Z*Magazine: 19-Nov-89 #181From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 19-Nov-89 #181 Date: Sat Oct 2 15:28:59 1993 ZMAGAZINE WEEKLY ONLINE MAGAZINE Issue #181 ---------------------------------------------- November 19, 1989 | Volume 4 Number 44 ----------------- ||| -------------------- Publisher/Editor: ||||| Copyright (c)1989 Ron Kovacs ||||||| Rovac Industries,Inc ----------------- ||||| -------------------- The ZNet BBS ||| CompuServe:71777,2140 (201) 968-8148 | GEnie: ZMAGAZINE ---------------------------------------------- EXCLUSIVE COMDEX COVERAGE INCLUDED ---------------------------------------------- = 1989 by Rovac Industries, Inc. Xx EDITORS DESK by Ron Kovacs We are releasing a special issue this week dedicated to Comdex news coverage. You might have read coverage already, but what we have published this week is the MOST comprehensive available. Next week in our regular weekly issue, John Nagy will have a complete overview of the entire show. The ZMag/Znet BBS is now operating at 300/1200 at (201) 968-8148. Please give us a call! Included this week are a few of Atari Computer's press releases from the Comdex show along with a ZNet Newswire with updated Atari news. Thanks for reading! Xx ATARI TAKES COMDEX - ZMAG SPECIAL REPORT ----------------------------------------------------------------------- by John Nagy "A Computer for Everyone." This is the motto of Atari Computer at the Fall '89 COMDEX, underway through November 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada. They don't just mean that their computer is for everyone, they mean that Atari has a full line of computers that will compliment the needs and uses that any user will have. And from the miniature Portfolio (which I am using to write this even now) through the ST's to the new TT, ABC (PC compatibles), and on up to the ATW (not shown at Comdex), it looks like Atari is more poised for success than ever before. COMDEX is where the manufacturers strut their wares for dealers and distributors to pick and choose their product lines. Here is where the newest technology is offered into the channels that carry the products to you and I in the coming year. And here, in exciting Las Vegas where gambling is a way of life, Atari is looking like a sure bet. It's Thursday night as I begin this article, and I have spent all day at the Atari Computer booth. As we previewed last week, the booth is very large and finally has the look of a major player in a serious business. The sprawling display Atari area features light colors and openness, the exact reverse of the effect at the April COMDEX in Chicago. Dozens of mini-booths are each dedicated to individual third party developers, some of which also had full-fledged booths elsewhere in the 9-building trade show. (The show is really too big to see in a week, with nearly 2000 exhibitors and a crowd that actually fills every hotel and motel for miles around, and in Vegas, that's saying something!) Nearest the rear of the booth, Atari displayed their own newest hardware in front of a smoked glass enclosed meeting room and second-floor conference area. This time, there were LOTS of conferences going on. That means DEALS with dealers and distributors. Word was that over 100 requests for new dealerships were entered by Wednesday - halfway through the show. The mood here is optimistic for the first time in quite some time. The new products look REALLY GOOD. The star is the Portfolio, of which there are probably a hundred on display... which is a few hundred less than there are people to wooo over them. On to bigger things. The STE is here... in a very standard 1040ST case. Running is a game that makes very good use of the digital stereo sound and somewhat less dramatic showing of the enhanced color palette. An XE Game System Light Gun (the only vestige of anything even vaguely 8-bit at the Atari booth) is attached via one of the two new controller ports. Can there be anyone who thinks that this is not Atari's "Amiga response"? It looks to me to be clear that the 1040-style machine is now considered the game-end of the ST line... although officials tempt the imagination by mentions that "more new machines at both ends of the lineup are yet to be announced." But not now, not here. And the TT! Yes, there are at least five on display, running, and apparently several more for backup of versatility in setting up the displays. Looking a bit pale in almost-white, the TT 68030 machines literally roar through ST software (see the speed ratings, courtesy of Darek Mihocka's QUICK INDEX, following this article). Several demos were whipped up for the TT's introduction here, and the colors and speed are outstanding. One features what could be a spectrum picture, but even more photographic than any I have seen...even on an Amiga. Floating around in "front" of the picture is a magnifying glass that realistically enlarges the area beneath it...revealing even better detail. The new monitors feature extra resolutions - even monochrome in your choice of colors! ST programs run fine for the most part, but some dialogs are so fast that you can hardly see them! It appears that compatibility is there, but more ways of "de-tuning" the speed will be needed for some software. Most programs really shine in the high speed. REZRENDER literally does in seconds on the TT what the ST takes HOURS to compute! And PageStream gives a new meaning to PAGESCREAM when flying low on the TT. Developers were invited to try their wares on the demo machines, and grins were the order of the day. Remember, this is the machine that critics are saying is "too slow" by comparison to other 68030 machines. Nevertheless, it is rumored that a 24 mHz or faster TT may later be available to replace or supplement the 16 mHz ones on display now. Although not ready for distribution, the TT is expected commercially before March, 1990. Expect it to effectively replace the marketplace held by the MEGA computers now, for the 2-meg TT with internal hard drive and special monochrome monitor will be only about $2,000.00. Many Mega machines were in use at the booth, and the Mega's figure prominently in the Atari sales literature, but not much is being said about them. Time marches on... maybe the prices will drop on the MEGAs? ABC Computers grace several boothettes. These are mostly 286 AT-clones, that offer a very nice mix of features and affordability...if you are into clones. One was running Microsoft EXCEL, and for a moment I thought that it was port to the ST line... wrong. Just showing speed and graphics on the popular MS-DOS platform. Yes, several Megafiles (removable media hard drives). No, no CD-ROMs, although they figure prominently in announced dealer/developer support plans (that's another story...). Nope, no LYNX portable game machine (but after all, this is a COMPUTE show, not an entertainment electronics show). And yes, the STACY laptop ST is here... in force! Stacy's display is one of cleanest and most stable I have seen on backlit LCD screens to date. I could easily work at it all day. Many of the display units are Stacy 4's, with 4 meg RAM and 40 meg internal hard drive. At the front left corner of the Atari booth is Dave Small and his Spectre GCR...the OTHER star of the Atari area. The anti- emulation stance of corporate Atari seems to have softened dramatically since Dave's better-cleaner-faster-and-mucho-cheaper-instant-laptop- Macintosh-clone is the talk of Mac users and dealers throughout the show. Dave is much in demand, and has interviews lined up for major stories in most MAC magazines. I witnessed the admiration and name recognition that the Atari public has for Dave firsthand when I traded badges with him. My press credentials allows me to use a video camera at the show... Dave's exhibitor one doesn't, so we swapped for about an hour to enable Dave to get some videotape of the show. EVERYBODY wanted to talk to me, seeing Dave's name. Yike. I was nice to me again! Yes, for the cost of the "real" Mac Laptop unit, you can have THREE Stacy's, each paired with a GCR emulator... and each Stacy will out- perform the "real" one. And yes, dealers and distributors took careful notes. Also featured up front was Michtron's PC SPEED, the IBM emulator that beat Avant-Garde to the US market. It was impressively compatible and four times faster than an IBM XT. Other booths with the Atari area: # John Russel Interprizes had several GENLOCK displays going. # IBP of Germany showed their rack mounted "190ST, which reduces the entire Mega into a hard-drive size module. They are specially designed for industrial applications. # ISD showed DYNACADD running on a ABC PC, driving a huge roller plotter. Another booth showed their CALAMUS. # Electronic Arts offered a selection of games. # First Byte had educational software running on another ABC, next to the Microsoft EXCEL I mentioned earlier. # Viewtouch had the point-of-sale touch-screen system, now offering development tools for custom setups. # Seymor-Radix ran their DVT video tape backup unit, complete with a TV to show what raw data looks like. # Abacus had BeckerCad running into another big plotter, plus offered the first Portfolio guidebook. It's bigger than the computer! # Antic Software demoed GFA products as well as Cyber series graphics titles. # Migraph offerred the Touch-up and hand scanner duo. # Fast Technology showed Turbo-16, a truely effective accelerator board. # Atari had the "final" version of Deskset II, their entry in DTP. # WordFlair from Blue Chip is also ready for sale, and looked better than ever. It is more than a word processor, but less imposing than a desktop publishing. # Michtron had FleetStreet 3.0 for all to see, and it is clearly head- and-sholders above the previous versions. # Imagen showed Ultrascript, the Postscript emulation. # Softlogik had PageStream 1.8 running in full color! They indicate a renewed interest in the ST market. # LDW Power, a 1-2-3 spreadsheet clone, was being demoed by the inimitable Bob Brodie, although Bob was often asked to do his Sig Hartmann imitation. We were not treated to a reprise of "Dueling Sigs" since the real Sig is busy at his new position as Executive Vice President of TeleVideo Systems, a San Jose terminal manufacturer. # SOFTAWARE presented the remarkable semi-relational database called INFORMER II. It features some very interesting graphic manupulations as well. # And WORD PERFECT continues to show 4.1 for the ST. MIDI programs and hardware played fabulous music all day. Dr. T's, C-Lab, and Thinkware all had dramatic presentations... enough to draw Micheal Jackson himself to the COMDEX MIDI booths to look it all over. Micheal's picture adorns the Thursday COMDEX NEWS daily, and he is shown looking at an Atari! Frank Foster of Atari says Jackson will be using Atari equipment from now on. (Who's BAD?) Oh, BAD were NAVARRONE, who failed to show up to use their space and show their flatbed scanner, as well as PRECISION SOFTWARE who similarly snubbed their reserved space for SuperBase Professional. Side notes: Talked about but not shown is a new true multitasking system for the ST and TT! It works under the new TOS, apparently as an AUTO program, and allows several simultaneously running GEM windows, even for major applications. No memory partitioning is said to be needed. The system was to be demoed at the Wednesdy evening developer gathering, but never got shown. This development may break through the final "advantage" barrier that the Amiga claims over the Atari line! The Commodore Amiga booth was about 1/4 the size of Atari's... and was positively BORING. The Amiga 3000 was postponed until next year, and the 2500 was being pushed in a new 68030 flavor for a mere $4000 plus. Critics of the "NO UPGRADE PATH" from the ST to TT should observe the upgrade offered by Amiga... you can buy the 68030 card alone and upgrade your 2500 for a mere $2,100. That's the approximate cost for the entire base TT with hard drive and a monitor. And with the TT "upgrade", you get to keep your old ST too! The air of impending resurgence of Atari was not lost on the other major manufacturers. A rep from Star-Micronics asked me who to talk to about the possibility of them doing custom printer hardware, laser support, etc. That would Not have happened last year at this time!! Leonard Tramiel has spent a great deal of time in the Atari booth, talking to everyone. He has quite effectively dispelled the image that some have tried to paint of him as nothing more than a cold and disagreeable autocrat. In all, Atari has shown enough of a new face here at COMDEX to give real reason to believe that they really could pull it off and become a respected and successful domestic computer company... next year. For those who immediately say, "Yah, I heard THAT before", indeed you have. But Atari has been there, year after year. Tenacity itself says something... and marginal companies don't launch this many exciting new products! Most of all, the new people in Atari have more know-how, ambition, and particularly a more open and supportive outlook than ever before... but that's another story. (Hey, a 13K story, typed mostly in a single session on this tiny keyboard! I wonder if this is the first major article done on one? Yep, the Portfolio is going to be just fine for me. The thing that slows me down the most is having to show it to everyone when I use it in public. The bartender here at Las Vegas's ALADDIN called it right: "It's a laptop without the lap!") QUICK INDEX ON THE TT I ran the QUICK INDEX program (by Darek Mihocka and Ignac Kolenko) on a sample Atari TT 68030 computer at COMDEX this week, and wanted to share the results. Please remember that the numbers only record the performance of the TT computer running the QUICK INDEX program. While this program provides interesting speed information, it cannot be assured that the very standards used by the program to measure with are in fact valid on the TT computer. Although unlikely, the possibility that the "ruler isn't a foot long" must be considered when viewing these results. The modes tested were, for this reason, only the LOW RESOLUTION and HIGH RESOLUTION ST modes and NOT in the three new resolutions offered by the TT (which cannot be measured properly without anything to compare them to... although the new TT modes appear to be faster). Figures shown are each a percentage of "Normal ST" operation for that function. 200% would be double speed. See the QuickIndex program and documentation for more information on the tests. The CACHE referred to in the tests are the TT's internal caches within the operating system and CPU (which can be turned off via an entry in the OPTIONS menu item on the desktop for adjusting compatibility with programs that cannot cope with the caching). QuickIndex identified the TT as having "TOS Version 3.0". QuickIndex TT In (ST) Low Rez TT In (ST) High Rez TEST CACHE / NO CACHE CACHE / NO CACHE Processor Tests: CPU Memory 360% 146% 361% 165% CPU register 409% 197% 410% 204% CPU divide 509% 450% 510% 451% CPU shift 1734% 1574% 1737% 1577% Disk Access Tests: DMA Read (Disk) 181% 181% 181% 181% Gem (Create File) 100% 100% 100% 100% Screen Speed Tests: Text write 190% 143% 193% 147% string display 185% 148% 187% 150% scroll 290% 208% 295% 206% Gemdraw (boxes) 225% 173% 225% 171% In general, ST programs will run on the TT without alteration, and perform at speeds greatly exceeding the "old" ST machine speed. DEVELOPERS UPDATE At the show Atari announced it's new Developers Assistance Program and premiered their Atari Development Partner Newsletter. Charles Cherry the new "Tos Pusher" will have some involement in the newsletter which is supposed to be a regular feature of the DAP. Atari is taking the position to support their developers through this program. Developers will be offered Atari products at fifty percent off retail price in an effort to get software available by the time products are on the shelves. Atari is asking all dealers/developers to re-register and sign a new non-disclosure agreement. In an effort to get new owners to register with Atari, four Atari related publications will offer free three month subscriptions. These publications include, ST-World, ST-Informer, STart, and Atari Explorer. For the present owners who have not registered there is hope of something, although we are not sure what Atari has planned at this time. Xx ZNET "COMDEX" NEWSWIRE ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Compiled by Z*Staff CMS ENHANCEMENTS CMS Enhancements Inc. introduced a 40-Mbyte, floppy tape subsystem for laptop computers. Designed for ease-of-use, the LiteTape includes easy -to-use menu driven software, which automates and speeds up the backup procedure, and a convenient ''totable'' case. The LiteTape will be available on December 15 and is compatible with laptop computers such as Zenith SuperSoft, Tandy 1400 LT, Toshiba 1200 and Sharp 4501. Suggested retail price of the LiteTape is $649. HITACHI Hitachi Group's, a supplier of monitors for the CAD/CAE market, introduced its model CM2186AF, a 21-inch color monitor supporting resolution of 1280 x 1024 and a dot pitch of 0.28 mm. Its $3,795 list prices puts it at the top of the price/performance scale. It features a flat screen, an anti-reflective panel and dynamic beam focus for sharper clearer display. Shipments will begin in January 1990. PRINCETON GRAPHIC Princeton Graphic Systems introduced the Ultra II, a 14 inch high-res 1024 by 768 color monitor featuring innovative screen capabilities and exceptional performance for graphics applications such as AutoCAD and CAD/CAE/CASE applications, as well as window-based applications, and desktop publishing environments. The Ultra II is compatible with IBM PC, XT, AT and PS/2 Systems, as well as the Apple Macintosh II and compatibles. PROCOM TECHNOLOGY Procom Technology announced a new floppy controller for XT- and AT-type computers that allows OEMs and systems integrators to upgrade current floppy storage capacities to 2.88 Mbytes. The floppy controller is priced at $99. The 2.88 floppy drive is expected to become the new industry standard in much the same way the 1.44 Mbyte, 3.5 inch disks replaced the 5.25 inch, 1.2 Mbyte floppies years ago. SEAGATE Seagate announced the industry's fastest 760 megabyte, 5.25-inch disc drive the WRENRUNNER-2. Designed for PC customers looking to increase system performance by reducing time to data, the WRENRUNNER-2 offers an 11.9 millisecond average access time, 2.5 millisecond track-to-track, an average latency of 6.25 milliseconds and a maximum data transfer rate of 3 megabytes per second. NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR National Semiconductor announced that Canon's new four page-per-minute laser beam printer utilizes National's 32CG16 as its main processor. The LBP-4 joins Canon's LBP-8 Mark III Series as Canon's second family of printers based on National's 32CG16. The new LBP-4 measures 13.8 x 15.9 inches and weighs approximately 23 pounds. It features scalable fonts and font special effects, built-in video, parallel and serial interfaces, extensive software support, and 512KB built in memory, which can be increased to 2.5MB with an optional RAM expansion board. The LBP-4 utilizes Canon's printing system language called CaPSL and is the same command set available with the company's advanced LBP-8 Mark III series printers. DATA GENERAL Data General introduced a five-pound, battery-powered portable terminal that allows users to exchange information with home or office computers from any location. The compact (12"w x 10.6"d x 1.9"h) WALKABOUT terminal, fits into a briefcase and features a tiltable, 25-line liquid crystal display (LCD) screen and full-sized keyboard. Volume shipments will begin in the first calendar quarter of 1990. VERBATIM Verbatim introduced a 5 1/4-inch erasable optical disk. The TMO 5 1/4- inch erasable optical disk is available in two versions: the Model 505, which contains 512 bytes per sector, and the Model 510, which contains 1024 bytes per sector. Both versions are double-sided, with a user capacity of 600 megabytes and 650 megabytes, respectively. COMMODORE Commodore announced the Amiga 2500/30 personal computer, the development of several new A2000 Series peripherals, and the appointment of a former Disney producer to head a new multimedia marketing group. The new Amiga 2500/30 comes standard with a Motorola 68030 co-processor card running at 25 Mhz with 2MB of 32-bit RAM, (expandable to 4MB of 32-bit RAM). It features a 25MB 68882 math co-processor, a 68851 memory management unit, 1MB of 16-bit "chip" RAM; a built-in 3.5-inch floppy disk drive; a pre- configured 40MB hard disk drive and autobooting SCSI hard disk controller. The suggested retail price is $4,699. Owners of an A2000 series Amiga can upgrade existing machines by purchasing a 2630 card from an authorized dealer for $2,195 (suggested retail price). OKIDATA Okidata announced a new low-profile laser printer. Compactly packaged and under 6 inches high, the specially designed OKILASER 400 is a light- weight personal laser printer that fits as comfortably on any office desk as it does on a home-office work table. The OKILASER 400 is compatible with a wide array of popular word processing and graphics software to create and crisply print dynamic reports, correspondence, memos, graphs, spreadsheets and a wide variety of illustrative materials. Xx ZNET NEWSWIRE ----------------------------------------------------------------------- NINTENDO WINS The Soviet video game Tetris belongs to Nintendo for all home video systems, a federal judge ruled in San Francisco last Monday, November 13. The U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Judge Fern M. Smith, had earlier awarded Nintendo a preliminary injunction against Atari/Tengen sales of its version of Tetris for home video game systems. A trial on the question of a permanent injunction and damages was meant to commence. The judge cancelled the trial announcing that she intended to award summary judgments to Nintendo because there were no material factual matters which Atari/Tengen could prove. ATARI GAMES RESPONDS The following is a statement by Dennis Wood, senior vice president, Atari Games Corp. ''Today's court decision by Judge Fern Smith of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco granting Nintendo's motion for a summary judgement regarding the rights to 'Tetris' is a disappointment to Tengen. The court's finding is based simply on a contract issue that has no bearing on the larger anti-trust and patent disputes between the parties related to 'Tetris.' The judge's ruling is confined to 'Tetris' and in no way affects Tengen's ability to market any of its 14 independently manufactured Nintendo-compatible video games. We are confident that we will prevail on our anti-trust and patent infringement allegations against Nintendo when the issues come to trial. An appeal of today's decision is being prepared.'' ATARI POSTS LOSS Atari reported the results of operations for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 1989. Net sales for the quarter were $81.4 million compared to $98.8 million for the like quarter last year. The net loss was $5.4 million compared to net income of $.9 million. Net sales for the nine months were $253 million compared to $300 million for the like period last year. There was a net loss of $1.8 million compared to a net income of $12.1 million for the like nine months last year. Sam Tramiel, said "This has been an encouraging yet difficult quarter for Atari. Towards the end of the quarter we began shipping many new products which represent our future. For example, we started shipping Portfolio, our new hand held MS DOS command compatible computer, and the Megafile 44, our new removable media hard disk drive. Also, during the quarter, we began shipping the STE computer, an improved version of our core ST product. Additionally, during the fourth quarter, we expect to start shipping Lynx, the new hand held color LCD video game system. However, to reflect the dramatic drop in component prices, especially semiconductors and disk drives, the company has taken a special charge during the quarter of approximately $10 million in respect of such inventory. With the shipment of new products and less volatile DRAM costs in the fourth quarter, we anticipate normalization of margins as and when the inventories of older products are sold. Portfolio production is ramping up now as planned. Initial sales appear consistent with our expectations." Greg Pratt of Atari Corp., 408-745-2349 Xx 1040STE PRESS RELEASE ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Atari Computer Introduces the 1040STE LAS VEGAS, NV (November 13, 1989)--In response to user demands for increased graphics and sound capabilities, Atari Computer has introduced the 1040STE, an enhanced configuration of the company's popular 1040ST computer. In making the announcement, Sam Tramiel, Atari Corporation president said that the new system, which is compatible with thousands of existing ST software packages, was developed with the requirements of both home users and MIDI musicians in mind. The system maximizes the speed of the 68000 microprocessor operating at 8Mhz and includes one megabyte of on board RAM (expandable to 4 MB with SIMM modules). Users may opt to display up to 16 colors from an extended palette of 4,096 colors with color monitor resolutions of 320 x 200, 640 x 200 or 640 x 400 monochrome resolution. The 1040STE also provides 256K ROM and extended TOS capabilities, including faster hard disk support, improved memory management and automatic booting of GEM applications. This powerful system is ideal for the person who works out of his or her home by day, but is an aspiring musician or avid game player by night. "The 1040STE includes 8-bit digital stereo sound, as well as light gun, paddle and enhanced joystick ports," said Tramiel. "With features ranging from hi-fidelity digitized sound to the ability to support up to six game players, the 1040STE is a dream come true for the home enthusiast looking for both processing power and some dynamite home entertainment'" he added. People who are avid game and realtime simulator players will appreciate the 1040STE's ability to quickly scroll horizontally and vertically, as well as the system's ability to support a range of 12-inch color and monochrome monitors. For video overlay or desktop applications, the 1040STE offers external GENLOCK support. A 3.5-inch 720K floppy is standard on the 1040STE. Users have the option of adding a second floppy or a hard drive. The 1040STE offers all of the standard ST ports, including parallel, RS232 serial, hard disk, mouse and MIDI ports. In addition, standard stereo output jacks and enhanced game controller ports are provided. A 94-key keyboard with 10 programmable function keys is also standard. "When Atari Computer introduced the 1040ST, BYTE MAGAZINE called it one of the great milestones in personal computing," Tramiel noted. "Just wait until they get a hold of this ENHANCED system," he added. The 1040STE will be available first quarter, 1990. For more information on the 1040STE or any other Atari Computer system, contact Mike Morand, president, Atari Computer, 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, California 94088; (408) 745-2000, FAX: (408) 745-2088. Atari is a registered trademark; 1040STE, and 1040ST are trademarks of Atari Corporation. Xx DESKSET II PRESS RELEASE ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Atari Computer Shipping DeskSet II LAS VEGAS, NV (November 13, 1989) -- Atari Computer is now shipping DeskSet II, a high-end, low-cost laser typesetting software package that offers an array of features previously available only to users of expensive photo typesetting systems. In making the announcement, Sam Tramiel, president of Atari Corporation, said that DeskSet II contains all of the text editing, graphics, and page layout capabilities that are required in a professional publishing system. "DeskSet II is designed for sophisticated, small business and home office users who, in order to stay competitive, must produce high- quality printed materials and graphics," Tramiel said. "When used with one of Atari's more powerful computer systems such as the MEGA 4 or the TT and a laser printer, DeskSet II provides users with a complete DTP solution," he noted. The program operates under the GEM interface and offers a combination of mouse-driven, pull-down menus; icon-based commands and hot-key sequences to help users perform functions easily. DeskSet II uses genuine CompuGraphic intellifonts, (scalable outline fonts) which can be set in half-point increments is sizes from 5 to 144 points. An interface card that enables users to output files on a CompuGraphic 8400 Imagesetter at 2,540 dpi resolution is also available. DeskSet II provides true WYSIWYG; the same font data used to display characters onscreen is also used to print. Font data includes automatic kerning information and allows for user definedable kerning pairs. Reverse type and the ability to condense and expand type are available. Users can also adjust character compensation, letter spacing, and word space bands. "Atari Computer has ensured that DeskSet II provides users with a full range of text and graphics manipulation capabilities," explained Tramiel. Pages are easily formatted and uniform page layouts can be created by using the master "base pages" and the clipboard functions. Text may be distributed automtically throughout the document; inside or around irregularly shaped regions or graphics; or flowed into graphic configurations formed by ellipses, polygons and other geometric shapes. The software's translation utilities will allow import of text files from the leading word processing programs. DeskSet II also hyphenates in eleven languages according to linguistic-based rules. Hyphenation parameters can be set by the user and a modifiable hyphenation exception dictionary is included. In addition, the system automatically numbers pages and allows the user to tag text with specific font size and style information, both globally and locally. Users can also import graphics in standard GEM or IMG formats, as well as from common ST paint programs. "DeskSet II is a prime example of Atari Computer's dedication to providing complete solutions to home office, small business and departmental users Atari offers hardware and software combinations that provide the capabilities that users require at the price/performance ratio they expect," said Tramiel. DeskSet II is now available for immediate delivery and has a suggested retail price of $499.95. For more information, contact Atari Computer, 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94088; (408) 745-2000. ====================================================================== ZMagazine Issue #181 November 19, 1989 Special Comdex Issue Fall '89 ======================================================================
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