Z*Magazine: 2-Mar-87 #41From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/09/93-10:59:59 AM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 2-Mar-87 #41 Date: Fri Jul 9 10:59:59 1993 ----------------------------------- Zmagazine March 2, 1987 Issue 41 ----------------------------------- Zmag Staff: Publisher/Editor in Chief:Ron Kovacs Editor/Coordinator:Alan Kloza ----------------------------------- ZMAG USER GROUP (BBS) OF THE MONTH THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF OZ BBS PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII (808) 423-2754 ____________________________________ This Week in Zmag...... <*> PUBLISHER'S DESK <*> USER GROUP OF THE MONTH HAWAII'S OZ BBS <*> USER GROUP UPDATES-- <*> GAMES COMPUTERS PLAY CLOSES ITS DOORS <*> 8-BIT EMULATOR FOR THE ST NEARS COMPLETION--BUT ATARI SEEKING TO BLOCK RELEASE <*> HARD DISK USER'S GROUP MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION <*> MAGIC SAC--THE ST MAC-CLONE ALL IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE? All this and more in this weeks edition of Zmagazine..... ____________________________________ Xx ZMAG PUBLISHER'S NOTE ..Sharing the Wealth of Information. ____________________________________ During the last 10 months, I have been contacted by many different types of User Groups, including Atari, Commodore, IBM, Kaypro, and Tandy. All have asked for permission to reprint articles from here. I want to stress that we want you to use the information here in your newsletters!!! There are a few groups using our material on a monthly basis. Before a few personal crises hit here recently, I was writing a monthly "best of ZMAG" column for JACG. If anyone is interested in using the articles which we use at JACG, please let me know and I will make them available on my BBS. I get 2-3 messages a week asking permission for usage of our material. Let this article be the permission to reprint. All we ask is that you show Zmag as your source, and include the issue number or date. The second point I want to address is Newsletter Exchange. I am currently discussing a few matters with Lennart Olsson from Sorman Information in Sweden. They have a few Atari User groups who would like to exchange information with United States User Groups. The hope is that we can organize things a bit so that communications between the two areas will be easier and more enjoyable. I will keep everyone informed on our progress. If you can supply us with a copy of your newsletter or give us information on subscribing, we will annouce your newsletter here with membership and contact info. We would then like to pass on your subscription info to Sweden. I can be reached via E-Mail on CompuServe at 71777,2140 or at the Syndicate Zmag BBS (201) 968-8148. Thanks for supporting Zmag! Ron Kovacs Publisher Editor in Chief ___________________________________ ZMAG USER GROUP OF THE MONTH ....Wonderful World of Oz.......... ___________________________________ THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF OZ BBS ZMAG BBS REVIEW OF THE MONTH By Daniel Osborne, SysOz (System Operator) The Wonderful World of Oz BBS -- (808) 423-2754 Pearl Harbor, HI Located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, the Wonderful World of Oz BBS was the first BBS Express board to go up in the Hawaiian Islands. We've been online since April 18, 1986. Starting off as quite a small system, it has now grown from a 130 XE, two drives and 300 baud, to 2.2 megs online and over 300 users from the local community and the mainland. The board was originally intended to serve the local Atari community by providing a source of information, files and and a wide variety of topics and opinions concerning the Atari computer. To date the board has successfully accomplished this task to the utmost. Because of distance and the lack of communication to the mainland (stateside), the board has developed a reputation as an Atari "focal point," informing the local community about recent Atari news, information and programs that otherwise would not be available anywhere in Hawaii. In the "Libraries" section of the board you can find most anything-- from Atari-New Products and Reviews, ICD Product Information, Atari Stock Market Quotes, Technical Upgrades and Modifications, Rumors and News, Fun Reading, ATASCII Cartoons, ZMagazine and much much more! The system is made up of an 800XL with 256K ICD Rambo upgrade, ICD 1 Meg MIO (Multi I/O), Astra 2001 with two double density drives, Astra 1620 with two double density drives, Atari 1050 with ICD US Doublers 5-8, Atari 1025 printer, ICD R-Time cart, Avatex 1200 baud modem, SpartaDos 3.2 and is currently running Keith Ledbetter's BBS Express 850 Bulletin Board Program. There are nine active message bases ranging from General Messages, Upload and Download Information, User Group Information, Wizard's Only, a Fantasy message base, Adventure Q's and A's, Programmers Help, Request Line, Sports message base and a list of Other BBS's a mile long ranging from Alaska to Wyoming. There is also an online role playing adventure game called "Spellbind," which can be played by anyone. Users submit their moves via E-Mail and the competition is stiff! Available to Atari ST users: the board currently cannot handle ST files. A 20 megabyte hard drive is in the works, and should be able to handle both Atari 8-bit and ST files by early June of 1987 (crossing my fingers!). Although there are three other Atari 8-bit BBS's in Hawaii and two ST BBS's, the Wonderful World of Oz BBS is the most active and hardest to logon. Callers logging on range from 50 to 60 each day. Please do not be discouraged if you can't logon immediatley, keep trying. Long distance callers from the mainland are always welcome! _____________________________________ Xx ZMAG USER GROUP UPDATE ....Newsletters and Information _____________________________________ We are exchanging newsletters with a few user groups and would like to be receiving yours too! Let us know how to get it and we will make the necessary arrangements. If you're interested in getting involved in a user's group and live in one of the locations below, don't hesitate to contact them. Zmag will continue to publish and advertise viable Atari User's Groups. So if you send us the information, we'll continue to supply these updates as a public service to the Atari community. MICHIGAN -------- (Lansing Area, Flint Area, Jackson, Saginaw,Bay City, Midland, Battle Creek Area, Ann Arbor Area, Kalamazoo Area) MICHIGAN ATARI MAGAZINE This publication is the official newsletter of several independent groups of Atari-8Bit and 16Bit users. Subscription is included with membership in any of the participating clubs or directly from the Magazine for $12.00 per year to addresses in the United States. For more information contact: C.H.A.O.S. MICHIGAN ATARI MAGAZINE PO BOX 16132 LANSING, MI 48901 _____________________________________ NEW JERSEY (Central Area) Jersey Atari Computer Group Newsletter is included in membership. $20.00 per year. And $30.00 for addresses out of the United States. For more information: Thomas Pazel, Membership Chairman JACG 70 Mitchell Road. TD-7 Hackettstown, NJ 07840 ___________________________________ Xx ZMAG ATARI NEWSWIRE ...GCP Closes Gates To Future... ___________________________________ By Steve Godun Games Computers Play Inc., an online telecommunications service offered exclusively to Atari computer owners, has closed its gates effective February 28, 1987. The service, stationed in York, PA, offered high-resolution online graphics (and later, a text-only service) to any Atari 8-bit or ST owner. GCP closed due to "heavy financial difficulties and contract disagreements". Accessed through Tymnet, a time-sharing service, GCP was the cheapest service to sub- scribe to. The Source, Delphi, and even CompuServe couldn't match GCP's subscription and online rates. However, it is rumored that by keeping the prices low in hopes of attracting new subscribers, GCP could not afford to pay Tymnet and therefore lost its contract. GCP's closing was announced in a GCP bulletin on February 21, 1987. Current subscribers scrambled to use up their online time before GCP's demise. After closing, any subscriber who has an active account with GCP will have his/her money returned. Anyone who sent in money to subscribe to GCP will immediately have his/her money returned. The GCP sysops were not available for comment. ___________________________________ Xx ZMAG ST NEWSWIRE ....8-Bit Emulator For ST's....... ___________________________________ Supplied by the CHAOS BBS- Reprinted From MICHIGAN ATARI MAGAZINE by permission. An "800" emulator for the ST is a reality! I have seen it and talked to the author. DAREK MIHOCKA, of the LONDON, ONTARIO area, has written and distributed several levels of beta test versions on BBS's. He originally planned to make a emulator for just about all the 6502 machines, but has since broken the emulations into separate versions for the APPLE ][, the ATARI, and soon the COMMODORE 64. (YIKE!). The version I saw ran no graphics and did not support DOS functions. But in a telephone interview on February 22, Darek, a 20 year old college student at Waterloo University outside Toronto, told me that he has now developed the emulation to produce all graphics modes, DOS support, and even DISPLAY LISTS! Still to be developed are PLAYER MISSLE GRAPHICS and SOUND. Additionally, there seems to be a string-handling bug in the ATARI 8-bit BASIC emulation but Darek expects to have that corrected shortly. Ultimately he plans to have the emulation good enough to run commercial heavy-graphics software. At this point, the emulation runs about 1/4 the speed of "normal" 8-bit execution as the emulation is an interpreter. Plans for commercial distribution (and in fact ANY distribution) are now sketchy, because of... guess who? ATARI CORP. ... who WON'T allow the emulator to be distributed. The problem is that Darek's program uses the ATARI (copyrighted) operating system and ATARI BASIC. ATARI says this is PIRACY and has threatened suit if the emulator gets out. Real user-friendly, this company! Mihocka is trying to get around this objection by devising a program that will extract the required data out of the user's own 8-bit ATARI machine, port it to the ST, and integrate it into his emulator... but even this may not be satisfactory to ATARI. "They tell me that it will encourage piracy..." says Mihocka, who contacted ATARI about his work when XANTH (a Seattle area software company-- remember BOINK?) expressed commercial interest in the 8-bit emulator. All is not lost, perhaps. Mihocka is re-writing many routines into 68000 machine code (as he had to do for printer support, as the ST does not have the 8-bit type daisy-chain cable). If he is able to replace enough routines, the speed of the emulation will dramatically increase, and the need for the ATARI ROM will decrease. Then, BIG JACK won't be able to say much about the emulator. We thought this was unfortunate (and even ATARI seemed to agree). Remember when APPLE was uncooperative about ROMS for the MAGIC-SAC MACINTOSH emulator? Now the shoe is on ATARI's own other foot and they are being just as difficult. Lets hope this one can be resolved above-board. Write to Jack Tramiel and tell him what you think of his company's opposition to the development of what many of us have been waiting for--a way to avoid losing all our hard-earned software when we buy the ATARI ST. Supplied by the CHAOS BBS (517) 371-1106 _____________________________________ ZMAG RANDOM NOTES ....Wanted: Hard Disk Users......... _____________________________________ A new group has been formed for the Atari 8 bit/16 bit hard disk owner. The H.D.U.G. (Hard Disk User Group). This group is just starting and is accepting membership which includes:a quarterly newsletter and special access on the Network: Atari BBS. Here's how to join!! Send $18.00 yearly membership dues. to: Network: HDUG Post Office Box 196 Rantoul, Illinois 61866-0196 or call: Network: Atari HD Express! (217) 892-8889 Or leave me a message on CompuServe PPN# 71777,2140. I will update everyone and also hope to provide some information from the group in the weeks ahead. R. Kovacs ____________________________________ Xx ZMAG PANORAMA--REVIEWS ...Magic Sac For The ST............. ____________________________________ THE MUCH BALLYHOOED MACINTOSH EMULATOR FOR THE ATARI ST Bob Kelly I intend to start off the New Year by discussing Data Pacific's MacIntosh Cartridge (Magic Sac). It is NOT my intention to provide a detailed technical review of the product but to provide insights on "true" hardware set-up cost, evaluate whether the Magic Sac can be considered a full Mac clone, supply a list of software considered essential, and to provide other recommendations/hints so others may avoid my learning curve frustrations. COST OF SYSTEM SET-UP The Mac cartridge (hereafter called the Magic Sac) fits into the cartridge slot of the ST. The discounted price for the Magic Sac I is about $90 while the Magic Sac Plus runs about $120, the difference being inclusion of a clock module on the Plus. In addition to the cost of the cartridge, two Apple Mac ROMs must be purchased and inserted into the cartridge. The cheapest price I have seen for the two ROMs is $30 from B & C Computers in Santa Clara, California. (More often than not the ROMs are advertised at $50 per pair.) In addition to the DIRECT cost of the Magic/Mac cartridge, the INDIRECT cost associated with modifying your ST's hardware configuration must be considered. First, for best viewing, a monochrome monitor is required (remember, the Mac has no color). Data Pacific, using clever programming techniques, now allows a color monitor to be used (beta test version on Magic Sac boot disk 3.5). However, the picture quality, in diplomatic terms, is very unpleasant for those of us with normal eyesight. Next, your Atari ST should be equipped with 1 megabyte of RAM for best operation. If you have standard TOS in ROM on a 520ST (512K), the largest Mac emulation possible is 256K. This memory size restricts the flow of operations by causing more disk swapping and some unexplained happenings (e.g. system crashes). In addition, the COLOR MONITOR ONLY OPERATES with a 1 MG machine at present. If you do not want to do a considerable amount of disk swapping, it is best to have a two drive system. A one drive system promotes tennis elbow, similar to CP/M 2.2 operations. Since I own a 1040ST with two drives, I did NOT have to purchase indirect items other than a monochrome monitor ($125). The total hardware cost of my set-up was approximately $250 ($125+$90+$30+shipping). A FULL MACINTOSH CLONE? What did I get for this $250? First and foremost, I learned how a MacIntosh operates. I would buy the Magic Sac again for this alone. However, for those who have a Mac at work, the Magic Sac is NOT NOW a useable clone. It is a system best suited to users who can be classified as quasi-hackers or those who want to learn in depth about the Mac. On what do I base this opinion? The Magic Sac: - Does not support the Epson/Star Micronics/Panasonic array of dot matrix printers (this deficiency is a result of Apple's corporate policy, but it is now a technical problem for the Magic Sac). Almost everything in Mac public domain looks for the Apple Imagewriter. Data Pacific (DP) plans to have an Epson driver in version 4.0. When will 4.0 be available - my guess, March, 1987. - ASCII files can be printed with the aid of some Mac public domain printer programs - more on this later. Let me hasten to add, very few files found on Mac BBSs are in ASCII format - MacWrite 4.5 files in binary form are the rule.. - Does not support MacWrite 4.5. It will work with MacWrite 2.2 which saves files in ASCII form. Data Pacific is working on this shortcoming and intends for the Magic Sac to be compatible with MacWrite 4.5. - Does not run copy-protected software. As such, Microsoft Word, Pagemaker, Excel, and Jazz cannot be run. If you don't know why these programs have been essential to the success of the Mac - stop reading here. Data Pacific plans to produce a drive capable of running copy-protected programs which may be available in the May/June period. - Does not support sound. In my opinion, this is not a major liability for the foreseeable future. SOFTWARE TO GET YOU STARTED Without doubt this area was and remains the cause of more headaches than any other. A substantial amount of the problems were the result of having to use Magic boot disks 3.0 or 2.0. Thankfully that is over! With the introduction of version 3.5 of the Magic boot disk, several of the more persistent problems have been solved - such as frequent "crashes" when changing programs and bugs in the way Switcher runs. Also, Notepad no longer sends the system into orbit. Most importantly, version 3.5 permits MacIntosh desk accessories to be installed and removed (unlike Atari, it is not as simple as changing the file extender to .ACC). Operating with anything less than version 3.5 is just plain stupid. For those who still have versions 2.0 or 3.0, you can download 3.5 from CompuServe. Proceed to the Atari Developers Forum (type: "Go ATARIDEV"). It is an ARC file and 39K in length - remember the Magic Sac boot disk is a normal Atari formatted disk. Along with 3.5, you should have the following public domain/shareware disks: A. Finder: ver., 4.1 (system disk) B. Font/DA Mover: ver., 3.2 (changes fonts and desk accessories) C. Freeterm: ver., 1.8 (telecommunications) D. Packit III: ver., 1.2 (compresses/decompresses files) E. Ink: ver., 2.0 (prints ASCII files) F. Chooser: ver., 2.0 (selects print driver) G. MacWrite: ver., 2.2 (Commercial Word Proc.) The Finder disk is the start-up or boot disk for the Mac system. On the disk is a system folder containing system files and Finder 4.1. Finder performs such tasks as designating which disk is in control, provides the entrance and exit to programs (i.e., finding files), and performs general housekeeping and control procedures (copying files). Font/DA Mover 3.2 permits the installation/removal of both different fonts and desk accessories. Font/DA Mover version 3.2 is far and away the best version with the Magic Sac. Earlier versions 2.5 and 3.0A.1 do install and remove desk accessories but at a much slower rate. Further, versions 2.5 and 3.0A.1 do not work when installing fonts. (Remember, Font/DA Mover works only with Magic boot disk 3.5 or better). Freeterm 1.8 is more than adequate for most telecommunication needs. Packit III is desirable since some of the programs on the Mac BBSs are compressed. Packit III will decompress these files. Now comes the question of printing. Again, Magic boot disk 4.0 is soon to be released and designed to solve many of these print driver problems. If you want to print out a document now, some precise procedures have to be followed. First, click on PARALLEL PORT when booting. Next, for binary files compatible with MacWrite 2,2, select and load the document you want into MacWrite and save it as an ASCII file (use: Save as ..... text only). Quit MacWrite and boot up Ink. Pull down the printer menu and click on Printer Port and Okidata 92 (other printers can be configured - read help files). Next, go to File Menu and click on Print Selected Files, now: - Click on OK box (don't enter anything) - Click on File to Print - Click on Select - Click on Done New box appears asking if you are "Ready to start printing" -Click on OK. Your file should now be printed. Another alternative print method requires a commercial program called Epstart ($50 retail). This program supplies several different Epson printer drivers which are placed in the system folder. With the aid of a public domain desk accessory called "Chooser or Choose Printer", the Epson driver is installed as the default driver. Repeated attempts have failed to get it to work. Again, it appears not to be solely a fault of the Magic Sac system. A local Apple dealer has stated that it works so infrequently with the Apple MacIntosh they no longer carry the product. RECOMMENDATIONS/OPERATIONAL HINTS When using the Magic Sac, I suggest: 1. Never use the Motivator (RAMDISK) unless you have become thoroughly familiar with its operation. Simply put, it keeps dumping the same contents of RAM to subsequent disks. Suppose you decide to eject the initial disk and the need arises to eject the second disk, it will write back the contents of the first disk when ejecting so ..... 'bye-'bye second disk. 2. Now that you will never use Motivator, do not write-protect the disks by closing the notch on the disks. By physically write-protecting, the Magic Sac automatically locks all programs. They cannot be unlocked without stopping work, ejecting the disk and opening the write-protect tab. 3. Rumor has it that the old ProWriter is identical to the ImageWriter I. Thus, according to hearsay, the printer driver problem would go away if you own one. Given the positive response to user input to-date and timely product updates, the Magic Sac will probably approach full clone status by summer. Transporting work between home and office should then be a reality. It is not too early to start learning. In that vein, the best book I have used regarding Mac operations/software is "The Macintosh Advisor" by Harriman and Calica (Hayden Co., 1986). I would like to express my appreciation to Mr. Jeff Greenblatt for his expertise. All the public domain/shareware that he and I gathered for this article has been given to the Current Notes Mac library. ---------------------------------- Zmagazine #41 March 2, 1987 Please Contribute!!! ----------------------------------
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