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CUGI Newsletter / July '88

Newsletter Contents

Volume 1 Number 1

July 1988

Editorial               Shane Broadberry
CUGI PD Software        Stephen Kemp
Zork - the trilogy      Rocco Matassa
CUGI on Compunet        Eddy Carroll
When I'm 64...          Brian Ward
Agony Column            Stephanie
Sculpt 3-D              Shane Broadberry


Welcome. This newsletter, unexpected as it might be, was prepared in order to let you - the members - learn a little more about CUGI. CUGI exists for one reason - to enable Commodoe computer enthusiasts to meet, discuss, and help each other with the machines we spend so much time exploring.

As with all clubs, we suffer from a shortage of topics or news items from time to time with which to run our fortnightly meetings, but no matter how hard we try however to encourage members to contribute programs (you are still programming aren't you?) we receive very few programs - and practically no volunteers for demonstration.... so please, instead of talking throughout the meeting, or falling asleep, volunteer yourself (or anyone else for that matter! (em)) for a short talk or demonstration - you never know - you might soon be on your way to fame and fortune!

This newsletter was entirely prepared on a Commodore Amiga using 'Z' and printed on an Apple LaserWriter.

Your opinions on this newsletter will be gratefully received by any of the committee members.

CUGI Public Domain Software.

Stephen Kemp.

The CUGI public domain library (from here on pd) is probably one of the best pd collections for

the C64 available. For those new to computing it represents a mine of information. Like most mines however a little digging is required to get out the gems. If the user is prepared to put in a little work he/she will be well rewarded. The main uses of the library are briefly as follows.

(1) Applications programs, these can be as various as simple music generators to complex business programs.

(2) Games. For your entertainment. These range from excellent Collosal caves, Star Trek etc. to awful.

(3) Utilities. This is perhaps the most fruitful area of exploration for the beginner. Some of the programs in this bracket stand comparison with the best commercial software. Good examples are disk editors by Gerry Giblin, Ed's amazing sprite editor and the ubiquitous Supermon by Jim Butterfield. If you ever said to yourself "I wish I could..." there is probably a program here toenable you to fulfill your desires.

One of the most interesting aspect of pd software is that it may be freely modified and copied quite freely. This means that useful sections of code may be extracted and used in your oun programs, or you may decide to use the program whole and simply add your own modifications and improvements!! If you decide to submit your work to be put into the public domain (and achieve World-wide recognition!) it is customary to acknowledge any input by other authors.

Lastly, because much of the software is written in BASIC it is possible to LIST the program and find out for yourself the answer to the much asked question "I wonder how he does that?" At the low asking price a pd disk from the library represents great value for money and can be useful, educational, entertaining or all three! Why not treat yourself and take one home soon!

ZORK - the trilogy

Rocco Matassa

Of all the computer adventures by infocom "Zork" stands out as a classic. It is an adventure in the tradition of colossal caves. "Zork" is divided into three parts, all played separately.

(1) Collect 18 treasures and store them in the display cabinet in the house.

(2) Collect a further 12 treasures and defeat an evil magician.

(3) Take command of the dungeon and become the dungeon master.

Part 1 is a straight forward puzzle and collection adventure. The treasures you need are for the most part well hidden, or if in sight well guarded. However what you collect is still vulnerable as a wandering thief will help himself to anything he takes a fancy to. Once solved and the treasures deposited into the display case an opening into part 2 appears.

In part 2, as in part 1 you must collect treasures, but your problems are even more subtle than part 1. You find yourself in the kingdom of the Great Underground Empire GUE for short, and will have to deal with many devices of the Frobozz magic company. Your main adversary here is Frobozz an evil wizard far more dangerous and irritating than the thief. To finish part 2 apart from collecting the treasures you will have to deal with Frobozz, summoning demons and dealing with sea monsters are only a small part of it, naturally once defeated you only have to find the entrance to part 3.

Finally part 3. This one is a little odd, you have seven small tasks to perform, meeting characters from part 1 and 2 plus the use of items from the previous adventures. Here your task is to find the dungeon controller and take his place.

All in all, Zork is a very enjoyable romp. I can recommend it to any one considering doing an adventure. There are a few bugs and the ability to use a parser which recognises sentences is a great advantage. Zork is a perfect example of an adventure with a good balance of problem versus difficulry level. Many hours of adventuring,

Rocco Matassa.

CUGI's Section on Compunet

Eddy Carroll.

Most Commodore owners have probably heard of Compunet - it's a service which C64 and Amiga owners can call up with their modem. Recently, Istel (on whom Compunet depend for providing local-call access to members) opened up a node in Dublin thus allowing Dublin commodore users cheap access to Compunet. In fact, for about 30 punts a quarter, you can now obtain top-level access to Compunet, which entitles you to connect to Compunet at any time outside business hours for the price of a local call.

Compunet offers a variety of services including a huge array of programs of all sorts, and a wide number of electronic magazines.

CUGI recently obtained an account on Compunet, and the CUGI Compunet directory has just been setup to provide information for those members on Compunet.

As well as providing basic information about the club for anyone interested in joining, there are several sections maintained for the benefit of members. The SOFTWARE LIBRARY directory contains an up-to-date catalogue of the current contents of the various public domain software collections CUGI maintains, as well as selected programs from these libraries. Any news of general interest to members will appear in the NEWS directory. Also contained in this directory are contained regular reports on previous club meetings summarising the events of the night.

The HELP area is for people to upload their questions about CUGI, or about computing in general. Any questions uploaded will be answered by one of the committee (or by anyone else who knows the answer). The MEMBERS AREA is, as you might guess, for members to upload their own material, This can take any form, from programs you have written to possible suggestions for future CUGI meetings to things totally unconnected with the club and computing.

Finally, the FUTURE MEETINGS Page is regularly updated and contains information about forthcoming meetings. Hopefully, more and more members will be taking advantage of Compunet's introductory C64 offer (#26 gets you a modem and a three month subscription!) and the CUGI directory will become a very useful source of information for members.

Included in this newsletter, are a number of tips these are also written by Eddy...

Here's a tip for single drive workbench users: If you want to backup a disk from workbench, you normally have to have booted with a workbench disk that has the DISKCOPY icon in the system drawer. If you didn't boot up with a workbench disk, hard luck. However, you can get around this by inserting your workbench disk in drive O, opening the system drawer, and then putting the disk you want to copy onto in drive 0.

Now, click once on the disk you want to copy from (you should have inserted it in the drive beforehand, and opened it's window so it won't disappear when youremove it), then hold SHIFT and click on the icon of the disk you want to copy to, and finally (with SHIFT still held down) double-click the DISCOPY icon in the System drawer you opened earlier, and off Diskcopy will go. You can use the same technique with the Format icon in the system drawer.

One of CUGIs compunet seen on an Amiga.

And now another tip from Eddy..

Using the CLI on a single-drive system has got to be one of the more cruel tortures known to mankind. The task can be made a lot easier by copying the 'C' directory into RAM: (type MAKEDIR RAM:C, COPY C: RAM:C, ASSIGN C: RAM:C as three seperate commands)

Sometimes this is inconvenient though, or you can't spare the memory. A useful trick to know is this: If you type in a full command line to the CLI, and at the end of it, you put a plus sign (+) by itself, then when you press RETURN, the CLI will load in that command but will wait for you to press RETURN before it executes it. This can be used to great affect if, for example, you want to get a directory of a disk. You can type DIR DFO: + <return and then when the light goes out, put in the disk into drive O. Now, press <return> again, and you get your directory. This technique will work with any command.

When I'm 64..

Brian Ward.

One of the things that attracted me to the commodore when I was buying it, was the fact that it had a synthesiser built into it. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that after several hours of POKEing etc. all I could get out of it was "Do Re Mi" etc. So I thought "Sod that for a lark and continued playing "China Miner" (come on - admit it, you've played it too!) It wasn't until I got my disk drive that I discovered the value of the CUGI library (fantastic value and still only 1.50 - available from your friendly CUGI librarian), then I started to realise that there was more to the SID chip than at first met the eye.

The earliest programmes consisted of gems like "Turn your keyboard into a Piano" and such like, which although they removed the POKEing time, you still ended up with songs like "Doe a Deer" and "Free Jacques" with which you spent hours amazing and boring your friends and family! The first half decent demo's from TPUG in Canada, were by todays' standards, quite tame, but they did signify the start of something much bigger.

Demos like "Fugue" and "Canon" weren't up to much, again, by todays' standards, but they did use ocasionally, the three voices of SiD, and it led people to believe that there could be more to the 64 than we first believed. It was around that time that the commercial software appeared, one of thefirst of which was the "Kawasaki Synth Sample" which was of course written by Mr. Honda (or was it Yamaha?). When the programme was loaded all you got was "dee do do den den den...crash!"- ad nauseum. However when you started to play around with it, you could come up with some half decent sounds. These sounds were however quite limited to the "de do..crash" etc. All one could really do was alter the speed, or remove one of the instruments, or the drums. One bonus or in some cases, drawback, was you could draw some quite awful/good pictures, while playing your music. It wasn't the Royal Philharmonic but we were happy. However within the apace of a few months, came the real breakthrough, with "3001". This was and in many cases still is a very powerful programme. You could not only alter the waveforms, pitch etc. but you could programme the rhythm track to go along with the music, and you ended up with some weird and wonderful sounds.

Just when people thought that what was about it ("Goodbye and thanks for all the fish etc."), as far as music and your 64 were concerned, along came "FM Expander" which was only incredible, although the programme supplied with it was deliberately poor.

However this was somewhat compensated for by the real keyboard "Be a rockstar in your own home, with this brilliant etc…" From my own point of view, any person who could afford one was nothing less than a YUPPIE, simply because I didn't have the money to buy one, and just to make my point I nearly didn't give the one I had been loaned back! The "FM Expander" is absolutely fabulous and I would recommend anyone who is interested in music seriously, to invest in one.

Well that just about brings us up the present Who knows maybe in the future, Rock Stars may be masters of the SID chip... NEVER...

Agony Column...

Dear Stephanie,

I am writing to you concerning a habit of which I am very ashamed, but I can't seem to be able to kick. It has gotten so bad that have lost all my friends and my girlfriend. It all started about a year ago when I was at a party in a friends house. There was something going on in another room, so I decided to check it out. When I went in, they seemed to be having fun, so I decided to try it I cannot describe how it felt, but something took over me, and, although I didn't know it at the time, I was already hooked.

What I had tried, and I am very ashamed to say it, was a Sinclair ZX81 (Editor's note: we apologize for the use of language in this letter.). Since then my habit has gotten worse. I used to spend all my time locked in my room playing with my joystick and my keyboard. I couldn't help myself, I loved the feel of the rubber keypad. Soon I needed more memory, and so I am ashamed to say, I bought a Spectrum. I thought that that would be the end of it, but no. I soon needed more memory, and I just had to have the expansion pack to satisfy my craving. Now I realize how low I have fallen, because I now find that I have a craving for, and please believe me, it repulses me to say this, the "QL".

It was then I decided to seek your help, Stephanie, because I've heard it said that once you've gone onto the "QL", that there 1s no turning back. Help me Stephanie,

please please, help me.



Dear Distressed Greystones,

I have never heard of a more depraved case than yourself. It appears that you have almost gone to the point of no return. However if you are serious about reforming, I must warn you the road is very long and hard, and many have fallen by the wayside, but if you follow the instructions I am about to give you, you may, only may, have a slight chance, to kick this habit.

(1) You must publicly renounce the heretic, "Sir Clive Sinclair".

(2) Before the sun goes down, you must take your machine, (I am forbidden to say the name of it) to a holy place i.e. a Commodore Users Group meeting, and drive a sacred light pen, which has been blessed by the Most Reverend Chairman of the committee, through the machines main "chip". If you don't do this before the sun goes down, you run the risk of eternal damnation.

(3) When this has been done, you must then pray to the our Lord most high, the Very Reverend Jim Butterfield, for forgiveness and guidance.

My best wishes go with you. If you should manage to come through this ordeal, you might perhaps consider joining, SQUAD (Spectrum & QL Users Addiction Defeat) which helps others like yourself, kick this filthy habit.