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202 2324246 3pm 6pm
the aSKer
issue #6
First look at the TC70 ................. 4
Review of the Tomcat70 ............ 7
Ramblin' Man ............................. 9
This is Glenside CoCo Club ..... 12
The MM1's are coming! ........... 14
Introduction to BASIC09 .......... 20
Review: StG-NET .................... 23
Basic vs. C ............................... 27
M6809 Emulator ....................... 31
A frst look at Frank Ho
's Te70 (Pa
e 4)
'the OSKer' is published monthly or as possible by StG Computers
inc., P.O. Box 24285, Speedway, IN 46224; phone (317) 668-8878.
The president and editor is Scott Griepentrog, Secretary and
sometimes columnist Chris Swinefurh, and treasurer Dave Henk. The
position of V.P. is currently open.
Subscriptions to the OSKer are $12 within the U.S., $15 for Canada,
and $20 elsewhere and overseas. Back issues are available for the
cover price. Issue #1 is currently out of print.
Editing is done under OSK on a prototype MM1 using uMacs and also
on a Tandy Model 102 Porable with Disk Video Interface (8 col
display and floppy). Formatting and layout are handled by Word for
Windows on a 486 machine (egads). Printing test copy is not possible
due to the way the stupid software works, but final copy is done on
whatever Apple LaserWriter (or other postscript printer) is within range.
Zog's handling the printing, so I'm not sure yet how the magazine is
duplicated. But it should look pretty good ...
The entire contents of this publication are copyri ght by StG Computers
inc., with the exception of entire programs or program segments
printed herein, which are hereby placed in the public domain for free
use by readers. Copies of articles may be duplicated or reprinted only
by prior arrangement with the publisher.
To prevent a conflict of interest, StG Computers inc., as both publisher
of the OSKer and having ownership of software, will not directly
advertise in this magazine. Nor will the editor promote said software
via his position.
The OSKer is to be an open and unbiased forum for all 0$-9 (6809
and 68000) hardware and software. Any comments or complaints
should be submitted in the form of a "LETTER TO EDITOR", which
will be printed in the Editor's column. The editor reserves the right to
print any letter sent to the OSKer (unless specifically asked not to),
and also the right to edit or omit letters when necessary. However,
any well-written complaint will always be printed, with any changes
documented. The Editor wishes to convey as many points of view as
possible to the'readers, while striving to print only the truth.
Persons interested in submitting an article for publication should send
it in ASCII text fomat on any OS9 or IBM disk format, or via electronic
mail to CIS: 72427,335, DELPHI: TREVNICK, or StG Net:
Sysop@Zog .. Aricles selected for publication will entitle the author to
6 months of the OSKer for FREE. All submissions become the
property of StG Computers inc. The deadline for material to b
included in any issue of the OSKer is the last day of the month
previous to the issue in question.
Cover artwork (and production work) by Alan Sheltra.
by Paul Pollock
This review, is one man's opinion, not to be taken as gospel.
But for the purposes of academic reference, I'll review the
reasons for what follows as conclusions. I've worked as a
computer hardware professional for over ten(lO) years. The
company(ies) I've worked for have produced many different
busses and architectures over the years, and I've had t service
and repair all of their production systems.
These ranged from microcontrollers using MC6803's to
monstrosities employing the IMP 16 minicomputer. In popular
chips, I've serviced IBM XT-AT, and Motorola buss hardware
using everything from the aformcntioned MC6803, |o
MC68010. I've used everything lrom the obsolete Supcibrain
CPM computer up to the NExT Computer. I uate back to |he
SOROC terminal, and the OHIO Scienti fic systems <grin>. In
other words, I'm a hardware anachronism; meaning I've seen,
tested or used almost everything in micro's at some poinL And
I've serviced a high percentage of these systems.
So it was, with some trepidation, that I accepled Jim
Sutemeier's invitation to not only hclp wllh gelling thc new
arival running: but also to test and play wit the system.
I have to admit at the outset, that I've been following Frank
Hogg's progress on this system for almost a year now, so I was
eager to see the results of Frank's efforts. And just between Ihe
reader and I , I personally like the TOMCAT design better than
competitor products (DELMAR, MM/I , etc); especially as it
regards the K-BUS interfacing specifications.
Jim had just called me Saturday, August 31, to tell me he was
on pins and neeles about the arival of the 'beastie'. Then, the
following Monday, at IO:30am, I got another call; " ... hey Paul,
wanna play with a new computer? ... "! Thi s of course, haralded
the arival of the 5 pound 6 ounce new born package;
delivered by UPS stork service. Shortly after I arrived at his
home, Alan Sheltra also arrived according to invitation; anuvc
set to work.
The minitower case had already been removed rrom the
packing, and was silting (gleaming off-white, in the noonday
sunshine, streaming in from the plateglass doorway) on the
table, alone and somehow lonely. Next to it, sat the optional
keyboard with the rollerball cursor COnro\ unit built-in. And
strewn around the table was the almost ten ( 10) pounds of
paperwork and manuals from Frank Hogg and Microwae, and
assorted other suppliers for such things as the minitower case
and keyboard. And sitting on the kitchen counter, in a place of
high honor, was the new hard drive (a Quantum l 05slp),
awaiting installation into the cabinet.
Firstly, we unshipped the mmllower frame from the outside
case, revealing the interior. Mounted high and towards the
rear, was the 200 wall power-supply. And mounted to the
main support chassis member (on 1 inch standoffs) was the
TC70 computer curd itself. Connected to it were several
cables leading in all directions. One to |hc `. inch 1.44 meg
!loppy drive, already mounted to the disk drive bay. Others to
the front-panel mounted keyboard sockeL, the rear-panel
mounted serial and parallel ports, and monitor output. All the
last were 9-pin DIN affairs except for the DB-2S receptacle for
the printer connection. All arc wired in IB M AT type
configurati on, so otT the shelf standard IBM cables may be
used for standard function peripherals.
Then mounting the hard drive t the drive-frame, and installing
the 50pin ribbon cable to the drive and TC70 dip-header; vc
prepared to apply power. Alas! The hard drive refused to light
the drive lcd, and refused to initiate properly. We removed the
drive, and scrutinizing it, found the problem quickly. For SCS!
hard disk drives. the drive select is normally done hy a s(1 of
threeO) pairs of staking pegs which are pegged in binary
mldilion for drives 0 t hru 7. The Quantum came pegged from
the factory as drive 6 for MAC compatibility. Yanking all
select pegs set it for drive 0, and we tried again. This time, all
went well, and we got a satisfying boot from the floppy, and
the hard drive began to respond to commands (hooray: J.
Then vc put the whole cabinet together, camed the whole
thing over to Jim's computer workstation, and prepared to set it
up for perminent mstallation. Again we ran into a problem!
ThIS time, upon power-up, the keyboard refused to respond.
Opening the cabinet, we discovered an intermittant in the IDC
cnnector from the keyboard socket to the TC70 card. Some
fast 'twccking' and we tried again. Success! Then we checked
video and found it dimmer than it should have been, andcould
not get RED video at all. Again we checked cables, and found
another intermittanl in the DB-9 connector [0 CM-8 cable
adapter at |hc lOC connection. Some more tweeking restored
the RED, but the picture was still dim. A call to Frank Hogg
informed us that we had t nip a dip-switch on the TC70 card
to alter the video. Once done, video sharpened up aIm, and
contrast improved.
Attcmpting |o use the serial port, detected another problem.
This one provcd to be a tough nut. Nielher harness, hardware,
\ so|1vmc could be found to be defective, yet no amount or
prmlding yielded more than a squeek from the modem. Back
t the phone and help from Frank Hogg. At first, even he was
stumped until he asked us what we had in the bootfilc.
Apparantly there are two descriptors that point to the serial
port. One for communications service, and the other for
printer service. And when both arc iniz' ed (such as at
boatload) these con ruse the system and cause the port to b
inoperative. We yanked the offending descriptor, and again
After all this, we began to have some real fun The computer
runs extremely fast, in comparison to Coco3 OS9 Lcvel-2
operations. Complete bootstart required less than 2 seconds for
load and startup shell script execution. Prompt comes up with
almost no waiting. Nealo! My Coco3 with Di;kmasler and 25
line startup file (including strting up TShcll, loading fonts.
etc); takes about 35 seconds. Geez Louise!
I began to understand all the excitement when we started doing
file copies with 150Kbyte buffers, and I really had fun when I
booted BASIC with 'BASIC #400' (thal's 400Kbytes to us non
OSK folks), and it took! Not only did it accept the large
memory call, but BASIC (which is twice as large a program as
the OS9 Level-2 variety) answered up and signed on in a small
fraction of a second!
DSA VE and DC-CK works effortles:Iy, as well as sample
tests of programs like AR to crack archives. At least 10 times
as fast as 6809 system software. Some functions operate so
quickly lcy defy benchmarks, in Color Computer OS9 terms.
I suspect some of the increase is from the much more efficient
hard disk; but most of te increase is the bigger processor, and
more robust operating system software. In fact, it's easy to
notice that a 40 track disk drive (which I also installed, via the
addition of an additional cardedge connector to the existing
ribbon cable) runs faster on the TC70 than a SCSI Hard Drive
docs on a Coc03 <great big grin>!
All standard software and utilities worked without a hitch.
And it was a pleasent surprise to find out all standard utilities
work the same as we arc used to, and many have additional
talents, or features which equate to more user control over the
system (DlR auto-sorL, the output, as an example). All ulIlilles
have helpfiles built-in. Another plcascnt surrise is that all
command extensions and parameters arc fed via a '-' prefix in a
consistant and predictable way (whereas in Level-2, parameters
are fed by a number of non-cooperative methods, meaning the
Lcvel-l,2 user needs to become familiar with each programs'
specific features: especially common in .1rd party tools and
The keyboard is very nice, has an excellent feel, and an easy
touch. Looks like it will prove durahle, and accurate for t. he
forsecablc future.
The 3.5 inch floppy, seems to bc a 1.4 meg Hi-density disk
drive, although it is used in lo-density mode for system
software diskcllCS. This is one of the few TC70 specific
hardware areas tiscus'ied by included documentation.
Although very sparesly. My guessing about t. hc Hi-density
modes are exactly that, based on clues in the single sheet of
discussion included.
The computer eard proper, is a beautiful piece of engmecring.
The folks at Hazelwood have done a great job of implementing
FHL's plans and specifications. Everything on the main board
is laid out in an orderly and predictable fashion, and the
materials selected are of the highest quality. No dudges here!
Frank Hogg has apparamly refused to make use of the ports in
the 68070 as there are chips on the board for parallel prt
(MC68B21) and the two serial porL chips (MC68861), as well
as on board floppy controller, SCSI interface; and Video
System Controller. Either that or the one hip ports are
relegated t non-essential porting operations.
The 1,5 megs of dynamic ram is mounted in the bottom of the
PC-card, to facilitate cooling of these chips, as everything else
seems to run cooler. This is smart design as the ram is ofen
the hottest components in a computer.
And the batlCry for the real-time clock is a removable watch
hattery in a clip assembly, so it should prove user replacable.
Hardware dip<witches arc provided to accomodate user
sclectiblc options for boot drive, as well as monitor types (eM-
8, RGBi, VGA, etc); and terminal porL
In :hon, a modest OSK system (huge by Color Computer OS9
L.:vcl-2 stanuards) can be assembled with only this single card;
y..t h.caus. it is buss compatible, can be expanded to truly
h.roic proportions. It is totally compatible with KBUSS
memory ;,md pon cards, so the lim its arc very hard t reach on
this syslcm.
Mini-Tower case seems to be made fairly nice, and the wiring
is logical, clean, and easy to manage. Shouldn't be too tough
to figure out, cven for the screw-driver neophyte <grin>.
Power-supply is an uncommonly small package for the 20
walt rating. Even so, it seems more than adequate for all
requirements, and as a bonus the fan is reasonably quiet!
Indc.d, the whole package is so quiet that the computer makes
no noise at all during operation. Not even the hard drive can
be heard!
After the install of the HD. I deduce that the 'Turbo' mode lite
wire harness could be used as an additional hard drive light if it
becomes necessary.
This is a direct comment to Frank Hogg, and it should b dealt
with before too many customers receive this system. TC70
dm,:ulIlenalioIl, dealing with TC70 hardware/software specific
t this compUler af" nearly non-existant! Some of the custom
utilities ar.: discussed, but importnt fealures of system
modules and terminal specifics arc totlly absent. There's no
discussion at all, to deduce the usage of modules like Ivt70
versus Iterm, etc. The factlhat this computer contins one of
the most powerful single-chip video effects processors
aVailable, isn't mentioned anywhere!
And since it is clear that OSK has very little applicaton
software available, it seems reasonable to assume that users
will find they are writing their own programs initially. How
docs one take advantage of lhe system's unique featres,
without a complete manual discussion of screen dynamics,
command primitives_ graphics contols, terminal featurs,
attributes; etc? There ,is no doumentton of any kind. The
user is initially left entirely at his own devices, trying to mae
use of this system for anything other than running utilities.
More, there's liule or no description of specific term cap and
termset features, which might be useful for users which need
them. The files themselves are non-explanative. They need
complete explanation as it relates to TC70. Microware
describes them in general, but that's not useful as it regards a
TC70 owner who's never even seen OSK.
In short, the system is a very prelly, fast running paperwieght;
for anything like user applications. One can write utilities
(since they don't normally need screen usage), but anything
that makes real use of real computer features is absent (even if
the computer and operating system supports tools a user might
want). Microware did a terrific job with the Coc03 Level-2
video environment; and Tandy did an excellent job writing
DOCs for it. The least that can be expected is that when a new
system is built, specific special features are annotated
correctly. In this system, they are not merely done wrong; they
are (more or less) absent.
Closing Notes
None of the previous discussion is to be taken as derogatory
comment. And it should be mentioned that this computer was
sent out in a rush, since Jim Sutemeier confesses that he
needled Frank Hogg almost daily to rush shipment of this unit.
It is clear that in all the haste to get units into the field, the
documentation has been left in the lurch. This is to be
expected with a new product, and I feel sure that Frank Hogg
will do his best to rectify this situation.
This is not to say that the TC70 is sent with no paperwork. It
does come with a complete set of Microware Professional
OS9/68000 manuals (although I found it strange that the
system software came on 3.5 diskettes while the labels
included were intended for 5 1/4 diskettes), and some paper
bits and pieces required to explain some extroardinarily
importnt software. In addition, Frank himself was easy to get
ahold of to help in leaping over the small hurdles we
encountered. This proved more than adequate for us to get the
TC70 off the ground.
The previous lengthy discussion is meant as areas to be dealt
with in future production. The TC70 is (on balance) an
enourmous achievement, in terms of power versus price. It is
fast, efficient, and nearly immune to system crashes.
Hardware is (barring previous comments) solidly constructed,
power supply seems stable and well built. Disk drive seems to
be of good construction and operated according to available
documentation. Languages included ('C', BASIC) provide the
user with enough tools to use the system as a development
platform. Documentation from Microware seems to be geared
to their usual high (but cryptic) standards <grin>.
In my opinion, this system, with the advent of corrections to be
made for previously mentioned problems and oversights; and
perhaps the development of some nifty additions to the
operating system, like extensions to make larger use of the
extremely powerful graphic Video System Controller, could
easily give MAC and ATARI a run for its money. This is not
(as the TOMCAT label implies) a meek little housecat. It is a
snarling, howlingly powerful liule monster, that produces more
power per dollar than almost anyting else on the market.
Congratulations are in order to Frank Hogg, and a strong thank
you to Jim Sutemeier for involving me in a 'first look' at this
TOMCAT TC70 'E' system, with AT-type keyboard and
rollerball, and CM-8 monitor adapter cable; $1569 (approx);
Frank Hogg Laboratories. Quantum 105slp Hard disk; price
not available at presstime.
TC70'S innards revealed Mother Bard at
lowe rght, just blow pwe supply.
@ 1HE 1OmCA1U
Fntl clte '' 4". R A
of your current OS9 and RSDOS
p. Ehance yur T wth the
Tiger - a 6K interfce tt wlsped
u y T b 23 te.
@ 1HE 1OmCA17U
Cptur the p o the 60 CP,
linked with the power of OSK
Operating System. Excellent
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edle K-Bu wth oe 20 c
; IS
P.o. Box 153 '
Northridge, CA. 913280153
(818) 891-3369 (Voice)
(818) 894-0012 (BBS)
Review of the Tomcat70
by Jim SuLmeier
Let me strt out by saying that I do understand some/many of
the technical aspects of a computer, but not nearly enough to
write any type of a real "technical" review of this new machine
that I just received - the Tomcat70. I'll leave a tech report to
those better suited for the job, and will only tell you what I
think of this machine, based on my primarily 'user' sttus.
Let me give you a short background on myself - I bought a
Color Computer back when they were just called 'Color
Computer', abut 10 years ago. I moved on to the OS-9
Oprating System early on, thanks to a good salesman at my
loal Radio Shack, and have been 100% OS-9 for about 8+
years now. (Only RSDOS command I can recall is DOS!)
When Tandy dumped the Color Computer, and Microware
stopped supportng OS-9/6809, I decided it was time to move
on to a bigger and faster machine.
I looked carefully at all the advertisements for the 3 new
machines, the System IV, the MMl and the Tomcat70. I also
read all the messages on Delphi and Compuserve about these
machines. (Sometimes you can get more out of messages than
you can get out of ads!)
Well, I decided on the Tomcat70, as my choice. It's a little
more expensive than it's competition, but, with the K-Bus, I
can easily expand my TC70 into anything I want. I can add
serial cards, up to 10 additional megs of RAM, even add a
Tomcat9 card to act as a co-processor to the TC70.
Well, about 3-1/2 weeks after I placed my order, my Tomcat70
arrived in one, pretty-good-sized box. I, like a child with a
$5.00 bill in his hand let loose in a candy store, dug into the
box greedily.
Cme wth 1 3.5 1.4 Meg F
Everything was there that I ordered. My Tomcat70 cae
equipped with 1536 Kbytes of RAM (standard equipment), and
one 3.5" drive, which can b used in reg. density or hi density.
I added my 40 tack DS 5" drive, and a Quantum 105 meg hard
drive. I ordered, in addition, the AT style keyboard with te
trackball included so I wouldn't have to find a place for a
mouse; also ordered te stndard video to CM8 cable, te
printer cable and the modem adaptor cable.
The hookup of all this equipment was easy and effortless. The
biggest problem I had was tying to quell my excitement!
I got it all hooked up, tured on the CM8, and pressed the 'on'
button. Well, it took about 15 seconds, and the system was
booted! (Geesz, that's fast!!)
Well, it was time to take a tip around the machine, THN I'll
sit down and start reading. (Remeber, if it don't work, then
read the docs.)
Well, there are 100 commands in the CMDS directory, plus a
lot of directories full of stuff in here - excellent!
As I write in C, I first dove into the C/SOURCE directory,
wrote myself a short routine that I had on my CoCo, and
compiled it. The program tok about 30 seconds to compile, a
chore which took about 3 minutes on th CoCo!!
So far so god - let's ty the printr out. Ahhh, very good.
Let's try out the modem -- whoops -- HY FANK - got a
problem with this modem - /Ll isn't recognizing my modem!!
Well, a call to Frank Hogg produced immediate results - seems
/t l and /pl (serial port) both use the same chip, and both were
iniz'd - causing a confict. Simple enough to fix - remove /pl
from the botfile.
Ahh, now everything is working fine.


Note: TR, T1 and Parallel Ports
10 Days Later
Now have been using this new TomcaOO system for about 10
days now, and am starting to feel very comfortable with this
It is very fast and efficient. I have noticed some caveats in the
C Compiler, but they are easy to program around.
I have tried out virtually every command in the system, and
they work the way that Microware says they do.
The documentation that Frank Hogg and Microware supplied
me is excellent and easy to understand.
Want Li st
Not included in this package is a windowing environment.
HOWEVER, Frank has advised me that he'll make a decision
on which set of windows he will carry (apparently he has a
choice), and let me know very soon. (I'll probably have
windows before you read this article!)
There is not a temendous amount of available programs 'out
there' for the OS-9!68K environment. While i may purchase
(at very high prices) some programs, it seems there should be
more PD type stuff available. I am hoping that with the influx
of a lot of ex-CoCo programmers, that this situation will
change soon, and there will be more PD stuff, and relatively
less expensive software available.
Final Thoughts
I am really happy with this TomcaOO System. It is packaged
quite nicely in a Mini-Tower case, looks and runs real sharp.
If anything ever gos wrong with this system, I KNOW Frank
will b there to assist me. He's been in business for about 15
years now, and he stands behind his products 100%. I am not
concered tat he might 'belly-up', and then I'll be stuck with
something with no support. (One of my main reasons for
purchasing from Frank Hogg!)
This system will keep me happily programming and enjoying
for many yeas to come. At this point, the only expansion I
can forsee that I might want is maybe a couple of more megs
of RAM (2 to 4 megs), and the Tomcat9 card to act as a co
processor (that'll b fun to play with - the opportunities seem
endless with that stup).
I would recommend this computer to anyone who has a desire
t upgrade from an 8/16 bit environment to a much faster and
more powerful 16/32 bit environment. (15 mHz is incredible!)
To someone who already uses a fast machine (clocking at say
10m Hz or btter) I'd sugge t this machine, because then you')]
have the 05-9 environment to work in. It's a UNIX clone, and
is a very powerful real-time Operating System.
The Tomcat70 will allow you to expand your system, when
(and if) you desire to do so.
The TOMCAT70, the 68K computer of choice for Tomcat/Color Computer/68K users.
The TC70 is the latest in the line of K-Bus compatible products, providing the
greatest flexibility and expansion for the OS910SK Community.
Signetics 68070 CPU @ 15MHz
Graphics Resolution 320x200 to nOx540
RGB-Analog for CM-8, RGB-TTL for PC's
DMA SCSI Host Adaptor for Hard Drives
1.5 MB RAM(I,536K)
16 to 256 colors on screen
DMA Floppy Disk Controller
TC9 Compatible
For Further Information or Brochure, Call or Write:
*The Color Computer is a registered tademark of the Tandy Corp.
Official FHL Distributor
P.O. Box 153
Northridge, CA. 91328-0153
(818) 891-3369 (Voice)
(818) 894-0012 (BBS)
OS9 IS a registered trademark of Microware Corp.
Ramblin' Man
by Scott Griepentrog
You've probably noticed some changes in this isue. A little
nicer looking, a Iinle thicker, and actually readable. Well, as
time goes on, I stop experimenting with different methods or
producing this magazine and settle on what worb. Last issue
saw the use of a new DTP program to do the layout, namely
Microsof's Word for Windows. WelL you probably had
dificulty reading the last issue too. That's because Word is not
tue WYSIWYG (what you sec i, what you get ) - Ant!.
although it supports many different printers, it docs nOi support
them the same way. What I mean i, I layed out the issue and
tested it on a 24-pin printer. But when r told il t switch to a
laser printer, it completely mangled my layout lo longer did
the magazine fit nicely into exactly 24 pages, with columns
just fiting in the space available (something thaI look me quite
some time to do). It now took up about seven additional pages,
with lots of gaps. The Word findpws program figure, thl'
display and layout based upon the fOllls available within Ihl'
particular printer you have selected. Which means that if vou
intend to do a final copy on laser there's no sense In l(n
trying it out on a dot matrix fN it won't look the sallll.
Well, anyways, I regret the readability problems. Call it on the
job training. It won't happen again. I've started this time with
Word set to output 10 a Postscript laser printer. Becallse
Postscript is (more or less) the same on printers supporting it. I
can get away with dumping the oulplll rile to anyone of
several I can get close enough to smell thai loner ...
Production and mailing ol'lhis issue (i.e. final inserts, printing,
etc.) is being handled by our friend Alan Shellra, who is a
graphics artist hy trade. As I am fUnning vcry light on
available time (not to mention funds). I figured il made sense
to let him do what he docs best. I will he seling the re\ulh
about the same time the rest of you do (he's in Cali romia. ['m
II Indiana). Ac\u<lly. thai reminds me of something.
Although I haven't yel moved the OS Kef
ost orice hox. I do
have a new number \ contact me: (317) 66X-XX7X. TIll' old
number, (317) 241-640 I, still \\orks fo Ihe moment. II is
being forwarded to the new one, and I would appreCI<lk' yalI
spreading the word about il. The n:ason for the chang\, ' jo
because I've moved to Manon, Not l'xactly the best place 10
be, but because of somc business contacts thcn' il is n(,Cl"sary
fo the time being. I wonder if I can get a P.O. Box Ilumher
like 6:09 or somethllg?
Also in this issue you will find a pair of articles aboul the 11('\\
TC70 from Frank Hogg. l'II he ahle to gel my hands 011 a
TC70{C9 pair in the near fut ure= but il helps to get info out as
soon as one can. Somewhere ill here is an arlick about
programming in Basic09 verses C and a hlurh ahout till'
Glenside Club, the most successful CoCo Cluh around. And. [
have received the new software for the MM I, which I (mer in
detil, along with an update on the on in thaI camp.
Oh, and I haven't forgotten about the M6X09 review litht'r. ..
I you're reading Ihis, you're either at or have missed the
Atlanta CoCo Fest (Oct 5-6). I've just now apologized to Dave
Myers (CoCoPro, they put it on) for not getting the word out in
time. The deal that was supposed to keep me in the pink for a
wl1ik' fell through when the guy decided not to pay me. For
you fledgling programmers out there, a word of caution:
ALWA YS GET IT IN WRITING! Never trust anybody, no
maller how kosher they seem. Seems I'm destined never to
follow my own advice. So, the lat two months of my life
(solid) have been dedicated to producing a new program (for
data processing using MS-DOS) () I can cal the rcst of this
year. It was supposed to take me a momh, but wouldn't ya
know it, it lOok IWO. Ain't that always the case'l Anyways, I
just ycslCrday rinished the first version, and am driving down
10 TennCSSCl tll test it tomorrow. My calendar refuses 10 let
me add a few extra days between now and the fst so I ean get
this layed nU, printed, and mailed. That's life. And because
I'm "craping Ihe bottom of my wallet to cover the costs of
prinung this issue. I'm bing forced to make some changes.
But. ril going 10 give you fair warning before I do. The
tion cost will be going up after the end of this year.
That means you have three months to geL your subscriptions in
at the currlnt Sl (SIS in Canada) ratc, I really :hould double
lile COsIS. hut I'Ill not sure if people would pay that (though it
would mean gelling this oul more frequently). I would
appl'eciatc feedback on this 4ucstion. Would you pay SI8
(:'0'/; increase) o as much as $24 fo a year of lhl s magazine?
It s still COStlllg mc more 10 produce than I'm gelling back on it
(will for some lime). but I helieve it's a good invc"tmem (when
I h"\l thl: IlIOney & lime), and every lillie bit will help. You
call cllli llIe.ages t me via USlllatl, CIS: 72427,335, or
Delphi. TREVNICK (don't ask). While you're at ii, let me
know what you think or going 011 a 6 lIlonth/year schedule
IIlstead or a monthly olle (1'111 airostlllaking thal now ;- .
Wdl. il\ lilllc for a few words from our sponsors. I've gotten
;l'\'l'fal posilive' comment s about my review or the MMI in the
lasl Issue. hul il\ Ih\: negalive ones thai arC always more
Dear Scott.
first of all. let me say "Kudos on your exellent
magazine entry to the world of QSK computing'" Now,
to the bad news. I must say that you have exhibitted a
lack of professionalism with your review of the MM/1 in
Issue #5 of the aSKer.
You start out by referng to Paul Ward as "the irasctble
Paul Ward." Now I'll be the first to admit that I do not
have a COpIOUS vocabulary so I had to look up
"IraSCIble" According to my Websters it means
"easily angered: hot-tempered." From then on in your
article you put forth nothing to back up this specific
comment of Paul Ward's character. In fact, judging
from the tone the article, it seems to me that you are
the one who is irascible.
Then, in t hi s arti cl e whi ch is supposed to be a review
of the MM/1 , you devote almost three col umns to your
personal opi ni on about I MS and exactly how you
perceive they have treated you in various i nstances
and circumstances. Whi l e I will certai nl y agree that
I MS has made some mistakes in the past and that you
may certai nl y have been the unfortunate reci pi ent of
some of those mistakes, a supposedly unbi ased
review of the MM/1 i s no place for your personal
opinions of I MS and thei r busi ness practices. I n the
future I would appreciate such comments to be located
in editorial comments.
I al so take excepti on to some of your personal
comments on the MM/1 whi ch were obvi ously fueled
by your personal feelings i n the matter, specifical l y
cal l i ng the MM/1 "the Mickey Mouse One. " Total l y
uncal l ed for. When you fi nal l y get t o the meat of t he
review, anyone with hal f brai n would be abl e to
determine that the MM/ 1 i s, for the most part, a wel l
designed computer worth the money it costs.
Prefacing such a review wi th your negative comments
based on personal feel i ngs was i nappropriate.
I would have no problem i f your personal comments
appeared i n an edi tori al col umn but they didn'" They
were i ncl uded i n a product review whi ch shoul d have
been as objective as possi bl e. I n case you haven't
guessed by now, I am a supporter of I MS, have my
MM/1 on my desk as I speak, and am a member of the
I MS Developer's Associ ati on.
Now, on to another i ssue. I would al so l i ke to address
the letter from Mr. Hutchi ns. You ti !l e i t "Why the
'CoCo 4' Wi l l Fai l , " and i ndeed, he ends hi s fi rst
paragraph wi th . , . I bel ieve the ' CoCo 4s' wi l l fai l . " He
then goes on to spend two paragraphs on t he
shortcomi ngs of avai l abl e OS-9 based software wit h
examples specifically i n t he OS-9/6809 arena. What
has that got to do with the 'CoCo 4'? Especi al l y si nce
al l ' CoCo 4's are 680xO based systems.
Here he i s obviousl y i ndi cati ng an uni nformed opi ni on.
When I fi rst got i nto OS-9 mysel f, I set about to wri te
as much software as possi bl e. As you wel l know,
when you are working al one, i t takes time t o crank out
qual ity code. The CoC03 had only been on the market
for a l ittl e over a year when I got my fi rst one. I had
MUlt i -Vue, the C Compi l er and the Development Pack
withi n weeks after that. I released my first OS-9 Level
2 program just a few months after t hat , Pyramid
Sol itaire. You may have seen it.
Si nce then I have written fi ve other game programs,
four other card game based programs pl us a rather
complex Word Processing Ori ented Shell which I call
WPShel and have gone commercial si nce Shareware
returns on the earl y programs were meager at best.
Even wi th adverti si ng i n The Rainbw I sti l l did not
make a profit. So, people who compl i ai n about a lack
of software bug me when I have been doing as much
work as I have been to provide software and the
market has not responded.
His negative comments about Word Processing
software for OS-9 are also l aughabl e, whi ch I hope are
due to his lack of knowl edge. This letter was formatted
on my CoCo3 usi ng VPri nt from Bob van der Poel
Software, as was the enclosed catalog of my
software. Yes, they look great and my laser printer
hel ps a lot but most any 24pi n pri nter can produce
si mi l ar resul ts. But t he poi nt is t hat it was the sofware
which made it a/l possible!
Let me make anolher observati on. I don' t know if you
took a good look at the actual copy you sent out, but
my copy the OSK'er was so dark that i t was very
di ffi cul t to read.
Let me fi ni sh up i n what you may consider a surprise
way. I sti l l thi nk that you have a good t hi ng goi ng and
would l i ke to take part i n it . I will most certai nl y be an
adverti ser in your next i ssue. I am also i nterested in
contri but ing an ari cl e or more to your magazi ne. I
have some ideas for materi al , but if you have any
suggesti ons, I 'm open. My forte i s C programmi ng_
Si ncerel y,
Zack C. Sessi ons
Proprietor, ColorSystems
Let me shake the ki nks out of my ringers [rom typing in your
let ter for a sec .. <crack> Yah, that's better. Okay.
Lack of professi onal i sm. Hmm. Yes, I would ha,e to agree
that one could easi l y take i ssue wi th my having mixed
opimons wi th a review of the machine. I had ori ginall y
i ntended to keep my 'comments' i n the separate articl e about
Paul and I MS, but somehow they got sucked i nto the actual
review as wel l . It j ust might have had something 10 do with
the lack or anythi ng else to talk about. As I' m not trained in
the art of journal i sm, I wi l l gladly concecuc to being cal led
unprofssional . Hey, I profess to be a hacker, and that's about
il. I' m silting i n the editorial chai r because nobody bal me too
i t. I f somebody wants t try i t out for an issue that can b
arranged. Do let me know. But I di gress. Or maybe I .lust
rambl e. Never can tel l .
I ' l l also have to agree that I could have done better on the word
i rasci bl e. Yes, r know it means easi l y angered, and anyone
who knows Paul knows that the l ast thi ng he i s. Mr. Paul 'Col
Head' Ward, we' l l cal l hi m. When I wrote lhat l ine in my head
I sai d the word sarcastical l y, but of course, that seldom comes
across well in pri nt . I gotta remember not to do t hat anymore + . .
I had t go back and re-read that part about Mickey Mouse. I
didn't thi nk I had called it thaL The way I worded it, however,
it could certainl y sound that way though. What I meant to S<Y
was, "But I did come by [a message [rom somebody who h<d]
an ap
propriate nickname for Paul 's Computer: the Mi ckey
Mouse One. " Not thaL thi s version i s al l that better, as in i t I 'm
sti l l sort of agreei ng with the person by saying 'appropriate'.
The same paragraph starts wi th "So, as IMS is obviousl y
reluctnt to let me exami ne thei r software . . . " I'll expl ai n my
reasns for thi s i n a minut.
I have an MM/l on my desk too (am t ypi ng t hi s i nto i I ), and
am a member of the IMS Developers Associ ation. But do I
support I MS? Well , I have a program avail abl e on both CI S
and Delphi wri tten for the unit. And I have no less than four or
five projects i n the works (some more than hal f wri tten). As
long as I can beat some response out of IMS (i n whatever way
i t takes), I 'l l continue to write stuff for the machi ne.
I didn't title Ji m Hutchi ns' arti cl e, he dI d. Mi nor POI nt, I know.
And I cenai nl y don't agree wi th what he said (and sai d so). I
was not going to print the article umil someone suggested thai
getting rebuttal s would b a neal i dea. It gave Paul and Ed a
chance t speak their mind. I thi nk the entire col umn, as a
whole, worked out okay. I could be wrong. However, I don' t
see how you consider al l CoCo 4's to be 680xO based systems.
The TC9 is an excellent example of a machi ne that can he
called a CoC0 (some people in fact reserve the term
excl usi vel y for i t).
Believe me, I feel exactl y the same way as you do aboul I he
di fficulties of so much as breaking even (even) in the OS9
market. If I were to total up all the money I've spent tryi ng to
sel l or produce software, and subtract all the money I' ve mack
from same (cough, whecze), I' d probably come up wi th about
four, maybe five thousand dollars (okay, so that's over a cnupIc
years). And tll It's nm i ncl udi ng what I ' ve l ost so far on this
rag. But, I have fai th that one day (bcucr be preny dar soon
now) i t wi l l al l be worth it. Because I haven' t sold oul (ahem,
wel l , not compl etel y yet), l ' l I be ready 10 go when the rest of
the world al l of a sudden goes, "Oh my god, l ook at what they
can do on that l ittle machi ne! " .
Yes. I know about the dark pri nt. Tt was a wee l i llie bi t dark
when i t came off the printer (had j ust put i n a new ribbon) . but
was still very readabl e. Unforl unat el y, the fact that the
pri nti ng process darkens the text a wee l i ttl e bit had not sl ipped
my mi nd when I took it in to be printed. I di dn' t p8rli cl arl y
have much of a choice, short of doi ng i t over. Bul hey, look at
i t thi s way, you didn't real ly want to rad about me gri pi ng
about t hi s and that and the other t hi ng di d ya' ?
I guess one has to keep one's lOngue fmnl y i mplanted behi nd
one's check at all times when readmg thi s col umn. Goodness
knows I have to in order to keep from chOki ng on the I urf as J
write i t. Al though goodness di dn' t have al l tha much t do
wi th it. Di d )'a'. 11 here the one whcre the guy puts i n " Ye
please" in the bx marked sex on a job appl Icati on?
Offering to write an artide? Hey, watch i t . I ' l l take you up on
that one. How about continui ng where I left off wi th the
Playing Chess in C series? I sorta dropped that due to lack of
i nterest. I ' m not sure whether i t was mine or the readers. But
I' d be happy to print whatever you can send my way . . .
Well , oul of the frying pan, i nto the fire:
Dear Editor:
Continue your hatchet job on your own dime. I hereby
cancel my subscription to The aSKer, and would
appreci ate the return of whatever money corresponds
to unreceived issues remaining.
Yours truly,
James Jones
Yi kes. I will have to admi t thi s one got to me. 1 have retured
the fui l suhscription amount, and (thank god) J.l. is sti l l
speaki ng t me. ll try to kecp my explanation now si milarly
bri ef:
Nothing I stated ahout I MS (that obviousl y wasn't just my
opinion) was false or incorect. They had the software there at
the Fest, they promi sed me a copy of it, and for over a month
they di d not deliver I 'd been wai li ng for ANYTHING new to
run on the machi ne lor exactl y one year (I got the first uni t at
t he Fest previous). To know it cxist:, and yet they WDIl't give
you a cop)'! And no explanation, just promises! ? That wa"
i rri tati ng me t no end. Combi ne that wi th the facl thal I had
held otl the i sslIe twi ce because I was told that it would be
shi pped right away, ancl you have a lethal si tuation. Wel l, my
i rri tabI l i ty WIth I MS ohviously showe I n my wri ti ng. (Can I
get a vote on understantcmenl of the year'!) But I should state
that a l arge percentage of my anger towards I MS is more
because I know you can't run a busi ness successfully with
broken promi ses and endless del ays, and I do want them to
slIcceed. I knew I was goi ng to get mysel f i n touble when I
wrote the arti cl e, hut I fel l i t might shake Paul i nto action.
You see, i t is Ihe i ntensity with whi ch I want to see these
dream machines (ami software) become real i ty that fuels my
i rsi bi l i ly.
Okay, so I don' t wi n any awards for brevi ty. Alright! Or
professional i sm. gimmie a break. Key . . .
OSK'er Back Issues Now Avaiable through
AniMajik Productions ...
Issue #1
Issue #2
Issue #3
Issue #4
Issue #5
"Premier Issue" ..................#... $5.00
"Playing Chess in C' ............. $3.00
"Hacker's Contest" ...... .......... $3.00
tt Accessing the New Year" B# $3.00
"Where's the Beef?" .............. $3.00
(Please include $1.50 S&H per Order)
Send to: AniMajik Producons
P.O. Box 824
Universal Cit, Ca 916
This i s Gl enside CoCo Cl ub
by Tony Podraza
About 6 weeks ago, a caller to thL cl ub BBS wanted lO know
what went on at the meetings, how many arc i n attendance.
what the mcctng times were, etc. I was tempted to respond
then and therc, but I let the message stand for a fcw days lti see
tanyone else would answer. The fol lowing is the response
from Mr. Mike Warns who has been an avid supprter of the
cl ub for as l ong as I have known hi m, al ways ready t assist. in
any way he can. I might add, I didn' t sol ici t hi s respnse, and
at this time, he is unaware that his words arc going further
than he ever expected. BuL. .. J digress. Me. Warns . . . . . . . . . .
Surecc . .! Ueet :rgs
The Glenside meeti ngs can be very helpful and interesti ng, and
the new admi nistration is working hard to make them

more so. Because l ittle changes are coming fai rl y often (al
l east, by the standards of a guy who manOgcs to go 10 one
meeting i n threc! ) it's hard to preLi scl y descri be the " typi cal "
meeti ng. However, this is a run-down of the l ast one (l as!
The mecting was going by the time J got there (7:45). This U
big, new change because they didn' t used to start anywhere
close to on time. Tony Podraza (Senor el Presi denle) was
having everybody introduce themselves. This was fol | oweJ
by real, li ve Club Busi ness (Tony seems Lo have found a copy
of Robert's Rules of order--things were looser under Ed. I t
make things more business ike wi th more discipl i neand I have
confidence in the future of the cl ub. )
The next part was the most fun for me--RUMORS! Not JUS!
rumors and i nnuendo, but useful i nformati on, club & Coco
news, stuff l ike that. There was a discussion of pl an s for the
club to have a booth at the Atlan|a CocofesL There was then U
vote whether the Llub members thought we should spend the
money t do so.
We then had a bull session where anybody who had a questi on
or probl em could bring it up. Thi s is where the cl ub real ly
shows its power--we have some of the leading li ghts of Co.o
dom in thi s club. For instance, Eddie Kuns is a col umnis|for
Rainbow as wel l as the Coco SIGOP on Delphi ; Mike Knudsen
wrote that real ly excel l ent M IDlprogram [ UItimuse j | whosc
name has escaped me at I I :30 PM (although perhaps i t has
been demonstrated too often for the |astes of some members
our own faul t i s nobody else has vol unteered to do a demo. )
There was also a demo of a new-ish word processor, a real
MMI i n a real MMI case. Roughl y 2 dozen peopl e were
therc. The meetings break up 9: .10, Y: 45i sh and arc followed
by more meeting at a local restaurant .
All i n all , Gl enside's meetings can usual l y hol d MY i nterest .
and I'm just some MS-DOS user who got caught up in it when
I had a 1S-80 Model One and I and l nceded hel p u:ing i t . 1
do havca Coco 2, though, so the i nformation can be usefuL
1 2
In very brief nutshel l , that's our second Thursday night of the
month. We try t get a lot of stuff i nto what seems to be a
VERY bri ef period of ti me. While I don' t feel that I 've been
very su||cssfnl at i t, I' ve tried to keep in mi nd that there arc
still RS-DOS users i n the club and I would l i ke to be able to
balance the table on their side as far as the demonstrations go;
the first part of the year of 1 99 1 has been pretty heavi l y l oaded
toward OS-9 related i tems. Anyway, that i s the goal of Sept
Dec, more RS-DOS support.
P Ll!! | 0 0U0O
Glenside has been around since 1 981 - 1 982, meeting i n various
homes at first
nol much di fferent from any other CoCo user
group. Few people remember the names of the charter
members, the pioneer who spnt S400 and S500 for the first
4K CoCos here at Gl enide. l, myscIf, J Ju| know about the
cl ub unti l Apri l 1 984, and am not sure that I could faithfully
name them, mysel f. My involvement wi lh Glenside began
after the first cl ub presidcnt, Keith Geru, had served oUl his
term and had been succeeded by Ed Hathaway. By that time,
Gl enside had |ound it' s current home at the (J l enside Publ i c
In Murch 1 9x5, ihe c l ub publ ished it's first newsl etter, at that
time, yet unnamed. For over a year, it retaimd the identity of
where XX was the year of publ i cation. Wi th the advent of
the CoCo.LNewsl elLer XX became known as the COCO J 23,
and has rcmai ncd so unti l this day,
Largel y the brainchi ld of Ed Hathaway, the mws]etter has had
e\eral "faces" over the years. About eighteen months ago, the
,econet cdi tor of COCO I 2 3. Me. Bob Swoger, gave us yet
anolher i n|crct ing newsletter format and di rection of efforts,
that of inter-cl ub communications vi a newsletter exchanges.
We arc cllrrently invol ved i n tha| program In I he l unc of 1 8
cl ubs 10 whom we mi | complementary copies of THE COCO
I 2 3.
The cl ub has been supported by as few as one and a many as
lour BBS' s at one time with the urrent nUlllber standi ng al
three. They arc as follows:
+ +


'7 0 8 - 8 -1 - 9 8 3 7
PinBa 1 Haven BBS
7 0 8 - 4 2 8 - 8 4 4 5
7 0 8 - 3 5 2 - 0 9 4 8

+ + + + + ~ + + + + + ~ + + + + +
Let's hear about your User Grup or Club?
Send us Photos and a report on the doings of
your club. Material may be sent to :
The OSK'er
User Groups
P.O. Bx 8424
Universl City, C. 9168
From time to time, various new ideas are spawned in order to
meet the ever-changing nceds of the members. At one time,
Glenside had a series of SIGs for peopl e wi th speci al i ntrests,
and those ran from digi tizers to telecommunications to
al ternate operating systems and other computer systems. BUT,
we were al l sti l l l inked by the common bond of the CoCo i n
one form or another. As Mike Warns' message above
indicates, even Model I and MS-DOS users can get something
out of Glenside. Just what, I'm not sure . . . bul I'm gl ad that
Mike said it.
Glenside has been blessed wi th some very interesting peopl e.
Before the rest of the CoCo communi ty ever heard of i t,
Glenside was treated to Ul timuse. KBCOM made its debul
here. Hard drive i nterfacing with the Burke & Burke hartl
and software saw early development in the Glenside area and
Chris Burke has been a featured speaker at one of our
meetings. The IBM compati ble monochrome monitor adapter
was conceived at one of our "meeting-after-the- meeti ng" get
togethers at the restaurant. Hawksoft graces Gl enside
frequently wi th their product demonstrations and new ideas.
PegaSystems has recently shown us their new version of
Xpres. Last, but certai nly not least, Second Ci ty Software
(now Kala Software) was born from two highl y-val ued
Glenside Cl ub members, David Barnes and Ed Hathaway.
I' m afrai d to stop for fear of leaving someone out, but this is
getting lenghthy. The bottom l ine i s this; the organization.
ANY organization, is onl y as interesting as the
MEMBERSHIP makes it. The key to the success that Gl ensi de
has enjoyed over the past nine to ten years has been
INVOLVEMENT! Our membership has been constantl y
involved i n the self-help process. Indeed, that i s the goal of
Glenside as stated in our Bylaws.
Bylaws for the Gl enside Color Computer Club
Objective: The Gl enside Color Computer Cl ub of II l moi s i s a
not-for-profit computer cl ub establ ished to assist its mcmhers
in the learning and the heLler understandi ng of Tandy' s Col or
I. Meetings:
A. Meetings shall be held on the second Thursday . . . . . .
and s o forth.
I would encourage any member of any group to make them sell
available to those who are l ooki ng for hel p in pl anning and
executing the functions of the group. OtherWIse, i t becomes a
one-man-show and the one lllan wi l l get tired out pretty
quickl y. In the ten lonths that I've held the reins of Glenside,
I' ve had lots of help [rom many, many peopl e, and that's as i t
should be, because i t i s not Tony's Col or Computer Club, but
We arc looking forward to a very interesting future. What wi th
the advent of the 'coco IV's' from the non-Tandy
manufacturers, the new users of the second-hand CoCo's a
wel l the continued i nvol vement by the "old timers" , Glenside is
a pretty exci ti ng user group to be a member of. As Mike
Warns has al ready stated, Glenside wi l l continue to " hol d my
inttrcst. "
For further i nformation regarding the GLENSIDE COLOR
COMPUTER CLUB, you can contact:
Glens ide Col o r Computer Club
C/ O Tony Porraza
l l 9 Adobe Circle
Ca rpenters vi l le , I L 6 0 1 1 0- 1 1 0 1
Or Icavt Emai l on any of the BBS' s l isted above.
Your acles and program submissions are always welcome.
Articles should be sent in ASCII format. Call (818) 761-135
for more informaton.
L0l lR0
<M M>

(818) 894-0012
300JIZ00JZ400 8-N- I
Supports: OK, OS9 L, OS9 L
coco 1, 2 & 3 RSDS
O 1.10 Dl.
Pa of the StG Network
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SysOp: Ji Sutemeier
Sponsored by Sius Sfre/Hrdwre
Of c F Distibutor
The MM1 's are comi ng!
by Scott Griepentrog
Last time I wrote about the MM 1 , I wasn
[ abl e to cover any of
the software that was t o come wi th i t because I hadn't recei ved
a copy. I t was a few days after the issue went to pri nt that the
long awaited disks finally arrived. And even if I had delayed
the i ssue even further, it wouldn't have helped. Because of
problems caused by differences i n the ROM bootstrap i n my
unit, I t was almost tree weeks later before I was able to hool
the new sofware and finally get a look at the wonderful new
windows. If my exasperation with IMS was a l i ttle obvious i n
my previous writings, pl ease real ize that i t was Just about 14
months between the time I recei ved my first MM1 (wi th very
little software) and when I was final l y abl e to do somethi ng
neat wi th i t. Now I 'm not real l y an impatient person, but the
MMl has been an awful l ong ti me in ful fi l l ing the promises
made by it's maker, and i t has a few l eft to go.
The Di stributi on Di sks
Along with the MMI comes a set of six di stribution disks i n
the hi gh density 1 .44 Meg format. These disks contain OS9
6800 V2.4 customized for the MM I , and a good number 01
utilities and free programs. The first di sk has a boolstrap
designed for a one meg system, as wel l as enough commands
to get started. A uti l i ty for changi ng foreground/background
colors, a gi f to iff converter, a demo version of pai nt by Mike
Haal and, a sound fi le pl ayer, a 'fl i cker' pl ayer, and Tctrix
game, al so hy Mike. There are al so ,ome fi l es for I he demo
programs, and the normal OS9 fi l es. As new Sl uff comes oul.
the l ist of ex trs wi l l grow. You'll prohahl y ;ee a few t h i ngs
by yours trul y. The second disk has a bootstrap for a t hree m,'g
system, and simi lar array of commands and demos. On the
third di sk i s more stock OS9 commands, the C cmpi ler and
some more programs such as a i ff viewer, a gi l' viewer, smcrsh
(gives shel l command l ine edi t i ng using termcap), proff (a texl
formatter), oj (a script l anguage), sterm (termi nal program),
and kermi t. On the fourth di sk i s some standard OS9 C
examples, the CGFX l i brary (for the CoCo- l i ke wi ndows),
DEFS files, LI B fil es, a fil e manager for PC format disks ( for
which a compatibl e dri ver has yet to be written), and source for
kermi t. The fi fth di sk has docs for u Macs. scripts for oJ , and
docs for proff and sterm. On the last di sk is boot modules
ni cel y organized into di fferent directories for maki ng a custom
OS9B01 file.
Kevi n's Wi ndows
What should be the accepted standard for wi ndowi ng software
for OSK before l ong (although the l ack of support by ol her
manufacturers poses a threat to thi s) is, i nterestingl y enough.
not yet named offici al l y. Some people mistkenl y refer t i t a
MMI Windows, but the fact is that al though it has heen
developed mostly on an MMI (because I MS has had the
foresight to supply Kevin Darl i ng wi th a uni t), it has bei ng
designed to work with most any OSK machi ne.
1 4
Al though certain feat ures might requi re t he VSC display
generator chi p used in the MM I , there i s al ready a version of
the same software worki ng on the ST, whi ch uses enlirely
di fferent di!pl ay ci rcui try. Kevin has even run several of the
MM 1 programs on the ST. The currentl y popular name for i 1
i s KWi ndows.
For anyone who is fami l iar wi th the wi ndows Oil the CoCo,
movi ng to KWi ndows is l ike going home. Al most al l the
escape codes work the same, al lhough tilere is a new set of
window type codes (because of the di fference in display
capabil iti es). The CLEAR key t switch windows has been
changed to Fl O, wi th F9 to select the previous window and Fl
through FX t o selecl TER M t hrough F7 (provided you have
them acti ve). The usc of the function keys in the windowi ng
soflware prevents thei r use i n appl ication software currently,
but Kevin says he' s working on thal. Fo programmers, i t's a
godsend. The compati bi l i ty wi th CoCo codes means that the
amount of changes necessary to convert an OS9 program to
OSK is reduced to a mini mum. No need t o usc t he term cap
method in order to geL the program up and runnmg (al though
i t 's not a bad idea anyways). There i s a noticable l ack of
documentation covering KWi ndows features, but thi s shoul d
not preveJ1l anyone from usi ng i l or programmi ng under i t
(provided you have a copy of the OS9 manual ). Getting
i nformation on some or the newer features, however, wi l l
probably mean cal l i ng around (or catchi ng Kevi n ()fl a break).
The Demo' s
There arc some real l y snazzy demo' s thaI have come wi th thi s
new \oflwarc. The nickcr program, my favorite. d isplays a
repeal i ng sequcnce of graphi cs images. creat i ng an animati on
I hal i, l rul y a muSI-see. The speed al which these nm real l y
ticmoll'trates I he capahi l i lies of the machi ne, and runni ng
sev,ral al I hc same l i me shows off ollr mul l i -tasking
capabi l i ties ni cel y. There i s also a sound pl ayer, a gi l' viewer,
and another ani mati on pl ayer. There is a demo pai nt program
\vhi ch l ooks real l y neat, bm i t is not useful for any real work.
There may he a l ot of softwae packaged wi th the machi ne, but
you' l l sti l l have to shell out some bucks to get the programs
you wanL
The Bal l is Rol l i
The 'I MI ' s arc now shi ppi ng fai rl y regul arl y, and although
there have been some del ays on the 1/0 boards, these arc said
to be shipping as wel l . There is sti l l some customer supon
problems, necause of the dcludgc of cal l s that Paul Ward has t
deal wi th, and the l i mi ted amount of ti me he has to take care of
them. I would hope 1 sec someone h ired to T MS to handl e ful l
ti me support i n the ncar future, so that customers can reach
someone a person i nstead of an answering machme. It can b
hours to weeks 'iometi mes to get a response from I MS. But,
thi ngs arc i mprovi ng. Sl owl y. But then, what el se is new i n
computers, ri ght?
Net International
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(612k A 09 Lve n Req.)
c ad Bowe W CWog at any of tese BS
(At the LGI prompt. type "anlmajik',
(818) 761-4721 (MODEM)
LHVet9aCit, La. V1bZ 3
(818) 72-8890 (MODEM
(403) 329-6438 (MODEM)
G Net/west
St G NeVWest consists of five St G Net Boards i n the Los Angeles area. These systems are
"Zog's Caver BBS", "PlainRap BBS", "Dune BBS", "Night Gallery BBS" and "Hall of Wisdom".
Our First BBS-Break of the StG NetIWest gave us all a chance to meet the "faces behind the
Handles". Many who had chatted only via modem got a chance to chat in person. Pizzas and
Igg Cookies (baked by our busy baker Doobie) were consumed in mass quantities. Iggi the Troll
has become a mascot of the StG Net and is crently the bartender of the ALT/TEN_FORWARD
news area.
The Seond Monthly StGIWest BBS-Break was enjoyed by all with a delightful picnic at the
new Balboa Park in Encino, Ca., Sunday July 21, 1991. Everyone chatted and asked questions
about their favorite operating system, OS9, while hot dogs, soft drinks and cakes furished by
the cew were enjoyed by all.
Since our last meeting 2 new StG Boards have joined our group ... "TSSERAC and "HANGER"
From let to rghte
Soty (Sotty Grve), RCPilot (Dan Allen), Blarsn (Bb Lrsn), ZO (Alan Sheltra), Bobie (Mike Ortloff
PaulDll (Paul Pollok), Cosmo (Steve Sord), SHowman (Gary Copr), Ion (Ion Michaelides), Maudib
(Lnard Cassady), Jim (Jim Sutemeier), Blkider (Anton Sipos), and Aloe (Allen Williams)
Bobie (Mike Otloff), the Busy Bker, did the honors,
cutting the frst piee of his culin masterpiec,
"Gren Iggi Cake",
| <' |D
AniMajik Productions and Sirius Sftware had their
wares on display,
Send us Photos and a report on the doings of your
The OSK'er
User Groups
P.O. Box 8424
Universal City, Ca. 91608-0424
Bttom L-R: Maudib (Leonard Cassady), Wayne (Wayne Campbell), Bobie (Mike Ortlof, RCPilot (Dan Allen)
Top L-R; PaulBIl (Paul Pollok), zo (Alan Sheltra), Cosmo (Steve Sord), Flatline (Gene Turnbow), Blarson (Bb Lrn)
StG NetlWest - BBS Listing
System 10 System Name
Zog' s Caver BDS
PlainR Rap BBS
Dune DDS
Night Gallery
Hall o Wisdom
Phone Number
(818) 761-4721
(818) 894-0012
(818) 992-4279
(818) 448-8529
(818) 893-3839
Alan Sheltra
Jim Sutemeier
Leonard Cassady
John Powers
Wayne Campbell
Movi ng forward
I nteractive Medi a Systems, I nc. joi ns t he software
vendors below in welcoming OS-9/68000TI to our
communit y. New wi ndowi ng software from Kevi n Dar
l i ng, along wi th excel l ent supprt from HyperT ech Soft
ware, has made many of your favorite programs avai l
abl e now, wi th t he added power of fast computing and
colorul graphics.
I MS, I nc. i s shi ppi ng i t s M M/1 computer, and other
compani es are offeri ng OSK systems. We encourage
you to f i nd out abut t hese systems and the new,
exciting software son avai l abl e on t hem. Cal l StG and
ask about windows uti l it i es: cal l Col or Systems and ask
about label pri nti ng software. Call CoCoProl and ask
about movi ng around OSK directori es; and call Ani
Maji k about thei r keyboards, hard disk drives, and
telecom software. Tr Burke & Burke for thei r world
class uti l it ies and prorammi ng tool s; then tel ephone
Burke Burke
Chris and Trlsh Burke -- 20-32-1 814
Dialog Box Mnager Fi l e System Repack
HyperTech Sofware
Mike Haaland - 702-32-56
Fontase for te MMl - Paint CGFX
Ani Maj i k Producti ons
Alan Shl tra - 81 8-761-41 35
059 and OSK software and hardware
BeW Sofware
Bret E Wynkoop -- 21 2-57-7617
BeW Utlities UUCP suppr Sn Fax coming soon
Color Systems
lack Sssions - 919-6751 70
For the MMl : Variations on Slitire Sub Bate
Brett at BeW Software abut maki ng t he most
out of t he Bourne Shel l and UUCP. Kala Soft
ware, JWT, and others, are creating your future.
We are your community
I MS, I nc. and al l t he vendors below are staffed by
long-time Color Computer supporters. They are
brinling you t he next generation of computing
Their hard work i s a symbl of t hei r commitment to
the most i mportant component of the Color Com
puter. That's you.
Pick up t he phone and cal l t hese compani es. See
how you can be a par of t hi s new, exciti ng future.
Thank you.
-- Interactive Media Systems, I nc.
CoCoPro! Software
Dave Myers - 31 3-481-DAVE
For th MM1 : Preto Parner, Data Winows; OSK: The Zppr
JW Enterprises
Jordan W. Tsvetkof
Nine Times Disk Magazin Optimize Utlilty Set for 059/0SK
Kal a Software
Ed Hathaway - 91 9-333-1 657
Call for catalog I Watch for UltiMuselK for the MM/l l
StG Computi ng, I nc.
Sott Grlepntrog -- 31 7-241-6401
StNet DB9 Multimdia Databs OSK and MMl Utlilties
I nteractive Medi a
Systems, I nc.
CaU for brochures on tese and other fine products
I ntroducti on to BASIC09
By Eric Levinson
[Editor's note: Ibi s is part 3 In a series on BASIC09
I n-depth parameter passi ng and compl ex data
Now that you ae fami l iar with basic parameter passing,
would like to elaborate on the basi cs. You know that the
system keeps track of whi ch variables arc being "passed' by
way of a stack, which can store data on a first in last out basis.
In fact every programming l anguage uti l i zes the stack in one
way or anolber. You also know that the values themselves arc
not passed, rather the addresses or "poi nters" to the data space
where the variables are stored are passed. You know that
variables passed by their l ocation in memory is known as
being passed by reference and that this is the defaul t for
BAS IC0. You also know that you can pass a variable by
value by attaching a nul l constant to the formal parameter l ist.
This passing by value is real l y not desired especi al l y wi th
large data types.
Onward, James!
In last monlb's issue, r wrote two procedures ll> der(JnlraLe
parameter passing. The procedures were cal led O]E and
TWO. In the si mple demonstration I assigned X an i ni t i al
value of 14, then passed i t t prcedure TWO. Procedure two
ten mul tipl ied X by two and then exited. When procGdure
one resumed execution after procedure two terminated x had
the value 28. Why? What would have procedure ONE
printed i f the fourth line was changed to:
RUN two ( x+ O )
[ hint : pass by value rathe r than re
Passing by value is great wben you want to mani pulate
variables in the called procedure wi thout returni ng the
manipul ated variables back to the cal l i ng procedure. The l i ne
change in procedure one woul d have resulted i n a 14 bei ng
printed regadless of what the cal led procedure di d t the
ori gi na val ue.
Okay, so much for revi ew. Now we Jump i nto the more
interesting stuff, passing more than one data type, o passlllg
complex data types.
Suppose you wanted to pass to procedure two the variable., x,
y, Z, as, bS and c$. How would you do i t? take a look al the
following programs:
Dn1 y : REAL
DIM a $ : STRI NG [ 2 0 ]
D IM b$ : STRING [ 3 C
D IM c$ : STRING [ l ]
x : =1 2 3
y : =1 . 23 4 5
z : =FALSE
a$ : =" I s it a nice day "
b$ : =" in Sunny Cal i fornia ? "
RUN two ( x, y+ . O , z , a $ , bS +" " , cS )
PRINT "Here is x : n ; X
PRI NT "Here is
y :
n ; y
PRINT " 2 i s n ; z
PRI NT a$ ; b$
INPUT "Would you agree?
PRINT " The response
PRINT "End Job .
P AR2\M b : REAL
PARAM J$ : STRING [ 2 0 ]
P !\Rf'v1 e$ ; STRING r 3 0 J
PARA f $ : STRTNG [ l ]
a :
b : , 4 1 4
t o
( y
t he
d$= " I s i t a t errible day
eS =" in Chicago, I I inoi s . "
or n ) " , c$
yesno was : " ; c$
What do you thi nk the output wi l l be when you run procedure
one? What docs the +.0 and + .... do i n the above procedure
one example? How woul d the output di ffer i f those argumenl'
were taken out'? Why di d I use di fferent variahles i n
prlCl'durc t wo I han in procedure one? Can I do that?
All of there questions can be answered. The output should
He re is x : 5
Here i s y : 1 . 2 3 4
Z i s TRUE
it a terr ible day in
W8uld you agree? ( y or n) ?
you wart here]
response 0 yesno wa s :
ent erec be fore ]
Cal i forn i a ?
[ enter anyt hing
[ \.hatever you
The +. 0 and the +" " arc ways t tel l BASI C09 that the variable
is t he pa<sed by VALUE, so procedure one passes to
procedure two, address of X, 1 . 2345, address of Z, address of
as, ' i n Sunny Cal i forni a') " , and the address of cS. Si nce the
address of X is passed, any modi fications t o l hat memory area
\\ i l l e/ect X in procedure one. The PARAM a: I NTEGER i n
procedure : l el l s BASIC09 t o creal c a vari able named A bllt i n
the same address that i s passed to i t, i n thi s case X\ frm
procedure one. Si nce 1 .2345 is passed withoul t hl address of
Y, procedure two cannot overwrite what i s i n Y' s pacc. sO t he
PARAM h: REAL i n procedure two creat es a new data
variable space and stores 1 . 2345 there. The address of Z is
passed t procedure two and i ts state is changed from FALSE
(i ni t i al ized i n procedure one) to TRUE (SCI i n procedure two).
The same thing is happening with the strings. The address of
as is sent to procedure two and procedure two creates a
variable d$ wi th the same address as as i n procedure one,
therefore any assignments made to dS in procedure two wi l l
cause procedure one's as to reneet the change. However, bS
in procedure one, since the null vari abl e "" is added to it. i t
gets passed by value. It i s passed by val ue because once the
" "
i s postfixed, the expression bS+" " is looked at as a
constant, since its val ue bS+"" can not be changed. Therefore
the entire string "in Sunny Cal i forni a" is passed to eS in
procedure two, thus e$ is allocated separate memory for thaI
variable and changes made to il are not passed back, c:si ng
the line " Is i t a terible day i n Sunny Cal i fornia' ) " to he
printed out.
You also notice that the passed variabl e namcs and the
receivi ng vari able names need not be the same, as a matter of
fact, when a RUN i s issued in a IASIC09 procedure, the
variables of the called procedure arc compl etel y i ndependenl
except for the passed variables. For i nstants, i f you wrote a
program called procedure one, and i t used a variable cal l ed
total_sales and a procedure two used a vari abl e l'al l cd
LtaCsalcs, and they were not passed, they arc two
independent variables and one wi l l not alTcct the other.
Another words, al l variabl es arc LOCAL to thei r own
procedure and ONLY thei r own procedure. This i s cal led
GLOBAL/LOCAL variables. A gl obal vari abl e is one that I,
passed to al l the procedures to that the variable i s accessahk
gl obal ly. A local variable is onl y acccssabl e from wi thi n the
SCOPE of its own procedure.
So much for val ue and reference passi ng. The rcst of these
articl es wi l l uti l i ze passing by reference si nce it lakes tIll' l easl
amount of memory.
Compl ex Data Types
So far you have learned four data types: I NTEGER , REAL
BOOLEAN and STRING. These arc the rour bui l di ng hl ock\
that BASIC09 provide so you can design your own programs
based upon these types. There is one other lima type, t he
Complex data type. Thi s data Iype is created by YOll, the
programmer. Compl ex data types can consi st of onl or more
of the four primary data types, i n any order as long as fiel d
names are not used more than once. The TYPE statement i s
used for linking di fferent data types together.
Suppose we wanted to write a phone book program. We would
want to set up three fiel ds. Last name, First name and Phone
number. One way thi s might b done i s l ike thi s:
TYPE record=last : STRING 32 ] ;
first : STRING [ 32 ] ; p:011e : ScRING [ 1 0 ]
What we have done is created a nLW typename l i ke INTEGER,
called RECORD. We cannot a(cess RECORD di rect l y.
I nstead we can now defi ne i vari abl e cal led rcc as type record:
D li1 rec : reccrd
2 1
Now our vari abl e rec contains the entire record. It i s 74 bytes
total in lengt h. We can access the three fi elds by enteri ng a
period C. ) between the variable name and Lhe fiel d name.
rec . " Levinson"
rec . f rst : " Eri c"
:: ec . : = " 7 1 4 8 3 1 6 5 3 0 "
The above shows how record assignment would be done. You
cannot assi gn rec directl y to anythi ng, except of i ts own type.
For i n-tancc, given the above exampl e, if I enter Il:
DIM rec2 : record
I can assi gn ree2 to reel one of two ways:
rec2 . l ast : = rec . I ast
re:2 . f i rst ree . f i rst
rec2 . phone : rec .
Obvi ousl y the l alLer is easier. You can assign variables of the
same type, or even di fferent lypcs as long as Lhey arc the same
rami l y, you can' t assign a stri ng to an i nteger unless you usc
t he proper conversion function, or write a program to do the
conversion for you. There wi l l be more on records i n l ater
A recod can he passed j ust l ike a si ngl e vari ahle, you need
onl y show t he variahle name ( i n thi s case ree o ree2 woul d
work n icel y. )
To pass i t. si mpl y issue a RUN,
HUN pdnt _i t ( ree)
and rec wi l l be passed to the cal l ed procedure the same way
other data types were passed. Li ke the simpl e data types, you
need to ha\'c a PARAM wi th thc EXACT specs on it same a'
thc cal l ing procedure, so you wi l ! need a TYPE:
i r st : STG r : ;
and then fol l owed by a:
PAR}, ree : rd
1 ;
in t he cal l ed procedure. Your Iwo procedures may look l i ke
PROCEf' URE phone
TYPE record= l as t : STRING [ ] ;
f i r st : STRING [ 32 ] ; : STRING [ 1 0 J
U 1 M rec: : record
" irst nane : " , ree . first
INPUT " ast name : " , ree . l a s t
.. :';' " Phone number AAAPPPSSSS : " , r ee .
RUN pI il; ! i t ( re el
TYPE rd=last : STRING [ 32 1 ;
f rs t : STR:NC [ 32 1 ; phone : STRING [ I O ]
P p. RA ree : reeo rd
TNT " F i rst name : " , rec . fi rst
PRI NT " La s t: name : " , ree . l ast
PEI NT " ?i l ol . e !umer : " , r ee . phone
When you run PHONE, it wi l l ask you to enter First name,
Last name and phone number. It will then pass the entire
record to print_it, which in tum prints the record to your
sren. The nice part about this type of parameter passing is
that no matter how many fields you have defined i n your
TYPE statement, it onl y sends one address to the cal l i ng
proedure which i n efect al lows your program t o run more
effciently and wi l l provide more speed, especial l y if this
routine is executed many times, within a loop.
If you have questions or suggestionsq feel free 10 write the
aSKer magazine, or my address. Questions and answers wi l l
be published i n the magazine.
You can reach me on Zog's Cavern BBS, Color Galaxy Milky
Way (prererable) or write:
At any rate you should have an idea of what parameter passing
and complex data types are about. My next article wi l l focus
on random access fi les, we wi l l expand on thi s phone book
program and make it usable.
Eric Levinson
2441 5 Marquis Cl.
Laguna H il l s, CA 9265}
"You can pass whatever YOLI want as long as it isn't out! "
Until next time, have fun and keep up the BASIC09!
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Review: StG-NET
by Paul Pollock
[Editor's Note: wi th the exception of replacing " StG- BBS" wi th
"StG-NET' , and where marked wi th I I ' s, the entire text as
submitted by Paul has been included unchanged. StG Net is
the offci al name of the software being reviewed (previousl y
called StG Login/BBS Package). ]
Product Overi ew
' StG-NET' i s a set of programs and util ities requi red to operate
a Bulletin Board System. Wriuen by Scott Griepentrog, t hi s
software comes compl ete wi th a re-written and i mproved
TSMON, a substitute for LOGIN. and many support files -
either re-writes of existing system uti l i ties, o compl etel y
unique to this package.
Some of the support modules and message-base uti l i tie have
been written or re-written by Paul 1erkatis, and Al an Shcltra.
Indeed, many of the cosmetic i mprovements are i ncl uded wi th
the standard package as the ' Ani maji k' pack (a set of programs
by Alan Sheltra, incl uded under marketing arrangcment
between Scott Griepentrog and Alan's company, ' Ani maj i k' ) .
This software runs under OS9 Level-2 at present. For purposes
of this review, comments and discussion arc appropriate t o
revision 3. 0x of thi s package.
Market sel l ing price for this package (at time of this revi ew) :
$49.95. And thi s price includes free support, i mprovements:
and a free upgrade to revision 4.0, when i t becomes avai l abl e.
Getti ng Down to Busi ness
Firstly, I must preface with several i mportant caveats.
1 ) I am an ex-sysop, so most of the discussion that fol lows wi l l
be appropriate to MY undcrstanding of BBS operati on.
Attached to that i s the fact that my experience was wi th
PBBS (by Steve Roberson) whi ch is a mi xture of good and
bad. It di d not work via standard I/O, but did have many
fine features. Throughout this review, and whi l e I worked
with and tested StG-NET, PBBS was the model I had to
measure against.
2) StG-NET was delivered to me via several 'AR' and ' ARC'
files from Zog's Cavern BBS (Al an Sheltra's BBS). Much
trouble and ti me was spent setting up and di agnosing small
problems wi th incomplete archives and program-fi l es
whi ch were mis-matched i n revision or capabi l ities.
Some of these problems were solved, while others arc st i l l
extent, at this ti me. Thi s i s not the faul t of the package, as
I got an ersatz copy of the package to review, rather than a
complete 'startup' matched set.
I thi nk you' l l al l agree, that under these circumstances; any
difficul ties related to these events are not the faul t of the
softwae author, or I. So please adj ust your readi ng
3) My hardware i s not standard Color Computer-3 fair. I have
a Di skmaster, and the serial port configuration tables and
other system related functions are much closer to OEM
type OS9 Level-2 than the software i ncl uded on the
'standard' Color Computer-3 variety.
In truth, Color Computer-3 OS9 Level-2 i s completely
unique, not the least odd, i s such items as the abbreviated
haudrate code tables and port setup schemes we all tke for
granted, but other systems would find extremel y unusual.
These di fferences i n port operations prevented the TSMON
wi thi n the StG-NET package from properly operating
AUTO- BAUD detection and other related functions. For
i nstance, t he haudrate tabl e in Color Computer ACIAPAK
has seven(7) legal values. My DMACI A contains
filken( 1 5 ) haudrates from 50-baud to 1 9200-baud. Whi l e
t he Set,tat cal l s used i nside the StG- NET T5MON would
otherwi se have worked, t hey woul d have had to send values
not even present in the Color Computer-3 059 manual.
Po that. I have to apol ogi ze for any probl ems I ran into.
The reader should he made aware that anyone using the
St G- NET wi t h t he standard drivers that come with Color
Compute! 059 Levcl -2, or dri er software whi ch has
recent l y emerged into the public domai n, intended for
same; wi l l work correctl y as advertised.
-j ) After I wa, del i vered the package from Zog's Caver
( l I1i ti al l y Alan wanted me to work wi th the latest features
and improvements), I now have to admi t, that I think I' d
have had a hetter pi cture of thi s package if I had been sent
a standard pac kage, wi thout fri l l s. I'd have had fewer
di lfi cul ties wi th setup, and coul d then have enhanced the
package at another ti me. Such is the fol l y of using hind
sight after the deed is done <grin>.
Now for the meat of the review. Ini tial i mpressions of the
package have to lead to a favorable 'thumbs up' . Whi l e I was
not ahle to examine some features and capabi l i ties, I must be
honest, and tel l you al l , that thi s package is extremely wel l
thought oul. Even without help files, or a i nstruction manual ,
thi s packaged could be setup and used wi th only a l ittle
guidance from present sysops. Because there is so much to
exami ne, the fol lowing wi l l be short discussions of major areas
of feat ures. Mi nor points (hopeful ly) wi l l be touched on along
th\. way.
However. usage of thi s software requires a firm understanding
or OSY tl e-structure, system rules, and SHELL usage, for
i nstal bt i on and lise. I f you' re i n doubt, don't become an OS9
s) ()IL
Thi s package i ncl udes a g lobal access data fil e cal l ed 'CI A' .
Thi s package i s written lO, and modi fied by LOGI NS (a setup
program), but CIA also has i mbedded i nto i t a secret code
number for each system operator. Thi s code is l oaded and
checked by every primary program module i n the package, t
ensure that the program(s) are bei ng operated by the val i d
system, and that appropriate checks arc sti l l in place.
Addi tional l y, the CIA al so contai ns setup data whi ch i n forms
al l operative package programs of sal i ent system feat ures l i ke
what directory is to be used fo BBS commands, or where t he
SIG-menus arc. CIA i s the means used by t he programmer t o
get thi s data passed from program t program. regardl c, oj
where they loaded i nto memory.
CIA has good and bad points. Good po i nLs i ncl ude a hi gh
degree of system and fi le security. I ndeed, Scott Gnepentrog
uses the DES encryption scheme t o encode the i mhedded
system 10 for each system operator. Each i s uni que, requi ri ng
several hours on an OSK mach i ne to encode. Al so i mportant ,
i s that CI A i s used as a 'postbox' drop poi nt ror such features a
the CHAT mode program and ot her tools. Thi s al l ows t he
CHAT program to be used i n tandem wi l h other soft ware
regardless of how many l ines and ports arc act i \T ( up I t l
cight(8l can be accommodated si mul taneousl y) .
Bad news incl udes the fact that the reading scheme. used hy
each main program, to i nterrogate, gain acClSS, and read t l1'
CIA (whi ch must be done hy most of lIll fBS program, )
requi res an enormous amount of compllLl:r l l lne. On a\' l:ragl.
this del ay is over 2 seconds of computer t i me (assumi ng t he
BBS is the onl y thi ng runni ng); al though on my 'ystcm, wi t i l
no netfilcs or S IGS loaded, it seemed to he ready much l ash :r
(cl oser to 1/2 second on average) . Indeed. dependam on
hardware and system features, thc BBScd program ( lhl SIC;
file edi tor used for message edi ts, etc) can not seem t gd
ready to edi t a fi l e i n l ess that 5 seconds. My experience wi th
these delays arc wi th actual onl i ne ti me on several StG-NETs
around the country, incl udi ng the ROOT system in Spce<!\\ ay,
[Editor's Note: the ROT system, ori gi nal l y localed i n
Speedway, Indi ana, was lost duri ng a recent move. and has
been gi ven a proper burial . A new pri mary system op.riul ng
on an OSK machine is slated to become operat ional wi th t he
reiea'c of te next version. l
These delays are not to be confused wi t h the fl e-l oad eRe.
These delays have been checked and d()uhlc-chechd I i th
other systems, and my own, wi th the fi l e- l oad eRe
D1SABLED' Whi le t he average person mi ght thi nk t hese
delays arc nothi ng; when YOll usc a BBS to leave nllm(mll
messages, work wi l h your workspace. t ransfr f Ics. or
upl oad/downl oad software: I hese long delays add up t major
phone time. I consi der this poi nt, i major cri t i ( i "m, :nd I li'cil s
t o h deal t wi th.
Note: Scott Griepentrog has i nformed me that Version 4.0 oJ
t hi s software is a compl ete fe-write of the BBS package, and
has gotten away from CIA and other syst em del ays al toget her.
Menu' s
Scoll has done an outstandi ng job of provi di ng for t he desires
of the sysop to customize the appearance of hi s BBS. He
provi des a menu dri ver that al l ows a person's menu to not onl y
l ook the way he wants, but can also accommodate OS9 and
ANSI graphics. Indeed, the graphi cs capabi l i li es of each user
i s saved i n a user-profile, and i s remembered from logon to
logon. Thi s way, not onl y can a sysop setup menus thal arc
cl ean and useful , but can al so be razzlcd up wi th color,
bl i ni ng or underl ined characters, etc.
Cri t i ci sms arc also i n order. Firstl y, MENU can onl y handl e
fi ks whi ch are fed t o i t as essential l y 'top-down' wrilten, t o the
screen. Thi s is fine for general purposes, but many compl ex
ment i s and pi c lures arc often more effi ci ent i f onl y the
a hsol ut el y necessary data is senL The way MEiU operates, i n
normal met hods, a ful l -screen menu c:m take a huge amount of
I i me t o pri m
Next l y, and j , a personal vi ew onl y, MENU can Iransmi t ANSI
graphi c' codes, hut t he StG- NET package has no t ool s for
i nt crprl: t i ng ANSI i nput. Hal f an ANSI i s no ANSI i n my
book. Mosl t erminal s ill OS9, whi ch support ANSI , al so
t ranslll i l ANSI . Thi s lllCHlS t hat i f you wi sh t edi t a fi le, or
send ANSI .'pcci fic dat a t the system, i t wi ll be seen as
ordi l Iary ASCI I tex l : wi th nl) action taken . While previous
edi t Ins of BfSl'd coul d respond t AISI codes, for message
fi ll creat i on, l alGs! l!dl l i ons no longer support it. I the system
" <11m nl re'lxmd 1 A NS I , it shoul d del cte the enti re feature i n
ol l t )ni l1)! dat a as wel l . I t wi l l confuse pcopk that have ANSI
capabl e t ermi nal s, and mi sl ead fol ks loggi ng i n who don' t use
anyt hmg l' l sl' ( I BM, etc) .
None or t h i s t ahs away from the strength.s of the overal l
SChl1lll\ bUl i t should he attended to. And several
programmer-sysops have moved at t i mes, to their own methods
t ll generate menus: for cxactly the reasons statd.
My own fedings regardi ng graphi cs in general arc as fol lows.
I use OS\ gwphi cs modes, qui te often. when r logon to local
BBS' s. But i f I had to operate non-l ocal BBS's, I 'd have to opt
f(lr standard TTY mode. OS9 and ANSI codes transmi t a huge
amount of dat, which adds nothi ng to overal l i ntel l i gence.
This exi ra data, whi l e i mportant for the system t handl e things
l i ke col or and format , can tripIc the l i me i t takes to transmi t a
certai n detined pi ece of i ntel l i gence. Indeed. somc OS9 codes
requi re : hyt e\ of dat a, pl us i ntell igence: whi l e some ANSI
codes cont ai n more than 1 hyt es, pl us i ntel l i gence. The
i mport ance 01 thi s to fol ks that pay for thei r own phone ti me,
can' ! he Ill l l li lll i/Cd.
Most SIC; menus arc fed, i n a manner that requi res that escape
lK'nCl:s he SGnt for each actual charact er of data. Thi s body
01 dar a, can beconll i ntol erabl e. On thl. ' other hand. these facL<
are a lls.r beware' i tem. I t 's up Lo logged-on users LO deci de
how much Ihey wi sh to spend on phonebi l ls, and how much
t i me th\:y wi sh t al l ow for printed dat t.o be senl. BUl i n
genera l , my feel i ng i s, support and servi ce i n OS9 or ANSI
graph i cs, docs not serve the bul k or users. The onl y people
who win, arc the owners of the phone company
Upload/Download Suppor
A complete set of file transfer uti l i ties and a very simple filc
support menu set, is included in the package. Protocols
suppord are: ASCI I XonlXoff, Xmodem-CheckSum,
Xmodem-CRC (both standard and 1 Kbyte), and KERMIT.
Zmodem i s being tested even as we speak, so watch for i t i n
the future.
Most system operators have moved away from the supplied
file-tansfer menus, and are using the Animajik support
programs. They arc powerful and comprehensive.
NOTE:although they do take some considerahl L setup time,
most [alterate support programs| requi re that di rectory tahles
initial l y are setup as edited program l i nes inside the program
source, this requires experience with Basic09 as a
programmi ng environment.
Message-Base/Si g/Mai l Support
Here again, whi l e the package i ncl udes a set of SIG support
menus, most sysops are now using the Ani maji k set for these
functions. They too require some rework for directory tables
(both SIGS and MAIL), but are otherwise very useful , friendl y,
and powerful. Even now they' ve continued to be i mproved,
and are now almost CheckSum to commercial info-servi ces.
Scott Griepentrog and many other users and sysops, place
CheckSum of value on StG-NETs capabi l i ty to do complex
networking with other BBS' s in the nel. This IS useful and
constuctive, in theory (I' l l speak more about thi s latcr). The
network can transmit any kind of data created on the system;
data, text, messages, mai l grams, programs, i nfo, even software
revi si ons for the BBS.
The net-tansfer program and support tool s work as advertised.
They are the onl y package in OS9 (that I am aware 01) that
allows sending packets and recei vi ng packets in ful l real-l. ime
duplex simul tneousl y. This raises the net - tansfer CheckSum
dramatical ly, without i ncreasi ng the system overhead over
normal si mpl ex block transfers.
StG-NET is nOl the onl y 'net-able' paLkage, but it's protocol is
at least as good as any other, and probably has some
advantages over others. I t not only supports i ts own file
conslrcts, but can (so far in a I i milCd way) al so deal wi l h
UUCP network protocols and slruClures.
NOTE: USENET support i s said to be CheckSum, for those of
you who have access to a USENET node.
My general thoughts on netable systems fol low. Networks arc
mc way of the futurc. That, for me, is both good and had.
They are good because i t allows many fol ks to communi cate
over an enormous physical and el ectronic area. And it al l ows
folks t o transfer files to Olhers without an enormous overhead
in cost, at the individual level.
However, without prudent usage by each person who logs onto
such a BBS, the cost of communication arc not reduced. They
are re-distributed to the system opLrator. I t i s our
responsibil i ty as users, to operate a network BBS in a prudent
manner. If we usc the network fri volousl y, we injure everyone
el se; by i nference. When a BBS becomes too expensive to
operate, sysops tend to di sappear. People used-to get upset by
my comments about networks, and I was strongly criticized for
my obstructionist views. Si nce then, many network sysops
have reviewed my comments, and have found them val id.
Most users arc transferring their communications costs tothe
network, rather than spending their own money. And I'm not
poi nti ng fingers, I'm as gui lty as everyone else. These cost'
arc considerable, becoming at least as hi gh as the maintenance
cost of the phone l ine. Some sysops are compl ai ni ng thai dai l y
networking woul d raise their monthl y costs t o $50- $1 00 per
month over thei r normal usage. And i s one reason for why the
SlG network normal l y NETs abm twice a week, at the most.
Amortize this over a years usage, and i t's not hard seL that
sysops must supply large amounts of cash to such an
enterprise. Its real money, and i s being enti rel y enjoyed by
phone-company stoLkhol ders, i mmensel y.
But worst of al l , nelable BBS' s tend to push out the local non
netabk BBS' s from the scene. BBS' s are not on the rise. They
are in the decl i ne, for thiS and many other reasons. Indeed,
many users tend to cal l networki ng BBS's just for the novelty,
even when sending messages to fri ends, when there is a non
netable BBS whi ch might serve both users equal ly wel l . This
is not the faul t of sysops. It's the users'. But I di gress from the
revi ew.
Mul titaski ng/Multi user
StC-^lcan support up to 8 connected users, si mul taneusly.
Each can not onl y operate in a di screet way, hut can l i nk and
communicate wi th others onl i ne vi a thc CHAT faci l ities.
Meanwhi le, the host system can sti l l be used whi l e the BBS i s
operati ng, by the ystem operator.
And al l ports operate via standard I/O. What thi s means is, the
ovcrhl0ad is handled at the driver level, and has a milll mum of
system i ntcrference. This does not mean that everyone can fly
al LOp speed. Folks runni ng tests wi th mul ti ple port BBS's have
found that 2 ports at 2400 baud i s just about al l the Color
Computer can manage (assumi ng no overhead increase from
local system d.mands). For sysops wishing to have more than
one pOri usage, i t is highl y recommended to downgrade port
speld commensurate wi th specific port requirements.
The mai n feature of standard I/O (for those of you not fami l iar
with this approach) is that any program run by StG wi l l be able
to make usc of the serial port for all i nput and output,
regardlss of speci fic requi rements. Wri te your program via
standard methods, and StG can usc it, external l y <gri n>. This
makes program development, both from a BBS standpoint, and
frl ll al ext.ral host standpoi nt a dream core true. Exteral
users can cal l up thi s software, and program or write
documents on your system. The files wi l l be saved to system
i n conventional fashi on, and wi l l be waiting ror you La deal
wi Lh, when you arrive home.
This also means that a small OS9 Level-2 terminal could log
on this software, get shell access and use the system remotely,
as an exampl. Even screen graphics and pictures could
conceivably b handled in this fashion. OS9 terminal codes
are very rich, the potential for this kind of usage is enormous.
Even overlays, and single-key graphic user i nterface menu's
can be accommodated.
NOTE: Onscren graphic single-key menus are used by several
SiG BBSs. and are known to have been first used in OS9 on
the RCIS Color Galaxy Milky Way (a competing BBS system).
Closing Thoughts
I admit to having a l ittle fun with this review. And I've been
un scathing in my criticism. But I must complete this view
with some basic concepL".
A piece of software of this complexity and sophistication.
cannot (on balance) be spoken of badly. SCOll Griepentrog has
produced a extremely. stahle platform for BBS service,
providing features and capabil ities that have been pressed into
serice in ways never imagined by him. He overbuilt the
package in many areas, and then sel l s it to users for much
LESS than enough to compensate hi m for hi s time, energy and
i nventiveness. Indeed, I have seen BBS packages for I BM,
which cost many times more, and provide less to the sysop.
This software, has evolved, and is :,ti l l evolving. AmI I feel
sure that it will become the standard by whi ch all oher OS9
BBS's (both 6809 and 680xO) will be measured. At this
writing, I've become aware that Seoll intends to port this
package to OSK and to IBM platforms in the 4. 0 versions= I
he isn't considered a major player in power-nctworking after
this work is completed; then he should proceed to the nearest
sanitrium and retire.
But the strongest feature of this package, is not in the softwae.
Scott hi msel f is a major asset of the package. In support of this
package, and his sysops; he i s tireless, creative and generous.
Unfail ing is his attention span, abil i ty to l isten, sensitivc to the
feelings and needs of his sysops. And yet rakish and devi l
may-care when dealing with new ideas and periods of
invention. He is mature, and knows what he's good at , and
where hi s capabilities leave off.
Over time (better than 2 years), I've watched as this fel low has
worked t get his liule network off the grund. He's prved to
be very i mportant in the great scheme of the Uni verse. He' s an
honest man, absolutely forrighl. And there isn't enough of
hi s kind, anywhere on Earth.
StG-NET V3.0, by SLG Computers Inc. ; Copyright (c)
1 989, 1 990, 1 991 , All Rights Reserved. Marketed through
arangement wi th ANIMAJIK (dba Alan Sheltra) (8 1 8) 761 -
41 35 voice, (81 8) 761 -4721 data; $49.95+shipping.
[The editor wishes to remind readers that the author is sol el y
responsible for his comments. ]
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6.O S.OO
Basic vs. C
[ Editor's Note: The fol lowing is an exchange 'borrowed' from a
BBS network detai l ing the same program wrilten in both the
Basic09 and C languages.]
Bl i nk in Basic09
by Alan Shel tra
"One thing's for sure. Unless you're Einstein, you're not going
to l earn C as a first language. BASIC09, maybe, but
considering the need for OS-9 to run it, probably not. Each
language has it's stengths, but C is the onl y one that's portable,
independent of the operating system you run i t on. On the
other hand, i f you're writing COCO specific or OS-9 speci fic
stuff anyway, who needs portabil i ty? Each language has its
purpose, and its place."
My point exactly ... ! I just think that C, at least for most users
and especial l y new users would find BASI C09 an easier
language to learn and one thal wi l l fit most of their needs.
I would love to do a joint BASIC09 / C tutorial showing the
di fferences between the two languages . . .
Since you've covered doing a clear screen in C, how abut a
doing a simple graphics tutorial showing different ways t do
the same demo . . . You can do one in C, me in B09 . . . I would
l ike to show how to do this using the system, rather than using
CLl B or in B09' s case GFX2. . . here's an example showing
how to do a "blink on/off' using a BASIC09 procedure . . .
Fire up BASIC09 and load " blnk" then pack.
To run from std shell :
To run from Shell+ :
bl ink on
BLINK . B0 9
( * Turn Blink on or off
( * Works only on a Hardware Texl Window
TYPE blink=cmd, code : BYTE
DIM blnk : bl ink
DIM stdout : INTEGER
stcout : =l
blnk . cmd : =$IF
( * Pass parameter "ONt! or <' on" to turn Bl ink :nl HOF? t! or " offlt
( * to tUrn it back off
PAR on_o f f : STRING [ 3 ]
DIM passed-aram : STRING [ 3 ]
( * Trap Parameter ERROR
ON ERROR goto 10
passed-param: =on_off
I F passedyaram="ON" or passed_parar=!ton" THEN
blnk . code : =$24
IF pa"sed-param="OFF" or pa3sed_param=" off" THEN
blnk . code : =$25
(* Send system codes to 5TDOUT
PUT i3tdout , blnk
10 e r : =ERR
IF er=56 THEN \ ( * Parameter Error
PRINT " Usage : BLINK ( "ON" ) or BLINK ( "OFF " )
PRINT " Error i " ; er; " encountered in Bl ink"
The PARAM sttement i n BASIC09 has a syntax identi cal to
the DIM statement. The difference is that a DIM
(DIMenetioned) variable al l ocates storage for that variable
type. To quickly refresh your memory, BASIC09 has 5 basic
atomic tvpes'
Values Al l owable Storage
BYT Whole nu-Byte
o t 255
INEGER Whole numbers 2 Bytes
-32768 to 32767
REAL FLoating Point 5 Bytes
+/- 1 * 10138
STRING Charaters Letter, 1 Byte
numbers etc per Char
BOOLEAl Tre or False I Byte
Parameters do not allocate storage for the variable being
passed, but instead describes to Lhe "cal led" procedure whaL
DATA typ i s being passed to it. There arc 2 ways a
parameter may be
assed, ( I ) by Value or (2) Reference.
Passing by VALUE usually means passing an expressi on,
while by REFRENCE we would b passing a variabl e. In
this example, we are passing by VALUE.
PARAM on_off: STRING[ 3 j
Tells BLINK procedure to expect a STRI NG of 3
In the BLINK procedure the PARAM is a STRING variable 01
3 characters called "on_off" . This i s used to describe to
BLINK what i s expected. One i mportant note: BASIC09 docs
NOT check data TYPE of a passed variable, only the SIZE,
tat is why a PARAM must match the called variable.
DI M passed_param:STRI NG[ 3j
Allocates storage for DIMemlioned S"IRI1G
passed_param: =on_off
Maes "passed_param" EQUAL to "on_off"
The DIMentioned variable "passed_param" i s used in this
procedure for eror-checking. Si nce "passed_param" i-
identical in storage size and type to "on_off' , a val idation
check can be done by making " passed_param" equal to
"on_off'. If the wrong value wefe passed, the error trap "01
ERROR GOTO 1 0" would catch it (more on ERROR tra
i ng
The parameter being passed in Ihe case of our BUNK
procedure is a string of 3 characters whi ch is either "on" or
"off'. This i s checked using an IF/THEN statemcnt to
determine whether we wantcd bl inki ng on or off.
Any atomic type can be passed as a parameter, inc l uding
complex TYPE statements which I will go into i n the next
BASIC TRAI NI NG instali menL
Parameter Pitfal l s: One quick note on passing BYTE variables;
since expressions containing numeric values arc ei ther
I NTEGER or REAL, passing these to a BYTE parameter
i gnore the l ow-order BYTE of the number and results are
usual l y O! To avoid thi s probl em, pass your numeric values to
an INTEGER or REAL in your PARAM sttement'!
Stay tuned for "Maki ng use of TYPE' Statement. . .
Any questions so far???
If you' d l i ke a copy of BASIC09 and C source code for the
BLI 1K program you may request it thru : SysOpZOG, Zog's
Cavern BBS (81 8) 761 -4721 or send a blank di sk with self
addressed mai ler to: Ani Maji k Productions P.o. Box 8424
Universal City, Ca. 92608
Bl i nk i n C
by Leonard Cassady
'm curious about ARGC and ARGV . . . I know these arc the
argumenL count and argument vector, but can you explai n their
use a bit? I assume thi s is the only way to pass something to
a C program . . ?"
Lets start at the begi nni ng . . . . .
Al l C programs MUST contain a function cal led "mai n", whi ch
i s al ways the FI RST function executed. The comp
i l er treal,
"mai n" l i ke any other function. When the function "mai n"
rei urns, the program i s done. The operating system may
suppl y argumenl s Lo "mai n". Arguments to "mai n" arc not
required, hu provi de a way to supply command-l ine strings to
the program . . . other passing methods i ncl ude fil e I/O, data
structure tables, etc . . .
The first argument , usual l y cal led "argc " , i s or an " int" type
cast, (I\Teger), and is the number of arguments in the
command-line when the program is invoked. There is no way
to anticipate the number of arguments before hand, but you do
not need concern yourself wi th thi s, as i t i s determi ned at run
ti me, (program execution).
The string arguments, usual l y called "argv", are of a "char"
type-cast and arc arrays of string pointers to the command-l ine
arguments. Each argument is separated by a space, (ASCII 32).
" Argv" i s always passed as a string and must be i mplicitly
converted if you plan to use it as an integer, float el.c . . . (the
standard l ibrary contains functions for such conversions). I E:
"argv[ Oj" would be the name of the program. "argv[ 1 ] would
he the first string after the name of the program.
( Note): You may access i ndi vi dual characters of "argv" by
Lreming them as two-dimensioned arrays, (as shown i n
"bl i nk. c").
"argvl l I 1 01 " the first character i n " argv[ 1 ]"
"argv[ 1 1 [ 1 1 " second character in "argv[ I I "
etc . . . .

You may cal l them whatever you wanl, but they must be these
type-casts as the compiler expects them as such. They arc
cal l ed "argc" and "argv" by convention, but thi s is not etched
in stone.
Now that we have a C "work-alike" , (and I do use the term
loosely), of "blink, b09", I think we should i mprove on it. I' l l
start out wi t h simple changes, and please ask if anyone needs
clarification on anything.
Actual l y, argv i s a pointer to pointer [0 char. Whi le this can in
many cases be treated the same as pointer to aray of char, they
are not the same type and this i s a cause of confusion to new C
prgramers. C does not al l ow passing of arrays to functions,
and (unfortunatly IMHO) silently converts array declarations
i n function headers to pointer declaations. I always declare
main li ke this:
int main ( argc, argv)
int argc ;
char ** argv;
mai n returns i nt, whi ch should be the exit status but some C
compi lers get i t wrong and ignore main' s returned val ue,
Al ways exi t mai n with a cal l to exitO i n portahl e C programs.
Ok guys, . . The fol lowing program i s as close as I coul d come to
Zog s PROCEDUR bl ink' program without using 'exotic' C
code, I also tried to comment the code as clearly as possible so
you can sec what is happening,
The onl y parameter passing is done from the command l i ne by
suppl yi ng a option, (none or more than one wi l l 'force' an error
message and display usage.)
Notes: The option chetker is of tIle crudest form and would b
the first thing I would i mprove, I t checks for a match of the
second l eHef in the option passed for either an ('n','N'). or
The second i mprovement would be to use the "switch"
command as thi s compil es to more compact binary code
that the conditional "i f" docs.
Last woul d be the bl i nk codes. , . . I 'd use a structure type and
address the structure members, saving a byte or two . . .
What's ne l, Zog? . .
/* To compi l e, "ccl blink . o" * 1
iinclude <stdio . h>
'include <lowio . h>
main ( argc, argv)
int argc;
char *argv [ ] ;
int pat. h;
char on [ 2 ] , off [ 2 ] ;
path 0 ;
on [ 0 1 Oxl f ;
on ! l ] Ox2 4 ;
of f Oxlf;
off 0:2 5;
if >2 )
errmsg ( errnof
if (
' n ' )
on, 2 ) ;
1 ] ' f ' )
g off, 2 ) ;
Teo many
/A forat I /O header file
1 * system I /O header f i le
, /
' I
I *
1 *
1 *
* 1
counter */
l ne st ring pointer */
1 *
1 *
code s tr i ngs
* I
* /
/ * set output path t r st cout * /
/ " set ' on ' s t ring to ' 1 f2 4 ' * /
/ * set ' of f ' : t ri ng t o ' 1 f2 5 1 * /
I than one opt on? * /
ions . . ' ) ) ; / yes , exit wjmg */
1 * ' or.' ? */
1 * yes ? wri t string t path * /
/ * and ex i t program
1 * is the opt ion ' eff ' ? * /
/ * yes write s t r i"g t o path * ;
1 * and exi: program * 1
printf ( 'l \ n Blink : Invalid opt ion . . . \ n " ) ; j +
printf ( " \ n Usage : blink [ opt j \ n " ) ; ; "
print f l " Opts - on\n off\n" ) ;
/ * end
Second versi on of Bl i nk, C
There are a few minor di fferences from the first version:
The option i s now checked for an exact match, i nstead of just
the second letter in the option. We've i ntroduced the string
function, " strcmp(); ' , from the l ibray. (and added the header
fle "string. h" , where "strcmp() ;" is declared.)
El iminated the "path" integer, and in it' s place used the
"STDIN" macro. Renamed the code stri ngs to "code 1 " and
" code2" from "on" and "off" , and used "on" and "off' to hol d
the new test strings. Changed the cast-type of the code strings
from "char" to "int",
Al though there are a few more things we coul d do to i mprve
the code, none of them wi l l improve the execution speed, and
lhe savings i n size is around twel ve bytes ... (consi dering le
operating system grabs 8kbytes to run i t), the savi ngs is moot.
Why did we change the cat-type of the "code" strings to an
integer! C, by default, deals with everything as an i nteger,
unl ess you i mpl i ci tl y declare i t otherwise . . .
A "c har" type takes one byte, but since as a "char" typ we
dimensioned the strings three btes long, "on[0-2], and an
" jnt" type takes two bytes, we' ve save a total of two bytes for
both strings and el i minated any need for type conversion by the
compi l er.
Why di d we drop "path" and where does "STDIN" come from?
The trinal I/O i s handled by te STDIN path, (STDIN 0,
STDIJ 1, STFR 2). ThLse are declared i n the
"stdi o. h" header file, so declaring "path" was unnecessary.
Using " SJDl" i s the same as "path" , (both :: 0).
I'd l ike to take a moment here and discuss macros. By
convention, (meaning most Olher programs), marcos are
capitlized s that when reading C source code, they're easy to
spot. They also have the advantage of being declared,
(#define), in only one place. To change all occurrences of the
macro in the code, you onl y have to change it in one place.
Thei r disadvantage is that the pre-compiler,(C.PRP), actual l y
substitutes the defnition for the macro label i n the code at
compile-time, making the final code larger.
Functions, on the other hand, have only one copy in the code
and may be very complex, using less memory and result in
smaller final code.
The moral here i s for simple operations, use macros . . . Jor
complex oprations, use functions. (The use of macros can get
out of hand, so use moderation). Why di d we add " code I " and
"code2"? What was wrong with "on" and "off"?
"Codc l " and "codel were added so we would have a separate
strings to place the bl i nk codes in as i t made more sense and
increased the readabi l ity of the source to use "on" and "ofr' a'
the strings to lest the command- l ine parameter. What i s
"strcmp" and what does i t do?
J heard people say that C has l i ttle or no strmg handl i ng
routines. This simply isn' t true . . . . the problem l ies wi th the
understanding and use of pointers. I' l l save the di scussion of
pointers for another ti me as the subject can cover chapters ...
"SlrcmpC):" is one o|many string handling functions al ready in
the "c1 i b. I " l i brary. It " lexicographical l y" compares two strings
and returns a value. I f the strings arc identical , the retured
value is zcro,(0).
For our usc, al l we need t know is that i f we get a "0" by
cal l ing "strcmp() ; " , the two strings match, and the rest of the
conditional "i f" statement between the brckets, " , ) " wi l l be
The " now control l ogi c" or the program di ctates that i f neither
comparison equals "0", then print the usage and end the
program. Si nce no i s posting questions aboul the code, I' l l
assume that I' m clearly explaining iL . . (| lthat's not the case,
then I've al ready lost everyone . . . . pl case ask if you don't
understand something. )
1 * To compile, " eel bl i nk . e"
1 * The headeI files must be in DEFS
1 * " csTart . r" and t' clib . l '! must be i LIB
linclude <stdio . h>
j include <string . h>
j i nclude <lowio . h>
main ( argc, argv)
int argc;
char *argv [ ] ;
tnt eodel, code2 ;
char *on, *off;
on "on" ;
off ; "offn ;
codel = " \xlf\x2 4 " ;
coda2 = " \ xlf\x2 5" ;
1 * format
1 * st 1ing
1 * system
1 * beginning
* 1
* /
header t ile */
i ons hade 1 fi le * 1
header f i le * 1
C1 |LQ1OP *1
1 * comanO l ine count numer * !
1 * cor.and l ine st ri nQ pointer *1
1 * bl inK code s ! ringS * 1
1 * pointers Iest st rirgs * /
1 * set teST rings * 1
1 * s e t code l n l s t r i ngs * 1
if ( argc >2 ) 1 * mor !13\ CD opt ion? */
exit (_errrsg ( errno, " Too rany options . . , " ) ) ; / * yes , ex it w/:sg * 1
i f ( strcmp ( argv [
write ( STDIN,
exit ( O ) ;
on) == 0 ) {
, 2 ) ;
i f ( st rcmp ( argv [ l ] , off)
write ( STDIN, code2 , 2 ) ;
exit ( 0 ) ;
O J {
printf l " \n Blink : Invalid ojt ion . . . \ n" ) ;
printf ( "\n Usage : blink [ opt 1 \ n
pLintf ( " Opts on \ n off\n" ) ;
1 * i s the Cl l Ot ' on 1 ?
1 * yes ? write st cing path
1* and exit progcam
1* is the opt ion ' of f "
/ * yes ? wr i te : L L 'C paLh
/* and exit program
1* no opt l mc|M
1* show usage .
1 * .nd of program
Maudib - SysopDune Net C SigopPlainrap > SlG Net International
* 1
* 1
* 1
* /
* /
M6809 Emul ator
by Scutt GriepeIltrog
The M6809 Emulator is a package by Bob Santy that al lows
6800 OS9 to run 6809 OS9 modul es. Wi th i t , al l of your old
CoCo OS9 sofware can sti l l be used when you move any of
the newer 68k machines. The package comes wi th a printed
manual , and a disk containing the program itsel f, as wel l as
enough source to let you customize the i nterface
I nstal l ati on
.~ ~~~~
Getting i t set up is a snap. The onl y fi l e on the di sk that you
need i s the M6809 module itself. It goes i n your /dd/CMDS
di rectory. Then creale a /dd/M6809 di rectory, and place al l
your 6809 CMDS, DEFS, LIB, SYS, etc. di rectories and t hei r
contents in that directory. Then you need to delete cert ai n
original OS9 programs from the Idd/M6809/CMDS di rectory,
such as procs, mdir, mfree, and makdi r. The manual here
needs to be upated t strongl y urge you to ddete the makdi r
command, whi ch I found screws up your hard drive i f i t i s
using 5 1 2 byte sectors (check your dmode ssize). In fact, ANY
program that accesses the hard drive di rectl y, whether run
under the emul ator or not, should be aVOided ir the sector sil.c
is 5 1 2 bytes (ti s IS the case on the MMI 1 ). Whi l e in the
emul ator, any program that i s not found i n the M6809/CDS
directory wi l l be run as a 68k program, so del eti ng the 6809
mdir (which doesn't work because memory is organi zed
di fferently) wi l l cause the 68k version t o be used.
used to it
To start the emulator. you can either speci fy a program 1 0 rLl n
or j ust enter 'm6809' r defaul t 10 I he 6809 shei L ThatS right ,
you can switch to the 6809 shel l program runni ng under t he
emulator! From therc you can execute any 6X09 program. just
l ike you woul d back on the CoCo. For example, you can edi t a
C program, compi le it, run i t , a l l under the emul ator from the
6809 shel l = Not that you'd need to if you have a CoCo
available, but for those i nstances when you don' t and need to
run something you can't do yet in 68k, i t does come i n handy.
How it works
To run a 6809 modul e, thc emulator loads up the file from the
M6809/CMDS directory, and si mul ates in software the 6809
instruction set. Al l OS9 cal l s arc passed to OSK by careful l y
matchi ng the compatible cal ls, Certain extra i nterretat i on i s
given t o certain calis, such as open. Whenever an open i s
called on IDDI. .. it is passed to OSK as /DD/M6809/ . . . so that
the 6809 version of fi l es are used. The fork cal l causes a check
for the 6809 version of the named program, which if fOllnd a
copy of M6809 is forked t run i t. If not, a 6Xk versi on wi l l be
executed i f found.
Also i nterpreted i s the wri te cal l when it outputs to the screen,
Normal l y, the codes wi l l just be wri tten Oul unchanged, bm i f
the tmoe tb i s :et t o zer, the OS9 wi ndows escape codes
are translated based upon the currentl y Sel TERM variahl e.
3 1
Thi s way most any terminal can be used, even when a program
is movi ng the cursor aound. The term cap emulation IS l i mi ted
t o text control s, of course, Programs doing graphics or riddl i ng
wi th wi ndows wi l l not work. I you happen to be usi ng
KWindows though, most of these codes arc emulated under
that software, and such programs wil l usual l y work correctl y,
16X09 comes with the necessary modules and source 1 0 al low
customization of the i nterface to OSK. There arc four .C's on
t he di sk in whi ch you can add support for OS9 cal l s, semal',
gctstats, and screen handl ing, A makefl e i s i ncl uded to
recompi l e the -ourcc wi th the emulator object into a new
M6809 modul e. Al though not recommended for persons
wi t hout knowledge or assembl y or C, thi s is an outstandi ng
I ssues
Because i t i s a software emulator, i t takes a good number of
6XOOO cycles (from 30 to 3(0) to emulate each 6809
i nstructi on. Al though the faster speed of a 68000 helps to
olfset t hi s, i t doesn't al ways make the program run faster on a
CoCo. I t depends on what the program docs=
For exampl e take a si mpl e 6809 uti l i ty that docs nothing more
than scan very sector on the hard dri ve to ensure readabi l ity,
That kind of program i s act ual l y fai rl y short and si mpl e, and
al t.hough i I ' s domg a heck of a l ot of di sk i /o, t he emul ator can
nm i t al most as fast as i t would have run on the CoCo. Of
course{ the faster di sk speed on the 6ROOO wi l l act ual l y make
the program quicker. However, the same program wi th an
adtkd routine that searches each sector for a parti cul ar patter
\'i l l be consi derabl y slower, because it is doi ng a lot of
processi ng i nside the program.
The d i llcrence i n emul ated speed bet ween one program and the
ncxt depends on how much processlllg the progmm i s doi ng
For exampl e, t hl rol l owl llg program was compi l ed usi ng
M6X09 runlli ng t he C compi l er in one mi nut e, twelvc seconds:
# nr l uc; p <: t, di 0 ,
rna i n ( j
L r i n f ( " Te5t ' 1 2
\:ft ) ;
Thi s was operat i ng on a MMI with 11 very fast hard drive, and
l l Sl l1g my own CC execut i ve (whi ch passes c. prcp through c.opt
OTI pi pl.' s) . One mi nule doesn't seem l i ke Illch t wai tg but that
can be as InlKh as a hal f hour to compi l e a much larger
program. On a CoCo, wi th t he C compi ler modules al ready i n
memoy, the same compi l e used to tke less than len seconds,
Fi nal
The M6X09 Emulator i s a very useful program for anyone who
i s movmg to t he 6Rk world from 6809, It's wel l written, works
extremel y wel l , and can be customized. Al though a tad pricey,
i ts a val uabl e tool thaI I have found very handy, and
recommend II hi ghl y,
The M6H09 Emul ator i s l isted at 99. 95, and i s available
t hrugh Del mar Co, ( 302) 378-2555,
JhcUUULomgutcr scrVng customcrs bcrcand abroad
Oi;y~outprform other mc
m It pnc cas
A Mult-Usr Mult-Ta System
Verte r O9/600S A
RO X, MD ad other
Oprating System
Flexle - tailor to your reuirement
Exdhle readily available
lw<t Cra
Optonal Plug-i Ba for D
Otonal EmulatorlInterpreter for
09/6809 Sftwae
Idelow-t development platorm
Pric s at $999.00
Fo Kis a Asss Bard caN Pa/al T8coy at 40940742
QUCK ED Sen Etor ad Text Formtter $275.00
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