S P A C E

NEWSLETTER July 1996

President's Corner

By Mike Fitzpatrick July 1996

Well it is time for our annual SPACE Birthday Party. In addition to the feasting we will have another auction of computer/computer related items.

The business meeting will be so brief it probably should be dispensed down to starting the feast and introducing the members who will be conducting the auction.

For the feast: Please remember to bring what you've signed up for plus a little bit something extra. That way everyone can enjoy. Also, just as a precaution remember to bring some flatware and maybe a paper plate or two.

The auction is basically the same as last time. You the seller must state if the item is to have a minimum price coming back to you or if the club is to get the entire sale amount. Also, any item that does not sell you'll have to take back as the storage space is REALLY OVER CROWDED. Lastly, to make things easier and smoother for our club treasurer, no payouts until the August Meeting; this will save on the nightmare of trying to keep the books straight. The rest of the sale protocol will be explained at the time of the meeting.

Lastly, in order to help the dedicated few who traditionally cleanup, I'm asking that everyone pitch in and at least straighten up their area prior to leaving.

See you at the meeting.

BBS News

June 1996

Well the BBS is back on-line (fingers crossed) fully. Any problems please leave e-mail with a description of what has occurred to you.

The damage was more substantial than what was originally reported. The hard drive that was weakened did fail. The 4000A interface card needs repair.

The modem did finally fail. Fortunately, I had a 14.4 modem on my personal machine that is now on the BBS. The extra power supply starts out fine but shuts down when warm and/or a power demand is placed upon it.

In the past year there have been 3 hard drives fail; 2 interface cards (a 4000A & a 4070); two power supplies; and a 14.4 modem. This is a risk that seems to grow as equipment grows older and is used extensively as with a BBS. Replacement items are used.

Now the neat stuff, there is the start of a discussion on how to use the Atari Classic on the Internet. Also the latest version of Ice-T, an 80 column term program has been loaded on the BBS for the DOM folks to evaluate. If they chose not to use it will be placed in the general usage sig_file area.

In a discussion with Amos Jackson of WARP-10 fame and lifemember of SPACE, I was informed that the higher the level of PRO the greater the risk of incompatibility of 3rd party software such as f-mail. This has been or is being done by the current programmer, Steve Cardin, to reduce the number of backdoors into the system.

Thanks all for your patience during the time since the last BBS failure and restoration. If you haven't please re-log on as backup on the hard drive was lost when the hard drive failed.

Treasurer's Report

by Greg Leitner

Among a well-attended meeting in June were a few new faces. At this stage in the 8-bit world it makes you wonder how many others are out there who may need to depend on SPACE for what information is left for their Atari computers. SPACE must make sure that we let Atari users know that we will be here to help them along their way in getting the meet out of their systems.

It seems like there is still new ideas that pop up from time to time that keep our interest alive in our 8-bits. It was announced at the June meeting that in an upcoming monthly meeting there will be a demonstration of using our 8-bits to access the Internet. Come to the next meeting to find out more information about this development.

Don't forget the Birthday bash in July and the auction we have scheduled with the party. The last auction in May was very successful considering only a few members were present. The Club took in $69.00 net at that one and we expect to do even better in July. Remember, we need items to auction off, so if you have any Atari hardware or software you don't use or need anymore, please bring them next month to the auction. Let me know how much you want for each item and we will do all the work in trying to sell it, and the best part is that you get your money and the Club benefits by getting any additional revenue if we can sell it for more.

On to the treasury report fur the June meeting. We had three memberships recorded for June and also we had very good Dom sales. We took in $45.00 on the memberships and another $48.00 in Dom's for a total of $93.00 in receipts.

Our expenses for June unfortunately were greater than our income. We had to pay $52.00 for the semi-annual P.O. Box fee and catching up on three months newsletter costs along with the regular BBS phone bill. Our total expenses were $118.72 leaving our bank balance at $351.74 for the month ended June 30, 1996.

Now that all our major expenses are paid until September, we have a good chance to pick up some ground what with the auctions we have planned in the future and the sale of our Dom's which seems to have picked up again.

In order to accomplish this we need your support each month and that means you need to set aside time the second Friday each month to make it to the meetings. So I guess I will see you all in July, RIGHT!!

Minutes Of Space Meeting

June 14, 1996

Space meeting for June 14, 1996 opened at 7:35 PM. at the Falcon Heights Community Center in Falcon Heights, Minn. Space club president, Mike Fitzpatrick, welcomed everybody to the meeting.

Mike Fitzpatrick asked if there were any additions or corrections to Treasurer and Secretary Report as printed in June newsletter. Hearing none, he asked both be approved as printed. They were approved.

OLD BUSINESS-

Mike asked members to sign the Space Birthday party potluck list on table by meeting room entrance.

Mike Fitzpatrick also said the Space auction would continue on in July at the Space Birthday party and at September Space meeting. He told the membership that he learned things from first auction at May meeting. Space club member, Bill Cotter, asked what he learned. Mike said he learned how to present and organize items for a auction.

A member mentioned a TYPO- ERROR in June Space newsletter. He said it said May Space Newsletter and it should of said June Space Newsletter. The Newsletter editor, Mike Schmidt, noted this mistake.

NEW BUSINESS-

Mike Fitzpatrick, club president, said that there were other Atari club newsletters available for members at meeting. Mike said he is in contact with Atarian from England. He said the new Space club HOME PAGE on the INTERNET is working.

Mike Fitzpatrick said Wesley Ringquist and Nolan Freeman will have a DEMO at the August Space meeting. They will demonstrate using the Atari computer in Atari Text Mode on the INTERNET.

Mike told everyone to show up for the Space 14th Birthday party at the July '96 meeting. Meeting adjourned at 7:50pm.

Michael Weist, Secretary

Space 14th Birthday Party

Believe it or not next Space meeting is the club's birthday party. As in other years this has been a fun event. Mark your calendars and be sure to come. If you know of any former Space club members, let them know. For the last few months a pot luck list has been at the meeting for members to sign- up to bring a potluck item. If you have not been at the last few meetings and will be attending the July Space meeting, try to bring a potluck item. Be ready to have a fun time at the Space birthday party. See you all there. Below is a list of members who have signed up to bring a potluck item.

Mike Weist          A BIG ROASTED TURKEY
THE FITZPATRICKS    CAKE
RAY WAFER           HIS FAMOUS POTATO SALAD
TERRY STREETER      CHICKEN SALAD
GREG LEITNER	    ICE COLD POP
DENNIS WOLD         CHIPS & DIP
MIKE SCHMIDT	    FRUIT PLATE
STEPHEN MYSLAJEK    SALAD
BILL COTTER         HIS FAMOUS BBQ MEATBALLS
RED MALCHOW         DESSERT
DON LANGFORD        BBQ SMOKIES
GLEN KIRSCHENMANN   PLATES, FORKS, NAPKINS
TONY WALSH          COOKIES, ETC.

Origins by Tony Walsh

I am one of the original members of SPACE. I, Steve Howard and Chris Tiggerman started SPACE back in April 1982. At that time, TAIG was the only ATARI club in Mpls. TAIG meetings were in Chaska and they had about 150 members. We wanted a smaller club in the northern part of the Twin Cities. Steve, Chris and I were talking one day at work(UNIVAC) and the idea came up to start another ATARI club. But no one was willing to be president. The ball started rolling when Steve reluctantly volunteered. Chris volunteered to be vice president and I took the librarian job. We had several monthly meetings before we made the public announcement. Many people had expressed interest during those early months so we new the club had a chance to survive.

One of our first projects was to pick out a club name. Steve wanted the words "Saint Paul" in the name. I wanted "ATARI" included. Chris liked the ring of Twin City ATARI Interest Group or TAIG. So we made a list of words and started trying different combinations. It seemed like magic as SPACE was one of the first combinations that everyone liked. And we also agreed that our "temporary" name would be reviewed by the general club membership and they would pick a new permanent name. For some reason, our "temporary" name became permanent.

The first public meeting was in June 1982. I can't remember where the meeting took place - about 8 people showed up. After that meeting, we encountered some problems. Steve resigned and the meeting room was to small. That was a critical time as it seemed like our club foundation had vanished. Chris and I found out that Steve had volunteered, just to start the club and he had no intention of being the president. Steve was an author and he really wanted to write and publish the news letter. Out of nowhere, Ed Finegan stepped forward and replaced Steve. Ed found a new meeting hall on Lexington and Snelling - Minnesota Federal conference room. Our July meeting was a success with 13 people showing up.

At our August meeting, we had 17 ATARI enthusiasts. Steve published our first news letter that month. And I started gathering software for the library. TAIG had 35 disc's of public domain software. I made a deal with Phil Seifert of TAIG to purchase there DOM and redistribute that software in SPACE. Ed surveyed the 17 members and found 8 had the 810 Disk drive and 9 used the 410 Program Recorder for loading software. That meant I had to build 8 DOM's and 7 COM (Cassette Of the Month) each meeting.

The DOM's were easy to build as it took just a few minutes to copy the disc's. The COM's took a full day. I used 60 minute Radio Shack cassette tapes for the COMs. I wrote a basic program that copied all the DOM programs to my 410 Program Recorder. I would start a copy and return in 30 minutes, so I could flip the COM or start a new one. I was lucky if I got the job done in one day because the 410 Program Recorder was not too reliable. I also printed labels with counter numbers that approximated the start of the program.

To load a COM program, you used the 410 counter to position the cassette. Then by pushing the PLAY button, you listened for a long silence in the tones. That meant you must have found the gap between programs. You typed in "LOAD C:" and waited for the computer to beep. Then you quickly depressed PLAY on the 410 and hopefully the program would load. The 410 was a "poor man's" loader and it was not too reliable. That meant the above process was sometimes repeated 3 or 4 times before you got a good load. It was near impossible to load a big program. And we found my 410 counter was different than everyone else so that added another problem. I swapped many COM"s because some worked for some people, and not others. What a time we had with our new toy!

It was really encouraging to go to each meeting. We usually signed up 5 to 10 new members each month. And TAIG really grew - from Aug. 1982 to April 1983 there membership grew from 185 to 358 people. I don't have any numbers for SPACE - my guess is about 100 in April 1983. By this time SPACE and TAIG limited COM's to 5 programs per side because of reliability problems. And by now most people were using disk drives as the price dropped from $459 to $229. We charged $4 for DOM or COM. 5.25 inch disc's, in those days, were $2.25 each. ATARI 800 sold for $499 and the 400 went for $200. An ATARI 400 full stroke keyboard was $125 to $250. The 410 Program Recorder sold for about $80. And the 850 interface went for $250 if you could find one. My Epson, state of the art, MX80 dot matrix printer cost $459 and for $80 more, I could buy EPROM's that printed graphics. The Anchor Signalman 300 baud modem sold for $99. The popular magazines were COMPUTE, 250 pages at $2.50 and Creative Computing at $2.50. COMPUTE really supported ATARI and they usually devoted about 100 pages. They had type in software and informative articles from ATARI founding fathers like Chris Crawfort. All that cost put quite a drain on our pocket books - no wonder the wife was afraid of bankruptcy.

I remember starting many "new" events. SPACE birthday parties, swap meets, paper library, and the 65K upgrade. In Feb. 1983, Steve Bergland [ 2/21/05 spelling correction: Steve Berglund ] figured out how to add memory to his ATARI 400 and I organized a 65K upgrade SIG (Special Interest Group). $85 got you 65K installed on your ATARI 400. Remember that up to this time, most of us had 16K machines which ran 90% of software available. Now my 400 could compete with those 800's with 48K. I think this was one of the first memory upgrades and it seemed we started an avalanche - all you saw advertised after that was memory upgrades. It did not take long for software to catch up with the 65K. And in about 6 months, all you saw was large programs and 48K machines.

Looking back in my notes I see names like Glen Kirschenmamm paid $4 for Aug. 1982 COM. In Sept. 1982, Glen submitted COMPUTE type in software to the library. Sherm Erickson in Nov. 1982 was working with the mail order cassette library. In Jan. 1983, Sherm wrote an article for the news letter explaining the COM mail order procedures and charges. At the Feb. 1983 meeting, Sherm and Rich Mier were working with Prepie and cassette backup. Sherm and Rich also offered their computers and TV's for club demonstrations.

Our club has come along way since 1982. Somehow, the club survived! I have always though the ATARI 400/800 are well though out and well documented computers. And they are a fast (machine language), 8 bit machines. They keep living on. I hope to see many of you at the SPACE meetings for years to come.


Word Search Puzzle: CYCLES

E A N E R O X I G A R K J O N A P N 
E C Y C L E S N E A I H S I E W G W 
N T G D R K B O E P T E R P H T R O 
B E W D N I Q Y T R U D N K O I N A 
E P H E L E P E E L S E A D U R M O 
I S E L E A S E O A T E D E H J C E 
T Y S R E N A V I-S R O T P R S M A 
A A E L U J G L E B E H T U E O N E 
O D C S H T U V Y Z A D P R O T Y M 
E H D E G Y R A S R E V I N N A A B 
G T M D N A D R V O V E R B D K E Y 
E R E I H G X I N D S I E Y T I O N 
P I T T J I A B Q E S D A G X M O N 
T B H Y H H U N G E R P I K D E U D 
L A B E D X E T X M N P E Q E H J R

CROPS    PAY DAY    HUNGER    SUNSET
SLEEP    HARVEST    SERIES    LEAP YEAR
TIDES    DAYBREAK   BILLS     BIRTHDAYS
ANNIVERSARY         EON       MOON RISE

Partial List of Auction Items:

4 - Monitors (1-BMC, 3-Hitachi) (Min Bid of $7.50 ea.)
4 - Printers (Epson's,Panasonic) (Min Bid of $5.00 ea.)
Assorted ATARI Software (Games, Applications)
Assorted ATARI Hardware (Drives, Computers, Tablet, etc)

Be sure to attend the meeting, July 12th, 1996.


DISCLAIMER

Published by the Saint Paul Atari Computer Enthusiasts (SPACE), an independent organization with no business affiliation with ATARI Corporation. Permission is granted to any similar organization with which SPACE exchanges newsletters to reprint material from this newsletter. We do however ask that credit be given to the authors and to SPACE. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of SPACE, the club officers, club members or ATARI Corporation.


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