Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 1, NO. 6 / FEBRUARY 1983


by Bill Lukeroth

The ATARI Operator's Manual says you can print lowercase letters in Graphics Modes 1 and 2 by POKEing 756,226. If you've ever tried this you know that it causes the screen to fill up with yellow hearts.

The reason for this is that the lower half of the character set doesn't contain the character that represents a blank space; it was deleted to make room for the graphics symbols. The accepted cure for this condition is to follow your GRAPHICS statement with a SETCOLOR 0,0,0, which turns the hearts black to match the background. However, sentimental fool that I am, once I saw all those beautiful hearts I knew that I had to do something with them.

The result was the following little program, which turns the hearts red and prints "i love you" in a moving banner. You could replace my choice of words with something of your own, subject to two limitations: it must be less than 18 characters long and must be typed in lower-case letters only. If you use upper-case letters the screen will print them as red lower case letters (which explains the "i" in "i love you"). The program is an endless loop, so you'll have to press [RESET] to get out of it.

This Valentine's Day try surprising your special someone with the usual candlelight, soft music, and your newly romantic ATARI. Who knows, he or she might even decide that the computer wasn't such a bad investment after all.