In Issue 2 you published Four In A Row. The more astute of your
readers may have noticed the 'deliberate' mistake of the spurious line
10045 RETURN. This prevents the text window being repositioned on the
screen and may cause it not to be displayed on some TV's but otherwise
it should work OK.
I have been hearing a lot of comments about the quality of 48K
upgrade boards for the Atari 400. I have had a MAPLIN board fitted at
their Birmingham branch and this is working fine in spite of the use it
gets at Club meetings. There appears to be a propaganda war being waged
by suppliers of these boards. Perhaps your magazine could publish an
unbiased review of these, but what you could say apart from 'it works'
or 'it doesn't work' may be of interest only to electronics experts and
not the normal user.
** The question of what upgrade is the best quality and value is
certainly one which most 400 owners will be interested in. As you say,
some suppliers do tend to put down boards put out by competitors on the
grounds that the chips used are likely to cause overheating. To get an
expert review we would probably have to ask one of the manufacturers and
the views are unlikely to be unbiased. Perhaps more to the point would
be to ask owners who have had upgrades what their experiences have been.
If you have had your 400 upgraded to 48K write in and let us know. Who
did you go to and why? Were you given any guarantee? Have you had any
problems and if so what happened? Did you get a repair or replacement
without bother? We would also be pleased to hear from suppliers and
retailers - what makes your board reliable?
Dear Page 6,
Great magazine. At last one just for Atari users. I have a couple of
questions to ask.
In the basic manual there is a description of RND. The variable or
expression in parentheses following RND is said to be a dummy with no
effect on the numbers returned.
If this is the case, what effect will a 0 or 1 in the parentheses
have on the outcome of a random number as several programs seem to use
these. An example from an actual program is 70 R=INT (0)+1:
Also, I have just had a 48K memory put in my 400 which seems to work
OK, no patterning problems. Is there something I can type in to check
that I have actually got a 48K memory in there working to its full
extent? What would I expect to see printed on the screen with a 16K, 32K
or 48K memory, assuming no program as such has been typed in?
Mrs. E. E.
**I have heard it said that a 0 used as the variable produces a
totally random number whilst a 1 prints the next number in a series of
random numbers, though what truth there is in this I don't know. It may
just be based on another machine's method of choosing random numbers.
Does anyone know whether this is true? You can check your memory by
typing FRE(0) after you power up (don't boot DOS if you have a disk
drive). With 16K you should get 13326, with 32K 29710, and with 48K
37902. The seeming discrepancy with 48K is not due to your being done
out of some memory but is because the Basic Cartridge overlays the
memory between 40K and 48K. With 16 or 32K this makes no difference but
with 48K you do lose 8K to Basic. Take out the cartridge and you have an
extra 8K although you can't then write programs in Basic. If you buy a
48K game however which boots without the Basic cartridge you are
probably getting the full 48K use.
Keep sending in you letters. Not only do they let us know what you
want, they also spark off ideas for articles and programs.