Z*Magazine: 13-Apr-87 #47From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/09/93-11:21:39 AM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 13-Apr-87 #47 Date: Fri Jul 9 11:21:39 1993 _____________________________________ ^^^ ZMAGAZINE APRIL HOT ATARI NEWS AND REVIEWS ISSUE 47 _____________________________________ April 13, 1987 Happy Easter/Passover _____________________________________ Zmag Staff: Publisher/Editor in Cheif: Ron Kovacs Editor: Alan Kloza Special Correspondent: Steve Godun Columnist: Eric Plent Asst Publisher: Ken Kirchner _____________________________________ This week in Zmagazine New Jersey <*> Network:Atari User Group Report <*> Scuttlebits Report <*> Humor from Space Newsletter <*> Plent's Page <*> Atari hires new VP/GM <*> FCC decision om Computer III <*> The Source sold _____________________________________ Xx User Group Report:Network Atari ...Zmag User Group of the Month... _____________________________________ NETWORK: NOTES I'd like to propose a small column designed for BBS SysOp's out there in modem land. I'd really like to hear from all of you, and print up a detailed article in the newsletter. So...grab yourself a disk, type out a synopsis of your BBS, and all that it implies, and send it to HDUG HQ as fast as you can. One or two BBS's (depending on how many inputs we get) will be highlighted in each issue. On a similar note, I'd like to do the same service for User Groups around the nation. So, to all BBS SysOp's and User Group Secretaries, gather your data, put it on a floppy, and send it in today! We'll print them up and give you all a free plug. To start the column out, here's a quick note about Network: Atari HD Express! BBS, and the *PAC* (Progressive Atari Computing) User Group. Network: Atari - 3/12/24 (soon to be 4800/9600) BPS - 24 Hours a day. News is good this quarter, as we have recently added the second 30MEG HD, and within a couple of months will be adding another 60MEG for a grand total of 120+ Megabytes of Atari BBS storage space. I believe this would be the Nation's Largest Atari BBS run off of an 8-Bit computer (or any Atari computer). Please correct me if I'm wrong. System Hardware and Software is as follows: 800XL w/256k Rambo (Backup is the 130XE w/320K upgrade), 1MEG ICD MIO, R-Time 8 Cartridge, 4-Atari 1050 Drives each w/US Doublers, US Robotics 2400 BPS Courier Modem (Soon to be the USR 9600...I hope) (Backup is the Hayes 1200), 850 Interface, Sears (Sears?) SR3000 Composite/RGB Monitor, Sparta-x Cartridge (soon), ICD MIO 80-Column card (soon), Star Micronix SG-15 Printer (16K buffer), Seagate ST-238 HD (two), Adaptec 4070 controller case/ps, SpartaDOS 3.3a, assorted joysticks and other items. Network: Atari HD Express! BBS began as ZBBS back in December 1982, and was on-line with a bare 800XL, an Atari 1027 Printer (LOUD!) and a single unmodified 1050 drive (Which was using DOS 3.0!). As a new SysOp, and absolutely NO contact with other Atari users, I actually bought AMIS BBS software from A.R.C.A.D.E. in Michigan, and with the honest help of Jim Stienbrecher, was able to get it modified and running...sort of. I found out very fast that AMIS crashed after (or during) most calls. The biggest board crashers I had to deal with were Commodore users. Since that was the major computer in this area, I had to deal with it. I quickly got fed up with AMIS and after reading and hearing about BBCS, I purchased that, and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread and soft butter. Guess again. Over the years I spent my entire paychecks on new equipment and modifications to an ever-growing system. I quickly became the largest BBS in the local area, and lo and behold, Atari users started popping up! Lots of them! So...we started the *PAC* User group. I wound up as president of the User Group, and it continues to grow today. I've asked the Secretary to write up a short article about *PAC*, and it's included just after this. Then...Keith ledbetter created Express! BBS, and the BBS has been growing at a fantastic rate ever since. Thanx Keith! Network: Atari has over 20MEG of PD software, 25 Msg Bases, and GOBS of text files for all to enjoy. We currently have an ATASCII dungeon game, courtesy of Midnight Express! BBS and SysOp: Captain Cush. In the real near future, there will be 3-4 more dungeons, and possibly (If I can figure out a method) a massive 30 level dungeon that fills the MIO. 3 of the boards are restricted. *PAC* has one, as well as *PAC* Officers, and the HDUG User Group members. BBS numbers? We got 2500 of them for you, all sorted numerically by area code and prefix. Help us to keep the list active. There has recently been added a co-SysOp, Jackson Beebe, and he will help you if he can. Jack also is our resident expert on Atari (and now TURBO) Basic, and is currently the *PAC* User Group President. Enough about Network: on this trip. I'll turn the floor over to Ron Mccall, *PAC* Secretary, and He'll tell us all about the User Group. Progressive Atari Computing (PAC) is proud to say we are one of the fastest growing, most progressive Atari User Groups around. The group has just recently celebrated its first anniversary. Current membership continues to grow at an alarming rate, with representation of both 8- and 16-Bit users, with a small percentage having machines of both types. Each monthly membership meeting sees the addition of new members. PAC is located in Rantoul, Il., and is adjacent to an Air Force base, so it draws a significant portion of its membership from the base. As such, we experience periodic departures of active members, but at the same time we also see new Atari users arriving all the time. Additionally, we welcome out of town members, no matter where they may reside. We currently have several members on the rolls who have never been to the town of Rantoul, and in fact have never been to the United States! Long-distance members are welcome anytime. Membership applications (consisting of name, address, and computer equipment currently owned) should be sent to the address for Network: Atari, together with $24.00 dues for yearly membership. This entitles one to receive the group's newsletter (a biggie!) by mail as soon as it is published, as well as early news about the upcoming Disk Of The Month. The group is privileged to have as its current President, a man who is an Instructor in Computer Science at a local college. As such, he brings his expertise in programming to benefit all members, both in how to better use their systems, as well as authoring several original programs for the group, and is currently awaiting publication of some of his work in ANALOG. *PAC* recently started publication and sale of a Public Domain Disk Of The Month. The premiere DOTM was a double disk set of adventures, for an introductory price of $5.00. The second was a special disk of The phenomenal TurboBASIC from Germany, with numerous programs written to show off this version of BASIC to its fullest. This disk also sells for only $5.00 mailed to anywhere. The upcoming third DOTM will be a graphics special, featuring SEEPIC and other .PIC Utilities and a full disk side of Koala-style pics. Also offered this month (as a side oder, so to speak) is a complete 5-disk set of ARChived pics. Offered as a complete package, or you can buy them separately. G.L.I.T.C.H. (Gremlins Loose In The Computer House), is the bimonthly newsletter published by PAC. The anniversary issue recently released was a whopping 40 pages! We welcome input for this newsletter from anyone who has a bit to say about hardware or software, or even editorial comments. You may also send this info to the same address. *PAC* Secretary Ron McCall _____________________________________ Xx Atari Scuttlebits... By: Bob Kelly....Say It Ain't So.... _____________________________________ It was a cloudy overcast day,the year 1919. The newspapers had been preoccupied with perhaps the most infamous scandal of all American sports, the Black Sox Baseball scandal - a conspiracy to fix the World Series. Soon, the famous Kenesaw Mountain Landis would come on the scene as the first Commissioner of baseball to clean-up the sport. Several baseball stars were implicated in the scandal, the most famous being Shoeless Joe Jackson. Soon after word of the scandal broke, Jackson was walking out of the courthouse, a young kid sitting on the curb stood up and looked at Jackson with tears in his eyes and pleaded "Say it ain't so.... Joe". It is another cloudy day almost 70 years later, the owners of Atari 8 bit computers are looking to Sunnyvale and wondering if their computers are headed for extinction. Rumors abound, some third party software developers indicate they will no longer market software for the Atari 8 bit computer. Atari, by its own actions, has yet to come forth with the 80 column cartridge, a product it announced months and months ago. It has also failed to bring forth much in the way of new 8 bit software from its once prolific software development house. In the mean time, Apple announces the new IIGS permitting both 8 bit and 16 bit software to be run on the same machine. Apple user loyalty is reaffirmed. Atari announces a IBM clone. Atari spokesmen, seemingly oblivious to the contradiction, continue to advise the 8 bit owner to wait till tomorrow, a better day is coming. Unlike the Atari ST, whose ultimate success depends on 3rd party developers, the continuation of the 8 bit computer line now is in the hands of ATARI ITSELF. If it is to continue, Atari must be out front in the development of 8 bit hardware and software as well as vigorously encouraging the production of new programs by third party vendors. Atari, in the form of Jack Tramiel himself, not some spokesman, must step forward and respond to user pleas of "Say it ain't so......" By the way, what would silence imply? Computer Sales The Department of Commerce after almost a year released data on 1985 computers shipments. Nearly 4 million computers were sold by U.S. manufacturers with the following table showing the breakdown for digital computers only: No. of Digital_Computers Companies Quantity $_million <$500 10 1,158,953 306,245 $500/1,000 17 1,070,175 655,572 $1,000/2,500 29 652,511 1,071,641 $2,500/5,000 27 593,056 2,386,819 $5,000/15,000 47 176,032 1,557,278 $15,000/50,000 44 118,973 2,505,968 $50,000/250,000 33 23,799 2,646,811 $250,000/1 million 17 4,746 1,993,629 Over $1 million 7 1,091 1,629,560 TOTALS: 179 3,799,336 $14,753,523 On a quantity basis, 76% of the digital computers shipped in 1985 were priced at less than $2,500. However, on a dollar basis, computers under $2,500 accounted for only 14% of the total value of U.S. shipments. Taking a closer look at the table, it is possible to get some idea of the value of the home computer market to the U.S. economy. Roughly 6.5% of the total value of shipments is represented by computers that sell for less than $1,000. It is indeed a small portion of the pie (Atari's total revenue in 1985 was $142 million). Note the number of U.S. companies. Many U.S. firms are competing against a few much larger Japanese/Korean conglomerates and further consolidation by U.S. firms may be necessary to prosper in this market. It was also reported that the value of peripheral computer equipment shipped by U.S. manufacturers in 1985 was $18.2 billion. Nearly 15% of the total $17.4 billion in U.S. manufactured computers were exported - approximately $3 billion. However, the U.S. international trade position in electronic products continues to deteriorate. In 1981, the U.S. had a trade surplus (exports > imports) of more than $6 billion. By 1986, the once trade surplus had become a deficit amounting to roughly $12 billion. This swing of $18 billion has caused alarm and created a rising call for action by Congress to protect our high-tech industries. In the February 9 issue of Forbes magazine Charles H. Ferguson, a former IBM strategic analyst now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offered some insightful comments. "The new semiconductor trade agreement shows this kind of strategic naivete on the part of the U.S. government, and short-term, self-destructive thinking by the U.S. industry. The U.S. industry lobbied for almost exactly the deal they got, limiting Japanese penetration of the U.S. market through exports and putting a price floor on memory chips. The high price gives a windfall to low-cost Japanese and Korean chip makers and helps big Japanese computer makers, making their chips in-house, while penalizing U.S. firms that buy chips on the open market. The deal didn't ban Japanese direct foreign investment. What the U.S. got was a situation in which the only way that the Japanese could continue to progress was by buying the U.S. semiconductor industry. So Fujitsu just bought 80% of Fairchild. Then Motorola signed a joint venture enabling Toshiba to make 32 bit microprocessors in Japan." And so it goes.... Will we have a viable semiconductor industry 5 years from now or will even more American manufacturers move abroad? By the way, do you realize that almost 1/2 of Taiwan's electronics output is for captive operations involving such U.S. corporations as Wang and IBM for sale back to the U.S. For that matter, is anybody taking bets that Atari will move its manufacturing facilities back to the U.S.? Stay tuned, of course only if you really believe there is any suspense. _____________________________________ Xx Atari Humor.... Reprinted from SPACE Newsletter _____________________________________ Most Outrageous Rumor Contest St Paul ATARI Computer Enthusiasts With Permission 1. ATARI has just discovered by accident that the old 2 transistor radio transistors do everything that the blitter chip was supposed to do. So, upgrades will be available for one dollar from ATARI dealers. 2. A guy in Colorado just found out that if you tape a two inch square of aluminum foil to the bottom of a 520 or 1040ST on the left front side, that the capacity of the internal memory is a little less than doubled. 3. ATARI's market research folks just reported to the firm that the best advertising for their products was through the success of the local Special Interest Groups, and therefore, a decision has been made to give MAST, SPACE and all other U.S. groups a one-time gift of $10,000 to help them plan bigger and better activities and to get more local visibility. 4. Rumor has it that the 1200 baud modem from ATARI has been delayed again; however, some good news - the 1100 baud modem is now available. 5. Sunnyvale, California: ATARI Corporation announced today their bid had been selected by the U.S. Defense Dept. to provide 10,000 state-of-the-art battle engagement simulator systems for all branches of the armed services. Each $750,000 modular package will be portable and can be used for tactical and strategic real-time simulations for any level of engagement from individual unit to national mobilization. As ATARI stock rose sharply some Wall Street insiders rumoured that ATARI was moving into a factory recently purchased from IBM where they would mass produce military ruggidized versions of their Model 400 laptop mainframe and MIL SPEC ROM software packages code-named STAR RAIDERS, MISSILE COMMAND and EASTERN FRONT. The Soviet military journal Isvestia sharply attacked the action as destabilizing East-West tensions. National Security Council experts say the ATARI development of 6th generation battle simulation hardware and software places Soviet forces at a distinct readiness disadvantage through at least 1995 or until the Russian government finds a reliable source of quarters. 6. Coleco Buys Apple Coleco, the makers of the Cabbage Patch Dolls, purchased Apple Computer today. Due to a bug in Microsoft Excel, Apple executives were surprised to learn they sold controlling interest in Apple Computer to Coleco. Microsoft blames the bug on a 'feature' within the MacIntosh. Coleco, saying that now they are a major player in the computer industry, vows to take on IBM with a new machine. This computer has been dubbed the Adam PCjr Laptop. Technical specifications have not been released yet, but the Adam PCjr will include The Bundle of Joy Software Series. Featured programs in this series are Cabbage Calc, Cabbage Speech, Cabbage Write, Cabbage Spell, and Cabbage Slaw. IBM, in a rare retaliatory move, announced their new entry into the home market, the IBM Wombat II GeeWhiz. According to sources within the company, the new computer was designed by top flight NASA engineers on their coffee breaks during launches. The specs on this machine are: - 1750 Compatibility - MonkScribe Very Letter Quality printer (4 char/min) - Souped up 9600th Baud Tin Can Modem (Campbell Compatible pending FDA Approval) - Speak and Tell voice synthesis - 1K Hard Drive with paper tape back-up - Dual Disk Drives and Toaster Unit (butters both sides at once) Bundled software includes: Wom-Word Wom-Calc Wom-Write Wom-Mon (machine language monitor) Atari president Jack Tramiel upon hearing of the new product announcements was heard saying, "Its too bad neither company can compete and deliver on time like Atari Corp." 7. ATARI is suing Apple computers because the "look and feel" of the new color MacIntosh is too much like the ATARI ST. _____________________________________ Xx Plent's Page _____________________________________ CIS Forums By:Eric Plent Forums are one of the best features of CompuServe. If you have ever used the service I doubt you are not a member of at least one forum. As I have fooled around with the system I have found some of the better forums to visit. Here is a list of some good ones that will attract most people who are reading this. Forum Name Page (GO ?) ------------------------------------ Atari 8-Bit ATARI8 Atari 16-Bit ATARI16 Atari Developers ATARIDEV ANTIC Online Magazine ANTIC Dr. Dobb's Journal/mag DDJ Science/Math SCIENCE Science/Technology COM-12 Sci Fi/Fantasy SCI Technical Writers WESIG Online Computer Conn. RADIO Software Publishers PCFORUM Programmers Forum PROSIG Public File Area ACCESS Telecommunications Forum TELECOMM ----------------------------------- That much is enough to keep you going for a few weeks! I have looked into most of these forums at one time or another, and I usually find more information and programs in one Data Library than on most bulletin board systems! To visit a forum, simply type "GO" plus the name of the forum listed above. For example: "GO ATARI8" will take you to the Atari 8-Bit forum. You will be asked if you wish to visit the forum or join the forum. Since it does not cost anything to join a forum, choose "Join the *** forum". After that you have access to all of the message bases and Data Libraries in the forum (there are usually around 7 message bases and 7 Data Libraries in each forum). I hope you enjoy some of these forums on CompuServe! I have gotten so much information and programs from them that I could not even begin to tell you about them. This is something you will have to see for your self! Happy Telecommunicating! - Eric Plent _____________________________________ Xx Atari Corp names new VP/GM _____________________________________ According to a report from Online Today, Atari Corp. has appointed Jerry Brown, a former Texas Instruments and IBM executive, vice president and general manager of US operations. According to this report, It was stated that Jack Tramiel appointed Brown as part of the plan to increase Atari's market share in the US Personal Computer Market. _____________________________________ Xx FCC RULES ON COMPUTER INQUIRY III By:C. Conroy...Online Today _____________________________________ The Federal Communications Commission has issued its ruling on the second phase of the Computer Inquiry III Decision. The two major decisions rendered stated: -:- There is no need to regulate network-based information services and processing services that are not currently regulated. -:- The Bell Operating Companies will not be allowed to offer enhanced services, such as remote processing services or network based information services, tied to its telecommunications network. The FCC decision regarding the BOCs is based on the fact that there currently is no competition for local telephone service, and competitors in remote processing services could not achieve access to the local telecommunications network on an equal basis with the BOCs in either a technical or financial way. _____________________________________ Xx The Source Sold.... _____________________________________ The Reader's Digest Association Inc. announced it has sold The Source, the McLean, Va., information service, for an undisclosed amount to a New York- based venture capital firm called Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe. The Source currently has more than 60,000 subscribers and last year earned a profit on more than $14 million revenue. The Source was launched in June 1979 by entrepreneurs William F. von Meister and Jack R. Taub. Reader's Digest bought controlling interest in the company in April 1980. _____________________________________ Zmagazine April 13, 1987 Issue #47 Reprinting permission granted. (c)1987 Syndicate Services Please contribute!!! _____________________________________
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