays a sequence on the disk). You can also play back in slow and fast motion, mute the right or left audio channels, and search for a specific frame by its frame number or by a chapter number (a laser disk is divided into chapters). You use the controller during the planning stages to find the specific frames you want to use in your presentation. Figure 1. VIVA main screen. Note the sample story Icons In the upper window (or Storyboard) and the action icons in the lower window. The user interface is very elegant, and it is obvious that a lot of time went into its development. I am thrilled with its ease of use and its ability to show stills and animations from a laser disk, but 1 was disappointed by its poor Amiga graphics support. While it can handle all resolutions including overscan, it does not support animation or color cycling, and has only a few transitions (and not all of them work very well). This is a real shame, as the power of Anim brushes, brush moves, compressed animation, and other exciting Amiga features would he a tremendous enhancement to the power of the laser disk. The Icon Approach to VIVA Stories VIVA offers ten basic functional groups oficons from which to choose. The first are found under the Interactive icons. These offer a number of ways to let the user respond to on-screen events. The Text Hot Spot icon allows you to create text that can be clicked on to execute a specific function. This provides an easy way to make menu options. You can choose the font type from any in your fonts directory (except ColorFonts), and you can select the text and background colors. You can also have a box appear around the text and or a text color change to show that it has been clicked on. Although the manual claims that the text can he up to 32 characters long, 1 was unable to enter more than 16. The icon that follows the Text Hot Spot icon in the Storyboard determines the action that will take place when that text is clicked on. You can have as many as 1000 text hot spots on a single screen, and yon can have text appear over IFF or laser-disk images. The Area Hot Spot icon allows you to draw an invisible box on the screen, so that area becomes a hot spot. This could be over graphics or laser video. A major failing of the program, however, is that you can make only rectangular hot spots. For instance, a common educational application might be to show a cross-section of an object such as a plant and allow the user to click on various parts of the plant to access information about that part. If the individual components are curved, it would be very difficult to create hot spots that do not overlap tuber parts. This is severely limiting, and free-form hot spots should he included in future updates. .Another missing feature 1 would like to see is the ability to make an alternate image appear when a hot spot is clicked, so you can have things like buttons that appear to be pressed when you click on them I be Gssence ofcPlatinum! Scribble! Platinum Edition ? 104,000+ word Spellchecker ? Scientific and Technical Supplements ? Spell As You Type ? Full User Dictionary maintenance ? 470,000+ word Thesaurus ? Multiple windows ? Color, Interlace & Overscan support ? Cut and Paste among documents ? Mail Merge ? Print IFF Graphics ? Clipboard Compatible ? Cartridge Font support ? 512K Required ? Not copy protected ? Free Technical Support ? User Friendly Manual The Works! Platinum Edition ? Includes Scribble! Platinum module ? Full featured spreadsheet module ? Lotus 123 wks file compatible ? Macro-language C 40+ built-in functions ? 68881 math co-processor support ? 8 graph types ? Sideways print utility ? Flat file manager (database) module ? Extensive math capability ? Includes OnLine! Platinum module ? Clipboard Compatible ? 512K Required ? Not copy protected ? Free Technical Support ? User Friendly Manual OnLine! Platinum Edition ? Arexx support ? New Sadie Protocol (simultaneous chat and 2-way file transfers) ? Color, Interlace & Overscan support ? VT-100, -52, -102, TTY, ANS1- BBS, Tektronics 4010 emulations ? X-, Y-, Z-, WX-Modem, CIS-B, Quick-B, Kermit protocols ? 300 - 57600 bits per second ? Multiple Serial Ports Internal Modem support ? Full Script Language ? User defined Macro keys 12798 forest Hill Blvd., Suite 202 West Palm Beach, Florida 33414 407-790-0770 FAX: 407-790-1341 Committed to excellence since 1978 Scribble run+tn i I'm ri OnLine t m'siim rcrr*. PixnNt'M Juiier-. _ The Works! The Works! Scribble OnLine All brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Arexx support not in telecommunications module. The Wforks! Platinum Edition, Scribble! Platinum Edition and OnLine! Platinum Edition are trademarks of Micro-Systems Software. Inc. A Working Guide to VIVA IN WORKING WITH Tony Gomez, who heads the Valley Video Workshop in North Hollywood, CA, the first VIVA project we decided to create was an interactive tour of the solar system based on images from the Voyager I and II missions. (The results of this work, incidentally, will be presented at an upcoming meeting of the International Interactive Communications Society IICS.) In creating the project I devised the following “8 Step Guide” that may be helpful in preparing a VIVA interactive presentation. Step 1: The Story Once you know the topic of your interactive project, you need to make a complete outline of all of the points you want to cover. You will find that an outlining program such as Flow New Horizons Software, $ 99.95) is very helpful, as it allows you to organize your material as heads and subheads, displaying only certain levels at a time. This lets you make a rough simulation of the way the materia! Will be organized in your interactive presentation. Step 2: The Laser Disk Obviously, you will need a laser disk with which to interact. Creating your own is a complex proposition, requiring very high-quality video-source material, careful planning, and considerable expense in having the laser master disk made. For most people, it is much more practical to use an existing laser disk. This is known as "repurposing," and the VIVA manual lists several Videodisc manufacturers with discs available on a variety of subjects. For our tour of the solar system project, we chose a laser disk created by the Optical Data Corporation that sells for about $ 100. It contains thousands of images from the Voyager missions, along with many exciting animated sequences. Step 3: Choosing the Images Next, we went through the laser disk to find images and animations that would illustrate our main points. Laser-disk players give you the option of displaying the frame numbers, so when we found an image we wanted to use, we wrote down its frame number and a short description. For animation sequences, wre also jotted down the frame number we wanted the animation to end on. Creativity is important, as you will probably not find the precise picture you want to use on the laser disk. You may be able to genlock Amiga graphics over an image, masking out the parts that you do not want to show. We found some great images that showed size comparisons of the planets and moons, but the top half of the screen was filled with technical information that had no place in our story. We genlockcd graphic images over these data sections, which gave us screens that we could use. Step 4: Creating a Flowchart First, find a large piece of paper. A flowchart of even a simple story can get very large very quickly. The flowchart will be your road map to the design of your presentation. The flowchart in Figure 1A shows only the complete branchings for one of the planets, in this case Jupiter. The organization of how the different screens interact is known as the program logic, and it is important to keep careful notes to avoid confusion. The numbers in each box signify the laser-disk frame number for that screen. We decided to standardize the different screen types. We called our first screen, consisting of three planets, the Main screen. Most of the other screens contain a button labeled "New Planet” that wilt return you to this Main screen. By clicking on one of the planets, you bring up the appropriate Planet Data screen. Each of those three screens includes information about the selected planet as well as three buttons along the bottom: “New Planet,” “Planet,” and “Moons.” “Planet” takes you to a Planet Option screen with two large buttons offering a "Narrated Flyby" and a “Planet Rotation." These two buttons play the corresponding animations. At the end of the animations, the laser disk freezes on the last frame and a genlocked set of buttons is displayed: “Repeat,” “Moons," and “New Planet." “Repeat” replays the animation, while “Moons” takes you to the Moons Option screen. While there are three Planet Option screens and several Moons Option screens, each screen type has a consistent design: The same buttons take you in similar directions in every instance. As you can see from the partial flowchart (Figure 1A), things get crowded very quickly, but because all Moon Option or Planet Data screens work in the same way, we can easily figure out how to program them if we lay out one complete path in the flowchart. This makes it much easier to check and debug program logic. Step 5: Creating the Graphics Working from the flowchart, make a list of all of the graphics screens you will need to create. It is important to devise a standardized way of naming the graphics. The name should tel! You what the picture is, and what type of screen it should appear on. For example, the graphic with the buttons to be genlocked on the Jupiter data screen is called "ju- piter.PD.buttons," the PD signifying that it is a Planet Data screen. Try to design buttons, text screens, and other graphics elements so that there is a consistent overall design, and so that the graphics match the style of the laser- disk material. All the elements should look like they belong together. The only way to properly create the graphics is to use the laser controller utility in VIVA to bring up a video frame, and then genlock your paint program over it. This lets you align graphics properly and to see what they look like in NTSC. If you are working with Deluxe- Paint III (Electronic Arts, $ 149.95) in overscan, make sure you hit the F10 function key to eliminate the title and tool bars; otherwise you will be looking at an image that is shifted down several scan lines from the way it will appear in your story. VIVA mukitasks easily with paint and other programs. By selecting a pull-down Introductory Screen oeo Main Screen Ranet Data Screen frame 36090 Hanet Moons frame 40669 |Ranel| |Moons| Frame 33518 | Ha riel | [Moont| Moon Options Screen Cailisto Ranet Options Screen I Ha net Rotalon Hanet Flyby frame 35734 Ari mall un start 35216 end 361 ID frame 35747 Ari mation start 25612 end 26812 Figure 1A. Using a flowchart (such as this one showing the complete branchings for the planet Jupiter) will make organizing how the different screens In your presentation Interact the “program logic" much easier. Need to rearrange the images, your careful planning will go out the window. Step 6: Programming in VIVA menu from within VIVA, you can type in a pathname for a specific program you want to run when you access that pulldown menu later. There are options for setting seven different programs in pulldown menus. If you want to do wipe transitions between graphics screens, the smartest thing to do is to use the same color palette for the entire presentation. Images with different palettes will give you strange colors as the second picture’s color palette becomes active during wipe effcets. While you may start by carefully planning to use only pictures with the same color palettes together, if you later decide you The manual contains lots of good advice on programming structure. Pay special attention to labeling, and read the “Tips and Tricks" section in the Appendix. Step 7: Fine-Tuning Once you have your basic story working in VIVA, you can start adding extra features. For example, we decided that some people might not want to watch a complete animation sequence, so we made the entire screen a hot spot during animation playback. By clicking on the screen, the user can stop the animation and return to the Planet Data screen. It would have been nice here to be able to use a frame grabber, which would have enabled us to capture graphics from the laser disk and manipulate them as graphics files. This would have made it possible to create graphics composites, such as of the three planets on our Main screen, that resemble the digitized images from the laser disk. Instead, we had to create a relatively crude graphics screen for the Main screen. Step 8: Real-World Testing While you know that your presentation works well technically, it still may not be easy to use for someone who does not know how it is set up. Test your presentation on several people who are unfamiliar with interactive media and your subject matter. Observe how easily they are able to move around, notice if there are sections that are frequently skipped over, and get feedback from them on what they like and dislike. As perfect as you might have thought it was, chances are you will need to make additional changes based on this feedback. Such testing will help insure that your finished product is a useful and exciting interactive presentation. ? GW AmigaWorld and other simple forms of animation. This is more of a frill than a necessity, but the more graphics sizzle you can add, the better. To create questions on the screen to which you want a keyboard response, you first create the question as text in an IFF image. The AsA icon allows you to set the question as true false, yes no, or multiple choice, and to place a prompt, such as “Enter T or F only,” anywhere on the screen. After giving each question a name, you then put an Answer icon for each possible answer to that question elsewhere in the script. If the user responds with a “y” for yes, the program jumps to the section of the Storyboard containing the Answer icon with the “y” response set for that named question. Everything after that .Answer icon is then executed. (For those who program, this is like a conditional GOTO but with VIVA you need not worry about such things.) The Video icons oiler you a range of controls over the laser disk player. You can play animations from the laser disk at a variety of speeds, play them to a specific frame and stop (even while other parts of the Storyboard are being run), and show single frames. The Graphics icons allow you to load and display Amiga graphics, and there are a few transitions possible. Fade with adjustable speed works well, while Tile provides effective spiral in and out effects and a good-looking checkerboard transition. In the initial release, the Wipe effect did not work tvell, but it is very smooth in version 1.02. You can wipe right, left, up, and down. The Push transition is jerky and has too much “artifacting" (additional colors appear that do not belong) to be useful, while I could not get Dissolve to function properly at all. The Blinds effect is slow and you do get some minor artifacting when you use it to wipe in a picture; it works very well, however, when wiping out to black. Fhe Text icons allow you to display text. Place Text works exactly like the Hot Spot Text icon without the hot spot. You can load text in and display it in a scrolling window. The problem here is that users must understand how to work the scroll gadget, and to click on the close gadget when done there ought to be a better way to handle this. A Prim Text icon enables you to supply users with hardcopy of the text. The Speak Text function has an odd habit of ignoring periods and leaving out the pauses. It also exhibits the more commonly encountered problem of pausing at the end of each line rather than at the end of each sentence. These two quirks combine to make it sometimes difficult to understand. A workaround would be to make sure that your sentences end at the end of each line. Each line oflext is displayed as a small window at the bottom of the screen as it is being read, so you cannot get away with phonetic pronunciation. The easiest solution is to get a copy of the public- domain program BetterSpeech, which allows you to create an exception table that improves the pronunciation. It would also be nice if the program allowed you to display a graphic as text is spoken. There are also several icons for putting in pauses or delays: The Keyboard icon waits for a specific key to be pressed; Keywait puls the words “press the escape key” on the screen and then waits for you to do so; Time waits for a specified amount of time or for a specified number of video frames to go by; and Time Wait branches to a specified part of the Storyboard if the time runs out before the user responds. The Event icons give you a basic range of operational functions such as If, Else, Goto, Return, End, Until, and Break. Masterloop will return the program to the beginning, while Label allows you to label different sections of your Storyboard. The Logic icons provide operations such as Greater Than, Equal To, And, Or, Xor, Negate, Ijess, and Less Equal, while the Math icons provide a dozen math functions. VIVA Summary VIVA provides you with all of the basic tools to create effective interactive presentations. Its real power, though, comes from its ability to control a laser disk. To take advantage of this, you will need a professional unit with an RS-232 port, such as the Pioneer LD- 4200 player (about SIOOO). VIVA’S 263-page manual is thorough and well organized (with an index). It also provides an introduction to interactive hypermedia and a glossary. Appendices offer suggestions for further reading, a vendor list with sources for laser disks, players, and even an Amiga-compatible touch screen, and a list of support organizations, including the I ICS (International Interactive Communications Society which you can contact at 2410 Charleston Rd., Mountain View, CA 94043, 415 922-0214). A recent announcement that The Director will soon provide laser-disk support means that it will become an even more powerful multimedia tool. The program already has an enormous amount of flexibility and power when it comes to manipulating Amiga graphics. I feel that the complexity of programming Director presentations, however, still puts it out of reach for many. While VIVA may not (and probably should not try) to offer the kind of sophistication and complexity found in The Director, it does need to offer a wider range of graphics and animation options to fully capitalize on its marvelous simplicity and ease of use. Fortunately, thanks to the elegance of the VIVA interface, adding additional capabilities should not make it more difficult to learn or use. As it is, VIVA is one of the easiest interactive programs to work with on any computer. With further enhancements, I feel it could be one of the best interactive development tools available. ¦ Geoffrey Williams is Executive Producer for Creative Business Communication and head of the Amiga Video-Graphics Guild. Write to him c o Amiga World, Editorial Dept., 80 Elm St., Peterborough, NFI 03458. Play Your Best Hand: Building a Presentation with UltraCard Stack the deck in your favor with these tips on designing a multimedia project. By Michael Hanish F OR A WINNING presentation, you must combine ordinary information in extraordinary wavs. UltraCard (Intuitive Technologies, S50) gives you the tools you need. With it. You design an interface to communicate with external programs and present text, graphics, sounds, and speech. You can specify every detail of how the information is to he displayed link screens in information trails, manipulate data and move it between programs. In effect, you can create a new program without being a programmar. And to prove it. Just follow along in the sample project below. Like its Apple cousin HyperCard, UltraCard is based on the stack metaphor. Imagine a stack of file cards, till different in appearance and content. Each card can hold pictures, text, sounds, numbers, or any combination of these. You can Hip through the cards, viewing them in any order. In UltraCard, a card is called a frame and is made up of a frame layer overlayed on a backdrop layer, like a sheet ofacetate. The backdrop can include IFF pictures and objects (buttons, text fields, and so forth) that remain constant itt several frames. The frame layer contains the objects that are specific to each frame. When clicked on, objects can do everything front jumping among frames and stacks to performing complex calculations to describing the screen's contents. You design what the object will look like and, through a script associated with the object, the action ii triggers. Know the Rules For an example project. 1 designed an interactive stack to use in the basic reading and writing courses 1 teach for adults. Each frame shows a picture, says the word associated with the picture, and asks the student to type it. After checking for correct spelling, the frame shows a list of related words that lead to ? AmiEXPO Presents THE 1990 AMIGA ART CALENDAR Order by Mail or Call 800-32-AMIGA A alionwide (or 212-867-4663) For Your All Amiga Art Calendar! Ayes, I want my 1990 Amiga Art Calendar name - COMPANY _ ADDRESS _ Calendars @ $ 14.95 _ _ Shipping &Handling Please add $ 2 per calendar TOTAL STATE ZIP CITY For MasterCard or VISA Payment Expiration Date_ Account Number_ Make Check or Money Order Payable to: AmiEXPO 211 E. 43rd St., Suite 301 New York, NY 10017 Name as it appears on card: Signature_ L AmiEXPO is a registered trademark of AmiEXPO, Inc. © 1989 AmiEXPO, Inc. other frames. For example, from the word “round” a student could jump to a picture of a bicycle, a basketball, or a pizza. 1 also included an index and a help frame. I quickly learned advance planning is crucial to success. Start by thinking of what you want to communicate. List all the information, then start drawing lines to link the various bits. You not only must decide what information you want to display but also how it should interrelate with the rest. Information need not be presented in onlv one preset sequence. In a slack, users can follow an information trail through all sorts of paths, according to their interests. Directions for fixing a car engine should progress step in step. Details about how the parts of an engine work can be presented and discussed in a number of sequences. Keep this concept in mind when designing your stack and deciding on links. Each time you run UltraCard, the program opens into the Control Room, an overview stack. If The Control Room points you In the right direction . Script,,, Info.,. (F7) Hilite Nine Name Style Fill Sender Drop Shadow Outline Shape Visible Set Custon . . . And the on-screen help shows what you can do once you're there. Mm 1 Hen Undo m Cut Ktx Copy ec Piste Clear PSW Birins Front Sent! Back Script IFF Object in Fnne Niue, Copy Fnne Piste Fnne Set Grit!.., Palette... Select By Nine.., Browse (FI) UltraCard is 011 your hard drive, you must set search paths so the program can find other stacks and pro- grants. L ItraCard oilers 110 drawing tools, but does let you specify a path to and preferences for a paint program, so you can jump to it automatically, work on a backdrop, then Import the results back into UltraCard and your stack. A similar option lets you jump to a text editor. If you wish, you can redesign the Control Room with the built-in functions. The help stack is never further away than the Help key. UltraCard's two main modes are Browse and Modify. In Browse mode you move around in a stack while creating it or navigate through a finished stack to use it. Modify mode contains all the creation and editing tools. You can switch between the two with FI (to Browse) and F2 (to Modify). My design called for one basic backdrop that would display a graphic in the center and have buttons for moving around the stack. The first step was to make a backdrop, an IFF picture in any resolution with up to UltraCard’s maximum of 04 colors. 1 experimented with Extra_Halfbrite mode (64 colors) and discovered the program is unstable working with that many colors. Keep to a 32-color maximum. In version
1. 4, lo-res overscan mode garbles the backdrop. Word from Intuitive Technologies is that both these features will be fixed in version 1.4.2. A test of the graphic fill feature, which fills an object with part of an IFF picture, showed that the backdrop palette dominates the frame. Make several backdrops with varying palettes that are compatible with the graphic fills you plan to use. Builder’s Permit To begin making a stack, select New Stack from Browse mode's Project menu, name the stack, and set the resolution and number of colors. The program will grind away for a while setting up the file for the new stack, then present you with a message directing you to move into Modify mode. Follow the prompt, then chose IFF Import from the Edit menu to load the first backdrop. You can give each frame a unique name, which makes it easier to keep track of what is where in a complex stack. Frame naming takes effect, however, only after a round trip through Browse mode. Press ESC to place an object in the frame layer or SHIFT-ESC to place one in the backdrop layer. The cursor will turn into a small set of cross hairs; click and drag out a rectangle where you want the object to be. Objects have properties (position on screen, appearance, fill, shadow, name, and so on) and value (text-string or numerical, which stores the data for manipulation). Choose these by multiple trips to the menu bar while still in Modify mode. After you decide how the object will look and what (text, an IFF image, or nothing) it will hold, you must tell it what to do. I wanted the buttons at the bottom and in the upper-left corner of the screen 10 take the user to another specific frame. When the user clicked on the graphic fill. I wanted a voice to say the name of the picture and ask for the user to spell the word. You issue your instructions via UltraTalk, the scripting language for objects, frames, and stacks. In Ultra Talk's built-in editor, you can type commands or cut and paste them from existing stacks. To move from frame to frame, use the JUMP statement, which demonstrates the importance of frame names. The program names each frame in numerical order as vou create them and uses these names (or ones you substitute) for the jump addresses. (For a further discussion oFUltraTalk, see the accompanying sidebar.) When you have the First frame suitably equipped, toil can easily reuse the same backdrop for the next frame. Highlight the Frame Add selection from Browse mode’s Edit menu. Rename this copy of the previous frame, dear any buttons that do not carry over to the new frame, and add what you need. To add a new backdrop, use the Frame Add New BD selection from the same menu. This creates an empty frame and positions the cursor on it, so you can start from scratch. You can shiit objects between layers by clicking on the object then choosing Object In from the Edit menu in Modify mode. If you intend to use the same backdrop and many of the same objects from frame to frame, however, place the repeated objects in the backdrop layer to avoid having to redo them for every frame. To temporarily store frames ? An Instructive Talk THE POWER BEHIND the scenes in UltraCard is the scripting language. Ultra Talk. Every time you create an object, the program links it automatically with a script that provides the backstage directions for the object’s performance. UltraTalk boasts 80 statements (BASIC- like commands), 23 expressions (arithmetic and logical operators that combine constants and variables), and 2a functions, as well as the possibility for user- defined Functions. You access the UltraTalk editor from Modify mode by double-clicking on an object or by selecting it (a doited outline will appear around it) and then pressing F6 or choosing Script from the Properties menu. The best way to get a feeling for how UltraTalk works is by looking at some of the sample scripts included with the program. Choose an object that does something you find interesting and review the script statements that control it. You can test statements of your own in Chat mode, which you enter via the Go menu in Browse mode or by pressing RIGHT-AM1GA-T. A one-line window will open at the bottom of the screen. Type in a statement and press RETURN to see what happns when it executes. Chat mode is handy for previewing commands to be sure they work before you commit them to your script. One of the most frequently used statements, JUMP takes you to a designated frame, possibly even in another stack. Use it with the PUT statement to set a transition between frames or stacks. To do so, you use PUT to assign the number of the transition you want (15 variations are listed in the manual) to the global variable Visual.Effect. Use PUT twice more to place numbers (from 1 to 10) into Effect.Speed and Effect-Amount, which is the number of pixels front the new image that will appear on the screen at each step of the transition. To branch to other programs, you use the CLI, WORKBENCH, and AREXX statements. CLI and WORKBENCH allow you to run independent programs as you would from the Command Line Interface or Intuition environment. AREXX starts an Arexx script. The various FILE commands (GET, OPEN, READ and CLOSE) display text files in a multiline object, but you can make your presentations more vocal with the SAY and SOUND statements. SAY invokes the Amiga's speech synthesizer to read a specified string into the translator (where you take your chances with phonetic pronunciation), or if the string is preceeded by a tilde (~), sends the phonemes directly to the narrator device. The SOUND statements (LOAD, PLAY, STOP, WAIT, UNLOAD) let you play back IFF or FutureSound samples, with complete control over their rate, volume, and number of repeats. By using the ASYNC option while playing back a sample, you can execute another statement. Such as a display, simultaneously. Consider the following button script from one of the sample stacks: PLAY buzzer PUT 1 into visual.effect CURSOR wait PUT 1 into fade JUMP to frame 10 with effect PUT 0 into fade CURSOR ready When you click on the button, the program executes the lines above: plays a digitized sound called buzzer, fades out the current screen, jumps to the destination, and fades it in. These are only a few of the possibilities offered by UltraTalk. Some familiarity with elementary programming techniques is helpful, but because the language is so straightforward, you can quickly discover how things work. ?
- MH Intuitive Technologies distributed by American Software Distributors RR 1 Box 290. Bldg. 3 Urbana. 1L 61801 217 643-2050 408 646-9147 (technical support) Bantam Books 666 Fifth Ave. New York, NY 10103 212 765-6500 and objects, copy them into a clipboard and then paste them into place when needed. Lor my project, 1 made and linked each frame in the order I wanted them. 1 ihen returned to each frame, adding UllraTalk's SAY statements, devices to check spelling input, and statements to display the list ofassociated words. Working in this order allowed me to make sure that each step of the process worked before moving on to the next. Each time you edit a stack, it grows in she. By using the Compact Stack choice from lbe Project menu in Browse mode, you can eliminate a sttick’s wasted space, sometimes reducing its size by half. When y ou save the compressed version, it takes the original file's name while the lilt stack's filename gains the suffix .old. Generation Gap Version 1.4 of I ItraCard suffers from its ancestors. Version 1.1 barely worked and had a minimal manual. I’m glad to report 1.4 has almost till the kinks worked out and an expanded manual. Be warned, however: Incompatibilities among versions cause some stacks created with earlier editions of UltraCard to corrupt when you load them in a newer version. The developer, Mike Lehman, promises to fix any corrupted slacks you send his way. The program is modeled after, and begs comparison with. Apple’s HyperCard. Overall, UltraCard bears up well to the test. It is more flexible than HyperCard because of the Amiga's multitasking and color graphics. On the negative side, the program sometimes feels a bit slow getting information to the screen, and too frequent trips to the menu bar impede the process of creating a stack. The manual could use a major expansion to explain many of the terms that will be unfamiliar to nonprogrammers. Until then, study the assortment of stacks that comes with the program. Kind the features that do what you want, then cut and paste them into your own stacks or model your features after them. A less obvious source of information is The Complete HyperCard Bonk, Second Edition bv Damn Goodman (Bantam Books, S29.95). While the book is specific to HyperCard, many concepts and features are similar to UltraCard. Manufacturers’ Addresses Quibbles aside, UltraCard is relatively easy to work with for such a complex program. Its price of $ 50 is a bargain for the multitude of things the program can do for and with vou. ¦ Michael Danish uses his Amiga for video and graphics work with both his performance group. The World Turned Upside Down, and his adult literacy students. Write to him c o Amiga World, Editorial Dept., 80 Elm St., Peterborough. XH OS 158. Remember? Computers (the personal kind) were going TO SET THE WORLD ON FIRE. YOU WERE GOING TO BE ABLE TO ATTACH THEM DIRECTLY TO YOUR BRAIN, TO YOUR EMOTIONS, AND FLY. Well, it’s happening. Finally. And the one THAT’S DOING IT, THE AMIGA, HAS A PASSIONATE FOLLOWING, NOT SURPRISINGLY. Brain surgeons, musicians, writers, artists, VIDEO GRAPHIC DESIGNERS, ASTRONOMERS - IN OTHER WORDS, PEOPLE WHO NEED COMPUTERS TO EXPRESS, SEARCH, CAPTURE, EMBODY, TO EXPLORE CONCEPTS, AND WHO DON’T WANT TO WAIT ANOTHER 50 YEARS TO DO SO - HAVE FOUND THE AMIGA. AND THE Amiga has found them. You ARE NEXT. HE'S USING IT TO UNTRAP HIS SON DR. ELDO BERGMAN, CHILD NEUROLOGIST AND SON PHILIP. Pretend that all the written words in the world: books, newspapers, warnings on medicine bottles, pretend ail of it was a puzzle to you; incomprehensible; a source of embarrassment and terror. To millions of people it is: children, adults, wrongly diagnosed as unintelligent or lazy or crazy: people who are none of these things but. Like Dr. Bergman's son, dyslexic. Three and a hail years ago. Dr. Bergman decided to try something. Computers, he knew, could talk, and by talking might, just might, get his son, and others, out of a trap. It worked. His son and others CASE NQ 44 are able, suddenly, to “read” by listening: able to comprehend. And no longer dependent on teachers who don't have time, tutors who cost money. Philip can now learn as fast as he can think. Dyslexics, it turns out, are often extraordinarily fast thinkers. (Especially when given something to think about.) Dr. Bergman is accomplishing this small miracle with the .Amiga computer. The faster Philip races to catch up with himself, the farther the .Amiga can take him: from listening to comprehending to reading to... who knows? (And later, to create pictures, animate them, three-dimension- alize them, suffuse them with thousands of colors; to arrange, to play, to compose music. The .Amiga can do all of this now, not 50 years from now.) Is Dr. Bergman satisfied with the way things are going? Not entirely Dyslexic students and their parents embrace what he's done. The schools, meanwhile, are "observing" the situation. Bergman is raising funds now himself for other school districts. For information on how his program works, the software he’s using, or just to offer him a little encouragement, write Dr. Eldo Bergman, at Intelligent Learning Systems, 5322 West Beilfort, Suite 116, Houston, Texas 77035. Paul is 12 and already facing a challenge not unknown to America’s most sophisticated corporations: inventory control. Paul’s problem stems from a vast collection of baseball cards. How vast? How valuable? How much appreciation (or depreciation) are we talking about? What is the acquisition date of each item? What was the cost basis? Rest easy. Paul has the answer to everything: an Amiga computer. Using Analyze!, an Amiga spreadsheet, Paul can enter, revise, juggle, update, push around, compare, analyze, fix, store, retrieve, re-format, delete, and pander anything, anything at all, that seems pertinent, interesting and necessary to get a handle on his collection. CASE NO 39 Circle 15 on Reader Service card. With an Amiga, Paul doesn’t have to stop and get swallowed up reading a dumb manual on how to run his computer: he just points and clicks (which means, for those corporations unfamiliar with such things, holding a thing called a “mouse” and moving it in order to move your commands into the computer; Paul learned to do it in under 11 seconds; you can do it too.) What’s next? Well, to tell the truth, Paul is already restless. Step one was loo easy. Now Paul is going to add a graphic database. Good thing the Amiga happens to be a genius at high-resolution color graphics. (The Amiga has thousands of colors built-in.) Imagine experiencing Paul’s entire inventory in color. Acquisitions and mergers can’t be far behind. AMIGA. THE COMPUTER FOR THE CREATIVE MIND'." The Amiga allows you to fly. Faster than you thought you could. Without spending a lot of money. Without waiting around another 50 years. Amiga from Commodore. Why not give us a call at 800-627-9595. Pcommodore" He was II years old when his father, a bridge designer, came home one night with a handful of broken pottery. HE’S USING IT TO STOP DESTROYING HISTORY. DOMINIC POWLESLAND, ARCHAEOLOGIST. NORTH YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND That did it. Today, at 34, he is Director of the largest archaeological dig in Northern Europe, an Early Anglo-Saxon or Dark Age village attracting 27,000 visitors (as the word spreads) and also hundreds of volunteers, many who pay for the privilege of working long hours digging meticulously under his supervision. “Unlike other scientific experiments, archaeological excavation is unrepeatable; each site can only be examined by its destruction.” Accordingly, Powlesland avails himself of every trick and tool and technology available: aerial photography magnetometer and laser surveys, video photography; each makes its own contribution to an immense database well before excavation begins. The atmosphere on site is forensic, like at the scene of a crime. Presiding above it all. A computer stores, organizes, analyzes, retrieves and presents every exacting step and physical fragment of the process. Which computer? Guess. Powlesiand’s objective dictated the choice: “... to achieve a point where all data, whether text, drawings, stills or moving images, can be accessed on a single computer using a single software package. Only the Amiga had the combination CASE NCI 91 of computer power and video facilities that make such an objective achievable.” We’ve saved the best part till last. What excited Dominic Powlesland when he was II is what excites him even more today: seeing an entire way of life begin to unfold coherently, in detail, almost as if it were your own life, except for being half a million days ago. To catch the bug, write for Powiesland’s “The Heslerton Anglo-Saxon Settlement," The Old Abbey, Yedingham, North Yorks, Y017 8SW, England. $ 10, postpaid. You know the routine. You get invited over to see the movies about their vacation. HE’S USING IT TO MAKE PEOPLE JEALOUS JEFF ZAREMBA, COMPUTER SYSTEMS ANALYST, NEW YORK CITY__ While you were living through winter and salt stains on your shoes, these suntanned, laughing people were off some where being silly and foolish and you wish you could have done the same. To add insult to injury, their movie about their trip to the Caribbean looks better than your movie about your trip to the lake. The movie ifW iooks better. How come? No explanation forthcoming. But obviously he's managed to add titles that don’t look at all like the usual home-movie titles. They materialize from somewhere way off in the distance like you see on TV and then they turn and at the same time they change color. CASE NQ 311 Later on in the movie this so- called friend of yours has more titles, indicating locations, like some kind of high-class documentary. You’re not going to give him the satisfaction of asking how he accomplished all this. But he tells you anyway. He used an Amiga computer which is“what they use in Hollywood and at TV stations to do graphics and videos and animation and stuff like that” and now he expects you to believe that an Amiga doesn’t cost alt that much. Well, he’s right. Don’t get mad. Get even. Get an Amiga of your own: professional graphics and animation in one affordable home computer. AMIGA. THE COMPUTER FOR THE CREATIVE MIND? The Amiga allows you to fly. Faster than you thought you could. Without spending a lot of money. Without waiting around another 50 years. Amiga from Commodore. Why not give us a call at 800-627-9595. C= Commodore* When he was growing up, he wasn’t given fancy toys to play with. He was given cardboard. HE’S USING IT TO GIVE THE PENTAGON WHAT THEY ASKED FOR: MORE REALISM GILMAN LOUIE. CHAIRMAN CEO, SPHERE, INC. (SPECTRUM HOLOBYTE) So he learned to use his imagination. The TV set was rarely ever unlocked. He remembers once when it was: the moon landing. His parents considered that to have merit. Now Gilman Louie is 29, Chairman and CEO of his own brilliant, small company and staff of 52 very talented people. “My talent is to inspire programmers... to give them a vision of what was thought to be impossible. I surround them with compelling details: dirt, tanks, clothing, sound effects and ideas. They turn that into reality!’ CASE JO. 412 Circle 15 on Reader Service card. His “games” are so real, so minutely real and emotional, that the Pentagon called him recently to see if he might be interested in injecting more reality into the flight simulators used for training U.S. pilots. Yes, he was interested. After a few flights in Kcl35s, with the “booms” down to refuel Bis and B52s, Gilman Louie, having soaked up everything, came back to his people, told them exactly what had to be done. Fikun& Vctte His company now builds flight simulators that are quite a bit more realistic, to say the least. If you’d like a taste of how realistic, you can look at “Falcon!' The game that made the Pentagon call in the first place; or "Vette’,’ his latest. Or you can join the U.S. Air Force. The computer he uses is the Amiga, of course. Gilman Louie, an authority on realism, feels that the Amiga’s sound and animation capabilities are truly “unmatched!’ Who are we to quibble? Sarah is 14 and has a couple of words of encouragement. SHE’S USING IT TO WRITE SONGS. SARAH M1CCA. COMPOSER, PATCHOGUE. NEW VORK For those of you who cannot read music, cannot write music, but definitely feel music (and feel it at the oddest times) and wonder if there's any way to ever get the music that's in you out on the table, so to speak... Sarah has this to say: “Get a computer. An Amiga. Put some notes on the screen. Just do it. See how it sounds... you've just written your first music. Now change it a little until you get something you like. And soon you will...” That's how Sarah started. Now she’s a composer. She hasn't been invited to Carnegie Hall yet, but something even better has happened: “It makes me proud of myself that I can do something.” And she is composing songs. “The most exciting thing I’ve ever done is when I first wrote some songs on the Amiga. I just felt so happy.” To come back to earth for a minute, Sarah also had this to say: “The Amiga saves me days of time." Now she’s talking about something else - schoolwork. AMIGA. THE COMPUTER FOR THE CREATIVE MIND': The Amiga allows you to fly. Faster than you thought you could. Without spending a lot of money Without waiting around another 50 years. Amiga from Commodore. Why not give us a call at 800-627-9595. Ccommodore* CASE NO. JO CI9WC™»iareElKn™cs.Lrc Sm* -o!A«s Bringing Home the PD Gold As the Avery Brundage of the Public Domain Olympics, Plink moderator Laser dishes out some medals to his Top 20 PD Picks. AS AN AMIGA user, you are blessed with a rich variety of public-domain software from which to choose. Hundreds of talented developers have contributed thousands of programs to the ever-expanding PD universe. Whenever a gap has appeared in the Amiga’s software base, someone has usually been right there to fill it. Many public- domain offerings actually improve upon certain aspects of the Amiga’s system software; in fact, some of the utilities and programs on your Workbench 1.3 disk began life in the public domain. Any “best-of" list is open to debate, but these are the programs 1 would suggest to any new Amiga owner who asks for the "must- haves.” This list could easily be expanded to 200, but we will draw the line at 20. Every one ofthese programs will add to the enjoyment your Amiga brings you. They will make your work easier and more fun. They’ll save your butt when you get in trouble, and they'll help you graduate from novice to power user. You may notice that there are no pictures, animations, or musical scores on this list. Amiga art and music are categories best handled separately. There are no screen display hacks, either; you can find dozens of these, and each is cute or bizarre in its own way, but there is not room for them on a top 20 list. There are no demos of commercial software. Also, I have excluded programs that require you to own a specific piece of commercial software; only one program here, SetCPU, requires special Amiga hardware. Each entry includes the author's name and either a file number from PeopleLink's AmigaZone library, a Fred Fish disk number, or both. Plink is a national network to which thousands of Amiga owners subscribe; many of tlie authors listed below frequently contribute to the AmigaZone. Fred Fish disks are available directly from Fred Fish or through dealers and users’ groups, usually for a small fee. To join PeopleLink and gain access to the AmigaZone, call 800 524-0100 (voice) or 800 826-8855 (modem). For a catalog of Fred Fish disks, send a S.ASE and four loose stamps, or SI to: Fred Fish, 1346 W. 10th Place, Tempe, AZ 85281. Plink and Fred Fish are just two of the most popular wavs to obtain public-domain software, but there are others. Check other networks or your local bulletin boards if you own a modem. Alsu, many users' groups compile their own disk collections, which contain many of these programs. ? By Harv Laser Graphics Starter Kit Introductory Drawing and Animation Programs The AMIGAtf Starter Kit Get Aegis Draw Animator and Images, plus the Art-Pak volume ol clip art images, all m one loaded software package-an incredible S269.00 value tor only $ 99.95! Learn to create Amiga® graphics with the Draw program, explore colors and cycling effects in the Images program, then animate your creations with Animator, Hundreds of ready-made images are provided in the Art-Pak library
• Now includes a FREE copy of Arazok s Tomb game! Explore the sinister subterranean world ruled by the evil mind held by no head List Price: S99.95 Professional Video Titling Create spectacular text effects such as star, neon, glow and embossed... all animated! VideoTitler can mirror, skew, size, and distort fonts from a variety of sources, even create new fonts, control shadows and 3D etfects, and use IFF files as back-drops and fills ¦ Sharper fonts.
• Simulated rotation of images.
• HAM 0,096 color palette
• Utilizes Hall-brite chip.
• Runs in NTSC and PAL.
• Med High res, with Overscan.
• Lights! Camera! Action! Slide show special effects generator included. OxxilAECI* Your Source for Imaginative Software AMMagtc. VideoTitler. VideoScape 3D. Lints' Camera' Action!. Modeler 3D ProMotion and Aegis are trademarks ot Ox«i. Inc Amiga is a registered trademark ot Cgmmodcre-Amiga List Price: $ 159.95 VideoScape 3DTI High-speed 3D Animation Lightning speed makes Videoscape 3D the best-selling 3D animation program for the Amiga© Computer. Take seconds to do animations which require hours with other programs Control light sources, camera and object motions, background and sky colors for incredible 3D movies. Set start and end shapes and have the program generate intervening frames. Special Limited Time Offer Now with Pro Motion™ Fro Motion eliminates the need to enter tedious x-y-z coordinate tables with its break-through graphic motion file-editing environment. Track several objects, even change objects. Special effects such as wind, gravity, and magnetism automatically simulate complex real-world movements. Join the movement to quality video & animation! With four software packages to step up your performance and creativity. List Price: $ 199.95 ANIMagic™ 3D Animation Special Etfects Generator Spectacular 3D effects from your IFF files and AnlM™-style animations, including spins, page-turns. Venetian blinds, confettis. Strobes, and color clients like solarization, shadows, translucency. Masks and cycling. With ANIMagic, you create effects rivaling those on network T.V.!
• Cut-and-paste edit and adpist color on single frame or throughout an animation.
• Record to memory or disk.
• Link ANIMs tor longer movies.
• Supports all resolutions and color modes: HAM. Half-brite. Interlace, medium and severe overscan.
• Includes library of 21 effects like fountain and shulter-llip.
• Supports NTSC and PAL.
• Uses ANIM or iFF-format files. List Price: $ 159.95 P O Box 90309 Long Beach. CA 90809
1. ARP (AmigaDOS Replacement Project) 1.3 Charlie Heath, et til. AmigaZone file 16909 A robust replacement for most of the commands in your C: directory, ARP is a major cfldrt by a group oh very talented developers led by Microsmiths' Charlie Heath. All of ARP’s commands are smaller than their AmigaDOS counterparts, saving you about 3.r>K on your Workbench disk. It comes with a brilliantly conceived installation program and “arp.library,” which contains, among other things, a routine for an all-purpose file requester that is faster than the AmigaDOS standard. ARP commands support the * wildcard character, environment variables, and resource tracking. Some ARP commands can handle multiple sets of arguments. T he on-disk documentation includes UserDocs (for general users) and ProDocs (fiur programmers). Commodore plans to support many of .ARP’s concepts and features in version 1.4 of the Amiga operating system.
2. VirnsX 3.2 Steve Tibbett Amiga Zone file 1611-1 Fred Fisli disk 216 VirusX 3.2 (a newer version should be widely available by the time you read ihis) is simply the best Amiga virus de- tcctor eradicator available anywhere, ft monitors your Amiga's memory and checks every inserted disk for bootblock infection. VirusX comes bundled with KY by Dan James, a separate program that scrutinizes your programs for the IRQ virus, .'Also, if you discover a new virus, send it to Tibbett; lie'll analyze it and make sure that future versions of VirusX can detect and eradicate il. Note: Avoid a VirusX version labeled
3. 3 it wasn’t written by Steve Tibbett. And il may in itself harbor a virus.
3. SuperView 3.0 David Groethe A migaZone file 19417 The best of the IFF display programs, liny SuperView can display a diskful of picture files in slide-show form without requiring you to write scripts. It oilers »w many command-line switches, and it can handle those newer SuperBitMap and severe overscan pictures. With version
3. 0, SuperView can now display animations (Movie format animations being a notable exception). As with all good utilities, if you need to refresh your memory of any of SuperViews features, just type its name bv itself at a CL1 prompt for a complete list of commands. SuperView is the viewer to have when you forget the names of those obscure, little-used IFF files.
4. DiskSalv 1.42 Dave I laynie AmigaZone file 19765 Fred Fish disk 251 You wouldn’t drive a car without a spare tire in the trunk; don’t boot your Amiga without DiskSalv. If von have a disk lull of valuable files (either (loppy or hard drive) with a read write error and no backup copy, you can, in most cases, resurrect your files with DiskSalv. DiskSalv doesn’t write to the damaged disk, like Commodore’s DiskDoclor. Instead, it tries to salvage as much as possible from it. Writing the resurrected files to tin- other disk or device. You can even use it to ‘‘undelete” files you inadvertently erased. Although currently a CI.I-oulv utility, the latest version comes with tt brief peek tit tt future version of DiskSalv that will have an Intuition interface.
5. ASDG Recoverable Ram Disk “VDO:” Perry Kivolowit AmigaZone file 18539 Fred Fish disk 241 I he contents of the RAM: disk are lost if you reboot or encounter the Guru. Commodore’s slick RAD: disk is recoverable, but its size is fixed by the mount list; tin 800k RAD: eats up 800K. Even if it’s empty. VDO: combines the best features of RAM: and R.AI):. Its contents will usually recover from a reboot, and it eats only as much memory as the size of the files you’ve put into it. T his one is indispensable.
6. File Compressors II von do anv downloading from bulletin hoards or national networks, you need a file compressor. Kven ii you don’t dually downloading, but just want to pack a lot of data onto a disk for archival storage, a file compressor is the answer. There is no way to label one of these its the best of the lot, so I have lumped them all together here. ARC 0.23 Raymond S. Brand; based on code by System F.nhariccmcnt Associates Type of file it handles: .ARC AmigaZone file 7666 Fred Fish disk 70 The first “serious” Amiga file compressor librarian. Its main drawback is its MS-DOS heritage; it doesn’t understand long Amiga-style filenames or subdirectories. But there arc still more ARCed files out there than any other kind, so this is tt good program to have around. PKAX 1.0 PKWare, Inc. Type of file it handles: ARC AmigaZone file 13087 Strictly an .ARC file decompressor, PKAX is lightning fast. Il can test, modify, or peek into ARC files, although it cannot create them. Use ARC 0.23 to create .ARC files; use PKAX to decompress them. ZOO 2.00
j. Brian Waters; based on code by Rhaul Dhesi. T ype of file it handles: .ZOO AmigaZone file 12241 Fred Fish disk 164 Similar to. But more powerful than ARC, ZOO compresses files smaller than ARC, but in some cases not as well. Owing to its UNIX heritage, ZOO does understand long filenames and subdirectories. ZOO cannot nest archived files, LHARC 1.00 Paolo Zibelti; using some code by Haruyasu Yoshizaki, Type ol file it handles: .LZH AmigaZone Jile 19961 A new contender among .Amiga file compressor librarians. LHARC creates and unravels .1.7.11 files, and although it's slower, il compresses better than either ARC or ZOO on id! Ivpes of files. ? AMIGA 500USERS The Ultimate Expansion Tbol Now More Expandable Than Ever! Attention: GREAT VALLEY PRODUCTS INC 225 Plank Ave., P.wli, PA 19301 For more information, or for your nearest GVP dealer, call today. Dealer inquiries welcome. Tel. (215) 889-9411 • FAX (215) 889-9416 • BBS (215) 889-4994 m: 1 LHARC handles long Filenames as well as subdirectories. Due to the proliferation of.LZH files, LHARC has become another “must-have." Expect to see new versions of LHARC by the time you read this. WARP 1.11 and UNWARP 1.00 SDS Software Type of files they handle: AVRP AmigaZone file 18864 Fred Fish disk 2d 3 WARP, unlike the other file compressors listed here, doesn't care about filenames or subdirectories. WARP packs entire disks or ranges of disk tracks into a single file to send via modem. When unwarped. The receiver has an exact duplicate of the original disk's complete file structure, right down to the disk icon. The new IN WARP utilitv is blindingly fast. PKAZIP 0.91 PKWare, Inc.; Amiga version bv Dennis Hoffman Type of files it handles: .ZIP AmigaZone file 19803 Soon to be a major contender among file compressors, PKAZIP sports a complete Intuition interface, A Beta release of an “unzip-only” version began circulating at the time this was written.
7. PowerPacker 2.3B Nico Francois AmigaZone file 19910 Fred Fish disk 2)3 If you're always trying to cram just one I Km; rw Fwttdff I. la VCT5SW 2,3j Fre* Chip la?3fst :r»f Fait Lawn File Him File Lenjth : ' rtejCMRchi* : Crunching ecuwnd file... Press lert ini eisht bult&n to iborl, CruiKJiiitf, pieise nail, lift crunched. Cone. Rasiiissiism,*,,,. Ujintd if (9248 hyles) ! More program onto your crowded boot disk, you 11 love PowerPacker. It takes almost any Amiga program or file and squashes it down to half its original size to reclaim disk space. PowerPacked programs, when launched, w ill automatically "unpack" themselves m a second or two. And then operate normally. I’he program has five levels ol compression, a clever script feature to automate multiple packing sessions, and many other parameters. The latest version saves your favorite settings in a disk-configuration file. PowerPacker is one of a few public- domain programs that has the look and feel of polished commercial software.
8. COMM 1.34 Dan James AmigaZone file 6003 Fred Fish disk 71 The first reliable public-domain terminal program for the Amiga, Comm has been around for a few years, and it lias been the inspiration for many others. Comm is not fancy, but it’s functional, with Xmodem, Xmodem-CRC and Wxmo- dent file-transfer protocols, mouse menus, an easy-to-edit pull-down phone book that holds 44 numbers, 20 macro keys, a split-screen "chat" mode for network conferencing, hi-res interlace capability, and scads of other features. You can modify Comm with the accompanying C source code. AZComm adds the fast modem protocol.
9. ScreenX 2.2 Steve Tibbett AmigaZone file 13343 Fred Fish disk 138 (r. 2.1) A slick multi-purpose utility from the author ol VirusX, ScreenX is a menu-bar memory meter and real-time dock that runs in the background. When activated, it lets you shuffle through any existing screens, including those in programs that don’t have their own front back gadgets. ScreenX can save any screen to disk as an IFF picture. ScreenX is considerate of your system resources, and is just plain handy to have around.
10. NewZap 3.18 John Hodgson AmigaZone file 1-1845 Fred Fish disk 164 NewZap is a binary file editor. Unlike text editors, which let you edit text tiles, NewZap lets you enter and edit programs. For example, if you have a hard- coded program that expects a disk to be in drive DF0: every time you run it. NewZap will let you change all references to DF0: to some other device name, right in that program’s code. NewZap isn't for novices, but it’s a very powerful tool lor advanced users who need its capabilities.
11. ConMan I.3R2 William Hawes . 1 miga Zo ne Jilt ¦ 18421 Fred Fish disk 163 (v. 1.3) A must for any CLI user, ConMan enhances the CLI environment to provide command-line editing and command- line history, If you misspell a word, just hit your up-arrow key, and there's your command at the CLI prompt again, ready for you to correct it. ConMan also lets you shrink and expand the current console window, and much more.
12. ShowFont 4.0 Arthur Johnson. Jr. AmigaZone file 18390 ShowFont reads your assigned FONTS: directory and lets you choose which font (including ColorFonts), in whatever point size, you d like to see, then displays the entire font in any of the four standard screen resolutions, from two lo 16 colors. Click on any of the special characters from that font, and ShowFont will tell you which keyboard sequence generates them. No other utility does what ShowFont does, and Johnson just keeps improving it.
13. Find 1.1 John Scheib AmigaZone file 14416 It s easy to lose track of programs and i take therri home I Available at your All screens from Amiga 1 - Megabyte versions, which are the same versions running in Arcades. Distributed by HOUSE 1 Published 18001 Cowan, Irvine, CA 92714 (714) 833-8710 IN ¦ COMPUTER -SOFTWARE tiles when you re working with a hard drive. If what you’re looking for is on one of your mounted volumes, Find will find it. If you can’t remember the entire filename, Find will accept a partial filename accompanied by a wildcard. Find is very fast, and if you forget how to use it, just type its name and it will tell you. This is one of those tools that you won't use every day, but you’ll be glad to have it when you need it.
14. LS 3.1 Justin V. McCormick Amiga one file §18632 Fred Fisli disk §236 LS is a directory lister with dozens of commands and arguments. It will display the names of files, directories, or both, LS will ignore filenames you don’t want to see (such as .info files), and sort or format its output in a myriad of ways: by file date, file size, number of columns, or rows. The more you use LS. The more capabilities you will discover.
15. SID 1.03 Tim Martin A migaZone file § 1942 5 A directory-utility program gives you a way to move, copy, delete, and manipulate disk files with the mouse, instead of SOFTWARE
• NGENUITV typing in commands. There are dozens of directory-utility programs, each slightly different, some with more or better features than others. SID is a recent entry into this arena, and it could be the best yet. One feature of SID that 1 haven’t seen anywhere else is its ability to identify disk files by their type (program, picture, sound, text, etc.) and then launch the corresponding viewing or playing utility when you click on a filename. Click on a picture’s filename to .* see the picture. Click a sound’s filename to play the sound. Click a text filename to read the text. SID is big, powerful, customizable, and very ingenious.
16. Icon Creating and Manipulating Programs IconMaster John Schcib Amiga Zone file §17622 IconMeister 1.4 Mike Bodin AmigaZone file §16646 IconLab 1,2 I iennes AmigaZone file §14908 The competition in this category ends in a three-way tie. All three of these programs oiler an excellent alternative to jlcMHKlw Irw Hiadw Workbench’s IconED. Similar to paint programs, these icon editors let you create, edit, and modify all types of Workbench icons, change an icon from one type to another, convert IFF brushes to icons or vice versa, add fonts to icons, and more. Try all three; each author has a different philosophy about what makes a good icon editor.
17. Sound Richard fjee Stockton AmigaZone file §15302 Sound takes any file you give it and tries to feed it to the Amiga’s audio.device and out your speakers. Sound will give the best results with files that actually are sampled sounds, but it will play any file or program, even a picture, although non-sound files will come out as noise. Sound has parameters you can add to its command line to toggle stereo on or off, play a sound more than once, play a sound at a higher or lower sampling rale (speed), and play multiple files. Sound loads sound into fast RAM and uses very little chip RAM to operate, so large sampled sounds are handled easily. At a mere 7600 bytes, Sound can squeeze onto even the most cramped Workbench disk.
18. SetCPU 1.5 Dave Haynie AmigaZone file § 17780 Fred Fish disk §223 With his name etched onto Amiga 2000 motherboards, Commodore hardware engineer Dave Haynie is a master of the machine. He writes utilities that power users love, sucli as SetCPU. With this program, owners of 68020 30 Amigas with 32-hit RAM can copy tiie Kickstart ROM code into that superfast memory and have what amounts to a turbo- charged Amiga. SetCPU’s other benefits include CPU identification, cache line- burst modes, and the ability to load a different version of Kickstart into Amigas that have Kickstart in ROM.
19. Mouse modifiersAVindow flippers Screen blankers Qmouse 1.6 Lyman Epp AmigaZone pie §17102 Dmouse 1.20 Matt Dillon AmigaZone file §19032 Fred Fish disk §258 Machll 2.6 Brian Moats AmigaZone file §19489 Fred Fish disk §254 Another three-way tie. These multifaceted programs modify the way your mouse interacts with screens and windows. They all provide a plethora of features, such as: Screen blanker (saves your monitor’s phosphors when the monitor is on, but not in use); Pointer blanker (makes the mouse pointer vanish temporarily); Mouse accelerator with configurable threshold; Automatic window activation (like a Sun Workstation); hot keys; Window-to-lront and Window- to-back controls; and Screen shuffle. Each of these comparable utilities has a devoted following. Try them all
20. Tetrix 1.1 David Corbin AmigaZone file 15221 Fred Fish dish 173 1 wanted to include at least one game in this list, and Tetrix is my favorite. Your goal is simple: Try to arrange the falling blocks so that your screen doesn’t fill up with them. The blocks fall into rows, and each complete row vanishes to make room for new rows. As you progress, the blocks fall faster. Tetrix is addictive, and it will give you a good test of hand-eye coordination. Also, it multitasks beautifully, so it makes a wonderful diversion while you’re downloading all of these other great puhlic-domain programs. ¦ Flan: Laser is SysOp of PeopleLink’s Amiga Forum and writes extensively about the Amiga. Write to him do Amiga World, Editorial Dept., 80 Elm St., Peterborough, NH 03458. Tually three different categories of software that are grouped under the banner of public domain: Is It Free, Or Is There a Fee? Freely Distributable This is what we normally think of as public domain. You can acquire and modify a freely-dis- tributable program for no charge. Copyrighted Freeware This type of program is free to the public; however, the author maintains a copyright. The program is the property of the author; by acquiring it, you are licensed to use it, but you cannot modify it without the author’s permission. Shareware The author requests a token fee, usually S5 to S40, if you use and enjoy the program. Strong public support for a shareware program will encourage its author to work on upgrades. A shareware program can be, but is not necessarily, copyrighted. The opening credits that most authors include at the beginning of their programs will let you know what type of program you’re dealing with. ?
- HL SHARP COLOR SCANNERS. THE FULL SPECTRUM. The economical JX-300 offers business users the performance of the acclaimed JX-450 in a space-saving format. It handles artwork up to 8Vi"x 11", at 300 dpi. The JX-450 has become the scanner of choice for professional desktop publishers and computer artists. It scans originals up to ll"x 17" at 300 dpi and offers the option to scan slides and transparencies. Sharp's new JX-600 brings the capabilities of high-end commercial scanners to the desktop. It scans slides, transparencies and artwork up to 11" x 17", at resolutions from 30 to 600 dpi. The JX-600 uses a range of 1 billion colors for precise color matching. SHARP- FRO W SHARP MINDS COME SHARP PRODUCTS * Sharp is the premier source for desktop color scanners. With four different models, there’s one that's compatible with your computer and your needs. Of course, they all work with SSCL (Sharp Scanner Control Language), the defacto industry standard for softw-are support of color scanners. And they not only capture precise color detail, they yield exceptional gray-scalc and monochrome results as well. To find out more, call the color scanning experts at 1-800-BE-SHARR © 1989 Sharp Electronics Corp The unique new JX-100 provides color and gray-scale scanning, at up to 200 dpi, for less than $ 1000. It comes with everything you need, including powerful driver software and interface cable. The JX-100 is the ideal personal scanner. Take Ten and Master MEMACS Don’t be intimidated by the enormity of MEMACS. You can tame 1.3’s complex text editor with only ten commands. FOR THE PENNY conscious, the l.fi Extras disk oilers a powerful text editor suitable (or program listings or letters to your aunt. And the price is right free. Found in the tools directory, MEMACS is a mouse-and-menu version of MIT’s massive editor, EMACS. If you can think of a text-editing function, odds are EMACS has a command to do it. We know o( no other editor, for example, that lias a command that swaps two characters. (How else are vim supposed to turn "teh" and “hie" into “the”?) The drawback is that EMACS and its previous microcomputer counterpart, MicroEMACS. Make you learn special control-key sequences for all its commands quite a litany to remember. In MEMACS, menus lighten the memorization load, while the arrow keys and the mouse let you move the cursor around the document more easily. Still, these aids force you to pick up your fingers from the keyboard, and clutch the mouse for almost all common editing tasks, which can get to he a drag, breaking the flow for touch typists. As a compromise between relying totally on one system or the other, you can memorize ten commands essential to basic editing, and use menus for the rest. First, crank up MEMACS bv double clicking its Workbench icon or by typing the CLI command: “Extras 1 .3:tools MEMA(IS" file_name If you copy MEMACS into a directory in your search path, you need only type: MEMACS file_name As a precaution while you are learning, spccilv a copy oi a file you know well for file name. When MEMACS starts, it shows vou a window of text that consumes the entire screen, regardless of the size of the Workbench or CLI window in which you started it, At the top of the MEMACS window is a typical Amiga menu bar. I he bottom sports a special line known as the mode line. MEMACS uses the mode line to displav status information about the editing window in which you are working. The contents of the mode line varies from standard information, such as the name of the file you are editing and whether you have modified that file (signified by an asterisk as the second character), to transient prompts and requests for information, such as a search string. Speak the Language MEMACS features two types of commands: CTRL- key combinations and meta sequences. You perform ? BY BILL CATCHINGS AND MARK L. VAN NAME IL1.USTRXI EI) BY MICHAEL KI.EIX Neural Cybertank Design and Simulation Cybertank engineers control the destiny ot the Organization tor Strategic Intelligence. They're the heart ot the OMEGA Project, aclassified mililary contract ihat’sshaping combat's future. Employing , tomorrow's technology, OSI cybertank engineers design the chassis and artificial intelligence (Al) forthe next generation of neural armored warriors and they gauge their success on a simulated ® field of battle. Join these elite ranks, and pit your designs against the world's best. We create worldsr TvtljT. ...... ¦¦ IBM COMPATIBLE VERSION IBM COMPATIBLE VERSION IBM COMPATIBLE VERSION APPLE VERSION Available for IBM Tandy compatibles. C-64 128, Apple II series, Atari ST and Amiga, coming soon lor. Macintosh and Apple tigs: actual screens may vary. 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v. For the command shortcuts shown 111 its menus a nd in the MEMACS documentation, MEMACS denotes such characters with a caret () followed by the other character, as in AC for the combination of Ten Basic MEMACS Commands CTRL and C. You issue meta comKey Sequence Command Function mand sequences (named for the ~B Move the cursor backward one META key on the character original M IT terX Exit MEMACS minals) by first ~ D Delete the next character pressing the ESC AF Move the cursor forward one key and then character pressing another ~ K Delete, or kill, to the end of the key. The Meline MACS documen'"N Move the cursor down one line tation uses the (next line) notation ESC> P Move die cursor up one line (prefollowed by the vious line) command's letter. ~V View the next page as in ESC>f or X c 3 Save the file ESC>b. ( 1 he ~Y Yank the contents of tiie kill buffer MEMACS menus show a variation; for example. ESCf rather than ESC>f.) To help you reRelated Useful MEMACS Commands member the commands’ functions, Key Sequence Command Function keep in mind that the letter portion Set mark of each command A R Search backward (“reverse search”) is often the first AS Search forward letter of its name. ~T Transpose characters As a further aid. ~W Wipe region the CTRL and ~ X ~ w Save as file meta uses of a let ESC>f Move the cursor forward one word ter are often re ESC>b Move the cursor backward one lated. If you know word what one does, ESC>v View the previous page you can often cor ESC>u Capitalize word rectly guess the ESC>I Lowercase word function of the other. For a summary of commands, see the accom pa it y i n g To edit your document, you have to know how to move the cursor through it. In addition to the mouse and arrow keys, several commands jump the cursor through the text. The Next Line command, AN, moves the cursor down one line. Its inverse, the Previous Line command, is P. Similarly, von can move right, or Forward one character, with ~ F, and left, or Backward one character, with B. As with most text editors, if any of these commands would take you into text that is not currently on the screen, MEMACS will scroll to the appropriate window of text. You can also tell MEMACS to show you the next page of text at any time by typing A‘ V, the View Next Page command. Here are a few examples of the related CTRL and meta uses of a character. (They do not count towards the ten basic commands, because they are so easy to remember.) Because v !•' and ~ B move the cursor forward and backward a character tit a time, it’s fairly natural that ESC>f moves Forward one word and ESC>b Backward one word. While not quite as natural, ESC>v lets you View the previous page. You have a good start with movement, now you need a few commands to manipulate the text. The simplest such command is I), with which you can Delete the character under the cursor. ( ESC>d lets you Delete a word.) Some MEMACS deletion commands also help you move sections of text. Several of the commands that delete groups of characters store them in a temporary holding area known as a kill buffer. When you perform a sequence of these commands, MEMACS appends the newly deleted text to the end of the text already in the kill buffer. For example, with ~ K you can Kill to the end of the line in which the cursor is currently sitting. When you first press K it deletes the text from the cursor to the end of the line. Type K again, and you delete the carriage return at the end of the line. To remove a line completely, position the cursor at its start and press K twice. By issuing v K commands repeatedly you can kill a large region of text. To move the text that is now in the kill buffer to a new location, just move the cursor to the location you want, and type ~Y to Yank the contents of the kill buffer into your file. You can yank the kill buffer several times if. For example, you want to insert multiple copies of its text into your file. Do not use any other kill commands, however, until you have made all the copies you want of the current kill buffer. Once you yank the kill buffer. MEMACS will empty and rewrite it the next time you use ~ K. or a similar command. Kill and yank are similar to the cut and paste operations of many commercial programs. Eight commands down, two commands to go. You know how to move in the document and manipulate the text: now, you need a way to save your changes and exit from MEMACS. These commands are double combinations beginning with ~ X. (Such two- character sequences are necessary because there are not enough single-character CTRL and meta combinations for all of the MEMACS commands.) To Save your file, type A X S. When MEMACS has finished saving your work, the mode line will tell you how many lines of text the program wrote to the file. The ? 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(416) 250-7424 Ontario Residents add 8% Canadian version 4.0 includes Tl. All Schedules. All Provinces and "Quebec Forms" and more! US version 2.0 includes Form 1040, Form 1040A Schedules A-F & R. SE. 2106, 2441, 8606. 4562, 4868. 3903, and 8615! See your local Software Dealer. Amiga. Tax-Break, Tax-BreakCanada is a trademarks ol Commodore-Amiga, Inc . Oxxi. Inc., and Oxxi. Inc respectively Available for Amiga Computers and PC Compatibles Billions of Buffers NEED TO SWAP data among text files? Thanks to MEMACS’ powerful window and buffer commands, you can edit multiple documents simultaneously. In MEMACS, windows are on-screen areas that are the full width of the display and one or more lines tall. The window you are editing in is the current window. Each window displays a buffer that contains the text file you are editing. Every buffer has a name, usually the first 15 letters of the name of the file in it. The first buffer you open is always called “main." Because you can open multiple windows, you can have multiple buffers (documents) on the screen. The tricky part is the way windows and buffers interact. MEMACS does not enforce a one-to-one relationship between them. You can edit the same buffer simultaneously in multiple windows or have buffers in memory that are not displayed in a window. Several MEMACS commands let you manipulate windows and buffers. With the Split-window command ( A X2) you can split the current window in two, down to a minimum size of one or two lines. (Try to split a one- or two-line window and you will get an error message.) When you split a window in half, both of the resulting windows initially contain the same buffer as the original. You can load a new buffer into the current window with the Visit-file command (AX 'V), which reads a file. The original buffer will remain on display in the other window. When you replace a window's contents with a new buffer, the old buffer stays in memory, even if you are not displaying it in a window. To see the buffers currently in memory, use List- buffers ( " X A B). A window displaying a list of the buffers, their sizes, and the names of the files they contain will open. To rid the screen of the list, use the One- window command = AX1) to make your current window (which is never the buffer list) expand to till the display. You can bring any buffer into the current window with Select-buffer ( n Xb), which requests that buffer's name. To make all this more concrete, try editing two files at once. I.oad MEMACS and a copy of your Shell-Startup, then split the screen into two windows with X2. Both windows will contain the buffer named Shell-Startup; the top window is your current window. To load a new buffer into that window, use A X A V. When the program prompts you for a file name, enter Startup-Sequence and press RETURN. The window will then display your startup sequence in a buffer named Startup-Sequence. You can move between the windows with Axn (Next- window) and A Xp (Prev-window) or the kill and yank commands to move text between the buffers in these windows or many more. ? BC and MVN Save File command assumes that you gave MEMACS a file name parameter when you started it. If you omitted that file mime or you ran MEMACS by double clicking its icon, then the command will fail because it does not have a file in which to save your editing, The alternative is to use the Save As File command, '' X W, which will prompt you for a file name and then Write your work to that file. To exit MEMACS entirely, type AX,'C. To make it mnemonic, think of exiting as saying “Ciao!" To MEMACS. (You can also exit with the CLI’s standard command for ending routines, '"'C.) Bonus Package I'he above ten commands (and friends) will make you productive with MEMACS, but a few others simplify the process. For example, while you can delete large blocks of text by using repeatedly, MEMACS offers an easier way. Move the cursor to the beginning of the area you want to delete, and set a mark by pressing CTRL-SLII FT-2 (called A (ft ). Then go to the end of the area and type W to Wipe that region of text between tiie mark and the cursor. The entire block of text is stored in the kill buffer. Often being able to search for specific text in a fife is helpful. MEMACS provides a pair of simple search commands. The main one, Search (~S), prompts you for a string and then looks forward from the cursor's current location until it finds that string. You can type A S again to find the next occurrence of the string, because MEMACS uses the previous string as its default the next time you search. The complementary'command, Reverse search ( ~ R), hunts backward from the cursor’s current location. While these are the only commands vou need to get started, MEMACS offers plenty more, such as a set that let you edit multiple files at once and move text between those files. There are also commands for everything from complex functions such as defining keyboard macros, to simple things like making ;t word or block Uppercase ( ESC>u) or Lowercase ( ESC>1). Start out with the simple commands. When you are comfortable with llietn, explore the MEMACS menus and documentation. T he program will reward you with a wealth of powerful controls. You may even find the command to swap characters, Transpose Character (~ T). Tt) be its essential as we do. ¦ Bill (latchings and Mark I.. Van Name are contributing editors to AmigaWorld. They explore AmigaDOS and related subjects each month in info.phile. Write to them at 1002-1 Sycamore Rd„ Durham. NC 27703. Make AMIGAs With Other Amigas The largest group of Amiga1 users in the world shares its problems and solutions online every day in CompuServe's Amiga Fomms. And you can join them.