Z*Magazine: 7-Sep-88 #122From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 08/11/93-08:54:28 AM Z
- Next message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 14-Sep-88 #123"
- Previous message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 31-Aug-88 #121"
- Return to Index: Sort by: [ date ] [ author ] [ thread ] [ subject ]
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 7-Sep-88 #122 Date: Wed Aug 11 08:54:28 1993 *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=* *=*=*=*= Syndicate ZMagazine Issue #122 September 7, 1988 =*=*=*=* *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=* HOT Atari News and Reviews =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=* *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=* -----------------| American Publishing Enterprises, Inc |---------------- -----------------| Post Office Box 74 |---------------- -----------------| Middlesex, New Jersey 08846-0074 |---------------- *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=* PUBLISHER GENERAL MANAGER ZMag EDITOR ASSISTANT EDITOR Ron Kovacs R. F. Mariano John Deegan Carlos Hernandez ========================================================================= Available on: * CompuServe * GEnie * Delphi * The Source * F-Net * ========================================================================= Copyright (c) 1988 APEInc, SPC -- All Rights Reserved -- =*= TABLE OF CONTENTS =*= *> ZMag Newswire / Editors Desk *> Oasis BBS Update by Glenda Stocks *> ZMag Archives / April 1987 *> Press Releases *> ST Transformer Update *> ZMag Public Domain Shelf _________________________________________________________________________ ZMAG NEWSWIRE/Editors Desk Compiled by the Staff, John Deegan DIAMOND UPDATE DIAMOND looking better all the time, will be shown at the Glendale Show, and so will the "ST JR" (the GOS remake, formerly presented by Merrill Ward, but no longer). Also, Merrill Ward will be marketing DIAMOND...and WON'T be Merrill Ward anymore. They are relocating from Palm Springs CA to Washington DC, and will be called USA MEDIA. Alan Reeve, DIAMOND programmer (in college in Illinois!) is even hopeful about ATARI packing DIAMOND in it's final CART form in with new XE's and XEGS systems.... Diamond is planned to include a PAINT, WORD PROCESSOR which is said to be more like the TIMEWORKS package for the ST (top rated desk-top publisher! Interestingly, Alan says that he had abandoned the DIAMOND project last winter, but after John Nagy wrote about it again in April (in CSHOPPER and in ZMAG) he got such a good and immediate reaction, he went back to work on it, with bigger hopes and grander goals. MID-MICHIGAN UPDATE We use this space to publically ask the staff of MAM to fill us in on what the current 6 month plans. As editorialized here a few weeks ago, we stated that there appeared to be less and less user group news and articles. With the support of 8-9 local users groups, it seems to us at ZMAG that more interest should be given to local reporting then the current style used. How about it? NEW ADDITION We are happy to announce the addition of Carlos Hernandez to the staff of ZMagazine. Carlos will take on the function of Assistant Editor. We are also happy to announce the promotion of Ralph Mariano to General Manager of APEInc. Ralph we now manage all three present publications. LABOR DAY TELETHON Although not Atari related, we encourage our readers to donate what-ever you can to the Muscular Destrophy Association. Call 1-800-FIGHT MD _________________________________________________________________________ OASIS BBS UPDATE by Glenda Stocks No one else will tell you all about OASIS, so I will. $25.00 will get you 3 DS/SD diskettes with 6 sides of info, including two drive sample BBS with 23 modules working in it. All new docs written by me, each mod is also given separately with its own docs. There are 22 main menu options that each sysop decides what to offer from them. Totally flexible, customizable. Every main menu option's letter can be picked by sysop. The following features can be executed from any of the 22 main menu options: o User lister o Caller log o Sysop created menu o Add a BBS number module o User poll o Trivia game o User stat lister o Survey game o RLE movies o BBS daily stat lister o Download base o User ul/dl ratio lister o Eliza game All of the above could be on one single sysop created menu. The download base program allows sysop to name and create his own subdirectories (or use no subdirs at all) and offers user ability to search files by the following criteria from a simple small menu: o Filename o Language o Type o User level o Date o Files per page displayed o Categories to include or not in search (search all) o New files since last logon DL base automatically displays 40 or 80 columns from one module. Eight msg bases that can be created first and allow msgs to be any size and compact at logoff. For ML programmers OASIS IV has added many new equates and built in BBS routines just for programmers to write modules for OASIS. The following modules need to, or can be written, of course I cannot write them all, as I am working on other programming projects, including OASIS V. o Automatic board backup at set times o Automatic msg base exchange (networking) o Upload module to get correct file extensions from users o Any game module o Password application procedure o Logon sequence o Logoff sequence o Download base with file descriptions o Ymodem batch file transfer o Modem call answering sequence o Waitscreen stat lister for sysop waitcall screen o Various sysop online utils including other DOS functions These are just some ideas of what can be done, based on the equates provided and sample modules already in use. Added to that will be OASIS.PAL which will allow offline debugging of modules. Also, I will be revising the current 30 modules (8 of which are required to run OASIS IV and they total 10,054 bytes = 78 single density sectors of your system disk, which means all other modules are optional, and the BBS can otherwise run completely without any other modules needed to be online... important for small system operators), the source code to each revised module will be posted. There are three OASIS support boards, which will be beefed up as I revise modules, to provide plenty of access to support. XBN-I 617-767-0760 PC PURSUITABLE MABOS node. XBN-II 508-580-8722 XBN-III 508-559-6844. Other Oasis Features: o Eight msg bases that can be created first and allow msgs to be any size and compact at logoff. o Eight random mini messages at main menu prompt, great for BBS ads. o Various methods of user security levels including many within modules that can be controlled by sysop. You can have a totally open BBS and still support special group in a secure way. More Features: o Online sysop term program including 1k XMODEM/CRC protocol, and text capture. o User support for VT52 (for ST) and ANSI (for IBM/PC) graphics o Mini menu o No-apply PW module o Users can write your trivia, surveys and polls and run them on your BBS o Msg bases can already be exchanged among oasis boards o Fmail can already be sent on oasis boards o Arcview of files online will show ALFcrunch also o Online GLU.COM sysop module o Jump to DOS and use all internal SpartaDos functions online o Validate users online o UL/DL ratio, and ability to allow free DLS from a certain drive, great for Zmags or user groups to get files not counted against their ratio. o 300 baud lockout and user level lockout options o Modules can be only up to 5632 bytes = 44 single density sectors o Not a limitation but rather a restriction that demands tight program code as opposed to loose and sloppy code, and also insures the continuance of the OASIS theme of big system power on small system storage. o DLBase is a prime example of the power than can be packed into a small module. o 98% of all OASIS menus and modules and the message base reading functions are all HOT KEYED o Users do not have to WAIT for menus to finish displaying or messages to finish printing. Users just hit the key they want and the BBS interupts what it was doing and executes the option selected. o Modules written by me include sysop alterable functions, not just text prompts. There are actual program functions that can be determined by the sysop without his having to be a programmer in such languages as basic, ML, or action. o Sysop can control HOW a module works and customize how it interacts with his system's drive partitions. OASIS modules are not use as is, but rather sysop modifiable. You also are not restricted as to where modules are kept on your system, nor where their support files are kept. CONTROL-C can be used almost everywhere on menus and modules to abort functions, also CONTROL-S and any key to resume is available throughout the BBS. Also, the more prompt can be continued with any keypress, not limited to just return. Yes and no questions can be answered NO with any key other than [Y]. Downloads can be sent and arcviewed in the message bases. Modem and BBS configuration is setup according to two codes that your modem sends to the software. Multiple options are provided to assist you in configuring your modem to send one of these two codes. Instructions help you to run a test mode to find which standard setup your modem fits. Some of the standard equipment that have options are: o AVATEX NON/HC, 850 o P:R o MIO o ATR Any modem/interface combination can produce one of the two codes. Once you find your config, your BBS runs perfect, meaning that it resets immediately on all dropped carriers everywhere on the system including such trouble spots as: during logon, during uploads and downloads, while reading messages, while within a running module, at the main menu, everywhere you are assured of system security by fast reset, within 2 seconds or less, so no one can logon as someone else after a dropped carrier. Also you can issue any modem commands to your modem at the waitscreen and at logoff, great for the multi-featured smart modems. Almost any modem and interface combo can be configured to run OASIS, even the SX212 can run it DIRECT CONNECT! with no interface required! The theme of OASIS IV and will be for OASIS V, is small system storage CAN run big system features. Small tightly coded external and optional modules, allow larger systems to add more. Easy to setup and well written docs that leave all to your imagination and the sample BBS allow current sysops to go online immediately, customize as they learn the BBS, and then redo their own BBS from scratch, totally customized to look and do what they want. Low and reasonable price of $25.00 and ample support from three support boards all run from the same household insure timely postings of new modules on all 3 boards at the same time, and the ability to get help if a line is busy. PC Pursuit access is available from one board. OASIS strives not to be like any other BBS, does not consider itself 'behind' any other BBS, but rather OASIS is a powerhouse BBS, packed with behind the scenes practical sysop power for small system owners. OASIS can run on an XE-Game system, SX212 modem direct connect, and XF551 DD/DS drive. OASIS is filled with user convenient amenities, like HOTKEY, control-C abort, and pause/resume capabilities throughout. Also simple and straight forward use of msg bases and download bases, that means that user use your BBS to its fullest without the need for help files, or much fumbling around and getting discouraged. Note: Just thought it was worth mentioning that OASIS helped in preparing this text for re-print in ZMag, it [OASIS IV] gives the user the power to format his screen. _________________________________________________________________________ ZMAG ARCHIVES (Reprinted by Request) SIG*ATARI CONFERENCE April 11, 1987 @ 3:00 PM EDT Edited transcript by: SYSOP*Mike Schoenbach [76703,4363] "THE FUTURE OF ATARI 8-BIT PUBLISHING" Moderated by: SYSOP*Dick Brudzynski [76703,2011] Guest Speakers: Charlie Jackson [76703,1052] ANTIC Publishing Patrick Bass [76703,1052] ANTIC Publishing Jack P. Durre' [75046,476] ATARI Journal Charlie Bachand [73765,646] ANALOG Computing Clayton Walnum [72337,13] ANALOG Computing John Jainschigg [73637,230] ATARI Explorer Tom R. Halfhill [74025,1062] COMPUTE! Publications Copyright (C) 1987 CompuServe Incorporated All Rights Reserved (SYSOP dick) <Swinging Gavel> BANG! Ok, protocol for todays meeting: if you have a question or comment type ? or !. I'll keep a running list of names and call on each in turn. When you're finished with your question or comment type GA (for Go Ahead). I'm not going to formally introduce everybody -- it'd take 15 minutes. We're here today to talk about the future of Atari Publishing and we have the CREAM of the industry today! Does anybody have a short opening statement they'd like to make? (John @ Explorer) I think there *is* a future for Atari Publishing because, apparently as we've all seen in the past few months of stock issues, rising prices and new product announcements, there is apparently a future for Atari itself. (SYSOP dick) It's been a long time since we've heard death of Atari rumors! (NORM) ANTIC, ANALOG, EXPLORER, COMPUTE---I USE ATARIS IN THE CLASSROOM YET I see very little serious educational programs, utilities, articles in your magazines. I keep searching and hoping!! Any...??? (John @ Explorer) ANALOG, Antic, ourselves, and I believe the other magazines have made a concerted effort in the past six months to increase coverage of educational issues ... quite frankly, however I think my colleagues will agree with me that educational software particularly software based in a coherent curriculum -- that is consistent educational software of some real value is exceedingly difficult to track down. There is a real subculture and not a highly structured one, that teachers are using as a resourc for Atari-related educational tools...but the situation isn't pretty What, if I may ask, are your personal goals as an educator in using Atari computers? (NORM) Merci,John! Word processing in composition writing, electronic workbook, modem communication in for lang. fun programs to add zip to the classroom teaching/learning. (Clay @ ANALOG) I think that what John was trying to say is that we all look to our mailbox for the content of the magazine. Few people have the skills in both teaching and programming/writing to come up with publishable educational software or articles. We get lots of pseudo-educational programs -- the same old math drills and such that were cliches 5 years ago. I would say to Norm that, if he has something in mind and can present it in a publishable form, ANALOG will be happy to send him a contract. (Tom R. Halfhill) I think Clay has made the point I wanted to make. The material that magazines publish is largely determined by the material which is submitted. If Atari users wish to see more coverage in a certain area, or more coverage in general, they should submit more material to the magazines. (SYSOP Dick) As an 8-bit user, I've grown concerned about the fact that many of my favorite 8-bit magazines have been having 16-bit babies. Does the birth of these new magazines signal a diminishing level of support. (Clay @ ANALOG) Dick, Dick, Dick... I can't believe people are still asking that question. ANALOG computing (the mag) is our bread and butter! There's no way in the world that we're going to let it slide in favor of ST-Log. We _are_ very excited by the possibilities offered us with a new computer and a new magazine. How could we not be? But as long as there's 8-bit computers out there, there'll be ANALOG Computing and I think you can see that the quality of the magazine hasn't slipped (we're a little late, but we're catching up!) (Tom/Rhett (COMPUTE!) Magazine support depends on reader interest. When a magazine notices that readership is declining, and submissions are declining, then it must decide if the current level of support should be maintained. At COMPUTE!, we receive user group newsletters from Atari clubs all over the country, and have noticed that a major issue in Atari user groups today is the fear of declining support for the 8-bit Ataris. Newsletter editors complain of a lack of 8-bit articles submitted, and of a lack of attendance. If a magazine perceives the same drop in interest, naturally it will evaluate its coverage. Atari 8-bit users should maintain their interest in reading the magazines and submitting programs to help guarantee continued support. (John @ Explorer) I don't perceive a falling off of interest in 8-bit material as my colleagues have suggested; but what I *have* noticed is a very drastic and upsetting falling-off of advertising support for 8-bit product. Being real for a second, it's advertising -- i.e. the marketplace that determines the market, and ultimately weighs on the content of a magazine. Those of us who, like Explorer, have not brought out separate 16-bit subunits or books, but who support both machines in our pages, are striving to maintain a balance reflecting readership while that balance is continually thrown off by revenue analysis. (Erik @ Kyan) Well...seems everybody is calling the ST mags 'subunits' and 'babies' but to me, they seem a lot better than the mags they broke free from and feature a lot more professional material, not assuming the reader is a total beginner.... (START for instance). (Erik @ Kyan) oopps not that START... (BARTENDER) THE FUTURE OF 8 BIT SEEMS DIM TO ME AS AN 8 BIT USER... (Erik @ Kyan) assumes reader as a beginner but that start has more power-user/programmer geared articles, sorry guyys GA (BARTENDER) AS EVEN MY REGULAR ISSUE OF ANTIC SEEMS TO OVERRUN WITH ST STUFF. I HAVE TO READ MY MAG CLOSELY TO BE SURE I DONT TRY TO LOAD AN ST FILE FROM THE DISK I JUST BOUGHT FOR MY 8 BIT I RETAIL ATARI PRODUCTS AND ANTIC IS NO LONGER ONE OF THOSE AS SALES FELL SHARPLY AFTER THE ... (Charlie @ ANTIC) I agree that the backbone of the editorial sections of a magazine are governed by it's mailbox, but it's also governed by it's wallet. When I joined ANTIC 3-4 years ago, we had 7 members producing Antic (writers editors and programmers) today, there are three people doing the same job (and at that, we're also helping with Antic's OTHER mags.) Two days ago, we had an in-office discussion about the ST vs. 8-bit. The problem was trying to identify the FUTURE 8-bit market. "Who," we pondered, "was going to buy an 8-bit machine when the 16-bits could do so much more, yet don't cost that much more." Apparently, hardware & s/w manufactureers feel likewise, did ANYONE see 8-bit products at WCCF or Hannover? (CRAIG) I HAVE A 8-BIT AND I LIKE TO ADD THAT THE POEPLE ARE THE ONES YOU MAKE YOUR MONEY OFF SO WITH THE PRICE OF 120 FOR THE XE/XL YOU CAN SEE ...WHAT COMPUTER POEPLE WILL BUY THANK YOU. (Clay @ ANALOG) I don't see that the 8-bit audience, in general, is falling... But the point was previously made, and I agree, that 8-bit software support and thus advertising $$$ ARE falling off. I think all the publishers here will agree that there's two main reasons why we include a small amount of ST related material in our "8-bit" magazines. The first is because we truly believe that most 8-bit users are interested in the 16-bit computers and would like to be kept informed. Secondly -- and this gets back to the fall of 8-bit software support -- putting St articles in the magazine attracts more advertising $$$$ and a magazine MUST have that income. I think the major challenge the 8-bit magazines face now, as far as content goes, is finding original, unused ideas. How many times can you publish an article on how to redefine character sets? (Mark @ Supra) Ok, responding to the problem of advertising dollars falling off, the market is fast shrinking. The amount of time to develope a good product, write docs, get addvertising going is a long time, anywhere from 3 months (if you are luckey) to a year. So we as a manufacturer in deciding on new products to do must look a year ahead at the market. At this time we are taking the point of view that we can not afford to produce a new product strickly for the 8 bit market, but rather if we can move a product over to the 8 bit line, then it will be moved over. Case in point is our sub 200 2400 baud modem, it would have never been developed for the 8 bit line, but since it is an easy matter to move it over it will be produced. Also in talking to software offers, piracy is a main concern, plus the shrinking market. (Jack @ JOURNAL) Devil's Advocate position for a sec...I believe that the 8-bit... user begins to perceive his market as "disappearing" due, in part, to the "splitting off" of the mags, and this tends to be made more obvious to the advertiser, into a narrowing circle. Do the 8-bit users out there really still _care_, or do they feel that it's only a "matter of time" before they either move "up" or "out"? I know that at the local users group level, we have discussed the division of the group, several times, and each time, the 8-bit people want to REMAIN as a part of the _larger_ group. Perhaps some of the publications have created their own petard, in making what was originally believed (and may, eventually prove to be) a WISE decision. (ROBIN) HELLO. THIS IS A QUESTION FOR ALL THE MAGS.. I'M A NEW MEMBER TO ATARI*SIG AND HAVE BEEN READING UP ON ALL THE MESSAGES ..... I'M WONDERING WHY WE NEVER SEE ANYTHING ABOUT THIS SIG SYSOPS IN THE MAGS??? ... (Tom/Rhett (COMPUTE!) ANTIC made a good point about the future of the 8- bits. We have thought the same thing. If eight-bit coverage seems to be dropping off, I think there are a few reasons First, the ST mags can provide better coverage because they have the advantage of a bound-in (or optional) disk. This allows larger programs, and programs which are written in good compiled languages Also, we noticed a decrease in quantity and quality of Atari articles soon after the ST came out. Both the articles submitted to us and to other magazines (sorry, guys, just being honest) I think this is due to a migration of the best 8-bit programmers to the ST and Amiga... (Tom/Rhett (COMPUTE!) The best programmers will always gravitate to the hotest, latest machines. The 8-bit market also lost some very good programmers to the C-64, Mac, and other computers that sold better or were more attractive to programmers for various reasons. (Bill C.) Well, since Atari is supposedly making so much money on the sales of 130XE's and other 8 bit hardware, (including sales to me, guys). I wish, no, DEMAND, that they get into the ring on this software availablilty problem. If they would push what they sell with the publishers, we wouldn't be in such bad straits. As a loyal Atari user, I expect this kind of support on their part, especially if they want to continue to get my bucks!!!!!!!! (John @ Explorer) Well, first off, to answer Bill, Atari *is* in the ring on this software availability thing. Virtually the only truly substantial 8-bit product I've seen has been coming, hook or crook, off the assembly lines at Atari -- this is excepting the slow but steady trickle of quality software from a number of super-loyal software houses that have stuck by the machines. But the real point I'd like to make is I think we -- all of us -- are perhaps suffering from a failure of the imagination here. As Bill says, Atari *is* selling a whole lot of 8-bit machines, and is continuing formal support for the hardware the operating system, peripherals and software -- all of the magazines here probably represent a combined subscriber base of something on the order of 300,000 to half a million, with lots of overlap -- but there are millions and millions of 8-bit machines out there. As a whole the 8-bit side of the industry, and that includes Atari, seems to be able to sell to these people, but not to reach them on a consistent basis it's extremely puzzling to us. (Bill C.) I don't want Atari to publish. I want them to push other publishers to port... (JOHN NAGY) Our club, CHAOS, has seen the same migration of users to ST, most 8-bit users.. (Bill C.) Stuff over to the 8 bit ataris... Sorry. (JOHN NAGY) have seemed to accept the idea that they are all ST owners that havent gotten one yet. this isnt really necessary but the atari company and all of us following behind have sort of allowed the 8-bit to lose any focus as a viable machine there is a real reason to use an 8, and not to get an ST other than just becuse it is cheap, there are many things (games not being the least of them) that the 8 can do fine. WE NEED TO PUSH THE 8 as a real machine at the retail, or else we see it fall out of notice. Too many beleive that the 8 is even out of production!. (BARTENDER) THE GENERAL TONE SEMMS TO REFLECT A CHANGE IN ATTITUDE BY ATARI SUPPORTERS TOWARDS THE ST LINE. YET THE ATARI 8 BIT COMPUTER IS BY FAR THE BEST DOLLAR INVESTMENT IN THE COMPUTER MARKET. MOST REPLACEMENT PARTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR LESS THAN $5.00 EA BAR A FEW SPECIAL.. ITEMS AND THE WEALTH OF ALREADY EXISTING SOFTWARE AND MANY YEARS OF PAST ISSUES OF MANY PUBLICATIONS MAKE THIS COMPUTER TRUELY A LANDMARK IN 8 BIT HISTORY. HOW ARE WE AS EXPERIENCED PROGRAMMERS TO EXPECT A 13 YEAR OLD NEW USER TO EVEN BEGIN PROGRAMING WHEN WE USE A ZERO PAGE LARGER THAN THE COMPUTER WE LEARNED ON? (SYSOP dick) I've noticed the steady growth of on-line publishing by the magazines and newsletters. Antic at CIS, Analog at Delphi, ZMAG everywhere! Even Omni and Playboy. Does this signal a decline in the value of the printed word? A new way to serve readers? what does the shift to online publishing mean I'd appreciate any thoughts from the mags and newsletters on the shift to online publishing. (Charlie @ ANTIC) (Ooops! Theme change...)... (SYSOP dick) Not necessarily, Charlie. I want your thoughts on ANYTHING! (Charlie @ ANTIC) Agreed, there's been a change in attitude but in a different way. In a recent ANTIC ONLINE survey, we found that the largest chunk of users want BUSINESS software and prefer Product Reviews and New Product announcements to type-in programs. (At the CompuServe booth at WCCF virtually EVERYONE I spoke with wanted to learn about computer business applications...only a handful asked about programming SIGS (forums). There are only a handful of RELIABLE business application programs for the 8-bit. So as ST prices continue to plummet and software lists and catalogs grow thicker and heavier, WHO is going to buy tomorrow's 8-bit machines? ... Personally I love my 800 (if not for it, I'd not get a paycheck) but it looks like the tides are shifting. (Joe T.) First... for all the publishers: Why is it that the programs for most other machines have well written graphics, text, etc. but when they are changed to Atari, they only look slightly better than the original Pong game? It looks as if they are thinking "we'll just make a quick version for the Atari machines just to keep those few subscriptions" ... (Ripp) Piracy is a major contributor to that! (Joe T.) I understand about piracy, but a lot of the type in programs that include (a picture on how it will look on different machines shows that not much effort was put into the Atari versions. (THOMAS E. REED) Having suffered through a girlfriend with a Radio Shack Color Comp... both of which, thank the Lord, are now gone. I was suprised by the tremendous advertising support for the CoCo magazines from local dealers. Why not that same kind of support for Atari mags? Also... Since so many users are upgrading their machines with extra memory, how about some discussion of Atari upgrades in the magazines? Lots of people love their 8-bits. Mine does everything I need in a computer, and I don't see a reason to change. (SYSOP dick) Clay==> (Maybe you can give us an idea why Analog went online and Tom/Rhett can give us an idea why COMPUTE hasn't gone online) (Clay @ ANALOG) Well, I wasn't at ANALOG when the original TCS went on- line but the reason, I'm sure was that it gave people an alternative to a disk subscription. It's a lot nice to be able to download those specific programs you're interested in, than to put up the cash for a disk sub. We moved to Delphi because supporting the TCS became an overwhelming task (over 2000 subscribers on the TCS), plus we needed the extra disk space Delphi could provide. Once we had the programs on-line, it was only logical to port the text files over from the typesetter and put them on- ine, too. Now a change of subject.... I wanted to say before that 8-bit users have one sure way to protect their future -- and that is to BUY! Buy software, buy hardware, buy magazines. As long as there's money to be made, the computer will be supported. We have to feed our kids, too Though we love our work, we have to bring home a paycheck. (John @ Explorer) Answering a few questions: as to the issue of how magazines tend to support 8-bit systems with type-in stuff ported from other machines, the gentleman who spoke was absolutely right in his estimation of the mental process in most cases...however there are notable exceptions -- Family Computing, for example, where I used to be Sr. Tech. Editor, had an in-house programming staff that were all rabid Atari programmers, so even though there was little interest in editorial coverage of the machines, per se, we always made sure that Atari 8-bits were covered with the best stuff we could put together...On the subject of "online editions," we're looking at a wholly new definition of the concept of magazines. What started as an "efficiency measure" -- something to render better service to current subscribers and readers, mostly, has turned into something quite different. Online editions are a new, more fluid medium than print can ever be. (JOHN NAGY) Printed mags are NOT dead, but they COST a lot to make. Onlines, like ZMAG can get out fast with the costs of production being taken over by the readers this lets one try ones hand at publishing without the huge risks of advertising needed to pay for the big investment in printing and distribution. I do feel that magazines can't be replaced, as there can be no better way to be able to skip through an article or see what might be there for you ... onlines make you wait through all the stuff you DONT want to get to the part you DO. But the mix we have been gettting recently has improved both means of publishing. (Ron [ZMAG]) John is correct in everything he stated. We produce an issue each week with the intention of providing information about printed mags, CIS, and the information services for our readers. We have 100+ bbs systems carrying each issue. Many of which use the information for thier local user group newsletters. John Nagy has been one the few who has provided information with the purpose of user group usage. We can get news out faster, but cannot provide the space printed forms do. (jpp) At first there were general purpose computer mags then there were special purpose mags then came the IBM and general purpose and IBM became the same new users won't find out about ATARI and I suppose most of your readers already have ataris. why not start real general coverage mag leave the program listings for your online unless they are generally applicable also the 8 bits are cheap and should be good hacks would like to see hardware hacking articles. (Mark @ Supra) Responding to online magazines and bbs... The whole idea of what a bbs is and how it works needs some new thinking. The biggest thing I see is that the term programs and the bbs service need to compliment each other, rather ie.. menus, I hate having to have the same info sent time and time again. I know that several services are working on this, but before bbsing can become useful for the general populas some user interfacing needs to be redone. (Tom/Rhett (COMPUTE!) We'd like to answer two earlier questions that seemed to be aimed at COMPUTE!: 1 -- The quality of programs translated to the Atari; 2 -- COMPUTE! online. First, it is easier to write a good, original program that takes advantage of the Atari's features if you start on the Atari. It's harder to translate a good program on another computer to the Atari. Also, it's a deadline problem, writing programs for many different machines. We also find it difficult to find enough good programmers for our needs. (In fact, we have had an opening for an Editorial Programmer for several months now, if anyone wants to apply.) As for the online question -- we have considered this for a couple of years but there always seem to be projects of higher priority to carry out first for example, we wanted to start our various disk services and the ST magazine. There are only so many new projects we can handle per year. Especially since it is so hard to find new staff people that meet our qualifications. We've hired four new people just in the past few weeks and still have seven openings we can't fill. This limits our ability to start new projects that require a lot of planning, thought, and manpower. (Charlie @ ANTIC) Compared to it's pen-and-ink counterpart, online publishing is in it's infancy (ANTIC ONLINE went live just a few yrs. ago in '84). The snags and glitches which tend to make online mags. appear "user hostile" at times, are being corrected. In AOL, we've added "Direct Access" pages for people who (don't like menus, highlighted new features, and working to make the whole schmeer easier to use QUESTION: What are the most important things an online mag. should provide? (Charles @ ANALOG) As an answer to jpp's question about putting all listing on-line and removing them from the magazines, I feel that this is entirely unfeasable to do for two reasons. The listings one finds while scanning through the pages of any computer magazine -- while not always being of interest to everyone-- are there for a reason other than typing in. They are there to also read and learn from. You might not want the whole program but there just might be a few lines of code that you can and will use. Another reason has to do with the first time user without a lot of money. That kid next door who buys a few magazines each and every month from his paper route money usually can't afford a disk subscription or the on-line connect charges for download time that the services charge. He is perfectly willing to type in these programs and many do so (as I can tell by the phone calls we get each month about typing errors.) (BARTENDER) I HAVE ONE QUESTION LEFT FOR ALL THE MAGS WHERE IS THE STUFF YOU GUYS READ TO ALLOW PEOPLE LIKE STEVEN KITCHEN TO LEARN TO WRITE SOFTWARE AS REFINED AS HIS ARE? (SYSOP dick) Time for another "sense of the CO"...we've been on for some time now and ... (John @ Explorer) Tristram Shandy, by Lawrence Sterne. (SYSOP dick) the I've learned much. Do we wish to continue with the formal CO or just adjourn for informal.... (BARTENDER) A MONTHLY ARTICLE ON PROGRAMMING TECHNIQUE (SYSOP dick) I want to thank everybody who participated today...... especially the mags and newsletters without your support most of us (especially me) would still be playing games..exclusively. I suspect there's a lot more love than money in Atari publishing...and we aof respect and gratitude for your support. I'd also like to thank Mike and Bill for their hard work in getting you all together. I'm going out right now and pick up extra issues and disks of all my favorite Atari publications. Thanks fellows, you've been super! (SYSOP dick) <Swinging gavel> Adjourned! _________________________________________________________________________ PRESS RELEASES A Day At The Races This notice is to introduce you to a new software release for the Atari ST line of microcomputers. After three years of research and development we are proud to announce "A Day at the Races". It was designed and written by Marshall Lake and Piet Francke and is being distributed by TEAM Software. "A Day at the Races" is a simulation of the horse race track environment. Much more than the horse race itself, this simulation allows you to buy and sell horses, choose jockeys, and of course wager on races. Each horse and jockey have their own distinct attributes and abilities which affect the outcome of each race. Just like at a real track it is up to you to discern which abilities each horse and jockey possess and to attempt to pick the probable winner of the race. It is as close to the real world of horse racing as you can get without going to the track. The actual horse race itself is presented in exciting, nail-biting real time. Dynamic data base files are kept for the horses and the jockeys. For the handicapper, all the various statistical items (including horses' past performances) are maintained to assist in an intelligent wager, horse purchase, or jockey selection. "A Day at the Races" is a multi or single player game. This program will be available by October 15, 1988. TEAM Software P. O. Box 7332 Washington, D. C. 20044 (703) 533-2132 (603) 679-1211 WPCORP OFFERS SPECIAL TO ATARI USER GROUPS As part of a special product promotion, WordPerfect Corporation is currently offering WordPerfect for the Atari at a reduced price to members of Atari user groups until September 15. The promotion will allow members of Atari user groups throughout the U.S. to purchase WordPerfect for the Atari for $155, a savings of $174 from the list price of $329. User group members must show proof of Atari users group membership to be eligible for the special offer. Todd Ashman, director of WPCorp's Atari Products division, sees the promotion as a way to make WordPerfect available to dedicated Atari users at a more affordable price. "The product has been available for one year, " said Ashman, "but we wanted to give Atari users an added incentive to purchase the product this summer. We have a quality product and want as many Atari users as possible to try it." All Atari WordPerfect orders qualifying for the special price must be accompanied by a WPCorp users group purchase agreement, available from WPCorp. Interested users groups can call (800) 321-4566 or (801) 227-5900 to request the users group purchase agreement. The purchase agreement should then be submitted directly to WPCorp Atari Orders at 288 West Center Street, Orem, UT 84057. WordPerfect for the Atari, which runs on the 520, 1040, and Mega ST, normally lists for $329. For more information about WordPerfect for the Atari or the users group promotion, call (801) 225-5000. Contact: Rebecca Mortensen - Todd Ashman. _________________________________________________________________________ ST Transformer Update by Darek Mihocka Latest ST Xformer News, File Transfer Service, and Using the ST with Atari 810 and 1050 disk drives!! -------------------------------------------------- Users of the ST Xformer II emulator are familiar with methods of transfering 8 bit software to the ST. Using modems, null modem cables, and 5 1/4" ST drives (with the Xformer File Xfer Program), it is possible to transfer over files and most boot disks for use with the emulator. I am pleased to announce the development of an interface for the ST, that allows 8 bit peripherals like the 810, 1050 and XF551 disk drives to connect directly to the 520/1040/Mega ST. Other devices, like the 850 interface, modems, and printers can also be connected. Everything just plugs in, so no warranties have to be voided. Using a new version of ST Xformer II not yet released, it is possible to boot directly from these drives, thus allowing copy-protected commercial software to run under the emulator, and eliminating the hassles of the other methods. Now run Text Wizard, B/Graph, Visicalc, APX and Antic disks and many more. This opens new doors to the world of 8 bit emulation. Also, the new Xformer II runs on 512K, something the regular Xformer II can't do. But that's not all! Users of the ST who are not particularly interested in emulation because they still parts of an 8 bit system will also find this useful. This interface allows for file transfers between the 8 bit drives and the 3 1/2" drives, thus allowing easy movement of files back and forth without the need of null modem cables or the 850 interface. So if you have a 520ST with a single disk drive, and were considering buying another drive, consider getting the less expensive 1050 or XF551 drives instead of an ST drive. Users who do not own an 8 bit disk drive, but who can still borrow one for a few days and get their hands on their user group's 8 bit library of disks, will be able to copy them to the ST in as little time as it takes to copy the disks normally. Although I do not plan to develop this feature unless there is specific demand, it is possible to reverse roles and allow the Atari 400/800 computers to access the ST as a virtual disk drive, thus allowing, for example, a BBS running on an Atari 800 to access a 520ST as a large RAMdisk. I will produce the interface, and sell it for about $20 to $30. One of the reasons that kept me from developing this earlier is that I originally wanted the emulator to remain software-only. It will remain this way for users without access to 8 bit peripherals, but for those users who have access to both systems, this is a low cost add-on to increase their enjoyment of their ST. At this time, I am unable to predict how long it will take make this available to all ST users. Hopefully only a few months. Right now the biggest stumbling block is finding those 13 pin 8 bit serial I/O connectors, which seem to be very scarce. Dealers and distributors interested in carrying this product should contact me by voice. Anyone interested in buying one, please phone or write, so that I will know how many interfaces to initially produce. File transfer service --------------------- Any Xformer users who are finding it difficult to port software over, either due to a lack of a modem or null modem cable, should phone me about arranging to send me their disks to copy over to the 3 1/2" format. With my prototype interface, I can copy hundreds of disks a day, and all I require is that you pay for the postage and disks. I would be especially interested in obtaining a large database of public domain 8 bit software (a user group library?). Other Xformer news ------------------ Other improvements are being made to the Xformer. I am working out the details of the full speed emulator, which is now on the horizon. However, I feel that I will prevent me from devoting further time to the Apple and C64 emulators, which have been pretty neglected so far, so I will be making the entire source code to ST Xformer II available. It is written in Laser C, so only Laser C users will be able modify it unless they convert it to another language first. Any developers interested in further improving the Apple and Commodore emulators will then be able to do so. Sometime later in September, I will be putting up the Xformer support BBS, to allow modem users without access to Compuserve, Delphi, or Genie to call and download the latest emulator and 8 bit files. The number will be the same as the current voice number, and operate from around midnight to 6am EST/EDT. Finally, if you are a user of ST Xformer II and have not yet registered your copy, please do so by sending your name, mailing address, phone, and a $20 money order. You will receive a manual and an updated version of the software and 8 bit files. Please indicate whether you want the regular double sided version of Xformer II, or the 512K single sided version of Xformer Junior. The address is: Darek Mihocka 310-D Bluevale St. N. Waterloo, Ontario N2J 4G3 CANADA In the US, remember that postage for Canada is about 5 cents more. The Xformer hotline, voice, and soon by modem, is (519)-747-0386. Other sources of ST Xformer 2.10: Compuserve - go to the ATARIDEV SIG and enter DL 5 (the Xformer download library) Delphi - go the ST LOG SIG by typing "gr st" at the main menu. Enter the libraries with the "da" command. Genie - go to the Atari ST roundtable by typing "m 475;3" and download files #7651 thru #7654. and, various ST bulletin boards across the country. _________________________________________________________________________ ZMAG PUBLIC DOMAIN SHELF by Ron Kovacs The following listing is presented Ctsy of CompuServe Atari 8 SIG. This new column will spotlight files, news, and other information pertaining to Public Domain Software. This week we focus on Rassilon. He has been writing software for a few years and makes it available on CompuServe Exclusively. We have not approached this person for an interview, but have listed his software which is currently available. BLOCKS.DCM Keywords: RASSILON COMPACTED BLOCK PUZZLE DISK RASSILON'S BLOCK PUZZLE DISK! COMPACTED WITH DISK COMMUNICATOR V3.2 THESE ARE NOT EASY PUZZLES, BUT I HAVE LEFT MY LOWEST SCORES ON THE DISK. SEE IF YOU CAN BEAT THEM! (c) Rassilon Software For Exclusive SIG*ATARI use ONLY!!! BLOCKS.OBJ Keywords: RASSILON BLOCK PUZZLE BINARY FILE A BLOCK PUZZLE from Rassilon See if you can solve the puzzle. This is put here for the exclusive use of ATARI8 users only. Do not release this program to the public domain. DANCE.DCM Keywords: RASSILON SQUARE DANCE CHECKERS PUZZLE COMPACTED DISK EASY GAME FROM RASSILON. SEE IF YOU CAN DO THE CHECKER SQUARE DANCE. A COMPACTED DISK USING DISK COMMUNICATOR V3.2. AS USUAL, A SELF-CONTAINED DISK. EXCHNG.OBJ Keywords: RASSILON EXCHANGE BINARY LOAD PUZZLE ANOTHER PUZZLE FROM RASSILON. SEE THE DOC FILE FOR COMPETE INSTRUCTIONS. 'EXCHNG.DOC' FF.DOC FF.OBJ Keywords: RASSILON BINARY GAME FOUR BY FOUR SQUARE 4X4 ANOTHER MIND BENDING GAME FROM RASSILON SEE IF YOU CAN PLACE ALL THE SQUARES WITHIN THE GRID. ADJACENT SIDES MUST HAVE THE SAME COLOR. SEE 'FF.DOC' FOR COMPLETE INSTRUCTIONS. FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF SIG*ATARI USERS ONLY. NOT FOR PLACEMENT ON ANY OTHER BOARDS. (c) RASSILON SOFTWARE 1988 KB29.OBJ Keywords: RASSILON KELB MONOCHROME THIS IS THE KELB GAME FILE MODIFIED FOR MONOCHROME MONITORS AS REQUESTED BY BLAQ [76046,1756]. JUST REPLACE THE KELB FILE ON THE UNCOMPACTED DISK WITH THIS FILE. ALL COPYRIGHTS STILL APPLY. ENJOY! RASSILON 29999 STOP:END NITES.DCM Keywords: RASSILON SIX 6 KNIGHTS PUZZLE COMPACTED DISK ANOTHER GAME FROM THE DEVIOUS MIND OF RASSILON. THIS ONE IS THE CALLED "THE SIX KNIGHTS PUZZLE" THIS IS A COMPACTED DISK USING THE DISK COMMUNICATOR V3.2 PAIRS.DOC PAIRS.OBJ Keywords: RASSILON PUZZLE PAIRS BINARY LOAD STILL ANOTHER PUZZLE FROM RASSILON. THIS ONE IS REAL EASY. (FOR THOSE WHO COMPLAIN THAT MY PUZZLE ARE TOO HARD, eh Maui Don?) SEE THE DOC FILE 'PAIRS.DOC' FOR COMPLETE INSTRUCTIONS. POSPUZ.DCM Keywords: RASSILON POSITION PUZZLES SIX DIFFERENT COMPACTED DISK YOU DIDN'T ASK FOR MORE AND THE SYSOPS DIDN'T LET YOU HAVE MORE, BUT RASSILON NOW GIVES TO YOU 6 MORE PUZZLES. THESE ARE WHAT GAME THEORISTS CALL POSITION PUZZLES. DISK COMMUNICATOR V3.2 COMPACTED DISK. DOC FILES ARE INCLUDED. ENJOY!!! SQUAD1.DCM SQUAD2.DCM Keywords: RASSILON INFANTRY SQUAD COMPACTED DISK 800XL 130XE MACHINES ONLY RASSILON "INFANTRY SQUAD" DISK 1 COMPACTED WITH DISK COMMUNICATOR V3.2 THIS ONE CONTAINS THE GAME AND THE SCENARIO EDITOR. RUNS ON 800XL/130XE MACHINES ONLY!!! (c) Rassilon Software For SIG*ATARI use ONLY!!! PLAY COMBAT THE RASSILON WAY. I HAVE INCLUDED AN EDITOR SO THAT YOU CAN DRAW YOUR OWN BATTLEFIELDS. ENJOY! TENPIN.XMO Keywords: RASSILON TENPIN TEN*PIN ALLEY BY RASSILON. SET SPIN & POWER BY STICK FORWARD & BACK THEN PRESS FIRE. MOVE RELEASE MARKERS BY STICK RIGHT & LEFT THEN PRESS FIRE. RELEASE BALL BY PRESSING FIRE W/ STICK CENTERED. MAX POWER OF 5 IS A STRAIGHT BALL WITH LOTS OF PIN ACTION. MAX SPIN OF +OR- 3 IS A REAL HOOK. + AND - SPIN FOR LEFT OR RIGHT HOOK. MIX COMBINATIONS OF SPIN AND POWER TO PICK UP THOSE SPARES. THIS IS NOT EASY TO MASTER. JUST LIKE BOWLING, IT IS HARD TO BOWL A 300 GAME. TENPN2.BXE Keywords: RASSILON TENPIN ALLEY BASIC XE VERSION 2 TENPIN ALLEY WITH A FEW ADDITIONS YOU NOW HAVE THREE LEVELS OF DIFFICULTY POWER AND SPIN CONTOLS HAVE BEEN SIMPLIFIED. OTHERWISE, THE GAME REMAINS THE SAME. TKDOC.DCM Keywords: RASSILON TAUZ KELB DOCUMENTATION COMPACTED DISK SIDE TWO THIS IS SIDE 2 (OR DISK 2) OF THE TAUZ/KELB GAME SET. UNCOMPACT WITH DISKCOM 3.2, AND BOOT THE DISK TO READ DOCUMENTATION FOR THE GAMES. PLEASE NOTE THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AND LIMITATIONS NOTED IN THE DOCS! THESE FILES ARE FOR <PERSONAL> USE BY SIG*ATARI MEMBERS ONLY!! (C) 1988 RASSILON SOFTWARE 29999 STOP: END TKOBJ.DCM Keywords: RASSILON TAUZ KELB OBJECT GAME FILES COMPACTED DISK SIDE ONE THIS IS SIDE 1 (OR DISK 1) OF THE TAUZ/KELB GAME SET. NO MORE ADAPTATIONS OF 'OLD' GAMES. TIME FOR SOMETHING NEW! HERE ARE 2 STRATEGY BASED BOARD GAMES, UNLIKE ANY YOU'VE SEEN BEFORE. UNCOMPACT THIS FILE WITH DISKCOM 3.2 TO CREATE A BOOT DISK WHICH WILL RUN THE GAMES. MAKE <SURE> YOU ALSO GET TKDOC.DCM IN THIS LIBRARY TO READ DOCUMENTATION. TZ19.OBJ Keywords: RASSILON TAUZ V 1.9 MONOCHROME BLAQ THIS IS TAUZ FOR MONOCHROME MONITORS THIS WAS REQUESTED BY BLAQ 76046,1756 REPLACE THE TAUZ FILE ON THE UNCOMPACTED DISK ALL COPYRIGHT REQUESTS APPLY. ENJOY RASSILON 29999 STOP:END CONECT.DOC CONECT.XMO Keywords: RASSILON BASIC XE BASICXE CONNECT TWO PLAYER STRATEGY GAME A TWO PLAYER GAME OF STRATEGY SIMILIAR TO THE CHINESE GAME OF "GO". THIS ONE REQUIRES THE OSS BASIC XE CART AND EXTENSIONS 4.1 LOADED. I AM WORKING ON A VERSION THAT ALLOWS YOU TO PLAY THE COMPUTER. IF YOU LIKE THIS VERSION AND WANT TO SEE THE COMPUTER VERSION ALSO, DROP ME EMAIL AT 70057,674. THIS ONE IS NOT AS EASY AS IT FIRST APPEARS. =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*= SYNDICATE ZMAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 7, 1988 ISSUE #122 (c)1988 APEInc. =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=
- Next message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 14-Sep-88 #123"
- Previous message by date: Atari SIG: "Z*Magazine: 31-Aug-88 #121"
----------------------------------------- Return to message index