Z*Magazine: 18-Dec-88 #136From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 18-Dec-88 #136 Date: Sat Sep 18 16:56:35 1993 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ SYNDICATE ZMAGAZINE ISSUE #136 DECEMBER 18, 1988 *** Special Edition *** Part 2 1988 IN REVIEW Editors Desk by Ron Kovacs This is Part 2 of a series of reprints on News and Atari related material between January thru December 1988. Originally scheduled were two parts. Due to the massive amount of material collected, we will expand this series to three parts. Next week the final installment. A week till Christmas. Get that Xmas shopping done! Next week's edition will be released on December 23, 1988. 1988 Continues......... COMDEX continued ANTIC PUBLISHING INC., COPYRIGHT 1988 REPRINTED BY PERMISSION. ATARI SEES ITS UNIT NEAR BREAKEVEN According to Reuters, though losses from Federated Group continue to hurt earnings, Atari said it expects Federated to just about break even in the second and third quarters and a modest profit in the fourth quarter. Atari also said it is reducing costs and improving product mix, margins and sales. Without Federated, Atari said it would have earned $15.3 million, or 26 cents per share, on sales of $97.7 million in 1988. Atari's net income was $5.67 million, or 10 cents per share, on net sales of $169.23 million for the first quarter, down from $15.26 million, or 26 cents, on sales of $65.13 million a year earlier. Last year's results included a gain of $5.89 million. Additionally, the company said the Atari computer and video game segment generated "significant" increases in sales volume. The continuing shortage of Dynamic Random Access Memory, however, has had a negative impact on sales, but Atari expects the DRAM shortage and related high cost will begin to ease later this year. REPORT FROM ATLANTA, PART IV Closing day of Spring 1988 Comdex by Andrew Reese START Editor (Atlanta, Georgia, May 13, 1988) The numbers held up well as the Spring, 1988 version of Comdex came to a close. Floor traffic stayed high and the Atlanta airport resembled Manhattan at rush hour. There was general agreement that the hottest item shown at Comdex was a new Dell PS/2 clone and the hottest giveaway was a yellow nylon bag with a logo of "WingZ," a new Mac II integrated spreadsheet package. The WingZ pavilion with their flashy Leonard Nimoy-narrated laser, sound and light show was just across the way from the Atari booth and the lines stayed long for the entire show. MIDI software publishers were well represented in the Atari booth itself with Hybrid Arts, Dr. T, Passport, Sonus and Midisoft all showing their wares. Announced today by Frank Foster of Hybrid Arts is their new ADAP II. To be shown in June at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), ADAP II, which stands for Analog-to-Digital Audio Processor, is the first Random Access Editing System for Digital Audio Tapes (DAT). It will be available this summer and carries a $3,000 price tag for the hardware and software package. It requires a minimum of 1 meg of RAM in an ST (or a Mega, of course) and a Hard Drive. The hardware consists of the sampler and a coprocessor box. Just like the present ADAP, it allows 80 seconds of stereo to be stored in a digital form on a 20 Meg hard drive. A truly professional package and the first allowing DAT editing...and only on the ST! A.L. Hospers Jr. of Dr. T's was demonstrating their Multi-Program Environment (MPE) system for MIDI. It's a shell for Dr. T's line of MIDI software, but it's more than just a shell, because it allows for interactive data sharing among the programs. Version 1.6 of the Keyboard Controlled Sequencer (KCS) is shipping now at $249 with MPE and new edit features. You can play around with 55,000 notes in a one meg ST and still have a sequencer, MPE and three patch editors in RAM at the same time, but if you want to add in Dr. T's impressive scoring software, better have more than 2 megs of RAM. All in all, a very powerful and impressive package. Passport's Master Tracks Pro Version 2.1 was unveiled at Comdex. With enhancements over their already powerful Version 2.0, Passport remains in the hunt for ST MIDI leadership. Master Tracks uses a unique interface for editing and allows the musician to lay down up to 64 tracks. Watch for new developments from Passport in the very near future. Superscore, the 32-track sequencer and scoring program from Sonus, made its first Comdex appearance. This is a powerful program designed to let the musician polish his/her work and then print out a finished score on an Epson-compatible printer. It's priced at $249 and shipping now. Midisoft Corp. showed their Advanced Edition of Midisoft Studio, due for June release. Midisoft has added new event editing features, programmable tempo changes and support for the emerging standard MIDI file format, while still retaining the clarity for which the Standard Edition has become known. Only $149. An editorial aside here: your editor doesn't come from a MIDI background. In fact, many who know me would say that I don't even come from a musical background. But be that as it may, seeing these five fine packages side- by-side impressed me with three things. First, they each use a distinctive approach to the tasks, so that whichever interface you prefer and whatever your needs, one of these packages will fill the bill. Second, I was impressed by the level of activity in this segment of the ST market; the ST has forged into the overall lead in the MIDI industry in no small measure due to the efforts of these and other inventive ST publishers. Finally, I was struck by the incredible power these packages give the musician or even non-musician. I think that even I could knock out something listenable with one of these -- and that's no small accomplishment. Cheers for these guys who have made a name for the ST. There were a number of new printers at the show. The trend continues to be more power for less money as process for 24-pin printers drop below the $500 level. But the most spectacular printer at the show had to be the new Tektronix 4693D, a full-color wax printer that produced thick, but gorgeous pictures. Unfortunately, the price was $8,495...and Tektronix has produced drivers only for the IBM, Mac and Amiga so far. I'm sure that an ST driver could be produced without too much trouble, if the ST market would support it. We'll just have to see what happens as Atari increases its push into the business markets. Well, that's about it from Atlanta. There were more booths and more products than one person could possibly see in four days, so I'm sure that I missed a few. But my feet will vouch for what I hope was a valiant effort! It was a success as far as lining up some good writers for the pages of START and Antic, however. Watch for the likes of George Miller (formerly of the now defunct Compute's ST magazine), Denis Labreque (one of Passport's musical geniuses) and Kenneth George (wizard of the ST Accelerator) to grace our pages in the months to come. And oh, did we find some great topics to cover! Like...well, we better just keep things under wraps for now. SUMMER CES REPORT ANTIC PUBLISHING INC., COPYRIGHT 1988 REPRINTED BY PERMISSION. ON THE ROAD AGAIN... Report from the Summer Consumer Electronics Show by Andrew Reese START Editor (Chicago, Ill, June 4, 1988) Chicago in June can be beautiful, but getting to the Summer Consumer Electronics Show (CES) here can be anything but... You don't need to hear a litany of travel woes, but suffice it to say that the crowning blow was a collision at the cabstand at O'Hare International Airport between a cab and a rent-a-car bus! But your faithful reporter made it to the show for this first report for you. Summer CES is a monster of a show -- there are some 1400 exhibitors in 730,000 net square feet of display space. Over 100,000 attendees will march the aisles this year seeing games, audio, video (even adult video), telephones of every type and description, fax machines and almost anything else that might sell between now and Christmas. And Atari is here... Yes, Atari is here at CES, but it's different from Comdex, the Computer Dealers Exposition in April. Here, the Entertainment Electronics Division (video games) holds sway and the computers take a back seat --at least this year. No new 16-bit computer products were shown and the 8-bit products were all games for the 2600, 7800 and XE game systems. In fact, only three ST's were here in the Atari display area and all were playing MIDI -- well, they weren't actually in the area, more like grafted onto the back of Atari's black game temple. But Atari's games were here and in profusion. Another notable impression from Atari -- the Electronic Entertainment Division, at least, is willing to spend money and lots of it to promote their game systems and software. Mike Katz, president of the division, announced a $10 million advertising campaign at a press conference held just before CES. This campaign will include TV ads to run for the rest of the year, including ones featuring such sports stars as Washington Redskins quarterback Doug Williams. And in the trade dailies here at the show, Atari bought lots of ad space. They're serious about selling games, folks -- they want to double the sales of their games systems this year for the third year in a row. I can't wait for them to get just as serious about selling computers in the U.S.! Of course, Atari's direct game competitors are here as well. Nintendo bought 20,000 square feet of display space. Yep, that's not a glitch: 20,000 square feet. Their area was filled with third-party developers showing dozens of new games. But the chip shortage has hit even Nintendo and they have had to scale down their optimistic projections from 40- million units (carts) to 30-million. Sega is showing a combination of arcade stand-alone games and their home game system, now available with 3D glasses. Sega's display area is not as big in area as Nintendo's and not as well positioned as Atari's, which is just at the foot of the main escalator into the hall. And now to the software. This is a game show for the most part and all of the majors were here and some surprises. The only significant serious business product I saw was LDW Power, a new high-speed, high-capacity, GEM-based, 1-2-3-compatible spreadsheet from long-time Atari faithful, Logical Design Works. This package features built-in graphing, high- speed re-calculation, efficient use of memory and comes with a 232-page manual and lots of little features of the kind that make the difference between a product you use grudgingly and one you turn to with a smile. Available now for the eminently reasonable price of $150. Activision was here -- or should I say Mediagenics, the new name for the umbrella company that gathers together such names as Activision, Gamestar and Rainbird (formerly Firebird) under one corporate logo. You'll still see the individual names, but the company is Mediagenics. Their big promotion this year -- at least overall -- is a new Pete Rose baseball game -- but not for the Atari, sorry. But Rainbird is a different story entirely. Rainbird is hitting the streets in the next few months with a great line- up of hot games. First is Carrier Command, the long-awaited 3D solid graphics flight and vehicle simulator. It is available now for the ST at a price of $44.95 and is not copy-protected. I played this gem and it's hot, a great futuristic combination of strategy, tactics and arcade action. Next up for Rainbird will be Starglider II, a solid 3D version of the great ST game. Due out in July at a price of $44.95, this version adds lots of features that would have been thought impossible a few years ago. The screen refresh rate is nothing short of spectacular and the variety of weapons and inter-stellar travel broaden the appeal from the original, which was a landmark game in its day. And speaking of the original, it's being re-released at a new lower price of $24.95. Oh, you won't believe it, but the ST and Amiga versions of Starglider II come on the same disk, it's bootable by either!!!!! And Rainbird will release a whole series of new ST games over the next few months. They are really going to support the ST with a broad range of entertainment software, much of it priced at the very reasonable price of $24.95. Thanks for the vote of confidence in the viability of the ST market! Lots and lots of arcade classics are being translated to the ST. Capcom, a new name to the Atari market is bringing Bionic Commando, Side Arms, Street Fighter and 1943 to the ST this summer. The first three are arcade -style hit, kick, shoot and kill games with animated figures doing your dirty work. The last is the top-view aerial game set at Midway Island during WWII. They look like pretty darned good ports and should do well with Atarians hungry for more ACTION! On a calmer (??????) note, Sierra On-Line showed some dynamite new games due out in the next few months. If you liked Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, well, he's back and "Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places)." A funny, funny adult game and great-looking follow-up to my wife's favorite game. Due out toward the end of the summer. And for all you King's Quest fans, KQ IV is on its way with MIDI-output music!!! Sierra and Roland are working together to develop an MT-board for IBM computers that will allow them to play the original stereo score by William Goldstein directly. The ST version will follow, but because of the ST's built-in MIDI ports, that wil be the avenue used by the games designers. The game itself is called "The Perils of Rosella" and takes you -- Rosella -- on a perilous voyage to save your ailing father's life. There's an introductory cartoon that sets the stage and it runs ten minutes! It's a b-i-g game and the graphics are getting better and better with each generation of Sierra games. Watch your back, Sonny Bonds! Jesse Bains, the Death Angel, has escaped and is out for revenge in "Police Quest II -- The Vengeance" from Sierra On-Line. Looks real good and due out (hopefully) before the fall. You want action? You want video arcade games on your ST. Well, in a surprise announcement, Taito ( pronounced "Tie-Toe") is releasing eight arcade ports over the next few months. Due out in July at a $39.95 retail price are Alcon and Bubble Bobble, while Arkanoid will accompany them at $34.95. Then in the fall will come Gladiator, Operation Wolf (a dynamite-- and gory -- first- person soldiering game), Qix, Rastan and Renegade, all at $39.95. Save up your quarters, gamers! JUNE: ATARI NEWS UPDATE ATARI PLANS MAJOR PUSH IN VIDEO GAMES Chicago, June 6, 1988--Atari Corp. will introduce 45 new video game titles, said Michael Katz, president of Atari's Entertainment Electronics Division, at the Consumer Electronics Show, according to the Reuter News Service. Katz said that Atari will continue its successful licensing program by signing licensing agreements with various computer game companies for successful games from other formats. According to Katz, 1988 industry sales are projected at $1.9 billion, up from $1.1 billion last year. ST NEEDS TO GET TOUGH ON BUSINESS T.R. Reid of the Washington Post calls The Atari ST a "powerful, easy-to- use, bargain-priced computer with dazzling graphics and formidable sound capabilities," but he raises some questions about the computer's ability as a serious business tool. WordPerfect, Reid said, is an excellent business application for the ST, "but beyond word processing, the Atari is not really a match in the business environment for MS-DOS or Macintosh machines." Reid is quick to point out that "it's not that the computer itself is incapable" -- just that the software companies that produce major league packages for MS-DOS and Mac aren't taking advantage of the power in the ST (with the exception of WordPerfect). On the other hand, he discusses such Atari-specific programs as the SideKick-like Partner ST from Timeworks, which puts a calculator, Rolodex, appointment calendar and other tools onto your ST desktop. He also cites ST ports (such as The Software Toolworks' Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing) that are better than their MS-DOS counterparts. Avant Garde's MS-DOS emulator, PC-Ditto, comes under fire in Reid's article. "Even compared with the performance of a rickety old IBM-PC," he says, "running MS-DOS stuff on the ST is a sensation akin to riding a tricycle in the Indianapolis 500." On the other hand, he calls Data Pacific's Magic Sac, which lets you run Macintosh software on the ST, a "somewhat more successful" effort. Reid feels that desktop publishing should be a natural for the ST -- the features required for desktop publishing happen to be the ST's strengths: "lots of memory, sharp graphics, a versatile laser printer." Reid likes the fact that the Atari laser printer has no built-in fonts or page- description software -- making the printer more versatile than many "smart" printers, and holding the price down as well. NEWS FROM CANADA There are at least four or five major magazines that cover the french computer market, which is, as you may now, VERY dynamic. At least one is at least dedicated to the ST. This "ST magazine" has on its cover a line saying: "Standard Atari and compatibles". Hey! What do you mean "compatibles"? It means compatibles, like an IBM compatible. Yes there is now at least one St compatible computer, called "Athena ST". It features most of the same components as the ST, plus three analog/digital programmable converters, a noise generator and a fully programmable keyboard. Those two computers share the same motherboard, but the 68000 has been remove from it, to be placed on an auxilliary board. It support rom TOS and the OS9 operating system, this one succesfully tested in a 8 computer network. All the softwares known are supposed to work pretty fine on it. The main advantage of this machine is that it allows you to produce yourself expansion cards (up to three) to be installed inside the Athena St. This machine has been designed to fit the need of developpers and teachers, wich seek particular needs. The machine costs about 2500$ and every expansion card is about 350$. The magazine indicates that a full test will be done for the June issue. Another great thing that we get from Europe is software, months sooner that you guys get. Desktop publisher, by Timeworks is available in french. Superbase Professional too, etc.. Some tips now about what is going in France: -the city of Lyon (1,100,000+ habitants) has all its circulations lights hooked on a Mega St4 -their has been a big fight last year between Atari, IBM and Macintosh. It was concerning the new equipement of the daily newspaper Liberation. Guess who won? Atari! And they provided a new word-processor, Le Redacteur (The writer), wich is TRULY the fastest on around, including several analysis tools absolutly not found in any machine! -Not only the PC1 and PC2 clones are available now but the new AT compatibles should on the shelves now. Since those are all produced in Germany, you understand why we (yes here also) do not get these. -Also very popular are the Minitel emulators and servers. -You can count on MAJOR softwares for physicians, dentist, school administration, accounting. -When you look at an ad in a magazine, you see a pretty big difference with here. Most of them are dedicated to the business world, showing a big gap between their approach and ours. -you should see their 6 pages professional brochure!!! Well that is about it for now! I'll try to get you some more (frustrating) news regularly. Martin Fournier CIS: 73637,3532 GENIE: M.FOURNIER ZMAG CONFIDENTIAL by Ron Kovacs June 1988 News around the 8bit community... Jerry Horanoff is said to be working or going to be working for ICD. Carina II will not become part of the ICD inventory. Should be interesting what plans they have for Jerry there... As reported last week, Micron Tele and Atari have settled the law suit out of court. We are still on the pursuit of the details that either will not release to the public. What ever happened to Keith Ledbetter?? Sources tell us that he was fired from ICD! True or false? We have been told that Keith says it was a difference of opinion and others say he was canned. Check out the most recent issue of Atari Explorer Magazine and you will find Atari selling it's hardware and software via mail order. Not too bad, but when you consider the price of a 130XE for $149.00, the acceptance just doesn't seem to be there. You can call other mail-order houses and find a better deal! ATARI 8-BIT NEWS AND COMMENT by John Nagy [Re-Edited version] June 1988 HARD TO BELIEVE, but true: Spinnaker's NEWSROOM program for the ATARI 8-bit, so long asked for and awaited, WON'T work using a real 850 ATARI printer interface! It WILL work using almost anything else... and the company has assured us that they will try to find a solution "as soon as they can get an 850 from somewhere to test it". Yikes. Buyers can get a refund if they can't wait. Other reasons to consider other newpaper- layout programs include NEWSROOM's inability to import graphics or text from any other source. Congratulations to RON KOVACS who has produced ZMAGAZINE, a weekly electronic ATARI newsletter for BBS distribution for TWO YEARS now. Often the content of ZMAG has bristled the hair on ATARI and other corporate groups, but the consistancy and professionalism Ron has upheld (at his own non-profit expense!) has paid off. CompuServe, at one time at serious odds with Ron over the inclusion of information about other telecom service vendors, has finally even made a special DOWNLOAD LIBRARY just for ZMAG. The same has now happened on DELPHI, and GENIE even has a special MESSAGE/SIG area in tht ATARI Roundtable for Ron and his fine product. ST-Report (now edited by others but under Ron's guidence) joined the ranks with the original ZMAG (which now focuses on 8-bit news), and year #3 looks bright. Keep it up, Ron! Speaking of GENIE, where ATARI is BIG STUFF, our own COMPUTER SHOPPER has its own SIG there now. Move to SHOPPER to look around. I hope we can make arrangements to post any ATARI public-domain programs discussed here in my columns available in the SHOPPER SIG, even if they are duplicated in the ATARI SIG. This would make them more accessable and easier to find for our readers. Maybe post them for a couple months and then clear them out? JEFF BRENNER (APPLYING THE ATARI) may be also interested in posting some of his items there. Stay tuned... PUBLIC DOMAIN RELEASES I can't begin to tell you about ALL the goodies that are newly available for our 8-bit ATARI's, but several are particularly exciting right now. ALFCRUNCH - Not a way to smash furry aliens, this is finally a BETTER file compactor than ARC (ARCHIVE). For about a year, ARC (programmed for the 8-bit ATARI by Ralph Walden) has been the protocol of choice for "making little ones out of big ones", because it would: 1) (Fairly) reliably take multiple files of your choice and make them all into one file for later extraction, with filenames as in the original. 2) Save as much as 50% in total file size over the originals. 3) Use the same format as the IBM and ST ARCHIVE, allowing interchange between machines. The reduced size and recovery of the original filenames is very important to users of MODEMS to tranfer files, and also has application for backing up your important files in a minimum of disk space. The DOWN side of ARC has been occasional "CRC CHECKSUM" errors making the output files NOT match the input, a buggy user interface on the 8-bit ARC and UN-ARC programs that can cause lots of lost time and effort, and the SSSSLLLLLOOOOOOWWWWW performance of ARC on our 8-bit ATARI. ALFCRUNCH, by ALFRED of the PROGRAMMER'S AID BBS (416) 465-4182, provides a remarkable alternative to ARC. I don't know how it works... but it WORKS GREAT! Distributed on most of the telecom services and BBS's by now, get it quick. Alfred, whoever he is, doesn't even call this work "SHAREWARE" or ask for donations... although few have been more deserving. When I first tested ALFCRUNCH to compact a list of files, I was CERTAIN that it had errored out or was somehow "faking it", since it was done in 30 seconds! The same list later took almost four minutes to ARC. It was even faster UN-ALFING (?) the compacted file ...only about 20 seconds! DE-ARCING its mate took over 3 minutes. And the bottom line: ARC saved 26% compared to the total of the original file sizes, while ALFCRUNCH saved 45%! YIKES! ALFCRUNCH is actually FASTER than the ARC used on an IBM or ST! (How long before "ALFRED" makes a version for the "other machines"?) I could NOT coax ALFCRUNCH into making any errors of its own... and the documentation that comes with it is VERY thorough. It will pass parameters on the SPARTADOS command line, or run in a full prompt mode on ANY DOS, even with BASIC enabled. Amazing. The output file from ALFCRUNCH (version 1.2 and higher) can also be "viewed" with any of the many ARC-VIEW programs floating around on the BBS circuit, allowing the file contents and retored sizes to be examined without processing the file to a disk. Although the main reason for the popularity of VIEWERS was that ARC took so LONG to run, ALFCRUNCH users will still appreciate the ability to peek into their stored files. SO, ALFCRUNCH solves ALL of the problems of ARC except the compatiability with other type computers. As a result, I can only see TWO cases that would make you choose to use ANY other compaction method: 1) When you KNOW your file must be later read by machines OTHER than your 8-bit ATARI, continue to use ARC; 2) When you must transfer a BOOT DISK or a DOS, use DISKCOM. (DISKCOM by Robert Puff, now in version 3.2 or higher, is VERY friendly, fast, and reliable, but does nothing to reduce the overall size of the files. What it excells at is making a file which can later be restored to be IDENTICAL (byte for byte, sector for sector) to the original disk. "SCRUNCH" was once a popular format for this same purpose, but Robert's rapid-fire improvements to DISKCOM, plus its ability to make double- and "enhanced-density" (ICK!) disks have made it the clear program of choice.) SIGNMAKER 1.3 - Jeff Colehour impressed us with SIGNMAKER, reviewed breifly in an earlier column. Version 1.3 goe further to debug and simplify the use of this shareware program. Basically an alternative to PRINTSHOP, SIGNMAKER allows the use of any two PRINTSHOP format icons and any combination of any three "normal" ATARI fonts in any of four sizes, all on the same page. Inverse and "control graphic characters" can also be used in the sign. Text can be imported from normal word processor files, and can be automatically centered. The biggest change in the new version is the VIEW SIGN feature. Although it must first save the sign data to a disk (and it takes a WHOLE DISK!), this lets you examine the final product before printing, as well as saving it for later use. If you save it to RAMDISK, the process is very fast, so viewing need not be a painfully long experience on an extended memory computer. Although SIGNMAKER can't touch PRINTSHOP for ease of use or polish, it offers some power to make signs that even PRINTSHOP can't do, like making full page printouts of graphics from ATASCII BBS cartoons. Check this one out. PS UTILITIES 1.0 - Rich Spencer has put several useful features into one package, written in ACTION!. It accomplishes the hard-to-live-without functions of RENAMING, COPYING, and DELETING PRINTSHOP format ICONS. It also allows conversion of MICROPAINTER (Koala/Touch Tablet) format files into ICONS (and back!). Although these features are available (one at a time) via the commercial PRINTSHOP COMPANION plus various other PD programs, this is a nice package for serious PRINTSHOP users. The good documentation ends with some very useful information about the innards of a PRINTSHOP disk, and asks for input for future versions. POSDEMO - Hold on to your seat for an 800+ sector download of XENIA RESEARCH's POINT OF SALE demo. Get it on GENIE or other telecom services. Although it is a demo of a commercial product, this demo is worth its weight in RAM chips if you want to show off your 8-bit system. It requires that you DISKCOM the file onto a DOUBLE DENSITY disk, and when it runs, it shows many functions of a store inventory, sales, receipt, ordering, and saleperson reporting system. Barcodes are printed and read, documents and reports stream out of the printer, the display shows finely designed "SYNFILE" looking screens for input and output. This system is expected to sell for well under $200 INCLUDING the Barcode reader (!!) and can NETWORK several sales locations for interdependant operation. It should be available for sale by the time you read this. Best Electronics of San Jose CA and Butlers Computers in Federal Way WA will have supplies of POS NET. Yes, I'm VERY impressed. This large, detailed, self-running demo will LIVE on-screen at any future computer shows, showing what the 8-bit ATARI can do when not gobbling ghosts! SPC/ZMAG NEWSWIRE: JULY 1988 (SUNNYVALE, CA.) Atari in a turmoil over the revelation of D/S drives shipped in 520STFM units to FEDERATED STORES. (VEGAS - COMDEX) Atari plans to revive all the enthusiastic support it once enjoyed by what they plan to do and show here in NOVEMBER. (NEW YORK, NY) IBM has reportedly purchased huge amounts of scarce chips to supply itself and render competition a severe blow. (NATIONAL, USA) ATARI Dealers are reportedly up in arms over the alleged preferential treatment Atari has shown to Federated this year over 1040, 520stfmd/S Drives, Mega delivery times, and service in general. (WALL STREET) COMPILED 07-08-88 [Fegers and Wise] Reprint permission granted Stock Sales High Low Close Net Chg. Dome Petrol 9,172,000 1 5-32 1 3-32 15-32 unch Texas Air 1,790,700 15 5/8 14 3/8 14 5/8 off 1/8 Wang Lab B 1,319,600 10 3/4 10 1/4 10 3/8 off 1/4 Amdahl Corp 962,600 53 7/8 50 1/8 50 1/8 off 2 7/8 Echo Bay Mn 797,600 21 1/4 20 1/2 21 up 1/2 NY Times 769,300 27 1/8 26 26 3/8 unch ATARI CORP *694,400* 9 7 7/8 8 1/2 up 3/8 Est Air 694,300 16 1/2 16 1/8 16 1/2 up 3/8 Viacom 657,700 25 3/4 25 3/8 25 3/4 up 3/8 Lorimar Tel 632,600 13 7/8 13 1/8 13 3/8 off 1/4 Stock Sales High Low Close Net Chg. Apple Computer (AAPL) $195,227,000 47 1/2 45 45 1/4 off 1 1/4 LIN Broadcsting (LINB) 167,195,000 64 54 58 1/8 off 5 7/8 Apollo Computer (APCI) 157,968,000 15 7/8 10 1/2 10 7/8 off 3 7/8 Sun Microsystm (SUNW) 150,205,000 40 3/4 38 38 1/2 off 1/2 Intel Corp (INTC) 149,274,000 36 1/4 34 3/4 35 off 1 1/4 MCI Commun (MCIC) 117,825,000 15 1/4 14 1/4 14 7/8 up 3/8 Microsoft Cp (MSFT) 117,673,000 70 1/2 67 68 1/2 up 1/2 Miniscribe Cp (MINY) 69,499,000 13 3/4 12 13 1/8 up 1 Novell Inc (NOVL) 65,468,000 28 3/4 26 26 1/2 off 2 MICRON TECH *(DRAM)* 62,976,000 23 1/2 21 3/8 22 7/8 up 1 1/4 ANTIC ONLINE REPORT ANTIC PUBLISHING INC., COPYRIGHT 1988 REPRINTED BY PERMISSION. ISGUR REPORTS ON ATARI BY GREGG PEARLMAN, ANTIC ASSISTANT EDITOR The following information about Atari Corp. comes from May, 1988 report from Lee Isgur, first vice president of PaineWebber Inc., advisor to the Antic Publishing board of directors and author of the Isgur Portfolio: (#) Atari will introduce a 68030-based computer in the fall, as well as a laptop ST with a built-in hard drive. (#) In January, 1989, Atari will introduce "what will probably be the first 68000-based game machine." It should retail at around $199. (#) Atari will double the $10 million it spent advertising video games last year. (#) Management is cautious about video games and expects the current excitement to wane, so Atari plans to undersell the market continually. Atari also will increase its emphasis on software, which is seen as less risky than hardware. (#) Because of the DRAM shortage, Atari is currently producing a few thousand PC clones a month, but later this year, the company will begin making the PC-5, an 80286 machine. (#) In addition to the 50 transputers currently in the hands of developers, Atari will have sent 200 more in June. The transputer should be available to the public before the end of the year. (#) Atari Corp.'s first quarter 1987 results confirm that the company has $68.5 million cash on hand and should earn well over $1 per share in 1988. The Federated retail division, which Atari didn't own during the first quarter of 1987, lost 16 cents a share. (#) Under Atari Corp., Federated's employees have fallen from 3,000 to 1,900 as six stores have been closed and several others have been reduced. (#) Demand for Atari products, mostly computers, exceeds supply by at least 50%, and that if DRAM shortages ease in the second half of 1988, so will comparative gross margin declines. (#) Video game sales this year should be twice last year's $80 million, with the Atari 7800 and XE Game System accounting for more than half of these sales. (#) Over 80% of Atari's computer sales, around $400 million to $500 million this year, are outside the United States. Management hopes for 50% of computer sales to come from the United States in 1990. (#) Atari will probably open a factory in the United States before the end of the year. MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT: JULY 1988 TO ATARI USER GROUPS AND ALL ATARI ENTHUSIASTS: I was disappointed to read the negative letters and articles regarding comments made by Neil Harris at the West Coast Computer Faire. We at Atari feel that our computers are the clear technological leaders in their classes. The XE/XL line is superior to the Commodore 64, and the ST series beats any '286 or 8088 MSDOS machine; it also beats the touted Macintosh (68000) machines, and even surpasses the Amiga in all areas except for internal sound. The educational, productivity, and entertainment software available for the Atari machines makes for an excellent combination which yields many uses. My family knows, as we use an 800XL, an XE Game Machine, and a 1040STf. Neil was only saying that the future will bring EVEN MORE POWERFUL computers which will be easier to use, and I am sure he is right. This statement is not meant to belittle today's models or users. While I am communicating with you, let me clear up a few things and also ask for your help. The DRAM shortage is still with us and it is inhibiting our distribution in the U.S. We hope this will get better in the 4th quarter of '88. In the meantime, we will CONTINUE TO SUPPORT ATARI COMPUTER presence in the U.S. We will advertise this fall to keep our presence in the U.S. I ask all of you is two things: first, please do not pirate software. Talk your friends out of it also. The software community is suffering and complaining, please police pirating so Atari software companies can thrive. The other favor I ask of you is to be the evangelists of the Atari world. Tell your friends, associates, teachers, etc., how great the XE/XL and ST are. LET'S WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE THE ATARI MACHINES A STANDARD IN THE U.S. --- Sam Tramiel, President, Atari Corporation JULY NEWS AND RUMORS UPDATE >From the Dateline BBS 718-648-0947 by Curtis Vendel News from the rumors mill. Well, things have on an upswing for the 8bit computer systems lately. The big news is about the 2 new operating enviorments that are scheduled for release this July and September. The first is called Diamond(tm) and is a graphics operating system. Some users are familar with a piece of software called RAOS: the Rat Actuacted Operating System which was nothing more than a fancy graphics DOS menu, not much more. Diamond on the other hand is an operating "System" or "Enviorment" that will control windows, dialog boxes, icons, fonts, etc.. In a conversation with Alan Reeve, the author of Diamond, he mentioned that the packages would costs $29.95, I say packages because along with Diamond will be a developers kit for designing software which will run in the Diamond enviorment, also to be released along with Diamond will be a painting program and a wordprocessor rumored to have multiple fonts. No release dates have been set, but also scheduled are several programming languages and a desktop publishing program. Alan Reeve is also the author of News Station, one of the first page designing programs, perhaps the Diamond Publish program will be a souped up version of his News Station. And in the other corner of the ring is STjr by Merrill Ward & Associates. In a brief interview with Mr. Shelly Merrill I was able to find out that the STjr GOE is a 'ROM' based program. This will allow 400/800 users to be able to utilize this software, Diamond unfortunetly uses the extra 16k of the XL/XE machines. I asked Mr. Merrill what his company would do in the event that the GOE cart. has a bug in the software or they decide to update their package and he commented that STjr carts. would be under an "exchange" agreement. However I'm sure there would be a small charge for an update exchange though. The GOE cart will have a built in Paint Program and Wordprocessor. Support disks for additional fonts would be sold later. Also in the works is a terminal program and here is a key note for XEP80 users, Merrill Ward Associates is working closely with Atari and will be producing GOE based XEP80 column support, GOE will be using ADOS and is rumored to also have possible SpartaDOS support (this is yet unconfirmed). Both companies have DEMO disks, the Diamond demo is not yet available and is expected around mid July, the STjr GOE is available right now for $5.00 DIAMOND(tm) Alan Reeve 312-393-2317 Packages are $29.95 and COD orders are being taken now, according to Mr. Reeve packaging is being done and shipping is expected by July 15 STjr (GOE) Merrill Ward & Associates 619-328-8728 Palm Springs, CA 92262 The final version in ROM wont be available until September, a disk based version is available for $59.95 and a DEMO disk is available for the first 500 users for $5.00 Speaking is operating enviorments, there was a quick surge of talk about MTOS (Mult-Tasking Operating System) unfortunetly MTOS only works effectively on a 130XE with at least 256K and will only allow 16K programs to run, this restriction might be a big reason why no one has heard much from MTOS or its author for sometime now. With hope, perhaps a new version that could support 32K or more per program would have the MTOS enviorment quite a bit. Best wishes and success to MTOS Sales of the XE-GS are steady and high, sales are rumored at well over 1,000,000 units and Atari is promising harder hitting advertising for its new 8bit system. More and more 'new' games have been appearing, they include Battlezone, GATO, Barnyard Blaster, Crossbow, Commando, Airball and here's one of interest to Dungeons and Dragons players: Dark Chamber. Another bright ray of hope at Atari is Nolan Bushnell. For those new to Atari's or unfamilar with the name, Nolan Bushnell created and founder of Atari in 1972 with his first video game called Pong, Atari started as a $500.00 endeavor and Bushnell sold Atari to Warner Communications for $24 million. Well Mr. Bushnell has been commisioned by Atari to be a Software consultant to help design 76 new games for the 2600, 7800, and XE systems. Now you say 2600??? They're still selling??? As a matter of fact, approxiametly 1,000,000 a year and there are approxiamelty 8 new titles out and 2 flashy commercials which can be seen in the afternoons showing off what that 4K bank switching VCS can do. The 7800 is doing quite well also, Epxy just released World Games and Street Games, Atari has several new titles out for it and more are on the way. Little unknown printer, for those not aware of it, with zero fanfare, announcment or reviews Atari released the XDM121 printer several months ago. It is actually a superb printer, it puts the 1027 to shame (though that is not a hard task in the least) the XDM121 produces high quality typerwritter style printing at a slow 12 characters per second (CPS), its $159-$189 price tag is a bit heafty but is worth it for the quality print. An added note for those users who endeavor to dig up any little secrets about Atari, here's a tid-bit: did you know that if you dig up an old 1983 Atari 2600 games catalog and look at the Soon to come section of new Hardware items, there is one item in particular: The Voice Commander, the casing is the exact same case now being used by the 2600jr model Atari Corp has been selling for the past couple of years. I know its not much but some users find it useful. ATARI SCUTTLEBITS by Bob Kelly AUGUST 1988 Atari Market Happenings ....... I. Annual Report: In mid-May, as an Atari stock owner, I received the 1987 annual report. Some investors will tell you that a firm's annual report is largely a propaganda exercise. This simply is not correct. The reports are required to present general financial data in compliance with Federal statutes that are of value and interest. The table below, from the 1987 annual report, lists the major stockholders and salaries of those running the corporation. Common Stock Ownership* and the Five Highest Paid Executive Officers Amount Name (millions Percent Dollar (1) of Owner of shares) of Stock Compensation J. Tramiel 25.3 43.9% --- Warner Comm, Inc. 14.2 24.6% N.A. Sam Tramiel 1.1 1.9% 211,798 Leonard I. Schreiber .220 --- Samuel Chin .193 --- 158,207 Gregory A. Pratt .177 --- 157,632 Michael Rosenberg .050 --- Taro Tokai ? --- 198,720 Steven Kawalick ? --- 109,618 * As of April 11, 1988 (1) Compensation includes salaries, bonuses and employer contribution to life insurance policies. There are some unfamiliar names presented in the table. Mr. Chin is a Vice President and served as General Manager of Atari's Taiwan manufacturing facility from 1985 to 1987. Mr. Schreiber is, in essence, Jack Tramiel's personal counsel while also a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Pratt is the Vice-President for Finance/Chief Financial Officer for Atari. Mr. Rosenberg is a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Tokai is the Vice-President and General Manager for Atari, Japan. Mr. Kawalick is Atari's Treasurer. Except for Mr. Kawalick and Mr. Rosenberg, all senior executive officers at Atari worked for Commodore Ltd., at one time or another. A few of the more interesting facts/claims presented in the 1987 annual report are: <*> Federated stores' operating losses are expected to continue for the first three quarters of 1988. By year end, Federated is projected to achieve break-even by Atari. Comment: The fourth quarter holiday sales period is the critical variable in this projection. In essence, Atari's overall growth in the price of its stock by the end of 1988 will largely depend upon the speed of Federated's recovery. <*> Research & Development outlays, as a percent of sales, declined from 6% in 1986 to 5% in 1987. <*> In West Germany, Atari computers represent 10% of the total market for computers selling over 1000 Deutsch Marks (roughly equivalent to U.S. $600). <*> In Switzerland, the Atari ST's share is about 30% of the educational market. <*> In the United Kingdom, Atari sales accounted for some 40% of the 16 bit computer market. <*> In the U.S., over 1000 schools use ST's for math, reading, and language skills. In 1987, Atari's revenue (net sales) from the electronic products division (computers) was $362 million and for retail operations (Federated Stores) $131 million yielding a total of $493 million. The operating income was $72 million for the electronic products division while Federated stores experienced an operating loss of $6.4 million. Interestingly enough, of the total $493 million in revenues, $267 was generated in North America with Europe's share amounting to roughly $204 million. Europe's revenues were all computer related while Federated sales of $131 million must be deducted from the U.S. and Canada net sale figure to be somewhat comparable. Thus, as best can be determined, European computer sales were roughly $50 to $65 million more than those of North America. Finally, earnings per share for the electronic products division alone rose from 53 cents in 1986 to 80 cents/share in 1987, an increase of 51%. Considering this performance, one would expect Atari's current stock price to be on the rise. However, it remains below the average of $10 7/8 for the week prior to the Oct. 19, 1987 crash (as of early June the price per/ share ranged between $7 & $7 1/2). II. Glasnost and Atari: A U.S. firm will be the first to publish a personal computer magazine in the U.S.S.R. The magazine to be printed in the Russian language will be under the editorial control of the publisher of PC World - IDG. The first issue of the magazine is scheduled for publication this month and will cost the equivalent of U.S. $3.20 per copy. Currently, the number of PC users in Russia is small and little information about computer developments is transmitted to the general population. About a third of the magazine's content will focus upon developments in Russia with the remainder covering the U.S. and European computer markets. The first issue is expected to be a run of 50,000 copies. The Soviet staff of the magazine will consist of seven writers and editors. What does this have to do with Atari? Atari will advertise in the magazine. The other companies planning to advertise are: Ashton-Tate, MicroSoft, and Siemens. The first issue will be about 150 pages with 20% of the available space devoted to the advertisers. Ad space is not cheap. This looks like a major long-range marketing effort by Atari. The ultimate goal of this initiative, according to an unidentified Atari spokesperson, is for every computer classroom and factory in the U.S.S.R. to have an ST on the desk and a picture of Jack on the walls next to Lenin and Gorbachev. Za Zaslugi, Nagradit' Tramiela Dzhaka (Ordenom Lenina). III. Europe, Midi, and Atari: The Financial Times of London recently reported that the European recording industry is experiencing financial difficulties. Recording studios in Hamburg, Paris, and London are being forced out of business. The problem stems from the introduction to the music world of the personal computer and the midi interface. During the 1970's and up to the mid-1980's, recording artists did most of their rehearsing in record company studios. The ratio of rehearsal time to actual recording time was on the order of 6:1 (usually measured in months). However, in the past few years, an increasing number of recording artists are conducting their rehearsals at home with the aid of a personal computer, midi interface, and music design software. Some studios faced with the loss of the rental income from rehearsals have attempted to lure artist back by purchasing the latest, most sophisticated computerized recording technology. This has stretched the finances of many companies. Lately, the major European studios have been reducing their prices in an attempt to draw back former customers. The smaller companies, unable to purchase advanced recording equipment owing to capital constraints and the inability to significantly reduced prices have but one option available - close their doors. By the way, the home computer which dominates the European recording market is ... the Atari 1040. Now, you know the rest of the story and why Atari assigns such a high priority to attending the Midi Expos in Anaheim and New York in September and December 1988. IV. Video Games: A quote from a recent article in Advertising Age: "The demand is greater than supply, and the demand has stayed much stronger than expected . . . Last year, the majority of U.S. sales came from video games." The speaker was Michael Katz, President of the Atari entertainment electronics division. What he is really saying is the U.S. public's perception that Atari is a video game company is CORRECT. Total video game sales in the U.S. in 1987 amounted to roughly $1.1 billion and Atari has about 16% of the market based on dollar sales (market share is 35% for the number of game units sold). Nintendo has about 70% of the market based on dollar sales and between 55 and 60% when calculated on unit sales. The best "guestimate" is that XE game related sales accounted for roughly $140 to 170 million of Atari's total revenue in 1987. Atari has hired a new advertising firm to help market its video games. The XE game advertising account is valued at roughly $10 million. Note, the Atari computer division is without an advertising agency in the United States. I leave you with this fact to ponder and its implications for the priority assigned by Atari to Mega and ST sales in the U.S. for the remainder of 1988. Enjoy the rest of your summer and minimize the time on that computer till fall. That's all for now folks......... SPECIAL SUPRA MODEM OFFER!!! CompuServe's Atari Forums have made arrangements with Paramount Products Inc. to offer the members of our forums the chance to upgrade your system to 2400 baud service at a very special price. For a limited time, CompuServe subscribers may purchase the SUPRA CORP. 2400 baud Hayes- compatible modem for the very **LOW** price. These are brand new, not reconditioned units, with the full SUPRA CORP. warranty. The SUPRA MODEM uses the Hayes Smartmodem 'AT' command set and operates at 300-1200-2400 baud. It's an outboard unit (not an internal plug-in card) allowing ease of transfer to other computers. Connection is thru the standard RS-232 interface. (Just plug it into the back of your ATARI ST). To take advantage of this special offer, call CompuServes Atari 8/16 Forum and read the file in the News and Reviews sections. If you've been accessing CompuServe at 1200 baud, this is a great way to lower your total online bill since CIS does *NOT* charge a premium for 2400 baud access. (You can get the same amount of information or download the same amount of programs in approximately 1/2 the time as 1200 baud users!) This modem will PAY FOR ITSELF in just a few sessions. This is a worthwhile deal to jump on! So call CIS today!! MID-MICHIGAN UPDATE SEPTEMBER 1988 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? ZMAG NEWS ROUND-UP 9/14-9/21 Compiled by the Staff of ZMagazine PRESS RELEASE 9/15/88 In an article called Atari News and Comment in the September Michigan Atari Magazine (MAM), editor Bill Rayl again blasted a non-participating local Michigan Atari users group for policies not in tune to MAM's liking. MAGIC, the eastern Michigan Atari users group who has stead fastly refused advances to join the MAM consortium, was sharply condemned for charging "50 cents to $1 admission" to attend a special meeting hosting Atari execs. "I was strongly misquoted by Mr. Rayl," says Sourcerer's Apprentice Editor Mike Lechkun. "I went out of my way to call Bill Rayl long distance to share and report this bit of local Atari news. I was shocked to see it turned into a negative slam against us (MAGIC)." "I told his wife (and MAM co-editor) Pattie that MAGIC was asking for a donation to help defray costs of starting up another Atari fest effort [as well as to pay for the increase in space needed for the meeting]. It seems to me," commented Mike, "that MAM is allowed to rake in money for it's own ventures, but others trying to serve the Atari community are, in their words, 'tasteless'." Mike concluded that he'd "be more than happy to make a donation in the Rayls' name if they couldn't cough up a couple of bucks!" It was MAM, over a year ago, who slammed then-non-participating club MACE when they proposed charging non-members to attend the monthly meetings. MACE was (and is) losing money rapidly by providing services to non-members who were sponging off the group. Because of the article, MACE was embarrassed into changing their newly adopted policy. The members of MAGIC have always felt that a user group's newsletter helps to define and add personality and individuality to the club. The newsletter is the club's identity to the outside world. It is a shame that MAM feels that their viewpoint is the only valid one in Michigan, and that any other club's views are "considered extremely bad taste." Quote from MAM, 9/88 Atari News and Comment "In a move that can only be considered extremely bad taste, MAGIC is planning to charge 50 cents or $1 admission to attend this meeting [with Atari's execs]! The meeting takes place on their normally scheduled meeting night, and MAGIC's meetings are generally open to all. But, in this case, MAGIC proposes to charge admission from the very people they are going to need assistance from if another show will occur. MAGIC can't pull off an AtariFest on their own, but if any other clubs want to get involved at this first meeting, they'll have to pay to do so? Hopefully, MAGIC will change the tune before October..." ATARI KILLS DETROIT VISIT ATARI CORP.'s proposed visit to Detroit user group MAGIC has been cancelled. Sam Tramiel said that such a visit would "excite group members", but with no product to deliver and because we are right before Comdex, there's really nothing that could be said. ATARI has promised full support for a Detroit AtariFest, which the MAGIC group is still considering. Sig Hartmann commented that the November Comdex show would be "an opener to a revitalized U.S. market presence", and indicated a proposed resurgance after the first of the year. But as to not discourage those who would attend a large scale meeting from afar, Atari will not make a local apperance until the show. ** NEWS BULLETIN ** Attention all persons that have a program being called "Master Cruncher" or any alterations of that. It seems that a group of pirates have edited out the Copyright notice and have claimed the program as there own. This Utility is not Public Domain nor a Pirate utility, it is a Commercial program that was going to be sold in The Federal Republic of Germany. There were plans to market it in the USA, but due to the massive spreading of the utility, there is no hope of making any kind of profit nor will there be any other such utilities produced due to these problems, it is not cost effective to try and track down who did this terrible thing, so you can just thank who ever the persons involed for screwing up the future of such useful utilities you might have had. Please notify all sysops or board operators that this file should be deleted from file sections and not posted again. I was really surprised to hear that it was posted on 2 major commercial networks, I would have thought they would have questioned this utility because of no documentation or origin of source. I would have thought the sysops would be a little more responsible to there amiga comunity and check things that are questionable out first. A final note, the version that seems to have made it's way all over the United States is still a beta version and has a Serious! bug in it, I do not accept any responsiblity for any damage caused by the faulty program. "it is not my fault everyone pirated it" I strongly suggest you uncrunch everything crunched with it or things might begin to happen you wish didn't. You have been warned of the problem. Please spread this file as fast as my program was spread to warn people against the possible destruction of all there data. Bit Soft Programing (BSP) Hans Mayor Post Fach 1123 8623 Staffelstein West Germany NEIL HARRIS RESIGNS As reported in Issue #54 of ST-Report last week, Neil Harris has resigned from Atari Corp. DATA-PACIFIC UPDATE Msg#: 4622 *ATARI_ST* 09/02/88 17:16:00 From: MICHAEL SCHUSTER To: ALL Subj: DAVID SMALL/DP Subject: New Data Pacific Newsletter Data Pacific has released a new newsletter in the last few days that deserves a warning. It's full of distortions, half-truths, is misleading, and contains some flat false information. It's going to confuse a lot of people, so I'm trying to spread the word. For instance, the newsletter contains columns from people who no longer work at dP (most of dP's staff quit in March-April, including me). It talks of a new tech person, "Mike", who does not exist and who always has been a pseduonym for Joel when taking tech calls. More subtly, the newsletter implies that dP is having me look into a 128K ROM version of the Magic Sac. This is false; I have nothing to do with Data Pacific (except for one contract job -- version 6.1 of Magic Sac, in exchange for a LaserWriter). dP (Joel) agreed long ago to stop using my name to try to sell their products; they've broken their promise. The newsletter says Dan Moore (dlm@druhi here) "worked overtime" to produce Mover 1.7. The truth is, Dan did Mover 1.7 for a flat $150 fee in July. He was paid by check after dropping off the disk; his bank later told him that Joel *had stopped the check*. In short, dP is selling a version of Mover 1.7 that they flat stole from Dan. If you appreciate any of the contributions Dan has made to the ST world, such as the Twister disk format, Meg-a-minute backup, Protect desk accessory, and others, you could return him the favor by refusing to buy dP's disk until they remove Mover 1.7 from it, and letting them know why. Dan's had a rough month; he broke his hand recently, and is in a cast to his elbow (any get well cards sent via email would be greatly appreciated), by the way. In my opinion, Data Pacific is attempting to present an image that things are as they were during the good days, while selling off as much stock as possible, with this newsletter -- then they're getting out. How else to explain them putting Apple's own Switcher and FONT/DA Mover on their "public domain" disk -- other than dP isn't planning on being around long enough for Apple to catch them (and rightfully so; Hertzfeld worked hard on Switcher). I'd like it made clear I have nothing to do with Data Pacific anymore; I answer dP related questions out of courtesy to my old customers, and nothing more. The same is true for Dan Moore. The tactics Data Pacific is stooping to, in my opinion, to milk a little more money from the Magic Sac before folding up are shoddy in the extreme, and I think it's a shame my name is still associated with this company. Hence, this note. As for me, I have a new company, Gadgets By Small, Inc, and we're planning on releasing our first product (the Spectre 128) on Sept. 16, at the Atari Glendale Atarifest show. Since dP has broken it's word (again) to give me access to their customer mailing list, which I built, I can't put out the word about the Spectre 128 upgrade to the Magic Sac except by the networks. For the record, and to answer a previous questions, I left Data Pacific in March of this year, when it became clear that (a) Joel was not going to honor our agreements, and (b) when I found out the FCC number being put on the Translator units had been forged, and Joel had no plans to ever FCC certify the unit. Believe me, I want no part of trying to slip one past the FCC. (Every Translator unit shipped bears this same false number.) I wouldn't be party to this; neither would Dan, when he heard. (Thanks to our friends from Supra for checking the number at the FCC BBS and telling us what had happened!) I plan to carry on support of dP buyers with my new company, here and on other networks, as a courtesy to the people who shelled out money for the Magic Sac, but via a new company (Gadgets), as well as "push the envelope" further on Mac emulation with the Spectre 128 product. I don't want to advertise here on the net publicly; please drop me email privately if you're interested (hplabs!well!dsmall or dsmall@well); I don't think the local community would appreciate a few hundred "Yes, please send me info" notes here in comp.sys.atari.st. Thanks for reading a rather long note; I plead that I'm used to getting paid by wordcount <grin>. -- Thanks, Dave Small Gadgets by Small, Inc. --- TBBS v2.0 * Origin: the Night Shift BBS - Staten Isl, NY - (718) 816-7792 (107/109) GLENDALE ATARI FAIRE Well, it's now Sunday, 9/18/88, and the Glendale Atari Faire v.3 is over. Here's a report, for those who are interested. The Glendale Faire may have been a local event, but there were a few things that net.people would be interested in: * SPECTRE 128. It's _here_. NOW. David Small brought 200 copies out to Glendale, and were they selling! The price is around $180 -- Make your checks out to "Gadgets By Small". David (a very funny and fun guy) was accompanied by his wife Sandy, his infant son, and a few friends. And yes, I did see Hypercard running on an ST with my own eyes. David also gave a humorous talk on the development of the Spectre, and denies any plans to do an Amiga emulator for the ST or a Mac emulator on the Amiga. * 8-bit GEM. You want to revitalize your 8-bit Atari? Then take your picks: Obviously, the biggest expectation in the 8-bit community is GOE (Graphics Operating Enviroment). Yes, it was at the Faire, and yes, Total Control Systems is selling them. They're not _shipping_ until October, but you can order it now and get a discount. It looks like a TOTAL clone of the ST's GEM (You can even hook up an ST mouse and run GOE through it), it ran solid for the entire show. The author says it will run 95 percent of all 8-bit programs. It comes on a ICD "piggyback" cartridge, and takes up only 8K of RAM. There's supposed to be a library of GOE routes, so other developers can easily make GOE calls and write GOE products. Looks really terrific. >From the makers of _Celebrity Cookbook_ comes DIAMOND OS (aka ST jr, depending on what time of the day you were at the booth). For $30, it's a graphics interface that offers drop-down menus, windows, and other good stuff (it doesn't _look_ like GEM, however). Reeve Software is promising to release DIAMOND Paint, Write, Publish, and Programmer's Kits, for $30 each as well. It looks like it's disk based (I can't be sure), but that's okay -- it can support up to 16 megabytes(!) of RAM. * Genlock for the ST was demonstrated, in an open-board "final" version. JRI says they're only waiting for the FCC, and then they'll ship. It's very impressive -- An ST Cyberpain animation was being superimposed over a music video, and the Genlocked result was being shown on both a standard TV _and_ the SC1224 (how do they do that?). Ready to tackle the Amiga? * Neocept, makers of FONTZ! and WORDUP (a great word processor -- an unsolicited endorsement) were present. Nothing major was presented, although the new version of WordUp, with numerous minor bug fixes, is expected to ship in two weeks. Registered owners will recieve a card in the mail about the upgrade procedure. Neocept also says they'll gladly take user input for improvements for their products -- Just drop them a line. * Animation buffs like myself will be happy to hear that FILM DIRECTOR is finally being released. Epyx has gotten the rights to this two-year-old cel-based animation program, and it has been SUBSTANTIALLY improved (16 screens for cels, runs in 512K, better user interface, etc.). It should be out in October, and the $50 price tag gets you both FILM DIRECTOR and ART DIRECTOR -- A bargain! Maurice Molyneaux (a fun guy to chat with, a real professional artist) had a lot of input into the final user interface, and it shows. I can't wait. * Megamax was also showing their soon-to-be-released Laser DB. It's a source level debugger for Laser C, and offers lots of features -- Source- code trace viewing, register value displays, breakpoints, multiple windows. If you liked Laser C, you'll want this. * Codehead software was also demonstrating G+PLUS (I won't say anything about this, everybody and his cousin knows about it by now) and a new product called MULTIDESK. MDesk allows you to have 16 accessories of your choice in ONE menu slot. Even better, you can clear out and load NEW accessories at any time! You can also change the name MultiDesk registers itself on the menu, so you can have six copies of Multidesk -- each one with 16 different accessories -- for a mind-numbing total of 96 accessories avaliable simultaneously. Future products promised include FatBack ("A unique hard disk backup system") and CodeHead Utilities (A collection of programs and accessories). * ICD was present and selling their cartridge-based SPARTADOS X. My friend bought a copy ($80, on a piggyback cartridge), and it appears to work just fine. Improvements include 1000+ files per directory, faster disk access, and built-in ARC/ALFCRUNCH support. The manual is still a preliminary copy, however, but ICD promises to send out the finals to registered owners when they become available. They also showed their FA-ST hard drive, available for 8-bit or ST hookup. * Regent Software was selling copies of REGENT WORD II for the jaw- ropping price of $15 each -- Not $15 off, $15 EACH. * Broderbund, surprisingly, was present. They were showing their new _Typhoon Thompson_ game for the ST (known on the Apple as _Airheart_), as well as _Star Wars_ (imported from Europe; Broderbund is distributing). A version of _Karateka_ for the ST is promised, and "maybe" _Print Shop_, but little else. (The dealer was frank in why there was less Atari support -- "Our biggest market is the gs"). No word on 8-bit support. * And now, the word from Atari. Conspicuous by their absence, none of the Tramiel family showed up. Instead, we were treated to Sig Hartman, who promised us that " will be a critical point for Atari in the US market". He also apologized for the lack of more ST's in America ("We had a limited number of Ataris, and we decided to put them in West Germany -- If we didn't, there would have been a hole for the Amiga or the Macintosh to get in"), and pledged closed attention to the end users, through user groups and public information services. Sig refused to "officially" confirm/deny the existence of the Atari Transputer, the 68020/68030 workstation/machines, or anything else -- except by saying "We're working on 7 or 8 products right now, and I can't say what they are." He did promise that 520/1040 owners will be able to get TOS and blitter upgrades, and that he will personally try to get more companies to produce 8-bit titles. In a related vein, Federated promised the increased development of "compu-centers" in all their stores, and the possibility of offering in- store servicing for Atari products. They are also supposedly toying with the idea of carrying hardware accessories (boards, wiring, etc.) in the centers. * Pledged to appear -- but never did -- were Data Pacific and Antic. Dealers who did appear, but didn't produce anything major, included Astra systems, Michtron, Migraph, and Seymour-Radix. Bill Skurski Enterprises was present, peddling copies of his "New User's Guide to the Atari ST" (book and videotape), as well as Best Electronics, Logical Choice for Computing, Mid-Cities Comp/Soft, and Comsoft. Special thanks to John King Tarpinian, the local user groups, ACENET, and everybody else for makign the whole thing possible. ZMAG NEWSWIRE SEPTEMBER 1988 26-Sep-88 ATARI ZAPS PIRATES (From combined Wire reports) Atari corp said it raided several stores in New York City that were selling imitations of its copyrighted video game consoles, joysticks and cassettes. Michael Katz, president of Atari's Entertainment Electronics division, told Reuters the raids are part of the company's continuing effort to combat manufacturing and sales of products that imitate its popular video game product line. He did not know the extent of such sales in the New York area. "We're hoping that these nine stores were either the only or the majority (of stores selling the pirated products)." On September 17 and 19, Atari's representatives seized more than 700 consoles and joysticks that strongly resembled Atari's 2600 line of videogame products, along with many imitation cassettes, at nine stores in New York City. Howard J. Schwartz, of New York law firm Davis and Gilbert, the company's attorneys, said the defendants have agreed to open their records to Atari, which will allow the company to pursue the distributors that supplied the imitations, and to destroy the seized material. He said they have also agreed to sell genuine Atari products. Atari's videogame consoles are manufactured in Taiwan. Earlier this year, Atari raided retailers in Los Angeles that were selling pirated versions of its videogame products. Katz said the company is likely to make further confiscations of imitation products based on information obtained from the records of the New York retailers. Later, Atari Corp. said it reached a settlement in U.S. District Court with New York City retailers that were selling counterfeit Atari 2600 personal computers. On Sept. 16, Atari said it conducted an unannounced raid of six stores and confiscated more than $100,000 worth of Atari game consoles and related game equipment. Under the agreement reached today, the stores will purchase a like number of new systems from Atari, and become authorized Atari dealers, Atari said. The copies of the 2600 game consoles, which Atari said were made in Taiwan, will be destroyed, it said. Atari Corp expects sales of its video game products to continue to boom this year, despite intense competition from Nintendo Co. of Japan, the market leader. Michael V. Katz, president of Atari's Entertaiment Electronics Division, told Reuters that the company hopes its video game sales will double this year, compared with 1987 when they were "about 100 million dollars." Katz said he could not comment further on Atari's financial outlook, although he said video games account for about 25 percent total annual sales. ========================================================================= Happy Holidays from PayBax BBS (302) 731-5558 All bauds... All Hours ========================================================================= ========================================================================= Syndicate ZMagazine Copyright (C) Syndicate Publishing Company, 1988 Issue #136 =========================================================================
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