Z*Magazine: 9-Oct-87 #74

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/17/93-08:02:58 PM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine:  9-Oct-87 #74
Date: Sat Jul 17 20:02:58 1993

/////////////ZMAGAZINE 74\\\\\\\\\\\\\
October 9, 1987    Volume 2  Number 41
Issue #74  (c)1987 Ron Kovacs
Publisher/Editor:  Ron Kovacs
Assistants: Ken Kirchner/Susan Perry
<*> Mega ST Released......John Edwards
<*> Atari News Update........SIG Atari
<*> FCC Update "Current details"
<*> Zmag Technique.......Mr. Goodprobe
<*> Confrence Invitation from Atari8
<*> Survey Help Request
<*> Advertisers Page
<*> P: R: Connection Description
Atari Corp. has started shipping its
new Mega 2 and Mega 4 computers to
authorized Atari business computer

According to Atari, the new two-and
four-megabyte computers, which are
aimed at small-business users, feature
a small footprint, separate keyboard,
battery powered real-time clock,
BLiTTER chip and a bus for plugging in
add-on boards and peripherals. In
addition, the new machines are
compatible with software and
peripherals designed for the Atari ST

"The Mega demonstrates Atari's
commitment to the computer specialty
retailer," said Sam Tramiel, Atari's
president. "Features in the Mega are
the direct result of requests from
dealers and business users. The Mega
is a professional computer offering
the highest performance for advanced
business, engineering, desktop
publishing, desktop presentation and
personal computer applications."

John Edwards CIS Online Today
Xx Atari News Update
      ...From CIS Atari 8 Sig...
#: 197288 S7/HOT News/Rumors 05-Oct-87
Fm: SYSOP*Mike Schoenbach 76703,4363


Corporation (AMEX, PSE: ATC) has
announced the closing of its tender
offer for all of the outstanding
shares of the Federated Group, Inc.
(NASDAQ:FEGP), effective as of
midnight EDT, Oct. 4. Approximately 96
percent of outstanding shares of
Federated have been validly tendered.

Effective at 7 p.m. EDT, Atari Corp.
extended its tender offer for
Federated's shares to midnight, Oct.
4.  The tender offer had initially
been scheduled to terminate on Sept.
25 and had previously been extended to
Oct. 2.  The purpose of the further
extension was to allow Atari,
Federated, and Federated's bank
lenders to complete documentation for
the closing.

Atari is an international manufacturer
and marketer of personal computer
systems and video games. Federated
sells home entertainment and consumer
electronics products through a chain
of retail stores.

CONTACT:  Greg Pratt of Atari,
408-745-2349; or Merrill Lyons of the
Federated Group, 213-728-5100, ext.
Xx FCC Update

(Combined Reports)

FCC Chairman Dennis R.  Patrick said
Friday (October 2, 1987) that a
proposal to raise telephone fees for
computer network users is based on
fairness.  But users say the plan
would crush the fledgling industry.

In testimony before the House Energy
and Commerce Telecommunications
subcommittee, Patrick said the
proposal would charge computer users
the same fees now paid by long-
distance callers.

Home computer users, say the added
costs would force many of them off the
computer networks they use to
communicate with electronic databases
across the country -- exchanging
information on electronic bulletin
boards, checking stock market reports,
making airline reservations, and
exchanging public domain computer

Witnesses also told the panel that the
higher charges, proposed by the
Federal Communications Commission,
would drive thousands of computer
users -- from hobbyists to doctors --
off their electronic networks and slow
the growing use of the technology.

"This would severely retard the coming
of the information age," said Allan
Conner, president of DunsNet, a
company of the Dun & Bradstreet Corp.
The implications of the proposal
extend far beyond home computer users.

For example, Conner said, imposing
access charges would substantially
drive up the cost of automatic
authorization of credit cards --
raising the cost of a single
verification from the current 12 cents
to 19 cents.  This cost, he said,
ultimately would be borne by the

"Consumers would lose, retailers would
lose, the credit card people would
lose.  The only people who would gain
are people who use fraudulent credit
cards," Conner said.

The higher charges will reduce the use
of electronic information services,
slowing or even crippling an infant
industry, which in turn will reduce
revenues from the fees, he said.

"In essence, no one gains and many
people lose if this goes forward," he
told the House Energy and Commerce
telecommunications subcommittee.

Schools would be forced to cut back
their use of electronic data bases for
research, said John Stuckey, director
of academic computing at Northeastern
University.  Cutbacks also would be
forced at hospitals, where doctors
rely on computerized medical data
bases for quick reference, said
Jacquelline Bastille, director of the
medical library at Massachusetts
General Hospital.

"This is a vital service," she said.
"Access to biomedical information is
needed quickly.  Same-day retrieval is
critical to quality patient care."

Higher fees also would drive many of
the roughly 750,000 home computer
users off the electronic networks they
use to read stock reports and news
stories, call up airline schedules,
and even line up blind dates, said
Richard tenEyck of the Boston Computer
Society, the largest computer group in
the country with 25,000 members

"This is a genuine threat to our
society," said Rep. Edward J.  Markey,
D-Mass., subcommittee chairman.
FCC Chairman Dennis R.  Patrick, the
lone witness defending the proposal,
said government regulators see the
issue as one of fairness -- everyone
who uses the local phone network
should pay the costs of maintaining

"If we exempt one category of users,
that means another category of users
will have to pay more," he said. "It's
not clear to me it is appropriate in
an equity sense if it increases the
amount borne by low-income voice

"The commission recognizes the
valuable role enhanced (information)
services play in this nation's
information age," Patrick said.  But
the FCC must also weigh the effects of
the proposal on ordinary telephone
subscribers, who already are paying
similar fees, he said.

Patrick estimated the access charges
on information service providers would
reduce long-distance rates by about 1

"We want to see the (computer)
networks evolve in response to the
economics of the marketplace ...  not
in response to subsidies," he said.

Rep.  Edward J.  Markey, D-Mass.,
subcommittee chairman, noted the
strong opposition to the proposal from
computer users who have sent him more
than 4,000 letters.

"Our highest priority must be that
these services are available and the
information flows freely," he said.
With imposition of the proposed access
charges, "information services will
become the exclusive prerogative of
the rich."

The FCC, when it adopted the access
charge system in 1982, exempted
information service providers from the
fees because of the fear that the new
industry would not withstand the
sudden increase in costs.

Now, the FCC believes, it may be time
to lift the exemption, but the agency
has found scant support for that
conclusion.  Even some of the local
Bell operating companies, which
receive the access charges, have
reacted with only lukewarm support.
Users also cite that phone companies
combine such electronic calls so that
several of them may be transmitted
over the same telephone line.  Since
standard (voice) calls cannot be
combined this way, users claim that
several users would be charged for the
same call.

The proposal would add about $4.50 an
hour to the cost of hooking up to
information services.  For some of the
lower-priced services, the additional
cost would more than double the hourly

Floyd H. Trogdon, vice president of
Telenet Communications Corp., a
computer network that connects
computer users with information data
bases, said the access charges would
raise some of its off-peak rates by
500 percent.  He estimated that the
access charges from the computer
industry would lower long-distance
rates by less than one half of one

Computer users said electronic
information services are already
paying their share of phone network
costs in a flat-rate surcharge per

Markey took the panel on the road to
Boston, a high-tech center that has
generated much of the opposition to
the proposal.

"This (industry) will essentially
disappear if the FCC access charges
goes through," said Richard tenEyck,
telecommunications director of the
Boston Computer Society, whose 25,000
members make it the largest computer
group in the country.

The loss, he said in a telephone
interview earlier this week, will cut
off these services to many of the
approximately 750,000 home computer
users, some of whom are handicapped or
elderly and use computers as a gateway
to the outside world.

Using one of the more than 15,000
electronic billboards on computer
networks throughout the country, a
computer user with a question about
how to handle a tax matter, for
example, can dial into a network, pose
the question in a message and post it
on such a billboard.  Readers scanning
the different messages can answer the
question, posting their message in the
same way.

"That kind of interaction happens on
the order of every five seconds
throughout the United States," tenEyck

He added, "One of the ways to make the
technology more affordable is to
increase the size of the market.
Reducing the market is a step

Text captured from Antic Online
  ...With An Eye On The Future...
by Mr. Goodprobe

With the advent of so many new and
exciting options that have become
available to the computer user/owner,
whether they presently own a system or
not, many perplexing questions arise.
Which one? Why? How long will it last
till I need another? These and many
other questions can cause the most
confident computer user to wonder
which way is up.

The purpose of this little article is
simply for the present Atari 8 bit
owner and my reasons why I think that
if he is considering upgrading his
system, the Atari ST series is a very
wise choice for him to do so with. And
for the present ST owner, and quick
reminder of the blessings he now
enjoys! This by no means is going to
be a complete thesis, but a collection
of random thoughts I have had on this
matter, may they help you in your
future choices!

The Atari ST is first of all a 16 bit
computer based on the 68000
microprocessor which means that is
running at a nice 8 Mhz versus the
roughly 1 Mhz of the Atari 800xl/130xe
series. The raw computing power of the
St is not based on this factor alone,
but definitely doesn't hurt! One of
the big plus factors for the St is the
disk system it uses. The 3 1/2 disk it
uses it completely enclosed, and quick
handy for popping one in your pocket
when you need to take a disk to work,
a friends house or whatever. Also, the
720k disk is rather inexpensive now,
and you can find them regularly
available for 79 cents for a double-
sided version of this little data-
storage wonder. With your data safely
stored inside the plastic enclosed
housing, it is very likely that it
will last quite awhile.

As far as display quality goes, if you
should choose to use the monitor that
Atari makes available for you, the
SM124 monochrome monitor, or the
SC1224 RGB color monitor the video
will quite honestly probably take your
breath away. The St series now can be
used with a standard TV via the
modulator built in, or a composite
monitor, but these options, although
good when first trying to first
purchase your system, they don't allow
you to take full advantage of the
graphics capabilities of this system.
A point that I feel should be made is
that the sound produced by these
monitors is quite acceptable, I do
feel, along with many others, that it
leaves much to be desired and you may
not be totally happy with this portion
of the ST system. This can be overcome
of course if you are using a
synthesizer with your ST in which case
your sound will be out-of-this world!

So much for that, now lets get to the
REAL reasons why I LOVE the ST.

Firstly, if you were fortunate enough
to forsee the day when you would
upgrade your present system, you will
be thrilled to learn that the vast
majority of your generic hardware add-
ons such as printers, modems and such
like will indeed work fine with your
ST system. This indeed can save you
quite a bit financially, and if you
were really happy with your equipment
before, you will be doubly so not with
it hummin' away on the ST. you know,
for some reason my Panasonic 1080
seems to be much faster now that it is
connected to the ST, it is quite
possible that its my imagination, but
not likely! There are some programs
that now allow to to take advantage of
some of the features of your printers
that you didn't even know existed! And
some word processors allow you to
change the fonts right on the screen
with very little effort and use
graphics in ways you didnt think a
home computer could do! now, the text
flows around the graphics and makes
for a very eye-pleasing appearance!
And the terminal programs..my oh my!
Most major forms of transfer protocols
are supported, and you can emulate
most systems with your term program so
you can enjoy ANSI (IBM), Vidtex, RLE,
and ATASCII graphics...on-line! There
is even one term now that allows for
multitasking, so now you can download
a file and be working on a text file
at the same time.

And speaking of emulators, there are a
multitude of emulators for the St that
actually allow it to run software
designed for other computer systems.
The first type of emulator you run
across is the software emulator. PC
Ditto is the premier software emulator
that allows the St user to run
programs that are designed to run on
the IBM PC and clones. It runs a large
portions of these programs, and does a
good job in doing so, although at less
than half the speed of a normal clone.
But, this opens a vast library of
programs for the users, many available
for the cost of the disk from computer
clubs, or free from local bulletin
board services. There is now an
emulator for the St which allows one
to run UNIX software also, and this
one is quite fast. In this month of
September ST Log will carry an article
and program that allows the St user to
run his 8 bit Atari software on his
ST. This program too allows the user
to run his original programs at less
than half speed, but because this
Transformer will be public domain you
can be sure it will improve with the
addition of new routines and the more
efficient use of code to further speed
it up. There are also further
emulators that allow run to run Apple
2e and Commodore 64 programs on the
St, but they still need further work
on them to make them practical.

The next 2 items would make one think
of emulators, but they are in a class
by themselves! firstly, the multi
tasking operating system known as IS-9
has been recently released for the ST.
This will allow the St to run all
programs in the IS-9 library as this
is not a system dependant operating
system. The majority of computers
using this operating system at present
are the $20,000 and up class, and are
used by many major manufacturers to do
a variety of work from accounting to
robotics. These programs will run with
virtually no modification whatsoever.

The second of the "in-a-class-by-
themselves" items is the Magic Sac by
David Small. This cartridge allows one
to run software designed for the
Macintosh, and run it faster than the
machine it as designed for! with the
last version of software that is used
in conjunction with the Magic Sac
cartridge(4.52), it appears to be very
close to crashproof. Any Mac owner
will tell you of the frequent crashed
of their beloved Mac system, but Mr.
Small has found a way to almost give
you fewer crashes than the owner of an
actual Mac experiences. In fact, you
can run some programs with the Magic
Sac the Mac owners can not do so
themselves! I use this grand item on a
regular basis, and can not sing enough
praise! I hesitate calling this baby
an emulator as it is the closest thing
possible to actually adding another
computer system to your collection,
and at a FAR lower price! Not only is
this a good reason to own an St, but a
MUST for the present ST owner.

Let me share with a you a recent
public domain program I received for
use with my Magic Sac. This little
beauty was small terminal program that
when run dialed our Atomic Standards
clock via the modem, and then set the
clock in my computer with that of the
Atomic standard. now you cant beat
that for accuracy, and well for
novelty sake it cant be beaten!

The variety of programs out are
exceptional, and seem to cover the
majority of interests one could
possibly have. Educational, graphics
art, music, business accounting and
data retrieval are all well taken care
of with programming gems designed for
the ST.

And speaking of GEM,it is the easiest
to use interface that will allow the
newest computer user to feel
comfortable with his system, and the
old "hacker" to easily accomplish
things that were quite a chore before!
Instead of typing on filenames to
transfer a file from one disk to
another, you merely drag the file to
the other disk with your mouse and the
task is performed.

Graphics artists will be thrilled with
the art programs available for the ST,
and the new batch of CAD programs,
with most notably CAD 3-d 2.0 allow
you to do things that quite honestly
were only possible on mainframe type
systems. Full manipulation in a 360
degree sphere and animation for a snap
with the script system designed Tom
Hudson for Cad 3-D 2.0. And you can
create "computer movies" with the
greatest of ease with Aegis Animator.

Oh yes, how could I forget, the games!
You will find a game to suit every
whim, fancy and desire! And once again
with the power of the ST the graphics
present, the computing power used, and
the speed of complicated computations,
your games will never have good so
good and been so life-like!

As you can well imagine, this list is
by no means complete, but rather a
quick overview of what is quite
possibly the BEST computing-power per
dollar value on the market. I can
indeed assure you that you will never
be sorry about sticking with your
beloved Atari in the purchase of your
new 16 bit system. The technology used
is on the cutting edge, and you can be
sure that it will be antiquated for
quite some time! Imagine using laser
printers, FAX machines, and maybe next
year if all goes as promised, Atari's
350 meg Optical disc storage system!
Now that is some computing power, eh
my friend?

Keep those Atari's hummin!

Mr. Goodprobe
(On lend from Midtown TV)
Atari 8/16 Repair/Sales

Please keep those hardware questions/
mods/upgrades coming! They are the
foundation of this column, send to:
Mr. Goodprobe
c/o Midtown TV
27 Midway Plaza
Tallmadge, Ohio 44278

Xx Confrence Invitation
Please reprint this notice on your
local BBS systems and your Users Group

(Oct. 1, 1987) by Mike Schoenbach

The ATARI 8-Bit Forum on CompuServe
(GO ATARI8) 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

All ATARI 8-Bit BBS Sysops and users
are invited and encouraged to attend
this very special conference to
discuss important ATARI
telecommunications issues. Our guests
will include some very well known
ATARI BBS software authors, such as
Keith Ledbetter (author of BBS
EXPRESS!), Mike Olin and Mike Mitchell
(author of AMIS XM301), Matt Singer
(author of FOREM), and others.
My name is Bob Paradis and I am
currently president of SJST (South
Jersey ST) a small but ever growing
user group.  I need your help with
some research for a future article
that I am writing on Software Piracy.

This is where the survey and you come
in.  Below are 12 questions I would
like you to answer and mail back to
me.  I will have no idea who you are
(unless you tell me) so answer
honestly.  If you are a software
developer I would like to know who you
are but it is not necessary.  All you
have to do is print out this file,
answer the questions and mail it back
to me...simple!  If you do not have a
printer or for any other reason are
not able to print it out just send a
self addressed stamped envelope to the
address below and I will gladly mail
you a copy of the survey.  Also give
this survey to everybody you know, the
more replies I get the more accurate
the survey will be.

Just circle your responses.......

1. You type in a program from a
   magazine, save it, and give it to a
   friend, have you violated the
   Copyright law?

   (YES)   (NO)    (UNCERTAIN)

2. You type in a program from a
   magazine and add it to your user
   group's disk library for all of the
   members to use, have you violated
   the Copyright law?

   (YES)   (NO)    (UNCERTAIN)

3. You buy the disk version of a
   magazine and give one of it's
   programs to a friend, have you
   violated the Copyright law?

   (YES)   (NO)   (UNCERTAIN)

4. You buy the disk version of a
   magazine and add it to your user
   group's disk library for all of the
   members to use, have you violated
   the Copyright law?

   (YES)   (NO)   (UNCERTAIN)

5. You buy a magazine and lend it to a
   friend, have you violated the
   Copyright law?

   (YES)   (NO)   (UNCERTAIN)

6. You buy a magazine and photocopy
   something out of it for a friend,
   have you violated the Copyright

   (YES)   (NO)   (UNCERTAIN)

7. In your opinion, what portion of
   computer user groups violate the
   Copyright laws?

   (ALL)   (MOST)   (SOME)   (NONE)

8. Do you consider software piracy a

   (YES)   (NO)   (UNCERTAIN)

9. Do you consider a pirated program
   as innocent as a photocopied
   article from a magazine?

   (YES)   (NO)   (UNCERTAIN)

10. If you had a pirated copy of a
   program that you really enjoyed and
   used alot, would you buy it?


11. Would you ever knowingly pirate or
   a accept a pirated program?

   (YES)    (NO)   (UNCERTAIN)

12. How old are you?

Thank you for taking the survey! I
must add that the first 7 questions
are based on a similar survey that
ANALOG COMPUTING magazine did about 4
years ago (I have changed the
wording).  Now that you are through
just pop it in an envelope and mail to
me at:

c/o Bob Paradis
5 Erynwood Ave.
Marlton, NJ

I must ask that all completed surveys
be mailed by December 1st
The following ia a paid advertisment.

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Xx   P:R: Connection Information
Now you're no longer limited to 'Atari
Only' printers and modems.  The P:R:
Connection is a flexible alternative
to the Atari 850 interface. Suddenly
hundreds of printers and modems become
compatible with your Atari.  You can
even share the same printer and modem
with your ST or IBM PC.

The P:R: Connection plugs directly
into the serial (disk drive) port of
any 8 bit Atari and provides the user
with a standard 'centronics' printer
port and two RS-232 type serial ports.
It also draws its energy from your
computer which means one less cord
fighting for an outlet while its
compact size leaves your work space
virtually clutter-free.  The P:R:
Connection's serial ports resemble
those of the 850 interface, posessing
the same signals and functions and
using a fully compatible built in R:
Zmagazine 74           October 9, 1987
(c)1987 Syndicate Services/Ron Kovacs

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