Atari Classics Magazine Reviewed - By Dean Garraghty
(c)1995 Dean Garraghty

Not too long ago, most of us had given up Atari Classics Magazine for dead. With the original team deciding to call it a day, its future looked bleak. However, it was "rescued" by a team of people in California, headed by Jim Hood and Bob Woolley. Since then, they have produced 3 issues. The most recent two arrived with us recently, and I decided to have a good look at them, and write about what's happening in the States and who's writing about what.

The first of the two issues is Vol.4, No.1 (Jan/Feb 1995). This is 40 pages in length, but 18 pages of this are taken up in advertising, the front cover, and the contents page. The Editor's Page in this issue explains what the situation is with AC. Jim Hood, who "rescued" the magazine has developed cancer, and is not too well at all. Therefore, Bob Woolley is currently looking after things. The A-T-A-R-I column shows how to add sound to your monitor. It also talks about transferring files to/from a PC, and talks about UTIL, which as some News-Paper readers will know, often causes me much misery!! The Garret column talks about a TV Bingo game, and waffles on for pages about nothing at all to do with the Atari! An article named BASIC OFF! talks about how to disable BASIC from within other programming languages. Two educational software packages are then reviewed - "Decoding" which teaches spelling and word pronunciation, and "Elements of Chemistry" which teaches the periodic table. The article Keycode Getter talks about using location 764 to get key presses. The regular 65816 column talks about how to use and program this 16-bit processor upgrade for the Atari. The TT Touch article talks about a simple way of improving the feel of the XE keyboards. The Red Faced and Doghoused article talks about a programming evening by some members of a user group.

The advertisers in this issue are: Evangelo's Software, K-Products, Frank M. Polosky, Toad Computers, B&C ComputerVisions, More Than Games, DGS, GFH Marketing, Richard Gore, Video 61, Bolt's Electronic Repair Service, Palette Imaging Inc.

The Next issue is Vol.4, No.2, which is dated March/April 1995 but I am told this is the current issue. This too has 40 pages, and 20 pages are taken by adverts, the front cover, and the contents page.

The first article in this issue is called Percom Primer. This is a long article which talks about the Percom disk drives which were available for the Atari. It tells you all about them, how to fix any which don't seem to work, how they operate, what they can and can't do, and loads more. Even if you can't get a Percom drive, this is a very useful article to read. The next article is about a new PAL upgrade for the NTSC machines. The nir-PAL upgrade allows NTSC users to run PAL-happy programs and demos on NTSC machines without them crashing or running in black and white!

The next article is a solution to "The Count" adventure. Another article on the 65816 upgrade talks about programming it. A list of US and Australian Atari user groups is on the next page. The next few pages are taken up by re-printed software reviews on European software. It seems the Americans have only just discovered Ruff&Reddy, Battleship, and Yogi's Great Escape!! The next article called Besting Basic is an article all about Basic, along with programming tips.

The advertisers in this issue are much the same as in the last, but the following didn't advertise last issue:

Mytek, produce a device called Studio II, which is basically a genlocker for the Atari, but only for NTSC systems.

Computer Software Services, sell the R-Time 8 cart, Action! cart, BASIC XL cart, BASIC XE cart, MAC/65 cart, Super E-Burner, and Multiplexer which allows up to 8 Ataris to read from the same drives, use the same printer, and talk to one another.

So, what did I think of these two issues? Well, they're not too bad at all! You will find that the text is quite big and well spaced out, so you might be getting 20 pages of articles, but the amount in reality would be less. However, the writing is top notch, and it has a far better mix of articles than ever before. If you want to keep up to date with what's happening in the US, then Atari Classics is the magazine to read. A subscription form is included in this issue of the News-Paper.

Originally published in The Atari 8-bit News-Paper.

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