Issue 3

May/Jun 83

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Dear Sir,

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.

Mike Aston,


** 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: S=INT(RND(1)*16).

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. Matthews,


**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.