Atari Text v1.4

Atari Text is a teletext simulator. It's as simple as that. Designed as a diskzine shell or a catalogue viewing program, it's now on v1.4 which not only allows you to view text, but also caters for Degas pictures as well.

The first version of Atari Text could only display text in plain white, and the date and time were shown in the top right hand corner, both in number form. That was it. The second version catered for text colours, and the date format was changed from number format to letter format. Then came this version; it works in medium and low res, can display Degas pictures and caters for block graphics. It's definitely better than the other versions, but is it user-friendly and how do you set it up?

It's quite simple. You just write a document (it can only be 20 lines long) and save it in ASCII form. The filename you give it corresponds to the page number it will be; e.g. naming it as 100 means it will become page 100. The text in documents can change style and colour using simple commands. For example, to change the colour from green to white, you would type in ((C))0 on a line of its own and to turn text into inverse you should type ((I))1 on its own. Simple eh? Finally, Degas pictures and block graphics are also supported. Block graphics are achieved by using the hash (#) symbol, while Degas pictures are shown by a command line in a document; if Atari Text loads up a page with this command on: ((PIC))PI2 DYNAMIC.PI2 it will look for a picture called DYNAMIC.PI2 and will then show that.

There are several things which I dislike about Atari text. First, it should be able to show documents of any length by "flicking" the screen as on the real Teletext. For example, page 101 could be made up of a 500 line document which Atari Text would flick through. There could also be a hold button, if you wanted. My second criticism is that it's not auto-booting. This is a big shame as nearly all diskmags and catalogues are auto-booting. Finally, the pictures, when displayed, are prone to flickering. Another shame....

All in all, Atari Text v1.4 is pretty good. However, if Steve Pemberton (the programmer) could do the above things, I'd be much happier, and definitely give it at least an 80% score. Oh - and it would be nice if you could show PI1 pictures in medium res!!

From: Dynamic PDL/most good PDLs Contact: 0983 867377 Price: Free with own disk and SAE, else œ1.00

The Uppers.....

and the Downers

Overall: 70%

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