ST Report: 08-Mar-91 #710From: Ed Krimen (al661@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 03/28/91-11:39:45 AM Z
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From: al661@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Ed Krimen) Subject: ST Report: 08-Mar-91 #710 Date: Thu Mar 28 11:39:45 1991 *---== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" from STR Publishing Inc. """""""""""""""""" March 08, 1991 No.7.10 ========================================================================== STReport International Online Magazine? Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 ~ 6672 R.F. Mariano Publisher - Editor ----------------------------------------- Voice: 904-783-3319 10 AM - 4 PM EST BBS: 904-786-4176 USR/HST DUAL STANDARD FAX: 904-783-3319 12 AM - 6 AM EST ----------------------------------------- ** Fnet 350 * Fido Node 1:112/35 * NeST Node 90:3000/350.0 ** privately owned & operated STReport support BBS ALL issues of STReport International Online Magazine are available along with A worldwide list of private bbs systems carrying STReport __________________________________________________________________ > 03/08/91: STReport? #7.10 The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine! ------------------------- - The Editor's Desk - CPU REPORT - MAC REPORT - ERASABLE OPTICS - MAC TOWER 040! - MIST ATARI SHOW - TOS 1.62 INFO - GLENDALE SHOW - NEWDESK INFO - EXTENSIBLE CP - MAC CUTS PRICES - STR Confidential * IN-DEPTH MEGA STE REPORT! * * MAXIFILE 3.0 RELEASED! * * SPA STRIKES AGAIN! * ========================================================================== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE? The _Number One_ Online Magazine -* FEATURING *- "UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Hot Tips, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports ========================================================================== STReport's support BBS, NODE # 350 invites systems using Forem ST and Turbo Board BBS to participate in the Fido/F-Net Mail Network. Or, call Node 350 direct at 904-786-4176, and enjoy the excitement of exchanging information relative to the Atari ST computer arena through an excellent International ST Mail Network. All registered F-NET - Crossnet SysOps are welcome to join the STReport Crossnet Conference. The Crossnet Conference Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is # 350. All systems are most welcome to actively participate. Support Atari Computers; Join Today! ========================================================================== AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON: GENIE ~ CIS ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ F-NET ========================================================================== > The Editor's Podium? This week's issue is busy enough without me boring the readers with a bunch of talk here. However, I must bring your attention to our new feature column under the very capable guidance of Bob Allbritton, Mac- Report. MCR for short, will explore the Mac world and its relationship with the userbase in the ST arena. Be sure to check it out and let us hear from you too! The Atari world is on the rebound, new machines new software and fabulous upgrades are all in the pipelines at this time. Show news is rather heavy this week with news coming in from different areas of the country. The shows are getting set to "entertain" you! Reports are filtering in that over 180 TT030 machines have shipped this past week and .... A BIG shipment of Mega STe units are about to leave the factory on their way to the USA. Most distributors are now hard pressed to keep 1040STe units stock. They are selling very well. The Atari marketplace is definitely perking up. Pssst, don't tell anyone but Pagestream 2.xxxx is lookin' real good! Coming soon to a DTP system near you. Thanks for your continued support! Ralph...... STReport - TODAY'S NEWS ..TODAY! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > STReport's Staff The regulars and this week's contributors! ================ Publisher - Editor ------------------ Ralph F. Mariano Staff Editors: -------------- Michael Arthur Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. Dana P. Jacobson Lucien Oppler Brad Martin Walter Daniel Oscar Steele Robert Allbritton Contributing Correspondants: ---------------------------- Michael Lee Richard Covert Roger Stevens Brian Converse Oliver Steinmeier Ed Krimen IMPORTANT NOTICE ================ Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc... via E-Mail to: Compuserve.................... 70007,4454 GEnie......................... ST.REPORT Delphi........................ RMARIANO BIX........................... RMARIANO NEST.......................... 90:19/350.0 FIDONET....................... 112/35 FNET.......................... NODE 350 """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE COMPUSERVE WILL PRESENT $15.00 WORTH OF COMPLIMENTARY ONLINE TIME to the Readers of; ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL 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! WHAT'S NEW IN THE ATARI FORUMS (March 8) NEW DEMO PROGRAM An EXCELLENT STe 4096 color/stereo demo program from Sweden is available in the Atari Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS) LIBRARY 1 as ANCOOL.ARC. CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT The transcript from the February 21st conference with Sam Tramiel is available in last weeks issue of STReport. Download STR708.ARC from LIBRARY 1 of the Atari Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS) in case you missed it. GRIBNIF AND LEXICOR JOIN VENDORS FORUM Please, join us in welcoming GRIBNIF SOFTWARE and LEXICOR SOFTWARE to the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN)! Message Section 8 and Library 8 will be used by GRIBNIF SOFTWARE. Messages to them should be addressed to User ID number 75300,1131. Message Section 9 and Library 9 will be used by LEXICOR SOFTWARE. Messages to them should be addressed to User ID number 75300,763. DOUBLE CLICK CONTEST Double Click Software announces the start of their NAME THE SOFTWARE CONTEST. Win a copy of their newest release! See the file CONTST.TXT in LIBRARY 13 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN). UPDATE FROM ICD The latest version of ICD's Host Adapter software is now available in LIBRARY 7 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN). See ICDHST.ARC for the complete distribution disk. NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE *********************************************************************** > CPU REPORT? Issue #102 ---------- by Michael Arthur CPU INSIGHTS? ============ THEORIES BEHIND GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACES IN COMPUTERS ====================================================== In 1988, Tim Oren wrote a series of articles called the "Professional GEM" series, in order to teach aspiring ST GEM programmers needed tips on the internals of writing GEM Applications. In this essay, Tim Oren has provided a great source of knowledge about both the very ideas that GEM and Mac Finder are based on, and information that could be very helpful in designing User Interfaces for applications. ANTIC PUBLISHING INC. COPYRIGHT 1988 REPRINTED BY PERMISSION. Professional GEM by Tim Oren Column #8 - User Interfaces, Homily #1 AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! In response to a number of requests, this installment of ST PRO GEM will be devoted to examining a few of the principles of computer/human interface design, or "religion" as some would have it. I'm going to start with basic ergonomic laws, and try to draw some conclusions which are fairly specific to designing for the ST. If this article meets with general approval, further "homilies" may appear at irregular intervals as part of the ST PRO GEM series. For those who did NOT ask for this topic, it seems fair to explain why your diet of hard-core technical information has been interrupted by a sermon! As a motivater, we might consider why some programs are said by reviewers to have a "hot" feel (and hence sell well!) while others are "confusing" or "boring". Alan Kay has said that "user interface is theatre". I think we may be able to take it further, and suggest that a successful program works a bit of magic, persuading the user to suspend his disbelief and enter an imaginary world behind the screen, whether it is the mathematical world of a spreadsheet, or the land of Pacman pursued by ghosts. A reader of a novel or science fiction story also suspends disbelief to participate in the work. Bad grammar and clumsy plotting by the author are jarring, and break down the illusion. Similarly, a programmer who fails to pay attention to making his interface fast and consistent will annoy the user, and distract him from whatever care has been lavished on the functional core of the program. CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE Before launching into the discussion of user interface, I should mention that the general treatment and many of the specific research results are drawn from Card, Newell, and Moran's landmark book on the topic, which is cited at the end of the article. Any errors in interpretation and application to GEM and the ST are entirely my own, however. FINGERTIPS We'll start right at the user's fingers with the basic equation governing positioning of the mouse, Fitt's Law, which is given as T = I * LOG2( D / S + .5) where T is the amount of time to move to a target, D is the distance of the target from the current position, and S is the size of the target, stated in equivalent units. LOG2 is the base 2 (binary) logarithm function, and I is a proportionality constant, about 100 milliseconds per bit, which corresponds to the human's "clock rate" for making incremental movements. We can squeeze an amazing amount of information out of this formula when attempting to speed up an interface. Since motion time goes up with distance, we should arrange the screen with the usual working area near the center, so the mouse will have to move a smaller distance on average from a selected object to a menu or panel. Likewise, any items which are usually used together should be placed together. The most common operations will have the greater impact on speed, so they should be closest to the working area and perhaps larger than other icons or menu entries. If you want to have all other operations take about the same time, then the targets farthest from the working area should be larger, and those closer may be proportionately smaller. Consider also the implications for dialogs. Small check boxes are out. Large buttons which are easy to hit are in. There should be ample space between selectable items to allow for positioning error. Dangerous options should be widely separated from common selections. MUSCLES Anyone who has used the ST Desktop for any period of time has probably noticed that his fingers now know where to find the File menu. This phenomenon is sometimes called "muscle memory", and its rate of onset is given by the Power Law of Practice: T(n) = T(1) * n ** (-a) where T(n) is the time on the nth trial, T(1) is the time on the first trial, and a is approximately 0.4. (I have appropriated ** from Fortran as an exponentiation operator, since C lacks one.) This first thing to note about the Power Law is that it only works if a target stays in the same place! This should be a potent argument against rearranging icons, menus, or dialogs without some explicit request by the user. The time to hit a target which moves around arbitrarily will always be T(1)! In many cases, the Power Law will also work for sequences of operations to even greater effect. If you are a touch typist, you can observe this effect by comparing how fast you can enter "the" in comparison to three random letters. We'll come back shortly to consider what we can do to encourage this phenomenon. EYES Just as fingers are the way the user sends data to the computer, so the eyes are his channel from the machine. The rate at which information may be passed to the user is determined by the "cycle time" of his visual processor. Experimental results show that this time ranges between 50 and 200 milliseconds. Events separated by 50 milliseconds or less are always perceived as a single event. Those separated by more than 200 milliseconds are always seen as separate. We can use these facts in optimizing user of the computer's power when driving the interface. Suppose your application's interface contains an icon which should be inverted when the mouse passes over it. We now know that flipping it within one twentieth of a second is necessary and sufficient. Therefore, if a "first cut" at the program achieves this performance, there is no need for further optimization, unless you want to interleave other operations. If it falls short, it will be necessary to do some assembly coding to achieve a smooth feel. On the other hand, two actions which you want to appear distinct or convey two different pieces of information must be separated by an absolute minimum of a fifth of a second, even assuming that they occur in an identical location on which the user's attention is already focused. We are able to influence the visual processing rate within the 50 to 200 millisecond range by changing the intensity of the stimulus presented. This can be done with color, by flashing a target, or by more subtle enhancements such as bold face type. For instance, most people using GEM soon become accustomed to the "paper white" background of most windows and dialogs. A dialog which uses a reverse color scheme, white letters on black, is visually shocking in its starkness, and will immediately draw the user's eyes. It should be quickly added that stimulus enhancement will only work when it unambiguously draws attention to the target. Three or four blinking objects scattered around the screen are confusing, and worse than no enhancement at all! SHORT-TERM MEMORY Both the information gathered by the eyes and movement commands on their way to the hand pass through short-term memory (also called working memory). The amount of information which can be held in short-term memory at any one time is limited. You can demonstrate this limit on yourself by attempting to type a sheet of random numbers by looking back and forth from the numbers to the screen. If you are like most people, you will be able to remember between five and nine numbers at a time. So universal is this finding that it is sometimes called "the magic number seven, plus or minus two". This short-term capacity sets a limit on the number of choices which the user can be expected to grasp at once. It suggests that the number of independent choices in a menu, for instance, should be around seven, and never exceed nine. If this limit is violated, then the user will have to take several glances, with pauses to think, in order to make a choice. CHUNKING The effective capacity of short-term memory can be increased when several related items are mentally grouped as a "chunk". Humans automatically adopt this strategy to save themselves time. For instance, random numbers had to be used instead of text in the example above, because people do not type their native language as individual characters. Instead, they combine the letters into words and remember these chunks instead. Put another way, the characters are no longer considered as individual choices. A well designed interface should promote the use of chunking as a strategy by the user. One easy way is to gather together related options in a single place. This is one reason that like commands are grouped into a single menu which is hidden except for its title. If all of the menu options were "in the open", the user would be overwhelmed with dozens of alternatives at once. Instead, a "Show Info" command, for instance, becomes two chunks: pick File menu, then pick Show. Sometimes the interface can accomplish the chunking for the user. Consider the difference between a slider bar in a GEM program, and a three digit entry field in a text mode application. Obviously, the GEM user has fewer decisions to make in order to set the associated variable. THINK! While we are puttering around trying to speed up the keyboard, the mouse, and the screen, the user is actually trying to get some work done. We need to back off now, and look at the ways of thinking, or cognitive processes, that go into accomplishing the job. The user's goal may be to enter and edit a letter, to retrieve information from a database, or simply draw a picture, but it probably has very little to do with programming. In fact, the Problem Space Principle says that the task can be described as a set of states of knowledge, a set of operators and associated constraints for changing the states, and the knowledge to choose the appropriate operator, which resides in the user's head. Those with a background in systems theory can consider this as a somewhat abstract, but straightforward, statement in terms of state variables and operators. A programmer might compare the knowledge states to the values of variables, the operators to arithmetic and logic operations, the constraints to the rules of syntax, and the user's knowledge to the algorithm embodied by a program. ARE WE NOT MEN? A rational person will try to attain his goals (get the job done) by changing the state of his problem space from its initial state to the goal state. The initial state, for instance, might be a blank word processor screen. The desired final state is to have a completed business letter on the screen. The Rationality Principle says that the user's behavior in typing, mousing, and so on, can be explained by considering the tasks required to achieve the goal, the operators available to carry out the tasks, and the limitations on the user's knowledge, observations, and processing capacity. This sounds like the typical user of a computer program must spend a good deal of time scratching his head and wondering what to do next. In fact, one of Card and Moran's key results is that this is NOT what takes place. What happens, in fact, is that the trained user strikes a sort of "modus vivendi" with his tool and adopts a set of repetitive, trained behavior patterns as the best way to get the job done. He may go so far as to ignore some functions of the program in order to set up a reliable pattern. What we are looking for is a way of measuring and predicting the "quality" of this trained behavior. Since using computers is a human endeavor, we should consider not only the speed with which the task is completed, but the degree of annoyance or pleasure associated with the process. Card and Moran constructed a series of behavioral models which they called GOMS models, for Goals-Operators-Methods-Selection. These models suggested that in the training process the user learned to combine the basic operators in sequences (chunks!) which then became methods for reaching the goals. Then these first level methods might be combined again into second level methods, and so forth, as the learning progressed. The GOMS models were tested in a lengthy series of trials at Xerox PARC using a variety of word processing software. (Among the subjects of these experiments were the inventors of the windowing methods used in GEM!) The results were again surprising: the level of detail in the models was really unimportant! It turned out to be sufficient to merely count up the number of keystrokes, mouse movements, and thought intervals required by each task. After summing up all of the tasks, any extra time for the computer to respond, or the user to move his hands from keyboard to mouse, or eyes from screen to printed page is added in. This simplified version is called the Keystroke-Level Model. As an example of the Keystroke Model, consider the task of changing a mistyped letter on the screen of a GEM word processor. This might be broken down as follows: 1) find the letter on the screen; 2) move hand to mouse; 3) point to letter; 4) click mouse button; 5) move hand to keyboard; 6) strike "Delete" key; 7) strike key for new character. The sufficiency of the Keystroke Model is great news for our attempt to design faster interfaces. It says we can concentrate our efforts on minimizing the number of total actions to be taken, and making sure that each action is as fast as possible. We have already discussed some ways to speed up the mouse and keyboard actions, so let's now consider how to speed up the thought intervals, and cut the number of actions. One way to cut down "think time" is to make sure that the capacity of short-term memory is not exceeded during the course of a task. For example, the fix-a-letter task described above required the user to remember 1) his place in the overall job of typing the document; 2) the task he is about to perform; 3) where the bad character appeared, and 4) what the new character was. When this total of items creeps toward seven, the user often loses his place and commits errors. You can appreciate the ubiquity of this problem by considering how many times you have made mistakes nesting parentheses, or had to go back to count them, because too many things happened while typing the line to remember the nesting levels. The moral is that operations with long strings of operands should be avoided when designing an interface. The single most important factor in making an interface comfortable to use is increasing its predictability, and decreasing the amount of indecision present at each step during a task. There is (inevitably) an Uncertainty Principle which relates the number of choices at each step to the associated time for thought: T = I * LOG2 ( N + 1) where LOG2 is the binary logarithm function, N is the number of equally probable choices, and I is a constant of approximately 140 msec/bit. When the alternates are not equally probable, the function is more complex: T = I * SUM-FOR-i-FROM-1-TO-N (P(i) * LOG2( 1 / P(i) + 1) ) where the P(i) are the probabilities of each of the choices (which must sum to one). (SUM-FOR-i... is the best I can do for a sigma operator on-line!) Those of you with some information theory background will recognize this formula as the entropy of the decision; we'll come back to that later. So what can we learn from this hash? It turns out, as we might expect, that we can decrease the decision time by making some of the user's choices more probable than others. We do that by means of feedback cues from the interface. The important of reliable, continuous meaningful feedback cannot be emphasized enough. It helps the beginner learn the system, and its predictability makes the program comfortable for the expert. Programs with no feedback, or unreliable cues, produce confusion, dissonance, and frustration in the user. This principle is so important that I going to give several examples from common GEM practice. The Desktop provides several instances. When an object is selected and a menu drops down, only those choices which are legal for the object are in black. The others are dimmed to grey, and are therefore removed from the decision. When a pick is made from the menu, the bar entry remains black until the operation is complete, reassuring the user that the correct choice was made. In both the Desktop and the RCS, items which are double-clicked open up with a "zoom box" from the object, again showing that the right object was picked. Other techniques are useful when operator icons are exposed on the screen. When an object is picked, the legal operations might be outlined, or the bad choices might be dimmed. If the screen flashing produced by this is objectionable, the legal icons can be made mouse sensitive, so they will "light up" when the cursor passes over - again showing the user which choices are legal. The desire for feedback is so strong that it should be provided even while the computer is doing an operation on its own. The hour glass mouse form is a primitive example of this. More sophisticated are "progress indicators" such as animated thermometer bars, clocks, or text displays of the processing steps. The ST Desktop provides examples in the Format and Disk Copy functions. The purpose of all of these is to reassure the user that the operation is progressing normally. Their lack can lead to amusing spectacles such as secretaries leaning over to hear if their disk drives are working! Another commonly overlooked feature is error prevention and correction. Card and Moran's results showed that in order to go faster, people will tolerate error rates of up to 30% in their work. Any program which does not give a fast way to fix mistakes will be frustrating indeed! The best way to cope with an error is to "make it didn't happen", to quote a common child's phrase. The same feedback methods discussed above are also effective in preventing the user from picking inappropriate combinations of objects and operations. Replacement of numeric type-ins with sliders or other visual controls eliminates the common "Range Error". The use of radio buttons prevents the user from picking incompatible options. When such techniques are used consistently, the beginner also gains confidence that he may explore the program without blundering into errors. Once an error has occured, the best solution is to have an "inverse operation" immediately available. For instance, the way to fix a bad character is to hit the backspace key. If a line is inadvertantly deleted, there should be a way to restore it. Sometimes the mechanics of providing true inverses are impractical, or end up cluttering the interface themselves. In these cases, a global "Undo" command should be provided to reverse the effect of the last operation, no matter what it was. OF MODES AND BANDWIDTH Now I am going to depart from the Card, Newell and Moran thread of discussion to consider how we can minimize the number of operations in a task by altering the modes of the interface. Although "no modes" has been a watchword of Macintosh developers, the term may need definition for Atarians. Simply stated, a mode exists any time you cannot get to all of the capabilities of the program without taking some intermediate step. Familiar examples are old-style "menu-driven" programs, in which user must make selections from a number of nested menus in order to perform any operation. The options of any one menu are unavailable from the others. Recall that the user is trying to accomplish work in his own problem space, by altering its states. A mode in the program adds additional states to the problem space, which he is forced to consider in order to get the job done. We might call an interface which is completely modeless "transparent", because it adds no states between the user and his work. One of the best examples of a transparent program is the 15-puzzle in the Macintosh desk accessory set. The problem space of rearranging the tiles is identical between the program and a physical puzzle. Unfortunately, most programmers find themselves forced to put modes of some sort into their programs. These often arise due to technological limitations, such as memory space, screen "real estate", or performance limitations of peripherals. The question is how the modes can be made least offensive. I will make the general claim that the frustration which a mode produces is directly proportional to the amount of the user's bandwidth which it consumes. In other words, we need to consider how many keystrokes, mouse clicks, eye movements, and so on, are going into manipulating the true problem states, and how many are being absorbed by the modes of the program. If the interface is wasting a large amount of the user's effort, it will be perceived as slow and annoying. Here we can consider again the hierarchy of goals and methods which the user employs. When the mode is low in the hierarchy, and close to the user's "fingertips", it is encountered the most frequently. For instance, consider how frustrating it would be to have to hit a function key before typing in each character! The "menu-driven" style of programs mentioned above are almost as bad, since usually only one piece of information is collected at each menu. Such a program becomes a labyrinth of states better suited to an adventure game! The least offensive modes are found at the higher, goal related levels of the hierarchy. The better they align with changes in the state of the original problem, the more they are tolerated. For example, a word processing program might have one screen layout for program editing, another for writing letters, and yet another while printing the documents. A multi-function business package might have one set of menus for the spreadsheet, another for a graphing module, and a third for a database. In some cases the problem solved by the program has convenient "fracture lines" which can be used to define the modes. An example in my own past is the RCS, where the editing of each type of resource tree forms its own mode, with each of the modes nested within the overall mode and problem of composing the entire resource tree. TO DO IS TO BE! Any narrative description of user interface is bound to be lacking. There is no way text can convey the vibrancy and tactile pleasure of a good interface, or the sullen boredom of a bad one. Therefore, I encourage you to experiment. Get out your favorite arcade game and see if you can spot some of the elements I have described. Dig into your slush pile for the most annoying program you have ever seen, run it and see if you can see mistakes. How would you fix them? Then... go do it to your own program! AMEN... This concludes the sermon. I'd like some Feedback as to whether you found this Boring Beyond Belief or Really Hot Stuff. If enough people are interested, homily number two will appear a few episodes from now. The very next installment of ST PRO GEM will go back to basics to explore VDI drawing primitives. In the meantime, you might investigate some of the Good Books on interface design referenced below. REFERENCES Stuart K. Card, Thomas P. Moran, and Allen Newell, THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, New Jersey, 1983. (Fundamental and indispensible. The volume of experimental results make it weighty. The Good Parts are at the beginning and end.) "Macintosh User Interface Guidelines", in INSIDE MACINTOSH, Apple Computer, Inc., 1984. (Yes, Atarians, we have something to learn here. Though not everything "translates", this is a fine piece of principled design work. Read and appreciate.) James D. Foley, Victor L. Wallace, and Peggy Chan, "The Human Factors of Computer Graphics Interaction Techniques", IEEE Computer Graphics (CG & A), November 1984, pp. 13-48. (A good overview, including higher level topics which I have postponed to a later article. Excellent bibliography.) J. D. Foley and A. Van Dam, FUNDAMENTALS OF INTERACTIVE COMPUTER GRAPHICS, Addison Wesley, 1984, Chapters 5 and 6. (If you can't get the article above, read this. If you are designing graphics apps, buy the whole book! Staggering bibliography.) Ben Schneidermann, "Direct Manipulation: A Step Beyond Programming Languages", IEEE Computer, August 1983, pp. 57-69. (What do Pacman and Visicalc have in common? Schneidermann's analysis is vital to creating hot interfaces. ______________________________________________________ > CPU STATUS REPORT? LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS ================= Issue #11 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. - Moscow, U.S.S.R. NEW SOVIET VIRUS PLAYS MUSIC ---------------- While playing the Soviet hymn, three Soviet IBM PC viruses are busy destroying data on Russian hard drives. The three clones are thought to have been coded by Soviet programmers and started to appear late last year. It appears that Russian programming talent is every bit as skilful at creating destructive programs as Western programmers. - Washington, D.C. SPA STRIKES AGAIN! --------------- Last week the Software Publishers Association (SPA) reported a settle- ment with Davy McKee Corp. concerning illegal use of software (CPU Status Report #10), this week the SPA has announced a raid on Parametrix Corp., an engineering consulting firm, that "unveiled a substantial number of illegal copies of software in use." After obtaining an exparte writ of seizure and a temporary restraining order, on February 26, the SPA's attorneys, along with some federal marshals paid a surprise visit to the Bellevue and Sumner locations of Parametrix and conducted an audit of the personal computers at these locations. SPA Executive Director Ken Wasch said, "The raid on Parametrix is part of the industry's stepped-up campaign against software piracy in corporate America. The SPA now receives dozens of piracy reports each week, and we are filing new lawsuits every few days." - Los Altos, California ERASABLE OPTICAL STORAGE FOR SUNS --------------------- A 562mb Ricoh RO-5030EII rewritable optical disk drive for Sun Work- stations has been introduced by Delta Microsystems. The Delta SS-650M features an average access time of 67 milliseconds, uses a 256k hardware cache memory to speed data transfer and will come with software that will prevent the disk from being removed while a file is still being used on the system, a major cause of system crashes. - Cupertino, California APPLE SUPPORTS SNA FOR MAC TO PC LINKS --------------------- To allow the Macintosh to more easily communicate with PC's, Apple has announced it will support IBM's new systems network architecture (SNA) extensions. This means that future Mac systems will be able to link to IBM SNA-compatible networks using SNA protocols using full protocol and peer system technology. - Fremont, California NEW "SUPERDRIVE" AVAILABLE FOR THE OLDER MACS -------------------- Now owners of older Macs which did not come with Superdrives can have the ability to handle 400k, 800k and 1.4mb Macintosh floppy disks along with 720k and 1.4mb MS-DOS floppy disks with the new Peripheral Land Inc. SuperFloppy 1.4MB external floppy drive. The SuperFloppy drive requires no ROM upgrades, it just plugs straight into the SCSI port. When the drive is used with Apple File Exchange, MS-DOS formatted diskettes can be read and when used with Insignia Solution's Access PC software, MS-DOS 720k and 1.4mb floppy disks can be mounted on the desktop. The SuperFloppy 1.4 comes with a one year warranty and is listed at $499. - San Jose, California GRAPHIC ACCELERATOR AVAILABLE -------------------- A two chip chipset, the Programmable Universal Macro Accelerator (PUMA), which acts like a coprocessor and accelerates graphic intensive operations, has been announced by Chips and Technologies. The company reports a three to ten-fold increase in performance for complex graphics and reported that PUMA is transparent to both the application software and the rest of the system. PUMA was designed for both Industry Standard Architecture and Enhanced Industry Standard bus standards. - Eagan, Minnesota MORE POWERFUL CRAYS ---------------- Cray Research has introduced the two most powerful supercomputers that have been built to date, the Y-MP8E and YMP8I. They integrate up to 8 central processors and have up to 256 megawords of central memory with an optional solid-state storage device that can handle up to 2,000 million words. Prices will range from $9.8 - $23.7 million. - Dallas, Texas NEW GATE ARRAY CHIP FROM TI ------------- A new gate array chip with 150,000 gates has been announced by Texas Instruments. The TGB1000 will be able to replace entire circuit boards and uses the new BiCMOS (bi-polar complemented metal-oxide semi- conductor) technology to achieve both high component densities as well as high speeds. - Redmond, Washington 6,000,000 MICE SOLD BY MICROSOFT ------------------- Microsoft has announced the sale of its six millionth mouse. The sales figures show that two million have been shipped since the introduction of Windows 3 last May with almost half the buyers choosing to get a Microsoft mouse along with Windows 3. - Mountain View, California NEW TYPE SCALING FONTS FROM ADOBE ------------------------- 'Multiple master' typefaces has been introduced by Adobe System, originators of the PostScript page description language. This new type scaling technology is designed to give users greater control over the appearance of text and will allow them to vary a typeface's appearance instead of being forced to use a pre-set collection of fonts. Instead of being able just to scale size, users will now be able to adjust: weight (boldness or lightness), width (condensation or expansion), scale (size), and style (including elements such as serifing or italicizing). - Mountain View, California ADOBE SETTLES PATENT SUIT ------------------------- Adobe Systems, which owns PostScript, and Electronics for Imaging Inc. (EFI) have settled a dispute over the way in which the latest version of PostScript page description language handled color. Under the agreement between Adobe and EFI, EFI will get a license to use PostScript, and Adobe has made an investment of undisclosed size in EFI. - Santa Ana, California 1ST SPEECH SYNTHESIS FOR WINDOWS 3 --------------------- One of the first text-to-speech systems for Windows 3 and OS/2 has been announced by First Byte. Monologue will premier in beta test versions in early March. Monologue is a $149 memory resident program that speaks on-screen text in non-graphics windows either for vision-impaired users, speech-impaired users, or those who want to listen to text while performing other tasks. - Stamford, Connecticut OVER 1/2 OF US HOUSEHOLDS DON'T --------------------- USE PC, FAX OR CELLULAR PHONES According to a survey of 45,000 U.S. households done by Comtec Market Analysis Services of the Gartner Group, 52% of Americans haven't used a PC, fax machine or cellular phone, either at home or at work. Only 3% of households use all 3 technologies while cellular phones are in 7% and 42% use PCs. *********************************************************************** :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. -> NOW! GENIE STAR SERVICE IS IN EFFECT!! <- *********************************************************************** > MIST STR SHOW NEWS MIST Plans AtariFest III ================== MIST PLANS ATARIFEST III ======================== Indianapolis, IN July 27,1991 For a third year, an AtariFest is planned at Indianapolis, Indiana on Saturday, July 27th, sponsored jointly by the user groups at Indianapolis and Bloomington known as MIST (Mid-Indiana ST). The show was formerly titled the MIST SwapFest, and took place in Nashville, Indiana. While Nashville is a lovely and scenic place, we thought if our show was to live up to it's true potential, we would have to relocate to Indianapolis, where we could find a larger venue. For swap, for sale or just for display... whether it's 8-bit or ST... even game machines... all are invited to bring software, hardware, gadg- ets, accessories, books, magazines, etc. Commercial sales and displays also are invited. Past shows have seen folks like D.A.Brumleve, SKWare One, AIM, MS Designs, Computer Works, Cal Com, One Stop, T&H, and others. Last year's show was quite successful, and this year looks like it'll be even better! We have tentatively lined up ISD, who will be demoing Dyna- Cadd and Calamus. There are others in the works, so stay tuned! MIST AtariFest III will be held at CADRE, Inc. on the north side of Indianapolis. The address is: 6385 Castleplace Drive, Indianapolis, In. 46250-1902. There will be specific directions in a later posting. Admis- sion to the 'Fest will be $3.00, and will include a raffle ticket. We will be raffling hardware from Atari Corp, and software from attending vendors and developers. Additional raffle tickets will be available for purchase. Anyone interested in attending or reserving vendor/developer tables should contact me by one of the below methods: For more information, leave mail on GEnie to W.LORING1, or: Call: BL.A.ST BBS at 812-332-0573 2400bps, 24 hours. Write: BL.A.ST PO Box 1111 Bloomington, IN. 47402 Call me by voice at 812-336-8103 Vendor packets are in the works, and should be ready to send shortly. More details will be available at that time. Brought to you by MIST (Mid-Indiana ST), the merging of the ASCII (Atari St Computers In Indianapolis) and BL.A.ST (BLoomington Atari ST) user groups. Thanks for your interest, and we'll see you at the 'Fest!! Sincerely, William Loring, President of BL.A.ST __________________________________________________________ > The Flip Side STR Feature? "..A different viewpoint." ========================= A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT ================================== by Michael Lee From JB. Davis (Dream Park) on Genie... Cartographer version 2.5 is shipping! We have sent out a mailing to registered users, and the response has been great! NEW POWERDRIVE SOFTWARE!!! We are in the process of sending out update notices to registered PowerDrive user of the newest version of the PowerUtilities! If you haven't sent in your registration card, please do. The new utilities include some amazing features, like automatic floppy disk virus protection, ability to backup high density disks, and improved configuration abilities. ---------------- There have been some recent questions concerning which TOS version is currently being shipped in the STe's and what is the difference between TOS 1.6 and 1.62.... Comments (compiled) from Bob Brodie (Manager for User Group Services for Atari) on Genie... ...TOS 1.62 has all of the fixes that the file STE_FIX.PRG has it it. There is no difference between the two systems once that file has been run. Programs like Quick Index will not report the TOS version number to be anything other than TOS 1.6...So don't rely on programs like that to determine which version of TOS is in the machine. ...the patch program was utilitzed as a cost effective way to get rid of a bug. Rather than recall all of the STE's, and delay the users getting their hands on this very nice computer we elected to issue a patch program which has gotten wide spread distribution. It only takes a second to run, and takes very little disk space. Once the program has been run, your free to change disks as you desire to. The computer will function as if it has the lastest version of STE TOS in it. There are NO PLANS for a TOS 3.x upgrade to the STE owners. Primarily, that is because the rom is physically larger than the one in the STE. BTW, the TT is shipping with TOS 3.01, not 3.00. Answer from John Townsend (Atari engineer) on Genie... ...let me give you an official statement: TOS 1.62 DOESN'T REQUIRE ANY PATCH PROGRAMS AND HAS ALL OF THE PROBLEMS IN TOS 1.6 FIXED IN ROM...TOS 1.6 HAS SEVERAL PROBLEMS THAT ARE FIXED BY THE STE_FIX PATCH PROGRAM AND THE POOLFIX3 PATCH PROGRAM. Atari has no plans to offer an upgrade to TOS 1.62 and I do not know what version of TOS is shipping with STE machines. Answer from Doug Wheeler (ICD) on Genie... The reason that many programs return the TOS version number incorrectly is that Atari changed their numbering system starting with TOS 1.62. The current versions are numbered as follows (the $xxxx number is the hexidecimal value stored in the TOS header): 1.0 = $0100 1.2 = $0102 1.4 = $0104 1.6 = $0106 1.62= $0162 2.05= $0205 3.01= $0301 As you can see, the digits shifted to the left starting with TOS 1.62 which confuses some software. ---------------- From Nathan (ISD) on Genie... I fully intend on having Publish! take a serious look at Calamus SL if it means I camp on their doorstep with a TT under my arm. I'm hoping it doesn't reach that point though. Publish! says their readers are not interested in a program on the Atari...If every one of you write into Publish expressing interest in their opinion of Calamus, it will certainly make it easier on us. What disgusts me is the fact that if they look at it, they will be impressed. ---------------- Question from mike Angier from the SoftLogic RT on Genie... Does anyone know of a utility (other than Calamus Outline) that will generate text around a curve in a form usable by the ST v1.82 Page- Stream? It gets to be quite tiresome to do this letter by letter, rotating, slanting and twisting until it looks 'acceptable'. Answer from John (D.D.Martin)... Don't hold your breath on curved text from ANY version of PageStream. I got that info straight from Jack Durre' who had "discussed" the possibility with Deron...Curved text was the start of one reason Dee Dee and I went with a GCR and Freehand. It would be nice, but where do you stop? We still have the best there is on ANY platform. Answer from David B. (D-W-B)... If you want to lay text around a curve the answer is...drum roll Spectre GCR and Freehand or Illustrator. Really, putting together the Mac and the ST give us all a _great_ DTP system that can't be beat! ---------------- From Mark Reardon on Genie... Just picked up MiG-29 by Domark. It claims to be the first flight simulator to fully replicate the MiG-29 Fulcrum. Initial impressions: not as detailed as F-19 or Falcon but interesting. ---------------- Dave Nutkins (HISOFT on-line rep) discussing the different versions of HiSoft Basic, the reason for them and how to order. From the Michtron RoundTable on Genie... ...about the confusion regarding the different versions of HiSoft BASIC for the ST. There are essentially two versions, the 'full' version and the 'cut-down' version. Michtron's full version was called HiSoft BASIC Pro. and the cut-down was just HiSoft BASIC. The original U.K. versions, which are the ones that Goldleaf will be selling, are called HiSoft BASIC (for the full version) and Power BASIC (for the cut down one)...If you want the most powerful, most compatible version then you want the latest U.K. HiSoft BASIC. It is version 1.31. Goldleaf should be able to offer upgrades to users of the Michtron version in the future but I'm not sure when. When the HiSoft BASIC 2 comes out we are going to get rid of all the different names and just have one version. ---------------- Questions about DPaint from Dan Rhea (Sysop) on CIS... ...I'm looking forward to seeing some of the things I've done in 640x480 256 color on the PC displayed on a TT. I have long been a fan of DPaint on the PC so I'll have very high expectations for the ST version...Do you know if DPaint for the ST will cover all the new video modes introduced with the STe and the TT? Last I heard was that it was Low rez ST only. Answer from Anthony Pabon (ArtisTech Development)... Dan, I'm one of the authors of DPaint ST. It's better than the PC and Amiga version in several ways. At the moment, it's best compared with Deluxe Animate on the PC, since it is 320 * 200 * 16 with animation. The decision to have a TT version of "DPaint" is up to Electronic Arts however. Any help we could get from "users" in convincing EA that it is a worth while project would be great. (Read that to mean, "tell them, no need to tell us".) If you use the 16 color low rez mode at all on your ST, please look into DPaint ST. I think you'll find it has much to offer the ST...The IBM version of DPaint comes with a conversion utility that can be used to change .LBM files into .IFF files and DPaint ST will load .IFF files just fine. Remember however, that DPaint ST only shows 16 colors, so you will want to save any .LBM pics as 16 color pictures. PS: DPaint ST was voted "Best Application" and "Best Art/Graphic Package" by the readers of ST Format Magazine. ---------------- Posts concerning version numbers and upgrades of Migraph's Touchup program from the SoftLogic RT on Genie... From R.MONFORT... ...called Migraph about it and they gave me the prices. $20.00 for the Upgrade, $5.00 for shipping and send your [original] disks. Please call Migraph before you send for it and ask them what are the changes in the program I do not want go give you wrong information. I also asked about the New Easy-Draw and I got "We are working on it." From Scott Lapham... Forget version 1.6 guys. 1.65 is now available. I was talking to MiGraph today and they said 1.65 is now shipping although 1.6 is only a month old. Same upgrade price ($25.00 plus original disk). Upgrade is TT compatible and grayscales (soon to be used on PageStream and Calamus). ---------------- There seem to be some problems with the new ink used in the DeskJets and some brands of paper. The following are some posts discussing this from the SoftLogic RT on Genie.. From Tom Coyan... It just seemed that the new ink wants to absorb into the paper more. I just ran the same page through with Laser Print, and regular bond...The copy machine paper turned out noticeably better. Whereas the ink tends to absorb into the bond paper, it "spreads" over the glossier surface of the Laser Print. I've tried this both on a DeskJet and DeskJet Plus...Perhaps I'll give Hewlett Packard a call, and see what they recommend... re: Deskjet paper type: I called Hewlett-Packard customer support yesterday about the paper problems. The gentleman I spoke with said many people had called, noticing a difference with the new cartridges. According to him, H-P has tested all kinds of different papers, and has come up with the following recommendations: For General Use: Xerox - 4024 Champion - Data Copy Meade - Chief Zero (0?) Graphic For High-Quality Output Gilbert Paper - Gilbert Bond Neenah - Classic Laid Unfortunately, I've never seen any of these in my local supply store. Guess I'll start hunting through catalogs... ---------------- Question from Chris Herborth on Genie... ...where are the horror genre games? We've got loads of fantasy and sci-fi games for the ST, and so, naturally, I want horror games...So, anybody heard of/played some? What are they called, and what are they like? Answer from Rick Gridley... The Uninvited was one. You may still find it at some software store. There are a number of arcade wrist twitchers in this field as well. Answer from Jeff.W (Sysop) on Genie... A very new release for the Atari ST is ELVIRA from Accolade. If one is to believe the copy on the box, it features "blood-curdling" graphics... An oldie-moldie...is Infocom's THE LURKING HORROR. Although it's entirely a text adventure, I found it to be very spooky. ---------------- From Fred Beckman (Sysop) on Genie... My daughter's TCB Tracker just arrived two days ago (a late birthday present) and she is happily make music like crazy...if my 11 year old can hack away without too many troubles (the manual is wrong in a place in particular, saving a file is different than it says) it can't be to hard. Then again she is so happy to be making music with no sweat that you probably could have the worse interface in the world and she would not care! The sound is ok though the monitor speaker but GREAT though big speakers on the stereo. Now to get an STE so she can play music in stereo...She also got all the music disks and those will take a month to play through. Lots ideas for her to check out.... From O.STEELE on Genie... ...TCB Tracker...doesn't compare to Music Studio. Although it doesn't have the graphic musical scales, it is much more of a real-life music studio creation program. If you have the right samples, you can make music that sounds professionally made (right down to lyrics digitized). ...TCB's user interface is great. Point and click, as well as keyboard alternatives, are implemented. ---------------- From Mark Carver (Joppa Software Development) on Genie... A clock/calendar chip will be available for the STe just as soon as we finish writing the installation documentation. We have installed them in our own STe's and if your local to the DC/Baltimore area call us, you can get one right away. The installation takes all of 5-10 minutes. Other than that they should be in dealers hands very shortly. ---------------- From MUSE on Genie... Just saw an television commercial for Fujitsu in which an Atari MEGA ST was featured. The ST was hooked up to synthesizers and other MIDI stuff. It turned out to be an ad for one of their FAX machines. Ah, media exposure! ---------------- From Mike Squire on Genie... ...a new release of Codekeys (v1.3?) is imminent and an update to Codehead Utilities is projected for next month (mainly changes in CodeRam, CodeCopy, and possibly Art Gallery). Upgrade fee for the new CodeKeys is $10, like HotWire and MaxiFile, and there will be no optional new manual available for this upgrade. ---------------- From Dave Beckemeyer (Beckemeyer Development) on Genie... My company, Beckemeyer Development, markets business software, including Point-of-Sale, Inventory, A/P, A/R, Sales Analysis, and General Ledger for the Atari ST, as well a IBM-PC and Unix systems. We even support multi-user configurations for the Atari ST. This software has been in use by many different types of companies since 1986. Contact: Beckemeyer Development PO Box 21575 Oakland, CA 94620 (415) 530-9637 ---------------- Until next week..... _______________________________________________________ > MEGA STe ! STR Review? In Depth-Review of Atari Excellence - Mega STe! ===================== ATARI'S MEGASTE -- INSIDE AND OUT ================================= by Bill & Pattie Rayl Reprint from 03/91 Atari Interface Magazine with permission Atari surprised developers and users by showing a new 16MHz computer called the Mega/STE at last November's COMDEX. There had been plenty of rumors of such a new beastie before its release, but everyone online from Atari emphatically denied its existence. Then came the unveiling in Las Vegas. We've now had our hands on a Mega/STe for a number of months. Ship- ments of Atari's newest computer are already reaching dealers, so look for it at your local dealer. HARDWARE The Mega/STE comes in two basic configurations: a one Meg version with no hard drive (according to Atari Canada) and a two or four Meg version with hard drive (according to Atari US). List price for the four Meg version (which we have) is around $1,800. For that price, you get: 16 MHz 68000 CPU 50 Meg internal hard drive Detachable keyboard Built-in fan Mouse Standard parallel port Blitter chip MIDI In and Out ports 4096 color palette Cartridge port Stereo sound output DMA port SIMM memory Two 9-pin serial (RS-232) ports TOS 2.02 with NewDesk 8 MHz VME bus Double sided 3.5" floppy drive Standard SCC LAN port All in all, that's quite an impressive list of hardware. And, the Mega/STE is quite an impressive machine. Basically, it's a marriage of the STe, Mega ST and TT in one affordable package. Gone are the STe's two DB-15 joystick ports and the Mega's internal bus (developers overwhelming- ly voted for a VME bus instead). Otherwise, the Mega/STE has everything the ST and STe computers had and more. All of this hardware is enclosed in the new TT-style case, which has been "affectionately" called the "wedding cake" design. Personally, we find the case design to be quite compact, sleek and refreshing. A CLOSER LOOK One of the surprises of this machine, at least for us, was the two serial ports on the Mega/STE. We did not expect them to be 9-pin male connections, since previous STs and STEs have all had 25-pin connections. The TT also has two 9-pin serial cables. A simple standard 9-pin to 25-pin adapter is all you need to plug in your old cable and modem. The Mega/STE is more like its big brother, the TT, in other ways too. The SCC LAN port and VME bus also appear on the TT, and the TT also has the NewDesk built in. (More on NewDesk later!) In fact, it's probably as correct to say the Mega/STE is a 68000 version of the TT as to call it a souped up STe! The detachable keyboard is, in a word, fantastic. It's the best keyboard we've seen for *any* computer both in response and feel. The function keys are raised, rounded keys that are easily distinguishable from each other by touch. The keyboard itself is "scouped," making long periods of typing effortless! As an added bonus, the 'F' and 'J' keys have a raised bump on them, so your fingers can easily find the home row if you're a touch typist. The '5' key on the keypad also has a raised bump on it. The action of the keys themselves is very good and the con- tact is solid. Many people have wondered about the "pencil tray" on the front of the Mega/STE's (and TT's) CPU. This is really a depression that has a cor- responding ridge on the bottom of the keyboard. By fitting these toget- her, you can make your CPU and keyboard one unit. (Note: The keyboard does not snap into this depression; it merely rests in it.) The keyboard also has a slight depression just above the function keys. This area may be used to hold pencils and pens, but is more likely designed to accent the scouping effect of the whole keyboard. The mouse/joystick port 0 is on the right-hand side of the detachable keyboard, while joystick port 1 appears on the left-hand side. Because of this, both ports are easily accessible. NEWDESK The most striking new feature of the Mega/STE, from a user's standpoi- nt, is the new desktop that comes built into the computer. The additional features that have been added to the desktop are numerous. Up to seven directory windows can be open at one time. This is not really very important now that Atari has added some very useful keyboard commands to the desktop. Holding down the Alternate key while pressing the key indicating a drive letter (such as 'A' or 'C') opens a directory window. Clicking on a folder icon while holding down the Alternate key causes a new directory window to open that displays the folder's contents. This is handy for times when you want to copy files from a folder to its parent directory. Pressing Control and a drive letter (such as Control-C) will cause a currently-selected directory window to switch to displaying the new directory. With this feature, we've found that, at most, only two direc- tory windows need be open at any given time. You can use the cursor keys to scroll around directory windows! All options appearing in the drop down menus can have user-defined keyboard equivalents as well. We've re-defined many of the items to suit our own likes, like 'F' for Format Floppy, 'C' for Create Folder, etc. Function keys can be assigned to individual programs. By pressing a function key at the desktop, the corresponding program is executed. Along with the ability to "move" files using the Alternate key while dragging them, Atari has added two related commands. Copying files while holding down the Control key allows you to rename the copy. Holding both Alternate and Control while copying does a file move and rename simultaneously. There are even keyboard commands for switching resolution and printing the contents of a selected directory window! ICONS Although not as icon-customizable as NeoDesk or DC Desktop, Atari's new desktop does have a number of icons from which to choose. The largest selection is for devices, such as floppy or hard drives, CD ROM, laser printer, etc. You can, however, use any of these icons as file icons. You can now place any icon directly on the desktop. For example, you can drag a folder icon onto to the desktop and open a directory window for that folder by double clicking the icon. This feature is most useful for placing program icons on the desktop. Then, you simply double click these icons to execute the programs. To remove an icon from the desktop, you simply drag it to the trash- can. You are presented with the choice of removing the icon, deleting the corresponding file or aborting the operation. COLOR BACKGROUNDS AND WINDOWS You can now set the desktop background color and pattern from the Set Colors & Style option. You are only offered eight fill patterns, but those are adequate. This option also allows you to set color and pattern for window backgrounds, as well. Here, it seems Atari could have gone a little bit further. It would have been nice, for example, to allow setting the text color as well. Then users could choose black backgrounds with white text, etc. If you define your window background as full black currently, all the text in the window disappears. EXTENSIBLE CONTROL PANEL Finally, we have a control panel that everyone should be happy with. With the new Extensible Control Panel, you select only those .CPX files that you want to use. You even get the option of making these files RAM resident or loadable from disk. No more memory waste! The CPX modules that came with our Mega/STE include Color Setup, Configure CPXs, General Setup, Accelerator (Atari's Mouse Accelerator needed), Modem Setup, Printer Setup, Sound Setup and Window Colors. A module for FSM GDOS is apparently also available. The Window Colors CPX allows you to change the color of all pieces of a window, from the scroll bars to the close buttons. Sound Setup allows you to set bass, treble, volume and balance for the Mega/STE's stereo sound output. The General Setup CPX contains, among the usual control panel options, the ability to set the CPU Speed. The options are 16 MHz with or without cache and 8 MHz without cache. The true 8 MHz mode makes the Mega/STE compatible with any time-critical programs for the ST. By default, the Mega/STE boots up in 8 MHz mode, but you can change this by saving the control panel settings. With the new Extensible Control Panel, you are given the option of storing the CPX files anywhere you choose. We have them in a folder called CPX on drive C. Normal (.ACC) desk accessories can still be used by the computer, but they cannot be loaded as Extensible Control Panel modul- es. This new control panel is compatible with all ST/STe/TT computers and Atari says they plan to release it soon to all it's users via the online services. COMPATIBILITY For those of you who crave 16 MHz benchmarks, Quick Index numbers show the Mega/STE to be exactly as fast as an AdSpeed-equipped STe. From a practical viewpoint, the Mega/STE runs circles around the older machines. Users of DTP and CAD packages will benefit greatly from the increased speed. The time it takes to ARC files is nearly cut in half! So far, most everything runs just fine on the Mega/STE. PageStream shows a noticeable speed improvement at 16 MHz. STWriter saves ASCII text a lot faster than it used to. SuperBase and LDW Power are faster at cal- culations and searches. We tested a number of games. Iron Lord works fine and was considerab- ly faster. The real killer, though, was Pinball Wizard. Even at the slowest speed setting within the program, the ball was cruising so fast you could hardly keep up with it! Switching to 8 MHz mode made the game playable again. Joppa FAX seems to have a problem with the new serial ports. It func- tions fine as a modem on port 1, but has problems sending FAXes. Plugging the FAX modem into port 2 solves the problem. Joppa is aware of this problem (it seems to happen on the TT, too). Hotwire runs, but doesn't work properly when booted from the AUTO folder -- you can't access it via clicking the right mouse button. The CodeHeads have already announced an upgrade (Hotwire 3.0), which is ship- ping now. We've run into a few public domain and shareware programs that don't run on the Mega/STE. Most of these are graphic demos or games that won't run on the STe, either. The recently released MIDI Maze II from Germany works on a normal STe, but locks up after a few minutes of play on the Mega/STE, whether in 16 MHz or 8 MHz modes. (MIDI Maze II also seems to lock up on an AdSpeed-equipped ST in all modes as well.) THE BOTTOM LINE The Mega/STE is, in our opinion, the overall best computer for the home and small business user that Atari has ever produced. With proper marketing, this machine could win hands-down against the Mac Classic and IBM PS1. Atari has once again moved into the position of having "Power without the Price." For Subscription information please call: Unicorn Publications 3487 Braeburn Circle Ann Arbor, MI 48108, Phone: (313) 973-8825 voice or (313) 973-9137 BBS _____________________________________________________________ > GLENDALE! STR SHOW NEWS? SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ATARI COMPUTER FAIRE ======================= GLENDALE ATARI SHOW PRESS RELEASE ================================= 3/7/91 ------ The Southern California ATARI Computer Faire, Version 5.0, also known as THE GLENDALE SHOW has been confirmed for September 14 and 15, 1991. We are proud to announce that, as with all of our prior Faires, ATARI has offered both its attendance in force and its complete support. This is the Premiere West Coast Faire. The Glendale Show, the first joint ATARI-User Group sponsored show in the nation, featured the largest array of Atari vendors ever formed at a domestic consumer show last year. You can expect this year's show to again be the largest exhibition of Developers, Dealers and Retailers under one roof. You'll able to meet the people behind the software, talk to the Atari officials you normally just read about, and see and buy the widest variety of Atari goods ever as- sembled in the USA. We also will offer more of our popular seminars, which last year featured standing-room-only talks by Leonard Tramiel, Bob Brodie, Dave Small, and many other Atari personalities. Make your vacation and travel plans now to come to the Los Angeles area this September, and be here for the GLENDALE SHOW, September 14 and 15, 1991. Please address EXHIBITOR questions to: H.A.C.K.S. 249 N. Brand Bl. #321 Glendale, CA 91203 or call: John King Tarpinian Faire Chairperson 818-246-7286 _________________________________________________________ > MAC REPORT? ========== Issue #001 ---------- by Robert Allbritton Welcome to MAC REPORT! This is a new, weekly column in STReport that will keep you thoroughly informed with up to date news and reviews rel- ative to the Macintosh community and how it effects or compliments the ST, Mac, and Mac emulator users alike. Before getting started, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rob Allbritton and I am a Junior at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. (although my hometown is Washington, DC). I have been involved with Atari computers since 1983 with 8-bits and I served on the Atari Youth advisory board in 1986. I ran the Aladdin's Lamp BBS from 1984 to 1990, and was involved with the development of a few ST products such as the Lantech LAN and the MultiByte battery cases for Stacy. While, at this time, my interests are more Macintosh related, I still own and use an Atari ST Mega 4 and Spectre GCR. MCR Systems Roundup? =================== APPLE SETS RELEASE DATE OF MAY 13 FOR SYSTEM 7.0 ================================================ After two long years of anticipation, Apple is finally ready to un- leash System 7 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, CA. End users will be able to buy their copy at their local Apple dealer starting May 13, 1991. While a price has not yet been set, it is expected that the suggested retail will be between $50 and $95, including documen- tation and 800K disks. Additionally, Apple will be providing 90 days of free, unlimited technical support. Apple has been on recruiting missions to several Bay Area universities in order to staff this endeavor. Gadgets by Small has not made an official announcement regarding Spectre compatibility with System 7, but Doug Wheeler (former Gadgets employee) said in October at the WAACE AtariFest that Gadgets was not working on System 7 compatibility at that time because System 7 was "slow and not stable"; however, several Apple developers have had System 7 for quite a while now. The current Beta release seems "as stable as System 6.0.7" and much quicker than earlier releases. It is important to note that Gadgets is not an official Macintosh developer and therefore does not have official access to System 7 beta releases. In a departure from previous policy of releasing new System upgrades on national services, System 7 will *NOT* be available for download from CompuServe or GEnie. A complete review of System 7 will be forthcoming in STReport's MAC REPORT. MACINTOSH IICI & SE/30 PRICE CUTS --------------------------------- So far, the '90s have been the decade of falling prices at Apple. Here are the latest price revisions effective March 11: NOW 03/11/91 ------------------------- IIci 4Mb RAM $5,969 $5,269 Discontinued IIci 5Mb RAM Not Available SE/30 1Mb RAM/40Mb Hard Drive $4,369 $3,369 SE/30 4Mb RAM/80Mb Hard Drive $5,569 $4,569 MEGATALK TO SHIP APRIL 1 ------------------------ According to Barb at Gadgets, MegaTalk (the AppleTalk & SCSI interface for Spectre) will be shipping on April 1. It will also include the re- quired software to use it (presumably Spectre 3.0). Originally Dave Small said MegaTalk was like a baby and thus bringing it to market would take about 9 months. I now assume Dave was talking about a baby elephant be- cause that was over a year ago. > MCR Confidential? MAC INDUSTRY NEWS ================ - Cupertino, CA 68040 "TOWER" MAC COMING THIS FALL Cupertino has been a buzz for several months now regarding the intr- oduction of a 25 Mhz 68040 Mac to compete with the new NeXTStations. While all of the details on the new machine are not known, a fairly relia- ble picture of its capabilities is now coming into focus. The "Tower" will be the first floor-standing computer and the first 68040 based Mac that Apple has ever made. While some have compared the 68040 to a 68030 with a math co-processor built into it, the 68040 is really much more. It uses RISC technology along with larger on chip data and instruction caches to achieve a 3:1 advantage over a 68030 running at the same speed. Well informed sources have claimed that the "Tower" will have 16 SIMM slots allowing up to 64 Mb of RAM by using 4 Mb SIMMs. EtherNet will be built into the motherboard in addition to the standard AppleTalk port, however these two ports can be bridged by a special network co-processor that will have DMA and be able to automatically route between EtherNet and LocalTalk in the background. Supported protocols will be TCP/IP, DECnet, and XNS (Xerox Networking Services). There will be 5 NuBus slots and a 600 watt power supply to back it up. New ROMs will allow the NuBus to operate at 20 Mhz, which is twice as fast as the current Macintosh II line. For mass storage, there will be two separate SCSI systems, one for up to 7 external devices, and a second for up to 7 internal devices. The "Tower" will also have four internal hard drive bays. Sadly lacking on the "Tower" is a basic feature common to all STs: SCSI DMA. Yup, after building the SCSI DMA hardware for the IIfx (and then not implementing it in software) Apple seems to have dropped the idea in favor of network DMA. The "Tower" is also painfully shy on serial ports with only 2 of them. This is a big problem as many Mac peripherals including the MacRecorder voice digitizer, MIDI interfaces, modems, local printers, and the AppleTalk network all use the serial ports. Given the power of this new Mac (said to be twice as fast as the current top of the line Mac IIfx) it is interesting to note that Apple plans to market it as a high end UNIX workstation, and seems to be dis- couraging its possible use as a fast server. There are also rumors that the "Tower" will be given a special name to distinguish it from the remai- nder of the Macintosh line (possibly the Macintosh III) and that the "Tower" might be offered in two configurations. The "Mini Tower" would have all of the capabilities of its taller brother, except it would have only two hard drive bays and one NuBus slot. Base price of the "Tower" is expected to be under $10,000 with 4Mb of RAM and a 80Mb hard drive. Processing power of the "Tower" seems to be on-par with its intended competition from NeXT, HP, Sun, and IBM but the price is out of line. The NeXTStation delivers the same punch for about a third less and so does a similar SparcStation, so one must wonder if Apple will actually make any further progress in cracking the already crowded workstation market, or if the "Tower" will just wind up being the "biggest and baddest" Mac for the Apple fans. An even better question is how the Atari TT will do. The TT is in an interesting position because has an excellent price, but the TT's technol- ogy is beginning to become dated in these days of RISC and 68040 proces- sors, and Atari does not have a good reputation for product support. If price is important to workstation customers, then Atari will rise and the Apples will fall, but if the customer is looking for quality then Apple, Sun, NeXT, et al, have little to worry about from Sunnyvale. Maybe the recession and tight budgets are not such a bad thing after all. MCR FEEDBACK? ============ If you have any questions or comments for, about or relative to Apple, the Mac, or Mac emulation on the ST, feel free to send me Email at: CompuServe: 71630,457 GEnie: j.allbritto2 See you next week! _________________________________________________________ > MaxiFile 3.0 STR InfoFile? MaxiFile 3.0 - The SuperTool! ========================= ******************************************************************* * * * CodeHead Software Announces MaxiFile 3.0 - The SuperTool! * * --------------------------------------------------------- * * * * MORE POWER -- NO WAITING -- NOW SHIPPING!! * * * ******************************************************************* CodeHeadQuarters Friday, March 8, 1991 --------------------- Well, folks...it turns out we were wrong when we initially described MaxiFile as the ULTIMATE File Maintenance Tool. The word "ultimate" describes something beyond which it is impossible to go. If that were correct, then MaxiFile 3.0 could not exist... But MaxiFile 3.0 has taken the concept of file handling far beyond anything previously thought possible! Virtually every major aspect of MaxiFile has undergone extensive scrutiny and improvement, with the addition of many powerful new features -- some of which are available on NO OTHER PERSONAL COMPUTER SYSTEM! For the benefit of those who may not have experienced it yet: MaxiFile is a full-featured file maintenance utility which can run either as a program or a desk accessory. It offers virtually every disk and file-- related feature available from the desktop or any other Atari file utility as well as many unique and powerful features not available in any other program ... AND it implements these features through a well thought out, time tested and efficient user interface that gives you the MAXIMUM amount of on-screen information at all times! Because it can run as a desk accessory, you have full access to ALL of MaxiFile's power while running any GEM program! THE NEW STUFF ------------- For version 3.0, MaxiFile has undergone a major facelift, with the addi- tion of a myriad of new features... o New ICONS for all main screen functions. o HUNDREDS of NEW KEYBOARD COMMANDS provide full operation with either mouse or keyboard, including selecting and opening files and folders! o Greatly enhanced FILE VIEWING provides very FAST SCROLLING forward AND backward through a file complete with forward/backward searching, configurable tab settings, help screen, and optional half-height text (in hi-res modes). o Speedy "Safe Deposit" RECOVERABLE DELETE function insures against accidental erasure of files -- and Maxifile does it LEGALLY, without messing around with direct disk access. Keep your files AND your file structure safe! o An AWESOME SEARCH FUNCTION has been added -- version 3.0 lets you use MaxiFile's unique 'FILTERS' in a search, allowing you to find FILES AND/OR FOLDERS with multiple masks and extensions, or even search according to archive bit and time/date stamp! MaxiFile maintains a list of the last 20 "matches" and lets you instantly jump to a directory, selecting EITHER all files that match the filter settings, or just the one file you select! o WILD CARD RENAME function lets you rename all files with a given extension to another extension, in ONE action. o New HELP SCREEN shows keyboard equivalents for the main screen and 'More' box. Other keyboard commands are displayed in their respective dialog boxes. o Full COMPATIBILITY with all Atari computers in all resolutions, including the Atari TT. o Can now be completely controlled by CODEKEYS, CodeHead's macro miracle. o TRUE MS-DOS DISK FORMATTING creates disks compatible with any PC system, including those that are particularly floppy-fussy. o "Interleave 11" floppy formatting for optimum speed of reading and writing (also known as dead-sectoring). o Disk formatting starts at end of disk to help RECOVER FROM ACCIDENTAL FORMATTING of the wrong disk. o Correctly handles BGM hard disk partitions of all sizes as well as file sizes up to 99,999,999 (99.9 Meg). o Support for drive letters Q through Z (for Atari's CD-ROM METADOS) o New options for setting FASTLOAD bit, and TT RAM flags; includes the ability to recursively set all fastload bits for ALL programs on a drive, if you wish! o Keyboard commands for instantly setting source and destination drives, changing sorting modes or display modes, and literally every other function in the program! o File/Folder Info Boxes have 'Previous' and 'Next' buttons (and key commands), allowing you to easily browse the details of all files and folders. o When a name conflict occurs during a copy or move operation, MaxiFile 3.0 shows you the date and time of both the source and destination item, helping you determine if you really want to continue with the copy. If the item is a file, the source and destination sizes are also shown. o and LOTS MORE! (We know, they always say that...but this time it's true!) THE STUFF IT'S ALWAYS HAD ------------------------- Those familiar with MaxiFile and its power know that it has always had the following capabilities: o Move/Copy/Delete/Rename/Touch/Lock/Unlock/Hide/Show/Set Archive/Clear Archive or Print any combination of files and/or folders. o Runs as a program or as a desk accessory in any resolution. Special treatment when running as a program (from HotWire) makes it act like an accessory, retaining its settings, while using no permanent memory. o Intelligent disk copying routines automatically duplicate the source size. o Create and rename folders with any version of TOS. o Print directory listings in two different formats. o Attach comments to any file or folder, to be readily viewed or edited any time you "Show Info". o Eleven (now 12) types of warning messages may be individually enabled or disabled. o Show 80 filenames at once or view 48 filenames with sizes, times, or dates. o Instantly select from 20 source or destination paths with a single keypress. o Print files or show them on-screen with smooth mouse button scrolling. o Any number of text files may be queued up to be printed in one operation. o Printer initialization commands can be entered, loaded, and saved, with separate commands to be sent out after each file is printed, allowing customizing of your printouts. o Flexible filtering permits execution of all operations by multiple file types, dates, or archive bit. o Multiple templates can include or exclude several different file types at once. o Alter file attributes: lock, unlock, hide, unhide, set/clear "fastload", archive, system. o Disk Info shows files, folders, bytes used/free, tracks, sides, sectors, and more. o Set the mouse double-click rate. o Turn write-verify on or off. o Show hidden files. o Sort options include: name, size, extension, date, or unsorted order on disk. o Change volume names on all versions of TOS. o Retain file time and date stamps (like TOS 1.4 and later) or update to current time and date (like TOS 1.0-1.2), you have your choice. o Instantly select or deselect all files and folders or only those of the same type. o All settings can be easily saved, customizing MaxiFile to your own preferences. o Written in 100% assembly language for optimum speed and compact size. WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A LOT OF COMMUNICATION ------------------------------------------- When MaxiFile is called from CodeHead's HotWire, there are other features available. Our programs have many invisible communication links that allow you to do things like: o Double click on ANY program, document, or file in MaxiFile and HotWire will take over, running the program or installing the document into whatever application you've defined. o Each time you run MaxiFile as a program, it will reappear in the same state as you last left it...without saving your configuration. This gives you the flexibility of a desk accessory without consuming any permanent memory. o Bring up MaxiFile by clicking on its icon in HotWire or by pressing a function key. o The Little Green Selector is a shareware replacement for the GEM file selector by Charles F. Johnson and Little Green Footballs Software. It has a "MaxiFile" button (or keypress) which allows you to access ALL of MaxiFile's power any time the file selector is present, even if a program doesn't use a menu bar. o MaxiFile senses PopIt's presence and will turn off its hot keys, allowing you to use keyboard commands within MaxiFile even if they are also defined in PopIt. I GOT TO SHOW YOU SOME STEENKING BENCHMARKS! -------------------------------------------- Speed Test Results: The following timings are the results of copying a single folder containing 18 files and 1 folder totalling 662,528 bytes. The test mac- hine was a Mega 4 using TOS 1.4, a Turbo 16 accellerator board, and Turbo ST, with a fast Quantum hard drive and an ICD cache. All timings are in seconds. From hard drive: MaxiFile GEM desktop Neodesk 3.01 Neodesk 2.05 ---------------- ------------------------------------------------- To another partition: 5.44 5.61 7.36 7.70 To a floppy drive: 59.24 61.05 64.61 65.32 As you can see, MaxiFile is not only faster than the GEM desktop, but even beats Neodesk's method of batch file copying. THE WRAP-UP ----------- MaxiFile can purchased and used separately, or you can enjoy its increased power when linked up with HotWire by purchasing HotWire and MaxiFile packaged together as HotWire Plus, AND save yourself $15 at the same time. The championship team of HotWire and MaxiFile lets you run rings around the other desktops. You'll need pillows (not included) to catch the dropped jaws of Atari users as well as those who use other computer systems once you show them how fast you can do things with CodeHead So- ftware's HotWire/MaxiFile combo. Several MaxiFile owners have BEGGED us to write a PC version of MaxiFile so that they can be as productive on their PC as they are on their Atari ST ... of the thousands of PC programs available, there just isn't a file maintenance program as powerful as MaxiFile! For another view of MaxiFile, be sure to take a look at Richard Gun- ther's tutorial/review in the January-February and March-April 1991 issues of Current Notes! This two part article is a well written, step-by-step introduction to the power of HotWire and MaxiFile. The overwhelming reason our customers are so satisfied is that Code- Head software works as advertised and it works WELL! Look up "bulletpr- oof" in the dictionary ... and you'll find the CodeHead Software logo. HOW TO ORDER OR UPDATE YOUR OWN COPY OF MAXIFILE ------------------------------------------------ As a current owner of MaxiFile, you can obtain an update by sending your original MaxiFile master disk and $10 to the address listed below. Suggested retail price for MaxiFile 3.0 is $39.95, or you can get HotWire Plus - - HotWire packaged together with MaxiFile -- for $69.95, a savings of $15. CodeHead Products are available from your local Atari dealer, through mail-order houses, or directly from CodeHead Software: CodeHead Software P.O. Box 74090 Los Angeles, CA 90004 Phone: (213) 386-5735 FAX: (213) 386-5789 BBS: (213) 461-2095 CodeHead Software accepts Mastercard, Visa, and American Express, as well as checks, money orders, and cash. Shipping charges are $3 US, $4 Canada, and $6 elsewhere. Current office hours are Monday-Friday 9A-1P Pacific time. Prices and hours are subject to change without notice. Thank you for your support! ______________________________________________________________ > STReport CONFIDENTIAL? "ATARI NEWS FIRST!" ===================== - Tigard, OR. DIAMOND BACK CHANGES! ----------- Data Innovations has not paid me in a significant length of time and has refused to provide me with a registered user list. If I provide ANY support without verified acceptance of Oregon Research Associates license agreement I open myself to significant personal liability. I refuse to do that and therefore came up with the best alternative I could: 1) Provide a major new relese complete with new manual and license agreement and essentially production cost(printing+ disk+label+card+mailer+postage = not much less than $7.50) I am essentially giving away my last 6 months of programming. 2) By opening the sealed envelope implied consent to the Oregon Research Associates license agreement is given, thereby protecting myself and my ass(ets). As of today a total of seven (7) people have sent in their original disks to upgrade to V2.20. On Friday, my company will open for business with 7 customers who will be shipped Diamond Back II V2.20 and an Oregon Research Associates owners registration number. Your registration number will be required to obtain product support for Diamond Back II V2.20. No exceptions for the reasons explained above. I most certainly hope my customer base gets bigger than 7. Bob Luneski Oregon Research Associates 16200 S.W. Pacific Hwy., Suite 162 Tigard, OR 97224 (503) 620-4919 To upgrade to Diamond Back II V2.20 please send your original disk and $7.50 to the above address. - Skokie, IL U.S. ROBOTICS SYSOP PROGRAM UPDATES ---------- U.S. Robotics SYSOP Sales Program Rules General: This section describes the rules of the U.S. Robotics SYSOP program. U.S. Robotics reserves the right to modify or change these rules at any time. Scope: The U.S. Robotics SYSOP Sales Program permits qualified SYSOPs to purchase current U.S. Robotics modem products at a reduced price. Qualifications: 1. The SYSOP states that he/she is not in the business of reselling computer products and related peripherals, including modem products. 2. The SYSOP has been operating a bulletin board system for at least 6 months. 3. The SYSOP understands that the number of modems that may be obtained under this program is limited to the number of working, verifiable data lines. Modems purchased under this program must be used on one of the stated lines. 4. The SYSOP agrees to post an appropriate logon notice, visible to users of the bulletin board, which states that this bulletin board uses and supports U.S. Robotics brand modems. 5. The SYSOP agrees that he/she intends to operate the bulletin board, for which these modems are purchased, for at least 6 months post purchase. 6. Resellers of U.S. Robotics modems are NOT eligible to purchase modems under this program. Instead, qualified resellers may take advantage of other marketing programs offered by U.S. Robotics, under the U.S. Robotics Authorized Dealer Program. Information is available by calling: 800-292-2988. 7. U.S. Robotics will ship modem(s) to qualified SYSOPs as soon as pos- sible after: a. The SYSOP completes the order form and questionnaire found im- mediately after these rules and mail it along with the appropr- iate payment and shipping instructions to: U.S. Robotics Inc. 8100 N. McCormick Blvd. Skokie, IL 60076 Attention: SYSOP SUPPORT * A check accompanying an order must first clear our bank, before the order can be shipped. b. The SYSOP further understands that once an order is placed, it cannot be changed. * If you are uncertain as to what type of modem you want to purchase under this program, you may consult the Information & Text Files File Area of this BBS for product information. Or, you may call the U.S. Robotics technical support at: 800-982-5151 c. Your board will be verified by the U.S. Robotics SYSOP. We must be able to connect with your bulletin board to verify board status. * In the event that we are uncertain of your board status, you will be notified by the U.S. Robotics SYSOP of what else is needed to transact the order, or if U.S. Robotics cannot transact the order due to an invalid board status. 8. U.S. Robotics will not accept phone in orders. 9. U.S. Robotics reserves the right to modify, change or cancel this program at any time. *** THANK YOU *** __________________________________________________________ > Hard Disks STR InfoFile? Affordable Mass Storage.... ======================= NEW LOW PRICES! & MORE MODELS!! =============================== >> INCOME TAX REFUND SPECIALS << ** EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! ** 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 ADSCSI+ HOST ADAPTERS * FULL SCSI COMMAND SET SUPPORTED * * SCSI EMBEDDED CONTROLLER MECHANISMS * Conventional Shoe Box Model Description Autopark Price ================================================== SGN3038 31Mb 28ms 3.5" Y 419.00 SGN4951 51Mb 28ms 3.5" Y 519.00 SGN6177 62Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 619.00 SGN1096 85Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 649.00 SGN1098 100mb 25ms 3.5" Y 719.00 SGN6277 120Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 889.00 SGN1296 168Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 1069.00 SGN4077 230Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 1669.00 ================================================== ****** SPECIAL - SPECIAL ****** ---- FOR USE IN MEGA, MEGA STe & TT030 SYSTEMS ---- >>>> 100mb SCSI HARD DRIVE Mech 25-28ms 3.5" ...ONLY $469.00!! <<<< ****** SPECIAL - SPECIAL ****** >>> ALL ABCO DRIVES ARE HIGH SPEED UNITS <<< (500 - 600k per sec @ 16 - 33ms) CALL FOR SUPER SAVINGS ON ALL OUR OTHER CUSTOM UNITS FROM 30mb 28MS @ $419.00! --==*==-- * SYQUEST 44MB (#555)>> ABCO "44" << REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE * - SYQUEST 44 MB DRIVE - ICD ST ADVANTAGE PLUS H/A - ICD Utility Software - 3' DMA Cable - Fan & Clock - Multi-Unit Power Supply (1) 44 MB Syquest Cart. COMPLETELY ASSEMBLED AND READY TO RUN! --->> SPECIAL NOW ONLY __$ 719.00__ <<--- EXTRA CARTS: $ 79.50 DRIVE MECH ONLY: $ 439.95 *** SPECIAL SYQUEST OFFER!! BUY WITH A FRIEND! *** ORDER YOUR CUSTOM SYQUEST UNIT NOW AND GET A SECOND COMPLETE UNIT! ***** for $75.00 LESS! ***** * TWIN SYQUEST 44MB REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVES ... PROGRAMMER'S DELIGHT * SPECIALLY PRICED ** $1329.00 ** * SYQUEST 44MB REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE AND HARD DRIVE COMBINATIONS * - Syquest 44 Model  and the following hard drives - 50mb SQG51 $ 939.00 30mb SQG38 $ 819.00 65mb SQG09 $ 969.00 85mb SQG96 $1059.00 LOWBOY - STANDARD - DUAL BLOWER 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 - AT/PC SPEED - GCR LARGER units are available - (special order only) *>> NO REPACKS OR REFURBS USED! <<* - Custom Walnut WOODEN Cabinets - TOWER - AT - XT Cabinets - * SLM 804 Replacement Toner Cartridge Kits $42.95 * Replacement Drums; CALL Keyboard Custom Cables Call for Info ALL POWER SUPPLIES UL APPROVED -* 12 month FULL Guarantee *- (A FULL YEAR of COVERAGE) NOTICE : SHIPPING, HANDLING AND INSURANCE INCLUDED IN ALL PRICES """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" 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 ____________________________________________________________ > A "Quotable Quote"? ================= "CLOSE EXAMINATION TENDS TO REVEAL THAT THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY APPEAR TO BE!" C. Chan """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport International Online Magazine? Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport? "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" March 08, 1991 16/32bit Magazine copyright = 1987-91 No.7.10 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors, staff, STReport? CPU/MAC/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. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" -- Ed Krimen ............................................... ||| Video Production Major, California State University, Chico ||| INTERNET: email@example.com FREENET: al661 / | \ SysOp, Fuji BBS: 916-894-1261 FIDONET: 1:119/4.0
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