ST Report: 24-Aug-90 #634From: Len Stys (aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/05/90-01:32:39 AM Z
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From: aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Len Stys) Subject: ST Report: 24-Aug-90 #634 Date: Wed Sep 5 01:32:39 1990 *---== ST REPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" _____________________________________ from STR Publishing Inc. """""""""""""""""" August 24, 1990 No.6.34 ======================================================================= STReport Online Magazine? Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 ~ 6672 R.F. Mariano Publisher - Editor _________________________________________ Voice: 904-783-3319 10 AM - 4 PM EDT BBS: 904-786-4176 USR/HST Dual Standard FAX: 904-783-3319 12 AM - 6 AM EDT _________________________________________ ** F-NET NODE 350 ** 500mb Online ** STR'S owned & operated support BBS carries ALL issues of STReport Online Magazine and An International list of private BBS systems carrying STReport Online Magazine for their users enjoyment __________________________________________________________________ > 08/24/90: STReport? #6.34 The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine! ------------------------- - The Editor's Desk - CPU Report - CPU MacNews - MS DOS FOR YOU? - BOSTON ATARIFEST - WAACE UPDATES - LEXICOR MIFFED! - F-19 Review! - STR CONFIDENTIAL * STOCK MARKET TELLS THE REAL TALE!! * * LEXICOR MAKES DEAL WITH ATARI JAPAN! * * PHONEY FAX SOURCE KNOWN! * ========================================================================== ST REPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE? "Only UP-TO-DATE News and Information" -* FEATURING *- Current Events, Up to Date News, Hot Tips, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports ========================================================================== STReport's support BBS, NODE # 350 invites systems using Forem ST BBS to participate in Forem BBS's F-Net mail network. Or, Please call # 350 direct at 904-786-4176, and enjoy the excitement of exchanging ideas about the Atari ST computers through an excellent International ST Mail Network. ========================================================================== AVAILABLE ON: COMP-U-SERVE ~ DELPHI ~ GENIE ~ BIX ========================================================================== > The Editor's Podium? School's open, so please drive especially careful in and near school zones. This time of year also brings to mind the great shows coming up this fall. Atari users, all of us, should try to make at least one of these shows. The information for the shows is carried in our humble offering for your convenient reference. A special announcement: Beginning next week, STReport will be uploaded to GEnie on Sunday mornings. We are trying to give the users the opportunity to obtain our magazine at a convenient time, and still allow us to bring the very latest news and happenings to your attention as fast as possible. Also, we are hoping to preserve the originality of our weekly issues through this change in our release schedule. Although the Atari stock is making like a rock swimming, it is not as serious as it seems.... or is it? Some have compared the action of the stock to that of other similar companies. This is ok, if all you are interested in is a loose comparison. The bottom line to the owners of Atari stock and the owners of Atari computers is what the stock is going to do in the next few weeks. Also, many prospective NEW buyers of Atari computers are sure to be paying attention to the stock and allowing its behavior to weigh heavily on their decision to purchase the equipment or not. In any case, life goes on and we who already own the hardware can look at the "leaders" at Atari and quietly murmur 'so, you thought you knew what you were doing?' WE'll be here when the smoke clears, but will the guys who made all the noises in Sunnyvale for the last three years? The incessant Bad mouthing, accusing, threatening, enjoying vendettas etc... yessir, they've put on quite show. The party's over now though... Elie is here and he is quietly taking notes..... Ralph.... Hey Antonio, how yer Aircraft Carrier?? Fix yer rudder yet?? *********************************************************************** NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY COMPUSERVE WILL PRESENT $15.00 WORTH OF COMPLIMENTARY ONLINE TIME to the Readers of; STREPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE """""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" NEW USERS; SIGN UP TODAY! CALL: 1-800-848-8199 .. Ask for operator 198 You will receive your complimentary time and be online in no time at all! NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE *********************************************************************** > CPU REPORT? ========== Issue # 80 ---------- by Michael Arthur Remember When.... In February 1979, Intel introduced the 8088 microprocessor, which had an 8-bit internal bus architecture, but was considered a 16-bit chip because of its 16-bit external bus? Or how, after refusing to use Zilog's Z-80 microprocessor because Zilog was owned by a competitor, IBM introduced the 8088-based IBM PC in August 1981? CPU MacNews? **** COVERAGE OF THE MACWORLD EXPO TRADE SHOW **** =========== THE BEST OF TIMES, THE WORST OF TIMES MACWORLD EXPO/BOSTON 1990 The recent MacWorld Expo/Boston 1990 was a study in contrasts. This was one of the largest MacWorld Expos ever, in terms of both product announcements, and the number of Macintosh developers/vendors found at the show. This was also the first MacWorld Expo in which the general public could attend all four days of the show. In previous MacWorld Expos, the show's first day (called Industry Day) was closed to the general public, so the computer industry press and "invited guests" could have unhindered access to the showroom floor. Despite all this, attendance at this year's show was only marginally higher than last August's Expo. While over 60,000 people attended the April 1990 MacWorld Expo, only 48,000 attended MacWorld Expo/Boston. Also, while the MacWorld Expo is sponsored by MacWorld Magazine, Mitch Hall Associates (who manages the MacWorld Expos) stirred up considerable controversy by its treatment of members of the computer press who used press passes. In previous MacWorld Expos (like in most industry trade shows), some people who weren't members of the press had tried to get press passes for the Expo by claiming to be journalists. In order to stop this, Mitch Hall Associates first tried to exclude all freelance writers (read: those who weren't part of the staff of any large Macintosh publication) from getting press passes. After vehement protests from many computer industry analysts and writers, this policy was dropped. For the MacWorld Expo, press passes were only given to members of the Computer Press Association. The CPA is an industry group that represents many computer industry writers and journalists. At the MacWorld Expo, all press passes were checked at the entrances using ultraviolet light. Legitimate press passes would glow when exposed, while counterfeits would not. However, Mitch Hall Associates did not reveal how many (if any) counterfeits were ever found. Curiously, several unofficial press ribbons were seen at MacWorld Expo, with statements like "Illegitimate PRESS Corp.". In fact, Laurie McLean (head of the McLean Public Relations Firm) was passing out ribbons labeled, "rePRESSed".... Despite the controversy over press passes, MacWorld Expo/Boston was a goldmine for industry news, being the scene of numerous product announcements. Among the products introduced were Adobe Illustrator 3.0, Version 2.1 of the 4th Dimension SQL database, Adobe Type Manager 2.0, a color desktop scanner marketed by Animus Inc., and Spinnaker Software's Plus (a Hypercard clone). Other products being announced were: - Version 2.5 of the Fastback II hard disk backup program. Made by Fifth Generation Systems (maker of Suitcase II and Pyro!), Ver- sion 2.5 provides an improved user interface, and File Director, a new file management utility. - Ashton Tate's FullWrite Professional 1.5. This update provides sophisticated page layout features, expanded support for file conversion, and improved Online Help. Ashton Tate also provides a series of guides to help users in learning and using the progr- am. Cost: $395.00.... - Heizer Software's ConvertIt! . This series of utilities translates Hypercard stacks into files readable by ToolBook, a Hypercard clone available for Microsoft Windows 3.0. A Macintosh program first converts Hypercard files into HIFF (Hypermedia Interchange File Format) files. One then uses a DOS Utility to convert the HIFF file into ToolBook's file format. ConvertIt! will be available in October 1990. Cost: $200.00.... - The Ultimate Portable for the Mac. Made by Computer Friends Inc., this consists of an Atari Portfolio, the Atari Serial Interface, a cable for connecting the Portfolio to a Macintosh, and the Message Mover utility. With this program, one can per- form file transfer operations between a Portfolio and a Macin- tosh, or use a modem to call Bbss and Online Services with a Portfolio. Cost: $600.00 with a Portfolio. Computer Friends also sells a $250.00 package, which allows current Portfolio users to interface their "ultimate portables" with Macs.... - PixelPaint Professional Version 2.0. Made by SuperMac Technol- ogy, this release features a completely redesigned interface that (among other things) uses floating color palettes and "pressure-- sensitive" drawing tools. PixelPaint Professional 2.0 also has a color gradient editor, allows users to work with multiple pic- tures, and can move/change shapes or text in a picture. Cost: $800.00, but only $125 for upgrading from PixelPaint Professional 1.0. - Version 2.0 of the DiskLock file protection utility. Also made by Fifth Generation Systems, this product will automatically lock (or write-protect) files after a system crash, and supports DES, a Data Encryption Standard developed by the US Government. - Ashton Tate's dBASE IV Runtime Plus. This product allows users to use, create, or modify programs made using the dBASE IV lan- guage. It is compatible with dBASE IV Version 1.1 for DOS, meaning that programs made using the dBASE IV Runtime can be used by DOS systems unchanged. However, since dBASE IV 1.1 (which began shipping for the PC last week) still has several bugs in it, the complete dBASE IV software won't be available for Macin- tosh or Unix systems for at least another year.... Networking products were plentiful at Macworld/Boston 1990. Novell introduced Version 2.0 of their Netware for the Mac. Netware is a "System Fault Tolerant" network operating system that is the dominant LAN standard in the IBM industry. This release allows Macs to be used as file servers and system administrators in a LAN Network, as well as providing improved error protection. Oracle also announced their new Oracle Database Server for Macintosh. This SQL Relational database server lets Macintoshes be used as database servers for Macintosh-only LANs, as well as using Macs to access databases on the 80 types of microcomputer, mainframe, and minicomputer systems for which Oracle software is available. One notable no-show at this Macworld Expo was Jasmine Inc. This company was one of the most popular Macintosh hard drive vendors, until mismanagement, lawsuits with its hard disk suppliers, and power struggles among its top management drove it into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Early 1990. Jasmine is now a division of Chess S.A., a French maker of Mac peripherals. Jasmine did not have a booth at MacWorld Expo, but did announce a new line of hard disk drives during the show.... Several Apple officials were among the featured speakers at the show. Apple CEO John Sculley gave the keynote address, while Jean-Louis Gassee gave his last speech as outgoing President of Apple USA. Notably, Ian Diery (President of Apple Pacific) gave a seminar in which he emphasized that products must be "positioned differently, marketed differently, and supported differently throughout the world", according to the societies found in the countries that they are targeted towards. Apple had experienced tremendous problems in this regard in Japan, where mismanagement, lack of R&D efforts to "localize" products for the Japanese marketplace, and efforts to run Apple Japan "as a US company" almost ruined the Macintosh in Japan. However, Apple Japan has now made the Macintosh one of the most popular computers in Japan, with companies like Microsoft writing Japanese versions of their software. Diery also stressed that Apple has become a truly international firm, and noted that "with computer sales rising faster internationally than within the US, that is extremely important for (Apple's) long term growth." > CPU STATUS REPORT? >>> LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS <<< ================= - Ithaca, NY NEW STUDY SHOWS HOW TO REDUCE EYESTRAIN FROM MONITORS ---------- Cornell University has completed a new study into reducing eyestrain among VDT (video display terminal) users. It compared the reactions of computer users working under indirect fluorescent lighting (or uplighting) to those working under conventional "overhead" (or parabolic) fluorescent lighting. The study found that 25 percent of the computer users working under "overhead" lighting lost more than 15 minutes a day because of trouble focusing their eyes. In contrast, only 1 percent of those working under indirect "uplighting" had similar eyestrain difficulties. The Cornell study also found that 71 percent of the users working under indirect lighting preferred it, while 74 percent of those using "overhead" lighting liked the indirect lighting better.... "Uplighting" consists of directing the light of lensed fluorescent lights towards the ceiling. It is now being used by AT&T, IBM, and other companies for employees that use computers. The most significant thing about the Cornell study is that it shows the ineffectiveness of "overhead" lighting.... - Glenview, IL DEFENSE DEPARTMENT FUNDS ZENITH'S HDTV RESEARCH ------------ The US Department of Defense has announced that DARPA (its advanced research and development division) will be co-funding segments of Zenith's HDTV (High Definition Television) research pertaining to its FTM (flat tension mask) color display technology. FTM displays are extremely rugged, glare-free, and renowned for their effectiveness in high resolution displays. Zenith is now working to develop new manufacturing processes to produce large-screen FTM displays, which DARPA is interested in for military workstation displays. Worth over $1 million dollars, the joint DARPA/Zenith effort could revolutionize the manufacture of color monitors. Interestingly enough, the effort funds an essential part of Zenith's HDTV Research.... Zenith, the last remaining independent US TV maker, sold its personal computer division to Groupe Bull of France, in order to concentrate on the HDTV Field. The market for High Definition Television technology is expected to blossom in the 1990s, and to become essential for many 21st Century technologies. Several Japanese and European companies have made strides in the field, but the DOD chose to work with Zenith because of national security interests. Meaning that having US companies in the HDTV field will be vital to having a steady supply of technology for US military equipment.... - Hayward, CA SECURITY FIRM DARES CRACKERS TO "BEAT" THEIR SYSTEM ----------- Leemah DataCom Security Corp., which develops personal computer security systems, has issued a challenge to all computer "crackers" to successfully "beat" its TraqNet security system. Leemah is providing the password for accessing its computer system, and is giving "contestants" 2 weeks to try to crack the 4 levels of security that are protecting a Secret Message hidden in its computer system. The first person to successfully access the Secret Message will win a vacation for two to Tahiti or St. Moritz, Switzerland.... This is being done to prove that security systems (like TraqNet) can be "invulnerable" to unauthorized intruders. Leemah offered a similar challenge last year, and had 7,476 unsuccessful attempts. Many of the "contestants" (some of whom thought Leemah was being arrogant and overconfident) complained that Leemah won last year's contest because it had only set up ONE phone line for handling the thousands of calls made to the system. This year, Leemah is adding 5 extra lines to the computer system, so that it can take ALL incoming attempts to break into its system. Leemah believes that the odds of defeating the various levels of security protecting the Secret Message are 1 in 72 quadrillion.... Interestingly enough, this contest is at odds with industry efforts to discourage computer cracking, with some computer Hackers saying that Leemah is advocating the activities of computer Crackers. However, Leemah maintains that this contest will show that much can be done to defeat computer cracking activities.... - West Chester, PA COMMODORE PROFITS DROP AS AMIGA SALES CLIMB UP ---------------- Commodore International has reported a loss of $3.5 million in their fourth quarter, on revenues of $198 million. This loss was attributed to expenses related to the recent $20 million dollar Amiga ad campaign that Commodore launched. But interestingly, Commodore reported earnings of $3.5 million on revenues of $887 million. Also, Amiga computer sales rose by 40 percent in the fourth quarter, while sales of the C-64 and Commodore's line of PC Clones dropped considerably.... ____________________________________________________________ > LEXICOR MIFFED! STR NewsPlus? Glendale Show Reps irk Developer Group! ============================= Dateline: Fairfax Ca. 8-18-90 LEXICOR software sets date for WORLD WIDE release of it's forth coming PHASE-4 Desktop Video graphics software. Recently concluded contract negotiations with Rio Datel USA, Condor Computers of England and ATARI Japan resulted in a release date for PHASE-4 of NOVEMBER 1st, 1990. While LEXICOR's decision to release it's products through exclusive distributors has delayed release 60 days, the users are ensured faster service and more support through these well known and long established distributors. The most recent development in PHASE-4 distribution was an interna- tional FAX request from Tony Toki president of ATARI Japan Corp. for PHASE-4 bundling with ATARI machines for Japanese marketing in the ISAC 1024X768 environment. The ISAC produces a "SUPER HIGH RES" screen using a multi sync monit- or. PRISM-PAINT 1024 programs designed for LEXICOR's own color boards produce 49,152 colors on the screen at the same time when used with IMAGE systems color board. This is the least expensive way to "full color graphics atari". Currently available directly from LEXICOR at $775.00 + $5.25 for ship- ping and handling and available through RIO DATEL after November 1st, 1990. (includes Hardware and software). The ISAC requires both an Atari MEGA ST and TOS 1.4 to use PRISM COLOR-1024. ON A SAD NOTE..... Lexicor wishes to apologize to all those ATARIANS who were looking forward to seeing the new PHASE-4 graphic arts applications and hard ware scheduled for release NOV. 1st 1990 through Rio Datel in the USA and Condor Computers in Europe. LEXICOR had accepted an invitation to present a two day work seminar featuring Desktop video and animations at the GLENDALE SHOW. The presentation was to show for the first time 24-Bit true color on standard un-modified Atari computers, with demonstrations and visitor use of LEXICOR applications on the New TT030/8 and ISAC/Mega computers. The seminar was intended to teach and inform the user with a published han- dout which included many helpful tricks of the trade and marketing hints to aspiring computer artist. Demonstrations of photo realistic rendering and motion control rival- ing the most expensive high end systems was planned along with compari- sons of past atari works and computer animation show. Candidly speaking, LEXICOR can not attend the GLENDALE show and make the time and manpower commitment required to provide a professional seminar on simply a "standby speaker basis", which was presented to LEXICOR by GLENDALE show representative J.K. Tarpinian after LEXICOR had accepted and made commitments based on an EARLIER invitation, with no strings attached, by J. Nagy on behalf of Glendale. Lexicor was to be Guest speakers and fully demonstrate our complete line of fine new products for the Atari computers. _______________________________________________________ > The FLIP SIDE STR Feature? A different view point.... ========================= A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT ================================== by Michael Lee You're going to be seeing some minor changes in my column in the next few weeks as I play with different formats to see which one is the easiest for our readers to read. This week, to save space, I've stripped the headers from the messages and have just put the senders name at the end of each post. Let me know what you think of this format. This week's column consists of a few odds and ends posts that I felt contained general information that would be of interest to most of our readers. ---------------- "What exactly is the difference, if any, between a 3 1/2" and 5 1/4" hard disk drive...." - Jason Saffer "The laws of physics make a well designed 3 1/2" drive quieter, faster, and more reliable than a similar size 5 1/4" mechanism. There is less mass to move for the spindle motor and the stepper has less travel and requires less speed to achieve the same step rate. This results in lower power motors which are inherently quieter. Less power means less heat which should result in longer life." "Nearly all drive manufacturers have migrated towards 3 1/2" mechanisms and they will soon replace the 5 1/2" mechanism for annual drive volume. (If they haven't already). The newest technologies also are put into 3 1/2" mechanisms. Usually a comparable 5 1/4" mech will be a year or two older in design." "BTW Most drive manufacturers have a 2 1/2" mech design program in place today." - Tom at ICD, Inc. (From Genie) ---------------- "....I found out two things, one is that the CDAR504 (Ed's Note: Atari's CD Rom player) is really a CHINON DC431. I also found out that the SLM804 is really an Office Automations Systems Inc. printer - the Laserpro 5308. So if you need tech specs, toner, drums, you now have an alternative source." "The SLM804 uses the TEC LB1301 write white engine, NOT the Ricoh engine. You can interchange the toner/drum with the Oaysis LaserPro series without problem and usually at noticeable savings I might add." Toad Computer (From Genie) ---------------- "There's a rumor of a new upgrade from ICD that makes their host adaptor compatible with both Talon's SuperCharger and fixes the STe hard disk problem." - from Gregg Anderson "We just added some capacitors to smooth out noise on the DMA bus that was a real problem on the STE. That fixed 99% of our STE problems and doesn't cause any problems on other computers (which is always a danger). The other 1% which is not fixed is the mysterious data shifting that we have seen only once in our office. I would guess that is caused by defective DMA chips and is not very common." - Tom at ICD ---------------- "I phoned my contact in Germany today, and he says that the release version of Tempus Word is promised in September." - Norm Weinress (Ed's Note: Tempus is one of the fastest editors available for the ST. It is assumed that a word processor from the same company would be fast and full featured.) (From Genie) ---------------- There is an ad from Beswick Engineering in the Computer Shopper. This is for an 'Inkjet Reinker Kit' and it includes equipment, instructions, and 60 ml of black ink for HP Deskjet family. The ad also mentions bulk ink both in black and colors. "Prepay $29.00 to:" Beswick Engineering Box 602 Ipswich, MA 01938 800-354-5014. In the same issue, a simple classified ad mentions cartridge re-inking. $7 per cartridge, and they pay the shipping with an order of more than one. Sensor Based Systems 17010 NE 190th Woodinville, WA 98072 206 827-8794 Until next week..... ____________________________________________________________ > Stock Market ~ STReport Online? Computer Stocks Zapped by Oil Crisis ============================== THE TICKERTAPE ============== Week I ------ by Michael Arthur The price of Atari stock stayed the same price on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. It went down by 1/8 of a point on Thursday, and was down another 1/8 of a point on Friday. Finishing up the week at 4 3/4 points, Atari stock had gone down 1/4 of a point since Friday, August 3rd. Interestingly enough, it seems that Atari and Commodore fared the best on this week. The stock selloff from the Iraq/Kuwait Crisis, at this time, affected major computer stocks the worst. Apple Stock was down 2 1/2 points from Friday, August 3, 1990. Commodore Stock was down 1/8 of a point from 8/03/90. IBM Stock was down 6 1/8 points from 8/03/90. Stock Report for Week of 8/06/90 to 8/10/90 _________________________________________________________________________ STock| Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Reprt|Last Chg.|Last Chg.|Last Chg.|Last Chg.|Last Chg.| -----|--------------|------------|------------|-----------|--------------| Atari| 5 ---- | 5 ----| 5 ---- |4 7/8 -1/8|4 3/4 - 1/8| | | | | | 44,500 Sls | -----|--------------+------------+------------+-----------+--------------| CBM |6 1/8 - 1/4|5 7/8 - 1/4|6 3/8 +1/2|6 5/8 +1/4|6 1/2 -1/8| | | | | | 68,500 Sls | -----|--------------+------------+------------+-----------+--------------| Apple|39 1/2 -1 3/4|39 1/2 ----|40 1/8 +5/8|39 1/2 -5/8|38 3/4 - 3/4| |2,401,500 Sls| | | | 917,000 Sls | -----|--------------+------------+------------+-----------+--------------| IBM |103 7/8 -4 1/4| 103 - 7/8|103 1/8 +1/8|103 1/4 | 102 - 1 1/4| |3,549,200 Sls| | | +1/8|1,448,500 Sls | -----'-------------------------------------------------------------------' 'Sls' refers to the # of stock shares that were traded that day. 'CBM' refers to Commodore Corporation. '----' means that the stock's price did not change for the day. THE TICKERTAPE - Week II And the Band Marches On.... ------------------------ by Michael Arthur On Monday, Atari stock went up 1/4 of a point, and dropped 1/8 of a point on Tuesday. It went down by 1/8 of a point on Wednesday, and stayed the same price on Thursday. The price of Atari stock went down 1/2 of a point on Friday. Finishing up the week at 4 1/4 points, Atari stock has gone down 5/8 of a point since August 10, 1990. This week, most computer stocks fell sharply in price, as worries over the price of oil caused stockholders to turn towards other types of investments (gold, platinum, etc.). As in last week, Apple stock fared the worst, but Atari stock reached a 52-week low, at 4 1/4 and the end does not appear to be in sight. Apple Stock was down 2 1/4 points from Friday, August 10, 1990. Commodore Stock was down 1/2 of a point from 8/10/90. IBM Stock was down 5/8 of a point from 8/10/90. Stock Report for Week of 8/13/90 to 8/17/90 _________________________________________________________________________ STock| Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Reprt|Last Chg.|Last Chg.|Last Chg.|Last Chg.|Last Chg.| -----|--------------|------------|-----------|------------|--------------| Atari| 5 + 1/4|4 7/8 -1/8|4 3/4 -1/8|4 3/4 ----|4 1/4 - 1/2| | | | | | 65,500 Sls | -----|--------------+------------+-----------+------------+--------------| CBM |6 1/2 ---- |6 3/8 -1/8|6 3/8 ----| 6 - 3/8| 6 - 3/8| | | | | | 96,500 Sls | -----|--------------+------------+-----------+------------+--------------| Apple|39 7/8 +1 1/8|39 3/4 -1/8|39 1/4 |38 1/2 -3/4|36 1/2 - 2 | | | | -1/2| |2,197,400 Sls | -----|--------------+------------+-----------+------------+--------------| IBM |103 3/4 +1 3/4|104 3/8 | 105 + 5/8|103 3/4 |101 3/8 -2 3/8| | | +5/8| | -1 1/4|2,640,600 Sls | -----'-------------------------------------------------------------------' 'Sls' refers to the # of stock shares that were traded that day. 'CBM' refers to Commodore Corporation. '----' means that the stock's price did not change for the day. Curiously, Atari lost 15 percent of its stock's value over this two week period. Here is a list of computer stock price changes over the reported two-week period: Atari: Down 0.75 (US$) IBM: Down 6.75 (US$) Apple: Down 4.75 (US$) Commodore: Down 0.37 (US$) ________________________________________________________________ > F-19!! STR Review? "The top secret F-117A was actually..." ================== F-19 STEALTH FIGHTER from MicroProse Software, Inc. by Paul Varn This recent addition to the air combat simulation game market was anticipated with a great deal of enthusiasm by the ST computer world of air battle players since its successful introduction to the IBM world. The version I have purchased was the one for the ST in the UK imported to the US. The timing is a little curious as the formal US version is due to be released the end of August '90 and this import arrived here only a few weeks earlier. The information I have read is that the European import version will not differ from the US version except for some small packaging details and registration card. It is the most costly of the simulations to date for the ST and the most elaborate. Truly a no-holds- barred effort to produce a contemporary and realistic simulation (really hard to call this one a "game" anymore) that provides exhaustive mission possibilities, complex graphics, uncompromising sound, and a manual that can be used as a reference of modern warfare and rival illustrated infor- mation books in your library. THE GAME: Research in 1989 on the possible performance, shape, and mission of a US stealth fighter, and speculation as to it's name resulted in the programming of F-19. The top secret F-117A was actually deployed in 1983 but openly disclosed only this year. Both shapes (the one based on guesses and the real F-117A) are included in the simulation but are iden- tical in performance. You can select between two types of missions; air or ground strike, or fly the same missions in "training" mode where being shot down or failing a mission won't affect your permanent pilot log. There are always primary and secondary targets. Note here that air attack missions often include a ground mission which is most likely reconaissance photography. F-19 has four choices for areas of the real world in which to battle: Central Europe, North Cape of Arctic Ocean (Finland, Sweden, Norway, and USSR), Persian Gulf, and Libya. The terrain image detail is astounding and geographically accurate. You can choose between four levels of enemy competence (really dumb to nearly unbeatable) and four levels of flight characteristic difficulty (no crashes and ground proximity protection to realistic performance). Choosing the most difficult of all the options (real missions, elite enemy, and real landings) yield the highest point scores upon completing the mission. Successful completion must always include a safe landing. Upon embarking on a mission (assisted by CRT displayed way points and maps) you will find yourself confronted by a vast array of enemy ground, air, and sea defenses armed with an equally daunting stockpile of mar- ginal and sophisticated weaponry. To counter, you have no less than 17 types of weapons to choose from and additionally, external fuel, 135mm camera, and the ability to air drop supply and equipment packages. After completing a mission, a detailed graphic debriefing pictorial of your successes or mistakes along with accumulated score is presented. Also, an entertaining animated bar scene with your other flying buddys which changes depending on the effectiveness of your completed mission. Ranking and medals are included. If you ditch your plane and eject, there's an excellent animation of a rescue helicopter. PACKAGING: You get four, three-color glossy maps, a keyboard overlay, (very similar to Red Storm Rising) manual, computer specific technical supplement, registration card, and three disks. Hard disk installation is not available on this version and has copy protection on all three disks as well as picture identification from the manual. When you format a standard disk from the desktop, you create a fourth disk which is used for pilot records. This file is hidden on the disk and not recognized by TOS. There cannot be enough said about the manual. It is very complete (192 pages) with full page art, crystal clear examples of game images, well explained game play, and extensive friend/foe, craft/weapon data. Contents table and elaborate index are accurate and invaluably useful. The technical supplement omits Cntrl-N to toggle night flying in training mode, and specifies two controls: (Cntrl-Q, and Cntrl-B that don't work). Another minor error specifies lines when it should be boxes describing EMV symbols. The fact that it alone is 19 pages suggests the comprehensiveness of the detail involved. WHAT I LIKE: Unparalleled detail and unique external views are a standout miles above any ST simulation I've seen (I've played them all). Screen scrolling is acceptable considering the detail and does not in any way hamper the smoothness of play. It's really fun to sight see! Clouds, along with fire and smoke from successful strikes are handled in a way that is unique, adding a lot of realism and long term interest factors to the game. At night, real star formations and a beautiful moon fill the sky except where hidden by clouds (real nice!). The sound is synthesized except for the digital opening theme. Nothing lackluster here! The sound of your missile launch is wonderful. Power and wind sound change to reflect the changing flight dynamics of your plane. There are friendly aircraft of all kinds (even commercial) around most of the time. Carrier launch and landing are authentic and exciting. Flight controls can be Keys, mouse, or joystick with three selectable levels of sensitivity. I enjoy the joystick play so much I haven't tried the others. STEALTH FIGHTER? If you're after rich dogfighting play, this may not be the one for you. The combination necessary to provide low profile and speed to radars and visual sighting does not make this a great dogfighting machine. These same attributes though can bring you nose to tail against the best of the dogfighting Migs without them knowing you're there. Once your formidable and varied weapons are brought to bear, it won't matter if a 550 knot plane is up against a 750 knot afterburner. A full set of modern coun- ter-measure gizmos help to further even the odds. PROBLEMS: OK, in a game this complex what are the bugs? Unfortunately, there are a couple semi-serious ones. There is an unpredictable 180 degree flip that leaves you instantly flying inverted. Night flying can complicate the problem by making it more difficult to recognize the problem and correct it by rolling upright again. When this happens at altitude under 200 feet, avoiding collision is even more difficult. A couple of players have reported mountains suddenly appearing out of the ocean causing a collision although I haven't run into this one yet (North Cape area) in many hours of play. The copy protection may render a whole disk or portions of data to be unreadable to the program and the game will lock up with a scrambled screen and error codes displayed. Replacing a disk with a new one solved one such problem for me. Although the documentation hints otherwise, crashes with the ground in training mode will "KIA" your pilot log forcing you to start again with another pilot. If you're unsure of your skill, select "no crash or "easy landing". MicroProse is looking into these problems and will no doubt come up with solutions. I still consider the game playable and I'm willing to tolerate them until they come up with some solution. If you want a bug free game, I don't know how long you'll have to wait. The chance to experience a hallmark computer simulation that can fully entertain even critical simulation enthusiasts might be worth jumping in early. I don't regret the purchase feeling that the obvious effort in this project and the good reputation of MicroProse will eventually produce a more concrete product. A conspicuous label on the box assures buyers of STE compatibility. I consider myself a critical though avid simulation flier. I own Gunship, (another fine Microprose game) F16 Combat Simulator, Falcon, Battlehawks 1942, Flight Simulator II, Jet, and Harrier Combat Simulator. I also admit to owning F15 Strike Eagle (another MicroProse product). Don't judge F-19 using Strike Eagle though. There's no comparison whate- ver. I consider this game in a world of it's own. It breaks new ground in game programming in the way Falcon did when it was new. My aim in posting this review is to aid prospective buyers in purchase decisions about expensive and complex software where a five minute tryout in the store comes far short of providing detail necessary to feel con- fident in your interest and entertainment value. _______________________________________________________________ > ATARI STOCK WOW! STR PROBE? The Atari Saga ...continues ========================== ->aka: "The Rude Awakening" WHY THE RABID DECLINE OF ATARI'S STOCK ====================================== :QUESTION OF THE DECADE: ---------------------- How, can a company release such a tremdously great and successful machine as the ST and few years later be considered the "joke" of the decade in the computer industry? :ANSWER: ------ This is a question only Sam Tramiel can answer, since he is "the man" responsible for the success or failure of Atari. :MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION OF THE DECADE: -------------------------------------- What do you consider to be the primary cause of the tragic decline in the value of Atari and its stock? :MULTIPLE CHOICE ANSWER: ---------------------- a - The deadly lack of a solid dealer network. b - Particularly poor dealer support. c - Little or no National sales efforts. d - The STe problem. e - The lack of advertising. f - The bad attitude of certain of Atari's representatives. g - The reputation Atari has built in the industry. h - A totally inept corporate leadership. i - Corporate leaders with inappropriate priorities. j - Outrageously high Jr. executive turnover k - ALL of the above. The real answer has been known by many of the industry analysts for quite some time. Many have expressed: "you cannot place this type of operation into the hands of those who are strict idealists and expect it to survive.. let alone be a success." While the Tramiel sons may have the 'best of educations' they certain- ly have shown that "experts in the computer business they are not." From the time they assumed relative freehanded control of Atari, there has been a foreboding attitude exhibited by them. Unfortunately, at the time the shining light of the ST and its successors the Mega 2 and 4 were a posi- tive distraction for what was slowly developing. For the last 36 months, there has been a steady procession of the brightest software and hardware developers away from the Atari ST arena. Granted, the same thing is happening in the other related arenas but nowhere near the scale it is happening in the Atari arena. Why? Although it would be nice to give a straight forward, easy answer, there really is none. Except perhaps, to reflect on the treatment both developers and dealers have received over the past three years. In no other platform has the dealer and the developer both been horsed around as much as they have in the Atari arena. The developers and dealers are like the oil fields and refineries are to the auto makers. Without the developers and dealers Atari computers will have nothing to run. Sure, there are those who say well, there are six thousand programs to use already in the ST arena. All this is well and good, but they are all dated and fast becoming examples of how programs "used to be written". For Atari computers to gain a decisive leading edge, programming for the Atari computers must be on the cutting edge of the future. There is no compromise here that is the way it is. Once in this position, Atari will enjoy the sales its excellent hardware should justifiably generate. There is no question, that Atari's hardware (except for the STe..eeek!) has an excellent track record. Now however, with the stock exchange going nuts. Atari's task has not been made any easier but it still can be done. The hardware speaks for itself. ITS GOOD STUFF. The company must put away the negative image it has established of being run by three vindictive, uncaring young men who have no idea what the real world is all about. There are those of us who know or, at least would like to believe that such is not the case, but when the bottom line is as plain as the value of the stock, there is little argument left. On the bright side, there will be sweeping changes made both in or- ganization and personnel and most should have occurred before Oct. 01, 1990. ______________________________________________________________ > Not That Bad.. STR Mail Call? Reader opinions reflected.... ============================ ctsy CIS 22472 S17/Community Square 23-Aug-90 23:32:45 Sb: #22463-Atari Profit/Loss Fm: TIM REYES 73377,220 To: Michael Arthur @ STR/CPU 72510,672 It doesn't appear that Atari has driven itself to Chapter 11. Teh quarterly report apparently didn't help its stock's value and so also the middle east crisis. The latter has damaged all high tech stocks. Although they lost alot in the Federate Group debacle and have had no design for pushing their pc computer further, it seems to me that it would take more to push it off the deep end. Furthermore, there are enough moles around so that we would know of something so wrong and urgent. My own feeling is that the Tramiel family is setting up the corpora- tion for putting it up for sale. For example putting the new fellow from Atari France in charge of the U.S., Canada and out of the Tramiel sons hands, might be one indication of their preparation. Also the development of the Atari TT with its unix (& TOS) capability, once on the market, might make the corporation much more marketable. The Tramiel sons could take there millions and easily start again, each in their own directions perhaps. If it goes up for sale, so to speak, from watching the stock of other bought out corporations in the past decade, it would seem to me that Atari stock would easily double it present value. And I agree that the upcoming holiday buying season and the imminent release of the TT will push the price up considerably. Tim Reyes __________________________________________________________________ > MS DOS?? STR Feature? An honest look by an ST'er ==================== So, What's the Big Deal? ======================= by Peter T. Szymonik Last month I faced a crisis. The Mega 4 was fine, but I couldn't use it! As her semester was drawing to a close, my fiancee confiscated the machine to finish her research papers. It was almost too much to bear. I couldn't log onto to networks, I couldn't write letters ... NO SPECTRE GCR!! The computer had become part of my daily routine, everyday for years I switched on the ST to check mail, read news, and to post messages. But the sacrifice was necessary, so I supplied the coffee and encouragement while she typed. The story continues.... Last year I was wandering around New York City doing freelance work while trying to decide what to do with my life. I landed a couple of jobs that required Mac knowledge and read through some Mac books and within a week I became a Mac "power user." The work was nice, the pay ok, but New York City ... , well let's just say that its hardly what I would call an ideal place to live and work. I soon realized that most New Yorkers spend their lives trying to get out of New York City, so I decided to escape while I still could and headed back for Connecticut. In Connecticut I landed computer jobs working for a non-profit company that helps American Indians, a law firms and also for ESPN (what a great place to work!) It became obvious that my Mac knowledge was in demand, but that it wouldn't be enough to keep me occupied full time in the corporate world. Kicking and screaming all the way, I started to learn MS-DOS. I know you're all in shock. I'll give you a few minutes. Strapping myself behind a Dell '286, within a few days I became part of the millions of lost souls who use this brain dead ten-year old, operating system. The situation was grim my friends, every day I dove deeper and deeper into the dark world of MS-DOS. I was lost, I was weak, then it happened. April 21st ... a Saturday ... at 11:23pm ... I saw the ad and I snapped, I grabbed the Visa card and did it. In a few minutes it was all over, I had bought Northgate Slimline '386. (Oh the shame!) My fate was sealed. The story you are about to read is true... This article is about the world of MS-DOS and my experiences on the other side of the fence. ST owners are forced to listen to all the MS-DOS people telling us how great MS-DOS is and what we're missing. We hear about '386 systems running at a blazing 20Mhz or more, fantastic screen resolutions that put the ST monitor to shame, and software that appears to be growing on trees. Well, I've been in the MS-DOS world for six months now and I'd like to give you a taste of what it's really like. This not to knock MS-DOS machines or to start a "my machine is better than your machine" argument, I did shell out over $3,500 on one of the suckers after all. This is simply to show that even the MS-DOS world is hardly the computer users paradise everyone makes it out to be. Lots of homework has to done before buying an MS-DOS machine without getting burned in the process. Armed with the latest issues of Computer Shopper, PC Magazine, and PC World, I started to shop for my dream system. Lesson Number One: forget the prices splattered all over the flashy multi-colored ads. By the time a decent system is put together the final price can easily be TWICE what ad says. Watch the small print and there is plenty of it. Choices in the ST world are simple. Pick a machine with the amount of memory you want or can afford, pick a color or monochrome monitor, buy a hard drive, and your off and running. Not so in the MS-DOS world. First you need to pick the type of processor you want to your system to run; 286? 386SX? 386? 486? PC magazines say the 286 is a dead end, or is it? Recent articles tell us that the latest crop of high speed 286 chips can outperform 386 chips. How about a 386SX? Everyone is pushing it as a low cost alternative to the 386, but is buying a crippled chip a smart move? Is a 486 worth the extra money? Articles are already showing up saying the 386 may be an orphan. Let's move on, pick the amount of memory you want, sorry, not that simple. When buying memory for an MS-DOS machine remember to consider such things as extended and expanded memory. Wait, before we go on, what speed chips do you want? Do you want SIMMS or have them on the mother- board? There is also carded memory if you'd prefer. Some applications are severe memory hogs, but remember that no matter how much memory the system has, the 640K DOS limit is always there starting you in the face! Well, lets skip that, what's next? Which operating system do we chose, MS-DOS 3.3 or 4.01? OS/2 is around the corner, Windows 3.0 is out. Be aware that some OS systems need LOTS of memory. With MS- DOS 4.01 you'll find some applications that just won't run because of the memory 4.01 requires. On the other hand some new memory- hungry applications require MS-DOS 4.01! Don't forget about extended memory (or is it ex- panded memory?) You can also throw some stuff into high memory, not the 640K high memory, the other high memory. Multitasking? That requires Desqview 386 or Windows 3.0 and lots of memory. Windows and OS/2 also require lots of memory, and applications designed to use them. Confused yet? Well, let's pick a monitor, that should be easy. VGA is the one to have, right? or is it Super VGA?? What's that? BOTH 800x600 and 1024x768 are Super VGA? What's this 8514/A everyone is talking about? What do you mean I have to be careful? If my monitor isn't standard, no software will take full advantage of it... What is the standard? You don't know ... well ok, I'll go with Super VGA because that's what everyone is advertising ... interlaced or non-interlaced? ARGH!! What does that mean? I need a VGA card, I knew that, 128K, 256K, or 512K!?! 'Cuse me?? I thought I could only use 640K under DOS!! That doesn't leave much room for programs! Huh? It's in protected memory not real memory?!? What does that mean?? ARGHH!! Remember that every "must have" option is another couple of hundred added to the final price... Mind you that you'd be *very* lucky to find a salesperson who understands all this and even more fortunate if he or she is willing to take the time to explain it all to you. Most vendors, even the reputable ones, will try to sell you a "standard" bundled system where they make all the decisions for you - bad move. You'll end of up a great system with many little annoyances they didn't tell you about, things like screen flicker, slow drive operation, etc. A color monitor with 1024 x 768 resolution may sound great - until you realize that its an interlaced monitor and its flicker drives you up the wall. The price on that "special" 100-meg drive may sound good to be true, and it is. When it arrives you discover the thing is a 5.25 inch full height monster running at 40ms! This is much more common than you may believe. I've seen NEC systems with four different types of hard drives under the hood running anywhere from 19 to 50ms! If you don't ask ques- tions about every component in your system there will be many nasty little surprises waiting for you when your system arrives. I skipped all the no-name companies, I didn't feel like taking a risk no matter what they said they'd give me "for free." I'd read too many horror stories about systems made from cheap parts, like motherboards that flap in the wind and three year old 200ns memory chips no one else wanted. I stayed with the big name companies that could afford the nice big ads in magazines like PC Magazine, Byte, and PC World. Companies like Zeos, Austin, Northgate, PC Brand, Sunnyvale Memories, to name a few. Then I hunted down some reviews and started reading. Armed with semi-intelligent questions, I started calling. Every vendor was very friendly and more than willing to sell me a system, but one company impressed me a lot, Northgate. Why? They answered the phone on the second ring and a human was on the other end of the line. The human then spent the next half hour answering every question I threw at him in gory detail. More than that, Northgate happily acknowledged that other companies offered lower prices! They listed them for me by name and explained the shortcuts they use to get those lower prices. The salesperson encouraged me to call the others and told me the questions I should ask: what brands of monitors do you use? What speed memory chips do you use and who is your supplier? What rating did the FCC give your machine, etc. VERY impressive! I called the other places and Northgate did seem to offer the best designed system for the money. So I ordered a '386 with a NEC 2A color Super VGA color monitor and two megs of RAM. Windows 3.0 and a MicroSoft mouse were promised to me as soon as MicroSoft shipped them and they arrived the week after MicroSoft publically announced availability. Total price: $2,900, ouch! [Note: When I ordered the demand for the Slimline was so great that it was backordered two weeks. Every Northgate is also assembled by hand and burned in for 48-hours before shipping. Northgate's president was obviously concerned about the situation, he personally called EVERY customer ordering the Slimline and offered his apologies for the wait!] Ok, the Northgate plug is over. The system arrived and was easy to setup. The documentation was typical - adequate, but hardly the easiest to follow. The entire computer industry could use good tech writers with NO computer background whatsoever, it would make life much easier! ......part 2 next week...... ________________________________________________________ > NE FEST!! STR SHOW NEWS? NEW ENGLAND ATARIFEST NEWS! ======================= //////NEW ENGLAND ATARIFEST '90\\\\\\ U*P*D*A*T*E 17-Aug-1990 Scheduled to attend: Atari Corp. In the personage of Bob Brodie, and anyone (or anything) he may bring along with him. Bob may be hosting a seminar, or at least one of his infamous question-and-answer sessions. BCS/Atari The Boston Computer Society's Atari Group will be there, and why shouldn't they? Not only is the BCS the world's largest computer interest group, they're also sponsoring this event. Bit Bucket The oldest surviving Atari dealer in Massachusetts, with locations in West Newton and Sudbury. The Bit Bucket will have a massive booth for the AtariFest, featuring software and hardware. The Bucket is also a Roland authorized dealer, so don't be surprised if the booth has a strong musical bent to it. Computer Zone A dealer, from North Attleboro, MA. Bob will be bringing a wide variety of software, magazines and other goodies. Fast Technology Jim Allen, everyone's favorite jovial techie will be there, fresh from his sojourn to Germany. Turbo16s and friendly tech-talk are expected in abundance. Jim is tentatively scheduled to host a seminar. More details as they become available. Granite Computers Hard Drives and modems for every occasion is the specialty of this company from out neighbor to the north: New Hampshire (did you think I meant Canada?). Gribnif Software Those "wild 'n crazy", desktop crusaders from Western Mass. will be on hand, undoubtedly with a good supply of NeoDesk 3: The Ultimate Desktop. Chor-Ming Lung The author of "Sheet", a commercial-quality shareware spreadsheet. Sheet has been called "The most powerful PD spreadsheet bar none" (ATARI ST USER magazine). NAACC "North Attleboro Atari Computer Club." A user group based in North Attleboro (you never would have guessed THAT, right?), MA. NaVAUS "The Nashoba Valley Atari Users Society," a user group from Massachusetts' Nashoba Valley (of course). Former- ly known as ABACUS (Acton-Boxboro Atari Computer Users Society). Nevin Shalit ST INFORMER's "Rumor City" columnist will be on hand for the 'Fest. Nevin may bring along copies of his mail-merge/person-tracking utility, Tracker/ST. Nevin is tentatively scheduled to host a seminar, either on Color DTP with PageStream, or on Tracker/ST, or maybe both! SSAG "South Shore Atari Group." A usergroup that began South of Boston, but whose membership has since grown to represent virtually the entire Greater Boston area, as well as portions of the NORTH Shore, and Southern New Hampshire. Syntronics The "only" Atari dealer physically located in Boston proper. John K. carries the full line, and is well- versed in the musical aspects of the Atari Experience. TidBit Software Jeff Lomicka, author of The "GOOD Backup Utility", will be on hand to discuss, well, "good" backup practices, and I'm sure he'll be more than happy to show you a certain utility that makes "good" backups practically second nature. Things are shaping up nicely...I DO hope you'll be able to join us! Remember the date: October 27, 1990, from 9:00am to 4:00pm, at the University of Massachusetts (Harbor Campus), Boston. See the previously uploaded announcement (NEA_ANNC.ARC, file #16141) for more details, or pursue the following options: GEnie: Send E-mail to D.ANDERSON22 or check Cat 11 Topic 20 in the ST RoundTable. DELPHI: Send E-mail to DPJ or NORMAN238, or check the SSAG area on DELPHI/Boston. BCS/Atari BBS: (617) 396-4607. 300/1200/2400/9600 baud, 24 hours. Write to: New England AtariFest '90 c/o The Boston Computer Society One Center Plaza Boston, MA 02108 __________________________________________________________________ > WAACE FALL/'90 STR SHOW NEWS? WAACE Updates & News ============================ WAACE AtariFest 90 update..... The following Vendors and Developers have committed to space in the Sales area of the WAACE AtariFest.... Alpha Systems Atari Corporation Best Electronics Branch Always (Canada) Chuck Levin Music Store Computer Digest D.A. Brumleve Debonair Diverse Data Products Double Click Software Frontier Software (United Kingdom) GEnie Goldleaf ICD Inc. Joppa L & Y Electronics SLICCware ST Informer Step Ahead Software Strata Software Toad Computers Wizworks Additional Developers will be at the show in the demo and seminar Rooms This Vendors/Developers include... ISD Marketing Gribnif Software ST Report Online Magazine (Ralph Mariano) Current Notes (Joe Waters) Seminars are scheduled as follows: Saturday 1100 Double Click Software 1200 Nathan Potechin Desktop Publishing with Calamus 1300 Bob Brodie 1400 Lauren Flanagan-Sellers Everything you've Wanted to know about Wordflair and Wordflair II 1500 Rick Flashman & Dan Wilga Neodesk 3: The Ultimate Desktop 1600 Ralph Mariano ST Report Online Magazine 1700 David Troy Mass Storage Devices Sunday 1100 Joe Waters Introduction to Desktop Publishing using Timeworks Publisher ST 1200 D.A. Brumleve Kid Prgs 1300 Atari Tech Person 1400 Darek Mihocka Software Acceleration 1500 TBD 1600 J. Wrotniak The Tools We Are Missing 1700 IAAD The Independent Association of Atari Developers (IAAD) Meet the Public In addition to the Seminar schedule Jim Pierson-Perry, Music/Midi editor of Start Magazine will be in the Midi Demo room. The banquet speaker will be Charles Johnson of Codehead Software. His topic will be "Atari Through the Looking Glass" See you at the Fest Russ Brown WAACE Chairman ____________________________________________________________ > PIRACY SUX II STR Spotlight? A reply.... =========================== "PIRACY IN EL PASO" =================== A Reply By Lloyd Pulley I just finished reading Tim Holt's interesting article about piracy in El Paso area. While I don't advocate piracy or pirate BBSes and while I have no doubt that the pirate BBS that Tim reported does exist, I do question some of the conclusions that Tim arrived at. His logic reminds me very much of Chicken Little's. Was it a piece of the sky or just a hunk of wood that hit Tim in the head? Is piracy the cause of all of of Tim's problems or are there other causes and piracy is just the one that hit him on the head? Let's examine some of Tim's "pieces of the sky"..... 1) "Jim and Tom at Jenkins' Computer Store feel that there have been 1,000 ST's sold in the El Paso area." - "In July, 1990, Jenkins' Computer Store sold 10 Atari programs." But what wasn't said is how many of these 1,000 units are still being used. Just 10 sales out of 1,000 customers does indeed sound bad but if the ST's are only in use in only 100 homes, then the 10 sales isn't too bad. How many of them belong to people that have moved out of the El Paso area? How many have been sold second-hand to people that wanted a second system for their homes? (People that have 2-5 ST's in their home only buy ONE piece of software to run on all their systems.) How many of them belong to people that shoved them into the closet. How many of them have been 'junked' and are just being used as spare parts? If El Paso is like the majority of the country, I would hazard a guess that there are only 400-500 homes that still have ST's in use...not the 1,000 originally sold. 2) "In July, 1990, Jenkins' Computer Store sold 10 Atari programs." a) "Jenkins' normally sells their software at full retail, but for a short period of time have offered a buy two and get one free." b) "....you see the $199 version of PageStream, 10 copies of Dragon's Lair, 15 copies of Space Ace, 2 copies of ChronoQuest II, Hammerfist... all sitting there, gathering dust, it becomes obvious what is going on." c) "I know you have been into Jenkins', looked at the selection, and said to yourself "Geesh, they have had that program sitting there for 2 years. Don't they get any NEW stuff?"" Let's take the last one first, it sounds as if Jenkins' has a wall full of old software. People get tired of seeing the same old, dusty software on the shelf week after week, these people are forced to start buying mail order so they can get the "latest and greatest" when it is first released and before it developes dust. I wonder why Jenkins' still has all of these old copies of unsaleable software? Haven't they ever heard of stock balancing? Most reputable software wholesalers allow you to return unsold stock (within a certain time period) and give the dealer credit for them. Yes, it is obvious what's going on. Jenkins' purchasing and sales policies are atrocious. When people can buy PageStream for $120-$140 from 20 different mail order houses (and probably get a newer version than the one that's been developing dust), why should they pay Jenkins' $199 (plus tax) for their old copy? Fifteen copies of Space Ace on hand shows that someone was a good sales person but it wasn't Jenkins'...it was their distributor. I've got news for Jenkins', once you lose a customer, it's hard to get them back, even with a short time sale. Especially one that forces a customer to buy three pieces of software to get the discount. People who have forced into buying their software via mail order and getting 30-50% discounts on ONE piece just aren't going to be that impressed with a 33% discount (plus sales tax) and be forced to buy three programs. Also, one thing that wasn't mentioned is that July and August are two of the worst months of the year for software sales...for any system. 3) There's little or no money in the new STE system. Atari has never been known as a company where dealers make a high markup on their hardware. It has been that way since day one and hasn't changed since then. Atari dealers make their money on selling software and additional hardware. But if you have chased most of your customers into the mail order market, you don't even have that profit any longer. 4) Why would they stop repairing St's? Simple: NO MONEY IN IT. Huh?? Repairs are one of the few areas where a dealer can still make money (see #3). According to Tim, there is no other place in El Paso to get ST's repaired and the next closest dealer is in Tucson. My local dealer keeps two full-time technicians busy, they are usually 4-14 days behind on repairs. This month his sales are down, on all the systems he carries, but his repair technicians are still busy. Why aren't these 1,000 customers, or even 400, coming to Jenkins' for their repairs? Could it be they have found some way to pirate the repairs (Tim and Jenkins' seem to want to blame the pirates for everything else)? I don't think so. Or could it be that.... a) There isn't 1,000 owners left in the El Paso area? Or even 400? b) Jenkins' repairs are too expensive? c) Jenkins' techs aren't reliable? ....I would lean towards the first option. 5) "The reason no one is buying is because the darn things are being given away free on pirate BBS's around town." Really? Is Tim saying that all 1,000 ST owners own modems and have access to the pirate BBSes? Locally we've found that less than 50% of our ST owners have modems. Oh I know, the 50% that have modems spread all of the software to the ones that don't have one. That would mean that 990 of the 1,000 ST owners in the El Paso area are "dyed in the wool" thieves and are all interconnected. I find that one hard to believe. Tim seems to be blissfully ignorant of the fact that there were probably MORE pirate ST BBSes around the country 2-4 years ago than there are today. But 2-4 years ago, dealers like Jenkins' were still selling a lot of software to ST owners. Tim implies that 99% of the ST owners are pirating all of their software today, why wasn't the same percentage pirating 2-4 years ago (did all of the honest ST owners sell their systems to crooks)? 6) "Tom and Jim can't figure out why the good customers from the past aren't coming in anymore to buy programs." a) "Clones are the way to go. Go in, ask Tom how many IBM software packages they sold last month. Then ask them how many ST packages they sold. You will be shocked." b) "You start selling less and less Atari software. It only makes sense. Start selling more and more IBM software, and IBM machines." As you take more and more of the store to sell clones, you give your ST customers less and less reason to shop there. Now figure in that much of your ST software is ancient, dusty and over-priced and you have another reason why people are not shopping there. Also, ask Tom and Jim how many of their current clone customers used to be ST customers (I bet they didn't subtract those users from the 1,000 figure). Tim says that Jenkins' is selling more IBM software than ST. Why? Don't they realize that for every ST pirate BBS, there are probably four pirate IBM boards? (I know of 4-5 pirate IBM boards here in Phoenix but I have only heard a rumor of one ST pirate board.) If the ST owners are not buying because they can get it free from pirate boards, why are the clone owners buying their software? They have more sources for "free" software than the ST owners do. I could continue but I think I've made my point. It's easy to blame the pirates for everything bad that's happened in the ST marketplace but if you do, you're imitating Chicken Little. While piracy is a problem for _all_ computer owners, no matter which brand, it is not THE problem in the ST market. Tim doesn't tell us how many ST systems that Jenkins' sold in the same month when they only sold 10 ST software packages but I'd wager that the number was very small. Tim doesn't tell us that back when Jenkins' was selling a lot of ST software, they were probably also selling 2-10 times as many ST systems every month as they currently do. Tim doesn't tell us that 80-90% of all software sales are made to new owners within 90 days of the purchase of their system. When there are no, or few, new owners, there are few software sales (how many terminal programs or word processors do _you_ need). Tim doesn't tell us why there are more IBM pirate boards around than ST boards but Jenkins' still seem to be able to sell software for the IBM/clones. Tim doesn't tell us that the _real_ problem is lack of sales, advertising and support from Atari. I wonder how many new pieces of ST software Tim has _bought_ (not given to him for reviews, etc.) in the last year and how many did he buy the first year that he owned his ST. ____________________________________________________________ > STReport CONFIDENTIAL? "BLOCKBUSTER ATARI NEWS FIRST!" ===================== - Moscow, USSR RUSSIAN PROGRAMMERS TO TRANSLATE CPU DOCS ------------ A Moscow-based youth computer center Variant is willing to translate computer docs to Russian for a small fee. Dimitry Pashkov, Variant's executive, expressed that "although other translation services are available, they are not Russian or employ people who have no idea of what a computer is, thus resulting in what looks like anything but software documentation," he said. - Sunnyvale Ca. BRODIE - "ON THE ROAD AGAIN!" ------------ I will be in Houston, appearing at The Atari Safari '90 Swap Meet on Saturday, Spetember 1, 1990. The Swap Meet will be held at the Quality Inn, located at Southwest Freeway (59) and Weslayan. For further information, please contact Bill Kithas, President of the Houston Atari Computer Enthusiasts at 713-855-0815 (home) or 713-650-1994 (office). Admission to the swap meet is FREE. User groups in the Houston area are encouraged to attend and have a table for the swap meet. The swap meet will run from 1:00PM-6:00PM. - Moscow, USSR INEXPENSIVE RUSSIAN-MADE ATARI SOFTWARE AVAILABLE ------------ According to Dimitry Pashkov, Variant, a youth computer center, has written several programs for the Atari computer and translated a dozen manuals into Russian for eager Atari users including disc interface, Russian spreadsheet/text editor, graphics editor, electronic secretary and games. "We try to keep our prices for these products and services as low as possible," Pashkov emphsized. - Sunnyvale, Ca. CERTAIN DEALERS ARE *ANGRY* ...WHY? ------------- A strange but very interesting story is circulating through the atari community. It goes like this, it seenms that B & C Computervisions and San Jose Computer are getting the COLD SHOULDER from certain atarifest representatives for having exhibited at the San Jose WOA show. We pur- posely have not mentioned any names here but.. These two dealers will be MORE THAN HAPPY to tell any interested party the whole story... give 'em a call. - Butte, Mo. PHONEY FAX ORIGINS NOW KNOWN ---------- A number of rather concerned parties, including the staff at STReport, have been activily investigating that "Phoney Fax" of a few weeks back. It seems that the finger pointing of J. Townsend of Atari Corp. was total- ly unwarranted and grossly irresposible. Townsend, in a message posted on GEnie insinuated that the "fax" had been uttered by one of the online magazines. At this time, we believe its only right and proper to allow time for the originator of the fax to come forward and offer an apology for the crummy tactic. If such does not come to pass, then and only then will the originator be identified by us along with our source of this information. And it would also be very proper for Atari's Townsend to come forth with an apology for his having wrongly accused the online magazines. __________________________________________________________ > Hard Disks STR InfoFile? Affordable Mass Storage.... ======================= EFFECTIVE: 08/27/90 NEW LOW PRICES! & MORE MODELS!! =============================== ABCO COMPUTER ELECTRONICS INC. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32236-6672 Est. 1985 _________________________________________ Voice: 904-783-3319 10 AM - 4 PM EDT BBS: 904-786-4176 12-24-96 HST FAX: 904-783-3319 12 PM - 6 AM EDT _________________________________________ HARD DISK SYSTEMS TO FIT EVERY BUDGET _____________________________________ All systems are complete and ready to use, included at NO EXTRA COST are clock/calendar and cooling blower(s). -ALL ABCO HARD DISK SYSTEMS ARE FULLY EXPANDABLE- (you are NOT limited to two drives ONLY!) (all cables and connectors installed) * ICD HOST ADAPTERS USED EXCLUSIVELY * OMTI HIGH SPEED CONTROLLERS * * ICD ADVANTAGE+ HOST ADAPTERS * FULL SCSI COMMAND SET SUPPORTED * * SCSI EMBEDDED CONTROLLER MECHANISMS * Conventional Shoe Box Model Description Autopark Price ================================================== SGN4951 51Mb 28ms 3.5" Y 519.00 SGN6177 62Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 619.00 SGN1096 85Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 649.00 SGN6277 120Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 889.00 SGN1296 168Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 1069.00 SGN4077 230Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 1669.00 ================================================== WE HAVE A COMPLETE LINE OF 3.5 LOW PROFILE HARD DRIVES for USE IN MEGA ST COMPUTERS AND RELATED CONFIGURATIONS. 20mb #AI020SC 379.95 30mb #AIO3OSC 419.95 50mb #AI050SC 449.95 65mb #AI065SC 499.95 85mb #AI085SC $559.95 MEGA ST Internal Hard Drives CONNOR HIGH PERFORMANCE MECHANISMS >>> ALL ABCO DRIVES ARE HIGH SPEED UNITS <<< (500 - 600k per sec @ 23 -33ms) CALL FOR SUPER SAVINGS ON ALL OUR OTHER CUSTOM UNITS FROM 30mb 28MS @ $419.00! Ask about our "REBATE SPECIALS" --==*==-- SHIPPING AND INSURANCE INCLUDED ============================================ * SYQUEST 44MB (#555)>> ABCO "44" << REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE * - SYQUEST 44 MB DRIVE - ICD ST ADVANTAGE PLUS H/A - ICD Utility Software - 3' DMA Cable - Fan & Clock - Multi-Unit Power Supply (1) 44 MB Syquest Cart. COMPLETELY ASSEMBLED AND READY TO RUN! --->> SPECIAL NOW ONLY __$719.00__ <<--- *** SPECIAL SYQUEST OFFER!! *** ORDER YOUR CUSTOM SYQUEST UNIT NOW AND GET A SECOND COMPLETE UNIT! ***** for $50.00 LESS! ***** * TWIN SYQUEST 44MB REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVES ... PROGRAMMER'S DELIGHT * SPECIALLY PRICED ** $1339.00 ** * SYQUEST 44MB REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE AND HARD DRIVE COMBINATIONS * - Syquest 44 Model  and the following hard drives - 50mb SQG51 $1079.00 30mb SQG38 $1039.00 65mb SQG09 $1119.00 85mb SQG96 $1129.00 LOWBOY - STANDARD - DUAL BLOWER CABINETS SIDE BY SIDE - TOWER CABINETS CUSTOM CONFIGURATIONS AVAILABLE Listed above are a sampling of the systems available. Prices also reflect various cabinet/power supply configurations (over sixty configurations are available, flexibility is unlimited) *** ALL Units: Average Access Time: 24ms - 34ms *** ALL UNITS COMPATIBLE WITH --> SUPERCHARGER - PC-DITTO/II - SPECTRE/GCR LARGER units are available - (special order only) NO REPACKS OR REFURBS USED! - Custom Walnut WOODEN Cabinets - TOWER - AT - XT Cabinets - Keyboard Custom Cables Call for Info ALL POWER SUPPLIES UL APPROVED -* 12 month FULL Guarantee *- (A FULL YEAR of COVERAGE) QUANTITY & USERGROUP DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE! _________________________________________ DEALERS and DISTRIBUTORS WANTED! please, call for details Personal and Company Checks are accepted. ORDER YOUR NEW UNIT TODAY! CALL: 1-800-562-4037 -=**=- CALL: 1-904-783-3319 Customer Orders ONLY Customer Service 9am - 8pm EDT Tues thru Sat ********************************************************************** :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT: _________________________________ To sign up for GEnie service: Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. **** SIGN UP FEE WAIVED **** The system will now prompt you for your information. ********************************************************************** > A "Quotable Quote"? ================= "You can fool some of the people all of the time.. and all of the people some of the time... but NEVER all of the people all of the time!" .......Honest Abe -------------------------------------------------------------------------- STReport? "Your Independent News Source" August 24, 1990 16/32bit Magazine copyright = 1990 No.6.34 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors, staff, STReport? CPU/STR? or ST Report?. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Each reprint must include the name of the publication, date, issue # and the author's name. The entire publication and/or portions therein may not be edited in any way without prior written permission. The contents, at the time of publication, are believed to be reasonably accurate. The editors, contributors and/or staff are not responsible for either the use/misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. --------------------------------------------------------------------------
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