ST Report: 29-Mar-91 #713From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 04/13/91-06:33:11 PM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 29-Mar-91 #713 Date: Sat Apr 13 18:33:11 1991 Also thanks to: Todd C. Miller. *---== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" from STR Publishing Inc. """""""""""""""""" March 29, 1991 No.7.13 ========================================================================== 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 __________________________________________________________________ > 03/29/91: STReport? #7.13 The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine! ------------------------- - The Editor's Desk - CPU REPORT - MAC REPORT - Virus Study - BIG IBM Layoff - MAC Dealers HOT! - MORE CeBIT NEWS - RADIUS & MAC - Tandon - Appletalk - WP & Portfolio! - PORTFOLIO NEWS - STR Confidential * PAGESTREAM 2.1 CONFERENCE * * ATARI PORTFOLIO A WINNER* * SYQUEST PRICES DROP * ========================================================================== 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? Spring is in the air, and the expectations of new is everywhere. Folks wait all over the country for the arrivals of various new Atari products. Users throughout the USA anxiously await the new wonders to be. All that can be said at this time is the wait will be well worth the effort. How about that front end for the CDROM? Happy Holidays to one and all! Ralph........ 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 John Szczepanik 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 FIDONET....................... 112/35 FNET.......................... NODE 350 NEST.......................... 90:19/350.0 *********************************************************************** 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 29) GOLDEN OLDIE FOR ATARI ST DOTS AND DASHES - This classy connect-the-dots strategy game runs in both color and monochrome. Match wits with the computer or up to three humans. Play on one computer or compete by way of modem and a phone hookup. Start with dots only or with some dashes in place. To introduce an element of luck, make beginning dashes invisible. Fun for all ages and IQs. Built-- in, printable instructions. Available in LIBRARY 2 of the Atari Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS) as DOTDAS.PRG. PROGRAM OF THE WEEK FROM DOUBLECLICK DCJCHR.ARC - available in LIBRARY 13 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN). DC J-CHAR will simulate typing a character when you push the joystick in one of the directions and press the trigger. Great for repet- itive prompts (like BBSes) or scrolling. LASERJET FONT DOWNLOADER HPDNLO.ARC, available in LIBRARY 1 of the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO) - Enables HP soft fonts to be downloaded from an ST to a Laser Jet; fonts can be Permenant, Secondary, Primary or Temporary. Will work as either a .PRG or an .ACC by renaming. AMP JUKEBOX FOR ATARI 8-BIT AMP Jukebox, by Steven Lashower, will automatically play all files on disk with .AMP extenders, one after another. Press [START] during play to skip to next song. Press [OPTION] during play to change disk or drive. For use of CompuServe Atari 8-bit Forum members only. Download AMPJKE.ARC from LIBRARY 1 of the Atari 8-Bit Forum (GO ATARI8). NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE *********************************************************************** > CPU REPORT? ========== Issue #104 ---------- by Michael Arthur CPU INSIGHTS? ============ COMPUTER VIRUSES: ARTICLES, TYPES, AND CURES --------------------------------------------- One topic in the microcomputer industry that is always coming under much attention is the subject of computer viruses. Much has been said about them, as every computer-related magazine or column from Infoworld to Time Magazine has discussed them at some length. But in the attempt to educate the computing world about their dangers, much of the current published information has been repetitive, doling out basic facts about computer viruses without either going much into how they work, or giving more than "common sense" information on how to prevent them from infiltra- ting your computer system. This, in turn, has caused computer users who should have a healthy concern about viruses to become paranoid about their systems being infected with one, becoming overly suspicious of any and all sources of computer data, including BBS's and Online Services (which would normally screen for viruses anyway in order to prevent any of their users from "catching" one), and eventually thinking that every program bug or fault in TOS (such as the 40 folder bug) was indisputable evidence of a virus infection. In order to fully understand viruses, though, as well as to see how informative the current articles about them really are, let us go through a general outline of a typical essay about computer viruses. Generally, many articles first start with a preface, in which they bring up some evidence that computer viruses are dangerous, in order to get the reader's interest. After this, they attempt to describe what a computer virus actually is, and how it operates, usually in this manner: A computer virus is a program that enters your computer by stealth (that is, without your knowledge), is self-replicating, so as to spread itself throughout a system's disks, and, once a triggering condition has been met, causes some damage to a component of your system or its opera- tion. Usually, this damage is to a floppy or hard drive, but it can also be something like crashing your system, manipulating a weak aspect of the operating system so as to trigger a bug (like causing the 40 Folder Bug, or fragmenting system memory so the OS eventually runs out of usable memory), or stealing CPU time away from other tasks.... There are two categories of these programs: Worms, and Viruses. The main difference between Worms and Viruses is that a virus NEEDS to use another program to both enter a system and replicate itself, while a worm is a self-contained program, and does not necessarily depend on attaching itself to another program for its operations. Even though it is not a completely accurate description, worms are generally classified as com- puter viruses. There are currently three main types of microcomputer viruses: Boot Block Viruses ------------------ The boot sector of a disk is a section reserved for any program or instruction to run when the system is first booted up. Since ANY code can go in the boot block, most viruses are designed to replicate themselves so as to occupy this sector. This has MANY advantages, among them being that since it is the first program to run on a system, a virus is able to monitor EVERY operating system command, and (if it involves accessing a disk drive or a LAN/mainframe networking link) replicate itself onto another boot sector through that device, as well as checking to see if the triggering condition that would put it into operation has been met. Not surprisingly, since the virus has to STRICTLY adhere to a system's progra- mming guidelines in order to pull this off, they are generally compatible with most systems running that operating system. But since they are in a localized region of a disk, anti-viral utilities can EASILY detect and remove boot block viruses by simply clearing the boot sector of ANY code. And as only disk-based operating systems or self-booting games NEED to put any code into a disk's boot sector, this procedure is almost always safe.- ... Shell Viruses ------------- A shell virus is actually a worm that attaches itself to the begin- ning of a program so as to ensure that when that particular program is run, the virus is executed before the program. Well written viruses of this type do not usually damage the program itself, but use it to hide the virus's existence to the user. This type of virus, though not easy to detect, CAN be removed rather easily. However, some types of shell viruses actually DO modify the program, by first analyzing its instruction code to find a code segment that would be suitable to make the program load the virus. Then it modifies that particular code segment, inserting a subroutine call to transfer program execution to the virus. In this case, while the virus is difficult to write properly so as to give it compatibility with most to all programs, it is VERY difficult to remove.... Hidden Worms ------------ Barring any of these eventualities, a worm (after entering the system through other means) could just simply not rely on using the boot sector or another program, but act as a self-contained program that is hidden from the user's sight. Worms usually have well-hidden or encrypted file names, as anything else would be spotted by a directory reading. On the Atari ST, worms usually this by being an "AUTO-folder" program with a hidden file name, so they are automatically loaded into the system to act in a manner not unlike that of a boot virus. On the Amiga or IBM machines, such a program hides in either the CLI's Startup Sequence, or DOS's COMMAND.COM file. On the Macintosh, such a virus would be an INIT file (the Mac's equivalent of an AUTO program). Once found, these viruses can often be removed by deleting them like any other file.... While not actually being classified as a virus, but serving the same purpose, Trojan Horse programs were perhaps the precursors to computer virus programs. Disguised as a normal PD Utility, desk accessory,or game, a Trojan Horse program functions just like any other piece of software UNTIL the triggering condition is met (such as 75 percent of a system's hard disk being filled). Once that condition is met, then the program causes some serious damage (such as reformatting the hard disk). In one case, a Disk Cataloger program (which was actually a Trojan Horse) would give prompts for you to let it "catalog" all of your disks. While the user thought his/her disk library was being organized, the Disk Cataloger was trashing the FAT tables of each disk. Once it was finished, the user's disk library was more organized than he/she expected....However, Trojan Horse programs are now not that widespread, as more stringent security measures (and the fact that once the word gets out about a Trojan Horse program, not many people will use it) have made it less efficient and effective than today's computer viruses. After giving a description of viruses, practically all of the essays on computer viruses give tips on how to prevent users' systems from being infected. Here is a list of some topics: Checking PD Software Sources ---------------------------- Even though the very safest way of not contracting a computer virus is to buy ONLY commercial packages, the very existence of Online Services, ARC.TTP, and Megaroids (as well as your reading CPU Report now) is proof that this is often not possible or preferable. Therefore, the main objec- tive is to minimize the chances of infection. Actually, Online Services such as CompuServe or GEnie would be the best alternative in this area, mainly for two reasons: Online Services have extensive facilities/methods for ensuring that PD files online are virus free, and of course, more Public Domain files are available for the downloading. However, the MOST important reason that Online Services are uncommonly safe from viruses is that, simply enough, the people who write computer viruses are conscious of the Online Services' security, and are less psychologically inclined to make a (futile) attempt to spread viruses through there than on a Bulletin Board Station.... However, even though BBS's are more vulnerable to virus-infected programs than Online Services, one can still take preventive measures. The most sensible method is to ONLY download software from BBS's that check all uploaded files for validation. A good indication of such a responsible BBS is if you find that the BBS's Sysop checks the BBS's hard disk(s) for viruses whenever he/she backs the BBS up. Also, if you buy a software package "second hand", or use another person's disks on your system, be a little bit more careful.... Performing Generational Software Backups ---------------------------------------- Even though most users ALWAYS backup their commercial software, and backup their hard disks at regular intervals, it is important to remember that viruses (and Murphy's Law) have long incubation periods. Even though that hard disk may have been backed up a week ago, the computer system may have been infected by a virus (or shown signs of hard disk troubles) a couple of days before that. Therefore, one may need to retrieve backup copies done weeks before the incident occured in order to obtain a "safe" file. But one problem is that most users, instead of periodically buying new media for backing up their software, usually just reformat and reuse their old backup disks. In order to solve this dilemma, it is recommended that in addition to any normal software backup procedures,one occasionally make a SECOND backup of all system software, storing the extra backup in a safe place instead of reusing it the next time a hard disk backup needs to be done. Even though it may cost more to buy extra disks for backup purposes, the economic strain will be negligible to any occuring if both your regular disks AND your backups are messed up.... Even even though this may not help in preventing virus attacks, it can also be of use in other areas. If your system's hard drive ever becomes damaged and needs repairing, then you will be out of commission for as long as the dealer takes to repair that hard drive. And backups made by some hard disk backup software cannot be restored without use of the same hard disk. Since most hard disk users keep ALL of their software on their hard disk, such a "doomsday scenario" ISN'T that impossible. To prevent such tragedies from occuring, it is recommended that ALL computer users keep a few "doomsday disks", with any programs necessary for you to use your system effectively (word processors, flight simulators, etc.) kept on those floppy disks. For hard disk users, operating a system with floppy disks may be a hardship or a bother (especially having to use emergency floppies), but not being able to use your computer while your hard disk is in the shop MAY be a worse hardship.... Protection on the Home Front ---------------------------- Even though ALL of these precautions, chances are that your system still stands a good chance of being infected by a virus. In order to make SURE that none of your disks has a virus, one, logically enough, needs an anti-viral utility. The Computer Virus Industry Association, an organization devoted to the study of viruses, has developed a three-level classification system for these programs: - Class 1 programs monitor the system to prevent illegal disk access (presumably caused by a virus), and to detect viruses before they can infect software. - Class 2 programs analyze disks to detect software that has already been infected by a virus, and . - Class 3 programs both detect software viruses, and repair infected disks while erasing the virus. There are many suitable anti-viral utilities out for the IBM and Macintosh, and VirusX (a Class 3 public domain utility), is currently among the best viral defenses in the Amiga market. In the Atari ST arena, VKILLER (written by George Woodside) and Bootsector Technician (or Shotz, written by Magnum Software) are two of the best Public Domain anti-viral utilities. Virus Killer, by the CRL Group, is the most powerful and complete anti-viral utility currently available for the Atari ST. While it is a commercial program, it covers several areas (such as protection against hard disk viruses) that the latter Public domain programs do not. Also, it would be a good idea to keep all of your newly downloaded Public Domain files on a separately designated disk, so you could both test out all of your PD files to make sure they are bug-free, and so you could lessen the risk of a computer virus by using an anti-viral utility to run a daily check on that disk to make sure none of the files on it are virus infested. With the advent of viruses and Trojan Horse programs, computer users of all types need to know as much as possible about not only their dan- gers, but their internal operation, so as to take preventive measures against the infection of their computer systems. One aspect about viruses that is the most perplexing is the type of person that would knowingly develop programs intended to cause havoc on any and all computers. In companies, the most likely person would be a disgruntled employee. But in many other situations viruses are created by a misguided/malicious person who has a grudge towards another person or group. In other instances, an ordinary programmer has designed a worm/virus to test his/her prowess at code writing. Of course, there are MANY other better ways to test one's skills as a programmer.... But while viruses ARE a potentially dangerous threat, the best advice in protecting against one is to maintain a rational standpoint, analyzing all suspicious occurrences calmly and logically, and not be- coming overly frightened or paranoid of catching one. Given that the chances of actually catching a virus are not overly large, and that cer- tain viruses may have been written to act as terrorist devices, inducing fear and suspicion among computer owners, taking reasonable preventive measures as well as eliminating ALL other possibilities before suspecting a viral infection would be the sensible thing to do. > CPU STATUS REPORT? LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS ================= Issue #14 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. - Sunnyvale, California ATARI SALES DROP 11% IN 4TH QUARTER --------------------- Atari's sales for the 4th quarter ending December 31, 1990 were down 11% compared to the like quarter a year ago. Sales for the 12 months ending 1990 were down 3%. Net income for 1990 was $14.9 million versus $4 million for 1989. Like many other computer companies who's sales were also down for the same period, Atari blames the Persian Gulf war for the decline in sales. But Atari President Sam Tramiel is looking on the bright side, "Although sales in the fourth quarter were understandably disappointing, the company continues to strengthen its balance sheet. The Atari STE and TT030 computer line, based on Motorola's 68000 and 68030 micro- processors, continues to be a cornerstone of our business." - Washington, D.C. CENSUS SAYS COMPUTER USE UP ---------------- According to a survey just released by the US Commerce Department, 15% percent of US households now own computers, compared to only 8% in 1984. Price reductions and availability of more uses for the machines are attributed to the increase. The survey shows that nearly 50% of those aged three to 17 used a com- puter at home or in school compared to 30% in 1984. 28% of those 19 and up are using a computer at home, work or school, up from 18% in 1984. 37% of the 115 million employed adults say they use a computer at work, compared to 25% five years ago. One highlight of the survey shows that more women, 43%, than men, 32%, use computers in the workplace. - Armonk, New York IBM CUTS WORKFORCE BY 14,000 ---------------- After recently startling the financial community with its announcment of lower than expected earnings, this week IBM announced it will reduce its worldwide workforce by 14,000 people or about 4% this year. The move is expected to save about $200 million this year, $600 million next year, and $800 million the year after. - Santa Clara, California INTEL SETTLES SUIT WITH AMD ----------------------- After U.S. District Court Judge William A. Ingram ruled that Intel does not have a trademark on the 386 combination, Intel Corp. settled out of court with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) over the use of "386" name on chips. The two firms also settled AMD's countersuit alleging misappro- priation of trade secrets, and which named Intel General Counsel F. Thomas Dunlap. Other, unrelated lawsuits, are still pending between the two firms. - Sunnyvale, California NEW 386 CHIP 21% FASTER THAN INTELS --------------------- Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has released the AMD386DX-40, a pin-for-pin plug-in replacement chip that is 21% faster than Intel's 33mhz 80386 32- bit chip. The 40hmz AMD386 has been shipping for several weeks and al- ready some of the smaller customers with "shorter design cycles", i.e., Northgate, Bell Computer, Orchid Technology and Cybertek, have started using the product. There are actually two versions of the AMD386 chip. The AMD386DX-40 and the AM386DXL-40 which is a lower powered version. According to AMD, the AMD386DXL-40 offers a static design that "dramatically reduces power consumption and extends battery life in portable PC systems." After defeating an attempt by Intel Corporation to stop its release (see INTEL SETTLES SUIT WITH AMD), AMD hopes the chip will break Intel's 3- year monopoly of the market. - San Jose, California ALL DIGITAL ANSWERING MACHINE CHIPSET -------------------- The DSP Group Inc., has announced the D6005, a new member of its D6000 family of chip sets for all-digital telephone answering devices (TAD). The D6005 eliminates the need for audio tape by storing phone messages on solid-state memory. This eliminates all moving parts, increases the reliability and ease of use of the TAD. In addition, the D6005 performs all of the functions for featurephones and cordless phones, permitting designers of telephone equipment to develop a range of products, from a stand-alone TAD to a complete phone center combining TAD, featurephone and cordless telephone. - San Jose, California TAPE RECORDER ON A CHIP -------------------- Information Storage Devices (ISD) is producing a silicon chip that enables the storage of up to 20 seconds of linear signals (voice, music and sensor inputs), with system-level features that make the chip a true analog storage subsystem. According to ISD, the chip plus a microphone, speaker, and battery performs all the functions of a tape recorder without a tape cassette or electromechanical mechanism. Audio input is processed by and stored in the chip and sent directly to the speaker. Storage integrity exceeds 10 years without power with the playback quality exceeding telephone-grade audio. - Washington, D.C. APPLE DISPLEASES DEALERS ---------------- Apple has upset many of its dealers by running advertisements in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and The New York Times that carried the following tag line in small print: "Prices shown are suggested retail. But who pays retail anymore?" According to the March 18th Computer Reseller News, some resellers, who are used to seeing firm prices from Apple, were shocked to learn that Apple's advertisements for their new printers carried the strong implication that dealers would immediately discount the printers despite reports that the low-priced StyleWriter and Personal LaserWriter LS are in very short supply - Apple itself admitted that demand for the StyleWriter far outstripped supply and that the product would be on allocation for 4-6 months. - Washington, D.C. MAC VS. MS-DOS SOFTWARE SALES ---------------- According to data recently released by the SPA concerning software sales for the calendar year of 1990, MS-DOS education and game software are both growing more rapidly than Macintosh software aimed at the same market. Also, while the non-Macintosh and MS-DOS systems experienced a 1000% increase in spreadsheet sales, Macintosh experienced a 13% sales drop. Integrated software dropped 4% for MS-DOS systems, 23.4% for "other" systems (mostly Unix) and a 1% increase for the Macintosh. Both language and utility tools sales for the Macintosh dropped 16%, but increased 31.5% for MS-DOS systems. Desktop Publishing (DTP) software showed a 36.5% gain for the year, with graphics and DTP software sales for MS-DOS systems totaling $141 million for the 4th quarter to $68.8 million for the Macintosh for the year. DTP/graphics software sales for the Macintosh are the largest category of software sold for the Macintosh, with graphics programs making up the vast majority of those sales. But overall, the dollar value of DTP soft- ware, minus graphics programs, is almost the smallest applications soft- ware category tracked by the SPA, with only education software sales being lower. - Lake Success, New York CANON PRODUCES STILL DIGITAL VIDEO ---------------------- CAMERA FOR THE MAC Canon U.S.A. is bundling its electronic Xap Shot Still Video Camera with a ComputerEyes video digitizer and software manufactured by Digital Vision. The package will allow users to input, adjust and store color and black-and-white video images directly on a computer. Versions of the kit are available for color and black-and-white PCs and Macintoshes, and for the Apple IIGS, with prices ranging between $899 and $1,099. - Atlanta, Georgia IBM FINALLY RELEASES NEW LAPTOP ---------------- IBM has finally released its new laptop, the PS/2 L40SX, in the United States. The 7.7 pound box, will retail for $5,995. The 20mhz, 80386sx system comes stock with a VGA screen, an external 101 key keyboard, a mouse, which doubles as a track ball, a 60-meg hard drive, 2-meg of main memory, an add-in slot, a cigarette lighter adaptor, a quick charge adapter and a leather slip case. The PS/2 L40SX a 'dashboard' above the keyboard which detects when the power is running down or when it's too hot or humid for the machine to operate, in which case it turns itself off. The battery can be removed without losing data, and a 'resume' mode brings the user back to where they were in the work in under 30 seconds. Battery life is rated at about 3 hours. - Rochester, New York KODAK MAKES COLORSQUEEZE P/D ------------------- Eastman Kodak claims that its commercial product Colorsqueeze software can compress high-quality color TIFF and PICT images stored in Macintosh format by as much as 93 percent. To make it feasible for computer users to download Colorsqueezed compressed files from bulletin board systems or to purchase compressed files on disk, Kodak released its Color- squeeze decompression tools to public domain so it can be freely copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes. The decompression utility has been uploaded to America On-Line, Applelink, CompuServe and PressLink, as well as the GEnie online network. - Indianapolis, Indiana VIDEOVGA FINALLY SHIPPING --------------------- Almost eight months after its initial announcement, Truevision has started shipping its VideoVGA, a VGA to NTSC professional grade video card for PC-compatible computers. The card, an important device for those who wish to edit and produce high quality television images on a standard PC, provides simultaneous output of a standard non-interlaced VGA monitor signal and the television videotape compatible NTSC (North American Television Standards Committee) video standard used in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Two versions will be available, a $1,000 512K memory card and a $1,200 version which comes with 1MB of onboard memory. > CEBIT STATUS REPORT? CLOSING NEWS FROM CEBIT IN HANNOVER =================== Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. - Private investment needed in Germany of the 90s This was the first Cebit fair to be held in the newly-united Germany and people are finding out that there are as many technical problems as sol- utions in re-unification. Experts say it will take some time before the level of voice and data exchange achieves Western standards because of an out-dated and inadequate infrastructure in Germany's new federal states. This applies to telephone and mobile phone services as well as to satellite links and EDP (electronic data processing) communications. This poses a considerable obstacle to telecommunications investors. Jurgen W. Mollemann, German minister for economic affairs, said "Some 55 billion DM have been allocated to this task between now and 1997. There is a huge demand for products and services in the information technology sector in the five new federal states. In addition to the measures introduced by the federal Post Office's Telekom company, opportunities for private investment will also be considerably extended. Private companies will be licensed to establish and operate mobile commun- ications and satellite radio networks," - Ashton-Tate Intros Applause II Version 1.4 Ashton-Tate Corp. will be shipping the latest version of its Applause II presentation graphics program this month. The program combines charting, drawing and electronic slide show features and is designed to appeal to business professionals who need to turn spreadsheet data into a black and white chart and print it on a laser printer; executives who need high-quality color slides, overheads or electronic slide shows for pre- sentations; and graphic artists who need to create professional-quality color graphics for marketing collateral and presentations. The new version will have a 80,000-word spell checker, as well as local area net work support and support for additional output devices. - Award Software Unveils New BIOS Chipsets Award Software, who's BIOS and system software products have been an alternative to the market-leading Phoenix BIOS for desktop PCs, has joined in the PC laptop and notebook battleground with its new 'modular' BIOS which can be used with the new Intel 386SL processors for por- tables. The new BIOS features a new power management system - PowerMAX - which claims to minimize power consumption and maximize laptop battery life without sacrificing compatibility. Up to six peripheral devices can be individually controlled in addition to global power management fun- ctions. It also has ability to customize power management parameters through MODBIN; support of system management interrupt; minimization of power consumption when applications are idle by controlling the processor clock and a suspend and resume feature which allows users to return to an application instantly without booting the system. - Goldstar Unveils New PCs Goldstar, a Korean computer monolith, launched its first 80486-based tower system. The GS-425 tower uses a 25 MHz 80486 processor, comes with 2MB of memory and includes 6 EISA-compatible expansion slots and two A- bus slots. GoldStar also introduced a 386SX-based laptop machine which offers a 40 MB hard disk, a modest 16 MHz processor speed, VGA LCD display and at a weight of 5.9 kilograms. - New Version Of Battery Watch Debuts Travelling Software, one of the pioneers in developing applications spe- cifically for laptops, has upgraded its popular Battery Watch utility. Battery Watch Pro, which accurately assess just how much battery life is left on your laptop, now includes direct support for 24 new laptop models, provides context-sensitive help, offers a 'tune-up' feature to show the history of battery performance in your machine and has a generic install option for new or obscure systems. -Epson Launches Three New Products Epson unveiled three new state-of-the-art PC and printer products at Cebit. The first of these was a tower style EISA-based PC which uses either a 25 MHz or 33 MHz 80386 or 80486 microprocessor. Aimed at the PC server market, this is Epson's first EISA system and is an attempt to move its PC offerings upmarket. The basic machines comes with 4MB of RAM, includes either a 100 or 200MB IDE hard disk and offers seven full- length EISA expansion slots. In addition, there's room inside for RAM expansion to a full 64MB, a 128K RAM cache (64K is included in the basic system) and up to six half-height storage devices. Next was the introduction of the NB3, a new 80386SX-based notebook sys- tem. It offers not only a 20mhz 80386SX processor, a weight of less than six pounds, 5MB of RAM and a removable hard disk system. The removable hard disk packs 2.5-inch units which come in 20, 40 or 60mb sizes and are supplemented by a 3.5-inch 1.44MB non-removable floppy disk drive. Also, it will plug into an optional base station unit that offers another 120MB of storage and space for two full-length AT-style expansion cards. Last was the European launch of its EPL-7500, its first fully PostScript compatible printer. The Epson EPL-7500 claims to offer better PostScript compatibility than most of its competitors as well as superior speed -- the latter achieved through the use of a RISC processor, rather than then more conventional 68000-series microprocessors used in most company's PostScript offerings. *********************************************************************** :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!! <- *********************************************************************** > Soft-Logik Online STR Feature? Conf. - SoftLogik Publishing Corporation ============================= ONLINE CONFERENCE WITH DERON KAZMAIER ===================================== ctsy GEnie Information Services The following is a transcript of the Real Time Conference with Deron Kazmaier, president of SoftLogik Publishing Corporation. The conference topic was PageStream for the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga, and it was held on Tuesday, March 26th, 1991. This transcript has been edited only for spelling and clarity. <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Hello everyone. The room is now listen only. Please bear with me for a second while I unlock Deron and Fred... <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Welcome to the second formal conference with SoftLogik President Deron Kazmaier. Before we start, you should know how to raise your hand. If you have a question, please type /RAI and I will see that you have a question. You can do that any time, like now. OK, we will begin with Deron. Deron, do you have any opening statement or should we just start with questions? <DERON. K> I would like to tell everyone what is new here at SL. Bear with me as I type it in :-) On the Amiga, at the AmiExpo NY we showed Art Expression (an object oriented drawing program) & BME (a simple bitmap editor) & PageLiner (a simple text editor) & HotLinks (a program that runs in the background and allows live editing of your pictures and text) That is a REAL brief outline of the Amiga. On the ST, we will be showing at CEPS pagestream v2. 1but you get to hear about it first here (official announ- cement then) CEPS if the week of April 8th. I may get into other things, but that is a good roundup of what's new. ga <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> OK, thanks. Our first questioner is job 6... Go ahead... <[Jon] JONPETERSOHN> Hi Deron. . thanks for being here with us. I'd like to know if you can give us a release date for the ST version of PageStream, and any details on the upgrades... <DERON. K> No! (alright maybe something :-) I don't suppose you would settle for RSN? <[Jon] JONPETERSOHN> RSN? <DERON. K> The upgrade will be $75 for registered owners of PageStream 1. 8(or ear- lier) RSN mean real soon now. Never mind. Anyway, we expect the upgrade notice to go out in about 2-3 weeks. we just got round one proofing out of the way. (thanks to Mike Loader and Brad Kazmaier) and as most of the Beta Testers can attest to, things have gone real smooth. They went from 0 to mostly done in a few weeks. I can say for sure when it will be out, but I'm confident that(make that can't!) but the manual should be the holdup, not the program. BTW the new manual will actually be two manuals, one spiral bound, the other saddle stitched. Two color, and well written (again thanks to MikeL) ga <[Jon] JONPETERSOHN> Thanks for the info, I'll let someone else go now. . THANKS! <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Thanks, Jon. Now it is the Martin team: <[John & ] D. D. MARTIN> Thanks for the conference, Nevin. . good to see you, Deron. I'd like to know if PgS 2 is going to support MAC postscript graphics on screen displ- ay? Also. . other features we may look forward to? ga <DERON. K> Gee, the list of features is LONG. But Mac postscript graphics on screen is a no go. The only postscript on-screen will be IBM EPS with TIFF heade- rs. As far as import modules, we will be adding with v2, TIFF, MacPaint, GIF, ProDraw & DR2D (object oriented Amiga drawing formats) IBM EPS, and also a IMG print to disk driver (mostly for faxes) OK? GA <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Anything else, John and DD? <[John & ] D. D. MARTIN> Seems odd that you would opt for IBM EPS when most of ST users are using GCR to produce MAC EPS... ? ? Any reason for not oops. . yea... but why IBM? <DERON. K> Anyway, the reason is that Mac headers use PICT, which can be anything that the mac can output, and then some (something like a GEM metafile) We have been working on just grabbing the PICT bitmaps, but it probably won't be done by then. Anyway, most MAC drawing programs can save the IBM header (including FreeHand) ga <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> OK, next up is Steve Markow... <[steve] S. MARKOW> Deron, can we place our orders now, to be first in line Also, looking ahead, is there anything in the works for the next upgrade? (talk about jumping the gun!) . . ga <DERON. K> Well, yes we started taking orders about two weeks ago informally. We hope to be able to ship them all out about the same day. So don't fret. But I can tell you that when the notice goes in the mail the phone will be busy a lot. As far as the next version, I can't really say. But there is al- ready an upgrade in the works for HotLinks support on the Amiga, and may work its way over to the ST. We are doing other things on the ST as well. Sorry I can't say more than that about x. x (3. 0? ) ga <[steve] S. MARKOW> So can I call in the morning with my Credit card #... ga <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Ok, thanks Steve. <M. REARDON1> Can you tell us about fonts? Will we be able to use the fonts we now have? ? Ga <DERON. K> You bet. Not only that, the outlines will display on screen for point sizes above about 26pts, but bitmaps will print to dot matrix for very small sizes, plus you can use Adobe Type 1 outlines, Adobe Bitmaps, AFM's, and CompuGraphic Intelifonts. And you can have them matching up with each other. GA <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Anything else? <M. REARDON1> thanks... ga <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Thanks. OK, next up is Ringo from California. <R. MONFORT1> My question is about Linotronic output are the are the drivers update and how will the new font works and the old ones. <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Deron, his question is are there new drivers for Lino printers and how will the new fonts work? <DERON. K> OK, there is a significant new driver for postscript. In fact there is only one driver now. The old Postscript/Lino/ColorPS driver have been merged into one driver. It supports EPS much better (fixing things like clipping and work better with illegal EPS files) and as far as the fonts and PostScript goes,old . DMF;s are downloaded automatically, and Adobe Type1's as well. There is no support for printing Compugraphic to PostSCr- ipt, but you can have both an Adobe type1 and CG font, one for Dot Matrix and on Screen, the other for downloading to PS. Answered? GA <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Ringo, do you have another question? <[Sysop#2] FRED. M> Also, you no longer will need the . PS and . PSF font files! <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> OK, I guess that's it from Ringo. Next up is Kibo... . <DERON. K> Unless you want built in fonts. Then you need PS still. <[Kibo] JPARRY> An arcane font question... what "hinting" will 2. 1 support for NON-PostS- cript printers? <DERON. K> Good question actually. We support very little of the PostScript hinting to non-postscript devices, but CG fonts are fully hinted. Our fonts have not changed, and I would rather improve PostSCript hinting support than work on that. GA <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Anything else, Kibo? <[Kibo] JPARRY> Ga... I'm done <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Thanks. Deron, I have a question here. Can you rank the quality of the Compugraphic hinted fonts as compared to the regular fonts we are used to, and UltraScript fonts? Will we still need UScript if we're not printing an EPS file? ga <DERON. K> Well, CG Compugraphic fonts are as good or better than PostScript. It doesn't use regularizing like PS does. The output for CG fonts will be at least as good as US, but you still won't get EPS files printing without US. GA <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Thanks. LOTS less printing to disk. Next up is #9. Go ahead... <[Ron] R. HARISCH1> Any plans to support the new 24 bit color boards available for the Amiga (like the ColorBurst board) ? <DERON. K> Well, we've been on MAST's a** for the last few months trying to get specs on their board. The big thing is that they are not supported by the Amiga OS, and you have to play tricks to make it work, but we are looking into it (and others) just we don't know how much work lies ahead of us. Easy Fred!HAM-E is even more work, and I would rather spend the effort on true 24-bit boards. ga <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Anything else #9? <[Ron] R. HARISCH1> Is Sl still planning to release the Image Club collection of fonts? <DERON. K> You bet, we've finally finished the technical aspects, but we are still working on the manual. We are trying to compile a list of programs that use type1's and how to make it work with them. GA <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Thanks, Ron. Next up from Virginia is Mr. Montgomery: Go ahead. <C. MONTGOMERY> 5 quickies... 1) can we use GEM pics from touchup ??? 2) can you mix types of fonts in a doc??? 3) mix fonts in a folder? 4) what is a "built in font"? 5) what is a hinted font??? thanks ga <DERON. K> ok, nice list. 1) don't know what you mean! TouchUp can save in IFF, IMG,TIFF, and we can load those all. GEM is a object format that would be meaningless in tou- chup. 2) Yes! You can even have a normal DMF, and bold PostScript,and an italic Compugraphic. All in the same word if you wanted :-) 3) Yes, you can mix them to your hearts content in the folders. I actually keep the fonts all over. back to #1The "dinky" file you refer to is worth- less. GEM Metafile has the ability to " <C. MONTGOMERY> When you save a scan it gives you a large IMG and a SMALL GEM file. Why not keep the dinky one? include The dinky file is a GEM Metafile that includes an outside IMG file. In other words, its a place holder for programs that can ONLY import GEM Metafiles. Trust me, just delete them. (if you're using just PageStream :-) no, where were we, #4: <C. MONTGOMERY> built in font & hinted font? <DERON. K> A "built in" font I was referring to is those fonts that reside inside the PostScript printer in the ROMS, or PostScript Printers attached Hard Drive. The Font Disk A uses those fonts. <DERON. K> 5. Hinted fonts are fonts that have commands built into them that explain how to print the characters better at small point sizes so that the width of the stems and other parts are better. In all, it improves the quality of the individual characters. OK? GA <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Thanks for those questions. Next up, on the rebound, are the Martins again: <[John & ] D. D. MARTIN> couple short questions... . any improvement in TABS... Leaders... and Right/Left Justify when on the same line? (like menu pricing or catalog price lists) ga <DERON. K> Well, in short, no. However, not much longer (it's #1 on the list) ga <[John & ] D. D. MARTIN> okay... Pantone color support? also... update to Font Editor? ga <DERON. K> You can now enter in colors via a full CMYK box. and if you import an EPS file that includes custom colors, it will add those to your color palette. So, if you own Adobe Illustrator, you can import their file call Pantone. EPS and get all the Pantone colors, or for $60 you can buy the Pantone Process color selector and enter them yourself as you need them. However, we find that the best thing. I know what you want, we do it all the time!Anyway, you can right now just create some color and mark it as a mechanical, and name it Pantone 405 or whatever. When you print it will separate that out and you can just give it to the printer, and he will go from there. If you want color proofs, you can give it the CMYK colors as defined in the Process Guide. Understand? GA <[John & ] D. D. MARTIN> CMY is of no use to me... I need Pantone spot colors for screen printing <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Thanks, DD. Next up is Walt. Deron, they also asked about Font Editor update ga <DERON. K> Sorry! Well, Mike is busy on the C version of it, and it will have some enhancements in it. Something your looking for? He's always interested in feedback. ga <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Apparently there is a very good PGS compatible font editor out of England which Jay Pierstorff used to make his great Icecube font. Deron, have you heard of this editor? <DERON. K> No, but then again, most people think they have to reverse engineer our font format to get to it :-) ga [Editor's Note: The name of the great PageStream font editor is Font Designer Plus! Computer Safari has this item in stock.] <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> OK, next up is Walt. Go ahead, Walt. <[walt] W. WEBER> Does the $75 upgrade fee have anything extra needed (like print drivers or ex/im modules) ? ... ga... <DERON. K> Well, for $75 dollars, you get the full disk set,two new manuals, as I mentioned before, and a quick-reference card. GA <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Anything else, Walt? <[walt] W. WEBER> THANKS for getting the ST version out; can we fax orders tomorrow? ? <DERON. K> sure, 314-894-3280, or call 800-829-8608 <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Thanks walt, is that it? <[walt] W. WEBER> yep - thanks!! <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> OK, next up is Nathan Potechin of ISD! Just kidding... Next up is Ringo... . Go ahead, Ringo. <R. MONFORT1> I only wanted to know how fast is the printout and the screen draw for the new PageStream. I hope the new TT030 is faster. Thank You. <DERON. K> Well, it's hard for me to say. I now use a TT, and its plenty fast for me :-) We can try and do some timing comparisons between 1. 8 and 2. 1 Some- things like typing and zooming in will work much faster. Some things are slower. ga <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Thanks, Ringo. Next up is our friend Bob Brodie, from Atari Corp. Go ahead, Bob. <BOB-BRODIE> Hi Deron, first I'd like to congratulate you on PageStream. It's always been my first choice as a DTP program for as long as I have been doing DTP work. And the new version sounds really amazing from all that I have heard about it. One of the things that we at Atari are really excited about is our new scalable font technology- FSM GDOS. Is there any chance. . that a future update to Page Stream might use FSM? GA <DERON. K> Well, will future updates of GDOS include things like multipart polygons, definable screening, etc? Well, we hope that FSM will take off, and we can always write a print driver that handles it. But to be honest, GDOS has always been a problem with users in the way of installation, etc, and with Imagen, oops, QMS the way they are, perhaps you will ad PostScript type 1 support? ... I know, you have nothing to do with this Bob! The short answer is maybe! ga <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Anything else, Bob? <[Sysop#2] FRED. M> What will be the minimum memory requirements for the ST with the new PgS v2.1 ? <DERON. K> 1 meg of RAM, but tight if you get crazy (same as always... ) GA <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> OK, thanks Bob. next up is Ron again. Go ahead, Ron. <[Ron] R. HARISCH1> How is SL's structured drawing program for the Amiga Comparable in feat- ures to ProDraw (i. e. autotracing bitmaps wrapping text to curves, etc)? <DERON. K> Yes, and then some. Things like ease of use, DR2D support, Importing of Adobe Illustrator files as objects, ability to place objects along a path transform, text along a path, text inside a shape, rotation about a defin- able points, etc. GA <[Ron] R. HARISCH1> What types of fonts can be used with the drawing program? ga <DERON. K> Adobe Type 1's. That's basically were we see the best future. GA <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> thanks. Deron, any chance of this coming to the ST? I am drooling... ga <DERON. K> well, we have the option, but it honestly depends on how PageStream is received <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> OK, thanks. Next up is J.VOGH...Go ahead. <DERON. K> disconnected. [Chatter while waiting for Deron to re-connect... ] <DERON. K> Sorry about that, Genie bumped me. <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> OK we'll continue... <DERON. K> About ST version of Art Expression we will see about that. Depends on PgS 2.1. We do plan on fully promoting PageStream, and give it a good chance. we are also working on some AppleTalk networking stuff and I think that shows we are committed to pushing the Atari ST. Besides, what the people at Atari have been doing, with the new machines, FSM, color boards from others, etc, and the positive work being done by Bill, Bob, and others I think will pay off in the end. If they can only keep a President longer than a few weeks. ga <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> BTW, folks, Art Expression is the name of the amazing drawing program for the Amiga that was shown at the New York show last week. <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> OK, next up is number 16. Go ahead. <J. VOGH> Ok Does 2,1 or support object connection to text? Or will a future version support this. Also , has the spelling checker been improved? ga. <DERON. K> No, if you mean graphics tagged to follow a point in the text. It's still slow if that's what you mean. GA <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Anything else? <J. VOGH> Heres another vote for ST Art Expression. That's all. <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> OK, next up is #6. <[Jon] JONPETERSOHN> Hello again. Are screen redraws on 2. 1 faster than 1. 8? What about a driver for HP DeskJet printers? Can I visit you next time in St louis? ga <DERON. K> I think I answered that one about as well as I can. What was that last one? ga <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Driver for HP Deskjet. <DERON. K> Yes, there is a driver for the Deskjet. No problem, things like typing are faster in 2. 1, and if you are zoomed in things are much faster, but as far as full page, it depends on the fonts and memory. We don't normally except visitors. We are not really geared for that. Sorry. Catch me and others at a show! GA <[Jon] JONPETERSOHN> thanks! later! <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Folks, any other questions? Otherwise we'll wrap it up. OK, Montgomery... oops, Pattie is first. Go ahead, Pattie. <[Pattie] UNICORNPUB> Deron, I have two questions... . 1st) Will the colors we put into the color palette CMYK be actually visible on the screen... I mean a closer representation than 4 colors in medium rez. ga <DERON. K> Well, I'm not sure what resolution/# colors you are talking about. It doesn't dither on screen, but it does automatically pick the best on screen color. But the only good way to do color work is with at least 16 colors, or better yet 256 colors. (or 24bit!!!) ga <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Anything else, Pattie? <C. MONTGOMERY> as we have spent a lot of time adding to the dictionary will we be able to transfer it ? and <[Pattie] UNICORNPUB> Will PS support the Printware 720IQ printer? <C. MONTGOMERY> will the create page speed up on a mega 4 ? ? <DERON. K> Pattie first, <C. MONTGOMERY> of course <[Pattie] UNICORNPUB> That's a 1200 DPI plain paper typsetter. ga <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> The other question, from Montgomery, was can you use your existing PGS dictionary and is printing to an SLM faster with 2. 1. ga <DERON. K> is the Printware postscript? I believe it is, and yes we do. The dictionary has not changed format, so yes, and printing to the SLM will be direct (no more diablo!) and will be faster for most things. Clear as mud, but the best I can do until we do times! ga <[Jon] JONPETERSOHN> Just wanted you to know that the newsletter I do for the local Elementary School on my ST with PageStream, was shown at the state convention as an example of the RIGHT way to do a newsletter... Thanks for the great pro- duct SAL and Atari! That's SL and Atari! <DERON. K> That was an easy question :-) Thanks for the compliment. <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> ANNOUNCEMENT: Starting next Tuesday, there will be a conference every week beginning at 9:45. These will be free-for all's. In April, we will have "Theme Month". Next Tuesday, the 2nd, will be a free form followup to this formal con- ference, where you can ask the sysops any questions you forgot to ask Deron. On the 9th the theme will be Linotronic printing, so if you have questions on this topic, drop by. On the 16th we will talk about color desktop publishing, from the HP DeskJet to color seps at 3000 dots per inch. Finally, on the 23rd we will have a conference on making money in DTP. That's it. All times are 9:45pm eastern time. Deron, do you have any final comments? ga <DERON. K> Well, nothing more than I hope we answered most everyone's questions, and those that we didn't, please ask them later! Also, I hope to be getting on line for the conferences more often, as well as try and get some of the others around here responsible for the new products on the Amiga and ST on line for some as well. Thanks everyone! ga <[Sysop] NEVIN-S> Ok, thanks very much for coming here tonight Deron. We will now go into frenzy mode. [Editor's Note: The retail price will of PageStream 2. 1/ST will be $299.95. Upgrades will be $75.00.] ______________________________________________________________ > The Flip Side STR Feature? "....a different viewpoint" ========================= A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT ================================== by Michael Lee ---------------- About DeskTop Publishing for the ST, from Bill Rayl (AIM) on Genie... In my opinion, currently there are really only two choices for professional DTP on the ST -- Calamus and PageStream. Both are excellent programs, and choosing the one that's best for you is going to be partly a matter of personal preferences. I'm not going to discuss favoring one package over the other because of user inter- face, except to say that I personally like 'em both. Calamus had a bigger "learning curve." PageStream lacks some of Calamus' typo- graphic controls, like the ability to set grayscale and offset of shadows on text/objects. Here are some other, more practical, reasons why you might want to choose one package over the other: If, like most "normal" people, you plan to output most/all your DTP masterpieces to a laser printer (other than Postscript), DeskJet, or 24-pin/9- pin printer, Calamus is going to be hard to beat. If output quality is a big concern, Calamus beats the pants off PageStream. On a page-by-page comparison, Calamus font and graphics output on a standard LaserJet II or DeskJet is *noticeably* sharper than Page- Stream. And, in general, Calamus outputs a page noticeably faster than PageStream, as well. If, on the other hand, you plan to output to a Postscript laser or photoprocessor, PageStream is currently a better choice. By using PageStream, you can take advantage of *any* service bureau's ser- vices. With Calamus, your options are seriously limited when it comes to 1200+ dpi output. If you plan to do color DTP - especially four-color (process) separations - PageStream is currently the only choice, and it does it very well. In this respect, PageStream outshines DTP packages on the Mac. In a nutshell, if you're outputting to anything but a Postscript device, Calamus output is faster and more professional looking. In fact, Calamus output on an HP LaserJet II is *as good* as Postscript laser output from PageStream. If you want/need to output to the local service bureau's phototypesetter or to do full color DTP with separ- ations, you're going to need the Postscript capabilities of Page- Stream. ------------------ Question from Pedro Aguilera on CIS... Does anyone know what are the differences between European and American ST's? I've heard that some programs, especially games, don't run correctly on the wrong version...what are differences? Only in TOS? In the case, can the problem be solved by changing TOS chips? Answer from Bob Retelle (Sysop) on CIS... ...there are several areas where STs made for other countries may differ...the TOS ROMs contain different information depending on the country...the keyboards and character sets may be different depending on the language used locally...the voltage that the power supply uses ...the display screen frequency (you may notice that some European games tend to flicker badly, or may make the monitor roll. They are written for a different frequency..) You might be able to use a voltage converter for the power supply... replacing the TOS ROMs might work (although the keyboard markings would still be wrong, of course). You might be able to adjust the monitor to work with the 50hz display (the frequency difference is caused by the difference in line voltages. In Europe, their "mains" run at 50Hz, so their monitors sync at that frequency. The result is that some software may not sync correctly at 60 Hz...that's vertical sync, not horizontal which isn't the same.) That's all theoretical though, as I don't know of anyone who's actually tried it... ---------------- Question from Mike Squire to Gadgets by Small on Genie... ...If I elected to purchase one of your SST boards, what additional modifications would I need to make to my MegaST2 in order to have the board operate properly...I am under the impression...that I would need to increase my system's memory from 2 Megs to 4 Megs in order to use the SST. Answer from George Richardson (Merlin Group) on Genie... ...the SST board doesn't *require* 4 megs of ST memory. It'll run with just 512k. However, the additional memory on the SST cannot be used for all ST programs (all programs written for the TT's Fastram should work though). Screen memory must be in ST ram, all disk tran- sfers are to ST ram, all Blitter accesses are in ST ram. If you're at all familiar with the Amiga, you could think of the ST memory as being like Amiga chip ram, and SST Fastram as being like Amiga Fastram...think of it this way. Since screen memory must be in ST ram - to do really fast page flipping animation as many images as possible must be put in ST ram (Amiga chip ram) - for this reason Commodore expanded the original chip ram area of the Amiga. Now with the SST, you can have 4 meg of "chip ram", and up to 8meg of 32 bit memory that is used exclusively for the 68030. The bottom line is, you can expand your ST memory if you think you may need more "chip ram" but if you haven't expanded it before now, you probably don't need to. The SST doesn't need it. ---------------- From Capt. John J. Amsler on CIS... The Mitsubishi Diamond Scan multisynch monitor works GREAT in monochrome mode, but absolutely terribly in either low or medium resolution. I thought I was getting a good piece of equipment, but events proved otherwise. ---------------- Question from Harry Wootan on Genie... I'd like to get a copy of the latest complete set of utilities AND the documentation. How much do I send in to get the latest utilities? Answer from Tom (ICD) on Genie... $15 gets US residents the latest manual AND diskette. ---------------- From A.BITTON1 on Genie... Horror Zombies From The Crypt by Millenium (designed by Astral). Another one of them sideview scrolling platform games. This one has zombies, Frankenstein's monsters, and other nasties. The best horror game I've ever played is Night Hunter by UBI Soft... available through Electronic Arts. It's a sideview flick-scrolling game. You ARE the vampire! You can turn into a bat or a werewolf. You must retrieve a scroll, a bottle, a crucifix, and 5 keys. Then, you just find the blue door to exit the level. You can grab assorted humans to replenish your strength gauge (blood). This sequence is quite funny. You grab 'em by the neck, you bite 'em and you drink their blood, to the tune of nifty digitzed sound effects (Chomp! Slurp-slurp!). The enemy artificial intelligence is above-average. The archers can walk backwards and aim their arrows in 5 directions. Some of the enemies on the later levels have everything from mirrors, holy water, and wooden stakes!! As time goes by, the moon makes it way across the sky, and when it reaches the right side of the sky, you must find the crypt to sleep through the day. That annoying extra border around the ST's screen is used to show what time of night it is: it starts out very dark blue and lightens gradually. Very handy. The sound is GREAT!!! It's all digitized and the samples only use one voice at a time. It can play three samples simultaneously! The sound consists of howl hoots, bat squeaks, and assorted night critters stuff. As day approaches, birds begin singing. All the enemies have sounds too: the twang of an archer firing an arrow, the thud of an axe hitting you, everything has its own sound! When you walk through the forest or the graveyard, you're treated to a solid background of chirring crickets (I think), and all the other sounds are still active. Definitely the MOST atmospheric soundtrack of ANY game!!! It's a hard game though. But you can save 10 positions on disk 2! 2 disks, single-sided. This is a newer version. The old version has you retrieving 5 keys and 3 scrolls (numbered 1 through 3). Don't get that one! It won't let you save your game! ---------------- From Joshua Mendolusky on CIS... The Reflex Graphic Card from Titan Designs Ltd., currently only available in England, will shortly be distributed by JOACQUIM Soft- ware and Peripherals in the US. This graphic card is designed for use with monochrome monitors, allowing 1280x800 resolution on a standard SM124. The current version is only available for MEGA ST, but 520/ 1040 support is only weeks away. Other features: * 9-pin and 13-pin ports for use with standard 15 inch "Page screen" and 21 inch CAD monitors * 1280x800 pixels on an SM124 * 800x1280 resolution on a "Page screen", A3 monitor * over 2000x1500 resolution on a 21' CAD monitor * software included has a number of support features * compatible with a number of monochrome programs such as Calamus, Timeworks, etc. Price is tentative, but for the moment I expect it should run between $350.00 and $400.00 (depending on the rate of exchange. ---------------- From Nathan (ISD) on Genie... I spoke to Germany and NO, they haven't released Calamus SL in Germany yet. (BIG SIGH) ---------------- Until next week..... ____________________________________________________________ > MAC REPORT? ========== Issue #004 ---------- by Robert Allbritton *** RADIUS ROCKETS MAC INTO '040 On Monday, March 25, Radius Inc introduced the Radius Rocket: the first NuBus based accelerator for the Macintosh. The Rocket sports a 25Mhz 68040, but it has been designed with a 33Mhz version of the '040 in mind and will require no modifications once the 33Mhz version is released by Motorola. The Rocket is a standard NuBus peripheral card and will work on any Macintosh II. It has its own SIMM slots and can accommodate up to 128 megabytes of memory that is 120 nanosecond or faster. Parity SIMMS may also be used. Another feature of the Rocket is its incorporation of the Radius QuickColor graphics engine for general display acceleration and the Radius QuickCAD display list accelerator. The Rocket is significant in the way that it is the first acceler- ator for the Mac that does not replace the original processor. Because the Rocket is a complete "computer on a card" in its own right, the proce- ssor and memory inside the Macintosh are used as an input/output processor and sound manager while the Rocket concentrates on main program execution. This combination gives throughput of up to three times the speed of the top of the line Macintosh IIfx. *** TANDEM SPEAKS APPLETALK In June of 1990, Apple made the proliferation of the AppleTalk network protocol one of its long term goals. Another step along that road was made this week when Tandem Computers announced that they had licensed the AppleTalk protocol and would be using it Tandem's new DAL servers. Other companies that have licensed the protocol as a part of the program include Novell, Go Corp., AT&T, Digital, and Farallon. Mac Review? THE GHOST OF PORTABLES PAST AND FUTURE HAUNT APPLE ================================================== A year and a half ago, Apple introduced the Macintosh portable for $7,000. They expected to ship over 120,000 units in the first year of production alone, yet they failed to sell even 80,000. It was the first flop from Apple computer since the Apple III. At a recent press conferen- ce, Apple chairman John Sculley, who oversaw much of the portable's devel- opment, admitted publicly that the machine had been a failure. Why? How could a machine that had a virtual monopoly on the por- table Mac market fail? Simple: Apple did not do its research very well. At a time in which notebook computers were gaining in popularity, Apple chose to build a 16 pound monster that measured 15 x 15 x 4 inches and could not be used in any but the best of lighting conditions. The Mac Portable was an oxymoronic design. The electrical engineers were told to make a machine that would last up to 10 hours on batteries, and could display rapid moving graphics - all other criteria could be sacrificed. What they produ- ced was a machine that had the ability to run on batteries for a long time, but was too heavy and bulk for anyone to want to take it away from desk, much less a wall socket. The other problem was the price: at $7,000 for a hard drive equi- pped portable, it was just way out of line with DOS based competitors. A MacUser review at the time joked that because of its weight and size "the Portable will be tricky to use on an airliner tray table unless you're in first class, and considering the price of the Portable, that's where it's most likely to be seen anyway." Over time, the price question was solved as Apple took on its new low price, high volume policy. Current Portable retail prices are hovering at the $3,000 mark. The question of using the Portable in marginal ligh- ting situations was also taken care of as back lighting was added to its active matrix screen, but all of this is not intended to save the Por- table, just extend its life. John Sculley has admitted that "we missed the boat with the Por- table, but we are not going to miss the notebook market." He further vowed that Apple will produce a notebook computer by year end. The big question is what will it be? Well as usual, your MacReporter has the inside scoop on what's up in Cupertino. Much like Scrooge trying to rid himself of Moorley's ghost Apple will try again to do good on its promise of a better portable. Apple has planned not one new portable, but a whole line of portables with two different introduction dates. The top of the line Mac Notebook will have a 16 Mhz 68030 proces- sor (but no math co-processor,) an active matrix, backlit, black and white LCD screen, keyboard, track ball, 1.44 Floppy drive, 2 Megs of RAM and a 40 Megabyte hard drive for $4,800. It will weight under 7 pounds and will measure 9.5 x 11 x 2 inches (or just one inch wider than a normal piece of paper.) It will have battery power for up to 3 hours and options will include RAM expansion cards and an internal 2400 Baud modem. A second model will be identical to the top of the line, but it will have a 16Mhz 68020 and a supertwist LCD display that will have a slower screen refresh time (the Stacy uses a supertwist screen.) It will also have a lower price tag at under $4,000. Both the '030 and '020 notebooks are set for an October 15 debut. With a little luck, and Japan willing, the new star of the Mac line will be available by Christmas. Sony will be manufacturing the smal- lest and lightest of the new Mac portables. At only 5.5 pounds and 8.5 x 11 x 1.75 inches, this new notebook looks to be among the best that Japan has to offer in MS-DOS compatibles. It will use a 16Mhz 68000 (same as in the current Mac Portable) and have keyboard, track ball, and a backlit supertwist LCD as standard. Also included are 2 Megs of RAM and a new 40 Megabyte 2.5 Inch Conner Kato hard drive. Retail price should be only $2,500. If Apple and Sony can deliver, it could be more popular than the Classic. It is interesting to note that the Stacy shares very similar specifications to the current Macintosh Portable (Yes, the Stacy can run on batteries - internal packs are made by MultiByte of Sterling, Virginia) and the new Sony / Apple portable matches descriptions of the new notebook ST that Atari has shown at recent trade shows. Atari: call Dave Small NOW get into a marketing agreement - get that puppy to market this summer! You can do it if you want to - look how quickly the original ST was designed and built, call Dad if you need instructions. In the next few weeks we will have reviews of A/UX - Apple's version of UNIX and legal Macintosh clones - how close are they? __________________________________________________________________ > STR Portfolio News & Information? Keeping up to date... ================================ THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM ========================= On CompuServe by Walter Daniel 75066,164 Beta testing for the PowerBASIC: Portfolio compiler has been com- pleted. PowerBASIC should be available soon. The effort to produce a version of WordPerfect for the Portfolio is back on track. If it makes it to market, the product will be a version of LetterPerfect or WordPerfect Executive. If you would like WordPerfect on the Portfolio, write, call, or email WP Corp. so they will know of your interest. Here is the address to send request letters for WP/Port: Brent Garlick Third Party Marketing WordPerfect Corporation 1555 N. Technology Way Orem, UT 84057 or, they can call (801)225-5000 to log a request. A letter to Brent (or I should say MANY letters to Brent) would be more effective. DIP, the British designer of the Portfolio, has been experimenting with adding memory and other features to the machine. What do you think the next Portfolio should have? More memory? A larger screen? Send your comments to John Drinkwater, Support Manager for DIP, at 75300,242 so they will know what we consumers want. John Feagans' software that enables a Portfolio to use a Tandy Por- table Disk Drive 2 (PDD2) is now available. The PDD2 (catalog number 26-3814) normally retails for $219.95, but is sometimes on sale at Radio Shack. Used ones can also be found in the Model 100 Forum (GO M100SIG). You need a Portfolio serial interface and a DB25 female-to-DB9 female cable (Radio Shack catalog number 26-3803) for the PDD2. The software itself comes on PC disk ($40) or a 64k card ($70). For more information, contact John at 75300,703. I'll pass along more information in the fut- ure. One user reported that he was able to run Infocom's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy text adventure on his Portfolio. The HHGTTG disk came with a program to set the screen size. After he set the screen size to 40x8, he copied the COM and game data files to a 128k RAM card (it does fit) and ran the program without any problems. Another user reported that Infoc- om's Deadline also works on the Portfolio. Yet another user suggested trying the various DOS text adventure creation games on the Portfolio. If you know of any such games that run on the Portfolio, please let me know so that we can take advantage of them. It is possible to transfer files between a Portfolio and an Atari ST using the parallel interface if you have the right software. STFOLI.LZH (program) and STFOLI.ASC (text file) were uploaded this week for just such purposes. While it does requires a special cable, you do have the con- venience of parallel port transfers. Whenever you boot a Portfolio, the keyclick sound is turned on. If you don't like the keyclick, download NOCLIC.COM from library 1. By calling this program from your AUTOEXEC.BAT file, you can automatically turn off the keyclick when you boot. ___________________________________________________________ > DOUBLE CLICK STR InfoFile? DC SHOWER!!!! ========================= ================ NOW! NOW! NOW! ================ Available now! If you loved DC SHOWIT, you'll love DC SHOWER! (pronounced: Dee Cee Sho Ir) This is SHOW magic! SHOW 'NUF! DC Shower replaces the GEM desktop SHOW FILE function with up to seven DC Shower modules that let you view text files, binary files, 17 different picture formats, and (even extract) ARC, LZH, ZIP and ZOO archives. Use the DC Pick desk accessory to view files in any GEM program. Or, use DC Shower directly from UIS 3.3 (simply drag a file to the <P> button in UIS 3.3 and click on SHOW). Or, you can install DC Shower as the ALTERNATIVE SHOW in NeoDesk 3.0 for even more power! Fully compatible with all ST, STe and TT computers. 100% assembly! Check out what the April 1991 ST Informer says about DC Shower! They love it! Only $29.95! Ask your dealer for a copy! ++++++++++++ SPECIAL DEAL ++++++++++++ Get DC Shower for 1/3 off the retail price! As a special bargain, you can have DC Shower for only $19.95 (US)! Simply send us a disk with a copy of DC Showit v1.0 or v1.1 and $19.95! (DC Showit is available online on GEnie, CompuServe, the DCS BBS, and many, many other BBS throughout the world - in case you are interested.) (add $3(US) or $5(foreign) shipping/handling, TX residents add 8.25% tax) This offer ends June 1, 1991. Mail, COD, VISA and MC orders welcome. You can reach us almost everywhere! ======= By Mail ======= Double Click Software PO BOX 741206 Houston, TX 77274 ======== By Phone ======== Double Click Software : (713)977-6520 ====== Online ====== GEnie : DOUBLE-CLICK (CATegory 30) CompuServe : 75300,577 (GO ATARIVend, area 13) Usenet : email@example.com DC BBS : (713)944-0108 _____________________________________________________ > CONDEMNED? STR Spotlight? "We've been somewhat premature!" ======================== ALL THINGS MUST BE CONSIDERED! ============================== by R. F. Mariano Recently, a situation has developed that deserves our sincere and unbiased attention. The reason this matter deserves the attention of the users is because it depicts a very typical problem in our small, but highly communicative computing community. It appears that a young man, Anthony Hall age 27, a new and upcoming developer, decided to announce an exciting new desktop accessory. Below, we present for all to see the exact announcement of this new program. ============== CalAssistant ============== THE ONLINE HELP ACCESSORY FOR CALAMUS DTP SOFTWARE o Help is just a mouse click away! o The first online help companion for Calamus DTP software. CalAssis- tant is an accessory program that runs on top of Calamus. o Using efficient code management and overlay swapping, memory re- quirement is kept at 90K maximum. o This program uses text, icons and pictures to illustrate, explain and give tips for commands and functions step by step. Since the Calamus interface is very icon oriented, the "Help Messages" func- tion under the "Extras" menu is used to navigate the user online. o Complete page referencing to the Calamus manual is included. o CalAssistant user interface is taken from the tear off menu design used on the Amiga, TT and MAC computers. o CalAssistant can be called from the accessory menu at any time while using Calamus, but we recommend 2 megs of RAM to do this. o A hard drive is needed in order for the software to function at full speed; otherwise, it is not required. o The software supports monochrome mode only. o CalAssistant is to Calamus, as MicroSoft Word 5.0 online help scr- eens are to MS Word 5.0, but ours is better, much like HyperText in concept. o Oh, you also get a beautiful printed manual created entirely with Calamus. The package will be shipped with CalAssistant online help accessory, in addition to tutorial CDK files, utilities and fonts. CalAssistant is now available at a suggested retail price of $34.95. Mail Check or Money Order Only To: Contact: Spar Systems 381 Autumn Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11208 (718) 235-3169 As a result of this announcement, both STReport and Z*Net were men- tioned in a "less than positive" manner. "Now I could stop here but I have another comment about this entire issue in that thanks to ST Report and Z-NET, the entire communications network is aware of this product to some extent and who do you think will be asked about whether it is a good product or not?" excerpt from message 112, Cat 16, topic 2 posted on 03/25/91 @ 17:03 EST by ISD [Nathan] "Sounds like the guys at Z-Net and ST-Report may have jumped the gun a little in publicising a product that may very well be of a question- able nature." excerpt from message 127, Cat 16, topic 2 posted on 03/26/91 @ 07:47 EST by S.WINICK STReport & Z*Net are, indirectly, being urged to gain some type of approval from some "higher authority" or in fact, are actually being encouraged to allow some ridiculous type of censorship of their publicati- ons. This, I assure you, simply will not ever happen. Knowing Nathan of ISD as I do, I am certain this is not what he in- tended or even remotely alluded to. I do feel however, that the entire situation was in its extreme premature stages and the questions of validity and/or legality should've never been brought up or made public until such time as all the facts were known and verified. To further shed light on this matter, STReport contacted Mr. Hall and asked about obtaining the program and docs, he in turn consented to sen- ding STReport a copy of the program for review. STReport is sending a copy of the program and our findings to Z*Net for further evaluation and opinion. At the same time, STR inquired about the serial number of the version of Calamus that was being used by himself and his assistant in facilitating the interface of CalAssistant and of course, Calamus. The number he gave is: 300524. Presumably, the outcome will be another fine software offering for the ST community to enjoy. And as an added benefit, a greater number of Calamus programs will be sold as a result of this helper program. Now to the real "meat" of the subject. Far too long we have stood idlely by while observing obvious "overreactions" to different happenings and comments made in passing on the electronic services and in the ST community in general. To condemn Hall's program to obscurity or Hall himself is an outrage. When this occurs, every precept of the Constitu- tion of this country is cast aside. Anthony Hall should not and must not be accused, tried, convicted and punished of anything without irrefutable proof of wrong doing. Although all the "accusations were implied, they were still accusations that were unproven and actually only assumptions at best. Yet, we find there are now those who are ever so quick to jump up to "condemn and punish." Nathan: "Well...... from what you said about Spar Systems, it's not likely that their software will be gracing the shelves at Computer STudio anytime soon alongside Calamus, Outline Art, Font Editor, etc.! Of course, there's always the remote possibility that this guy just didn't bother to send in his registration card and is paranoid by nature. But that doesn't sound like the kind of developer whose software I would want to purchase either. And I definitely couldn't recommend such a product to my customers under these circumstances." excerpt from message 127, Cat 16, topic 2 posted on 03/26/91 @ 07:47 EST by S.WINICK Mr. Winick has stated his impressions and it seems like denying access to the program for his customers and thus is punishing both Anthony Hall and his (Winick's) clientele is the order of the day. Certainly, this is not the right thing to do. The bottom line is simple, if the program meets the necessary criteria, then the decision should be up to the users regarding its acceptance in the ST community. Never, ever should a retail outlet practice selective marketing unless, of course, the product is a poor seller. _________________________________________________________ > WINDSOR! STR ShowNews? "A really BIG Show!" ===================== FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Windsor/Detroit International AtariFest Planned for May 4-5, 1991 Ann Arbor, MI/Windsor, Ontario, Canada -- The Windsor Atari Users Group of Windsor, Ontario, Canada and the Washtenaw Atari Users Group of Ann Arbor, MI are hosting the Windsor/Detroit International AtariFest on May 4-5, 1991 at the St. Clair College of Arts and Technology in Windsor. With support from both Atari US and Atari Canada, the show promises to be a "must attend" event for Atarians everywhere. St. Clair College is conveniently located in Windsor, only minutes from the Ambassador Bridge and Windsor International Airport. Hotel accomo- dations, car rentals and a number of restaurants are also near the col- lege. Regularly scheduled flights are available from Toronto to Windsor, and charter flights are available from Detroit Metro Airport. Exhibitors already committed to exhibit at the show include: Atari US Atari Canada Branch Always Canoe Computer Channel One Computer Clear Thinking C-HQ Systems CodeHead Software Consortium Group DA Brumleve DataQue Software Double Click Software Fast Technology Goldleaf Publishing Gribnif Software ICD Inc. Innovative Concepts ISD Marketing Joppa Computer MegaType Micro Creations Musicode Software M-S Designs Nice & Software PDC Distributors Phil Comeau Software ReadySoft Soft-Logik Publishing Talon Technology Taylor Ridge Books Unicorn Publications What's This? Wiz Works Many other developers, including Gadgets by Small, Toad Computer, Index Legalis and RIO/Datel (marketers of Lexicor's CAD/Graphics software) have indicated interest in exhibiting at the show. Show times are 10-6 on Saturday and 10-5 on Sunday. Tickets are only $4 Canadian per day at the door, and children under 12 will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Door prize drawings and seminars will be held throughout both days. Grand prize for the drawings is a complete Atari 1040STe system with color monitor donated by Atari Canada. Advance tickets can be purchased for $3 Canadian ($2.75 US) by sending check or money order to Windsor/Detroit International AtariFest, 3487 Braeburn Circle, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. For attendees flying in for the show, Northwest Airlines is offering 40% off round trip coach airfares and 5% savings on other applicable round trip fares. Canadian attendees can save from 25 to 40% on coach fares. Call 1-800-328-1111 for reservations. The "profile number" for the dis- count airfares is 03257. Northwest Airlines is the official airline of the Windsor/Detroit International AtariFest. Special show discounts on car and truck rentals is available from Budget Rental, the official car rental company for the show. Low convention rates are available on everything from Ford Escorts to Lincoln Town Cars. To make your reservation, call 1-800-333-8840, identify yourself as an atten- dee of the show and give them the "rate code" of CNVNR1. As an added bonus, there will be a large, FREE, flower and garden show on Sunday at St. Clair College, so bring your spouse. She'll keep busy at the flower/garden show while you browse through the computer show! And while you're at it, bring your non-Atarian friends...we'll being showing off the great IBM and Macintosh emulation capabilities of the ST both days of the show! For more information on the show, contact Craig Harvey, President of WAUG - Ann Arbor at (313) 994-5619 or Brian Cassidy, President of WAUG - Win- dsor at (519) 966-0305. Developers interested in obtaining booth space at the show should contact Pattie Rayl at (313) 973-8825 ASAP. ___________________________________________________ > FORMDOIT! STR FOCUS? "...program replaces parts of the GEM" =================== FORMDOIT! (VERSION 1.2) ======================= by Dan Wilga Copyright 1991, Gribnif Software. All Rights Reserved. This program may be distributed without charge, provided that this text file is present and that it and the program files are unmodified. Overview -------- The FormDoIt! program replaces the parts of the GEM environment that handles the standard dialog and alert boxes that appear in most Atari programs. Enhancements that FormDoIt! offers include: o Keyboard Equivalents for dialog and alert box buttons. o [Undo] key to exit dialog and alert boxes. o Enhanced editable text fields. o Ability to insert extended characters into editable text fields. o Editable alert box icons. o Control over the default exit button in alerts and dialogs. Included Files -------------- This archive should include the following files: 1. FORMDOIT.PRG - The FormDoIt! utility. 2. FORMDOIT.TXT - The file you are reading now. 3. ENGLISH .UND - Sample English [Undo] keywords. 4. GERMAN .UND - Sample German [Undo] keywords. 5. DEFAULT .BL3 - FormDoIt! default alert box icons. 6. BORING .BL3 - Original system alert box icons. 7. INVERSE .BL3 - Inverse version of original system alert box icons. Installation ------------ Place the FORMDOIT.PRG in your system's AUTO folder. Optionally, you can also install it by running it from the desktop of your choice. Enhancements ------------ Default Button -------------- Normally, if you press the [Return] key while in a dialog or alert box, the "default" exit button is selected. This button can usually be identified by its extra thick border. With FormDoIt! you can change which of the exit buttons is considered the default by holding down the [Alternate] key and pressing the [Tab] key. When you do this, you should see the thick border move from one exit button to the next. This change is not permanent, many programs will automatically return the default button back once you exit that dialog or alert box. Exit Button ----------- When using FormDoIt!, if you press the [Undo] key, the first button found that contains the word "Cancel", "Quit", "Exit", "Abort", or "No" will be selected. Since all buttons in a dialog and alert box are in an internal order, it will choose the button that makes the first match (even if there is more than one button with a string that matches). You can change the strings used by FormDoIt! for this feature by creating a file called FORMDOIT.UND. If FormDoIt! finds this file when it first runs (in the same directory it was run from), the file contents are used instead of the previous mentioned strings. The file is a simple text file with each button string on a line by itself. There should be no empty lines in the file, and the carriage return should immediately follow the last letter of each line. The included GERMAN.UND file can be renamed to FORMDOIT.UND if you happen to use German programs. If you wish to create your own custom FORMDOIT.UND file, you can use the ENGLISH.UND as a guide. Buttons ------- FormDoIt! provides keyboard equivalents for all the other buttons in a dialog or alert box. FormDoIt! scans all the buttons in the dialog box and assigns each one a unique keyboard equivalent. When the dialog box appears, it will look slightly different because there will be short lines underneath characters in most of the buttons. If you hold down the [Alternate] key and press the character that is under- lined, that button will be selected. Up to 20 buttons in a dialog can have [Alternate] key assignments. The method for choosing which letter to assign to a specific button is rather simple. FormDoIt! scans all the buttons in order and looks for the first unique character (that has not been used before) in that button. Once it finds it, it assigns it that key and underlines the letter. If a button has no unique characters (because they all were already used in the dialog box) then it will not receive a keyboard equivalent. The scanning is done following the internal order of all the dialog box buttons. If you don't like the "underline" keyboard equivalents, you can turn this feature off. This is done by holding down both [Shift] keys and pressing the [Backspace] key. You will hear a short sound effect indicating your selection. Pressing these keys again will turn the "underline" keyboard equivalents back on. See the "Configuration Options" section for more information on how to more permanently turn this feature on or off. Some dialog boxes will look odd if these underscores are not undrawn before control returns to the program that called FormDoIt. If this is a concern, you can permanently configure FormDoIt to always undraw the underscores. See the "Configuration Options" section. Alert Boxes ----------- With FormDoIt! you can define what the standard alert box icons (stop sign, question mark, and exclamation mark) look like. Once you use FormDoIt! you will see that it changes these (I got bored of the same old ones). If FormDoIt! finds a file called FORMDOIT.BL3 at bootup, the icons contained in that file are used in place of the default ones inside of FormDoIt!. Included with this program are three files: BORING .BL3 - These are the old standard GEM alert box icons. DEFAULT.BL3 - These are the defaults FormDoIt! normally uses. INVERSE.BL3 - These are an inverse version of DEFAULT.BL3. The .BL3 files are in Degas Elite block format. They can be edited and re-saved using Degas Elite. If you edit them, you must be very careful to make sure that the new file you save is a block that is exactly 32x96. The "Snap" feature in Degas is helpful for this pur- pose. Editable Text Fields -------------------- An editable text field is a string within a dialog box that has a vertical line cursor so that you can modify it with the keyboard. FormDoIt! emulates the normal GEM dialog text field functions: o The [Tab] and down-arrow keys move to the next editable field. o The up-arrow key moves to the previous editable field. o The left and right-arrow keys move the cursor within a field. o The [Esc] key clears an editable field. o The [Backspace] and [Delete] keys delete characters before and after the cursor. o The mouse can be used to select an editable field. It also adds a number of extensions: o [Tab] and down-arrow will move the cursor to the first editable field in a dialog box if it is already at the last one. o Up-arrow will also wrap, from the first field to the last. o [Shift] left-arrow will move the cursor to the leftmost character, and [Shift] right-arrow will move all the way to the right. o If there is no default button in a dialog box, the [Return] key will advance the cursor to the next editable field. o The mouse will position the cursor to the character closest to where the mouse button was pressed, not just to the end of the line. It also lets you enter extended (non-keyboard) characters (note that not every character is valid for all text fields and may be ignored): 1. Press the [Insert] key. This opens a box that contains the entire character set. Click with the mouse on the character to use. You can click anywhere outside the box or press a key to remove the box if you decide not to use it. 2. If you know the ASCII value of a particular character, you can hold down the [Alternate] key and type it, in decimal, using the keypad. A character is generated as soon as the [Alternate] key is released or three digits have been pressed. For example, to enter an "A" (ASCII 65), you would do the following: Hold down the [Alternate] key Press 6 on the keypad Press 5 on the keypad Release the [Alternate] key It also evades a system bug: o If you have TOS 1.0, you may have run into the "underscore bug". Typing an underscore ("_") character with certain types of edit- able fields would cause GEM to crash. FormDoIt! prevents this crash from happening. If you type an underscore by accident, FormDoIt! will ignore it. Configuration Options --------------------- To temporarily disable FormDoIt!, hold down both [Shift] keys while pressing the [Delete] key. A sound effect will indicate your selec- tion. FormDoIt! will become disabled until you re-activate it or reboot. To turn FormDoIt! back on, press the same keys again. To temporarily disable the "underline" keyboard equivalents, hold down both [Shift] keys while pressing the [Backspace] key. A sound effect will indicate your selection. To turn the "underline" keyboard equivalents back on, press the same keys again. A more permanent way of setting these options is to run FORMDOIT.PRG from the desktop. When it is loaded this way, you will see an option labeled "Configure". Using this button you can set the two options described above, and one additional option, called "Undraw Underscore- s". If this option is "On", then FormDoIt will always undraw any underscores it puts in buttons before returning control to the prog- ram. Some dialogs look better with this option on, but some dialogs will be a bit slower. If you start seeing lots of underscores appea- ring in one button of a dialog, you may want to try turing this option on. The "Save" button will save your selection inside the FORMDOIT.PRG. The "Set" option will set the options without saving them. Changes do not take effect until you exit the configuration dialog box. If you have already run FORMDOIT.PRG once (say, for instance, in your AUTO folder), then the options will be saved to that copy. Otherwise, they will be saved within the copy you are currently running. Compatibility ------------- While every effort has been made to assure that this program works with other programs, there are a few things worth mentioning: o Some programs use their own dialog and alert box manager and therefore will not benefit from FormDoIt!. Examples of this are Tempus II, K-Resource, WordPerfect, and SuperBase. o Some programs only use their own dialog and alert box manager part of the time, and therefore still benefit from FormDoIt! within some of their dialog boxes. The best example of this is GEnie's Aladdin. o Universal Item Selector's (UIS III) own keyboard equivalents prevent the [Undo] feature in FormDoIt! from working. o FormDoIt! has stricter error checking for alert boxes than GEM has. Consequently, you may find one or two programs which use more than 30 characters per line in the alert text or more than 10 characters in a button. For these, FormDoIt! will chop off the remainder (unlike GEM, which can produce some very odd looking alerts!). Programmer Notes ---------------- You can disable FormDoIt! so that it will not process some dialog boxes that a program uses. This, however, is something that should be set up by the author of the program, as this entails modifying data in the resource file for a program. In the OBJECT structure, the element ob_type is a word, however only the lower 8 bits are looked at by GEM. For this reason, one can use the upper eight bits as one sees fit. If the root object of a tree contains the constant 113 ($71) in the upper nybble of the ob_type word, then the regular GEM form_do() will be used. Alternately, any objects within a tree whose ob_type field contains this value will not have an "under line" keyboard equivalent assigned to them. Version Changes --------------- 1.2: Works with keyboard equivalents in CodeKeys and MaxiFile. Works with right mouse button presses in MaxiFile. Does not need to be disabled to record a CodeKeys macro. Removed the UIS hack; should work with all versions of UIS, even II. Undo strings work with buttons that have leading or trailing spaces. Added Undraw Underscores option. 1.1a: Fixed a very rare bug that could cause certain alerts not to be processed. Control key handling has been changed so that, among other things, Control-M, Control-I, and Control-Return produce extended characters as they should. Response time for TOUCHEXIT objects has been improved. This is expecially noticeable for things like scroll bars in UIS. Objects that are SELECTED and EXIT but not SELECTABLE are handled correctly. 1.1: The "No" string was added to the [Undo] key. Shift-shift-backspace to disable underlines. Running it a second time in the AUTO folder has no effect. The configuration can be changed and saved. Opening a folder for the first time in UIS 3.0 should work. Added the ob_type flags for disabling. Added Alternate-Tab for swithching default button. Saved some code by always running in supervisor mode. Sped up mose clicking for objects that are not TOUCHEXIT. Can be compressed using DC Squish. 1.0b: Objects that are SELECTABLE but not EXIT are handled correctly. Objects that are SELECTABLE and TOUCHEXIT are handled correctly. Will not crash programs that make AES calls in supervisor mode (like HotWire) As many brackets in an alert string as possible are ignored. 1.0a: Fixed a bug that could cause GDOS detection code to crash. About "Colaware": ---------------- You've heard of public domain, you've heard of shareware. This program, however, is Colaware: if you like it, you are encouraged (though not necessarily required) to send copious quantities of highly caffeinated beverages (Coke, Pepsi, Jolt, etc.) to the address below (via U.S. Mail, please; UPS won't deliver to a P.O. Box) so that I can continue to create more products like this one. Coupons are accepted. Gribnif Software P.O. Box 350 Hadley, MA 01035 Internet: Dan.Wilga@saturn.ucc.umass.edu GEnie: GRIBNIF If you like this program, you might want to take a look at some of our commercial products: NeoDesk 3 - The Ultimate Desktop ================================ NeoDesk 3 is the most powerful, complete, and easy to use graphical desktop available for the Atari ST/TT. Not only does it make your computer easier to use but it adds a very complete series of new features and enhancements. These include improved file operations, custom icons, icon editor, desktop icons, desktop notes, independent custom windows, macros, keyboard equivalents, and much much more!! The package a 150 page manual. A free demo version is available from GEnie or your local BBS. NeoDesk CLI =========== The NeoDesk CLI is a complete add-on command line interpreter for the NeoDesk 3 desktop replacement package. It runs out of its own GEM window and includes a very complete batch programming language. This allows for such things as the creation of powerful batch files which let you automate your computer. The NeoDesk CLI uses both MS-DOS and UNIX style commands to simplify its use. The package includes a 70 page manual. A free demo version is also available. You can order these products by calling our toll free order line (USA, Canada, Hawaii, PR, and Alaska only): (800) 284-4742 (orders only!) You can also order by sending us the correct amount from the chart below to: Gribnif Software, P.O. Box 350, Hadley, MA 01035: NeoDesk 3........................................$69.95 ___________ NeoDesk CLI......................................$29.95 ___________ Shipping (USA: $2.00 / Canada: $3.00 / Foreign: $5.00) ___________ If you have any questions or comments, call us at (413) 584-7887. You can also fax us at (413) 584-2565. __________________________________________________________ Gribnif Software Press Release -- March, 1991 Gribnif Software announces FormDoIt, a "must have" utility for the Atari ST/TT. Gribnif Software has released to the Atari community the new and exciting "FormDoIt" utility. This utility, when placed in the AUTO folder will change the way all standard dialog and alert boxes work on the system. Changes caused by FormDoIt include: o Keyboard Equivalents: Optionally, FormDoIt will underline the first unique character in every button. By holding down the [Alternate] key while selecting the underlined character, the user can select that button directly from the keyboard. This is somewhat similar to how Windows 3.0 works. o UNDO Key Support: Selecting the [Undo] key when inside a dialog box or alert box, will automatically select any button containing one of the following strings: "Cancel", "Abort", "Quit", "No", or "Exit". These strings are editable for foreign language software or other custom uses. o Enhanced Editable Text Fields: Clicking on an editable text field containing text will place the cursor on the exact character selected (without FormDoIt the cursor always goes to the end of the text in the text field). If there are no default buttons in the dialog box, pressing [Return] will advance the cursor to the next editable text field. Using the up arrow or down arrow to move the cursor from field to field will move the cursor from the last text field to the first text field, and vice versa. o Extended Character Support: Extended (non-keyboard) characters can be inserted into a dialog's editable text fields by entering the specific ASCII value for that character or by selecting the character from a special character display that appears at the press of a button. o Editable Alert Box Icons: The default alert box icons (stop sign, exclamation mark, and question mark) can be edited and replaced. Included with FormDoIt are some examples of this. o Default Button Control: A simple key equivalent allows the user to control which exit button in a dialog or alert box is the default exit button (the one that is selected when you press [Return]). This is very useful for those users who do not use the above mentioned "underline" keyboard equivalents. o Programmer Control: Included with FormDoIt are some simple instruc- tions on how a programmer can optimize his dialog boxes to make maximum use of FormDoIt and have it skip over unwanted buttons. FormDoIt can also be configured to a user's individual taste. One may enable or disable the "underline" keyboard equivalents or have FormDoIt remain active or dormant. These settings can also be changed "on the fly" by means of simple keyboard combinations. FormDoIt has been tested with hundreds of programs and found to be compatible with just about all of them. While some programs use their own custom dialog/alert boxes and are therefore unaffected by FormDoIt, most benefit from its enhancements. Examples of programs that greatly benefit from its use are: Calamus, 1st Word, 1st Word Plus, WordFlair, Aladdin, NeoDesk, Word Writer, Data Manager, LDW Power, and many many more! FormDoIt is almost unique in another manner. You cannot buy it, lease it, rent it, or pawn it. It is not for sale. Instead it has been released under the new and untried "Colaware" system. If you like the utility and find it useful, we ask that you send us some cola such as Coca-Cola or Pepsi (that's fuel for us software developers). Coupons are accepted. This new and strange method of distribution was decided upon since we decided that FormDoIt was just too good to keep to ourselves and as many people as possible should have easy access to it. For those of you who are not familiar with Gribnif Software, we are a small American software development company. Our main package is the NeoDesk 3 desktop replacement for the Atari ST/TT. If you haven't tried it, we strongly recommend that you try the freeware demo that is available on bulletin board services. The NeoDesk 3 package is the result of over 3 years of development, and to be blunt...nothing comes close. If you REALLY like FormDoIt, you could always show your appreciation by buying a copy of NeoDesk 3! For those users who do not have access to online services or cannot find FormDoIt anywhere, it is available on our "Gribnif Utilities Disk 2.0" which sells for $10 (U.S.). This disk is only available directly from us and includes several other utilities we've written (including MemFile 3.0 and a couple new utilities for use with NeoDesk 3). If you wish to order the utility disk, send us $10 + $2 (for shipping & handling) to the address below. That's a total of $12 U.S. Foreign payments must be made in terms of a U.S. bank check or U.S. funds money order. For further information, you can reach us at: Gribnif Software, P.O. Box 350, Hadley, MA 01035 Tel: (413) 584-7887, Fax: (413) 584-2565 _______________________________________________________________ > Hard Disks STR InfoFile? TAX TIME SPECIAL OFFERINGS!.... ======================= 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 * WE PAY SHIPPING!!! >BLUE LABEL UPS!< Conventional Shoe Box ADD 35.00 for 4 BAY TURBO Cabinet w/250w PS 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 $419.00!! <<<< ****** 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 @ $419.00! --==*==-- * SYQUEST 44MB (#555)>> ABCO "44" << REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE * - SYQUEST 44 MB DRIVE - ICD ST ADVANTAGE PLUS H/A - ICD Utility Software - 3' DMA Cable - Fan & Clock - Multi-Unit Power Supply (1) 44 MB Syquest Cart. WE PAY SHIPPING!!! >BLUE LABEL UPS!< COMPLETELY ASSEMBLED AND READY TO RUN! --->> SPECIAL NOW ONLY __$ 685.00__ <<--- EXTRA CARTS: $ 78.95 DRIVE MECH ONLY: $ 349.95 * 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 WE PAY SHIPPING!!! >BLUE LABEL UPS!< 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) WE PAY SHIPPING!!! >BLUE LABEL UPS!< 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 ABCO is EXPANDING!! CALL FOR INFORMATION! ____________________________________________________________ > A "Quotable Quote"? ================= "Some people are BAD ACTORS.... others are just BAD!" ....Fearless Fosdick """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport International Online Magazine? Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport? "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" March 29, 1991 16/32bit Magazine copyright = 1987-91 No.7.13 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" 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. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
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