Z*Magazine: 26-Jan-87 #36From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/08/93-09:41:37 AM Z
- Next message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 2-Feb-87 #37"
- Previous message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 19-Jan-87 #35"
- Return to Index: Sort by: [ date ] [ author ] [ thread ] [ subject ]
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 26-Jan-87 #36 Date: Thu Jul 8 09:41:37 1993 ----------------------------------- Zmagazine January 26, 1987 Issue 36 ----------------------------------- Zmag Staff: Publisher/Editor in Chief:Ron Kovacs Editor/Coordinator:Alan Kloza Software Reviewer: Eric Plent ----------------------------------- ____________________________________ This Week in Zmag...... <*> LETTERS TO THE EDITOR-- COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT <*> THE SUPER BOWL FLUSH NY DROWNS NJ IN TOILET WATER <*> US ROBOTICS OFFERS 9600 BAUD MODEM TO BBS OPERATORS <*> HYUNDAI MAKES A BIG PUSH WITH THEIR NEW COMPUTER <*> CES VIDEO WRAP-UP PART I <*> CAPSULE REVIEWS--AVATEX MODEM, STAR PRINTER All this and more in this weeks edition of Zmagazine..... ____________________________________ Xx LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ....CES Feedback.................... ____________________________________ We received a complaint from one of our readers recently about the coverage we gave CES--the Consumer Electronic's Show held in Las Vegas recently. The reader's gripe was that he had already read most of what we published in Antic Online on Compu- serve. It was a valid complaint. In fact, most of the Atari news coming out of CES came from sources at Antic Online. We carried the Antic stories, primarily, because they were the only Atari-related articles coming out of Las Vegas. In addition, a very significant percentage of our readership does not, for whatever reason, use Compuserve and consequently would not have access to Antic Online and their Atari news. Well, without further ado, we reprint the letters we received on the subject. Forum messages: 178981 to 179642 #: 179128 S7/HOT News/Rumors 18-Jan-87 20:00:33 Sb: #ZMAG34 Fm: Charlie Koontz 74206,3444 To: [F] Ron Kovacs 71777,2140 (X) Okay, what are the rules? I'm referring to ZMAG34.JAN in DL7. I started downloading it and then realized the reports on the Atari news at the Winter CES were quoted verbatum [sic] from what I had downloaded last week from ANTIC ONLINE. Needless to say, I terminated the download but I'm left wondering how the ZMAG editor could allow this. --Charlie-- #: 179203 S7/HOT News/Rumors 19-Jan-87 15:29:48 Sb: #179128-#ZMAG34 Fm: Ron Kovacs [Zmag] 71777,2140 To: Charlie Koontz 74206,3444 (X) Charlie, Zmag got most if it's CES news from Antic Online, and from other areas. You have to understand that we do not pay reporters for services. If we are to cover special events with exclusive reports then our offering free news to BBS systems would no longer exist. We have the right to use the Antic Reports providing we give credit to Antic and show their copyright notice at the top of the article. My question to you is, Did you expect my staff to fly to Nevada and cover the show??? All past issues of Zmag have used Antic reports and other material on CompuServe. There are a great number of our readers who do not call here, and some of which dont access the other areas of the network. I am sorry if you were offended, annoyed or whatever. We try to provide interesting information to all our readers. I wish that I could provide better information at times, but I can only do my best with what I have. I will publish your message and see what develops. Thanks for your message, and thanks for reading this long winded reply. Take care, Ron Kovacs Publisher/Zmag #: 179208 S7/HOT News/Rumors 19-Jan-87 18:34:28 Sb: #179203-#ZMAG34 Fm: BRUCE KENNEDY 72327,1500 To: Ron Kovacs [Zmag] 71777,2140 (X) About a year ago, I was involved in getting Zmag going in the Chicago Area. I dreamed that someday the concept would evolve just the way it is. My original motivation, was that I couldn't understand why everyone should do their own birddogging on news, and never share it. I was concerned because there were clubs begging for stories for their newsletters, but members weren't contributing. It just didn't make sense for a club in Chicago to do a review on a printer, and the same effort was duplicated in Michigan. What if every club investigated one issue or review, and then shared? WOW! The other factor was that so much of BBS messages were mediocre, but occasionally there was a real zinger. A good response. One of general interest to a lot of people. Why not download the messages, and assemble them in one place for everyone's benefit? Well that's the way Zmag started. Pretty soon we had groups of Hackers tinkering away on special programs we could all use. Once you finish a program, you feel pretty burned out, and sometimes you don't want to go back. Well someone else can always improve on your work, so pretty soon we had some fabulous, constantly evolving utilities like Zbanner and Zread, and ReeveKey for the keypad, and we were all better off. Zmag became the one place you could go and get 90% of the hot stuff going on at ALL the local boards.. Now, thanks to Ron Kovacs, you can go to one place, once a week, and get the scoop with one download, including the Hottest stuff on CES, courtesy of tremendous support publications like Antic. Or Analog. Well, fans, let's hear what you think about ZMag and what it should be! Bruce "Z" Kennedy now in Providence RI and watch for some action from RIACE! ____________________________________ Xx ZMAG SUPER BOWL BULLETIN ....The 'Giant' Flush............... ____________________________________ AP Videotex APV-291 AP 01/24 06:36 EST V0670 NEW YORK (AP) -- The city has issued a "bowl warning" and urged New Yorkers to avoid a massive rush to bathrooms during half-time or at the end of Sunday's Super Bowl. Football fans should stagger their bathroom visits during the game between the New York Giants and Denver Broncos, said Harvey W. Schultz, the city's commissioner of environmental protection. "If millions of New Yorkers flush at the same time, we're not quite sure what would happen," Schultz said Friday. Tongue-in-cheek, he declared it "Super Flush Sunday." Temporary drops in water pressure might occur, affecting toilets on upper floors of high-rise buildings, said department spokeswoman Joan Paylo. "Don't rush -- and think before you flush," Schultz urged. ___________________________________ Xx ZMAG COMPUTER NEWS ....Random Notes................... ___________________________________ MODEM MAKER OFFERS BBS SYSOPS SPECIAL DEAL ON 9600-BAUD MODEMS Two years ago, USRobotics grabbed headlines by offering operators of computer bulletin board systems a big discount on its 2400-baud modems. Now the Skokie, Ill., firm is making a similar offer with its 9600-baud units. According to a statement from the company, BBS sysops can purchase the $995 Courier HST 9600-bps modem for $495, providing they agree to post notices on their boards that they are using the hardware. The statement says USRobotics is making offer because the earlier promotion "has helped the company assert leadership in the 2400-bps modem market," adding it sold "several thousand of its 2400/1200/300-bps Courier 2400 modems to BBS operators since starting the program in early 1985." To qualify, a buyer must prove he or she is operating a BBS and agree to spread the word about the modem. All orders must be prepaid or COD and purchasers must add $5 for shipping and handling. The company also is offering sysops discounts on its other modems -- the Courier 2400e, normally $699, is offered for $350, and the IBM PC plug-in board Microlink 2400, listed at $599, is available for $325. For more information, contact the company's sales department, voice 312/982-5001 or data 312/982-5092. COMMODORE HIRES NEW TREASURER Commodore International Ltd. has gone outside the industry to find its new corporate treasurer. He is Richard Burke, former vice president/ treasurer of St. Louis' Peabody Holding Co., owner of Peabody Coal Co., the nation's largest coal company. Commodore Vice President Michael B. Evans told The Associated Press that Burke will be responsible for all areas of treasury management at Commodore. Burke also has been vice president/treasurer of Management Assistance Inc., a multinational computer manufacturing and service company. Charles Bowen Online Today HYUNDAI MAKES BIG US PUSH Hyundai, the Korean manufacturing giant that has produced the hottest-selling car in the US in the past year, apparently is pulling out all the stops to duplicate its success in the personal computer arena. The $12 billion conglomerate, which manufactures the Blue Chip line of IBM-compatibles sold in mass merchandising outlets, told Computer + Software News it: -:- Has reached an agreement in principle for Computer Software Services to market about $1 million worth of Blue Chips to computer specialty stores -:- Will introduce an XT compatible at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and will ship an AT compatible by March. -:- Has bought a "minority interest" in the Blue Chip Electronics, the Chandler, Ariz.-based distributor. Bob Schuricht, CSS sales and marketing manager, said his firm will "aggressively market" the Blue Chip computer nationwide. The unit will have 640K RAM and DOS and will sell for $675. Mass merchants are selling a 512K unit without DOS for $699. Monitors are not included. "We're putting together this package because everyone wants 640K RAM," Schuricht said. "We're also going to offer computer specialty stores a margin that will allow them to effectively compete with mass merchants." He added that CSS will carry the AT and XT compatibles. The AT compatible will be an 80286- based machine selling for less than $2,000. It will include 1-meg of RAM, a 1.2-meg floppy disk drive and EGA, CGA, MGA and HGA compatibility built on the motherboard, along with IBM Token Ring compatibility on the motherboard. The Turbo XT will sell for $799 and include an 8088-2 based machine feature CGA-, MGA- and HGA- compatibility and a single- disk drive. Those machines will be sold only through distributors and pc stores, said Joe Rossi, president/CEO of Blue Chip Electronics. Hyundai apparently bought an unspecified position in the Blue Chip Electronics to "make money on the distribution side of the business and not just as an OEM," said C+SN field editor David S. Chartock. "Blue Chip can use the capital and Hyundai can use Blue Chip to distribute other consumer electronics such as mobile phones," said Rossi. --Daniel Janal Online Today ACTIVISION SETTLES LAWSUIT Activision Inc. has settled a class action lawsuit filed against the company by a group of shareholders. As a result of the settlement, the plaintiffs will receive $2.5 million in cash and $2.55 million in securities. The settlement is subject to the signing of definitive agreements and court hearings on the fairness of the settlement. According to an Activision spokesman, the settlement will not effect the company's long-term business or financial condition. However, the agreement will have a negative effect on fiscal fourth quarter results. Activision publishes home and personal computer software under the Activision, Infocom, Gamestar, Electric Dreams and Personal Choice labels. -- John Edwards Online Today ____________________________________ Xx CES VIDEO WRAP-UP ....Part I--What's New In VCR's ____________________________________ In this report, we offer you some of the video news that came out of CES. Since the article is too long to publish in its entirety, we're breaking it up into 2 parts. This week we'll cover what's new in VCR's and Camcorders. Look for Part II in the next issue of Zmag. CES VIDEO WRAP-UP by Marc Wielage All Rights Reserved This past Consumer Electronics Show was the 19th consecutive gathering for your humble correspondent, and I don't know if it was age, cynicism, or sheer boredom in general, but this show has to go down as one of the most ho-hum in history. In an industry that thrives on innovation and excitement, we've come to expect a least a dozen major breakthroughs (and an equal number of minor ones) in each of these biannual get-togethers, and, judging by the similar response from fellow colleagues and journalists, just about everybody I knew felt about the same way. VIDEO: BLUNDERS AND BOMBSHELLS The VCR arena saw fairly dull activity at this show, except for the blockbuster news of "S-VHS," alternately known as "Super VHS," "VHS Super," and "VHS II." This announcement came at a special press conference on January 8th in Japan, with most U.S. representatives professing little or no knowledge of this astounding technical breakthrough. According to TV DIGEST, S-VHS has "picture quality comparable to that of a 1-inch broadcast VTR," with 430 lines of horizontal resolution -- a sharp improvement over the 240+ lines available from most current high-end VHS recorders. JVC claims that the new system virtually eliminates luminance and chrominance interference (cross-color lines and jagged edges) as well as tracking problems, using a new proprietary bandwidth expansion technique similar, but not identical, to SuperBeta. A special video head gap of .2 microns, which is required for the considerably higher frequencies being recorded on tape. Also required is a new high density "improved oxide" videocassette, which requires a special bias switch on the recorder. There's no word as to whether this tape will be metal particle, metal evaporated, or some more conventional formulation. S-VHS will strictly be an "upward compatible" system, meaning that tapes made on old VCR's can be played on new machines, but that S-VHS tapes will not play on old VCR's. This flies in the face of JVC's anti-Sony propoganda of a few years ago, when the company critized SuperBeta for not being compatible with older Beta machines. As a bold marketing step, S-VHS will only be licensed to the original five-member VHS member companies: Hitachi, JVC, Matsushita, Mitsubishi and Sharp. Apparantly, JVC has been concerned about the "cheapening" of the format by low-ball Korean firms, and is determined to keep a tight rein on this new technological breakthrough. One insider confirmed that those firms buying machines from these five suppliers (including RCA, whose OEM factory is Hitachi), will also have these VCR's when they become available later on in the year. In other video news, there was a shortage of new VCR's compared to past shows, when there are rarely less than 30 new recorders introduced. Time and time again, manufacturers pointed out that the mass-market has a lukewarm attitude towards such performance features as Hi-Fi and HQ, and is buying machines solely on the basis of price. As a result, the true innovations were few-and-far-between at the Winter CES, though we found just a few diamonds in the rough here and there. Car stereo-maker Audiovox took the wraps off the AVP-1000 mobile VHS player, designed to playback videotapes in cars, planes, boats and trains. The unit features 3 speeds, auto rewind, and picture search, and will be available sometime in April. Canon featured the new mid-priced VR-HF710. THis new machine omits the on-screen programming from the top-of-the-line VR-HF720, but still boasts Hi-Fi, four heads, HQ, and an MTS tuner. GE displayed six new VHS HQ recorders, all mid- and low- priced models designed to address the mass-market (non-videophile) market. The top new model is the 9-7276 with MTS, linear Dolby, Pro-Fect (Tech-4) heads, special effects, on-screen programming. Likewise, Hitachi showed their VT-1350 VCR with HQ, 107-channel tuner, 3 video heads, and a new "Touch N' View" programmable LCD remote, which allows you to see the commands without the aid of on-screen programming. Panasonic showed a series of mid-priced mono machines that looked for all the world like props from Miami Vice. The PV-2700 "Designer Series" VCR's feature unusual colors and cabinet styles, but otherwise offer no new improvements in picture quality or features. One manufacturer who did introduce a new top of the line VCR was Sharp, whose VC-799 has just about every feature imaginable, including a 140-channel MTS tuner, Hi-Fi, linear Dolby stereo, LCD remote, dual speed search (9X CHAD HARPER5X), and remote eject. Also provided is Sharp's unusual "blue-screen" noise elimination system, which reverts to a blue color background when the machine senses excessive noise when playing back blank tape sections. For those who like doing things quickly, Sharp also bowed the VC-Q77, a 4-head VHS VCR with digital FX and VSC, which takes the "Donald Duck" distortion out of double-speed playback. Just the thing for watching "Dallas" in half the time, the new Sharp VCR will be available in May. Adding a new wrinkle to VHS VCR's, Toshiba's new DX-900 features conventional VHS recording with digital special effects, and can also serve double-duty as a self-contained 14-bit PCM digital audio recorder. Earlier reports to the contrary, the VCR can work as either a conventional VCR OR a PCM audio recorder, but not both at the same time. THE GREAT CAMCORDER WAR The 8mm vs. VHS-C war is escalating, judging by the large press conference organized by JVC, held on January 8th. JVC video sales manager Steve Isaacson sharply criticized the fledgling 8mm format (and rival Sony in particular) with a phony anti-ad campaign satirizing Sony's "Courtroom" TV commercials. JVC circulated a large glossy brochure entitled "VHS: The Only Answer," detailing the alleged advantages of VHS-C over other systems, and they also distributed a unique brochure on the "10th Anniversary of VHS," including rare glimpses of prototypes from the mid-70's. Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, Samsung showed their so-called 4mm Camcorder (actually 3.81 mm), the model SVC- 41, which uses R-DAT digital audiocassettes as a video recorder. Curiously, the company refused to demonstrate their working prototype at the show, claiming that they had no DAT cassettes available. Later, when we provided them with a sample cassette, they again refused to demonstrate it, admitting that two tapes had jammed in the unit during the show. While the validity of the format may be questionable, the size of Samsung's camcorder is impressive at 8-1/2" x 4" x 5-1/3", and it weighs a scant 2.5 lbs. (without battery). The SVC-41 features a color viewfinder, a 10 lux CCD, and will cost about $1300. Aiwa took the wraps off a 2nd-generation 8mm camcorder, the CV-50 8mm, which is a lightweight 2.3 lb. unit featuring a 2" remote handheld monitor/controller. And Canon introduced the VM-E2 8mm Camcorder, a much-improved version of their previous model which fixes several major ergonomic problems; now, the "zoom-in" control is at the front and the "zoom-out" control is at the rear! Canon's camera also features a 6X f/1.2 autofocus zoom lens, a flying-erase head for perfect edits, an 8 lux CCD, and auto white balance. Despite grumblings from some VHS manufacturers, some of whom admitted to us that they would rather be selling 8mm, there were a plethora of introductions in the VHS-C area. GE showed their 9-9710 "Cam N' Cord" Camcorder, which boasts a 7 lux CCD pickup, autofocus, power zoom lens, and weighs 3.7 lbs. with the battery. It will sell for around $1700. Hitachi introduced their VM-C50A, a VHS-C camcorder with a 2/3" MOS pickup rated at 10 lux, and also features HQ, 6X f/1.4 autofocus zoom lens, and weighs 3.1 pounds. This unit is virtually identical to RCA's CPR-100 VHS-C camcorder, and has a list price of $1400. JVC, the inventor of VHS-C, showed production versions of the GRC-9 -- touted as "the world's smallest 1/2" camcorder" at an amazing 2.2 pounds (w/tape attery). This record-only model features a very sensitive 10-lux CCD pickup and autofocus. Panasonic added a new wrinkle to the VHS-C camcorder with their PV-100, which they called a "High Speed Camcorder." This model has both a standard 1/60 and 1/1000 second shutter for nearly blur-free high-speed motion analysis, making it easy to study golf swings and other sports activities. However, we noted that because the 1/1000 second shutter requires nearly 35 times more light than the regular shutter, its usefulness will be mainly with outdoors shooting. The PV-100 features a 7 lux 1/2" CCD pickup with 210,000 pixels, 6X autofocus zoom lens, auto white balance, and records an hour on one battery. Similar models include Magnavox's Video Escort ($1900) and Quasar's VM-50 ($1800). Perhaps the biggest innovation in camcorders had to be with Zenith's VM-7100 full-size VHS Hi-Fi camcorder, which is the first we know of to offer high-quality stereo sound in a consumer package. This somewhat bulky unit features SP-only recording, HQ, a 6X zoom lens, an 8 lux CCD pickup, and tips the scales at 5.3 pounds. Its list price of $1800 seems reasonable, compared to similar non-Hi-Fi models now on the market. Last, but never least, Sony attempted to coax some life back into their ailing Beta format with their BMC-1000K Betamovie Pro, a record-only camcorder featuring the 6.0 MHz BI-S mode (along with the more-standard 5.6 MHz mode for compatability with older machines). The BMC-1000 features an electronic VF 6X F/1.4 zoom, program indexing, date and time stamp, and auto white balance. Unfortunately, this camcorder's pickup is rated at 21 lux, which is considerably less sensitive than most others now on the market, which we found disappointing. On the other hand, its high quality, high-resolution can't be beat...until the emergence of S-VHS, that is. ____________________________________ Xx ZMAG PANORAMA ....Capsule Reviews................. ____________________________________ ANTIC PUBLISHING INC., COPYRIGHT 1986. REPRINTED BY PERMISSION. AVATEX 1200-BAUD MODEM The Avatex modem gives you inexpensive Hayes compatibility and reliable operation. It operates with a subset of the Hayes commands that gives you virtually all the important functions. The Avatex usually can be found between $79 and $129 at dealers. Atari 8-bit users will need an 850 interface or P:R: Connection. $199. E+E Datacom 1230 Oakmead Parkway #310 Sunnyvale, CA 94086. (408) 732-1181. HAYES SMARTMODEM 1200 The Smartmodem 1200 is the industry standard by which all other modems are judged. The Hayes offers solid construction, automatically adjustable baud rate, internal speaker, auto-answering and outstanding documentation. Most commercial modem software is written to be compatible with the standard set of Hayes commands. Atari 8-bit users will need an 850 interface or P:R: Connection. $599 Hayes Microcomputer Products 5835 Peachtree Corners East, Norcross, GA 30092. (404) 449-8791. EPSON FX-85 The FX-85 offers almost every feature conceivable in a 9-pin dot- matrix printer. If you want substantially better performance from such a printer, you'll have to move up to a 24-pin model -- at
- Next message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 2-Feb-87 #37"
- Previous message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 19-Jan-87 #35"
----------------------------------------- Return to message index