Z*Magazine: 15-Jun-86 Special Edition #4From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/03/93-08:25:29 PM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 15-Jun-86 Special Edition #4 Date: Sat Jul 3 20:25:29 1993 ^^^ Zmagazine Special Editon CES 1986!! The Final Rap Up Ron Kovacs-Editor June 15, 1986 Special Edition #4 Xx Summer CES Rap-Up ----------------------------------- ANTIC ONLINE PUBLISHING COPYRIGHT 1986, REPRINTED BY PERMISSION FROM COMPUSERVE ANTIC ONLINE. By Jack Powell Associate Editor, STart 6/4/86 CHICAGO Tantalizing glimpses of the long- rumored ST 32-bit machine were offered by Atari Software President Sig Hartmann and Computer Product Marketing Manager Brian Kerr. Hartmann said," presumably an operating system compatible with UNIX, the multi-tasking operating system developed by ATT Bell Labs. According to Kerr, the 32/32 uses the Motorola 68020 chip. The 68020 is in the same "family" as the 68000, making all 520ST and 1040ST software "downwardly-compatible" with the new machine. Atari is toying with two possible configurations: either an open architecture machine with slots, or using the ST as front end to the 32-bit as number cruncher. This all happened when the Chicagoland Atari User's Group ( C.L.A.U.G.) invited Atari Corp., Antic magazine, Analog magazine, and Bill Wilkinson (representing both his company Optimized Systems Software and Compute! magazine) to participate in a Tuesday night dinner meeting at Trinity College. The Atari representatives fielded questions from over 250 members of several midwestern Atari user's groups during the informal panel session. THE IBM ST: According to Atari's Sig Hartmann, the ST IBM PC emulator will "hopefully" be ready before the end of the year. Hartmann added that he expects the future to bring an ST emulator for those unfortunate enough to still own an IBM PC. THE APPLE ST: Atari is also considering the possibility of developing their own Apple II emulator. This move would allow schools with ST computers to tap the vast Apple II education software library. Hartmann is negotiating the legal complications with Apple Computer Corp. BLITTER CHIP: Questions on the rumored "blitter chip", said to improve the ST's graphic capabilities, prompted Hartmann to announce, "We will definitely have a one-million pixel machine early next year." It is not known if he was referring to an add-on for the existing machines, or the resolution of the new 32-bit workstation. Hartmann also vaguely mentioned a project that would use the ST as the "brain" for a low- cost laser printer. Though Hartmann declined to source at Batteries Included told Antic that Atari has asked them to design software for the laser printer. 200,000 STs WORLDWIDE: The latest Atari sales claims came from Kerr who announced sales of 200,000 units worldwide, 40 percent of which have been sold in the United States. In Germany, the 520 and 1040ST are number one and number two respectively on the German hardware best-seller lists. NEW DOCS: The infamously obtuse ST developer's documentation is being re-written by a team of seven professional writers. Atari expects to receive the first draft this November. No date was set for publication. MORE ATARI MAGAZINES: At the meeting, Bill Wilkinson announced Compute!'s new ST magazine,expected in September. Like Antic Publishing's STart, the new Compute magazine will include a 3 1/2-inch disk. Lee Pappas of Analog Computing magazine announced a special, one- time, exclusively 8-bit issue. At the same time, Pappas took the opportunity to announce that ST Log, the ST section of Analog, will become a separate magazine "by the end of the year." SNEAK PREVIEW: THE NEW DEGAS Batteries Included showed Antic a sneak preview version of the new DEGAS Elite written by Tom Hudson. No release date was set for the updated version of the popular ST paint package, which will retail for $79. An upgrade will be available to registered DEGAS owners at half price. The new DEGAS can load practically any file format including 8-bit picture files, various resolution formats, or Macintosh and Amiga picture files. It works completely within the familiar GEM interface. Click and drag colors, blend between colors and create multicolor fills. Up to eight screens are available within RAM in the 1040ST, and half that number on the 520ST . Color palettes may be loaded from any picture file on disk. The program will eventually have a distort function allowing you to grab and stretch parts of the picture. The version shown had a system to create color animation with four different sets of colors. There are ten levels of zoom with a split screen which you can scroll within. Batteries Included also showed two business-oriented packages; Thunder ($39.95), a real-time spelling checker, and I*S Talk, ($79.95) an advanced telecommunications package. Both programs are now available. INTEGRATED SOFTWARE: Timeworks demonstrated Data Manager, the first in a series available in late August. All programs are GEM-based and all are designed so that you may use either the mouse or keyboard commands. Intuitive and fairly easy to use, the non- relational database features a flexible report generator. View records in form view or column view -- which looks much like a spreadsheet. Fields may be defined as text, numeric, calculator, time, date, and custom. The custom design lets you design your own field format from elements of the other field formats. SwiftCalc, the spreadsheet part of the package and the WordWrite, word processor were not available for demonstration. SwiftCalc is described as a Lotus 1-2-3 "type" spreadsheet without macros, but with windows. Timeworks is also releasing Silvia Porter's Personal Finance, a financial planning package. All are packaged in in professional-looking IBM-style box-and-binder, and sell for $89.95 each. CONTROLLING HOME: With this system, you can be sure your electric ice cream maker is turned on and ready for you when you return from vacation. X-10 USA has created a collection of home control hardware for various computers. The main controlling interface - which is expected to sell for $69.95 - is programmed by the computer, which may then be turned off. The Powerhouse retains the instructions and acts accordingly. Each remote module ($16.95 each) can control a single appliance or light. Hippopotamus Software and Michtron are creating ST software to interface with the X-10 Powerhouse modules. TERMINAL SPORTS: Hardball, Accolade's baseball program for 8-bit Ataris has some very detailed, three-dimensional graphics and a good sense of play. Also available for the 8-bits is a fight game called, appropriately enough, Fight Night. Both games will be available in July for $29.95. For the ST, Accolade demonstrated Mean 18, a golf game. Shipping date is the end of June for this $49.95 golf simulation featuring four famous courses (Pebble Beach, St. Andrews) and a course architect program which lets you create your own. MORE FORE: Golf seems to be a popular ST sport this year. Access software has their own ST golf release, Leader Board ($39.95) with 3-D point-of-view and computerized scoring, handicap system. While swinging clubs, we checked out Artworx Hole in One Golf ($29.95) which provides an overhead view of the game and a "course creator" to design your own challenges. KIDS STUFF: Parents desperately seeking ST software suitable for children, will be relieved to hear about Baudville's Rainy Day Games, for kids age 4 and up. This package is a collection of three family children's classics: Concentration, Old Maid, and Go Fish. Also from Baudville, a company new to the Atari world, is Video Vegas, a game for grown ups which includes a slot machine, blackjack game, Keno, and draw poker. Guitar Wizard, a guitar tutorial, is in the works. The programs will be available this Fall for $34.95 each. BUSINESS IS WAR: Avalon Hill was touting Spitfire 40, a game and flight simulator for both the ST and 8-bit, available in October at $35 for both machines. For the 8-bit only is Mission on Thunderhead ($25), an arcade adventure which is available now. In September, 8-bitters can look to this company for Guderian, a strategy game priced at $30. SILENT SERVICE: Programmer Silas Warner showed an ST version of Microprose Silent Service. Expected by the third quarter for $39.95, this thoroughly accurate submarine game contains seven scenarios which we were assured, are exact duplicates of the actual event -- unless you change the course of history by torpedoing the wrong vessel. PENGUIN DOES IT AGAIN: A few years ago, Penguin Software -- makers of adventure games such as Transylvania -- created a marketing stir by lowering their prices to $19.95 at a time when everyone else was selling game software for $49.95. Well, they're doing it again. At CES, they took the opportunity to announce that all Penguin ST software will henceforth be priced at $19.95. Many Penguin 8-bit products are even lower. SOFTWARE AS MOVIES? Several companies have recently tried incorporating movie editing techniques in games for a greater sense of reality. The Lucasfilm games come most readily to mind. Mindscape -- in addition to throwing the best party at CES -- rented a hotel suite to Demonstrate Cinemaware, a series of "graphically advanced" computer games for the ST. Among the impressive list of contributors to this series are Bill Williams, author of Necromancer and Alleycat; Sci-Fi author and computer pundit Jerry Pournelle; Bruce Webster, author of Sundog; and Doug Sharp, of Chipwits fame. The games have theatrical titles as well: "Sinbad and the Throne of the Falcon", "The King of Chicago", "Defender of the Crown", and "S.D.I", a Sci-Fi thriller. All four games were prominently illustrated with garish movie-style posters hanging from the walls of the Mindscape suite. A Mindscape representative said the games were designed with the "older, more sophisticated gamer" in mind. All games are to be primarily the best graphics possible. They will each feature an original musical score and an "open universe" -- there will be no "right" way to play. "We learned a lot from Sundog," the Mindscape rep said. The games will also use real-time situations with built-in timers. Players will be forced to make decisions within the limits. "We picture the player with sweat dripping down their faces," Mindscape said. The Amiga demo was a little more involved than the ST, but both demos were essential picture slide shows with a bit of animation now and then. The graphics on both machines, however, were excellent. No mention was made of how many disks each game would require to display a complete movie, or how the designers would manage to manipulate massive amounts of graphics memory. S.D.I. the first release, should be ready by October 1st. The remaining games are expected in time for the Christmas season. INFILTRATOR: For the 8-bit crowd, Mindscape will be releasing Infiltrator, a C-64 port. Described as a "strategy adventure", it sounds more like an arcade game. You are helicopter ace Captain Johnny "Jimbo- Baby" McGibbits. Your mission is to fly through hostile enemy air space. No release date was given. Price is expected to be $29.95. AND YET MORE PRODUCTS Although no one product struck us as the star of this CES, we were impressed by the energetic support of Atari by third-party developers. Q, no A: No name has been set for the Softronics' integrated package similar to Q & A on the IBM which will include telecommunications, CAD, word processor, database, and sdYM!Q9j| JUST LIKE THE OLD DAYS: Epyx Software decorated a room in the West Hall to look like a Chicago gangster's warehouse. Computers sat on crates and life-size cardboard gangsters glared threateningly from behind tommy-guns. Epyx is adapting the Temple of Apshai Trilogy, World Games, and Rogue to the ST. All were in final form at the show and are expected on dealer shelves by the end of June. Rogue, a graphic version of an old classic fantasy role-playing game which graced the minis and mainframes of college campuses for many years, is mouse- driven and takes good advantage of ST graphics. There are 27 levels, and role-player fans should love it. The old favorite, Temple of Apshai has been placed within GEM with drop-down etc. Graphics are slightly clearer than the 8- bit versions, but otherwise the ST Apshai is pretty much the same as the 6502 classic. SUPRA DRIVERS: Did I mention the Supra 20-meg hard disk that is about 3 1/2-inches longer than an Atari 3 1/2-inch drive, but otherwise the same size? How about the Supra 60-meg hard disk which is the size of the old Supra 10-meg? Supra scattered a few of these at select booths at CES just so we would believe they really exist. 80-COLUMN CARD ADDENDUM: For the technically minded who are wondering how to program the Atari 80-column card, Jose Valdez of Atari tells us the adapter takes E: device calls and can also receive P: device calls. Just send certain codes to the device and you're on your way. The card will be completely "transparent" to any software using the E: device --such as BASIC cartridges. Programs addressing the screen directly will run into some unusual problems and have to be reprogrammed to work with the new card. FTL gave Antic demo disks of Micro Cookbook and Dungeon Master to take home. Yes, Micro Cookbook is a cookbook on disk. The database of recipes is easily searched according to a variety of categories. Dungeon Master, a point-of-view dungeon maze, will be followed up with construction set disk. FTL is currently talking to dungeon-game fans to find out what they like. The graphics on the demo disk are remarkable -- you "walk" downstairs, through doors and as you approach objects from a different angle, you get a different point of view. Both are due in September. A-MAZE-ING! Xanth, creator of the 8-bit and ST Boink! and Fuji Boink! demos is developing a 3-D maze game with smooth-scrolling mazes. The trick here is that Xanth plans to make this a multi-machine game where each player can track down another with the maze. SHANNER SLEW: Shanner International has a whole slew of ST products on the way, including ST-Key, a desk accessory for function-key macros; Soundwave SW-1, a single-track MIDI sequencer; Colorwriter, a GEM-based word processor; LogiKhron, a real- time clock cartridge; and MacroDesk from Blue Moon Software, a desk accessory which includes calculator weekly planner, card file database, and alarm clock calendar. XLENT: Xlent Software will be adapting all its 8-bit products, including Rubber Stamp and Page Designer, to run on the new Atari XMM 801 printer. Xlent will also create a translator program to make your computer "think" the XMM 801 is an Epson. PROFESSIONAL-QUALITY MIDI: Hybrid Arts, makers of professional MIDI software, such as DX-Droid and the Oasis series of waveform synthesizer editors, introduced EZ- Track ST, a consumer-oriented, 20- track, polyphonic MIDI recorder. EZ-Track lets you control up to 16 different synthesizer channels and record full MIDI specs, including velocity, program changes, pitch wheel, mod wheel, and all 128 MIDI controls. The GEM-based program, expected on the shelves by July at $65, will be the first in a series of increasingly complex and professional ST MIDI sftwr tools. Frank Foster of Hybrid Arts told us there is a large user base of professional musicians using Hybrid Arts products on the 8-bit Atari's, and a growing base of musicians beginning to use ST's. BUFFER CONTROL: Up to 11 computers to share up to two parallel printers with the Falcon ACS (Automatic Control System) series of printer buffer- controllers from Pace Mark, a Chicago-based hardware firm. The main unit, Falcon ACS 3000, comes with either a 64K or 128K buffer (priced $449.95 and $589.95 respectively). This allows three computers to use one printer. Additional units increase the capabilities of the system, which is argeted at schools and businesses. Mastronic International, a London- base software firm with stateside offices in Maryland, showed several games for the 8-bit and announced more to come for the ST. Ninja, Speed King, Electra Glide, and Action Biker are 8-bit games at the low price of $9.99. Ninja will be adapted for the ST along with another game called Mirage. Hi Tech Expressions has a series of Print Shop-like programs with the added gimmick of in-computer animation presentations. CardWare (greeting cards), PartyWare (placemats and invitations) and HeartWare (mushy stuff) retail for $9.95 each. Want some cheap software? The Keypunch Software series of titles for the 8-bit all retail for $6.99 and include Space games, Adventure Pak and Mind Mazes. Each disk is a collection of three to four games. THERE MUST BE MORE... We've tried to cover all available Atari products in these reports, but there were so many at CES some were inevitably omitted. ----------------------------------- Zmag Rap of the CES Show. ----------------------------------- Xx Other news ----------------------------------- Our next regular edition of Zmag will be June 18th. XxZmag Notes I have modified a file called PRINTDOC which was original made by Jerry White a year or two ago to read and or print DOC files. I have modified it for Zmag. This file will allow you to either see what issues are on your disk and give you the choice of making a hard copy. I have renamed it ZPRINT .BAS. It is available only at the Syndicate BBS right now. Should this file become a wanted utility, I will make sure the other Zmag systems get it on their Zmag file area. ----------------------------------- Zmagazine Special Edition #4 Antic Online ctsy of Antic Publications, Copyright 1986. June 15, 1986 Happy Fathers Day!! See you soon!! -----------------------------------
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