I am writing in response to Clayton Walnum's editorial in your February 1989 issue. I have owned my computer, a 130XE, since December of 1985. The first issue of ANALOG I ever bought was Issue 43 dated June '86. I subscribed shortly after and still use one of the programs in that issue weekly, namely "Home Shopper" by Matthew Ratcliff.
Up to that time, I relied on commercial software and was trying to learn BASIC. I picked up hints and got great help from studying your type-in programs. At that time, Boot Camp was just something I skipped over.
As I progressed, I started to master some of the things I could do with my machine. I discovered Mapping the Atari through numerous references to it and dug deeper into my computer. Still, there was little help for the real beginner. Finally, I wrote some programs using DLIs and only recently got a Player/Missile program running.
As I progressed, it was obvious I needed to learn machine-language too. I bought the Atari Assembler/Editor and Machine Language for Beginners, but again I was on my own. The book did not describe how to access the IOCB blocks on the Atari or explain the use of all the assembly instructions available. I dug out my old ANALOG issues and, by studying the machine-language listings, was able to get screen, disk and printer access running. But I am still nowhere near understanding all I can do or how I can do it with assembly language. I finally purchased a MAC/65 cartridge just so I did not have to convert your programs to make them run with my Assembler/Editor.
So here I am. Forty-one years old and feeling like I'm in high school again trying to learn algebra, only I don't have a teacher to run to when I get stuck. Would I like to see Boot Camp reprinted? You bet I would! After all, I'm missing 30 issues worth of information! Would I like a review of advanced BASIC programming techniques too? Yes, Sir!
I vote for reprints of Boot Camp, and while you're at it, reprints or new articles on BASIC for your new readers.
Finally, I'd like to thank ANALOG for hanging in there through some tough times and providing the best and most useful programs for my Atari 8-bit.
-David M. Schoch
I just received the February '89 issue in the mail. It's a real piece of art. The use of color in the titles and graphics of each of the articles really makes your publication stand out from the other magazines. After reading the editorial regarding the future direction of ANALOG Computing, I realized that I had better write and express my opinions on what I'd like to see in print.
Although I don't own an Assembler/Editor, I would like to see you reprint all of the Boot Camp tutorials. That would inspire me to buy an assembler and learn assembly language. I have been faithfully following your Game Design Workshop and have learned a lot about BASIC programming from those articles. More BASIC tutorials would be appreciated.
-Kevin B. Dickinson
East Meadow, NY
East Meadow, NY
I would like to see the early Boot Camp articles reprinted. I started my subscription to your magazine about a year ago and really enjoy it. But I have just become interested in assembly language and would really like to see the articles explaining assembly language that I missed.
I would be very interested in seeing reprints of your magazine's fantastic Boot Camp columns. I have only been a subscriber since February 1987, and have missed many of them.
As an idea for new topics to be covered, have you considered writing technical tutorials on programming the various configurable disk drives (XF551, Happy 1050, U.S. Doubler 1050, Indus GT). I would be very interested to learn how to do this. I would also be interested in how the Ultra-speed I/O routines work for these devices. I would like to write a high-speed, self-booting sector copier for the XF551, and I need to know the formatting and sector-skew commands.
I always look forward to receiving the next issue of ANALOG, and I hope my idea has helped you.
Wow! When we suggested the possibility of reprinting the Boot Camp tutorials we never imagined that the response would be so overwhelmingly favorable. The number of people who would like to see the series reprinted outnumber those who don't by about 20 to one. Clearly, there's only one thing we can do: reprint Boot Camp!
As for Mr. Beauchea's questions about handling the various disk drives and Ultraspeed I/O techniques, if there's someone out there who'd like to put the article together, we would certainly like to see it.
Thanks to all of you who have responded to the February editorial and to those who have filled out the survey that appeared in that issue. It's nice to know that 8-bit computer owners are still very interested in using and learning about their machines. Your help will go a long way towards making ANALOG Computing the type of magazine you want.