TPUG Newsletter

Volume 5, Number 7
Summer 1997

Views and News of Toronto Pet Users Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 48565, 3605 Lakeshore Blvd. W., Etobicoke, Ontario, M8W 4Y6
(416) 253-9637

For users of all Commodore Computers:

* Registered products of Commodore Business Machines, International


Table of Contents

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From The President

Have a good summer!

This issue of the TPUG Newsletter is being released as we approach the season's end of TPUG's monthly computer interest meetings.

These meetings are held three evenings a month at two Metro Toronto locations and provide a vehicle for the dissemination of information among computer users with similar interests.

During the summer months, no official meetings are held although individual members have been known to get together at their homes for informal sessions.

TPUG has been concerned about the decline in attendance at the meetings. We are now down to a `hard core' of computer users.

It's necessary to have a larger group attending as this leads to a greater availability of ideas and information. The increased activity leads to a greater interest in the club's activities and as a result still larger attendance - all to the benefit of the members.

Among the current attendees there is a wide variety of interests - there are users, programmers, graphics enthusiasts, GEOS promoters, games players, hardware hackers, etc.

The two-month summer break presents a perfect opportunity for members to reflect on our situation and to come up with suggestions for activities that would encourage attendance.

Why not take a few moments (or maybe more than a few) during the lazy hot weekends coming up to put some ideas together and submit them to the club - you can use mail (regular or the `e' variety) or bring them to the next meeting in September.

Or you can bring your comments with you to the Annual General Meeting in August (see inside of Newsletter).

With better meeting attendance, more interesting presentations can be made and more knowledge can be gained by the members.

Ernie Chorny

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Member Information

Voice Info (416)253-9637
Please leave a message.

Membership Rates

Canada ... $25
USA ... US$25
International ... US$25

Board of Directors

President ... Ernie Chorny
Vice President ... John Easton
Secretary ... Ian McIntosh
Treasurer ... George Turek
Director ... John Buller
Director ... Tom Haslehurst
Director ... Tom Luff
Director ... Joe Palumbo
Director ... Dug Rodger
Director ... George Skinner

Librarians

Head Librarian ... Ian McIntosh
Amiga ... John Buller
C128 ... Tom Luff
CP/M ... Ernie Chorny
GEOS ... Joe Palumbo
C64 ... Joe Palumbo
C64 Education ... Bill Cumberland
Vic 20 ... Ernie Chorny
Comal ... Ernie Chorny
Plus/4 ... Ernie Chorny
PET/CBM/SuperPET ... John Easton
PET&C64 Education ... John Easton
MS-DOS ... John Easton

Support

Mail ... Tom Luff
Telephone ... John Easton
Disk Orders ... Librarians
Member Records ... Ian McIntosh
Meetings ... Tom Luff and Ernie Chorny
Shows ... Ian and Dug
BBS 1 SysOp ... Sylvia Gallus

Newsletter

Editor ... John Easton (416) 251-1511 john.easton@ecunet.org

Meeting Schedule

Amiga Central

Second Tuesday of the month.
Contact - George Cripps (416) 255-1436

C-64/C128

Fourth Tuesday of the month.
Contact - Ernie Chorny (905) 279-2730

The above meetings commence at 7:30 p.m. in the York Public Library, 1745 Eglinton Ave. W. (just east of Dufferin), in the Auditorium or Story Hour Room.

Westside and Amiga West

Third Thursday of the month at Alderwood United Church, 44 Delma Drive. Delma Drive is just west of and parallel to Browns Line, south of the Queen Elizabeth Highway, north of Horner Avenue. From the west, exit QEW at Evans Avenue, east on Evans to 2nd stoplight, south on Gair to Delma Drive. From the north or east, follow signs from QEW or Hwy. 427 to Browns Line, exit right to Evans Avenue, turn south on Gair (first stoplight) to Delma.
Contact - Ernie Chorny (905) 279-2730
or - George Cripps (416) 255-1436

TPUG BBS 1
PunterNet Node 2

(905) 273-6300
14,400
(8N1)
24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Internet

tpug@icomm.ca


Tpug Newsletter is published somewhat quarterly by the Toronto Pet Users Group Inc. (TPUG). TPUG is a volunteer non-profit corporation dedicated to the service and support of owners and users of Commodore computers.

All rights to material published in TPUG Newsletter are reserved by TPUG, Inc. and no material may be reprinted without written permission, except where specifically stated. When reprinting is authorized, please credit TPUG Newsletter, the issue date, and the author. (Note - electronic copy *may* be available, please enquire.)

Articles, letters, tips, questions, art, etc. are welcome. Send hardcopy or disks "Attn: TPUG Newsletter", or use our BBS's, or Internet.

Advertisements are also welcome. Member's small ads are free. Commercial ads are $200 per page with a $25 minimum.

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From your Editor:

Whoosht ... does an `Editor' ever live a normal life?

Well, this editor is off to the hospital in the morning, hernia is the diagnosis, knife is the solution, and this ~!@#!$ newsletter is still in preliminary format mode. So read on fellow Commodore Affecianados, with luck we'll have yet another Newsletter ready for printing by the time I'm home from hospital.

If all goes according to plan, someone (read y'r everlovin' executive representatives) will pick up this document from the house, paste it up into some semblance of order, process it through some local photocopy environment, fold, staple and insert the results, and VOILA ... instant Newsletter. But before I go, did you all notice that TPUG now has a REAL Internet address once again? We're about to work on it ...!

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TPUG News

Copyright © TPUG 1997.
All rights reserved.

NOVATERM ver9.6 UPDATE

As of the first of May only 5 members had applied for the half price offer, if more do not apply we will not qualify for the reduced special. If you are interested and have applied please make sure one of the following membership numbers is yours, if yours is not there or if you have not responded to the offer contact Tom Luff at (416) 503-0753 leave your name (spell it slowly), phone number and membership number.

The following members are on TPUG's list requesting NOVATERM 9.6 : #20458, #20554, #20555, #20564, #20566

Government cutbacks affect TPUG

With the reduction in provincial government funding for various institutions, the York Public Library (where TPUG holds its 'Central' meetings) has found it necessary to impose a $20 charge for the use of a meeting room. To minimize expenditures, TPUG has combined the C128 and C64 meetings and a combined meeting is now held on the 4th Tuesday of each month (the original C64 meeting date).

SummerSwap '97

TPUG will be holding SummerSwap '97 on June 24, 1997. This popular swap meet will be at the York Public Library at 1745 Eglinton Ave. W. in Toronto (one block east of Dufferin).

This year we'll be making a special effort to hold the meet in the auditorium - more room and less heat!

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Ads

Copyright © TPUG 1997.
All rights reserved.

Notice to new owners of SuperPet and CBM 8296 machines

TPUG has copies of the Waterloo LANGUAGE DISKS (3 in 4040 format) as supplied with the SuperPet on original purchase.

TPUG has the EXECUDESK disk (8050 format) as supplied with the CBM 8296 on original purchase.

These disks are an integral part of the operating systems of the above machines and since Commodore insisted on referring owners of these machines to TPUG for service, we have added these somewhat proprietary (and also virtually unobtainable) disks to our library - all part of the TPUG mandate of service to our members.

We also will attempt to search out copies of original program disks to replace corrupted disks. In this category you will find such programs as VISICALC, WordPro, and PaperClip.

J.P. PBM Products By Mail is the NEW Manufacturer of Super Snapshot Cartridge V5.22

We are pleased to offer this cartridge regularly $89.95. For a limited time SAVE $15 WITH THIS AD UNTIL AUGUST 31/97. CURRENT TPUG MEMBERS SAVE $5 MORE off the regular price before freight and taxes.

Mail Cheque/M.O. to:
JP PBM Products By Mail
Box 60515 N. Sheridan Mall PO
Downsview, Ontario
Canada M3L 1B0

All prices are Cdn. funds
20% Exchange on US Funds
Send $2 for a catalogue on disk (64 format)

     SSv5.22 Cartridge           $89.95
     save $15 now               -$15.00
          Until August 31, 1997  ______
                                 $74.95
     * TPUG Members (-$5)       -$__.__
     * 32K RAM add $19          +$__.__
                                 ______
          Subtotal               $__.__
     + 7.5% Freight             +$__.__
                                 ______
          Subtotal               $__.__
     Ontario Res add   8% PST   +$__.__
     Canada Res add    7% GST   +$__.__
                                 ______
     (CDN FUNDS)       Total     $__.__

Classified Ads

For Sale:
2 - C64s, 2 - 1541 disk drives, 2 - 1701 colour monitors, joysticks, printers, and printer interfaces. Call Tom Luff (416) 503-0753.

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Tom's World

Tom Luff

Copyright © TPUG 1997.
All rights reserved.

In the early days of HOME COMPUTERS, in the mid to late 70's, office and home furniture was not much more than tables, chairs, and flat top desks. Electronics since about WW II had evolved from vacuum tubes to transistors to integrated circuits (IC chips) chips. Only when the cost of making microprocessors and other large scale integration components was reduced, was it possible to offer computers to small size business and the higher income families.

In the beginning Home or Desk top computers were large and heavy. My first memory of home computers as a teenager, were drooling on the front window of the local RADIO SHACK (tm) store, looking at a TRS 80 (tm). Here was a computer which required about 6 feet of table space, 3 feet for hard drive space and 3 feet for the computer and work space. A year or two later a friend called me over to his home to show off his new computer, an APPLE (tm). Although the APPLE (tm) was smaller then the TRS 80 (tm) it is still 20" deep and required room for disk drives and a separate monitor (which could be perched on the computer).

In 1982 I purchased my first serious computer, a C64, which I still have and use to this day, along with its original power supply. As with the other computers it too required a large space on a table or desk. A simple C64 system composed of monitor, keyboard and disk drive, required a work surface at least 30 inches deep, 36 inches if extra toys are plugged into the keyboard (i.e. REU or cartridge expansion board) and about 24 inches width.

The one thing they all have in common is the cooling system. Convection cooling is the most common and inexpensive method used in most electronic equipment. Convection cooling is based on the fact that heat rises and is replaced by cooler air from below. As in the C64, holes which allow heat to exist are usually found at the top and towards the rear, cooler air is usually allowed in the case by holes in the bottom at the front. Cooling is further assisted by free flowing air around the equipment.

PET computers housed keyboard, power supply, circuit boards, and monitor in one case. This generated a lot of heat, which may have burnt out components prematurely. The VIC 20 first came out as a system using a separate monitor, and a satellite transformer pack. The transformer pack only lowered the AC voltage from 110 volts to 9 volts. AC to DC conversion and voltage regulating were still done inside the keyboard, this was one of the largest heat sources in the VIC. Later the VIC 20 was released with a power pack which contains the transformer, converter and the regulator all in the same box. This pack changed 110 volts AC (Alternating Current-as in house wiring) to 9 volts AC and 5 volts DC (Direct Current-such as in batteries), this required a connector with more pins to connect to the keyboard (7 pins). This worked so well that the C64 power pack was designed the same way, as a matter of fact VIC 20 users can use C64 power packs when their 7 pin power packs die. NOTE: C64's cannot use the VIC 20's power pack, because the C64 needs more current then what the VIC 20's pack can supply.

At about this time, desks evolved into computer work stations, which were desks with hutches divided into compartments to house computer peripherals and other computer related items. These computer desk closed in around the computer equipment reducing the free flow of air, which prevents heat from escaping, causing overheating or premature failures. To compensate for this, MS DOS (there is that dirty word) machines have a fan(s) installed to force air through their cases and over their pentium chips. Since most of the COMMODORE computers don't have fans, we need to take steps to reduce the chances of heat damage from occurring.

The C128-D's power supply has a cutout for a fan, as well as louvres in the rear panel were the fan cutout would align. I would recommend installing a low current, high volume +5 or +12 volt dc fan. Mount the fan to blow out of the case, this will result in less dust being drawn into the system. If you are thinking of using a fan filter and wish to have the fan blow inwards, keep in mind 1) filters need to be changed, this case does not allow for this, 2) filters reduce the air flow through the fan and this makes the fan work a little harder.

For the regular C128, C64, Vic 20, their power packs, monitors, disk drives, and their power packs it is advisable to keep air flowing around them. I have seen people install fans on top of their 1541's and C64's, although this is helpful it maybe a little excessive and unattractive. My suggestion would to mount a fan (will grill(s) to keep fingers out) to blow air into the cubical, it could be a single fan mounted in the corner or several fans in a row across the front. Stack the old 1541s side by side, if one is on top of the other then the heat from the lower drive will not help cool the upper drive. 1541-IIs and 1581s are not as bothered do to the separate power packs. 1571s may not be as bad as the old 1541s, but if there is poor air circulation around them or even around the 1541-IIs and 1581s over heating can result. These three drives have air flow channels which run down the sides and air enters through holes all along these channels and exits out the top near the rear. So try keep drives about 1 inch away from their sides to any vertical surfaces, such as walls, books and boxes. When stacking 1581s on 1571s consider stacking them so their fronts are flush to each other, this insures the extra heat generated in the bigger drive does not interfere with the cooling of the smaller drive.

A common cause of power pack failure is due to over heating. We tend to place them on the floor at the back under the desk where again air flow is restricted, and to complicate it farther on the rug. The deeper the rug the worse the problem. Image your power pack as a boat and the rug as water, the deeper the water the deeper the boat may sink (until it starts to float). The higher up the side that the water line or the rug is the more surface area is lost for cooling, remember the bottom is there for cooling too, that is why they have feet. Place your power packs on a hard surface to insure air can get under them and keep them out from the wall, and maintain good air flow around them.

It seems I may have generated an impression that fans need to be slapped on everything including our mother-in-laws (there are just some things a fan cannot cool), if good air flow is present then fans may not be necessary. Your equipment should not fill any more then about 60% of the volume of a cubical, and it should not be placed all the way to the back or sides of the cubical. If your desk is in the corner of a room or in a dead spot where it does not get good air flow, then you may need to make improvements.

One last important item regarding the negative side of using fans. There is one piece of equipment that should not be cooled by fans, that equipment is YOU. Make sure that fans do not blow directly on you, this could result in discomfort in your joints and/or muscles.

Tom

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News Flash from JP PBM Product By Mail!

Joseph Palumbo

Copyright © TPUG 1997.
All rights reserved.

Hi. This is my first article in the TPUG Newsletter since I joined the board of directors. In fact, this is my first article since I joined the club! So allow me to introduce myself. I'm Joseph Palumbo. Most of you know me as the owner of JP PBM Products By Mail - A new and used hardware and software dealer for the C64 and 128 Commodore computers. Magazines like Commodore World have said: `In Canada, JP PBM Products By Mail is the only hardware source we're aware of.' (issue #17).

For a long time now I've read in other newsletters and magazines that the SUPER SNAPSHOT v5.22 was out of production and no more were ever going to be made. Knowing that this was a Canadian product (and we have so few Canadian products left) I didn't want to see it go. After all, there is still a need for this product. So, my first announcement is that on April 14, 1997 JP PBM Products By Mail has bought all rights to LMS Industries SUPER SNAPSHOT and SLIDE SHOW CREATOR. That's right! I am no longer the ONLY advertising dealer in North America, I am now the Manufacturer. This means that SUPER SNAPSHOT is STILL a CANADIAN PRODUCT.

I have started production of this fantastic cartridge device with a test batch of 15 units. And a further 100 units are being prepared for. If you are interested in acquiring one of these fresh of the line, then see the ad in this newsletter for a special TPUG discount. I would like to consider the possibility of a new version like was rumoured a few years ago. I would be pleased to receive your comments and suggestions. As well, I'd like your help in contacting any of the original programmers for the many parts of this nifty little cartridge to hear their ideas too. Is a new version coming? It's too soon to tell. But I can tell you that this cartridge is back in production and here to stay!

Super Snapshot SLIDE SHOW Creator was also acquired in the purchase of LMS. you can see a sample of this programme's finished slide show in the JP PBM Products By Mail c64-Disk catalogue many of you received in the last newsletter. It is one of the main features used in the catalogue. A new version of this program may also be considered in the future. Your ideas would also be appreciated and welcomed.

The second announcement is that as of Jan 1, 1997, JP PBM Products By Mail has also become an Amiga hardware and software dealer. On February 17, 1997 a local store in Toronto called Computer Village announced they were discontinuing the Commodore, Amiga and Atari line of computers and would now be only focusing on the PC/Mac market. Computer Village sold all their c64 and Amiga hardware / software to JP PBM Products by Mail in a contract that has Computer Village referring all inquiries for Commodore or Amiga Accessories to JP PBM Products By Mail.

What else is coming in 1997? I have been approached by other companies with offers to buy the rights and ownership of other fine products in both the 64 and Amiga markets. But only time will tell how good my negotiating skills are if I'm to bring you the best price ever offered before!

Thank you for you continuing support which has allowed me to bring you these fine products.

Joseph Palumbo
JP PBM Products By Mail
TPUG Director
64 & Geos Librarian

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A Reset Button For The Commodore 64

Tom Luff

Copyright © TPUG 1997.
All rights reserved.

The Commodore 64 has never had a built-in reset button. A reset can be done in immediate mode by entering "SYS64738" and depressing the "RETURN" key, but if the program has crashed or has locked-out some or all of the keys, then your only recourse is too turn the computer off and on to reset the system. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), everything is lost, your recent modifications to the program, new data just entered or calculated not to mention time lost. Each time we turn the computer on, there are electrical spikes generated which can be harmful to the components inside. To prevent premature damage it is advisable to minimize turning the computer off and on. With a reset button and a little knowledge you could re-access your program.

What does a reset button do ??? Most of the large chips in the computer share a common signal line, called RES (which has a line drawn above it). As long as this signal is held high (about +5 volts dc), all the chips operate in their normal way. When this signal is momentarily pulled low (about +0 volts dc, or ground), all the large chips reset their pointers and return to start-up conditions. When you first turn on your computer this start-up condition helps the circuits energize fully before the system starts up, this is preformed by a timer pulse holding RES low. If not for this low pulse some chips may not have been synchronized with the rest. A reset button shorts RES to ground causing a start-up condition.

Is there more then one type of reset ??? Yes there are basically 3 types of reset, COLD START, COOL START, and WARM START.

A COLD START is when the power is turned off then back on, this causes RAM memory to be wiped-out, losing the program and data.

A COOL START causes all pointers to return to start-up positions. RAM still holds all program and data information but the computer cannot see it because program start, program end, program execution, and other pointers no longer point to the same positions. It is possible to find your program but it involves searching the memory. COOL STARTS can be execute by depressing a RESET button (the C128 has one) or by entering SYS64738 for the C64 in immediate mode (SYS57344 for the C128).

A WARM START merely resets a few pointers, keeping the program start and end pointers intact, allowing for the computer to see the program and data. This reset can be accomplished in the C64 by, 1) SYS65532 in immediate mode or, 2) pressing the RUN/STOP key and striking the RESTORE key. Neither works if the keyboard is locked-out.

Why would I want to use a reset button ??? With the right program you could capture a screen from one program and use it with another. One such program is FUN GRAPHICS MACHINE. While executing one program you see a graphic image you like, pressing the reset button, then loading FUN GRAPHICS MACHINE and running it, it is possible to find the graphic image on one of the 3 screens that FGM uses. If for no other reason anytime the keyboard is locked-out you will be able to reset the computer without sending needless spikes through the chips. On those few occasions were a WARM START (RUN/STOP & RESTORE) does not reset enough or the last program has left some vector changed and it causes the new program not to run properly. Even with a reset button, there maybe a rare occasion that the power switch is the only means to clear something out of memory.

How can I install a RESET button ??? There are a variety of plug-in devices available which have reset buttons, some cartridge expanders, and user port devices (such as EPYX's RS-232 Interface board). Articles I have read suggest wiring a button between ground and pin 40 of the MPU chip. Others recommend soldering wires to the back end of the gold fingers of the User Port. Both require disassembling the computer and drilling a hole in the case. I have done this at TPUG meetings. Not everyone likes putting extra holes in their computers, so an alternate could be to install the button in one of your plug-in devices or make a plug-in device yourself.

For those of you who would like to install your own, using the USER PORT, wire a button between pin 1 (GND) and pin 3 (RESET), or if you prefer the CARTRIDGE EXPANSION SLOT wire your button between pin A (GND) and pin C (RESET) as labelled by the "COMMODORE 64 USER'S GUIDE".

Those of you who have this manual should make themselves aware that the manual's diagrams are labelled as if you were looking directly at the rear of the computer, this means that on the USER PORT pin 1 is found in the top row, first pin closest to the centre of the computer (or upper left most gold finger), and pin A of the CARTRIDGE EXPANSION SLOT is the closest bottom pin to the centre of the computer (or the lower right most pin). Use these two examples as reference only, do not attach wires in anyway which may interfere with something being plugged into these slots.

To make a plug-in device for the USER PORT you would require the following:

Mark the holes on the board for the card edge connector pins, so that the edge of the board is flush to the front of the connector and the connector is centred to that side. On the opposite side mark holes for the push button pins but not too close to the edge. Keep in mind both parts will be mounted to the top of the board. Drill the holes and check for fit. Following the instructions of the glue, glue the connector and the button to the top of the board, keeping all pins clean from glue. Also mark sure not to use too much glue on the button. If glue squeezes out from under the button, it may interfere with the movement of the button stopping it from working. Allow time for the glue to dry. On the bottom of the board attach the rubber foot close to the button, keeping away from the pins. Strip the ends of the wires just enough to wrap bare wire once around the pins. Wrap the first end of one wire to the connector pin that mates to pin 1 of the user port and the other end to one pin of the button. Do the same with the second wire between the connector pin that mates to pin 3 and the other pin on the push button. Solder the wire ends to the pins as you go along. NOTE : DO NOT let bare wires touch OTHER pins or each other.

With the computer turned off plug in the reset board, turn the computer back on, it should come on as normal if not turn it off and remove the board. Depress the button, don't hold it down, you should see the sides of the screen narrow for a second or two, followed by a flash of blank screen, then the regular start-up screen will appear.

I have a few plug-in reset modules for the user port for sale for about $10.00+$2.00 s&h contact me by mail through TPUG. I've been asked why I don't quote part numbers such might be found in RADIO SHACK (tm).

  1. I don't endorse companies or brands unless they are a single source.
  2. Although RADIO SHACK (tm) is commonly found throughout Canada and the USA it is far cheaper to purchase through surplus stores not to mention the fact that RADIO SHACK (tm) does not carry a large variety of components and even less then they did a few years ago.
  3. Because of the age of the computers some parts are hard to get, example the card edge connector I could not get from the chain store or the surplus store. The modules I build use the connector from SPARTAN boards I pick-up as scrap boards.

SPECIAL NOTE:
SUPER SNAPSHOT utility cartridge is a great product and has a reset sequence. The C= key and cartridge button is just a short cut for the SYS64738 command, but if the keyboard is locked out, the reset sequence will not work.

Tom

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Have You Heard?

Ernie Chorny

Gateway 2000 have announced that the company has made an offer to acquire the assets of AMIGA Technologies including all patents, trademarks and trade names. Gateway management states that the acquisition is good news for Gateway and good news for Amiga customers.

AMIGA Technologies would be renamed AMIGA International and Petro Tyschtschenko would stay on as president.

Gateway 2000 is a leader in the direct marketing of computers, employs over 9,700 people and in 1996 shipped 1.9 million systems and reported revenues of $5 billion (US) and a net income of $250 million.

(Extracted from an announcement at AMIGA Technologies Home Page, March 26, 1997)

New Amiga CD's are available on a regular basis.

Two UK magazines (AMIGA CU and AMIGA Format) publish versions which incorporate CDs as their `cover disks'. These CD's contain the same or enhanced versions of full commercial programs (such as Personal Paint and Directory Opus 5.11 for example) as the disk versions but also fill up the 660 MB of storage space with utility programs, readers' submissions of games and graphics, and demo versions of commercial programs (Ibrowse and Voyager for the Internet}. What space is left has music tracks.

These disks play on any CDRom device connected to an Amiga including the CDTV and the A570 (for the A500).

(Above from your correspondent's personal experience)

THE WORLD OF AMIGA (UK)

The World of Amiga was a two day show held in Hammersmith, London on Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18.

Among a large number of exhibits will be some interesting hardware - the Power Amiga 7000 with 22 megs of ram from Direct Software, the transAm from PIOS offering BeOS and Linux, and the Maxxtrem - a fast PowerPC offering not only BeOS and Linux but also MacOS.

The common denominator to these new computers is the CHRP (Common Hardware Reference Platform) compliant board designed by ex-Amiga hardware guru Dave Haynie.

Sounds like an exciting show.

(From an Internet news release)

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Commodore 64/128 and the Internet

Tom Haslehurst

Copyright © TPUG 1997.
All rights reserved.

The Internet, the World Wide Web, the Net, these are now terms that are becoming part of everyday conversation. You cannot pick up a newspaper or magazine, or watch a news program today without hearing some reference relating to the Internet. Everyone now seems to have an E-mail address to go along with their phone number and home address.

Now the question is do we as 8 bit Commodore users have to miss the boat on this new technological phase of communication? The answer to this question is NO. Unless you subscribe to Loadstar or the Commodore World magazine, you may not realize that the Commodore users have taken to the Internet like ducks to water. I am going to give some insight into how you to can get involved with the WWW.

The equipment you will need to access the web is your C-64 or 128, with a disk drive and monitor, and then a modem with a terminal program for telecommunication. Now be forewarned that this is the bare minimum in equipment necessity. To greatly enhance your pleasure when accessing the net you may want to have a 1581 drive with an REU (ram expander unit) to increase your capacity for downloading purposes. There is a massive amount of free software that can be downloaded from the WWW and the FTP sites and the extra capacity will greatly enhance your pleasure. A Hard Drive would also be a nice accessory. Next the modem should be at least 1200 baud. A 300 baud modem would work in some cases but may not work if accessing on one of the larger ISPs (Internet Service Providers). Note with a Turbo 232 or Swiftlink cartridge that attaches to the user port, you can run modems with baud rates of 14400 to 56600. Imagine your 64 running at 56600 baud.

Terminal program software. What to use? Well again basically any terminal software program will get you access to the net, but some of the old software may not give you all the functions for downloading from the web. Some of the recommended choices for software would be Novaterm 9.6 for the C-64. This is a new upgrade by Nick Rossi, and carries all the latest features such as a better 80 column emulator, with Zmodem and Ymodem protocols for downloading files. Note the attachment elsewhere in the newsletter, as Nick Rossi is giving a discount to user groups for bulk orders of this program. Please be aware that the club has the 9.3 shareware version of this program in its library.

For the C128 users there is a little more selection. There is Desterm 128 which is a shareware program by Matthew Desmond. There is Dialogue 128 that can be acquired from CMD. And there is also Dave's Term which came as a series, from Loadstar 128 disk magazine, issues number 26, 27 and 28. Included on #29 were some online games that could be accessed with Dave's Term. These programs all come with documentation or printable documentation from the program itself.

When setting up your terminal programs use the VT100 emulation with 8N1 (8 data bits, No parity and 1 stop bit).

Another program that is needed is a text editor. Novaterm 9.6 has one built into the program but if you are using Desterm then you will need an additional program. ZED 128 is a good one. These programs allow you to print out your Email messages.

The next big choice will be for your Online service, or ISP (Internet Service Provider). The Toronto Freenet is possibly the most accessible service that can be utilized by the Commodore user. Because the 64/128 can only use text based services and the freenet utilizes Lynx (strictly a textual based system) they work very well together.

As it says, it is a free service but like any other network it needs income to operate so donations are greatly appreciated. The Freenet can be easily accessed by dialing in with your modem to (416) 780-2010. When you are connected, at the prompt just login as `guest' (without quotation marks). This will give you access to the freenet's services but not the WWW. You can then look around and check out some of the areas that the freenet has to offer and then to register, at the prompt =>> type "go reg". Once you have registered with the freenet you now have access to many more features. You will gain access to services such as:

Services that are not provided by the freenet include:

The Toronto freenet has 180 lines with 30,000 registered users and connection time is limited to 1 hour sessions, although you can login as often as you like. The freenet is a good starting point for anyone wanting to get their feet wet in the WWW. The price is right and the system is quite simple to use. The only downfall would be for the members who do not live in the Toronto area. The dial up costs may be a bit prohibitive.

If you live in a large urban area it may be worth your while to see if there is a freenet service provided there.

Other ISPs that are available to the C=64/128 user are:

All of these ISPs supply a UNIX Shell account which is usually Lynx, the same text based system the freenet uses. All of these servers come at varying prices, from as low as $10.00 a month to $30.00 a month depending on the service provider and the amount of access time that you wish to take.

I personally have not accessed any of these services, but Interlog was recommended to me by Natas (Carcass). (One of the best Demo groups for the C-64 in the Toronto area.) Access was made using the 64 with Novaterm, and Interlog was given accolades for no busy signals, and top notch support even at peak hours.

If you decide to utilize one of these service providers, realize that even though they may cost a little more than the freenet you will have access to all the services on the WWW that the freenet does not provide. You may find that all the freeware and shareware for Commodore and Geos on the FTP sites may make accessing one of these services worth the extra money. As well, if chatting is your favourite pastime, then Telnet and the IRC may be the places for you.

OK, so now you have the hardware, the software and your ISP - what to do on the Net. Start with the sidebar listing of popular Commodore sites on the WWW. You will find the most extensive amount of information on Commodore and related subjects to enjoy. But note that the WWW is a cornucopia of information on almost any topic imaginable. You gain access to all this information you only need to use a `search engine' such as Yahoo, Alta Vista, Lycos or Gopher. When using your ISP, these search engines can be used to find any topic you may have an interest in such as travel, farm equipment, archaeology or even Albert Einstein. Your choices are unlimited on the web.

Happy surfing ... and enjoy!

Tom Haslehurst :-[)
-

This is a list of a few of the Commodore Homepages of the World Wide Web.

Jim Brain
http://www.jbrain.com/
Craig Bruce
http://ccnga.uwaterloo.ca/~csbruce/
Irv Cobb
http://www.radiks.net/irv_cobb/ - a good site for programs and Geos
Gaelyne Gasson (Moranec)
http://hal9000.net.au/~moranec/
Marko Mkel
http://www.hut.fi/misc/cbm/
Sunfish
http://www.gis.net/~sunfish/
Loadstar
http://www.Loadstar.com/
CMD
http://www.cmdweb.com/
CABOOM
http://www.jbrain.com/caboom/
COMP.SYS.CBM
(newsgroup)

Tom Haslehurst
tomhas@concentric.net

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Improve Your Computer Vocabulary

ANALOG:
Hors d'oevre, usually made from cheese and covered with crushed nuts
BACKUP:
Opposite of go forward
BATCH PROCESSING:
Making a lot of cookies at once
BINARY:
Possessing the ability to have friends of both sexes
BIT:
12 1/2 cents
BRANCH:
If watered, it will grow into a computer club (see computer club)
BUFFER:
Programmer who works in the nude
BUG:
1. Programmer's term for a feature
2. An elusive creature living in a program which makes it incorrect.
Note: the activity of `debugging' or removing bugs from a program ends when a programmer gets tired of doing it, not when all the bugs are removed
CHARACTER DENSITY:
The number of very weird people in the office, divided by the floor space
COMPUTER:
A device designed to speed and automate errors
COMPUTER CLUB:
Used to strike computer forcefully upon receiving error messages
CODING:
An addictive drug
COMPILE:
A heap of decomposing vegetable matter
COMPILER:
Noah Webster (1758-1843)
CONSOLE:
What one does to a "down" computer
CURSOR:
An expert in 4-letter words
DUMP:
A system programmer's work area
FEATURE:
Hardware limitation as described by a marketing representative
HARDWARE:
The parts of a computer which can be kicked
KEYBOARD:
An instrument used for entering errors into a system
LANGUAGE:
A system of organizing and defining error messages
LOOP:
See loop
MACHINE-INDEPENDENT PROGRAM:
A program which will not run on any machine
MICROCOMPUTER:
One millionth of a computer
NULL STRING:
The result of a 4-hour database search
ON-LINE:
The idea that humans should always be accessible
PASSWORD:
The nonsense word taped to your terminal
PERFORMANCE:
A statement of the speed at which a computer system works. Or rather, might work under certain circumstances. Or was rumored to be working a month ago.
PRINTER:
Johann Gutenberg (1400-1468)
QUALITY CONTROL:
Ensuring that the quality of a product does not get out of hand and add to the cost of its manufacture or design
STRATEGY:
A long-range plan whose merit cannot be evaluated until sometime after those creating it have left the organization
USER:
Someone requiring drug rehabilitation
8-BIT MACHINE:
A computer selling for $1.00 (see bit)
16-BIT MACHINE:
A computer selling for $2.00 (see bit)

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For Sale From TPUG

(Your Membership Dollars At Work)

Quantities are limited - Sales restricted to Members.
Please add 10% for shipping and handling - Ont. add PST.
All prices listed in Canadian funds.

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TPUG Annual General Meeting

Copyright © TPUG 1997.
All rights reserved.

TO THE MEMBERS:

Notice is hereby given that the 1997 Annual General Meeting of the members of TPUG (Toronto Pet Users Group Inc.) will be held at Alderwood United Church, 44 Delma Drive, Etobicoke, on Thursday August 14th, 1997 at 8:00 pm sharp for the purpose of :

  1. receiving the Report of the Directors, including the financial statement for the year ending June 30, 1997.
  2. election of directors,
  3. consideration of motions affecting the Bylaws, and
  4. transacting such business as may properly come before the meeting.

Normally elected directors' terms expire at the second Annual General Meeting after their election.

The following directors' terms continue for another year:

The following have been nominated for election to the Board of Directors :

Others may be nominated at the meeting or by proxy. You may vote for as many candidates as there are vacancies.

Under the current bylaws, the maximum number of directors is 10 and the number of vacancies is expected to be 5 for a 2-year term.

The new executive will be chosen by the new Board, traditionally at a special Board Meeting immediately after or during a recess of the Annual General Meeting.

You must have a current membership on the date of the meeting to vote at it or any adjournment thereof. Renewals will be accepted at the start of the meeting.

You are entitled and encouraged to vote either in person or by proxy.

If you are unable to attend in person and wish to vote, you must sign, date, and return the instrument of proxy below (or a copy of it) to TPUG's mailing address at least one week before the meeting, or to the Secretary before the start of the meeting. You may optionally attach voting instructions to the proxy form.

By order of the Board of Directors

Ernie Chorny
May 22, 1997


PROXY

The undersigned, being a current member of TPUG (Toronto Pet Users Group Inc.), hereby appoints ______________________________ as proxy to vote for the undersigned at the Annual General Meeting on August 14th, 1997 and at any adjournments thereof.

Dated ________________, 1997

Voting Instructions:

Signed _____________________________

Name (print) ________________________

Member Number ____________________

This instrument of proxy is only valid if it or a copy is signed and dated and either mailed to TPUG's business address and received at least one week before the meeting, or given to the Secretary before the start of the meeting.


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