Issue 4

Jul/Aug 83

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Dear Les,

The Calendar program in Issue 3 was one of the first I have managed to type in without a bug. However on checking some dates in the 1880's the program was found to be incorrect. I am sure that there are many of us for whom 'Grandad's birthday' would have been incorrectly calculated. The reason is simple. The year 1900 was not a leap year.

England did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752 and so I can only offer modifications which will allow days between 1753 and 2099 to be calculated. The years 1800 and 1900 were not leap years-the year 2000 will be a leap year. Modifications are as follows:


7 POSITION 4,7:? #6;"1753 TO 2099"

8 FOR Q=1 TO 2000:NEXT Q 335 IF YEAR<=1900 THEN D=D+1

336 IF YEAR<=1800 THEN D=D+l

355 IF YEAR=1900 AND B=29 THEN B=28

356 IF YEAR=1800 AND B=29 THEN B=28

428 IF D>=8 THEN D=1


Steve TuIIett,




Dear Sir,

After purchasing Issue 2 of your magazine, I felt that I must write to congratulate you and to send a subscription for the next six issues.

I have a useful tip that you may wish to publish. Several of my friends also own Atari 400's and it seems to be a common problem that after several hours use, the whole thing seizes up. The keyboard becomes inoperable and the machine refuses to LIST, RUN or even ERROR. As the System Reset key is also disabled the only way out is to switch off and start again, losing the resident program. To prevent this happening, at the start of your program POKE 832,6. Upon doing this I no longer had problems with a program which frequently disabled my machine.

Tony Amesbury,


** Is this really true! Could this be the fix for Atari 'lock-up' that everybody has been searching for? Perhaps some of the more technically minded readers could let us know what this POKE actually does. I can find no reference to it in any of the Memory Maps.



Dear Sir,

With regard to T. C. Mayers' letter in Issue 2 concerning difficulty in loading a program, I have some information which readers might find useful.

Firstly, if you are having difficulty in CLOADing a program and Error 143 or 140 appears at the beginning when the program is about to load or, if after about a minute Error 138 or 143 appears, then note whether the CLOADing sound is a high-pitched tone or a low-pitched tone. If the tone is high then the computer is trying to read Data but there is nothing there. Rewind the tape and then advance it 1 count on the counter. If the same thing happens again then rewind and advance it another count and so on until you get it right.

If the tone is low-pitched then the computer has begun reading Data part way through a program. This usually happens when a program has been recorded in the middle of a tape. Again rewind to where you started to CLOAD and advance the counter one count at a time until the program loads.

I hope that this will help some of your readers. As a final warning, don't leave your program recorder near a television speaker as this can de-magnetise the tape causing a loss of all your programs.

Congratulations on a great magazine. Keep up the good work.

Stuart Norse,

Hoddlesdon, Lancs.




Dear Les,

Congratulations on a steadily improving magazine.

Maplin of Southend, Essex, do upgrades on the 400. They also state that their uplift does not invalidate the Atari guarantee. I had my 400 converted in the same day. Very good service. I cannot say the same for their Annual Subscription to Analog, at the moment they are two issues behind. I am still waiting for issues 9 and 10 which have been on sale locally for over two months. I am several issues missing on Analog and Antic, any ideas where back issues can be obtained?

With regard to tape problems where you get a fault in loading, I have found that by leaving the tape in the position where you have Saved or Loaded a program causes the pinch wheel to put a kink in the tape which will cause a faulty load, so always rewind your tape and release all keys on the recorder.

Excellent Graphics on the Cricket Maths program. Continued success to the magazine.

H. W. Clark,

Barking, Essex




Dear Les,

In answer to your call on Memory boards, I purchased my 400 in August 1981 with 32K fitted from new from Maplin. This board, although reliable, did cause the left half of the TV screen to have vertical lines. The degree of nuisance varied from program to program. As the computer was new to this country at the time, I assume that the board came from the States. I have now replaced this board with a 48K one made by Calisto. This has got rid of the vertical line problem and gives me a sharp fault-free picture. The shop I purchased the board from is called Vision Store in Kingston-upon-Thames. The reason I went there was solely due to the fact that a friend had his machine upgraded there. I went to 48K because I have a feeling that the price of Disk Drives is going to come down to a level that I can afford. Back to the board. After a few days it suddenly would only show Memo Pad mode whether it had Basic in or not. As the shop is not very near to me I decided to open it up and take a look. I found that one of the two extra wires that are soldered onto the cartridge connector was adrift and the other one fell off soon after. I did a quick soldering job and all was well. I wonder how many other computers have had shoddy soldering jobs done?

John Shill,

Farnborough, Hants.

** From the rest of his letter it is obvious that John has some electronics knowledge and without this I would not advocate taking your Atari apart to check on faults. If you have problems ring the shop where you had an upgrade done and get them to fix it quickly. A good shop will help you. If you find delays in getting your machine back, complain. Several people have written to say that they still experience severe delays from Atari's new Service centres. If this is so complain directly to Atari in Slough and ring them two or three times a week until you get your machine back. If you sit back patiently, everyone will assume that you are happy to wait. A Company's reputation is built on Service and Atari took a step in the right direction in setting up their Service centres, but they must be told by you - the customers - if there are still delays and problems.



Dear PAGE 6,

In First Steps you said that by pressing CTRL and 1 it stops the screen scrolling. This is true but it explains it very well in the Basic Reference Manual - page 14.

This must mean that you are saying the experts don't read their manuals.

Nicholas Pearson,

Selby, Yorks.

** Quite right, Nicholas! Bill Wilkinson who wrote the Atari Basic language actually admitted in his column in Compute! that he had his machine for over a year before someone pointed out the CTRL 1 feature!



Please keep sending your letters on any subject, either in answer to queries raised by other readers or on matters that have not been covered before. Also send in any hints and tips that you feel might help other readers or amendments to any of the programs printed. Finally, we are running short of small Demo programs and any short programs demonstrating graphics or other functions would be appreciated.