Readers Write



Issue 15

May/Jun 85

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Dear Les,

Any chance of pointing out in your next issue that FORBIDDEN FOREST which was reviewed as being really awful in issue 14 is NOT from English Software but is published by U.S. GOLD in the U. K.

I would hate to think that this game will undeservedly give ENGLISH SOFTWARE a bad name!!

Philip Morris, 

English Software.

* Oops, sorry. That is obviously why it is not as good as Jet Boot Jack! Perhaps all U.S. GOLD titles are 'really awful' and that is why they never send any out for review!!



Dear Page 6,

I thought that you might like to know of an undocumented feature of the Atari Artist cartridge used with the Touch Tablet, to allow pictures to be saved in Micropainter format.

The method is to press the INSERT key whilst the picture is on screen and the picture will be saved with the filename PICTURE. Be sure to have a disk ready as there is no prompt. Once saved the picture can be loaded into a Basic program with any of the published picture loaders.

Mike Power,

* Many thanks. This is one of those little bits of information that I thought everybody knew but apparently not as I have had several letters recently asking if this can be done. One thing to watch is that all pictures will be saved with the filename PICTURE so it is important to use option E of DOS to rename the file before saving another. You can also use this in reverse. Take any 62 sector format picture and rename it PICTURE, go to draw mode and press the CLEAR key and the picture will load in and can then be worked on as usual.





Dear Les,

I would like to register a complaint about how easy some of Atari's games are. For example I bought the official PENGO a while ago and it was so easy that by the next day I could reach over 300,000 with just two lives on the hardest level. Even though the game is almost the same as the arcade version graphics wise, I still think it was a waste of money.

Paulo Fragapane,

* I haven't tried PENGO but I wish I could find some easy games! Can you imagine how difficult it is to write reviews when you can't even get off the first screen!!




Dear Page 6,

I am a a British civilian living in Germany and purchased an 800XL here last year. Having found the manual totally useless, I decided to wait until a visit to the U. K to purchase some decent books.

I stayed in Manchester which is by no means a small town and was totally amazed at the lack of Atari literature and software available. The 800XL is very popular in Germany, second only to the Commodore 64 according to German magazines, and both specialist computer shops and departmental stores are full of Atari literature and software. German computer magazines tend to have many more articles, tips and listings for the Atari than their U. K counterparts.

I spent many weeks deciding whether to buy an 800XL or a Commodore 64 and I am convinced I made the right choice but wonder what owners in the U.K. feel?

Malcolm Pearce,
W. Germany.

* This is still the biggest problem Atari face in the U.K. They have always had the best machines so the fact that the new range is even better will not automatically gain them the recognition they deserve. Unless and until all retailers start keeping a good range of Atari software and supporting material Atari have very little chance of getting anywhere near the C64, BBC or Spectrum let alone catching them. This is an area that Atari and their distributors MUST give priority to otherwise all the promises will remain unfulfilled





Dear PAGE 6,

Can you please tell me why so much memory is lost with a 64k RAM module on a 600XL. Only 3k is lost to the O.S., screen display and Basic on a 16k machine. Now I lose 16k to the O.S., 8k to Basic and 3k to the screen and other 'bits and bobs'. Even the Atari Helpline cannot answer this. Can you tell me why?

Michael Phillips,
S. Wales

* Any 8-bit machine (which all the existing Ataris are) can only access 64k total memory which must include the Operating System and language as well as RAM. The memory on all models is made up as follows: The first 1791 bytes are used by the Operating System, up to the 48k boundary is RAM (if installed) and the final 16k is the Operating System. The basic cartridge always occupies the area from 40k to 48k. On a 16k machine RAM is installed only up to the 16k boundary but the top 16k of Operating System is also there as is BASIC which still occupies the same area. If you like, your 16k machine is really a 40k machine so when you upgrade to 64k you only get an extra 24k which is why you feel that you are 'losing' more. Originally Atari called their 48k RAM machines '48k' despite the fact that total memory was 64k but then Commodore started calling their machines '64k' and Atari lost sales. The XL machines are called 64k for commercial reasons and although you might think you have been cheated they do in fact have more 'user-RAM' than the Commodore 64!