Z*Magazine: 30-Aug-86From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 30-Aug-86 Date: Sat Jul 3 20:43:33 1993 _________________^^^_______________ Zmagazine HOT Atari News++++ August 30, 1986 Labor Day Edition Publisher/Editior-Ron Kovacs Assistant Editor-Larry Mihalik Contributing Editor-Walt Drummond ___________________________________ Xx Contents <*> User Group Report <*> Larry's Corner <*> BBS Review by Walt Drummond <*> Special Editor Column Response to Zmag 8/6/86 by Clinton Smith of Chicago Zmag. <*> Commodore Blues Part 2 <*> Top Story--5 people indicted for phreaking. <*> Zmag Notes <*> Zmag Systems <*> For CompuServe Readers Only <*> New Products;Star Printer, Televideo Terminal. <*> Law and your Computer;Pres. Reagan signs law to repeal computer owners having to keep logs. ----------------------------------- Xx Top Story COMPUTERISTS INDICTED IN N.C. Federal authorities this week called a press conference in Raleigh, N.C., to say that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been lost to computer crackers who pick up access code numbers for long distance phone service and post them on computer bulletin board systems. According to F. Alan Boyce of The Associated Press, "Federal authorities say recent indictments of five North Carolina men ... is just the tip of the iceberg." US Attorney Sam Currin told reporters his office was able to bring about the five indictments after a 16-year-old high school student was caught by TeleMarketing Communications of Raleigh making more than $2,000 worth of illegal calls. Meanwhile, says Boyce, a federal grand jury in Greensboro has charged three men with illegally possessing charge-account numbers and telephone long-distance access codes obtained through home computers. According to the wire service, those indicted include: Robert Edward Lee II of Durham, accused of devising a method for defrauding TeleMarketing Communications; Michael William McCann of Dobson, charged with possessing more than 15 unauthorized telephone access codes and account numbers owned by TeleMarketing Communications, TransCall America and General Communication Inc.; Tryone Columbus Bullins of Reidsville, alleged to possess 17 unauthorized charge-card numbers and 15 unauthorized telephone access codes Ralph Sammie Fig of Knightdale and James Thomas McPhail of Goldsboro, indicted on similar charges by a grand jury in the Eastern District earlier this month. As previously reported in Zmag822 US Secret Service agents earlier this month said in affidavits that a North Carolina investigation began in January after agents learned that a telephone company in Raleigh had lost thousands of dollars to computer crackers. ----------------------------------- Xx Commodore Blues Part 2 Having its first profitable quarter in two years is not enough to allow Commodore to breath a sigh of relief, says its new chief executive, Thomas J. Rattigan. Instead, the company needs to be gearing up for "an interesting dogfight" with low-priced Asian clones of the IBM-PC, which he expects to appear in mass market stores this fall. Speaking to The Associated Press, Rattigan added, "The real issue now is to make the business more profitable. We will have to demonstrate that we're as good at making money as we were at losing money. That's the only thing that will establish our credibility." As reported last week in Zmag, Commodore posted a $1.2 million profit on $208.9 million in sales in the June quarter after losing more than $270 million in the previous five quarters. AP notes that since taking over 16 months ago, replacing Marshall F. Smith as CEO, Rattigan has closed two plants, sold two joint-venture operations, shifted some manufacturing to lower-cost locations and cut the worldwide employment from 4,600 to 3,100. Also he's taken "a calculated risk" to boost profits by concentrating more on higher-margin computers while reducing lower-margin accessories, such as monitors and disk drives. But Rattigan says there still is a rough road ahead. The company must reduce its $374 million bank debt, which represents 75 percent of its capitalization. Adds the wire service, "He also has to expand Commodore's revenue base beyond the high-volume but low-profit margin C64 and 128 computers." Rattigan acknowledged the new Amiga is not doing as well as the company had hoped. But, says AP, "the company is developing Amiga technology into a family of products, a move hailed by market researchers, who believe that product lines rather than individual machines will have the greatest sales appeal." --Charles Bowen CompuServe Online Today ----------------------------------- Xx Laws and Computers President Reagan has signed into public law (Public Law 99- 44) a Congressional bill that repeals various sections of the Internal Revenue Code that required owners of personal computers to keep detailed daily logs of the computers' business and personal use. It is a rare piece of legislation indeed that gathers nearly unanimous support from both houses of Congress, but that is exactly what happened to the bills in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 1869) and the U.S. Senate (S. 245) that amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 to repeal the requirement of the Tax Reform Act of 1984 that contemporaneous records be kept to substantiate certain deductions and credits. The law stated that effective Jan. 1, 1985 taxpayers who claimed certain business deductions were to keep daily logs detailing both personal and business use of personal computers, automobiles and other equipment. Thousands of small business owners and farmers were outraged by the burdensome new requirement. The members of Congress listened to the folks back home, and in extremely quick action voted to repeal the requirement. The House passed H.R. 1869 by 426-to-1. And by voice vote on May 16, the Senate approved the bill as well by adopting a conference report the House approved May 8. The bill does, however, restrict business tax breaks for expensive automobiles. This was added in order to pay for the repeal. By:Cathryn Conroy ----------------------------------- Xx New Products STAR DOT MATRIX PRINTER Star Micronics has introduced the NL-10, a nine-wire dot matrix desktop printer designed for professional, small office or home use. The NL-10 prints high-speed draft quality at 12 cps and superior near letter quality at 30 cps. It features plug-in interface cartridges which ensure compatibility with most personal computers. The printer also has a push- button-activated front panel that controls 11 format and print functions, including three print pitch selections, type style, print mode, margin settings and forward and reverse micro paper feed. Retail price is $379 with one interface cartridge. Additional cartridges are $60 each. For information Star Micronics Inc. 200 Park Ave. Suite 3510 New York, NY 10166 212/986-6770. C. ITOH COLOR MONITOR C. Itoh Digital Products Inc. has introduced the Chroma Pro CM 3000, a high-resolution RGB color monitor which, with the flick of a switch, can operate as a monochrome monitor. For color graphics applications, the CM 3000 offers a resolution of 640 x 240 and is supported by such popular interface boards as the IBM Color Graphics Adapter and Tecmar's Graphics Master. The true monochrome monitor, ideal for word processing and spreadsheets, offers a resolution of 750 x 350. TELEVIDEO COMPACT TERMINAL TeleVideo Systems Inc. has introduced the pT100 terminal, a compact, economical terminal offering compatibility with DEC VT100 and VT52. Designed primarily as a data retrieval product, the terminal can also be used for light data entry whenever VT100 compatibility is necessary. Features include a buffered printer port, user friendly set- up menus, password protection, full-range video attributes, 32 DEC-compatible graphics characters and double- high/double-wide characters. The pT100 has a nine-inch green phosphor screen with a time-out screen saver feature and a 24- line by 80-column display. Retail price is $499. For information TeleVideo Systems Inc. Box 6602 San Jose, CA 95150-6602. 408/745-7760. ----------------------------------- Xx CompuServe Readers Only Hello there people, I want to thank you for the positive mail I have been getting during the last two weeks. To those of you interested in getting Zmag on your local BBS or even on your own BBS if your a System Operator, please make yourself welcome to the issues available on CIS and put them up. But please leave me a message with your BBS location, number, hours, baud etc... I would like to list systems carrying Zmag in the Zmag Systems Column. Please keep the mail coming!!!! ----------------------------------- Xx Zmag Notes The Syndicate, My BBS has finally had a major crash. This week BBCS 2.4 bit the dust!!! Hard disk and BBCS dont mix!!! I am now running Forem26M again, this time the MPP takes back seat and Avatex 1200 is online. Soon I hope to run the Carina BBS system. On another topic, My wife is still carrying the baby which is due ANY day!!! Next weeks issue is still in the air. The baby is due sometime between today and next Friday. My prediction is Wednesday and it will be an 8 pound boy! Let's see what happens....If the baby arrives this week, We will return in 2 weeks. At any rate, Please dont drink and drive this weekend, Have a safe and pleasant chilly weekend. ----------------------------------- Xx User Group News Supplied by the MID-MICHIGAN ATARI MAGAZINE Aug. 1986, reprinted by permission. MIDI ON THE ATARI By MITCHELL WELLS I have been asked to write a few short articles about MIDI (an acronym for Musical Instrument to Ditital Interface) and its use on the ATARI. Rather than describe or explain MIDI here, I will instead tell you fellow ATARI enthusiasts about what to look for in the future of MIDI on ATARI's. However, in later articles I will expand on MIDI; I will tell you what it is and what it does in detail. For now, just know that it is a way for computers to play synthesizers and for synthesizers to communicate with computers. If the future of MIDI on ATARI's was in any way reflected at the NAMM show (National Association of Musical Merchandisers) in Chicago the weekend of 6/14, the best that can be said is that there will be a future, albeit a slow moving one. The NAMM show in question is where all the manufacturers of musical equipment meet to display their wares to retail outlets like Elderly Instruments (where, by the way, I work), who in turn make orders based on what they see. Although the ATARI was seriously overshadowed by the IBM, APPLE and COMMODORE 64 (NOT the AMIGA), some new developments in software for the ATARI may make it a frontrunner in the race for the most popular MIDI computer within a year and a half. There was very little new in terms of MIDI software for the ST computer, which I saw as a disapointment as it's the only computer that comes with MIDI ports already on it. HYBRID ARTS did not have MIDITRACK ST done yet, and EASYTRACK ST was about as useful to a musician as ACTIVISION's THE MUSIC SHOP (which is not very and if you own an ST and are thinking about a MIDI software package for a serious musician, stay away from both of these). However, if you're not a musician and want something that will be easy to use with a CASIO CZ 101, I would suggest ACTIVISION's package. It's much cheaper and easier to use. HYBRID ARTS did unveil an 8 voice sampler (sound digitizer--more on samplers later) which is made to be hard wired to an ST. There was some great software for it, and it did have its uses, but it also had tremendous drawbacks for a real MIDI system (no MIDI thru port, the need of another MIDI keyboard as a trigger, so on). They did have a good MIRAGE sampler editor and a generic system dump program however, which they also have produced for the 8 bit ATARI's. Besides HYBRID ARTS, KAWAI, which has made fine pianos for many years, unveiled a new line of synthesizers. These synthesizers will come with software editing packages for the ATARI 8-bit machines ONLY. They're fine synthesizers with fine software. When I asked why KAWAI decided to go with the ATARI rather than the more popular COMMODORES, APPLES or IBMS, KAWAI said they thought the ATARI's were better computers for the money and that the ST's were shaping up to be THE MIDI computer in Europe! I had also heard this from two other sources (Musician Magizine last month and Electronic Musician from two months ago). The most common question I'm asked about in relation to MIDI (Musical Instrument Ditital Interface) is what specifically it does. The most common MISCONCEPTION about MIDI in this respect is that MIDI somehow digitizes sound. This brief article will explain simply what MIDI really does and also how I use MIDI to make music with my ATARI computer. Probably everyone is fimilar with a player piano. A player piano has a roll of paper that, through the punching of holes in this roll, records the notes played by a pianist so this sequence of notes can be played back by the piano without the pianist. At least, the first player pianos did this. Later, the Duo Art piano was introduced which would not only record the notes played, but also the velocity and exact duration of the notes, capturing the exact performance of the pianist. This was all but forgotten with the advent of record and tape. But tape has many problems, one of which is once you record it, it's done. There is no good (read:easy) way to edit a live performance on tape. MIDI to some extent solves these problems. It works in much the way the Duo Art player piano does, recording the notes played (not digitizing sound), their duration and velocity, and the use of various controlers (pitch bend, modulation wheel, program change) found on synthesizers. But instead of punching holes in a roll of paper to record this information, MIDI allows for a computer to store this information, which enables editing of the recorded information in much the way a letter is edited using a word processor. MIDI on most computer systems also allows the layering of this recorded information, enabling the computer to play many synthesizers at once and synchronize them. Other items, like drum machines and echo machines, can also be synchronized with this recorded information. Two things make MIDI useful to any musician (or non-musician): the opportunity to easily edit the information recorded, and the recording of many tracks (layers) of information without the loss in sound that occurs when tape is used. Every time the computer plays out the song recorded, it plays the original instruments the song was recorded on, just like the player piano. MIDI also allows for the transfer of other data to synthesizers, like sound settings, volume settings, tempo, etc.. My system consists of an ATARI 800XL that has been upgraded to 256K, an 810 disk drive, a MIDI interface (like the one offered by HYBRID ARTS in California) and software (HYBRID ARTS' MIDITRACK III) on the computer side. With this computer system I run 4 synthesizers (Yamaha TX7, Yamaha CX5M w/SFG-05, Casio CZ101, Korg Poly 800), 3 drum machines (Casio RZ1, Korg DDM 110 and 220), and an echo (Korg SDD2000). I record a song by first playing the synthesizers and drum machines, and recording them in tracks using the ATARI computer via MIDI. The computer then plays back all these keyboards and drums, and I mix this onto one track of a 4 track tape recorder, which leaves me 3 tracks to put on live guitar, bass and vocals. Then finally, I mix these four tracks onto a regular stereo cassette and the creative process is finished. Although most larger studios have much more equipment and many more tracks on tape available to them, the recording process using MIDI and tape is essentially the same. Next month I'll tell you what you need to start your own MIDI studio on an ATARI and how much it costs (it's so cheap to get started, you just won't believe it). I'll also tell you some specifics on the software available. ----------------------------------- MID-MICHIGAN ATARI MAGAZINE Sept. 1986, reprinted by permission A LETTER TO THE TAKERS by Leo Sell Dear Takers, This is a difficult letter to write. The sentiments herein could be taken in a negative way - please don't. Please take this as an opportunity for constructive change and a chance to examine your motivation for being involved in our club. A club such as ours is based on mutual help and sharing of knowledge, experience and resources. Anyone whose involvement is only taking, who doesn't contribute in some way, is tearing at the very fabric of our organization. An illustration is the difference between 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive vehicles. When a 4 wheeler is operating, all 4 wheels are contributing and sharing the road operation. In contrast, when a 2 wheel vehicle operates, 2 wheels are powered and 2 wheels are a drag on the power. The drag isn't much, but it is enough that the 4-wheeler can handle a far greater range of road conditions than the 2-wheeler. How then are some people a drag on the club? Well, how many times have you seen a demonstration of a library disk, or the disk of the month, and passed up the opportunity to purchase it - instead, asking for and downloading the files from the BBS? How many times have you taken promotional material at a Computer Show or Faire, and not helped with the club's participation? Actions such as these, as well as others, do nothing to support or build up the club. Rather, they serve to weaken it. If everyone takes, rather than gives, the club's existance will cease. Members must contribute more to the club than just the yearly dues. The annual dues basically cover the cost of the monthly newsletter and the free disk. Support comes in such things as the purchase of library disks, purchase of club- offered hardware, volunteering for needed jobs, etc. Members who are active on the BBS can contribute by downloading public-domain programs from commercial services such as Compuserve and Delphi, and from other, long-distance Bulletin Board Systems, and then uploading the programs to our BBS to share with everyone. By doing this, the time and cost of expanding and updating our library and supporting the BBS is spread around. To reitierate, the club must be a mutual and cooperative effort. If it is not, the club will die. Now, one reaction at this point might be "what do I get out of it??". I will make you a guarantee. Most Atari users want to know more about their machines and how to use them. Getting involved in club activities, such as production of the newsletter, or helping with the libraries, or almost anything, will result in more knowledge and computing ability than you are likely to get in any other way. You always get more out of something when you put something in. You will with our club as well. I guarantee it!! Please give thought to your involvement in the club. Are you a giver or a taker? We certainly hope that, regardless of past habits, you will share your time and talents and be a giver, not a only a taker. We look forward to your future help, support and cooperation. Sincerely, Leo Sell, President C.H.A.O.S. The above material supplied by the: Mid-Michigan Atari Newsletter. For more interesting articles, check out Data Library 7 on CompuServe's Atari*Sig. ----------------------------------- Xx Review By:Walt Drummond BBS Review- The Lions Den Ahhh! What a vacation! Well, I'm back with another review, so here I go! The Lions Den BBS is a Carina system. The Carina system is a new idea in BBS programs and takes a little getting use to, but its well worth the time. It uses whole words, the first three letters or the Macros. The latter is the neetest! The Macros are a kind of BBCS and F.o.R.e.M. mixture. They don't use the "Hot Menu" idea, but the command prompt needs a return after the Macro. The Macro is a <Control + Letter> combo, and when used, the command is displayed. The SysOp, Larry the Lion, is VERY into his BBS. He constantly keeps the message bases up to date and is trying to expand the BBS. Right now, he has a little over one meg of onLine storage, and he is working on a fourth drive. Larry the Lion also plans to add a Zmag message base and a ST base, hopefully with a ST download section. I like the Carina BBS system and what Larry the Lion has done with it. I hope to see more BBSs taking on his style. Way to go! On a scale of 10, 10 the best, The Lions Den gets-> <___9___> Call The Lions Den at (201)-396- 0867 and let me know what you think! I can be contacted at the East Coast Syndicate,(201) 968-8148 or at CompuServe, PPN# 71777,3631. Zmag BBS Review Walt Drummond If you want your BBS reviewed, just let me know! Welcome back Walt, Nice to see your back to work!! See you next week! ----------------------------------- Xx Larry's Corner As I related in the last issue, I suggested that Carina BBS had an unlimited amount of power. Well, I am going to try to show you that is true. First, let's talk a little bit about the structure of Carina BBS. The heart of this system is the modem control module, the Modem operating enviroment (MOE for short). MOE is an overlay of the Atari operating system that links the keyboard, the modem, the printer, and the disk drives together. It is because of MOE's control that a sysop can, while the user is on- line, go to Basic or Dos, without any risk of lossing the user. This is the first reason I said Carina BBS is the most powerful BBS for the 8-bit Atari Computers. Beyond that, Carina has with the use of MOE, made it possible to go to Basic, type "NEW" and load and run an entirely unrelated or related Basic program without any modifications to the program. This opens up an entire spectrum of possibilities for online games, voting polls, or anything else your creative mind can design. Heard enough? Well there is one more thing. Carina BBS can in fact house a terminal program within it. That's right, without having to take the board down, you can simply call in the terminal program, make calls to your favorite BBS, upload and download and then return to the BBS and wait for those callers. I recently learned that Carina, in continued support of thier product have put together a utility disk for the purchase by registered Carina BBS owners. That disk will include a terminal program and a number of other useful utilities. Also, I wanted to announce that Carina has lowered the price of thier BBS software. The new price is $55.00 for this little gem. They have also announced the release of a 1030/xm301 version, it is already available as you read this. Also, for the time being, this will be my last column devoted to Carina BBS. I will be looking for other topics to research and discuss. If you want to learn more about Carina BBS, feel free to call my board The Lion's Den BBs or call Carina BBS at 1-305-793-2975. So I will be back in our next issue hopefully with another venture to learn and entertain. Larry Mihalik The Lion's Den BBS The Syndicate BBS ----------------------------------- Xx Editors Column The following comment was taken from the August 19th issue of Chicago Zmag. It refrences the story in New Jersey Zmag of August 9th with the interview of the Atari Connection sysop. This BBS was closed down by local police for pirating software. If you would like to see this interview, read ZMAG809.TXT. Rebuttal by Chicago Zmag Editor After reading the preceeding interview,I was very disturbed. This youth is a criminal and has the nerve to say that the person who turned him in should be punished. Especially irritating is his statement that the person who turned him in is a definite threat to the computing world. This statement is a joke,in my mind it is he who is a threat to the computing world. Specifically,the Atari computing world. Many pirates respond to the arguement that the lack of new Atari software is caused by piracy, by the fact that a lot of Commodore pirating occurs and there is no lack of new software for that system. That would be a good reply if there were as many Ataris as there were 64s. Unfortunately, there are not. The number of 64s is great enough so that even after the pirates have their copies of a program, there are still enough paying users to ensure that the program makes money. The program makes money for the company and the company continues to work on 64 software since it is profitable. In response to the statement that software authors are ripping people off with high software prices. In most cases the author of a program has no say so on what a company is going to sell his program for. When you buy a piece of software for $25, there is a lot more then just a disk and a program involved. 1)The company had to send the program to a place for copying. This costs. 2)The company had to design an eye catching box, because the majority of people are going to pass up a plain white package, to get the program which has an illustration of a massive space war. This costs. 3)The company has to print up instructions so you'll know how to play. This costs. 4)The company has to advertise so people will know about the program. This costs. All this adds up to the $25 price tag. Out of this price,the programmer usually gets a royalty of up to 30%. That comes out to $7.50 for every copy sold. That isn't much, especially after the pirates get a hold of it and ruin the potential buyer base. Actually, the cop out that prices are too high on software is starting to lose it's validity. Back when the scale of software prices ranged from 30 to 50 dollars this excuse might have had a foothold. However, the majority of new Atari software programs cost $25 and under. The only exception are programs such as word processors and languages which require a great deal of research and development. I do sympathise with the people who buy software and it turns out to be a piece of junk. I myself have been burned by bad software. However,in most of these situations is was my own fault for not finding out wether the program was any good before I bought it. My suggestion is that you forget about buying your software in a place like Toys R Us. Go to a local dealer or to User Group meetings where local dealers sell at. In most cases, they are enthusiasts just like you and will point out any software that they think is no good and most will demo programs for you. The only excuse left for software pirates is the truth. You want software and you don't want to have to pay for it. The software companies could be selling their programs for $5 and there would still be people pirating. If I have offended anyone, I am sorry but this is how I feel. ------ I agree with what Clinton has to say here. Need I say more in response. I do have one thing to add here. If the pirates continue the current attack of software, sooner or later there wont be any for the people who are honest and purchase software. We have all received copies of pirated software and perhaps still even enjoy the use. But the time has come for all of us who have been fooling around with the Atari, to be a bit more thoughtful of what goes into making programs and the cost involved to all of us. Perhaps an easy way to consider this would be to put yourself in place of the software companies. You wrote a brillant game or program and would like to make a few dollars for your hard work, but the guy next door feels that you should give him a copy of it, and his friend and his friend, soon friend #4 has 3 friends etc.... When you finally get your paycheck for sales and see that your work isnt paying off, you might decide to stop. What- ever the circumstances, I am sure that you get the point. Let's support these Authors and companies that put time and work into supplying us FEW Atari users with decent software. The ball is in our court. I wonder what will happen if anything. Thanks Clinton for the response, Ron Kovacs Zmag New Jersey ----------------------------------- Xx Zmag BBS Systems /Zmag Information Network\ -------------------------- E.C.Syndicate-201-968-8148 Backstage BBS-201-944-1196 W.C.Syndicate-415-825-2952 E.B.B.B.S. -201-254-6449 Mega Vision -216-228-7335 New York City-718-604-3323 Lions Den BBS-201-396-0867 Syndicate So.-201-370-8021 CompuServe -201-968-9000 (GO ATARI8)->DL 7>BRO Chicago /Zmag Systems\ ------------------------------ Windy City Atari -312-775-2970 Runequest -312-430-4234 Enchanted Castle -312-525-0688 Centari -312-668-0984 Blue Moon -312-457-2219 C.L.A.U.G. -312-889-1240 Skid Row -312-439-5873 M-Club1 -312-730-1846 M-Club2 -312-349-8686 M-Club4 -312-458-8260 Generic -312-275-2894 Software Plus -312-520-1780 ----------------------------------- Zmagazine August 30, 1986 All Computer Report Special Labor Day Issue We will return in 2 weeks! Please contribute!!! ----------------------------------- ZMAG830.TXT ZMAG.830 Compuserve Filename (grin)
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