Z*Net: 12-Feb-94 #9401From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/24/94-03:30:27 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: Z*Net: 12-Feb-94 #9401 Date: Thu Feb 24 15:30:27 1994 ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ##########(((((((((( ##########((( ##(( ##((((((( ##(((((((( ########## #################(( ####(( ####(((( #(( ##(( ##########(( ############# ##############(( #####(((((( ##(( (( (( ##((((( #######(( ############# ###########(( ##########(( ####(( #(((( ##(( ##########(( ############# ##########(((((((((( ##########(( ##((( ##((((((( #####(( ############# ####################################################################### ####################################################################### Z*NET NEWSWIRE Copyright (c)1994, Syndicate Publishing Volume 9, Number 1 February 12, 1994 Call the Z*Net News Service BBS (908) 968-8148 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Publisher/Editor..........................................Ron Kovacs ----------------------------------------------------------------------- |#| The Editors Desk...............................Ron Kovacs |#| Z*Net Newswire.................................Ron Kovacs |#| CT AtariFest 1994............................Announcement |#| 1993: Year In Review...........................Ron Kovacs |#| The Cursor Cowboy..........................Jacques Leslie |#| Cybercube Product Listing and Update.........Announcement |#| Through The Looking Glass..................Tom D'Ambrosio ###### THE EDITORS DESK ###### By Ron Kovacs ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- It has been nearly 8 months since I have written anything on this Atari computer. After Z*Net ended publishing last year, I spent a little time with Atari Explorer Online magazine and asked Travis Guy to release me. I was not fired, there were a few political games going on at the time and those words, "you're fired" were never stated by the AEO staff. For the record, I enjoyed working with the guys at AEO, but consistant personal problems caused my time to become sparse with little time for writing or editing. Since my divorce in 1992, things have changed dramtically with my life. I spend all of my free time with my kids, who are the most important people in my life right now. The rollercoaster ride over the last 18 months has been interesting and depressing, however, things get better over time. My life has changed and the priorities previously established are not the same today. There are many people in the community who have known about my problems. I want to thank them for honoring my privacy and being there when I needed them. Their support and understanding during this long and difficult time is greatly appreciated. I am back at my keyboard again. My kids are into a regular routine and do not require constant attention from me. However, there still is the parenting feature that will always be there. Even as I type this, my seven-year old daughter wants to sit here and type something, although, she doesn't have an idea of what she wants to write. My son is on the other side of the house, surely getting into trouble as it is a little too quite at the present time. :-) Being a single parent is not and will not be an easy task. However, putting together Z*Net material has always been one of my favorite hobbies. In 1994, I am NOT too sure what I am going to be contributing, if anything. My future here depends on what my children need first, then if there is time available, I would like to work on a few projects and put out some regular Z*Net editions. Well, those are my comments, there is a Z*Net edition that follows this essay. This is a different Z*Net from years past. There are NO staff members working on material. This is going to be a solo event for the time being. Bruce Hansford has supplied some of the news material and there is a commentary piece from a regular Z*Net reader. The focus of the NEW Z*Net will be NEWS and TELECOMMUNICATIONS. There will be FOUR regular weekly releases. Next month I will re-think my feelings on this and announce the official end or continue. COMMENTARY In the Atari Explorer Online Conference and Echo, (FNET and ATARINET), I asked the readers to submit some commentary pieces. The focus on this is their feelings of Atari in 1993. The first submission appears in this edition. These columns are not published to create problems in the community. They are just comments coming from Atarians. If you have something to say, send them along. Rebuttle space for any published commentary will be supplied. 1993 Along with the articles in this edition, I am starting a column covering the 1993 YEAR in REVIEW. After each column, a 1993 commentary will follow. Regards and best to everyone in '94. -*- ###### Z*NET NEWSWIRE ###### Industry News and Telecommunications Update ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- ATARI FALCON LIGHTS THE WAY Fully exploiting the incredible power and versatility of Atari's Falcon 030 multimedia computer, TECNATION DIGITAL WORLD (Palo Alto, California) have developed sonovista, the world's first Intelligent Sound-to-Light Graphics and Video Typewriter. A powerful yet easy to use real-time interactive graphics system that draws on the Falcon's state-of-the-art digital technology and Tecnation's special 'BiT BOPPER' software to create never seen before visual effects for use at nightclubs, raves, concerts, and other music and dance venues. Sonovista's intriguing visuals are based on TecnationUs unique multi-layer VideoGobos, digital images whose appearance can range from simple abstracts and logos, to the most complex and psychedelic fractal chaos patterns. And an array of enchanting color filters, instant visual FX, and VideoGobo transparency masks offer limitless creative potential to aspiring CyberJockeys'. Alternatively, sonovista can be left to run unattended generating its own automated light show. And the powerful iCUE (Intelligent Cue) system allows any effect to be instantly stored, and subsequently recalled at the press of a button or under external control. For those occasions when the CyberJockey needs to talk to the audience, the CyberWriter* video typewriter allows eye catching text to be keyed in live, and instantly displayed on top of animating VideoGobos. Sonovista offers the music and dance industry a dramatic and versatile new medium that excites and wows audiences as the dynamic imagery on the surrounding video screens responds to the ambient music. And by connecting the system to a vision mixer, sonovista graphics may be blended or keyed with a live video signal from a stage camera, turning an event into more of a live interactive music video. Additionally, artists may create their own VideoGobos using popular computer graphics programs. The VideoGobos can then be installed on sonovista's hard drive in a matter of seconds via the built in 3.5 floppy drive. Tecnation chose the Falcon because its specification was ideal for the requirements of the sonovista project, namely a stereo audio input and DSP (Digital Signal Processor) to help with sound processing, and the BLiTTER graphics chip that assists with generating sonovista's real-time interactive visual effects. The MIDI interface offers a range of control options. High End Systems, Inc., the world's foremost intelligent lighting company has been appointed distribution rights to sonovista by Tecnation. sonovista was subsequently launched by High End Systems at Lighting Dimensions International in Orlando, Florida, the lighting industries premier trade show. For further details contact, TECNATION DIGITAL WORLD Palo Alto, California, U.S.A. Alex Blok - Tel: (415) 327-4332. HIGH END SYSTEMS, INC., Austin, Texas, U.S.A., Tel: (512) 836-2242. NEW CUSTOM CHIPS Texas Instruments has announced a highly integrated set of chips that combines a TI486 cpu with other key system components. When used by computer manufacturers, these chips will result in portable computer designs that have fewer chips and reduced power consumption to create smaller, lighter weight portable computers with longer battery life. Specifically designed for notebooks and superportables, the three chip system, named Rio Grande includes an enhanced integrated 486SX-class microprocessor. The second chip controls the credit-card-sized accessory slots used in most of today's portable PCs for additional memory, fax, or modem capabilities. A third chip controls all other standard system functions. The new TI chips employ the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) bus developed by industry-leading PC suppliers for use primarily in high performance desktop personal computers. Production shipments of Rio Grande are scheduled for this fall to support the introduction of Rio Grande-based notebook PCs by manufacturers at COMDEX. COMPUSERVE CC:MAIL HUB SERVICE The CompuServe Mail Hub facilitates message exchange among LAN-based and remote users of a wide variety of email systems and services. Through the hub, cc:Mail customers can exchange messages and files economically, reliably, securely and globally between associates within their organization and with other companies. In addition, they can exchange messages with key audiences and suppliers who use other email systems such as CompuServe Mail, the Internet, Novell NetWare MHS, Lotus Notes, MCI Mail, SprintMail, AT&T Mail, AT&T EasyLink, Infonet, Deutsche Bundespost, and the Japanese NIFTY-Serve. The CompuServe Mail Hub is available for $9.80/hr. when accessing with a 1200 or 2400 bits per second modem and $14.80/hr. at 9.6 or 14.4 kilobits per second. To use the CompuServe Mail Hub, cc:Mail users need a modem, CompuServe membership and cc:Mail Router or a cc:Mail Remote or Mobile product. For registration details, CompuServe members can GO CCMAIL on CompuServe. Non-members of CompuServe can call 1-800-457-MAIL and ask for the cc:Mail representative for membership information. ELECTRONIC ARTS AND BRODERBUND MERGE In an agreement announced this week, Electronic Arts and Broderbund have signed a definitive agreement to merge. The merge is expected to be completed by the end of May 1994 and is subject to approval by the stockholders of each company and other customary conditions. Broderbund will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Electronic Arts, with operations continuing in Novato, Calif. Electronic Arts' operations will continue in San Mateo, as well as in its other worldwide locations. Doug Carlston will join Electronic Arts' board of directors, which will now consist of eight members. Both companies expect Carlston to remain active in the management of the combined organization. VIDEO GAME AGE RATINGS An association of British computer software publishers launched an age rating system for video games this week amid concerns the new generation of video games are too violent. The self-imposed code would be similar to the age categories used on videos and films and is designed to guide parents when they buy the games for their children. The self-regulatory code also is designed to stave off government control of video games and distinguish them from illegal pirate software that may have a pornographic content. The association said the rating given to each game would depend upon its content rather than its degree of difficulty. Depictions of criminal activity such as vandalism, the use of bad language and graphic fighting scenes would affect a game's rating. SCULLEY QUITS SPECTRUM Former Apple Computer chief John Sculley resigned from his posts as chairman and chief executive of Spectrum Information Technologies, saying he quit because of accounting and Securities and Exchange Commission questions about the company. He resigned early this week. Sculley said auditors last week concluded "they could not support (Spectrum's) current method of accounting with respect to revenue recognition." This announcement caused Spectrum stock to plunge in heavy trading on the Nasdaq, losing more than half its value as it fell $3.33 to $2.25 a share. Sculley also said he had filed a federal lawsuit against Spectrum President Peter Caserta "in connection with matters relating to the circumstances under which I was induced to join Spectrum, to my obvious detriment." Sculley, 54, left Apple on Oct. 15, four months after resigning as chief executive officer from the personal-computer giant. He had been named Apple's CEO in 1983 and added the chairmanship in 1985 after ousting Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. HP REDUCES TONER PRICES Hewlett-Packard has announced a 17 percent price reduction on its remanufactured toner cartridge to meet customer and market demand for lower prices. The HP Optiva 95R toner cartridge now is $79.00. The new lower pr ice provides further incentive for 3 million HP LaserJet II, IID, III and IIID printer users to participate in HP's toner-cartridge- remanufacturing program. Customers participate in the program by purchasing the HP Optiva 95R toner-cartridge exchange packet from their computer or office-supply dealer. The packet provides a convenient method of mailing-in used cartridges and receiving remanufactured HP Optiva 95R toner cartridges directly from HP. In addition to the exchange packet which is tailored to small- and medium-sized businesses, HP has designed an exchange program for volume purchasers. Under this program, HP works with its resellers to provide these customers with remanufactured toner cartridges. Sales information may be obtained by calling 1-800-LASERJET (527-3753). SEGA CHANNEL EXPANDS The Sega Channel has announced the signing of an additional cable company as a launch partner for the new interactive video game channel. Colony Communications, representing 790,000 subscribers - signed a letter of agreement to launch Sega channel in 1994, following a three month in-market test. Sega channel is the cable industry's first interactive service, providing Sega Genesis video games on-demand, 24 hours a day. Sega Channel subscribers will choose from a wide selection of popular games, special versions of soon-to-be-released titles, gameplay tips, news, contests and promotions. The programming will be updated monthly to keep it new and exciting. Sega Channel will be priced in the range of most premium subscription services. Launching in fall 1994, the Sega Channel concept was developed by three entertainment leaders, Sega of America, Tele-Communications, and Time Warner Entertainment Company. Z*NET TELECOMMUNICATION UPDATE ------------------------------ 910 AREA IS MANADTORY Telephone subscribers across the central part of North Carolina have effectively had two area codes. But that comes to an end on this weekend. North Carolina's new 910 area code went into effect on Nov. 14, 1993, replacing the 919 code on more than a million lines. However calls went through even if the caller dialed the old area code. Beginning Sunday (February 13, 1994) at 2 a.m., callers must use 910 to complete their long distance call. The 910 area code includes most customers in the Greensboro, Fayetteville and Wilmington calling zones. The 919 area code will continue to be used by most customers in the Raleigh and Rocky Mount calling zones. Callers using the 919 code after 2 a.m. Sunday will hear a recording stating, "The area code for the number you dialed has been changed to 910. Please use the 910 area code on this call." NEW MCI DATA CENTER Construction of the highly automated 180,000 square foot center is scheduled to begin in April of this year and, while the specific terms of the contract were not disclosed, MCI is expected to make a substantial investment in the building and equipment. Currently, MCI operates a switching center in Omaha that handles nearly 5 million calls per day. Last month, MCI unveiled networkMCI, its long-range strategy to develop the nation's information superhighway, and prepare for the interactive multimedia world of the future. The new center will primarily be used for data processing functions and will employ the most advanced fiber optic technology, including optical and magnetic disks capable of storing over 15 terrabytes, or 15 trillion bytes of data -- the equivalent of over 400,000 sets of encyclopedias. Some of the state -of-the-art equipment to be initially installed includes four of the largest mainframe computers available in the marketplace today, capable of processing over 20 million instructions per second; 12 robotic tape silos that each hold 5-6 thousand tapes, and can find and mount or dismount and file a tape in 30 seconds; plus air conditioning units capable of cooling over 1,000 homes and enough emergency electrical generating capacity to power a small city. AT&T SCALES DOWN AT&T announced this week that it plans to phase out 14,000 to 15,000 jobs in its communications units over the next two years to streamline operations and reduce its costs in the highly competitive long distance business. AT&T is looking to save nearly $900 million a year. Some 8,000 to 9,000 positions will be phased out in Consumer Communications Services. As part of this action, the unit will consolidate certain sales and service operations that will result in the closing of centers in Providence, R.I.; Charleston, W.Va.; Bloomington, Minn.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; Itasca, Ill.; Pleasanton, Calif., and Silver Spring, Md. The Business Communications Services unit will phase out about 6,000 jobs. Overall, about 8,000 management jobs will be affected, including headquarters staff and administrative support functions, while the rest will be nonmanagement positions in operations and clerical areas. Nearly 5,000 of the 51,000 in New Jersey jobs will be lost. Notification of work groups affected by the reductions, will start by the end of the month, and notification of individual employees by the end of March. TELECOM CHARGES DROP The British telephone war escalated this week with the two major telecommunications companies announcing plans to cut prime time charging rates. Mercury Communications said it will match British Telecom in its scrapping of its most expensive rate period. The BT price cut, which comes into effect on March 9, will make a 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. peak charge rate the same price as the current standard afternoon rate. Mercury said in a statement that while it did not object to paying the charges, it believed that the manner in which the charges were calculated was unfair. The company is currently mounting a legal challenge against BT to pay a flat rate for BT lines rather than being charged for the time Mercury customers use their phones using BT lines. ###### CT ATARIFEST 1994 ###### Show Announcement ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- ACT Atari Group is running another _MAJOR_ Northeast computer event. Last year's successful move to the Windsor Court Hotel means only one thing: ENCORE! CT Fest '94 is just as convenient to reach as ever - only two hours from Boston or New York. The hotel has excellent room rates, free and plentiful parking, easy access from Interstates 91, 95, 90, 84, 80 and is located just 1 mile from Bradley International Airport (free shuttle service for hotel guests). Join us for an informal, low cost dinner Saturday night, and mix with old friends. What about the Jaguar? Come on out and get (64)BIT! We'll have the largest Jaguar competition in New Egland, with the latest games and gear. With all the excitement generated by this hot new machine, you owe it to yourself to get the personal skinny. We expect an even greater number of vendors this year, surpassing the excellent turnout of the past shows. CAF '93 vendors included: * A&D Software * Gribnif Software * ABC Solutions * Kurlan Music * BaggettaWare Software * Lexicor Software * Barefoot Software * Marcel Software * Best Electronics * MegaType Software * Clear Thinking * Oregon Research Associates * Codehead Technologies * Soft-Logik Publishing * CompuServe Information Services * Software Spectrum * Computer Zone * Straight Edge Software * Derric Electronics * Thin Air Labs * East Hartford Computer Repair * Toad Computer * Evangelo's Software * Wizztronics * GEnie In addition to our commercial supporters, many user groups came from hundreds of miles away to be with us for CAF '93. Those in attendance included The Boston Computer Society, Western Massachusetts Atari User Group, Atari ST and Mega Users of Montreal, South Shore Atari Group [Mass], Atari User Group of Greater Hartford, Scranton Area Atari User Group (PA) and Long Island Atari User Group (DBUG-Danbury and FACE- Fairfield [both CT] were represented in the ACT Atari booth). Most user groups offered numerous demonstrations, public domain disks and great clip art collections, with most of the groups offering "recycled" hardware and software items. We'll have our Lynx Competition, with multiple Comlynxed competitions underway at all times, the Portfolio Corner, staffed with industry experts, an endless stream of door prizes and seminars in abundance (in the past we've had everyone's favorite Atari Corp. personality - Director of Comuunications Bob Brodie, John Eidsvoog of Codehead, Jeff Naideau from Barefoot, Dave Troy of Toad Computers, Joe Mirando & Dana Jacobsen from ST Report and many others). Stay tuned for this year's list of speakers. All in all, we hope to have the best Northeast show yet, and we look forward to your participation. Make your plans now for the most exciting Atari Weekend this summer! CONNECTICUT ATARIFEST '94 TRAVEL TIPS BY CAR: Traveling Interstate 91 Northbound, take Exit 41, a right off the exit ramp and another right at the next stop sign. You can see the hotel from there. Southbound, take Exit 41 and bear right; the hotel is straight ahead. Call the CT Tourism Division at (800) CT-BOUND. BY AIR: Many airlines serve Bradley International Airport. Call your travel agent for a list. Many area lodgings offer a courtesy van from the airport; make arrangements by using one of the phones in the baggage claim area. BY RAIL: Rail passengers can reach Windsor Locks aboard several trains that run daily between Washington, D.C., Boston, and several points between the two. For information about fares, schedules, restrictions and connecting trains, contact Amtrak by phoning (800) USA-RAIL. WHERE TO STAY: The Windsor Court will be offering special rates for CAF '94 attendees, call them at 203-623-9811 (Fax 9808). There are many other hotels in the area: Bradley International Motor Inn, Budgetel Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, Days Inn - Tobacco Valley, Fairfield Inn, Harley Hotel, Holiday Inn - Windsor Locks, Homewood Suites, Journey's End - Springfield (Mass.), Ramada - East Windsor, Sheraton - Hartford (Downtown), Sheraton Tara - Springfield and Simsbury Inn. WHAT TO DO: For further information, call Angela or Brian Gockley at 203-332-1721. E-mail can be directed to 75300,2514 on CIS. O U R F O U R T H A N N I V E R S A R Y ! S H O W ! ! ! CONNECTICUT ATARIFEST '94 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday 8/27/94 August 27-28, 1994 at the 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday 8/28/94 Windsor Court Hotel, Windsor Locks, CT (Hartford area). ###### 1993 : YEAR IN REVIEW ###### Compiled by Ron Kovacs ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- This is the first of a continuing series of the Year In Review: 1993. As the new year started, the biggest controversy taking place was with GEnie and ABCO Computer Consultants. Here are a few comments about the story from my Editors Desk in January 1993. If you are up to date on community news, you should know by now that there are a number of comments and allocations being made against the mail order company, ABCO. This is the same company that advertises in ST Report Online Magazine each week. In our last few editions of the 1992, we told you about some of the things taking place and also published an article written by one of their unhappy customers. In the last three weeks, more people are surfacing with problems, specific to ABCO Computer. In our own investigation, if you want to call it that, we have validated the Better Business Bureau's label of unsatisfied rating, and spoke breifly with Ralph Mariano, the owner. He commented, "ABCO will satisfy all of it's customers.", Mariano went on to state that he had over 2800 customers. Mariano has not commented publically about the situation nor of the lawsuit filed by one of his unhappy customers. For futher information about ABCO, read the next edition of Atari Explorer Online magazine, due January 2, 1993. BLACKMAIL FOR ATARI BlackMail allows the design of an automated single or multi-user voice mail system which can disperse prerecorded information to a caller, store the caller's message, and forward it upon request. Callers access BlackMail using their touch tone telephone to navigate the system's hierarchical voice mail menus, leaving or retrieving messages as determined by the user. COMPUSERVE EXPANDS NETWORK PRESENCE TO HONG KONG CompuServe extends it's high-quality network access to the Pacific Rim with the installation of a local access point in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong node will be utilized by corporate customers of CompuServe's value- added network services and members of the company's online information service. FALCON FCC NUMBER Atari announced two months ago that the Falcon had passed FCC approval. Z*Net News has received documentation from the FCC containing the FCC identifier which is: EBAF030ST. The certification was applied for on September 18, 1992 and approved November 5, 1992. Some of the comments on the Grant include: "This device must be supplied with a shielded AC power cord if one is required to ensure compliance." "This grant is issued to permit marketing only when a ferrite loaded video cable or split ferrite core equivalent to the type that was used during certification testing is marked with each unit." "This device has shown compliance with new rules adopted under Docket 87-389 and is not affected by Section 15.37, transition rule." The FCC file number is: 31010/EQU 4-3-4. Equipment Class: TV Interface Device. MULTITOS RELEASE EXPECTED NEXT WEEK (January) MultiTOS, which recently was released to Atari developers in beta form, is working quite well according to Bob Brodie. Atari is now focusing on an installation program and planning to make MultiTOS run on all Atari 68000 systems. Next week Atari will have a version of MultiTOS available for shipping, although the way they plan on distributing the product as yet to be decided. OUTBURST! 3.0 The early versions of OutBurST! 3.0 that have a file creation date in November 1992 have a minor flaw in them. The manual states to put the OBURST.INF file into the AUTO folder, but with the early version you must put the file on the root of the boot disk. GEMULATOR 2.1 The 2.1 update which fixes the 32 meg partition limit is still in the works. Stacker compatibility is one of the things Mihocka is trying to support. He is also hoping to be able to test it on the new DOS 6's compression. In the meantime, as with the 2.0 upgrade, some features and a number of bugs have been repaired, so very shortly, a maintenance upgrade called Gemulator 2.05 will be released. ATARI LYNX Free Federal Express delivery!, Hurry! Offer expires 1/31/93! Call 1-800-327-xxxx to order now! Push your mind to the edge with the Atari Lynx: Backlit screen, stereo sound, 50+ incredible games, "Flip" controls for left handed players, Play with up to 8 friends with "ComLynx", 4,000 brilliant colors (16 bit graphics engine), The worlds largest portable video game screen (3.5" diag.) The entire Lynx game library is available from Atari by calling 1-800-327-xxxx. And don't forget to order your Atari Lynx for only $79.95 -- that's $20 off through 1/31/93! And get FREE Federal Express delivery. Or send check or money order to: Atari Lynx, P.O. Box 61657, Sunnyvale, CA 94088-1657. This offer expires 1/31/93. CMC EXPANDS The Computer Musician Coalition (CMC), an international, artist-driven collaboration, dedicated to the success of electronic musicians world- wide, announces the formation of a new division, the Creative Musicians Coalition (CMC), dedicated to the success of all independent musicians including the non-electronic bread. For more information about CMC memberships, music submission procedures, and a free copy of AFTERTOUCH - New Music Discoveries write or call: Ron Wallace, Creative Musicians Coalition, Computer Musician Coalition, 1024 W. Willcox Ave., Peoria, IL 61604, Phone: (309) 685-4843, FAX: (309) 685-4878, Or Email: S.GARRIGUS (On GEnie). ABCO COMPUTER In January 1993, the continuing ABCO debate was in full force. Some of the discussions that took place were between a user, Don Harris who paid for product from the Florida company and didn't receive the goods. Also, overseas sysops went sevens months without product after paying. From : Ben Van Bokkem: "If anyone in the US can point us in the right direction to recover the monies that Ralph Mariano STOLE from us, or put some 'pressure' on him some way, it would certainly be appreciated!" Then Atari started receiving letters from customers online on GEnie regarding ABCO Computers and Ralph Mariano: From: Walter S. Wilson: "This same Publisher/Editor (who owns ABCO), has a bad rating with the Better Business Bureau in his home state, has many very unsatisfied customers, has a FREE FLAG on GEnie in the ST RT, gets free advertising for his company under the guise of an E-mag in a GEnie pay area, and is completely aloof concerning any of these complaints." From J.ENOS [JENOS] (GEnie User): "I sold Ralph Mariano of ABCO Computers my Hard drives for $1030, and found his check no good. Can anyone suggest a way I might resolve this problem." SPEEDOGDOS NEAR RELEASE SpeedoGDOS, Atari's scalable font replacement for GDOS/FSM GDOS is just nearly ready for release. Atari is currently evaluating the installation package. The present Speedo package consists of a five diskette set, which includes lots of BitStream fonts. Users of Speedo will be able to call an 800 phone number that BitStream operates to order fonts to use with SpeedoGDOS. ST SUTRA TO CONCEIRGE TO ATARI WORKS Atari has changed the name of Conceirge, a word processor, database and spreadsheet program to Atari Works. When originally announced the name was ST Sutra, then late in 1992, Atari changed the name to Conceirge. Atari Works, the same product is still undergoing testing. FALCON DELAYED TILL MARCH The Atari Falcon030 has been expirencing some manufacturing problems. The sub-contractor that has been manufacturing Atari Falcon030s for Atari has not been able to meet Q/A or production requirements. A number of the machines coming from this sub-contractors factory have failed diagnostic tests. Representatives from the factory were due in Sunnyvale last Monday afternoon to discuss a resolution of these problems. Atari expects these problems to delay "significant" shipments of the Falcon until March 1993. DITEK LAUNCHES DYNACADD 2D Ditek International announced DynaCADD 2D for the Atari ST and TT computers. The Atari Falcon version will be available in January 1993. DynaCADD 2D is the 2D portion of Ditek's powerful 2D/3D Computer Aided Design and Drafting solution that has been on the market for the past two years. MUSITEK TO DEBUT A FIRST AT NAMM Musitek will introduce the world's first automatic music reading software at the NAMM winter trade show. This breakthrough product is MIDISCAN for Windows and runs on IBM PCs and compatibles. MIDISCAN converts printed sheet music into multi-track MIDI files. Music Reading Software (MRS) is similar to Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for text. A scanner first captures images of the score. MIDISCAN automatically processes each page, extracting its musical content. The reconstructed score is displayed as standard notation within an interactive graphic window for easy point-and-click editing. The music is then saved as a multi-track MIDI file which can be loaded into any MIDI sequencing or notation software for playback through a synthesizer or MPC audio card. Musitek will exhibit at Booth No. 2628 (Hall C) throughout the NAMM trade show. SOUND BLASTER UPGRADE KITS ANNOUNCED Creative Labs announced two new versions of its Sound Blaster Multimedia Upgrade Kits. Expected to ship later this quarter, the new versions were introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show. The Edutainment CD Upgrade Kit is a multimedia upgrade package consisting of a Creative Labs CD-ROM drive, Sound Blaster Pro and speakers. SPA HAS BANNER YEAR The Software Publishers Association announced that 1992 marked the most active year for its anti-piracy activities to date. Working on behalf of its members, the SPA investigates cases of software copyright infringement involving corporations, educational and non-profit institutions, commercial dealers, and bulletin boards. Most investigations begin with a call to the SPA anti-piracy hotline (1-800- 388-7478). Information gathered from telephone conversations are then reviewed by the SPA's in-house litigation staff. Depending on the strength of the information and the severity of the case, legal action can be taken using cease and desist letters, corporate audits, or Ex- Parte seizure orders. In 1992, up to 30 phone calls per day poured into the hotline. Based on these leads, the SPA took action against 747 organizations. DATELINE ATARI! WITH BOB BRODIE - JANUARY First I'd like to give some status reports on some projects that we're working on here at Atari. MultiTOS has a recent beta version go out to our developers just before Christmas. This version appears to be working quite well, although not perfect (I found a bug today, and got it fixed!!). We're now focusing on an installation program for MultiTOS, which was presented to me for evaluation yesterday. You'll be pleased to know that the entire package fits on a single 1.44 meg floppy. At this point in time we're planning on allowing ALL Atari 68000 computers to be able to run MultiTOS. There was some discussion that we might compile MultiTOS in such fashion that only users with 68030 boards, TT030s, or Atari Falcon030s would be able to use MultiTOS. In speaking to the TOS group, they feel confident that they will have a shipable version of MultiTOS next week. Still to be decided is how we are going to distribute MultiTOS to our customers. Once that decision is made, we'll let you know via an annoucement here on GEnie, and in Atari Explorer Online Magazine. SpeedoGDOS, our scalable font replacement for FONT GDOS/FSM GDOS is just about ready, too. As is the case with MultiTOS, we're evaluating the installation package very carefully so as to make it very easy for end users to install SpeedoGDOS. Presently the package consists of a five diskette set, which includes lots of BitStream fonts. I have been VERY impressed with this system. I had lived with extreme system slowdown when running FSM GDOS with more than 12 fonts on my system at work. I'm now running 71 Speedo fonts, with no noticable performance degradation at all!! Our customers will be able to call an 800 phone number that BitStream operates to order fonts to use with SpeedoGDOS. While not all of the BitStream font families have Speedo fonts in them, there is over 1,000 typefaces available that do. We've decided to change the name of Conceirge (previously ST Sutra) to Atari Works. It is still undergoing some testing, although it is much improved from when it was shown back at the Toronto Show last April. Much of the work has focused on the database portion of the program to improve the database import capabilities of the program. We're in the process of expanding our beta test group, and we're getting lots of good input from them for improvements in Atari Works. I'm very pleased with how the program is improving, and am even starting to use it myself much more often than before. Many of our staff members here at Atari, like the Administrative Assistants are starting to use Atari Works for their everyday word processor of choice. Now, regarding the Atari Falcon030. I spoke at length with Sam Tramiel about the production/shipment status of this product on Monday. The sub-contractor that has been manufacturing Atari Falcon030s for us has not been able to meet our Q/A or production requirements. The number of the machines coming from this factory that have failed diagnostic tests is completely unacceptable to Sam. He is _angry_ about this, as producing Atari Falcon030s is of paramount importance to us. Representatives from the factory were due in Sunnyvale on Monday afternoon to discuss a resolution of these problems with Sam. Regardless of the outcome of that meeting, Sam indicated to me that he was meeting with a representative from another factory to bring on board another manufacturer to produce Falcons for us. We expect this to delay significant shipments of Falcons until March. There have been some rumors circulating that the Falcon030 is not FCC approved, and this is reason for the delay. This is simply not true!! As Atari indicated months ago, the Falcon has met with FCC approval. I note with some amusement that a request for FCC numbers was made by ST Report's staff in the message bases on GEnie, AFTER our offices had closed for the holidays. Until today, there was never a request made to our offices for the actual FCC number via anything resembling conventional means, like a phone call, letter, or fax. Not even a request in email!! Today, Ralph Mariano called me and asked about the FCC status of the Falcon, and dicussed in detail with me his attempts to have the FCC provide him with the number. I don't understand why he has had problems getting this information, as it is a matter of public record. At the time of his call, I didn't have the number at my desk...but I do now! So, as promised, here is the FCC approval number for the Atari Falcon030: EBAF030ST, application dated September 18, 1992, granted November 5, 1992. Falcon030s will continue to be available in small quantities until we get our second sub-contractor on board, or the production problems with the original contractor are resolved. Review units are being provided to publications that we believe can assist us in "getting the word out" on the Falcon. UPDATE BY SMALL I'm sorry to have been offline for a bit. The local cold settled into the ol' lungs here at the Small family (probably came from the local school/disease exchange where our kids go), and was headed towards pneumonia. It took awhile for yon doctors to find the right pills (e.g., most expensive) to cure it. In the mean time, we were just zonked out. It seems to be clearing up now, so there are signs of hope. (Six dollars a PILL?) On the TT/SCSI front, substantial progress has been made. Low level assembler code now understands TT SCSI and various devices have been tried. This involved a subtle, a partitioning scheme from Atari called XGEM (been around since AHDI 3.02), and which I'm still leaning on real hard to make it solid. It was Not Fun to put a Mac partition into an XGEM "chain"; it tended to break the chain. Anyway, the front-end (formatter, displayer, etc) is DONE except for any bugs that pop loose (none so far) and I'm working on making removable media support practical from *inside* Mac mode. Spectre 3.1 HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED, contrary to press reports. The reporters responsible have been shot. Removable support, plus a few things I'm a hacking at while coughing (little pun there), plus bug fixes for the cache thing and stuff, ought to make this the best Spectre ever. I NEED TT BASED USERS TO BETA TEST. You must have good sense about backups! We have had bugs before that have blown away partition tables, and you MUST be able to restore your data, for your sanity and mine. Beta Testing is a mixed bag -- ask any of the people who have done it. If you wish to, PLEASE send me an email describing your TT outfit (I am particularly after people with lots of TT RAM, like the GE Soft board; I have 8 meg TT RAM in my machine with that board, and love it!) because of some, errr, new things I would *like* to release in this next cut. ATARI EXPLORER MAGAZINE Atari Explorer Magazine was finally released. The November/December 1992 edition contained a lot of information about the Falcon030, Hard drive back-up software, articles from Peter Donoso, Ron Robinson, Rob Schilling, Jerry Davis, Mark Jansen, BJ Gleason, Travis Guy and Scott Sanders. ALso, look for Lynx game reviews from Clayton Walnum. APPLE POSTS EARNINGS Apple Computer reported record revenues for its first fiscal quarter, which ended December 25, 1992. Net revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 1993 were $2 billion, a 7.4 percent increase from the $1.863 billion reported in the first quarter of the prior year. Net income for the first quarter was $161.3 million, as compared to the prior year's first quarter net income of $166.0 million. HAYES SETTLES WITH MULTI Hayes has announced that a settlement has been reached with Multi-Tech Systems. This settlement concludes the litigation which was begun in December, 1988, when Multi-Tech initiated patent litigation over the Hayes '302 patent in the United States District Court, Minneapolis, Minn. As part of the settlement, an undisclosed amount of money was paid to Hayes and Hayes has agreed to make certain modifications to its White Paper with respect to TIES modems. All claims in connection with the litigation in Minnesota have been dismissed by both parties. All other terms of the settlement are confidential. CONSUMER ACTION ALERTS US CONSUMERS Consumer Action is alerting consumers to new federal safeguards that took effect last week which will make it easier for people to complete pay phone calls. The safeguards, approved by the FCC last July, prohibit blocking long distance company five-digit access codes at pay phones and some hotel/motel phones. The FCC also now requires long distance companies to provide toll-free "800" or "950" numbers for callers to reach their services. Public phones (such as pay phones and hotel room phones) are already prohibited from blocking calls made using these access numbers. Consumer Action offers the following advice for people trying to reach their chosen long distance company when calling away from home: The first thing you should do is look on the phone for the name of the long distance company that serves it. If you see another company's name, you can still reach your long distance company by dialing its access number. For example, you can reach the three largest long distance companies by dialing these numbers: - AT&T, 102880 or 1-800-CALL ATT - MCI, 950-1022 or 1-800-950-1022 - Sprint, 103330 or 1-800-877-8000. IBM TO SELL BUILDING AND LAND IBM has announced that it will sell its building and land located at 6450 Guadalupe Mines Road in Southwest San Jose. The 86,000-square-foot building, which sits on 130 acres of land, is used primarily as office and laboratory space. It is a satellite building of IBM ADSTAR's San Jose site, located on Cottle Road. IBM said the sale of the building and land is part of a continuing effort to reduce expenses. Employees and projects now residing in the building will be relocated to other buildings in the San Jose area. NAMM 1993 NEWS John Nagy reported that Atari received thousands of orders for Falcons at NAMM, faces from the music industry like Thomas Dolby, Jon Anderson and a few others attended and the overall feeling of a great show was apparent. NEW PRESIDENT President Clinton took office with hopes of change for our country, something I was personally pleased about. It feels nice having a change after 12 years! RICHARD MILLER STEPS DOWN Richard W. Miller announced this week that he was stepping down as chairman and chief executive officer of Wang Laboratories in order to facilitate the company's business plan and organization structure for emergence from Chapter 11 protection. The board of directors named the three top executives of the company to lead Wang in a newly established corporate executive office. IBM LOSES RECORD $5.46 BILLION IBM reported a record $5.46 billion loss for the fourth quarter and a loss of $4.97 billion for the year. The world's largest computer maker said 1992 marked the second straight losing year for its businesses. IBM lost $2.86 billion in 1991 - the first loss ever for the company. But if not for a $1.9 billion one-time gain resulting from adoption of a new tax accounting standard, IBM's 1992 loss would have been a mammoth $6.87 billion. While the vast majority of the red ink represented costs associated with massive staff reductions and corporate downsizing, the results for the 1992 fourth quarter included a $45 million operating loss - the first quarterly operating loss in IBM's 79-year history. IBM reduced its payroll by more than 40,000 employees in 1992. Since 1986, the computer maker has slashed its work force by more than 100,000. Revenues for the quarter totaled $19.56 billion, down 11% compared with $21.97 billion for the fourth quarter of 1991. CALLIGRAPHER 3 CodeHead Technologies and Working Title US announce the release of Calligrapher 3 that adds new features, streamlines the installation procedure, is compatible with the Falcon030 and MultiTOS, and no longer uses GDOS! FALCON NEWS The first Falcons (not pre-production or 'first' production machines) are being delivered to dealers in Germany. Some were even sold and in the hands of end users before Christmas. :-) Many dealers are or have increased their earlier orders beleaving the first few batches will be completely sold out and that at suggested Atari retail prices. ATARI WORKS Bob Brodie indicates on GEnie, that Atari Works would most likely be included (bundled) with new hardware sales and sold as a separate package to current owners. The program is said to work with machines from the Falcon on down. MORE NAMM NEWS This year's showing by ATARI at NAMM has been the biggest and best ever. ATARI had a private room this year. The room is about 1,000 sq. ft. There are sixteen developer stations. The Developers inside the ATARI booth are D2D Systems, Cho-Magic, CodeHead Software, Barefoot Software, Thinkware, Dr. T's Music, Compo Software, MGI, On Stage, Hotz Technologies, Digital F/X, Oktal, Steinberg/Jones and Yamaha. There was also a performance stage where five demonstrations are being given each day. The FALCON is the star of the show. EQ Magazine awarded ATARI Product of the Year for the FALCON. ST-REPORT BANNED FROM GENIE ST RT Now GEnie's ST RT has taken a position regarding ST Report. It has banned all future issues from it's libraries and will close the ST Report bulletin board catagory on Monday. Some will say that this is the reward to ST Report for it's continuing assault on Atari and Atari's employees. Other will say that it violates free speech, while others will say it was a personal problem. No matter how you label it, the final word on this stands with GEnie. Although I am not pleased by the actions of the GEnie ST RT in banning ST Report, I understand it and know that it was a difficult matter to decide. I am surprised that it took so long to happen. That alone shows the patience that has endured over the years. Which brings us back to what GEnie decides. It is the GEnie management that controls the content of what appears on their service. ATARIUSER MAGAZINE TO SKIP ISSUES Shortly before reaching its second anniversary of uninterrupted monthly publishing, John Nagy's AtariUser Magazine will be skipping two issues. Nagy has told Z*Net that the January and February 1993 issues will be rolled into the March issue in an effort to get back on a reasonable production schedule. Subscribers will not lose out, as renewal dates will be back up appropriately. AtariUser has a new staff, and is rebuilding its databases after taking over the magazine from Quill Publishing in late 1992. The December 1992 edition was not available until late in December, and it became clear that AtariUser would have to produce three issues in only 45 days in order to get back on schedule. This would be impossible under good circumstances, but Nagy reports that too many advertisers are running late in payments and are generally low on funds for more ads. When an accident while moving his residence broke Nagy's foot, flattening him for most of January without access to his (packed) computers, any hope of catching up via any means other than combined issues vanished. "I really tried to avoid this, as 'combined issues' and schedule problems have plagued Atari magazines for years. It never happened to us before," said AtariUser Publisher and Los Angeles Attorney John Nagy. The "March" AtariUser is expected to be released in early February, putting less than 60 days between it and the last release. APPLE TO UNVEIL NEW COMPUTERS Apple is expected to break with its usual practice of pricing its computers at a premium to comparable IBM-compatible models. The new machines are expected to be offered at lower prices than the competition. The Macintosh Color Classic is expected to cost between $1,300 and $1,400, while the PowerBook 165c notebook computer is expected to cost about $4,200. The Centris machines are expected to use Motorola Corp.'s 68040 microprocessor, with the two models costing $2,000 and $3,000. The new Quadra 800 is expected to be used for networking and graphics and carry a price tag of $3,600. JOHN AKERS RESIGNS IBM cut its quarterly dividend by more than half this week and Chairman John F. Akers surprised directors by recommending they begin looking for someone to replace him. Akers announced that directors had accepted his recommendation to begin the process of selecting a new chief executive officer. Akers will remain as chairman and CEO during the selection process, which IBM expects to take approximately 90 days. Akers, who reaches retirement age next year, has come under fire for allegedly being too slow to sense and react to the changing market. Critics also said he lacked the resolve to undertake the kind of massive streamlining necessary to avert the company's massive losses. AND MORE NAMM AND ATARI, 1993 This year, Atari opted for a suite bordering the hall that featured electronic instruments and computer software. The 40' by 80' room was draped in black and a miniature performance stage graced the far end, complete with lighting overheads, a full mix board, several Atari computers, and a simply huge (over 39") VGA monitor. Ringing the room were 15 workstations, manned by third-party developers, Atari personnel, and volunteers organized through the L.A. user group "HACKS", coordinated by John King Tarpinian and managed by Tara Jacobs. Outside of the Atari area and in the main flow of foot traffic, Motorola had a booth that was promoting the use of their DSP systems in new music devices. On their front table was a single computer. An Atari Falcon. No MAC. No PC. But according to the woman running the Motorola booth, the Falcon was a BIG HIT, with most musicians knowing about it and wanting one ASAP. Atari's Director of their Music Division, James Grunke, was selected to be one of the five directors for the MMA, the Midi Manufacturers Association. This professional organization is a powerful standard-setting group, and the word after the announcement of Grunke was that IBM Corp was quite surprized and perturbed to have been passed over. Overall, the NAMM show was a hit for Atari. GENIE AND STR SPLIT COMMENTS FROM DARLAH POTECHIN OF GENIE AND RALPH MARIANO OF ST-REPORT After many attempts by all parties involved it has become clear that the relationship between STReport and the Atari RoundTables on GEnie will not improve enough to warrant our continued support. Therefore, effective immediately, we will no longer accept issues of STReport. Effective Monday, February 1, 1993, we will be closing Category 24. On behalf of the Atari Roundtables on GEnie I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this might cause our valued customers. Sincerely, Darlah J. Potechin Atari Roundtables Here we go again folks... STReport refuses to drop to its knees and allow Darlah and her minions to "edit" the contents of STReport, we refuse to not tell it like it is and what happens. "SHUT THEM DOWN!" Thats what happens. How very original. <smirk> We too, regret and apologize to see such behavior from the leadership of this RT but then.. it is not new. We have seen this sort of happenstance to one degree or another over the last five years. The permitted lynch mobs, the permitted baiting, the permitted badgering and the ultimate open censoring and ostracizing of all who would dare to criticize or simply publicly disagree with "Queen" Darlah and the members of her "court". Ralph @ STReport International Online Magazine MULTIWRITER RELEASED MultiWriter is a new, non-WYSWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get), word processor developed to be fully compatible with ST Writer Elite. MultiWriter is fully compatible with all versions of TOS and MultiTOS, the new multi-tasking operating system from Atari Corp. MultiWriter was developed because it was clear that ST Writer was not compatible with the new operating systems. MultiWriter works with existing ST Writer/ ST Writer Elite files. The program displays and operation resemble ST Writer Elite, so if you are experienced with ST Writer Elite, you will be up and running quickly. MultiWriter has been tested and works with Gemulator from Branch Always Software. MultiWriter also has been tested with and works well with Spelling Sentry, a spell checking program from Wintertree Software Inc. The program supports importing and exporting text in five formats; ASCII, ST Writer Elite, WordPerfect, 1st Word, and WordWriter formats. MultiWriter supports three languages, English, German, and Spanish. When the program is configured, one of the three languages can be selected and the settings saved. ATARI EXPLORER COVER GIRL AT PLANETARIUM Dr. Fiorella Terenzi, the January/February Atari Explorer Magazine Cover girl will be at the Morrison Planetarium, Golden Gate Park, February 8 and 9 at 7pm. Terenzi's "Music From The Galaxies", a recently released CD on Island Records, will be the focus of the event titled, Music From The Galaxies and Optical and Radio Astronomy. Tickets are $10.00. For more information on this event call: (415) 750-7127. For more on the development of the Music of From The Galaxies CD, read the Jan/Feb edition of Atari Explorer Magazine. DATELINE ATARI! WITH BOB BRODIE - FEBRUARY 1993 I'd like to welcome every one to our February installment of Dateline Atari! I hope that all of you are enjoying these conferences as much as I am. I'm pleased with the opportunity to interact with each of you, and share with you all the latest events in the Atari Community. Tonight, I want to start things off by discussing the current status of the Atari Falcon030, and then we'll talk about our integrated package, Atari Works. At our last session of Dateline Atari, I told you about the delay in the shipments of the Atari Falcon030 to North America. The reason for the delay was unacceptable performance from one of the contracted manufacturers that Atari is dealing with. At that time, I also indicated to you that we would be bringing on another firm to supply us with Atari Falcon030s, as well as attempting to resolve the quality concerns with the units at the original manufacturing site. I'm pleased to report that the new factory has come on-line in the speedy fashion that we anticipated that they would. We have seen the first runs off of that line, and the quality is dramatically better than the original units. A recent run tested out at less an 0.5% defect rate, which is thrilling news to me! This means that our projections last month that Falcons would be available in North America in March is right on target! We _WILL_ to have the machines in stock in March!! The added plus of this delay is that we have completed MultiTOS, and all of the machines in North America will ship with MultiTOS! There will be no customers that will purchase Atari Falcon030s that will have to be "retrofitted" with MultiTOS! While we are still debating internally how we want to distribute MultiTOS to the established user base, I'm very pleased that it is _done_. In addition to the inclusion of MultiTOS, we will be finalizing Atari Works as well, and hope to have that available as well to ship with each Atari Falcon030, along with SpeedoGDOS. Let's talk about Atari Works at this point, and try to give you a glimpse of what is coming with that product. Atari Works is a fully integrated word processor, database, and spreadsheet. It's intended to provide the average user just about anything that they might require in a package to be used in either the home, or for a small business/home office scenario. Most of our energies with Atari Works have been focused on the word processor component of Works, as we believe that word processing is still the most common usage for home users. The Atari Works word processor offers multiple documents, full cut and paste between documents and the other portions of Works, easy set up of justification (left, right, center, or proportional), and importing of GEM metafile images. Atari Works has full SpeedoGDOS support, which means multiple scalable outline fonts with multiple sizes, and your usual bold, italics, underline, outline, superscript, subscript, footnotes, and headers. Works uses the Proximity dictionary system, and updated version of the system that was used with Word Up and WordFlair II. There is also a thesaurus included with Works. Works has full search and replace capabilities, again easily activated by drop down menus. One of the features that I really enjoy in using Atari Works is the exceptionally easy mail merge capabilities with Atari Works database module. It's always been something of a pain for me to have to mail merge. It seemed to me that there was never really a system that felt very intuitive to me for mail merging. With Works, there is a drop down menu called "Begin Merge" that allows you to begin the process. It's TERRIFIC!!! On the editing side of the coin, Works allows you to transpose letters that just need to be flip-flopped with a Control-T command. Its also "intelligent" about it's editing, in that if you begin moving around text, Works will recognize the need for additional spaces and automatically insert the spaces for you. There are also commands that will allow you to do a number of different text commands, like setting areas to all caps, or all lower case, and other text handling. The word processor of Atari Works also supports the importation of standard ASCII text, the Microsoft Rich Text Format (RTF) files. This is an increasingly popular format used with PC and Mac word processors, like Microsoft Word. The logical extension of that is that your documents at work can be saved out as .RTF files, and readily brought into Atari Works with the formatting fully intact!! The database portion of Atari Works will import .DBF files, tab delimited ASCII, and comma delimited ASCII. The Atari Works database is a breeze to set up and work with, too! If you start a new database file, the system begins prompting you for field names, until you tell it you're done. Once the fields are entered, you simply click on the field and hold down the mouse button while you drag the field to the desired size! Simple, eh? You can add additional fields later by simply clicking on the database form with your mouse. Fields are moved about the page simply by clicking and dragging them. You can display the records in a form fashion, or in a list fashion that looks very spreadsheet-ish to me. :) Since everything in Atari Works is fully GEM compliant, you can also highlight portions of the database records, and save out the area as a GEM metafile and drop it into your document! Of course, this also applies to the spreadsheet as well. That makes displaying graphs and tables as part of your document easier than it's ever been before. Bill Rehbock, the product manager for Atari Works, tells me that the database portion of Works will feel very familiar to anyone that has ever used a database on a Mac. My sentiment was that I didn't find an overpowering need to run to the docs just to get things going, the database has a very comfortable "feel" to it. I'm not generally comfortable with ANY database, so I have great confidence that most of you will really enjoy the database portion of Atari Works. The spreadsheet portion of Atari Works is Excel command compatible. Our intention with the spreadsheet is not to compete against stand alone products like LDW Power, but to provide a good, basic speadsheet for users to be able to chart, graph, and track their finances. We have some portions of our business presently tracking their finances under the spreadsheet of Atari Works. I could go on a little bit longer about the spreadsheet, but I think I've gone on about as long as I dare on this opening. Let's see what kind of questions are out there, Lou! MULTITOS UPDATE! Eric Smith reported that some major last minute changes to MultiTOS. On the up side, these should improve compatibility with old applications quite a bit. The down side is that MultiTOS will be delayed somewhat. Most GEM programs that "follow the rules" should be MultiTOS compatible. TOS and TTP programs that don't do any graphics (i.e. that use ordinary ASCII text for output) will also generally be MultiTOS compatible. There are exceptions, of course. The most common cause of incompatibility is accessing memory that doesn't belong to the program (other than the officially documented system variables, of course). Programs that grab system vectors are more likely to have problems than programs that don't, but there are always surprises. TO CLASS B TT, OR NOT TO CLASS B TT Bill Rehbock reported that the TT030 does have Class-B certification, but only the absolute latest revision of it. To pass Class-B certification, there were many changes to the motherboard and it did require the re-addition of the internal metal shielding that makes it difficult to add memory, and change ROMs. To accomodate the shielding, a different tooling for the plastic case is required also. Since the TT is not as much of a broad-interest machine as the 1040STE or MegaSTE, it was decided that FCC Class-A certification was sufficient to accomodate the needs of the majority of purchasers of TTs. These people would have been annoyed by the shielding and didn't need Class-B as they were being used in business environments anyway. A Class-B computing device is explicitly labeled as being "CLASS-B". The general verbage that is on the TTs rating label is the Class-A legal-eze. MORE CUTS FROM IBM IBM, which has already announced it is cutting 25,000 workers from its payroll, may actually reduce its workforce by as many as 40,000 as reported by the New York Times last week. Daniel Mandresh, a Merrill Lynch analyst, stated that the extra cutbacks could require a special charge against earnings of roughly $1 billion to pay for financial incentives to encourage people to quit. IBM has maintained a no-layoff policy and has reduced its personnel from a high of 407,000 workers in 1986 to 300,000 at the end of 1992 with the reductions entirely through early retirement offers. IBM reported a $4.97 billion loss last year. CHANGES FOR NeXT Next Computer will stop making its comptuer workstations, a move that will idle about 300 of its 500 employees. Next will instead focus on producing operating software for other machines. Steve Jobs said Next will unveil a variety of new software products on May 25. Last year, Jobs announced Next would become software-driven, developing programs designed to run on its NextStep operating systems. Next has agreed to sell its hardware business, including its automated manufacturing plant in Calif., to Japanese electronics giant Canon, which owns 17.9 percent of Next. Jobs, who co-founded Apple Computer and started Next in 1985, said about 100 Next exmployees will go to Canon, while another 200 will be laid off. COMPUSERVE LOWERS CONNECT CHARGES CompuServe has announced that it is reducing hourly connect-time charges for members who participate in its Standard Pricing Plan for the CompuServe Information Service. Connect-time charges will drop as much as 37.5 pct for most CompuServe services, including its popular forums, beginning Feb 28. Under the Standard Pricing Plan, members will now pay a monthly fee of $8.95 for unlimited connect-time use of 36 basic services, such as travel, shopping, investment and games. When using CompuServe's other services, members will pay an hourly charge of $8.00 for access at 1200 or 2400 baud and $16.00 for 9600 baud. Previously, members paid a monthly fee of $7.95 and hourly charges of $12.80 and $22.80 for access at 1200/2400 and 9600 baud. SINGULAR SOLUTIONS Singular Solutions announced that the first digital audio workstation built upon the Atari's latest computer, the Falcon030, is slated for shipment. The combination of Singular Solutions A/D64x(tm) Audio Interface and D2D EDIT(tm) from D2D Systems of Cambridge, England represents the first professional quality audio production system to employ the extensive digital audio capabilities of the Atari Falcon030. GEMULATOR VERSION 2.1 Branch Always Software releases version 2.1 of the Gemulator, the Atari ST emulator for DOS and Windows compatible PCs. Gemulator allows a 386 or 486 based PC to directly run most Atari ST software (except for games and music software) and supports all versions of TOS, four different screen resolutions, and can provide up to 8 megabytes of RAM to ST programs. NEW AQUISITION FOR TOAD Toad Computers announces that it has acquired the exclusive worldwide distribution and marketing rights to Silhouette. The newest version of Silhouette, version 1.5, supports color and adds many new features. Version 1.5 also sports a new name: Silhouette Colortrace. SPEEDO AND WORKS: READY TO ROLL SpeedoGDOS and Atari Works are getting manufactured as stand-alone products. The SpeedoGDOS add-on should be _around_ $60.00, and Atari Works will be _around_ $120.00 or so and it will include SpeedoGDOS. These prices are of course, are subject to change. MAGAZINE MYSTERY Detectives from Sunnyvale have solved the mystery of the lost 3rd class November/December issues of Atari Explorer. The gory details have not yet been released but a reputable source states they will be outlined in the next edition AEO, if not sooner. DIGITAL AUDIO WORKSTATION FOR FALCON EQ Magazine states that there will be the first Digital Audio Workstation for the Atari Falcon 030 ($1594), made by Singular Solutions of Pasadena, CA and D2D Systems of Cambridge, England. DATELINE ATARI! WITH BOB BRODIE - MARCH 1993 Once again, I'm delighted to be here for our monthly gathering at Dateline: Atari! This month, I'm pleased to offer something a little bit different from our normal fare. I've asked Eric Smith, from the Software Engineering Group here at Atari, to join us online to discuss MultiTOS. I know that you're all very anxious to hear as much as possible about the capabilities of MultiTOS, and Eric is just the man to answer all of your questions about MultiTOS. As many of your may know, Eric developed a program called MiNT (which stood for Mint is NOT TOS). Originally, MiNT didn't multitask with GEM applications, but rather gave users a multi-tasking environment to operate TOS applications from. MiNT is now incorporated into MultiTOS, and has changed dramatically since Eric first wrote it. Obviously, we were impressed enough with his efforts to offer him a position within Atari! Before we begin with the MultiTOS portion of our CO, I'm sure that you are all very interested in the status of the delivery schedule for the Atari Falcon030 here in the US. We have had a small setback in the manufacturing of the unit. One of our suppliers is running about 10 days behind in providing us with a couple of components that we need for the US machines. This means that the machines will probably arrive in late March to early April. The reception that we've had for the machines has been nothing short of sensational!! The phone has been ringing constantly, with many people interested in signing up as Atari dealers. As you might expect, the main interest is coming from the music field, as few other computer systems can match the digital sound capabilities of the Atari Falcon030 right out of the box!! We have enough orders in hand that we expect to be sold out quickly. This is the same type of reception that the Falcon030 has gotten in the rest of the world, for instance in Germany, where it was literally sold out in a matter of hours!!! Much of our efforts here in Sunnyvale over the course of the last month has revolved around finalizing plans for dealer agreements. It is our hope that we'll be able to restore the value of an Atari dealership, and help the dealers be able to be more profitable. We will be soon going over the new arrangements with all of our current dealers, as we release the pricing, and other sales related information to our current dealers. Now, we'd like to tell you a little bit about MultiTOS! While this file is a little bit long, it will give you a pretty good idea of what the capabilities of MultiTOS are. MultiTOS provides your Atari computer with multitasking, the ability to run more than one application at a time. Since your computer spends much of its time waiting for user input, multitasking makes more efficient use of processing power--when one application, say, your word processor, is waiting for input, the rest of your computer's attention is turned to other tasks. MultiTOS includes several important features that make multitasking reliable and efficient. Adaptive prioritization gives the most processing power to the most important program running--the word processor you're typing into receives higher priority than the processor -hungry compression program running simultaneously in the background. Memory protection prevents one program from interfering with another active program's data in memory. And if one program quits unexpectedly or "crashes," MultiTOS protects other applications, which continue to run; only in the most extreme circumstances will you need to restart your computer. MultiTOS runs existing, correctly-written TOS programs--as many as your computer's memory allows. Some programs are already being upgraded to take advantage of MultiTOS features, and more programs written especially for MultiTOS are on their way, from Atari and third-party companies. MultiTOS can run as many programs simultaneously as will fit in memory; GEM programs, Desk Accessories, and TOS programs can all peacefully coexist under MultiTOS. You can move from one to the other, using whichever you need. When one program is busy, you can set it aside and work on something else until it's done. When you finish with a program and exit it, the memory it occupied is freed for other tasks. All running programs share the screen, each putting up its own windows; with several programs running, windows may overlap or be hidden altogether by one another. The application that receives input, like keystrokes, from you is called the foreground or topped application, and other programs running simultaneously are background, or untopped applications. Unlike TOS, MultiTOS allows you to operate any window's gadgets to move, resize, or scroll the window, even if the window is not topped. When you click within a window (but not on its gadgets), that window is topped, and so is the application that owns it. The topped application's menu bar is displayed, unless it doesn't have a menu bar --in that case, the menu bar is unchanged. Running GEM programs under MultiTOS is straightforward: simply double- click the program's icon. The MultiTOS Distribution Kit includes two simple GEM programs, "Clock" and "Lines." Double-click on CLOCK.APP, and an analog clock appears in a window, but the Desktop's icons and menu bar are still visible. Double-click on LINES.APP, and a graphics demonstration appears in a window. Resize the Lines window so that you can see the clock and some of the Desktop. Both programs and the Desktop are running simultaneously! From here, you can run still other programs, or perform Desktop operations like file copies. Desk Accessories and MultiTOS As with TOS, you can access your Desk Accessories from the "Desk" menu. Unlike TOS, MultiTOS can load Desk Accessories as you need them. Double-click on a ".ACC" file to run it, just as you would another GEM application. You may want to keep only the essential Accessories loaded at all times, and load others when needed. You can do this by putting your ".ACC" files in a directory other than the root of drive C:\. TOS programs present a special problem for multitasking, because they usually assume they are the only programs running, and that they have the whole screen to themselves. Since TOS programs don't know how to share the screen, MultiTOS does it for them, by giving them their own "screen," within a window. When you double-click a ".TOS" or ".TTP" program, MultiTOS runs another program, "MINIWIN," which sets up a window in which the TOS program runs. MINIWIN lets you select the size of the window TOS programs are given, and the font they use. You can change this information by choosing "Configure..." in the left most menu when running a TOS program. Note: TOS programs assume they're using a "monospaced" font, where all characters are the same width. MINIWIN allows you to choose "proportionally spaced" fonts, where a "w" is wider than an "i," for example. If you choose a proportionally spaced font, the program may look strange, but is otherwise fine. When several applications are running, the topped application presents its menu bar and receives your keystrokes. The others are in the background, where you can still move and resize their windows, but you can't click on their menus or give them keyboard commands. MultiTOS provides several ways to manage all the applications you may have running, and to choose which of them is topped. The leftmost menu in the menu bar is called the "Desk" menu, because that's what it's called when the Desktop is topped. When another MultiTOS-friendly application is run, and the application has its own menu bar, the application's name replaces "Desk" in the menu bar--this is one way to tell which program is topped. Some older applications will not do this, but will otherwise work fine. The Desk menu contains the names of all installed Desk Accessories and below, the names of all applications currently running, with the topped application indicated by a checkmark. You can top another program by clicking on its name in this menu; its windows (if it has any) spring to the front, and its menu bar (if it has one) appears. You can run as many programs as your available memory allows, but there are reasons why you may not want to. Often, there is very little difference in system performance with several programs running, since many of these programs are just waiting for input. When programs are actively processing, or reading and writing data on a disk, they consume more of your Atari's processing power. You may be tempted to leave things running in the background because it's so easy, but if they make too many demands on the system, performance will suffer. It's best to shut down any programs you're not planning to use, just as you would exit them in TOS. This makes the most memory and "computing horsepower" available for the programs you really need. Experiment, and see what combinations of programs work well together. Shut programs down with MultiTOS the same way you would with TOS: save whatever you're working on, then select "Quit," click the "close" gadget on a window, type "exit," or whatever. This gives the program a chance to save and close any files it has open and exit cleanly, returning your computer to its normal state. As always, it's best to save your work and exit from all running applications before restarting or turning your computer off. Occasionally, a program may "hang" in a state where it is no longer running correctly, but does not exit. When this happens, you can shut the program down from the Desktop. Select "Install Devices" under the "Options" menu, then open drive U:\, and then the "PROC" folder. This folder contains "files" that represent all the programs currently running under MultiTOS, along with parts of MultiTOS itself. To stop or "kill" a program, simply drag it to the trash. Be very careful with this technique. Kill only programs which have not responded otherwise, or are otherwise behaving incorrectly. Be careful what you throw away, because it is possible to shut down a part of MultiTOS itself, after which it can be difficult to recover without restarting. If you aren't sure what something is, don't kill it. Although Atari has made every effort to accomodate even ill-behaved TOS programs, you may occasionally encounter programs that are not compatible with MultiTOS. These programs may "crash," (exit unexpectedly) or "hang," (keep running without accepting input, refusing to exit). Usually when this happens, MultiTOS continues unharmed, along with any other programs running at the time of the crash. Sometimes, if a program crashes in an especially spectacular way, it can interfere with other parts of MultiTOS operation, or other programs. If you see error messages on your screen, or if you notice peculiar behavior from other programs, save your work and reboot your computer. Try to isolate the problem to the particular program and action that caused the crash, and report the problem to the program's authors or publisher. When you encounter a program which doesn't run under MultiTOS under any circumstances but you need to run nevertheless, you can temporarily disable MultiTOS, and restart your computer with TOS. To do this, save any work in progress, shut down any running applications, and restart your computer. You can use the Reset button, or hold down <Control> and <Alternate> and press <Delete>. Immediately after restarting, hold down the left <Shift> key. You will be asked, "Load MultiTOS? (y)es (n)o." Press the <n> key, and your computer will start up without MultiTOS. With the power of MultiTOS comes responsibility. Since some older programs expect to be the only thing running, they may not guard against some things which can happen "when their backs are turned." You can avoid these problems by not using one program or the Desktop to interfere with another active program. For example, don't move configuration or open document files for your word processor while it's running; the program may assume the files are in their original place, and behave unpredictably. Similarly, be careful with programs that manipulate disk data directly; don't run a hard disk defragmentation program in the background and save a file to the same disk, or the results could be unpleasant. As more MultiTOS-aware programs become available, these problems will be minimized. That concludes our opening remarks about MultiTOS, Lou. We're ready to take on all the questions that our guests might have tonight! Naturally, we're prepared to answer MultiTOS questions as well as almost anything else they might want to discuss with us. FALCON ARRIVING SOON! The timeframe for Falcon's hitting North America always did work out to mid-to-late March (my Birthday is March 26th, BTW. :-) Things are still looking good, but naturally, we're all sweating big time here in Sunnyvale, as having things scheduled to hit in that time frame means that if they come in too close to the end, and the last week of March being a half-week, doesn't give much margin for error, as the last week of March is the first half-week of April and we _really_, _really_, really, want this to hit "on time". :-) To be continued.............. ###### THE CURSOR COWBOY ###### By Jacques Leslie ###### Copyright (c) 1994, Wired InfoBot ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- Wired InfoBot Copyright Notice All material retrieved from the Wired InfoBot is Copyright 1993 Wired, Rights Reserved. Requesting information from the Wired InfoBot (other than the help file) indicates your acceptance of the following terms and conditions: (1) These articles and the contents thereof may be reposted, remailed, or redistributed to any publicly accessible electronic forum provi- ded that this notice remains attached and intact. (2) These articles may not under any circumstances be resold or redis- tributed for compensation without prior written agreement of Wired. G*E*T**W*I*R*E*D*! THE CURSOR COWBOY Dave Hughes is the best-known online personality in the country and Colorado's cowboy poet laureate with a mission: Hook up the 5.5 billion brains on the planet. Even though Dave Hughes and research scientist George L. Johnston had conversed innumerable times by phone and computer network, Johnston still wasn't entirely prepared for his first face-to-face encounter with the self-proclaimed "cursor cowboy." It was the night before the two men were to speak at a Washington D.C. computer technology workshop, and they were registered in the same hotel. "I knocked on Dave's door," Johnston said, "and here's this big guy with a cowboy hat sitting on the side of his bed disassembling his telephone and hooking his computer to it with gold-plated alligator clips." At first Hughes's behavior struck Johnston as extreme; appropriate, perhaps, for a teenage hacker, but unseemly for a 64-year-old highly decorated retired Army colonel. But Johnston eventually came around. "Now it makes completely good sense to me," he said. After all, "if the hotel doesn't have jacks, how are you going to connect without taking the phone apart?" And connecting - using his computer and modem to exchange ideas with some of the millions of people who subscribe to computer networks throughout the world - is precisely what Dave Hughes has been doing for the past 14 years, with a passion that some might label obsession. Hughes estimates that during that time he has been linked to a computer network or bulletin board an average of four or five hours a day, has read 30 or 40 million electronic words, and has posted at least a million of his own. Thanks to his loquaciousness, Hughes is unquestionably the best-known online personality in the country. His postings are staples of computer conferencing systems as far-flung as the WELL in Sausalito, California, and Metanet in Washington, D.C. To his admirers, he's "the prairie populist," "the cowboy poet laureate online," even "the Ben Franklin of the Information Age." Playing upon the cowboy persona that he has cultivated in his postings, Hughes himself says his "great equalizer" is not a six-shooter, but his laptop computer. Jack Rickard, who as editor of Boardwatch Magazine has monitored the proliferation of computer bulletin boards to their current level of more than 60,000 US systems, calls Hughes "the online bumblebee - he cross- pollinates a lot of things. He gets the Unix people involved with bulletin boards and the bulletin board hobbyists involved with Unix, and then he gets both of those involved with the Internet and ties in the educators to all of them." Sometimes the online controversies Hughes inspires evoke a hornet more than a bumblebee, as when he unapologetically violated WELL guidelines a year ago by distributing pro-Ross Perot postings without permission, or, more recently, when he became the only WELL user to express ardent support for the military's ban of homosexuals. Eat! ^^^^ Considering Hughes's down-home comportment, it's tempting not to take him seriously. He customarily packs his snowman's girth into attire that includes a Stetson hat, string tie, and cowboy boots, and his online writing style is heavy on "ain'ts" and casual with spelling. He is, moreover, just as garrulous in person as he is behind a keyboard. Ask him a question, particularly about telecommunications, and be prepared for an hour-long response whose riverine course can be diverted by interruption but not halted. On a recent Saturday morning, for example, Hughes greeted me at his home in Colorado Springs with a monologue about the utility of packet radios in linking laptop computers around the world. We then sat down to breakfast, and although Hughes's wife Patsy placed scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast on the table, he declined to take a bite, for fear of slowing down his narrative. Ten minutes later, Patsy silently emerged >from the kitchen displaying a paper on which she'd written one word: "Eat." Hughes laughed and kept right on talking. If Hughes's discourses are meandering, however, they usually have a point - often one that has escaped telecommunications entrepreneurs and policy makers. He has earned his volubility, in a sense, by focusing extraordinary energy and inquisitiveness on telecommunications issues and compiling a significant record of achievement, usually without the support of any major institution, by dint solely of the clarity of his perceptions. He's both a gadfly and a visionary, whose cowboy trappings disguise the singularity of his purpose. Louis Jaffe, Hughes's former business partner, was not indulging in overstatement when he said, "Dave has been one of the key figures worldwide in legitimizing computer communication for the average person and for illustrating its potential." Hughes, for once, is more succinct: "My life's mission is to hook up the 5.5 billion brains on this planet." Although that objective is surely beyond even Hughes's expansive reach, his accomplishments point tantalizingly in that direction. More than a decade ago he taught the first college course (on the nature of electronic discourse) for credit using asynchronous computer conferencing, thus pioneering a pedagogic method that has since become widespread. After starting his own computer bulletin board system in Colorado Springs in 1981, he used it to marshal support for local political campaigns, and enjoyed enough success to demonstrate the usefulness of bulletin boards in politics. In 1987 he branched out, providing the inspiration and technical knowledge necessary to establish the Big Sky Telegraph regional conferencing system in Montana, which links isolated rural communities and schools by computer. In 1991, after an eight-year campaign to popularize a potentially low-cost telecommunications graphics standard, the North Atlantic Presentation Level Protocol Syntax (NAPLPS, pronounced NAP-lips), he persuaded Microstar Software, a Canadian company that developed two key NAPLPS programs, to release its software as inexpensive shareware, dramatically enhancing NAPLPS's prospects. After being rebuffed in efforts to develop his own integrated NAPLPS software in this country, Hughes hired two Russian programmers to do the work for one tenth of what the effort would have cost in the United States (he plans to market the product this year). As if to confirm his expertise in building inexpensive telecommunications networks, Hughes was one of three people asked in December by a member of President Clinton's transition team to estimate the cost of establishing a computer network for the nation's public schools. With NAPLPS conceivably poised for public acceptance and an Administration newly ensconced in the White House that appears to grasp the importance of telecommunications, Hughes believes the culmination of a decade and a half of work may be at hand. If that happens, Hughes may at last be in position to reap substantial financial benefit from his labors. In addition to his military pension, he says he only earns between $20,000 to $35,000 a year from consulting, giving speeches, and operating his bulletin board systems. Income, however, is clearly a secondary concern: Hughes is a preacher whose keyboard is his pulpit, and whose satisfaction is proportional to souls converted to the gospel of computer telecommunications. Networking for the Middle Class ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Part of Hughes's underlying motivation seems to stem from class consciousness. It's possible that he first felt the sting of class distinctions just after his father, a wholesale food salesman, died of a ruptured appendix when Hughes was six years old. His mother moved to Denver with his three sisters and left him with a wealthy aunt in Colorado Springs; even now, Hughes speaks of his aunt with an edge, as if her upper-class world were not entirely congenial to him. "I'm not concerned about the elites - they'll take care of themselves," he said. "I'm not concerned about the disadvantaged - we have central systems coming out the ears for them, working pretty well. I am very much concerned with the middle class, particularly the lower-middle class. What the hell does the Information Age mean to them? We haven't answered that question." Unless we do, Hughes asserts, we're headed for a division between the information-rich and information-poor. Hughes's empathy for the common man was apparent by the end of his military career. A West Point graduate, he emerged from the Korean War as the most highly-decorated member of his class; later he fought in Vietnam and worked as a Pentagon counterinsurgency expert. His ideas formed the basis of a seminal 1966 speech by then-Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, which argued that economic, social, and political developments were as important as military considerations in determining national security. But it wasn't until Hughes retired from the Army in 1973 that the full extent of his class concern surfaced. Living once more in Colorado Springs, he volunteered to head a local centennial celebration, and then transformed the affair into an effort to revitalize an historically significant but economically depressed seven-block working-class neighborhood he dubbed Old Colorado City. When Hughes discovered that landlords were reluctant to rehabilitate their ramshackle properties because the improvements might lead to increased taxes, he invited state legislators to march in the centennial parade and participate in a five- day reenactment of the town's glory days. He then used the opportunity to persuade the lawmakers to enact legislation declaring a five-year moratorium on tax increases for commercial buildings more than 30 years old. Hughes eventually presided over a rejuvenation so successful that even now, not one vacancy sign appears in the windows of Old Colorado City's commercial buildings. When Hughes joined the online world in 1979, he demonstrated the same qualities of vision, persistence, and political acumen to attain his aims. Hughes's first computer conferencing experience was on a McLean, Virginia-based system called The Source. He quickly realized that the value of this new medium lay in its users's abilities to converse and provide information to one another, and he tapped into The Source to consult experts in urban redevelopment for the Old Colorado City project. It's likely, in fact, that Hughes understood The Source's business better than its own managers did, for they believed the system should focus on providing information services from institutions like the Associated Press. Hughes suggested various stratagems to enhance user- to-user communications, and when they went unheeded, he closed his account and started his own bulletin board system in Colorado Springs. The Source was eventually sold. Colorado Springs was fertile ground for computer bulletin boards: Because the town was surrounded by military installations and high-tech companies, many residents were already comfortable with digital technology. Now Hughes showed them the political potential of computer networks. His first notable foray into electronic politics occurred when he discovered that the city planning commission was promulgating a zoning ordinance that would place stringent restrictions on home businesses. Hughes believed the proposed ordinance was based on the out-of-date Industrial Age notion that businesses such as backyard auto body shops were likely to disrupt neighborhoods, when in fact the people who worked at home were more likely to be harbingers of the information age. He attended the commission's next meeting, persuaded the officials to table the ordinance for 30 days, then wrote a letter to the city newspaper inviting citizens to discuss the proposal on his bulletin board. The result was that when the commission held its next meeting, 175 people attended. "When I walked into the meeting," Hughes said, "I knew I'd done something, but I hadn't organized anything. All I did was run a goddamned bulletin board. " Responding to the public pressure, the planners twice rewrote the ordinance, which was eventually passed by the city council. >From then on, Hughes says, residents began expressing their political views on the bulletin board, and city and county officials began reading it to stay politically attuned. Hughes tried to insure that the board reflected popular sentiment by naming its political discussion area after a working class tavern in Old Colorado City called "Roger's Bar." Although Hughes drinks sparingly, he made it a point to visit the bar at least once a week, and persuaded its owners to install a phone jack at one of the booths so that he could connect his laptop to his bulletin board. Hughes then invited patrons to use his laptop to log on from the bar. And when Hughes logged on to other conferencing systems, he did his best to make the bar famous, extolling it as "the neighborhood bar in the Global Village." Hughes's interest in telecommunications was not limited to the political realm. After Frank Odasz, a self-described "retread carpenter" with an interest in networks, contacted Hughes in 1984, Hughes became Odasz's mentor, and the two men developed the idea for a low-cost regional network based in Odasz' home town of Dillon, Montana. Called Big Sky Telegraph, the network was designed to counter the isolation that is a fact of Montana life by providing a cheap, multipurpose alternative to the long-distance phone calls that are Montanans's principal means of communication. Funded by various foundation grants, the system went up in January, 1988, and soon linked more than 100 one-room schools, as well as bigger schools, women's centers, organizations for disabled people, and many other groups. Eventually the system grew to include six "Tiny Sky" networks dispersed around Montana and Wyoming. Since most people consider teleconferencing forbiddingly complicated, Big Sky offered free online lessons and sent "circuit riders" with computers and overhead projection systems around the state to give demonstrations. The system proved so useful that the state government decided to emulate it, establishing 17 more local computer networks under the aegis of the Montana Educational Telecommunications Network (METNET). With so many local networks, users could connect while paying lower long-distance or even local phone rates, and their postings could be distributed to all networks on the system overnight. Using similarly ingenious low-cost techniques, METNET enabled students in tiny rural schools to communicate with students of the same age around the world. Cynthia Denton, until last year a teacher at the only public school in Hobson, Montana (population 200), describes the benefit of such links. "When we got our first messages from Japan, a wonderful little fifth-grade girl named Michelle was asked if she was a boy or girl. She was extraordinarily indignant at that, and said, 'I'm Michelle - I'm a girl, of course.' Then I pointed out the name of the person who had asked the question and said, 'Do you know if this is a boy or a girl?' She said, 'No, how am I supposed to know that?' I said, 'Oh, the rest of the world is supposed to know that Michelle is a girl, but you have no social responsibility to know if this is a boy or a girl?' She stopped and said 'Oh.' And then she rephrased her reply considerably." Hughes promoted computer networks as teaching tools again when George Johnston, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's plasma fusion center, offered to teach an online course in chaos mathematics. Within two weeks of their conversation, in the late summer of 1990, Hughes had assembled a class of 20 high school students in Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming, and Johnston began teaching the semester-long course. Johnston ended up teaching the course three times, and considers it a qualified success. One junior high school teacher reported to Johnston that it led the students to "taste the excitement of research that I did not have until my senior year" in college. Another student's success in the course emboldened her to apply for admission to MIT, where she was accepted and began her freshman year last fall. Yet Johnston believes that the biggest lesson he learned in teaching the course was about the limitations of online instruction -- something Hughes had grasped a decade earlier: "In order to teach science and mathematics, you need symbolic and graphic capabilities," Johnston said. But standards now in use on computer networks enable low-cost transmission of text only. Johnston tried to make up for the absence of the online equivalent of a blackboard by using words to portray graphs and mathematical equations, but found the alternative inadequate. Johnston now understood why Hughes had been an ardent supporter of NAPLPS since learning of its existence in 1983, and became Hughes's vocal ally in gaining acceptance for the standard. Unlike ASCII, currently the dominant telecommunications standard, NAPLPS facilitates the transmission of foreign language text, mathematical equations and scientific graphs, images, and even crude animation. Furthermore, it has the potential to transmit simple imagery far more economically than methods now in use, because it uses text-like symbols rather than data-intensive bit maps. Nevertheless, until now it has failed to catch on, among other reasons because its advantage of economy decreases in the case of complex, high-definition images that many high- end telecommunications users require. To Hughes, however, this was no major drawback, since the uses of telecommunications he found most compelling did not demand such sophisticated imagery. Hughes became NAPLPS's most prominent and outspoken advocate. Using the software, he conducted a two-day workshop for impoverished Native American artists from five northwestern reservations, showing them how to create simple images that could be transmitted electronically. Some of the results can now be downloaded for a minimal charge from Denton's Russell Country bulletin board system in Hobson; 85 percent of the proceeds are passed back to the artists. Hughes also has been working to create a word-processing program that uses NAPLPS to enable deaf people to communicate in written sign language. Based partially on the enthusiasm that some bulletin board operators are at last showing for NAPLPS, Hughes is confident that the standard will gain widespread acceptance in 1993. But that development will not be universally cheered. Mike Liebhold, a senior scientist in media architecture research at Apple Computer, endorses Hughes's notion that low-cost software is essential to provide schools, libraries, and communities with access to telecommunications services, but he considers NAPLPS too dated to accommodate the video and sound uses of telecommunications that he believes are coming soon. "Five years ago I would have had no reason to object to a NAPLPS strategy, but now I think we've crossed the threshold," he said. "It seems foolish at this point to work with such a retrograde software architecture." Liebhold's criticism infuriates Hughes, among other reasons because Hughes believes that Apple has a vested interest in NAPLPS's failure. Hughes argues that the "improved communications environments" Liebhold envisions are too complex to function within the vast majority of computers now owned by schools and other low-end users. They therefore would be forced to buy expensive computers, such as Apple's Macintosh line. NAPLPS, on the other hand, works on virtually all computers in use today. Hughes@grave.com ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Hughes is clearly irrepressible, even more so than his response to Liebhold's criticism suggests. Indeed, if he has his way, nothing - not even his death - will deter him from promoting his vision of a connected world. His list of projects includes software that would facilitate transmission of his ideas from his gravesite. His plan is to encode his thought processes within a heuristic program that, after his death, would digest new information and offer Hughesian responses. He has gone so far as to draw up a codicil to his will calling for installation of a solar-powered, radio-linked computer above his crypt that would begin transmissions precisely six months after his death. Hughes says, "It will come alive on bulletin boards and say, 'This is Dave Hughes - wanna chat?'" With a laugh, he adds, "Nobody will know the difference!" ********************************************************************** CURSOR COWBOY SIDEBAR CURSOR COWBOY SIDEBAR CURSOR COWBOY SIDEBAR ********************************************************************** Postings from a Net Cowboy ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Excited by Ross Perot's enthusiasm for "electronic democracy," Hughes became an ardent Perot supporter during last year's Presidential campaign, and used one of his bulletin board systems to promote Perot's candidacy. When Perot dropped out of the race in July, Hughes posted this message on the WELL: ==> I hope all *you* cynics - who bitched about Perot running, and are now bitching about his not running - are happy he is out of it. But let me give it to you loud and clear. I *refuse* to vote in this election and take the *slightest* responsibility for the next bullshit 4 years which promises to be absolutely more of the same avoiding of the hard questions, promises none of them can keep, and whch will lead - if there is no collapse of the national goverments ability to pay (as has occurred in California) there will be vastley more cynicism than you have ever seen. So don't you *dare* lecture me as if there is something wrong with *me* because i refuse to support either of the two party choices - or their parties. It is you who will be the ones contributing directly to 'no change' when change is desperately needed. There will be NONE now. And I'll be back here in June of next year to tell you - I told you so. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ In November, 1992, Hughes visited Moscow to meet the Russian computer scientists he had hired to develop his NAPLPS program, and posted a serialized account of his trip on the WELL. In this excerpt he visits a McDonald's Restaurant in Moscow, accompanied by his Russian acquaintance Tania and her daughter Zhenia. ==> When I had wondered aloud about the Moscow McDonald's earlier, there was lots of revelations about how Zhenia had been there many times - paid for by foreign boyfriends - while Tania had been there only twice. Knowing how poor restaurants were in the city, and the limited diet they were on at their flat, I suggested I would treat them to dinner there. Tania wanted to know whether I was 'homesick' for McDonald's. No, I said. I really just wanted to see how it operated and whether I could detect any difference in flavor between a Big Mac in Moscow - with beef >from Russia - and ones back home. So we grabbed a bus and arrived to see over 700 people in line waiting to get in, as darkness fell. Tania was ready to abandon the wait, Zhenia really wanted to go. "Only 25 minutes" she said, and I noticed the line moving briskly. So I said lets wait and we did. It took almost 40 minutes, and I got irritated enough to block one of a score of people who just muscled their way to the front past the line, but all in all it was a time for study of faces outside in the grey night, the bright-lighted activity inside, and the proof of something the whole thing respresented. For in spite of the fact that things were desperate economically, and prices in rubles for its offering were considered high, McDonald's was obviously prospering. And the people in line did not look particularly different from those on the street in general. The whole operation, given the great crush of people, looked efficiently run. When we got inside it only took about 2 minutes to order and get served. I ordered a Big Mac and a Strawberry shake, while Tania and Zhenia ordered ordinary hamburgers, shake, Sprite, and french fries. It came to 800 rubles, which, as Tania pointed out, was one-tenth the monthly salary of a scientist in Moscow. 800 rubles was slightly over $2 US . I calculated that the same order would have cost at least $6 dollars in Colorado Springs. Of course they will only take rubles there, so I had $5.00 changed on the street, at the rate of 370 to one. We even got a place to sit in the brightly lighted interior, with scores of counter attendents, clean up crews, and managers about, and counter attendents 3 deep. About 3 times the intensity of operation in every square meter of floor space of any McDonald's I have ever been in. It was very clean and continuously kept that way. Most people carried their own trays to the trash receptacles when finished. I could detect absolutely no difference in the taste of the Big Mac, the ice cream shake, or the french fries from any McDonald's fare I have eaten anywhere else. Which, given the Russian source of the beef, somewhat suprised me in a country where I noticed that all fruit, tomatoes, meats privately prepared, all tasted a little different from their US counterparts. I laughed when I saw the Cyrillic spelling of Big Mac on the hamburger wrapper. So I carefully folded it up and took it with me as a really notable souvineer. It was a pleasant outing, all in all. On the way out in the busy dark, we happened across the spot where that lifesize cut-out of Gorbachev stands for tourists to have their humerous picture taken. I put my Stetson on Gorbachev, a fur hat on myself, and had Tania snap the flash picture. Everyone standing around was laughing loudly, as the hat 'did' something for Gorby. But Moscow had its revenge, after all. A gust of wind knocked my $200 Stetson into the wet street where it smudged quite a bit. And in walking further on Gorky Street I stepped where I thought solid ground was in the center of a huge man-hole cover and sank up to my booted ankle in dirty black Russian muck, leaving a scum on my $165 Justin boots for the rest of the stay. As Tania noted, "The dirt in Moscow is very dirty." But I had a taste of what swallowed up Hitler and Napoleon's armies in the Russian winter. (c) 1993 Wired magazine ###### CYBERCUBE PRODUCT LISTING AND UPDATE ###### Announcement/Press Release ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- It has been brought to my attention that some confusing and sometimes conflicting information has been posted publicly on various services to which we do not have access. Some would even say that false information was deliberately being spread about our products by those with not so hidden motives and agendas. In the following paragraphs, I will provide a general outline of our activities here at Cybercube that have taken place during 1993, and what the future will hold for 1994. In this way, you can all read the current status of our products and company from the source, us. /// GEM-View File and Image Viewer, Release 3 ============================================= We are particularly pleased that Dieter Fiebelkorn's GEM-View File and Image Viewer has enjoyed an ever increasing popularity since we've started representing it here in North America. GEM-View is a very fine example of a high quality SHAREWARE product, and judging from the many letters and customer responses, GEM-View user's fully share this view. GEM-View has gone through it's most dramatic upgrade yet. The very structure of GEM-View has been changed to accomodate the growing demands and to add even more flexibility. These changes represent the sum of numerous suggestions and ideas put forward by GEM-View's large installed user base. Please allow me to take this excellent opportunity to extend our thanks to all registered users for their continued commitment and support. Your feedback has helped to define and shape GEM-View into one of the most flexible and extensible tools available on this platform. GEM-View 3.xx is now modular. GEM-View comes complete with modules for loading, processing, converting, saving, and printing a wide variety of file and image formats. You can add or remove any number of modules, thus customize GEM-View to your own requirements. At the same time, this flexible modular concept allows third party developers to design new GEM-View modules. This will lead to a further expansion of the number of available modules and bring a whole new array of file and image processing capabilities to GEM-View. The new modules are more efficient and have been upgraded to provide better performance. Loading of GIF files is now up to 500% faster, JPEG processing times have been reduced by 30%. We are also the ONLY authorized North American representative to handle all registration aspects. GEM-View offers a 14 DAYS UNRESTRICTED TRIAL PERIOD. This provides everyone with the unique ability to fully evaluate and test the program at their own leisure. Should you find it useful yourself, and decide to register GEM-View, we've made the registration a very easy and simple process. There is no need to send in disks, CRI's or remitting money overseas. Just send a check or money order for US $30 or Cdn $42 to: Cybercube Research Ltd, 126 Grenadier Cres., Thornhill, ONT L4J 7V7, Canada, and we will send you a customized copy of GEM-View with your own personal key. Please mark your payment clearly and make checks payable to Cybercube. /// InShape 3D Modeler & Shader =============================== We at Cybercube are very pleased to bring you another hiqh quality application for the Atari platform. Cybercube has been appointed the exclusive North American distributor for the InShape 3D Modeler & Shader. InShape is a feature-packed, fully integrated 3D modeling, rendering and animation system that introduces a new level of flexibility, user- friendliness and professionalism. It handles three dimensional objects, images and animations with extraordinary ease and elegance. The built-in editors streamline the whole creative process and facilitate the design of even complex models. But one of InShape's most characteristic features is the abundance of photorealistic surface definitions, bump maps, animated waves, wrinkles, textures and image mapping features. InShape is a sophisticated yet easy-to-use program with a modern 3D- style user interface. Presently, we offer two versions, one specifically designed for the Falcon030, the InShape INTRO (1.00) and the TT030 version, called InShape 1.02. InShape retails for much less than you would expect from such a powerful package. It has been priced very aggressively and it's different versions cover a wide range of applications. The INTRO version let's you explore the power and versatility at an incredible low entry-level price. InShape 1.02 provides you with increased speed, power and bigger image sizes. But there is even more to come. Shortly, we will introduce InShape Release 2.00. With it, InShape will run on any VDI compatible graphics card, utilize True Color displays, fully support multi-tasking environments such as Multi-TOS, GENEVA or MAG!X, import and export an increased number of file formats, provide improved editors and many additional features. Creating even the most demanding objects will become as easy as doodling on your scratch pad. For more information, about InShape INTRO, 1.02 or the new Release 2, please refer also to our InShape related press releases available on many fine BBS systems and information networks. Our decision to bring this truly amazing package to all Atari users here in North America was based on the apparent lack of a professional solution for those particular applications and repeated requests from our CyReL SUNRISE M16-1280 True Color High Resolution Graphics Cards customers. We at Cybercube are in a unique position to offer a complete solution, ranging from the right hardware components, like our highly acclaimed CyReL SUNRISE M16-1280 graphics cards and the CyReL VidiMix16 Desktop Video Modules, to the necessary software services. Cooperation with several other leading vendors of high quality software for your Atari system will guarantee the best possible compatibility of the existing product line with coming attractions. In the coming weeks we will also introduce the CyReL ACCUframe utility and thus add professional single frame recording capabilities to the InShape package. A fast and feature-rich animation player is scheduled to debut as well and will allow you to view your (InShape, Vivid, Animator, MPEG) animations right on your desktop. InShape Release 1.00 and 1.02 is available now. We have had some delivery problems over the holiday season due to a higher than expected demand, but we have since made all the necessary arrangements to avoid any future delays. We would also like to invite all interested users to take a test drive and experience the power of InShape for themselves. We are convinced that the quality and scope of the program speaks for itself. A demo version complete with tutorials and instructions can be found on all major BBS systems and networks. And following the old motto that a picture says more than a thousand words, have a look at some of the 24-bit InShape images on-line. Once you made yourself familiar with InShape, you might also want to take advantage of the 'InShape User to User' program . This new program has been designed to provide a forum for InShape users to share their knowledge and experience. Now you and your fellow InShape users will benefit if you know about a special tip or trick. And while sharing your insight, you can accumulate some valuable credits or points, which can earn you a FREE GEnie On-Line Time Bonus. For more details, please refer to the InShape User to User press release. /// SPECIAL OFFER: Math FPU's for Falcon030's ============================================= When we first introduced the InShape package, a lot of users asked for a economic way to upgrade their Falcons with an Motorola MC68881 or MC68882 floating point unit (FPU). Back then, we were able to offer a limited quantity of MC68882-20 (20 MHz) FPU's for just US $49 (about half of the regular price). We were not surprised when they sold out quickly. But we've continued to receive a lot of requests. Therefore, we are very glad to announce that we once again have a limited number of these devices in stock. Please note that these are not factory-new parts. These are parts from routine system upgrades and we have tested their functionality, which we will guarantee. The FPU's come complete with a detailed installation instructions. But best of all, the price is still the same: act now and pay only US $49 for a 20 MHz MC68882. In an unmodified Falcon, you would only need a 16 MHz device, but the 20 MHz will give you some extra 'breathing' room for future upgrades. We recommend the use of MC68882 FPU's over MC68881 types since the MC68882 offers approx. 2.5 times the performance of its predecessor, the MC68881. /// CyReL SUNRISE M16-1280 True Color High Resolution Graphics Cards ==================================================================== We have added a lot of value to our highly acclaimed graphics cards during 1993. Not only has the standard software package grown to over 4 megabytes, but we've also been able to reduce the prices of our CyReL SUNRISE M16-1280 cards to a new and very attractive level. The CyReL SUNRISE M16-1280 combines a sophisticated graphics controller with 2 MB of fast video RAM and a top of the line video DAC (digital to analogue converter) to form a very flexible graphics system. By employing the latest technologies, custom designed components and more than 70 video clock frequencies up to 128 MHz, the CyReL SUNRISE M16-1280 cards achieve a new level of performance and integration. The CyReL SUNRISE M16-1280 offers a wide range of operating modes from economic Monochrome displays to dazzling True Color imaging capabilities. The CyReL SUNRISE M16-1280 can be operated with any industry standard analog monitor, ranging from small 12" analog greyscale to 17" VGA monitors and even to high end multi-sync monitors up to 37". Due to the versatile video timing generator, resolutions up to 3400 (horizontal) and 2048 (vertical) can be programmed. Every M16-1280 card supports multiple frame buffers in 32/24bit (True Color), 8bit (256 colors), 4bit (16 colors), 2bit (4 colors) and 1bit/pixel (monochrome) modes, allowing up to 262 frame buffers simultaneously. On-board hardware assisted blit and drawing functions accelerate the graphics output and screen updates. The built-in expansion connectors provide further opportunities for enhancements and represent a flexible way for future upgrades. Multi-media applications can take advantage of the new and exciting CyReL VidiMix16 Desktop Video expansion module. It allows every SUNRISE card to record live video clips, instantly resize and capture True Color video images in real-time. The VidiMix16 encodes computer generated pictures, animations and images in 12 different international TV standards while providing a host of special effects. All colors can be selected from a range of 16,777,216 shades. Pseudo Color and True Color modes (with gamma correction) are available. The True Color modes support an 8-bit alpha channel and, in conjunction with the VIDIMIX16 module, assists professional real-time superimposing of live video images, graphics and templates. Smooth scrolling and panning allows virtual screen sizes beyond the normal monitor resolution. Interlaced or non-interlaced modes with various refresh rates up to 260 Hz are programmable. The boards feature a separate 2MB Video RAM frame buffer to maximize the use of the internal Atari RAM and thus eliminating the necessity to expand the ST/TT RAM in order to operate the cards. The reason why we used the more expensive video RAMs instead of normal DRAMS is rather obvious. Conventional DRAMs only allow either the CPU or the video logic to access the memory. Since the user certainly wants a flicker-free and stable picture, the video logic has a higher priority over the CPU. This results in sometimes large bus bandwidth losses easily exceeding 50%. The CPU is being put 'on-hold' every time the video logic reads the memory. Since this is a constant process, there are only small portions of time in which the CPU can do something useful. On the other hand, VRAM update cycles on the M16-1280 take a maximum of 5% bus bandwidth depending on the selected resolution, mode and controller settings. Most of the time it is even less. This results in a very high bus bandwidth for CPU cycles and blit speeds of 60 million pixels per second can be achieved. Up to four CyReL M16-1280 cards can be present in a single Atari TT030 system. This allows multiple-monitor operation (e.g. for video walls, large presentations or show attractions). In the Mega STE, only one CyReL M16-1280 card can be installed. This is due to the fact that only 4 MB of address space are reserved for the VME bus as opposed to the 16 MB in the TT030. The Mega STE is based on the 68ooo CPU and can only address a maximum of 16 MB of memory. Considering this, the VME bus already utilizes an astonishing 25% of that address space. Our boards also comes complete with their own custom 256 Color and True Color VDI drivers, offering compatibility with almost all GEM applications available. A number of system accessories increase the comfort and ease of configuring the various features of the cards. We have just shipped the latest release of our custom CyReL VDI drivers, and once again, they show a considerable increase of speed and flexibility. The drivers are updated on almost a monthly basis and each customer receives a one-year FREE update service. The Standard CyReL M16-1280 software package includes: CyReL RUN-ME-FIRST Interactive GEM Installation ----------------------------------------------- Fully GEM based, interactive installation program with graphics and easy -to-follow instructions. Shows entire installation process with on- screen animations to familiarize the user with all the necessary procedures. Automatically copies all software. CyReL CM16_VIP Initialisation & Diagnostic Program -------------------------------------------------- Flexible diagnostics program checks every card during each boot-up sequence and installs up to four CyReL cards per system. CyReL VDI Driver for 256 Color Mode ------------------------------------ Custom designed driver for 8 bits per pixel mode. Contains CyReL XBIOS, GEMDOS, LINEA and VT52 Emulators. CyReL VDI Driver for True Color Mode ------------------------------------ Custom designed driver for True Color Mode operation. Contains CyReL XBIOS, GEMDOS, LINEA and VT52 Emulators. CyReL SERMOUSE Serial Mouse Driver ---------------------------------- Screen saver, mouse accelerator and serial mouse driver, and SUMMAGRAPHICS tablet driver all in one nice package for comfort and improved user-friendlyness. CyReL M16 Palette Master Accessory ---------------------------------- One of the most powerful color utilities available. Allows total control over the configuration and use of your color palettes, with gamma control and cut & paste functions. CyReL M16 VDI Configuration Accessory ------------------------------------- Configure the various OS related functions of the card and the associated drivers. Gives instant readout of used mode, VT52 configuration, XBIOS and LINEA Emulators. CyReL Serial Mouse Manager Accessory ------------------------------------ Control the response curve of your mouse and fully configure the serial mouse driver with this easy-to-use GEM accessory. CyReL XCHANGE2 Video Mode Changer --------------------------------- Easily change from one video mode to another. Simply use this mode changer to switch resolutions or color modes. CyReL RUNNER Program Launcher ----------------------------- Automates many program lauching procedures and correctly handles and trasfers command lines to up to 100 applications. CyReL CONFDISP Video Parameter Editor <A> ----------------------------------------- Edit the video timing settings to suit any monitor. CyReL VIEW_GIF -------------- GIF viewer for the CyReL graphics cards (256 colors). CyReL SHOW_PCX -------------- PCX viewer for the CyReL graphics cards (256 colors). CyReL VIEW_JPG -------------- JPEG viewer for the CyReL graphics cards (True Color). CyReL CCALAMUS Calamus SL Shell ------------------------------- Calamus Shell to launch Calamus in True Color. CyReL CO_LINE3 Outline 3 Shell ------------------------------ Shell to launch Outline Art 3 in True Color CyReL TC_SHIFT utility ---------------------- Reconfigures the cards to work in alpha_RBG mode instead of RGB_alpha when operating in True Color. CyReL INIT_E2P EEPROM Initialization Program -------------------------------------------- Re-initializes the configuration EEPROM on the card. CyReL BLOCK_PAINT ----------------- Simple fun program to demonstrate the redraw speed and correct VDI functionality. CyReL M16 User's Reference Manual --------------------------------- Contains clear installation instructions, explanation of error messages, technical discussions, glossary, connector layouts, licenses, description of OS modifications, assistance as well as tips and tricks on how to operate the CyReL M16-1280 graphics cards. 8.5" x 11", spiral bound, 35 pages. CyReL Catalog Disk ------------------ More than 2 MB of images, product listings, prices, press releases, overviews, feature lists, free demos and more. Screen Grabber by Richard J. Sherman Jr. ---------------------------------------- We are very pleased to be able to offer this outstanding screen snapshot utility written by one of our CyReL M16-1280 customers. Supports more than a dozen formats and a nice variety of options. OnLine Help and Documentation Files ----------------------------------- 20+ Files containing the latest changes and additions as well as many chapters found in the manual have been added for convenience and easy reference. Predefined Color Palettes ------------------------- 35+ ready-to-use color palettes to customize the appearance the desktop. Excellent to show the amazing and smooth color ranges available. Predefined Video Modes and Resolutions -------------------------------------- 80+ Files containing pre-defined video timings for the most popular monitors. Monitor specifications ---------------------- Lists more than 500 monitors and their specifications. Useful tool for comparisons, to find out about limits and allowed frequency ranges. Included Demo programs: Dieter Fiebelkorn's GEM-View Release 3.xx ----------------------------------------- A demo of probably the most popular File and Image Viewer available for this platform has been included as an excellent demonstration of the dazzling 256 and True Color modes. Works with almost all standard file formats and features a 14 DAY UNRESTRICTED TRIAL PERIOD. InShape 3D Modeler & Shader DEMO -------------------------------- This is a demo of the unique and feature-packed InShape, an integrated 3D object editor, scene editor, animation generator and raytracing/ rendering engine. Comes complete with tutorial, overview and sample images. Optional Programs: CyReL Ambiance Desktop/Image Manager ------------------------------------ Replace the dull desktop patterns with stunning 256 color PCX images or any background tiles you can imagine. Put some dazzling color fades, tiled images, stacked images or centered images right where you will enjoy them most. Comes complete with a number ready-to-use of clips and images on two 720 KB disks or one 1.44 HD floppy. CyReL MonoFlex VDI ------------------ Run any monochrome VDI accelerator on the CyReL M16-1280 graphics cards. Improves VME performance and adds IDE support as well. CyReL GrandFLIx Animation Player <A> ------------------------------------ Join the excitement and play any InShape *.IIM, Animator *.FLI/FLC, Vivid *.IMG or MPEG *.MPG animation right on your desktop. CyReL VidiMix16 Driver <A> -------------------------- Add desktop video functions to your CyReL M16-1280 graphics cards and open up a whole new multi-media world. CyReL ACCUframe VTR Control <A> ------------------------------- Control single frame recorders just with the click of a mouse button. Create animations, edit tapes and control your tape decks via graphical GEM based user interface. The CyReL SUNRISE M16-1280 graphic cards now retail for only US $995. We think that this package represents an outstanding value. And many of our customers agree. They found this CyReL product to be an excellent addition to their system. We in turn would like to thank all our users for their support and we wish all of them all the best with their future projects and endeavors. Have a prosperous 1994. Best Regards, CYBERCUBE RESEARCH LTD. Ralf Doewich /// Contact Addresses: ====================== If you have any questions regarding any of our products, please do not hesitate to contact us at: Cybercube Research Limited 126 Grenadier Crescent Thornhill L4J 7V7 Ontario Canada Tel.: (905) 882 0294, Mon-Fri, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, EST Fax : (905) 886 3261 BBS : (905) 882 5895, 300 to 14,400 baud GEnie: CYBERCUBE CRS-Online: Cybercube.Research InterNet: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Further, we would like to invite all interested users to join us in any of our GEnie topics, whether you are interested in GEM-View (Category 7, Topic 33), InShape (Category 7, Topic 41) or any other CyReL product Category 16, Topic 12), simply drop-by and say hello. Don't be afraid to ask. We are here to help. ###### THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS ###### YEAR IN REVIEW: 1993 ###### (An ST'er comical look at todays PC-society) ###### Commentary by Tom D'Ambrosio ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- If you are not one of the nearly 70-million Intel-based computerists out there, or 30-million Mac users, you are probably a member of the "frowned upon" computer society, like myself. You may find yourself dealing (almost daily) with people far less knowledgeable than yourself, looking down in judgement upon you, when you tell them what computer you use/prefer. I call these pseudo-family members "cyber-stepchildren". It never ceases to amaze me how much more knowledgeable "cyber- stepchildren" are compared to their mainstream counterparts. Some 12% of all Atari computer users probably own a modem, and almost all of them use it _daily_. This ratio of computer-to-modem ownership is _far_ higher with the "less popular" computers than among Mac or PC owners. It is this fact that I am talking about. The less knowledgeable "majority" sitting in judgement of the more knowledgeable "minority" is commonplace: The "smart kid" in school being picked on by the "class bully". The car buyer who purchases a Hyundai and is ridiculed by the guy with a Toyota. Even Volkswagen "glorified" the old VW-Bug as "ugly" in it's 1970's ad campaigns... the car that took you to work all week, but was left in the garage when you go out Saturday night. In psychology, this effect is known as the "beauty=good" syndrome. How many times have you been asked: "Can you (lowly Atari owner) help me (ignorant PC user) figure out how to use '________'?" We've all probably heard the stories of the PC-salesperson who picks up the PC mouse, points it at the screen, and clicks it like a remote control. Or the man who accidentally exited "Window's" on his PC, and then calls his dealer in a panic, thinking he broke his $2500 computer because all he now gets in a "C>" with flashing line on a blank screen? Or the woman who thought that she had to use "FORMAT" everytime she wanted to delete a file? Don't laugh. All these stories are true, and are only an example of what is wrong when computer companies try to cram Hi-tech down the throats of an unprepared Low-tech society. It infuriates me to no end when someone, supposedly of authority, makes your feel like a twelve year-old (no offence to any 12-year olds reading this, who are smarter than the average 12 year-old just by downloading it) when faced with a serious, yet uncommon, subject. For example, I currently want to get into the "InterNet". I am also a college student, but my school does not subscribe. Knowing that students get InterNet access free if their school foots the bill, I asked my "Advanced CoBOL" professor if he knew anything about the school adding InterNet access to the schools BBS. Professor: "InterNet"? What's that? Me: It's a global computer network that allows schools and businesses around the world to communicate with each other. Professor: What is it good for? (my big mistake here...) Me: "It is a global network of networks set up by the Department of Defense years ago, but now run by schools and private industry. It was designed to stay up even in the event of a nuclear attack. You may have heard people mention it recently as the only way of getting information in/out of Southern California after the earthquake." The words "nuclear attack" drew a snicker and a huff. My remaining words were spoken to his backside as he walked away, and I felt like some 12-yearold raving lunatic, and that I only wanted it because "it sounds neat". I felt like I had just said "the network UFOs are reported to." Another time, late last year, again at college with a "superior professor", we were to do a report on any piece of computer hardware which had a "networking" theme to it. I chose to report on the new (then unreleased) "Atari Jaguar", and its future network potential. The report, obviously unread (due to a total lack of folded pages) was still "pretty enough" to draw an A- with the added comments, "What does this have to do with networking?" scrawled on the coversheet. I did not realize at that time how my report would then "brand me" in the classroom in the following weeks. It wasn't until after debating the test question: In order to be used, an IBM PC _must_ have: a) COMMAND.COM b) CONFIG.SYS c) AUTOEXEC.BAT d) None of the above. I answered "d" to the above (knowing his fondness for trick questions), realizing that those are all MicroSoft DOS files not found in all PC software (such as OS/2). Of course, my answer was "wrong", as the professor pointed out to me without hesitation: "We aren't talking about some autobooting video-game here. We are talking about _using_ the computer, which is impossible without DOS." That little side-comment about "video-games" was an indirect reference to my selection of the "Jaguar" for my report a week earlier. A slam that only he and I were privy to. I was labeled a "game playing kid" in his eyes, eventhough I play fewer games than he does... as I have watched him frequently play "Solitaire" and "Tai-Pei" from "Window's". I replied: "If COMMAND.COM (supposedly the correct answer) is so necessary, then how do you load COMMAND.COM without COMMAND.COM already loaded?" The professor was so red faced with anger, had this of been High school, I'd certainly would have been sent to the principals office for disrupting class. So again, I was labeled a "kid" after some "PC-intellectual" was faced with my questions. I now have a far greater respect for "kids". :) Kids today are becoming the first to pick up on new technology. Everyone knows of at least one family that has their 7-yearold child program their VCR for them... or have heard the story of "Junior" showing Dad how to do his taxes from Lotus 1-2-3. I'm tired of being judged by people whose VCRs have been flashing "12:00am" for eight years. And it doesn't end there. With the advent of the "Computer Appliance" where PC's are becoming as common as blenders, people who _ARE_ intelligent, and know how to use (and even program) their computers can still dazzle me with the depth of their stupidity. This time it was a PC using "co-worker" who decided to write his own "After Dark" compatible screen saver module. A very proficient programmer, who felt that (to paraphrase SNL's "All Thing's Scottish" sketch) "If it's not Intel, it's crrrrrr*p." He decided what he wanted was a peaceful "beach scene" with the sun high in the sky, waves crashing at the shore, and sunbathers on the sand. The end result was quite impressive, and he had no quams with rubbing everyone else's noses in the fact he wrote it himself. So proud was he of his screen saver, that he decided to leave it running overnight, so it would be seen by everyone as they left, and the first thing they saw when they came in that morning. The next morning, "Joe-PC" has to exit to DOS to do some file work. Upon exiting to DOS's black screen, he was treated to a darkened image of a beach with orange sun burned into the monitor. Unfortunately, this "screen saver" didn't change screens or color, so after running all night with the same bright orange sun and white sandy beaches for 15 straight hours, he had managed to ruin a good $400 (company owned) SVGA monitor. I had no qualms "rubbing his nose in his mistake", which I saw coming from a mile away... even if a part of me did empathize with him. So, who is the "smart computerist" today? It's the person who is smart enough to sit and actually _use_ any computer despite the processor it runs on, and can get themselves out of a jam when the unexpected happens. A favorite story of mine is of the unnamed NASA engineer who, in 1986 <?>, after being told that since NASA could not afford to build yet another satellite to go visit the outermost planets, it was now his job to "reprogram" Voyager-II's on-board computer to change it's flightpath, and do this with the little fuel left onboard. This little miracle entailed reprogramming a circa 1978 tech computer in _binary_ via TOGGLE SWITCHES, by remote, and calculating a swing past Jupiter, thusly "slingshotting" it to a point in space close enough to photograph these planets when they are nearest together 6 years later in 1992... with a zero margin for error due to a lack of fuel should its trejectory need correcting later on. So, fellow "cyber-stepchild", take pride in the fact you aren't "just another face in the PC crowd." And the next time someone criticizes you based mearly on your choice of computer system, remind them "It's not the computer you use, it's what you do with it." Computers are no longer the "status symbols" they may have once been. And a person should never buy a computer smarter than they are. But, unfortunately, with the swelling ranks of "I don't know why I need one, I just know that I do" becoming the battle-cry of millions, I wish a long and happy life to my fellow "cyber-stepchildren" that are far more comfortable outside the "main-stream". Tom D'Ambrosio. Cyber-Stepchild and proud Atari owner. ======================================================================= Z*NET NEWS DELPHI SIGN-UP ------------------------- To sign up for Delphi call (with modem) 800-695-4002. Upon connection hit return once or twice. At Password: type ZNET and hit <Return>. ======================================================================= **--GENIE SIGN-UP--** --------------------- To sign up for GENIE call (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH and hit return. Wait for the U#= prompt and type in the following: XTX99436, GEnie and hit return. ======================================================================= **--COMPUSERVE SIGN-UP--** ------------------ To sign up for CompuServe service call (with phone) 800-848-8199. Ask for operator #198. You will then be sent a $15.00 free membership kit. ======================================================================= **--ATARINET INFORMATION--** -------------------- If you'd like further information or would like to join AtariNet please contact one of the following via AtariNet or Fido: Bill Scull - Fido 1:363/112 AtariNet 51:1/0, Dean Lodzinski - Fido 1:107/633 or AtariNet 51:4/0, Terry May - Fido 1:209/745 or AtariNet 51:2/0, Tony Castorino Fido 1:102/1102 or AtariNet 51:3/0, Don Liscombe at AtariNet 51:5/0, Daron Brewood - Fido 2:255/402 or AtariNet 51:6/0. You can also call the Z*Net News Service at (908) 968-8148 for more info. ======================================================================= Reprints from the GEnie ST Roundtable are Copyright (c)1994, Atari Corporation and the GEnie ST RT. Reprints from CompuServe's AtariArts, AtariPro, AtariVen, or Aportfolio Forums are Copyright (c)1994, CIS. Reprints from Delphi are Copyright (c)1994, Delphi and the Delphi Atari Advantage SIG. ======================================================================= Atari is a registered trademark of Atari Corporation. Atari Falcon030, TOS, MultiTOS, NewDesk and BLiTTER are trademarks of Atari Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned in this publication belong to their respective owners. ======================================================================= Z*Net and Z*Net Newswire are Copyright (c)1994, Syndicate Publishing. =======================================================================
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