Z*Magazine: 2-Oct-87 #73

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/17/93-08:01:43 PM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine:  2-Oct-87 #73
Date: Sat Jul 17 20:01:43 1993

October 2, 1987         Zmag Issue #73
Publisher/Editor:  Ron Kovacs
Assistants:  Ken Kirchner
             Sue Perry
             Rich Decowski
ZMAG Information Network (201)968-8148
Xx Index 73   October 2, 1987
<*> Zmag Newswire (British Awards)
<*> Antic Atari News Update
<*> Zmag Technique (Mr. Goodprobe)
<*> SX212 Fix (From CompuServe)
<*> Pay Services (Part 3)
<*> FCC Update (Mike Brown)
<*> Computing Across America
British Awards Roundup

Reported by Online Today's (Ben Knox)

LONDON -- Visitors to this year's
Personal Computer World Show, one of
Britain's main computer events, could
be forgiven for thinking they'd
strayed into a games arcade.

Only a handful of serious contenders
in the business PC market turned up at
last week's show, namely Olivetti,
Amstrad, Victor and Samsung.

Acorn, Atari, Commodore and Cambridge
Computer were among the few others who
could claim anything approaching star

Also held last week, was the 1987
British Microcomputing Award ceremony.
According to the judges, the winners
showed an exceptional level of
functionality, and generally
represented better value for money.

The winners were:

-:- Business Micro of the Year:

        Tandon Pac 286.

-:- Business Software of the Year:

    Adobe Illustrator by McQueen.

-:- Home/Small Bus. Micro of the Year:

    Archimedes 300 by Acorn (a sub-
    $1,000 micro based on RISC

-:- Home/Small Bus. Sftwr of the Year:

    Ability Software by Migent UK.

-:- Game of the Year:

    Guild of Thieves from Rainbird

-:- Special Awards:

Ormus Fashion by Concept II Research
(an educational package for fashion
and textile design courses)

Vidi-PCW from ROMBO Productions (a
video digitizer for the Amstrad PCW
word processor for $150)

Ventura Publisher by Xitan (Desktop
Publishing package).

Finally, a special commendation went
to the Amstrad PC1512, the first truly
accessible low-cost PC in the UK,
because of its impact on the

One product launch at this year's
Personal Computer World Show here
perhaps got less attention than it
deserved -- it was Atari Corp.'s
CD-ROM system.

As far back as 1985, Atari was making
noises about employing the colossal
storage capabilities of CD-ROMs for
archive data retrieval.

In that year, however, the audio
aspect of compact disks was in its
infancy (CDs being first unveiled by
Philips and Sony in 1983), so Atari
made a public statement that when
technology prices fell, it would
release a CD-ROM system for its
machines. The company apparently feels
the time has come.

To be shipped by Christmas, the Atari
CD-ROM system will sell in the UK for
about $650 and is capable of up to 400
meg of data storage on a single
compact disc.

In line with the unofficial CD-ROM
standard, the Atari system will work
to a 350-meg standard on a disc, and
also will be capable of playing
existing audio compact discs. As an
added bonus, the system also will be
capable of playing up to one hour of
real-time video, although it remains
to be seen how much video software
actually becomes available on the

Atari's announcement may be a
challenge to Microsoft Corp., which
earlier this month announced shipment
of its first CD ROM application,
Bookshelf, a collection of 10 major
reference works on a single CD ROM


By Nat Friedland, Antic Editor
Sept. 1987-

Just as this issue went to press,
Antic was invited to visit Atari and
preview the new SLM804 Laser Printer
in action.  Take a look at the sharply
detailed laser printout accompanying
this article and you'll see why we
were impressed with the SLM804.

While we were in the Atari Engineering
Department observing their laser
printer crank out ultra-sharp pages,
on a workbench behind us was a line-up
of seven Atari PC clones. These IBM-
compatible Ataris were running a wide
range of MS-DOS software, from Lotus
1-2-3 to Flight Simulator II.

According to Atari Marketing
Communications Director Neil Harris,
those PCs were a pre-production test
shipment. In a manufacturing start-up
timetable, this would put the PCs
about 30-45 days behind the 2-megabyte
Mega 2 and 4Mb Mega 4 three-piece STs.

The first production run of Megas was
shipped to software developers and is
now going on sale in Germany and
France.  Harris said that a major
"rollout" of the Megas and laser
printer would take place in October,
with a series of regional dealer
meetings.  At that time, final prices
for these products were to be set.

Antic has just received a developer's
4-megabyte Mega 4 (with blitter chip),
which will be covered in detail in
coming issues of Antic and in the
Spring 1988 issue of STart, The ST

We opened up our Mega's motherboard
box and looked at the clean chip
layout. Especially impressive was the
wide-open Direct Memory Access which
should make it easy to tap the power
of the Mega for a variety of
specialized hardware uses.

Of course, while at the Atari Corp. we
also took advantage of the opportunity
to check on the latest status of
previously announced hardware for the
8-bit computers. According to Harris,
the first cargo containers of the
80-column XEP-80 display box (Antic,
July 1987) and SX212 1200-baud modems
had just arrived in Atari U.S.
warehouses. We also heard that the XE
Game System computers and many new
XL/XE-compatible game cartridges were
due to start reaching the stores in

However, the double-sided,
double-density XF551 Disk Drive shown
at the June Consumer Electronics Show
(Antic, September 1987) will not be
scheduled for manufacture until
programming of the new operating
system is successfully completed.
. ..The Sound of Digital Merriment...
by Mr. Goodprobe

Most connoisseurs of fine food will
share with you the fact that there is
no finer compliment to a great meal
than a fine wine. This holds true in
the computer world also, there is no
finer compliment to a good program
than some super sound! This week's
hardware hints will aid you in your
quest of true "music to your ears"!

Although the sound is naturally
limited which your Atari 8 bit
computer can produce, some of this
deficiency in the quality of the sound
produced is due to lack of effort on
the part of many programmers.  A few
recent releases for the Atari 8 bit
computer that I have had the privilege
of seeing seem to be on the road to
correct this though. We can take a
long step toward enhancing the sound
by some clever hardware hacking.

If you are presently using a portable
TV with your Atari system, the easy
way to access the audio would be the
monitor jack. You can purchase a
monitor cable, any with your style
monitor plug and 2 leads or more with
RCA style plugs on them will suffice,
at your local TV shop, Video store, or
the like. Simply plug the cable into
the back of your computer, and pop the
other end into the tape or auxiliary
jack of your home stereo. Don't worry
about putting it in wrong, as it can
not hurt anything.  If you hear a loud
buzz when you turn on the stereo you
know you plugged in the wrong jack,
merely choose another and insert it.
If you wish 2 channels to produce this
computer generated audio, you can
purchase a stereo synthesizer for
about 5-10 dollars. This will not
produce true stereo, but will give you
2 separate audio channels. Plug the
monitor/audio lead into the adapter,
and then plug the output leads from
the adapter into the tape or auxiliary
inputs of your stereo.

If you are using a monitor with your
Atari computer system, your task is a
bit harder, but the results will be
just as good. I would advise you to
obtain a lead that has an RCA style
jack on one end, and stripped, bare
wires on the other. After testing the
quality of the sound produced, you may
wish to drill a small hole in the back
end of your computer and insert the
bare end of the 2 conductor wire
through this hole. After you opened
your computer and safely stowed the
screws and cover, look for the
following part in your Atari:

Model # Part #     Location of part
800   | R194 | On motherboard, on
              right hand side, next to
      | 4.7k |small standing electro
              marked C179.
800xl |R7 or | Just below 8 pin IC, IC
              is left-center of board
      | R8*  | At left-hand side of
               same IC R7=2k R8=5.1k
1200xl| L1   | At top right of
              cartridge port, is the
              middle of the 3 jumpers
              w/ black ferrite beads
              on them
65xe  |R7 or | Located just below 8
              pin IC, and at right
              side of
      |R8*   | IC, IC is directly
              below RF modulator7=2k
130xe |R7 or | Located just below 8
              pin IC, and at right
              side of
      |R8*   |IC, IC is directly below
              RF modulator R7=2k
*= Try connecting to either of these 2
resistors, it will sound better on one
or the other of them, depending on
your stereo and the amount of
amplification it provides. Connect
wear it sounds best to you!

Ok, there you have it! Now, although
you will not receive concert hall
audio, the difference will be quite
noticeable! One game I would recommend
you trying so you can see what "this
baby can do" would be the fine Karate
game called World Championship Karate
by Epyx.

One further audio note: the owners of
Commodore 1702 monitors can use the
audio jack mounted on the front of
their monitor for an interesting
purpose. We all well know that when
one is using their favorite word
processor or have logged on to their
favorite bulletin board...there is no
sound! To change this, simply run a
line from the tape outputs of your
stereo to the audio input jack of your
monitor. You simply haven't lived
until you listened to "Flight of the
Bumblebee" while using Paperclip to
write your long-lost Aunt Gertie!

-Mr. Goodprobe-
 (on lend from)
  Midtown TV
 Atari 8/16 Repair/Sales
Xx SX212 Fix
   ...From CompuServe Atari8 SIG...
#: 196691 S2/Telecommunications
    24-Sep-87  00:48:42
Sb: SX-212 fix for SIO
Fm: Bob Woolley 75126,3446
To: All

If you are planning on buying the new
SX-212 and using it on an 8-bit, be
aware that the SIO connector is NOT
used as a device buss. None of the
standard handlers will work in EXPRESS
(1030 XM301 or 850). Likewise for
HOMETERM and XETERM. The book has
zilch information about the SIO
handlers, but I discovered that the
R-VERTER handler (RVHAND.XMO) in DL2
will fix HOMETERM for use on the
SX-212 thru the SIO port. It 'aint
EXPRESS, but for those with an XM301
or 1030 and no P:R connection, it
allows you to upgrade to 1200 baud
without costing an arm and a leg. And
you don't have to depend on <poof>
Atari's schedule.

           Bob Woolley

Here in SIG*ATARI our conference area
not only puts you in contact with
other members, but also with the big
names in the Atari community.
Throughout the many years SIG*ATARI
has been serving the Atari community,
we have been holding various "formal"
conferences with guest speakers on a
whole variety of subjects.  Many
transcripts have been recorded from
these past conferences and are still
available in our Data Libraries
although somewhat "buried" under newer

SIG*ATARI plans on holding many more
conferences in the future with other
outstanding members of the ATARI
community.  Everyone is always invited
to attend our conferences!

We have a number of text files that
were written to help you learn how to
use the conference facility if you are
unfamiliar with it.  Please download
them and print them out if possible
and be sure to ask the SYSOP if you
have any questions!

HOW2CO.HLP  - Written by Ron Luks,
available in DL 2.

FORMAL.CO   - Instructions on the
formal conference protocol, available
in DL 2.

NEWCO.TXT   - Written by Mike
Schoenbach, available in DL 2.

CONFR.HLP   - Written by Ron Luks,
available in DL 2.


In addition, you can join us every
Sunday night at 9:00 PM EDT/6:00 PDT
for our informal "community gab"
conferences.  Everyone is invited to
attend to meet and talk to other
members of the Atari community!

           *** OCT. 1 ***

files have been rotated.  Be sure to
check out our latest batch of GREAT
"rediscovered" programs!

Data Library 12 contains a collection
of SIG*ATARI "Classics" and other
older files that were previously
located deep within our other Data

Be sure to read the Data Library
<DES>cription for more information.

          *** SEPT. 27 ***


The ATARI 8-Bit Forum will be
sponsoring a Formal Conference on
Saturday, October 17, 1987 at 9:00 PM
EDT/6:00 PM PDT.  The subject of this
conference will be ATARI 8-BIT BBS
Systems and their future.

ALL BBS Sysops and users are invited
and encouraged to attend this very
special conference to discuss issues
that are facing all of us.  Also
attending will be some well known BBS
software authors, including: Keith
Ledbetter (BBS EXPRESS!), Mike Olin
and Mike Mitchell (AMIS XM301), Matt
Singer (FOREM), and others.

Please mark your calendars!  Remember
-- Saturday, October 17th, at 9:00 PM
EDT/6:00 PM PDT.

Every Saturday night at 9:30 PM
EDT/6:30 PDT in Conference Room 12.

Every Sunday night at 9:00 PM EDT/6:00
PM PDT.  Please join us!

Type GO ATA-1 to find out!
by M. G. Brown

Looming on the horizon is the specter
of the Federal Communications
Commission's "Amendments of Part 69 of
the Commission's Rules Relating to
Enhanced Service Providers".

If the amendments are adopted as
proposed, local telephone companies
will be allowed to charge enhanced
service providers (such as Tymnet and
Telenet, to name a few) by the minute.
The added costs will be passed on to
users of these services.

While the FCC claims these amendments
are part of a long-range policy
"toward a more economically rational
pricing scheme", their good intent in
dropping the exemption becomes
suspicious when applied to those who
are using these services for data

Since the exemptions were first
allowed in 1983, a number of data
communications specific businesses
have sprung up in competition with
traditional providers, to serve the
access needs of computer users. This
growth has followed the upward trend
in use of computer data communications
by business as well as the general

Low cost communications services such
as the innovative and popular PC
Pursuit, begun in 1985 by GTE Telenet,
are helping make new ideas in
telecommunications possible. At night
and during weekends, PC Pursuit allows
users in some 500 cities to make the
long-distance link to 25 major
metropolitan areas for a flat fee of
$25 a month.

PC Pursuit and services like it have
created more affordable information
exchange medium "for the rest of us".
Suddenly, bulletin board systems and
smaller information systems became
centers for national exchange of
information and ideas. Specialized
systems have sprung up to satisfy the
needs of researchers in such diverse
areas as genealogy and health care,
and shareware producers suddenly find
themselves with a much wider market.
Even the more traditional software and
hardware producers are setting up
their own BBS systems as a way to
provide technical support.

According to a recent statement by
Telenet, if the proposal is adopted
"PC Pursuit's current 'flat-rate/
unlimited usage' service would have to
be repriced to a per-usage basis,
including an estimated $7 to $9
per-hour access charge. It is doubtful
that the service would survive at this
inflated rate". The demise of PC
Pursuit would be followed by the
destruction of innovative work on and
for microcomputers and

Individuals, small businesses, non-
profit organizations and libraries are
likely to be hit the hardest and most
directly by the proposals. Many
libraries around the country now offer
their patrons electronic database
searches. With the added costs, such
services in rural and small libraries
are unlikely to continue because of
the increased costs. Even patrons who
never request an on-line search will
suffer. Interlibrary loan and book
cataloging are increasingly dependent
upon reasonably priced interstate

One of the FCC's goals is the
"elimination of unreasonable
discrimination and undue preferences
among rates for interstate services".
Yet discriminations should be made,
especially when you consider that
phone companies provide all sorts of
special arrangements for toll
carriers, including switching machines
costing millions of dollars and
special trunking exclusively for toll
carriers. Packet-switched networks
such as Telenet, however, receive no
special treatment. They connect into
the local network in the same manner
you and I do- through ordinary lines.

Some argue that packet-switched
networks make heavier use of those
ordinary lines. Heavier use is already
priced into business rates, however,
about five times residential rates.
The largest expense, having the line
installed to begin with, is not
dependent on the amount of use.

The FCC has not awakened to the fact
that data transmission is now being
used as a secondary means of
communications by more and more
"common" Americans. This personal
communication and information
revolution is in full swing and should
only be expected to grow in the
foreseeable future. This growth path
will be stunted if this proposal is

By all estimations, more people and
businesses will suffer that will gain
if the FCC's proposal is adopted. It
seems that eliminating the exemption
will not only affect the progress of
telecommunications in this country,
but will slow the progress of other
developing technologies depending on
the free flow of information as well.

(Thanks to Bruce Miller for sources 
quoted in this article) 

If you have called the Zmag BBS, you
might have noticed our Main Menu 
option "D".  This section titled
above, contains articles written by
Steve Roberts.

These articles came direct from GEnie
and are available on the BBS.  The
following was received from Steve
about his upcoming book.

Sub: Books and such

My book, which will be available
around the first of November, and

"Computing Across America --
 the Bicycle Odyssey of a High-tech

It covers the first 10,000 miles, and
is my 4th book.  About 368 pages plus
pix and such -- trade paper -- $10.

The bimonthly magazine is "The Journal
of High Treknowledgy" and it covers
current adventures, tech articles
about the bike, pix, and more.  It is
$13 for 6 issues.

All this and more (posters and soon,
T-shirts and postcards) is available

 Computing Across America Publications
    762 Churchill Drive
    Chico, CA 95926

A free flyer is available from the
same address.

Zmagazine is a weekly online magazine
made available to the public. We are
now accepting advertising. If you are
interested in advertising in Zmag or
ST-Report, Please call (201) 968-8148
by modem only. (c)1987 Ron Kovacs
October 2, 1987. Issue #73
(Number 40 of 1987)

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