Antic: The Atari Resource (March 1987)

in #retrocomputing9 months ago (edited)

Cover of the March 1987 issue of Antic

ANALOG and Antic were the two most popular magazines that covered Atari 8-bit computers. While ANALOG stuck to being mostly 8-bit exclusive throughout its life, Antic moved to covering both the Atari ST and the 8-bit line when the ST was introduced.

The March 1987 issue includes:


  • Word Searcher - This type-in program solves word search puzzles for you. All you have to do is type in the letter grid and the words you are looking for.

  • Rainbow Screen Customizer - A routine to make variable colored backgrounds in your own programs.

  • Today's Victorious Atari Corp. - Praising the release of the Atari ST and XE line of computers, this article paints a rosy picture of Atari's future. This did not age well.

  • Dvorak Keyboard - This type-in program changes the layout of your keyboard from the standard QWERTY layout to the supposedly faster to type on Dvorak keyboard. It may indeed be faster but I can't imagine learning a new keyboard layout after learning to type on a QWERTY keyboard. I can type fast enough. To give you an idea how much better it is though, supposedly the fingers of someone who types for a living will move 16 miles a day on a QWERTY keyboard as opposed to only a mile with the Dvorak layout.

Table of Contents from the March 1987 issue of Antic


  • Editorial - All about ANTIC On-Line, an online version of ANTIC available via CompuServe.

  • I/O Board - Letters from readers this month include topics such as using Atari computers at an MDA telethon, sharing a hard drive between an Atari ST and Atari 8-bit, a correction to Budget dB, obtaining the Atari Developers Kit, the Microline 1025 printer, hints for Ultima IV, Atari 1020 Plotter pens, and more.

  • New Products - New products mentioned this month include Video Vegas, a casino sim; Math Blaster!, Word Attack!, and Spell It! educational software; Guderian, a World War II sim; Stocks and Bonds, an investment game; Warship, a World War II ship combat sim, and more.

  • Game of the Month: Vectron - The play mechanics of this type-in game remind be a bit of Combat for the Atari least the game modes in which your shots bounce off of the walls.

  • Starting Out; New Owners Column - This month, learn how to use the various graphics modes of your Atari 8-bit.

ST Resource

  • Using INP and OUT - Learning how to use the INP and OUT commands by creating a terminal program in ST BASIC .

  • ST Puzzler - A type-in program that generates random jigsaw puzzles.

  • ST Reviews - Items reviewed include ST Pool and 8-Ball, two pool games; Timekeeper, a real-time battery backed-up clock; Mean 18, a golf game from Accolade; and MIDI Magic, software that sends MIDI music from disk out the MIDI port of the Atari ST.

  • BASIC Alert - How to create alert boxes in ST BASIC.

Back cover of the March 1987 issue of Antic

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Man, I love checking out these old video game magazines. I have a few hundred in my possession and love re-reading them, the “cutting edge” software and interviews especially are sometimes wild.

Word Searcher, that sounds like a type-in that is worth every keystroke and hour spent searching for mistakes in the code. My parents would have loved that program back in the day. I would have loved it in my early days of experimenting with those puzzles (I have long since given up on them unless I am seriously into the subject).

I need to check out that Dvorak Keyboard thing. I have known about other key layout options but cannot remember if I have seen that one or not. Not that I see myself changing to a new layout (30+ years of QWERTY will do that to you).

I have never heard of Analog or Antic outside of articles such as yours. If I had more room I would investigate getting physical copies. Nothing can replace the feel of a magazine in your hand.

I have a couple of Analog and Antic magazines around but not many. I was a Commodore 64 guy and never really saw an 8-bit Atari computer until much later.

Speaking of cutting edge, the stuff that intrigued me most at the time were the articles about the upcoming Super NES CD-ROM, mostly in EGM. I was really looking forward to that.

Dvorak seemed to be the most popular alternative keyboard layout. I can't even name another. But yeah, I don't see myself even bothering to try to relearn to type. Not sure I can think much faster than I can type now anyway :).

We have similar backgrounds, I was all about Commodore 64 myself. I did not know Atari made computers till well after the Sega Genesis was released when EGM did a comparison. They compared Amiga and Atari ST, I believe, with the Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx-16.

Oh man, yes, I was hyped for the SNES CD-ROM too. That was going to be amazing, in a way I am glad it never materialized. So much of gaming would be different if it was released.

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