Z*Net: 27-Apr-90 #517From: Len Stys (aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 06/10/90-09:24:12 PM Z
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From: aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Len Stys) Subject: Z*Net: 27-Apr-90 #517 Date: Sun Jun 10 21:24:12 1990 ======================================================================= ////// // // ////// ////// Z*Net Atari Online Magazine // / /// // // // --------------------------- // /// // // // ////// // April 27, 1990 // / // /// // // --------------------------- ////// // // /////// // Issue #517 ======================================================================= (=) 1990 by Rovac Industries, Inc. Post Office Box 59 Middlesex, New Jersey 08846 Z*Net Online BBS: (201) 968-8148 Publisher-Editor: Ron Kovacs Associate Editor: John Nagy ======================================================================= CompuServe 71777,2140 GEnie Z-NET ======================================================================= <*> CONTENTS <*> ---------------- - THIS WEEK .......................................................Ron Kovacs - Z*NET NEWSWIRE Atari and Industry Update........................................ - MIDWEST ATARI SWAPFEST FIRST REPORT Review and report......................................Joe Julian - MIDWEST ATARI SWAPFEST REPORT Review..............................................D.A. Brumleve - ST STACK PD Update.............................................Alice Amore - UK TOP 20 Top 20 selling games...................................Jon Clarke - PD SHAREWARE STOP Review and listing of new titles.......................Mark Quinn - SOFTWARE THEIVERY Commentary..........................................D.A. Brunleve - MEMORY UPGRADES ......................................................Jack Burkig ----------------------------------------------------------------------- <*> THIS WEEK by Ron Kovacs ----------------------------------------------------------------------- The staff thanks everyone for the nice comments about the articles we published last week. John Nagy's article brought the most postive comments and he appreciates the positive comments. Robert Ford and Jon Clarke are now part of the growing Z*Net staff. Robert will assist with our monthly newsletter as UG Coordinator and Jon Clarke will be a regular contributor reporting on Atari in New Zealand/Australia/UK. Articles this week have been contributed by Dorothy Brumleve, Jon Clarke, and Newswire material typed by my wife Lisa. Now all I have to do is get my son and daughter into typing and reporting and we will have a complete family newsletter. Since the kids are under 5, it will be a few years! Robert Ford and others are at PACE reporting for ZNet. Look for a full report next week right here! Issue #2 of the Mechanics Online Magazine has been released and available on the Z*Net BBS and the Racing Forum on CompuServe. Enter Go Racing, then Data Library 16 to read this issue. Z*NET DOWN-UNDER * (gossip in the market this week ) * * What happened to the "TT" that did not turn up? * The TT has been in production in Taiwan since March 1990. * When your Atari "TT" monitor dies , did you know you can use a "VGA" multi-standard monitor. ----------------- DO NOT USE "BIG SCREEN" WITH 'TEMPUS II' ON A TOS 1.4 BASED MACHINE. IT CRASH'S AT 200 LINES......<ahhhhhhh> ----------------- Z-Net in the [N]ews Section added weekly Name : STaTus BBS Location: Auckland, New Zealand Software: MichTron Version 3 Phone : +64-9-606067 node 1 : +64-9-608485 node 2 Speeds : 300/300 1200/1200 1200/75 2400/2400 , v21,v22,v23,v22bis Modems : Netcomm 1234sa and Netcomm 24/24 Computer: Atari Mega 2 Storage : 100 megs on Hardisk : 550 megs on CDAR504 CD_ROM Files : latest PD sourced UK,Europe,USA,NZ Sysops : Stu Lees, Atari Developer : Jon Clarke, Atari Users Association // An Official Atari Users Association Support BBS // ----------------------------------------------------------------------- <*> Z*NET NEWSWIRE ----------------------------------------------------------------------- QUICK ST 2.1 Darek Mihocka will debut the latest upgrade to Quick ST 2.0 at the weekend PACE show. Version 2.1 speeds up GDOS by 300% and will display the ST system font 50% faster over Turbo-ST Version 1.8. Turbo-ST was recently upgraded to verion 1.8 from the previous 1.6 revision level. MIHOCKA IN CONFERENCE Darek Mihocka will be in conference next Wednesday in the GEnie ST Roundtable. The conference will begin at 10pm EDT, 7pm PDT. The topic will of course pertain to the new release of Quick ST 2.1 and other topics. MARK WILLIAMS STATEMENT VIA ATARI Atari Corporation has contacted the Mark Williams Company concerning their support for the Atari ST Computers. The following is their statement: Last week, issue number 416 of CPU News Wire Online Magazine printed a story entitled "Mark Williams Co. Kisses Atari Off" in the CPU NewsWire Confidential. In it, an unamed source within Mark Williams Co. was attributed with the statement that Mark Williams Co. had "...no intentions of providing any further upgrades for the Atari ST market." This is incorrect. Mark Williams Company is fully committed to the Atari ST marketplace, and looks forward to both additional upgrades for our existing products, as well as ports of future products, such as Coherent. Mark Williams Company regrets any problems this misinformation may have caused. Robert Schwartz, President, Mark Williams Co. COMMODORES AMIGAVISION SYSTEM Commodore introducded a new powerful multimedia authoring software this week in New York. The system can be used to create applications ranging from complex business presentations to daily courseware. AmigaVision, significantly expands the multimedia market by providing an easy-to-use and affordable method for business, education, government and consumer users to develop new applications by creatively combining graphics, text, video and audio components. Shipping is expected to begin in May. The system will be bundled with all Amiga 2000 and 3000 series machines. For existing owners, AmigaVision is available at Authorized Commodore Amiga Resellers for a suggested retail price of $149. APPLE REDUCES PRICE Apple announced today, APril 27, 1990 that it will lower the suggested retail prices of the Macintosh Portable and the Macintosh Portable 1MB Memory Expansion Kit. Feedback has revealed that the Macintosh Portable is being purchased by different companies and individuals, but especially by large organizations that require a full-function desktop computer. The Portable is also often taken home for evening or weekend work by individuals who like the ability to take their computing environments with them to work anywhere in their homes. TWELVE-YEAR-OLD ARRESTED A 12-year-old boy hacked into the electronic files of TRW Corp., a credit-rating giant, and lifted credit card numbers that were then posted on computer bulletin boards and widely used for purchases and telephone calls. The boys mother told UPI that the boy spent four to five hours each weeknight and up to 14 hours a day on weekends at his computer. She said she was pleased her son stayed at home. The boy was charged under Michigan law with computer fraud and financial transaction fraud, cracked TRW security through a Detroit-area branch and pulled card numbers from personal credit histories. He was released to his family. 3M INTRODUCES ELECTRONIC HALFTONE SYSTEM FOR PRINTERS 3M, supplier to the printing industry, unveiled a new system that will revolutionize the way printers make color proofs, the step in the printing process that verifies the quality of color reproduction. The 3M Digital Matchprint brand color proofing system is the first fully automated system that lets printers make high-resolution color proofs electronically, and faster than with any other system. One of the challenges for printers is to accurately produce on press the original color of photos. Color proofs, such as those made by the Digital Matchprint system, give printers and their customers an opportunity to see what the finished job will look like before the presses start rolling, the system makes a halftone proof for four magazine-size pages in 16 minutes. With film, the time required to make such a proof can vary from 45 minutes to two hours. ACTIVISION UNVEILS GAMES Activision will announce new video games for three video game systems, including the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Nintendo Game Boy, and the Sega Genesis. This announcement will take place at the June CES show. Activision will preview two new games that advance some of the most popular video game categories. Two of the titles will transport players out of this world and into strange and unusual galaxies: One features fast-action racing in space-age vehicles, and the other much- anticipated game lets players explore one of the largest selections of planets with a surprising number of levels, the likes of which have never before been seen on the NES. Also at CES, Infocom will show its first title for the NES, "Tombs and Treasure." FALCO UNVEILS VIDEO DISPLAY TERMINAL Falco Data is introducing a new series of video display terminals incorporating an industry-first user interface which adds a DOS application feel and dramatically improves the terminals' ease of configuration and windowing capability. Falco Data provides a full spectrum of video display terminals and systems products including computers, monitors and LAN workstations. US SPRINT LINK WITH INTERNET US Sprint announced this week a commercial electronic messaging interconnection with Internet data networks serving more than a million users in U.S. government agencies, the military, universities and corporate research and development centers. The interconnection will improve communication between Internet users, enable them to communicate by electronic mail with vendors and suppliers, and provide access to delivery options that include facsimile, telex and postal service hard copy. The interconnection will allow approximately 2-million Internet users in 35 countries access to the full capabilities of SprintMail. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- <*> MIDWEST ATARI SWAPFEST - FIRST REPORT by Joe Julian, LCACE ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Midwest Atari Swapfest '90 began at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 22, 1990. A bright and sunny sky greeted the attendees and participants of the 'fest at the Diplomat North Banquet Hall in Gurnee, Il. The swapfest was sponsored by the Lake County (IL) Atari Computer Enthusiasts and MilAtari Ltd., from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Other area Atari user groups also participated in the show, including the Rockford (IL) Atari Computer Club, Greater Chicago Atari Computer Enthusiasts, Quad City Atari Computer Club, T.U.G. (The User Group) and S.C.A.T., also from the Chicago area. The action was fast and furious at the trading tables which were set up as early as 9:30 by the respective user groups. Many of the best deals were snatched up by the eager shoppers hunting for software and hardware at bargain prices and it was not unusual to wait several minutes before being able to reach the target table and have a clear view of the wares which were displayed! A number of commercial vendors also attended the swapfest. Computer Cellar, from St. Charles, IL, offered an impressive stock of Atari hardware for sale. Included were the Atari Mega 2 and Mega 4 computers, SM124 monochrome monitors, SC1224 color monitors, SLM804 laser printers, the tremendous Viking 19" monochrome monitor, and the very popular LYNX game system. Mars Merchandising, Lombard, Il, displayed a vast array of ST and 8-bit software along with many other much-needed items for the Atari user. C.S.A. Limited had both 8 and 16 bit software at truly bargain basement prices. Kolputer Systems also had a large amount of software to peddle. The latest version of the most popular games and utilities were in no short supply at this booth. System Solutions, West Chicago, IL, were showing their new rack-mounted Atari ST systems. Displayed was a Mega 2 mono system with two 3 1/2 drives and a 30-meg hard drive all very neatly encased in a very robust aluminum case. Fleetwood Mac is currently touring with one of these rack units, and as Henry Bahr from System Solutions states, "...they're roadie proof!". Alongside System Solutions were two musicians, Richard Russom and Larry Richardson, who are affiliated with SCAT. These guys had one heck of a MIDI system playing some heavy duty tunes. The sound was great and the keyboard work very polished; showing to all that the Atari computer system is to be reckoned with in the music field. There was also someone who I consider to be a MAJOR software developer for the ST system at the swapfest. That developer was none other than Dorothy Anderson Brumleve. You probably know her as D.A. Brumleve. She is the author of the very well-known KIDPRGS that your young children and mine have spent many an hour enjoying. She was demonstrating and selling very respectable quantities of three of her programs. These were Kidpainter, Super Kidgrid, and Kidpublisher Professional. Each of these excellent programs for children was available for $25.00 each or $65.00 for all three. A bargain. Far and away the crown jewel of the Midwest Atari Swapfest was Bob Brodie. He is the user group representative for Atari Corp. Mr. Brodie brought with him quite an array of Atari hardware for hands-on demonstration. First there was a STacy 4 with 4-meg of Ram, one 3 1/2" drive, a built-in 40-meg hard drive, and a back-lit mono monitor. TOS 1.4 was also included in this machine. Hooked up to the STacy was a Megafile-44 hard drive and a Spectre GCR Macintosh emulator. I spent about 30-40 minutes with the STacy 4 at the Atari booth trying to get a feel for the machine and compare it to the prototype I saw at the World of Atari show in Dearborn last year. My first impressions were that there was a drastic improvement in the video display. The current back-lit screen is much improved over the prototype display shown last year. I had no difficulty in viewing the display, even while standing and at odd angles. The screen refresh rate was not noticeably unlike that of my ST and the display was sharp, clear, and easy to read. The STacy keyboard is outstanding!! Without a doubt, this is the very best very best keyboard I have ever typed on with an Atari label affixed to it. The Stacy is currently being shipped, although in limited quantities, and retails for about $2895 in the above configuration (Megafile-44 and Spectre GCR excluded, of course). Also shown by Mr. Brodie was an 4160 STe. This machine looked identical to a 1040 ST with a few extra ports. There are two additional joystick ports along the left side of the unit, an RF modulator port for a TV in the rear, stereo output jacks, and a blitter chip. TOS 1.6 is the operating system. Rather impressive demos with stereo sound and dynamite graphics were running. Alas, I spent so much time with the STacy, I didn't have an opportunity to get a hands on impression of the STe. Mr. Brodie did say that the 4160 name was not slated for sale in the U.S. He said the name 4160 is used in-house to identify how much RAM is installed in a particular machine. As the STe uses SIMMs instead of DRAM for memory and SIMMs are easily user upgradable, it would make no sense to offer a 1-meg, 2-meg, and a 4-meg computer. Mr. Brodie advised that to upgrade from one meg to 4-meg all one would have to do is open the case, remove a shield, and plug in the new SIMM strip(s), then close up the case - easier than adding a board to an IBM clone. The STe was just approved by the FCC, but no retail pricing is known at this time; the buzz said late June ship. The aforementioned Megafile-44 hard drive was also shown. This is a removable media 44-meg, 28ms access time hard drive which uses the Syquest removable cartridge. It is said that the Megafile drives will accept an additional fixed hard drive and that the rails are already in place. I did not see the interior of either of the drives at the show, so am unable to confirm this, although I did see two drive lights on each of the drives. This drive is supposed to be available at a retail price of $1100.00 but I wonder at the wisdom of this price point, as at least two third party developers are offering Syquest drives for about $899.00. The Portfolio hand held computer made a side appearance; Much has been written in recent weeks on the Portfolio and I will not repeat it. Mr. Brodie did say that there are some new DOS utilities available for the Portfolio for $79.95. DataQue Systems of Ontario, OH was kind enough to send the Turbo 816 enhancement for the 8-bit systems for demonstration, even though they were not able to attend in person. This speed demon uses the power of the 65C816 processor and a custom OS to bring previously unheard of performance within the reach of existing 8-bit Atari systems. The Turbo 816 suffered from a lack of demo software to show off its potential. At 1:00 in the afternoon I attended a talk given by Mr. Brodie. He was introduced to the crowd by Michelle Gross from MilAtari Ltd. He said that plans were in the making for 520stfm's to be sold with a bundled software package for $399.00. This is to be in the mass marketer type of store (Sears was mentioned) and was geared towards those individuals who look to purchase a computer but have never set foot in a computer store before. Once these purchasers of an ST see the advantages of the system, they will (the plan goes) visit their ST dealer for additional hardware and software that the mass marketer does not supply. In answer to the inevitable question concerning the lack of advertising, Mr. Brodie showed a video which was shown in the New York area during the past holiday season. This video was for the LYNX game system rather than for the ST or Mega or any upcoming computer line. In answer to questions concerning hardware shortages, Mr. Brodie said that it was believed that Goldstar artificially induced the monochrome monitor shortage, and that when other manufacturers were mentioned to them, ie: JVC and Sony, Goldstar suddenly was able to supply Atari with monitors. Although 1040 ST's are in short supply, 520 ST's and Mega 4's are in the warehouse and should be readily available. What impressed me most about Bob Brodie was his sincerity. There was a "no BS" attitude about him. Comparing Mr. Brodie to Sig Hartmann, whom I met in Detroit last year, Sig was a salesman, a huff and puff and blow your doors down kind of a guy, all the while holding a Portfolio above his head saying, "Don't forget to buy one." Ask Bob Brodie a question, get an answer, no huff and puff. I like that and I think that it speaks well for the man. Finally, I would like to personally thank Atari for allowing Bob Brodie to attend our swapfest. I also extend a very special thank you for the XEP-80 interface with Atariwriter software donated to the raffle which was won by Thomas J. Bartlett of Chicago, IL, and for the grand prize, a Megafile-44 hard drive, which was won by Gerard Toussaint of McHenry, IL. I also thank the vendors who so graciously donated items for door prizes that were appreciated by so many. But most of all I thank those who donated their time and supreme effort to bring forth the first Midwest Atari Swapfest, for without your hard work and effort it would not have come to pass........ Mark Lacine, Mars Merchandising, "...A jammin' show! I wouldn't have missed it." Ray McAlpin, Apple Annie, "...A great show!" Larry Grauzas, Pres. L.C.A.C.E., "...A tremendous success." D.A. Brumleve, "...Very worthwhile...Great enthusiasm...Better than W.O.A. Annaheim..." ----------------------------------------------------------------------- <*> MIDWEST ATARI SWAPFEST Reported by D.A. Brumleve ----------------------------------------------------------------------- A few years back, there was a major effort by a coalition of Chicago- area users groups to present a large-scale Atari show. That effort failed, members lost money, the show did not take place, and participants were very discouraged. It took a while to build up the courage to try it again. One group has taken the lead by putting on a multi-group "swap meet", a small-scale show which might serve as a test- case to indicate whether or not they might be capable of putting on a larger World-of-Atari-type event in 1991. The plan was to host a small show to generate enthusiasm and develop inter-group spirit, and to provide some visibility to the many Chicago-area Atari dealers and lots and lots of bargains to the show-goers. From 10am to 4pm on Sunday, April 22, the efforts of the Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts (LCACE), and especially of club officers Larry Grauzas, Mike Brown, John Schultz, and JJ Johnson, paid off in the form of the Midwest Atari SwapFest. The SwapFest was held in the banquet room of the Diplomat, a restaurant associated with a Days Inn hotel in Gurnee, northwest of Chicago. A room at the Days Inn was made available for seminars. Exhibition tables were arranged in a pattern of concentric squares in the banquet room. 8-bit and ST user groups brought their used software and group library disks to sell. Among the groups participating were LCACE, MilAtari Ltd. (Milwaukee), SCAT (Southern Chicago and suburbs), RACC (Rockford), and GCACE (Chicago). Members of CRAG (Calumet IN Region Atari Group) distributed copies of their newsletter. The Rockford group passed out pocket protectors emblazened with their logo. Other exhibition booths included my own (D.A. Brumleve), Kolputer Systems, Computer Cellar, CSA, Apple Annie, No Frills Software, Paper Express, and Mars Merchandising. Not all of Chicago's Atari dealers were represented; I was surprised at the absence of Digital World, Coz Computers, Guitar Shack and Software Plus. Some of the booths focussed on one or another aspect of computing; particularly noticable was the MIDI area, which entertained show-goers with music and other noises throughout the day. All Atari products were represented in the booths. Most of the groups supported both the ST and 8-bit user, and dealers also had products related to the Portfolio, Lynx, and game machines. Atari Corp. had a booth manned by User Group Coordinator Bob Brodie, Jeff Williams, who is an ST RoundTable sysop on GEnie, and Mike Groh, Atari's Chicago-area dealer representative. Bob brought along the Lynx, Portfolio, STe, and STacy for the enjoyment of attendees. The STe's sound capabilities were demonstrated through the use of stereo speakers and a special demo program designed for the STe. Bob presented two seminars to packed audiences. Did I say "packed"? The seminar room was not the only area that was packed. Organizers had anticipated only a few hundred attendees, but wound up selling over 1000 tickets! The concern was expressed that the Fire Marshall might close the place down, it was so well-attended. The aisles were crowded with enthusiastic bargain-hunters throughout most of the day. Around 3pm, the crowd began to dwindle, but this was fortuitious and appropriate in a way, as several vendors had sold out of their wares and were packing up to go home! Attendees came from as far away as Downstate Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan. As a vendor, I found that my demonstration computer was in almost constant use. Many children attended the show with their parents. Several children came back to use one program or another again and again. My hopping disks, as usual, "sold" like hotcakes, with some greedy little ones taking several apiece. (Maybe they knew they'd be losing a least some of them in short order.) I made few sales, but those who did buy in every case took advantage of the "show special" ($65 for Kidpainter, Kidpublisher Professional, and Super Kidgrid), so for once I actually made a profit (!) at an Atari show. Next to my display sat a box of flyers from M-S Designs. This is a company that Henry Murphy and Carl Stanford have established for the marketing of their Calamus fonts. Mike Groh was demonstrating Calamus in the Atari booth, so he disseminated many of these flyers from the Atari booth also. Door prizes were presented to winners of a ticket-drawing at intervals throughout the day. At the end of the day, Bob Brodie of Atari offered a MegaFile 44 as a gala door prize. Vendors and users agreed that this show was a terrific success. In spite of its limited intentions, attendance was substantial and enthusiastic. I hope that the organizers have sufficient momentum to pursue a major Chicago-area Atari show in the very near future! ----------------------------------------------------------------------- <*> ST STACK by Alice Amore ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Here are some recent upgrades: ASCIIVIEW.ARC v. 3.50 Programmer: David M. Seberg * SHAREWARE * ============================ A replacement for the Show-Print-Cancel function on the GEM desktop. Now much faster, with keyboard equivalents, plus other improvements. CARDFILE.ARC v. 1.4 From: GT Software Working Demo ===================== Cardfile is a database/dialer/address book/appointment scheduler in a desk accessory. Demo is limited to 10 index cards. CV2IMG12.ARC v. 1.20 Programmer: Craig W. Daymon * SHAREWARE * ============================ Converts the gamut of picture formats (DEGAS, NEO, Mac, Art, Doodle, Spectrum, TINY, and others) to uncompressed .IMG format. IG213.ARC v. 2.13 Programmer: Larry Mears * SHAREWARE * ======================== Instant Graphics! is an online graphics terminal for any BBS. Includes .EMU file for InterLink. Lots of new features including MIDI support. IGS_PRO6.ARC v. 1.6 Programmers: Moody & Rau * SHAREWARE * ======================== Full-featured graphics editor for Instant Graphics! (see above) The excellent tutorial was written by S. Turnbull. MMM.ARC v. 1.50 Programmer: David M. Henry * SHAREWARE * =========================== Do-it-all MIDI program. MIDI Music Maker plays MS, MS '88, MCS, EZ- Track, Format 0, Format 1, SID, AMS, MMS, and Orch.-85/90 files. OSCAN_60.ARC v. ? Programmer: Bradford W. Mott ============================= Modification of OVERSCAN.PRG. This version works at 60Hz instead of 50Hz. PILEUP21.ARC v. 2.1 Programmer: Russell Moll * SHAREWARE * ========================= Pile Up, a Tetris clone, will now run with TOS 1.4. Written and compiled in STOS. Source code is available. PRHP14.LZH v. 1.4 From: Kepco International ========================== For the HP DeskJet and DeskJet+. Prints in portrait or landscape, draft or LQ. Prints back-to-front with header, line numbers, more. RLSGD_10.LZH v. 1.0 Programmer: Jeffrey Kinzer =========================== Now displays and saves up to 1600 (huh?) DEGAS, NEO, or TINY pictures on-screen at once. SMRTDAT2.ARC v. 3.2 Programmer: David Becker ========================= SmartDate allows setting of the system date at boot-up. Keeps current if you set it once every 24 hours. Bugs removed. STKR_206.ARC v. 2.06 From: Strata Software ====================== This patch program will update v. 2.00-2.05 to v. 2.06. STalker is a commercial (accessory) terminal/background program. STNO_103.ARC v. 1.03 From Strata Software ====================== This patch program will update v. 1.00-1.02 to v. 1.03. STeno is a commercial (accessory) text editor. STVI395.LZH v. 3.95 Programmers: Tony Andrews/Ric Kalford ===================================== Several fixes/improvements have been added to this impressive UNIX-style VI text editor. Also supports Minix, MS-DOS, and OS/2. STVI395S.LZH v. 3.95 Programmers: Tony Andrews/Ric Kalford ===================================== Contains the C source code for STeVIe, version 3.95. See description of STeVIe, above. STWEL3_8.ARC v. 3.8 Programmer: Bruce Noonan, M.D. =============================== ST Writer Elite. Now compatible with the STe, Moniterm monitor, and all versions of TOS. STW38G_S.ARC v. 3.8 Programmer: Bruce Noonan, M.D. =============================== The German and Spanish versions of ST Writer Elite, v. 3.8. Compatible with the STe, Moniterm, all TOS versions. SWTCHREZ.ARC v. 2.0 From: ML & ML Software ======================= Creates low res and medium res DESKTOP.INF files and switches between them easily. Can assign AUTO/.ACC files to specific resolutions. TCCOMP40.LZH v. 4.0 Programmer: John Hickey * SHAREWARE * ======================== Creates DO files for use with FLASH! to help automate the process of file selection and downloading on GEnie. ZModem/ARC/LZH supported. UNLZH161.ARC v. 1.61 Programmer: John Harris * SHAREWARE * ======================== Lightning-fast extractor for .LZH files. Handles multiples, separate folders, scrolling, searching, more. SHEET32P.LZH v. 3.2 Programmer: Chor-ming Lung Working Demo =========================== Demo of Sheet 3.2, a spreadsheet/database manager/graphics generator/ BASIC interpreter. Demo is full-featured but memory is limited to 19K. SHEETDOC.LZH v. 3.0 Programmer: Chor-ming Lung =========================== Documentation for SHEET. If you already have the documentation for version 3.0, you don't need this file. SAMPLES.LZH v. ? Programmer: Chor-ming Lung =========================== A varied sampling of SHEET files. Use with SHEET32P.LZH. If you have the older SAMPLE files, you will still need these newer ones. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- <*> THE UK TOP 20 GAME TITLES Compiled by Jon Clarke ----------------------------------------------------------------------- The Top 20 Games titles. ------------------------ The Gallup Software Chart. -------------------------- For the Month Of April 1990, United Kingdom. -------------------------------------------- ======+======+======================================+================== This | Last | Title (Company) | Comments ======+======+======================================+================== 1 2 Choas Strikes Back (Mirrorsoft) FTL's new entry 2 New Operation Thunderbolt (Ocean) Arcade conversion 3 1 Bomber (Activision) Vector Grafix 4 9 Advanced Ski Simulator (Code Masters) Good simulator 5 3 Chase HQ (Ocean) Like 'Out Run' 6 5 Batman: The Movie (Ocean) Great graphics 7 New Player Manager (Anco) Soccer simulator 8 New Rainbow Islands (Ocean) NZ Story type 9 7 Gouls and Ghosts (US Gold) Addictive 10 6 Hard Driving (Domark) Driving simulator 11 New Captain Blood (Smash 16) An absolute must 12 12 Extra Time (Anco) Soccer simulator 13 New Future Wars (Palace) Graphics adventure 14 8 Gazza's Super Soccer (Empire) Soccer simultor 15 4 Ghostbuster 2 (Activision) Like the movie 16 16 Kick Off (Anco) Soccer realism 17 18 TV Sports Football (Mirrorsoft) Sports simulator 18 19 Robocop (Ocean) Like the film 19 New Drakkhen (Infogames) Could be a classic 20 13 Treasure Island Dizzy (Code Masters) Remember Dizzy? * Please note not all this software is in release in the USA at this time. * Also, the United Kingdom distributors differ from those in the USA. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- <*> PD/SHAREWARE STOP by Mark Quinn ----------------------------------------------------------------------- (Editors Note: The following files are available on the pay services.) File name: MENUMSTR.ARC Author: Michael Allen Program name: Menu Master File type: Utility (*Shareware*) ======================================================================= Of interest to ST joystick jockeys everywhere, MENU MASTER organizes two or more games into -- you guessed it -- menus. Used with StartGem (an earlier upload) or Rainbow TOS, the program creates low or medium resolution data files appropriate for the resolution of the games being played. Setting up the menus is as easy as using your favorite file selector. The author states that, "This menu does not work on all programs, but it works on most games." I found the menu screens to be a bit bland, but the program works. Quinn's Quickies" CHNGSIZE.ARC Increase storage capacity on floppies by 10K. FB_DEMO.LZH World War II strategy game demo. It's the Germans against the Soviets. FINALCUT.ARC; FCSONG.ARC The first archive contains a demo of FINAL CUT, a 16-track MIDI sequencer. The second contains four sample song files for use with the program. GEOGRA.ARC Shareware version of GEOGRAPHY TUTOR, by ASDE. A graphical tutor/drill for European countries and capitals. GRAMSLAM.ARC A demo of a shareware grammar checker. Can be run as a TTP program, with Gulam, or its own shell. Demo version has one-third of the phrases that the fully working version has. HEADLINE.ARC Produces offbeat headlines, the type you'd see in the tabloids at the supermarket. Produces some WEIRD stuff. HERO_IID.LZH Demo of a shareware dungeon exploration/adventure game. Looks great. JRSBEAT.LZH; JR_SONGS Songs created with QUARTET. Sampled digital four-channel sound, played through the monitor speaker. Not top forty material. MATCH3.ARC A children's version of Concentration, with pictures. Includes sound. RENAME_X.ARC Update. Renames thirteen kinds of files, and can re-rename them. Useful for saving memory. SAT310.ARC Update. "The Satellite Prediction Program". Nice working and looking interface. MANY improvements. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- <*> SOFTWARE THIEVERY by D.A. Brumleve ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Commentary How it hurts every ST and every ST owner in North America A few days after the Anaheim World of Atari show, where CodeHead Software offered version 2.0 of MultiDesk for the first time, Charles F. Johnson posted a message on GEnie. Charles had sold many copies of MultiDesk during the show, but it seems that the program has received an even wider distribution than he had imagined: Charles has found version 2.0 of MultiDesk on a major pirate BBS in the southern California area. The day he checked the board (just two days after the show), thirty-two pirates had already downloaded his program from the board! Of course, the distribution doesn't stop there; each downloader also is likely to upload the program to yet another BBS somewhere. And so on and so on... Now, people who know MultiDesk will also realize that almost anyone who has it will use it. This is a wonderful desk accessory organizer that not only lets you sneak around the 6-accessory limit but also enhances your computing experience in many other ways. Certainly, anyone who would spend time downloading it from a bulletin board must be considered a potential purchaser. And so, CodeHead had lost no fewer than thirty- two sales and probably hundreds or even thousands more simply because a thief purchased that initial copy at the WOA. This same scenario is repeated time and time again after a release of any good program. Pirate bulletin board systems are a major enabler of this theft, but so is the fellow who borrows a program from his user group library and copies it for his own software library or the one who sells his original copy and keeps the backups for continued use. The problem is a tough one for the ST market because it is especially small. If a company is likely to sell 100,000 copies of a particular program, and 10% of those copies are stolen rather than bought, the company has still sold 90,000. But in the ST market, particularly if sales are limited to North America, a top-notch application that "everybody" wants is not likely to sell over 5,000 copies, and lesser or more narrow applications may sell fewer than 1000. If 10% of those copies are stolen rather than purchased, the piracy has a greater effect on overall earnings. 10% is a very low figure for top-notch, must-have programs. It's more likely that a major application may have five illegal copies for every purchased copy. So if a developer sells 5,000 copies, another 25,000 are likely to be pirated and used illegally. This means that the developer receives only a sixth of the earnings to which he is entitled. How many people would accept 1/6th of their earnings as full compensation for their work? Many otherwise honest people justify piracy by condemning the high prices of commercial software, so let's take a look at that software dollar. A typical program in the ST market sells for $39.95 ($40) retail. The software dealer buys the program from a distributor at approximately 40%-45% off the list price, so the dealer would pay perhaps $24 for a $40 program, and sell it at whatever markup he could manage. Any profit he makes over the price he paid must cover his rent, utilities, employee paychecks, etc. The software distributor, in turn, has bought the program from the developer or publisher at about 45%-55% off list price, so the distributor might pay the developer $20 for a $40 program. The intrinsic value of the contents of the package is typically around $5, but the developer has to pay for packaging, postage, support lines, advertising, etc. I'm not counting here all the endless hours that go into the development of a program. Nathan Potechin of ISD reports that the four years of development of DynaCADD, the CAD package that rivals and exceeds the capabilities of AutoCad, have cost over $100,000! A programmer's time is worth money, and when he writes a program, he hopes to be compensated not only for the actual value of the package's materials and advertising, bookkeeping, mailing, and other expenses, but also for his time in development. The end result is that the developer receives very poor compensation for his programming efforts unless many, many copies of the program are actually sold. In a small market, every pirated copy has a greater effect on the total sales; the more copies are pirated, the poorer the compensation for the developer. The developer, in the case of the ST, is unlikely to be some huge anonymous conglomerate with 10,000 employees. Instead, the developer is a real person like Charles F. Johnson, like you or me. A pirate's decision to steal effects Charles' ability to buy a new car or make do with the old one, go to a movie versus watching the VCR, eat steak or hamburger, go to an Atari show or stay home, support the ST or the IBM... Yep, programmers are leaving the Atari market right and left as they notice the comparatively windfall profits available elsewhere. Over the past year, several companies that were ST-only have expanded to support other machines. This shouldn't be regarded as "growth"; these companies who continue to sell programs for the ST while offering them to larger markets are, in fact, using the larger markets to support their lagging ST sales. In reference to DynaCADD, Nathan Potechin says that "[Piracy and slow sales have] left us with no other alternative but to release the program on other computer platforms, based on economic reality." Other companies that have been ST-only are leaving the ST altogether. Interlink, for example, announced this month that they will not be releasing Masterlink, widely regarded as potentially the most extensive ST telecommunications package. Word Perfect is not pursuing an update to the current IBM version. Companies like this, for whom the ST has never been a priority, are refusing to upgrade releases or port their new titles to the ST, citing slow sales as the reason. "Slow sales" are far slower thanks to ST pirates. It's worth noting here that using shareware without paying for it is tantamount to piracy. Many shareware authors report astoundingly low contributions. When 1,000 copies of a program have been downloaded from a national information service (and then passed on to 1000 local bulletin board systems and downloaded by many users on each...), and the shareware programmer receives a total of $30 in "contributions", the programmer is not encouraged to improve his program or publish others. ST shareware programs don't merely rival commercial applications--they _are_ commercial applications, and must be respected as such if we are to hope for further try-before-you-buy offerings. Now, as stated above, a typical program for the ST market is $39.95. If that seems like a lot, try shopping for IBM software, a market in which a software package may easily sell for more than the computer itself! ST users are very fortunate that powerful software for our machines is incredibly cheap compared to other brands. We are also fortunate that a wealth of high-quality public domain programs is available for nearly any computing need. We don't "have" to steal; if we can't afford to buy a program, we can use a public domain alternative. It's actually possible to build a powerful software library using only public domain applications. Just ask any user group librarian. Laws are designed to discourage dishonest people from doing the wrong thing. Dishonest people tend to flaunt the law if they think they won't get caught. There are laws against software piracy in the US. When programmers find a pirated copy of their software, they know that copy's history. They know what day they put the original disk (from which the copy was taken) in shrink-wrap; they know what distributor they sold it to; they may well know who bought it and took it home to share illegally with others, his name, address, etc. Pirates can be identified, they can be caught, they can be prosecuted or sued, and they can be punished with imprisonment, impounding and disposal of equipment, and heavy fines or compensation for the programmer. Many have written articles to beg pirates not to steal programs for the sake of decency. I'm not going to do that, nor will I whine or cagole or threaten. Instead, I'm going to appeal to self-interest, your self- interest and pirates' self-interest, because piracy is a threat to the self-interest of every ST owner in the US, pirates included. We all have a tremendous investment in our machines. New software is the lifeblood of the machine. I can write my own new software, and if all the ST developers departed to greener pastures tomorrow, I'd still have something new and interesting to do with my hardware. Most people, however, do not program. Most are completely dependent upon professional developers for continually greater power and ever more fun with their computers. If the ST developers stop producing new programs, most of us will have to be content with the software we already have. Our "investment" in our hardware will not be returned if we try to sell our equipment. Like the TRS-80s and Commodore 64s, we'll be listing Mega2s in the News-Gazette want-ads for $75 (with printer!). That prospect is mighty grim as far as I'm concerned, but it's a likely scenario, unless we can keep programmers like Charles F. Johnson in business. What do we get for our software dollar when we do buy a program? Purchasing software provides users with a manual, an indispensible aid for extensive applications. If you'll remember to send in that registration card, you'll find a helpful and informed employee at the end of the phone line when you call for support. If you send in the card, you'll also be on their mailing list; you'll hear about it first when an update to your copy becomes available and you'll receive notifications of new offerings from the company from time to time, and sometimes discounts will be available. If the disk gets fried, the company has a backup waiting for you. If your new word processor won't print on your printer, the company will prepare a driver especially for you. All of this--and more!--is available to legitimate purchasers of commercial software. One more thing is available to software purchasers: the hope of new offerings from the same developer. If your pal is downloading software from a pirate BBS, he isn't doing you and your ST any favor. Let him know that. It's in the best interest of all ST owners to discourage pirating. I know you don't consider yourself a pirate; I sure don't, but I nevertheless have found in my extensive software library several programs which have not been purchased. Most I don't use and I'm reformatting without regret. One I have used almost every day. Looks like it's time to buy that one... ----------------------------------------------------------------------- <*> "SAY MISTER, WHERE YOU GOIN' WITH ALL THAT MEMORY?" by Jack Burkig ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Reprinted from the April 1990 Edition of The Puget Sound Atari News A few months ago I bought an ICD hard disk system for my 1040ST, and I have spent a good deal of my computer time since then trying to figure out how to use all that memory (49 megabytes) to best advantage. Now I have, with the much needed help of the people at the local Atari dealer, increased the RAM on my machine to 4 megabytes and I am again trying to figure out how best to use all of that memory. My initial reasons for both increases were not very sensible. It was pretty much a case of "nothing is too good for my favorite toy", although in both cases I convinced myself that with Spectre GCR available I would need extra disk and RAM if I wanted to find out about the marvels of Hypercard and/or Mathematica. Generally speaking, I could live pretty comfortably in the ST program world without these enhancements, but the Macintosh emulation is virtually unusable without at least two disk drives, Hypercard can barely scrape along with 1 meg of RAM, and Mathematica (which I do not yet have) requires a minimum of 2 megabytes. This is an account of what I have done so far. I divided the hard disk into 8 partitions, 7 for various categories of function in the ST world, and one for the Macintosh. The hard disk partitions are C, D, E, F, G, H, and I for the ST; and a separate one for the Macintosh. The first partition, C (Computer), is the boot partition, and contains a variety of system related programs such as Hotwire, Multidesk, Universal Item Selector, a variety of Desk Accessory programs etc. More about these later. The next partition, D (Drawing), I cleverly assigned to art and drawing programs such as DEGAS Elite, CAD 3D etc. Partition E (Education), I assigned to various educational programs such as language study, a general list creation program and the like. Partition F (Fooling Around) is a sort of scratch pad, used for dearchiving public domain and magazine disks prior to deciding whether they are something I want to keep on tap for quick access. In that case they would be moved to another partition and deleted from partition F. This partition should also be useful as a temporary store if I start to suffer from fragmentation problems in other partitions. Partition G (Games), is a pretty big one, even though I am not much of a games player. It is nice, though, when my kids or other games players in the family visit. Partition H (Helping Hand) I used for what people call productivity programs, such as ST Writer, a spread sheet, a database and so forth. Next, partition I (Intelligence), is devoted to computer languages and other programs related to programming. The Macintosh space would have been partition J, but does not show up on the ST desk top display. Finally, Icon K was assigned to Ram Disks... I use Maxidisk, a West German ram disk program which stores data in compressed form, can be started after boot up, has assignable size, and will survive a warm boot. With this sort of division, it is pretty easy to figure out which partition is likely to have the category of program I want to use, and once I click on the appropriate icon the directory will appear and I can easily find what I want. That should have been enough, and it cost very little in terms of RAM overhead. But I wanted fancier stuff, so I started installing various neat utilities and accessories, either commercial or public domain. The core programs for all of the user convenience stuff are the Universal Item Selector III, and the Codehead programs Desk Manager, HotWire, and Multidesk. 1. Universal Item Selector ========================== This is a very flexible file selection and file handling utility from A & E Software in Grants Pass, OR. It permits immediate access to the files on any disk drive from inside an application, or from the desktop if the included desk accessory is installed. In my opinion its only weakness is that you cannot run a program from the desk top through it. However, when used with Hotwire, this reservation no longer holds, since the "Running Man" icon in Hotwire calls up the item selector, which can then be used in a series of mouse clicks to direct you to the desired file, and then to run it. 2. Desk Manager =============== This is a shareware program from Codehead Software which permits the selection at boot up time of the programs in the Auto folder which will be run automatically, and which accessories in the root directory will be installed at boot up time. The main reason for making such a selection is that some auto programs and accessories are not compatible with certain others, or certain application programs, and Desk Manager makes it possible to work around these incompatibilities with a minimum of fuss. It is extremely useful if you insist on having practically all of your applications on the hard disk. In the long run, however, I have found that simply leaving the hard disk turned off and running the program from the floppy is less of a hassle. I think this is perhaps a matter of individual taste, and the complexity of the user's system. Flight Simulator II (my original reason for buying the 1040ST), for example, is not compatible with the Universal Item Selector, but the item selector is really not needed at all when I play with Flight Simulator. 3. Hotwire ========== This a Codehead Software program which makes it extremely easy to run your favorite applications. You can configure it so that you can run an application with a single key stroke, using a designated "hot key", from the desk top or from the Hotwire menu. The program can be arranged to leave you either at the desk top or in the Hotwire menu at boot up time. If you choose to have the Hotwire menu come up, you can run your application with either the hot key, or by clicking on the menu item. In addition there are a variety of other functions available from this menu by clicking on one of the several icons at the bottom of the screen. For my taste the "Running Man" is probably the most useful, since it permits you to call up the item selector, trace through to any chosen program and run it, all with a series of mouse clicks. You can also access Multidesk through an icon in the Hotwire menu. This permits you to run any one of a practically unlimited number of desk accessories without changing file name extenders, rebooting, etc.. Since the basic machine only permits six desk accessories, this is a great convenience. There is also an icon for Maxifile, a file handling utility from Codehead, which can be used with their item selector (Little Green Footballs) for all sorts of file handling and manipulation. I have not used this at all, so I don't know how it compares to Universal Item Selector III. My principal complaint about Hotwire is that you must exit it in order to access the accessories installed on the desk top. This is a fairly trivial problem, but mildly irritating at times. A second problem I have had is the inability to change resolution without rebooting. I don't know if this is operator trouble or a weakness of the program. It is simple to do a reboot, either cold or warm from Hotwire, using the Control-Alternate-Delete and Right Shift keys, and it is simple to direct it to boot in low resolution by touching the L key before the program runs. 4. Multidesk ============ Another Codehead program which permits running any accessory after boot up time. See the Hotwire discussion. There are a number of utility programs which I have installed in the Auto folder, and which remove many of the annoyances of the unmodified ST operation: 1. Mouse Accelerator permits change of the amount you must move the mouse to move the cursor across the screen. I find very little penalty in accuracy of positioning, and with the accelerator installed I almost never run off the edge of the mouse pad and have to reposition the mouse, as I used to do regualarly before the accelerator. Very useful. A public domain program from Atari. 2. File Spy is a program which permits you to view .DOC files and to direct them to the printer in background. Unlike the desktop "SHOW" function, you can step backward and forward a screen at a time, or go to the start for finish of the file at will. In addition, it presents a readable file in any resolution. The awkward appearance of files displayed with the "SHOW" function in low rez is a major annoyance of the standard operating system. Unfortuantely, File Spy does not work with .TXT files, and I suppose the same is true of other files with special control signals buried in them, but this is nevertheless an extremely useful utility, and I use it a lot. 3. MACMENU is a PD utility which modifies the way the system responds when the mouse cursor approaches the menu bar at the top to the screen. In the standard operating system it is very easy to overshoot and cause the drop down menu to appear when you don't want it. With MACMENU installed you must click the right mouse button to allow the cursor to move into the menu bar. I personally find this much preferable, though it takes a little getting used to at first. There is also a screen dump program for my 24 pin printer and a print spooler, as well as other goodies. As the number of "conveniences" of this sort built up, I began to run into "NOT ENOUGH MEMORY" messages every once in a while, especially with the RAM disk active. So now that the RAM has been increased by 3 megabytes I do not expect to see that message any more, and perhaps I will find it convenient to keep the RAM disk and a few more accessories a little closer to instant use, even though they were pretty handy before. When I got the upgrade kit (Z RAM) I intended to install it myself, and indeed I did get things disassembled and the two and a half meg upgrade working. But I did it with a lot of bent pins and great nervousness, and when the four meg part failed to work my nerve failed and I packed things off to Cimarron computer to see if they could rescue me from my folly, and they did. If you do decide to try it yourself, a pin straightener is almost an essential tool, and you should be aware that the MMU socket is very easily damaged. My advice is that if you don't have steady nerves, pay the computer shop to do it for you. I tell myself that I would have done better to wait for the STe, but it is too late now! In summary, I can say that all that memory can make your use of the computer easier and more fun, but only if you spend a lot of time adapting it to your own style of doing things. Also, with the fancy utilities, you are likely to have an occasional failure with bombs which is hard to understand. Using Hot Wire, and running CAD 3D2, for example, I always get four bombs when I quit the program, and rebooting is necessary. ======================================================================= ======================================================================= Z*Net Online Magazine is a weekly released publication covering the Atari community. Opinions and commentary presented are those of the individual authors and do not reflect those of Rovac Industries. Z*NET and Z*NET ONLINE are copyright 1990 by Rovac Industries. Reprint permission is granted as long as Z*NET ONLINE, Issue Number and author is included at the top of the article. Reprinted articles are not to be edited without permission. ======================================================================= ======================================================================= ZNET ONLINE Atari News FIRST! Copyright (c)1990 Rovac Industries, Inc.. ======================================================================= --
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