The Editorial Staff of "The Amiga Monitor" handles your questions and problems

Workbench/Icon Deleting Problem

I have a problem on my system I have yet to see mentioned by anyone in the Amiga community. I have an A500 with 28 accelerator, 2.1 WB and 8mb fast RAM.

When I shift-left-mouse-button click on more than one icon in an opened window and choose to delete them, my system deletes ALL the icons in the window, chosen or not. One can see how disastrous this could be! Deleting one at a time is no problem. Any ideas?

Thanks for a fine start to The Monitor.


It sounds to me as if you have the icon for the window selected (e.g. if you are working in the Workbench2.1 disk window, you would have the disk icon selected) when you select delete. The problem involves procedure.

When you're using multi-select, ALWAYS click on the first icon you want to select BEFORE you press shift. That is to make sure that the previously selected icon, such as the icon for the disk/drawer you have open, gets deselected before you select anything. Have you been doing this?

Michael Webb

A4000 Display Troubles

I have an Amiga 4000/040, 2meg chip, 12 meg fast, RapidFire SCSI II with 440 meg seagate drive and ZIP disk attached, a SurpaFAXmodem, laserjet III printer, and 1401 multisync monitor. This system is parnetted to a CD-32.

My problem is the video output. About 2 days before my warranty was up (Commodore was done by then) and no place to get it fixed my 4000 started getting vertical lines on the screen. These vertical lines are still there, but the video is getting worse.

The mouse pointer flickers left/right sometimes as much as 1.4 inch. This makes it very hard to click on small buttons and sliders. The screen colors flicker between light gray (MWB colors) and light blue/purple. AGA screens show fringing of colors.

I am going to take my multi-sync monitor to a friend's house this week to try it on his 4000. I have tried my 4000 with a 1084S with the same results. I find that if I run two different screens, I can pull the front screen down a little and the situation isn't quite as bad. The mouse pointer still flickers left/right though.

The problem occurs consistently. Sometimes it isn't quite as bad as others. The vertical lines (1/2 inch apart, approximately 3 points wide) are always there.

Sometimes icons are ghosted in opposite colors. I would help with this problem and the name and number of a reputable Amiga person that can fix this problem. I live in western Pennsylvania, approximately 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. I tried calling the one remaining Amiga (??) dealer in the area and they told me there is no guarantee the Amiga can fixed. They gave me an excuse about the motherboard being multi-layered and I may just want to trash this system and buy something else (they also sell PCs :( ).

David F. James
Member: Team Amiga

That sounds like quite a problem you have there, Dave. I can't give you an absolute answer, but I can suggest several possible explanations.

Until you mentioned that you had tried the 1084S, I was going to suggest the monitor was a problem; but testing it on another machine should prove conclusive enough. Another possible issue is heat. The strangest problems can sometimes be caused by too much heat buildup inside a computer, and built-in cooling fans may not do the job. For one thing, I would check to make sure that your fan(s) do, in fact, work, and that the computer is in a fairly open area (enough for air to circulate). However, heat being the culprit is unlikely, considering that you say the problem is consistent.

One thing that comes to mind, and is probably the most likely conclusion, is that you have a chipset problem. Your AGA video chip (or any of them, for that matter) may have developed a problem, or been faulty to begin with (such problems do not always appear immediately). If it's at all possible, I would suggest replacing the Lisa chip. I don't know if the A4000 has surface-mounted custom chips, but regardless, you can still replace them; desoldering a surface-mount chip is easy for anybody experienced in electronics work.

Lastly, not being an electronics expert, I can't comment on the A4000 motherboard issue the technicians cited, but I can tell you that as long as a grenade hasn't gone off inside of it, your Amiga can be fixed. This is especially so if you only have one bad microchip (which may or may not be true).

I would explore these various options; I suspect they might lead you to a solution.

If any of you readers out there have any ideas I haven't mentioned, particularly if you are experienced in this line of work and are familiar with this sort of problem, feel free to send them to The Amiga Monitor.

Michael Webb

Connecting Amiga to WWW

HOW DO YOU DO IT, Please send me step by step info on how to connect my Amiga 4000 with a Toaster by New Tek to the WWW. Do I use Winsock or what do I use? How much RAM do I need and what kind of modem will work? How do I get a TC/IP address? These questions are real. I am contacting you from a Macintosh at Seattle University but own the Amiga at home. What browser do I use? Can I use Netscape or only Mosaic? Also how do I create firewall protection so if, after connecting to the WWW and attempting to download something, I won't get a virus in my computer that will destroy my hard drive or Amiga system? Thank you for the information---no one else on the internet has been willing to answer these questions. Even after paying for a tutorial on it from a professor in Berkeley, he said he had no idea how to connect an Amiga to the WWW.

Karen Ludwig

Okay, I'll try to break this down into pieces for you. It's a very complex issue, and fortunately, thanks to the many dedicated Amiga programmers out there, you have a number of options. I'm going to name a number of pieces of software, and unless otherwise noted, you *should* be able to find any of them on Aminet, or a similar Amiga archive.

Connecting an Amiga to the WWW is fundamentally the same as doing so with a PC or Mac, but the steps required to do so are different, and in some ways more difficult (although this is changing gradually).

I'm simply going to give you an overview, but for more information, I would recommend that you contact IAM at phone number 1-610-853-4406 and order Dale L. Larson's "Connect Your Amiga!" book. It is a very well-done, in-depth description of the steps necessary. But what I tell you here should help you get started.

The first thing you need for accessing the WWW is an internet (probably SLIP) connection; this, in turn, requires an Internet Service Provider (very easy to find these days...consult a phone book), or Online Service such as CompuServe or America Online (although if you are strictly a Netizen [Internet user], you would be better off avoiding the latter two...they charge a lot for time spent online, which may be arguable to be worth it if you take into account the many non-internet services they offer; but a decent ISP will only charge you a flat rate). The university itself might allow you to dial up from home; I would recommend that you ask a system administrator about that, since it could save you the trouble of joining another ISP.

Once you have an account at some place that provides dialup internet access (make sure you have a modem that's 14.4kbaud or faster, or you'll be doing a lot of waiting), you need to set up a TCP stack. TCP/IP is the language of the internet; it's the protocol that remote computers use to transfer information in a structured, coherent manner between each other. There are several ways to do this on the Amiga: the old way, and the way we all had to do it before things got easy, was to download AmiTCP, and go through the painful steps needed to set it up (unless you got a setup script to work, in which case you were left with a very jury-rigged...but working...setup). But today, you have options. First, there's the commercial program Termite TCP from Oregon Research, which is supposedly extremely easy to set up. You might, however, want to try the brand new shareware offering Miami, which, although I can't speak from personal experience, should be very easy to set up and use.

Okay, so now we're going to assume you have your internet account, SLIP connection, and TCP stack set up properly, or at least ready to become so. From there on out, it's very easy. You simply need applications to use the TCP stack. Often one of the most significant of these, and which you mentioned, is the web browser. There are several options available for Amiga users; AMosaic, AWeb, Voyager, and IBrowse. No, unfortunately, Netscape is not among the browsers available to Amiga users...but you really aren't missing anything. IBrowse supports all the features, and in my humble opinion, is better, in fact, than Netscape. You can download the latest demo of IBrowse at http://www.omnipresence.com. It's fairly easy to set up and use. But make sure you have MUI! This is available just about anywhere, and is, fortunately easy to set up and use. MANY Amiga internet programs use MUI. If you haven't heard of it, it's a GUI enhancement/programmer's tool system.

Now would be a good time to discuss memory. Even if you A4000 has the standard 6MB, you should be home free. Amiga internet software does take up a good chunk of memory, so the things to watch out for are people with unexpanded A500's hoping to use the internet (that is, through a SLIP connection, not a Shell account). It just can't be done the way things are now (sorry folks); but with your high-end A4000, you should have no problem. Just don't be surprised if you have Miami, MUI, and IBrowse all running at the same time, and you notice yourself a bit short on memory. They ARE memory-intensive; but 6MB is enough.

Let's see...I go back to view your question some more, and I see you're inquiring about modems. Well, as I said, 14,400 baud is the minimum reasonable speed for WWW browsing. I would really recommend 28,800, which is now mainstream, and you might even go so far as to get a 33,600 baud modem, which really isn't even supported very much...YET. Right now, 28,800 is the way to go. There are other technologies developing at this time that bypass the analogue phone lines completely, such as ISDN lines and Cable Modems...but to be honest, I really don't know just how much you can do with one of these and an Amiga. If your Amiga were on an EtherNet network, you might have another option. But it's all very confusing, and best avoided by a beginner. A 28,800 modem, and a decent ISP (Internet Service Provider), should serve you well.

Protection is a key. The best protection is to check all software that you download with a virus checker, preferably one that can scan "inside" LhA files. I would recommend Virus Checker by John Veldthuis, which has been coming along for a while now, and can sit nice and resident within your system checking everything as it passes by. Although caution is imperative, take comfort in the Amiga's obscurity; it corresponds to a relatively small range of viruses. BUT DON'T ASSUME ANYTHING! There ARE viruses out there. Protect yourself and you shall prosper.

I think that just about covers it for now, based on what you said. Remember, unless otherwise noted, all the software I indicated within this description should be available on Aminet (http://wuarchive.wustl.edu/aminet). To get them on your Amiga, you're going to have to put all files on a PC-formatted disk, which either a PC or a Mac should be able to do, and then use CrossDOS back on the Amiga to read them.

If all goes well, you should be on the internet with the Amiga with a minimum of effort. But even if there are problems, stick with it...the results are well worth it.

Michael Webb

Write us!

Do you have a question you would like us to answer? Click here to send email to Editors@HelpDesk, and be sure to include "Editors@HelpDesk" somewhere in the message header. We can't publish all letters, but we will attempt to reply to them all.