i/o boardQUIETLY WE AUTOBOOT
How can you make a program load automatically, without any keystrokes?
When Atari DOS 2.0S is booted, it looks for a file named AUTORUN.SYS. If this file exists, it gets loaded into memory. If it doesn't, the computer is turned over to the cartridge or, if no cartridge is present, to DUPSYS. The AUTORUN.SYS file must be a binary file written in machine language. (No. you can't call your BASIC program AUTORUN.SYS.)
To get a BASIC program to run automatically, you need a binary AUTORUN.SYS program which boots and then says "RUN D:MYFILE" Most of the Antic public domain disks contain an AUTORUN. SYS file that will run any BASIC program named MENU. If you want to call your program something else, look at "Bootbuild" on page 49 of Antic, December, 1983.-ANTIC ED
Just writing to comment on Alan Okomoto's cover illustration for the November 1984 issue.
New Berlin, WI
We agree with the readers who wrote us praising Alan Okomoto's lush, yet high-tech science fiction painting It's just the look we like on Antic covers and you'll be seeing a lot more of Alan's work here -like this month, for instance!
FUN WITH ART
I own an 800XL and the Fun With Art cartridge from Epyx. I tried to use the Atari SDUMP program from the January issue to print my pictures. I can't figure out how to use FWA with my pictures.
SDUMP works with MicroPainter format files only. Use the Easy Graphics Converter program in Antic (September1984) to convert FWA files to MicroPainter format. -ANTIC ED
Is it possible to connect two Ataris without a modem? Do you need two 850 interfaces?
John Fronheiser II
Once again, we asked Bill Wilkinson, who said "Yes." You need a "null modem" cable. If you have a 9-pin to 25-pin cable for each of your 850-to-modem connections, you can get one from most cable suppliers. Be sure to ask for the appropriate genders. (Technically this is an RS-232-to-DB9 cable.)
Or you can make your own 9-pin to 9-pin cable. Connect one machine's "out" data to the other's "in", and vice versa. Similarly cross connect the Data Terminal Ready" and "Request To Send" so each 850 thinks its own modem is up and running.
Pin 5 is connected to pin 5, pin 3 to pin 4 ,pin 1 to pin 6, pin 7 to pin 8 and pin 8 to pin 7. This cable can then be used to connect to 850 interfaces. -ANTIC ED
THE EVER-ELUSIVE DE RE ATARI
I procrastinated too long on buying De Re Atari, and now it's not available. Every serious article about Atari programming quotes or uses this as a source. Where can I get it?
Green Clover Springs, FL
You can't. But you might try Advanced Programming Techniques for the Atari by Linda Schreiber, available from TAB books. It's close to De Re in coverage, and much clearer.-ANTIC ED
1030 UPS AND DOWNS
Is it possible to upload and download with my Atari 1030 modem?
Yes, if you have the right software. Amodem 42.835, available on Antic's 1030 Telecommunications disk, and HomePak from Batteries Included both let you upload and download. -ANTIC ED
I am having a problem with my disk drive. If I put it on a surface higher than my computer, it works fine. But if I put it on the same level as the computer, it doesn't work properly. What's going on?
It sounds like a cabling problem. In fact, the first step in troubleshooting computer snafus is checking the cables. Is everything connected properly? Are there bent pins? Are all the ribbon cables smooth? Sharp angles and twists in ribbon cables cause problems. There shouldn't be any knots in your I/O cable.
Try switching cables. If you can isolate one that is not working you've solved your problem.-ANTIC ED
Readers' overwhelming response to John Bauman's "Bannertizer" program (Antic, December, 1984) produced several modifications.
Mark Hagen, of West Allis, WI, modified Bannertizer to print the character that is being bannertized. Change line 2040 to read:
IF (PIXMAP(PIXPOS) + INV= 1) THEN S$ =BANNR$(C,C):GOTO 2060
From Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Dick Croghan suggested a change that allows you to input the character from the keyboard:
10 DIM BINCOD(8),P$(80),S$(1),X$(1), PIXMAP(64),BANR (255),BANNR$(255), ROWMAP(8),Z$(l) 105 ?:? "INPUT A CHARACTER TO FORM THE LETTERS" INPUT Z$ 2040 IF (PIXMAP(PIXPOS) + INV=1) THEN S$=~Z$:GOTO 2060
If you're looking for letters made in a custom character set, try this suggestion from Derek Catt in Cincinnati, OH: With the custom character set in memory, change the 57344 in line 200 to the starting memory location of the custom set. This is found by PRINT PEEK(756)* 256. The prompts and anything you enter during the program will still be in the normal character set unless you remove the graphics commands and change the PRINT #6 in line 4010 to normal print statements.-ANTIC ED