Z*Magazine: 4-Oct-91 #198

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 10/03/93-03:28:57 PM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine:  4-Oct-91 #198
Date: Sun Oct  3 15:28:57 1993

           ==(((((((((( ==    Z*MAG/A\ZINE ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE
           =========(( ===              October 4, 1991
           =======(( =====                 Issue #198
           =====(( =======    ----------------------------------
           ==(((((((((( ==    Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Ind Inc..
                      Publisher/Editor : Ron Kovacs
                      Assistant Editor : Stan Lowell
                  CompuServe: 75300,1642    GEnie: Z-NET
        Z*NET BBS: (908) 968-8148   BLANK PAGE BBS: (908) 805-3967

          THE EDITORS DESK.........................Ron Kovacs
          Z*NET NEWSWIRE.....................................
          CPU ONLINE UPDATE.....................Press Release
          CAROLYN'S CORNER.....................Carolyn Hoglin
          Z*NET NEW ZEALAND........................Jon Clarke
          GLENDALE ATARIFEST REPORT.................John Nagy

by Ron Kovacs

I have been reading some interesting messages since my statement in 
Z*Net Atari about the completion of Z*Magazine's run near the end of 
this year.  Some of you of made suggestions and others simply complain.
Well, please help me out here!  What are we supposed to do to support
this increasingly shrinking community!  If you want Z*Magazine to 
continue, YOU have to keep it alive.  This online magazine has been
given new life on three different occasions, and has not seen a dramatic
upswing in popularity or readership.  The download numbers are VERY low,
and I see no need to continue beating a dying almost dead horse!

My personal goal is 200 issues.  That in itself is an amazing 
accomplishment since we have been around since May 1986.  Starting a
seventh year seems almost nonsense to me, BUT the choice is going to be
left up to YOU.

If you want Z*Magazine to continue in some type of capacity, send your
comments in NOW.  Send in your articles, send in User Group reprints,
prefer email text files not disks or newsletters, hints, user written
columns, feedback and commentary.

This online magazine has become a one man show.  I no longer use an 8-
bit Atari computer, but still own a few.  I have asked many times over 
the years for an editor, for writers, for contributions... they never
come although the promises and good luck messages continue.

I will not preach to you anymore.  I am leaving this online magazine in
your hands.  The last issue will be released sometime before the end of
1991.  Issue 200 is the expected last issue.  I will retire Z*Magazine
forever and perhaps update things with a full index of all the issues
sometime during 1992.

Stay tuned for more information on the fate of Z*Mag in Issue #199.  As
always, thanks for reading and your loyalty!


The Southern California Atari Computer Faire version 5.0 brought 3,297
visitors through the front doors and more through the back to make it
the biggest Atari event in America in the last several years.  Over 50
vendors and developers participated in one way or another, breaking all
prior US records for variety and support.  Lots of new products were
premiered Saturday and Sunday, September 14 and 15, and sales were

Atari is engaged in negotiations to make General Electric Service
Centers the worldwide walk-in and depot repair centers for Atari
computers.  Preparation included a redesign of the TT motherboard to
meet GE's specs.  The deal should become effective in January '92, and
Atari's warranty period will be expanded from the current 90 days to 6
months or a year.  Details are still being finalized.

The Atari TT030 computer has at last passed the FCC certification
process as a Type B consumer device, allowing unfettered sale and
distribution to approved dealers.  New FCC guru at Atari's Dallas
research center is IBM and TI alumni Robert Joplin, who not only
designed the new TT motherboard to pass the FCC, but then proceeded to
alter the existing TT design to be able to pass as well.

The first boatload of new equipment from the plants in Taiwan is now in
Sunnyvale, and the papers have arrived announcing another load coming. 
There should be ample stock for the upcoming months, and the new TT
computers arriving now include a 1.44 Megabyte floppy disk rather than
the 720K unit shipped to date.  Upgrades will be available "soon" for
existing TT and Mega STe owners at "under $100" according to Atari's
Bill Rehbock.

Atari has revised TOS again, this time to facilitate upgraded systems. 
The older versions do not check to see what kind of machine they are
in, and so older (non-"E") computers have a hard time being adapted. 
The new code enables TOS upgrades for almost any Atari, although a new
small circuit board is required to add the new 2.05 to older ST's.  TOS
2.05 and a similarly updated version for the TT (3.x) should become
available as standard replacement parts within 90 days.  No other
operational difference is integrated in this TOS change, so there is no
reason to upgrade a Mega STe or TT with the new TOS.

According to Bill Rehbock in his address to Glendale show visitors, the
Atari ST BOOK and STylus Pad computers have been tested and already
pass FCC Type B standards, and only the paperwork remains in the
registration process.  The ST Book will see production of about 1,000
units a month until after Christmas, when the hard-to-get Epson-made
LCD screens will go off of the rationing program.  The 1-Meg, 40 Meg 
HD version will retail at about $1800, while the 4-Meg 80 MbHD
will be about $500 more.  Memory will not be upgradable.

In final production tooling now, the $1200 Atari STylus (pad-like
keyboardless computer) should be a leader at COMDEX in October due to
the thousands of ST applications that are immediately compatible with
it.  The handwriting recognition system makes any normal ST program
able to operate from the pen environment, while other brands of Pad
computers are waiting for custom made applications before they will be

"On the water" as you read this, the CDAR 505 CD ROM player from Atari
will be available for sale by COMDEX in mid October.  The first batch
of production units were too late to be shown at Glendale last week,
but will be in hand by the end of September.  Atari's Softsource CD
will be pressed in the next 45 days, and should retail at about $29.  A
number of other companies are ready to produce CD titles for the ST as
soon as the players are available.  Look for details of the Z*NET CD
featuring hundreds of MEGS of files, coming soon.

Atari user groups can get two copies of the desktop publisher PageStream
2.1, plus another demo copy for their library.  The groups are urged to
raffle one copy off, use the other for production of their newsletter,
and offer the demo version for any member who wants to see more.  A
related program will offer discounts for user group members when they
buy PageStream from dealers.  The groups should send written requests to
Soft-Logik, 11131 S. Towne Square, St. Louis, MO 63123.  Please note
that groups should include the following in the letter; A previous and
current newsletter, add Soft-Logik to the groups mailing list, include
complete address information, total group membership, president and
editor names.

One of Atari's two Sunnyvale warehouses has been emptied and abandoned
in a move that will save many thousands of dollars.  On Friday morning,
September 13, an auction was held at the old warehouse site to clean
out the last of the various stock that Atari would not be retaining in
storage.  The variety was dazzling and in some cases, frightening to
the buyers.  Prototype 8-bit and ST hardware was in the batch, but much
of it was withdrawn from sale.  There were memory expansion modules for
the 800's, something that looked like an ST disk drive but designed for
cartridges of some kind, and more.  Literally TONS of full pallets of
8-bit and 2600 game carts were earmarked for removal or shipping to
Mexico where the 8-bit is still sold in volume.  Buyers were shocked to
find pallets of TT parts including power supplies, cases, and
unpopulated motherboards in the trash and for sale, giving rise to an
instant rumor that the TT was being discontinued.  A more likely reason
was revealed at Glendale's show that weekend when Bill Rehbock
explained that a completely new TT board layout is now in production. 
The old parts are apparently not usable in the new design.


Okay all you Lynx players - get ready!
 Computer Publications, Unltd., publishers of the ST Connection, are
 proud to bring you the hottest new publication for Lynx enthusiasts -
 GameMaster will soon be bringing you news and information on all of the
 newest games and hottest hits for the Atari Lynx.  You will also find a
 minimum of two reviews per issue, a full page of tips and hints and a
 current listing of which game cards are now available or coming soon!
 Warbirds?  APB?  Blockout?  Ninja Gaiden?  Scrapyard Dog?  We'll let you
 know about all the new games as they hit your local dealer's shelves and
 update you on everything in production as well!
 GameMaster, the  Newsletter for Atari Lynx Players, will be published 10
 times per year, giving you more issues annually than any other Lynx
 publication.  And for just $10, you can get every issue mailed directly
 to you - 1st class!  And if you just want to check us out, send us your
 name and address to receive a FREE issue!
 The first issue of GameMaster will be available soon... DON'T MISS IT!!
 Computer Publications, Unltd.
 P.O. Box 2224
 Arvada, CO 80001-2224
 $10/10 Issues


by Carolyn Hoglin
Orlando, Florida
 Have you ever typed a single-paged paper and then found that you still
 needed one or two lines more, but didn't want to start a second page?
 With AtariWriter Plus, here's a solution for this problem:
 Be sure you are in "INSERT MODE."  (Check the message at the bottom of
 the screen.)  Then, at the end of each paragraph, place the cursor on
 the <RETURN> symbol and type [CTRL]-S 3 (with no spaces).  Then delete
 the <RETURN> symbol between paragraphs (or the paragraph symbol, if you
 have used that instead), and with the cursor on the first character of
 the subsequent paragraph, type [CTRL]-S 2.
 What this will accomplish is to replace the usual blank line between
 paragraphs with a blank half-line.  This still affords good legibility,
 but saves several lines over the length of the paper.  This technique
 will work with any printer capable of spacing in half-lines.
 (AtariWriter Plus always uses half-lines for the "S" command.  Double
 spacing, for instance, requires a setting of "4".)
 This might be a good time to remind you that all of the commands from
 the Global Format Screen may be used as in-text commands.  For instance,
 if the "L" and "R" margins are set at 10 and 70, and you want to indent
 temporarily to 15 and 65, you can use [CTRL]-L and [CTRL]-R to make the
 changes before and after the indented paragraph.
 It's okay to use changed margins within text that you plan to PRINT to
 disk, too.  AtariWriter Plus will automatically delete the codes and
 just print extra spaces where necessary to accommodate the required
 Incidentally, after submitting last month's column for printing, I
 prepared the documentation for the subject program by PRINTing the text
 to disk.  Then because I wanted to make sure that no control codes had
 been inadvertently included, I re-LOADed the PRINTed text.  Lo and
 behold, it seems that AtariWriter Plus issues the code for the selected
 font at the beginning of each page, and there it was!  If the user were
 to copy these docs to his/her printer with the DOS "copy" command, and
 the printer was NOT Epson compatible (as is mine), these codes might
 give unexpected results.  So what did I do?  I deleted the unwanted
 codes and then "SAVEd ASCII" back to the disk.  Now the file should
 produce, on any printer, documentation that is correctly formatted as to
 margins, paragraphs, and pages.
 Do you have a tip or two that readers of this column might find useful?
 Send them in to the editor of the MFACC newsletter, attention Carolyn.
 I'll be glad to share them with your fellow Atarians.
 See you next month.


 World Tour - Part 1
 by Jon Clarke

Three weeks ago I was sitting in my office in Auckland contemplating
popping onto the weekly GEnie RTC when in wandered my boss and said
"what do you have planned for the next two weeks, Clarkie?"  Checking
the local diary (2 seconds later) I saw I had nothing on so I said "not
much why?"
 What a silly question that turned out to be.  "Well we want you in New
 York and when you have finished there we want you to pop into London,
 Germany and then head office in Hong Kong.  "Getting my breath back I
 said "what, ok when?"  To cut a long story short two weeks later and a
 few zillion phone calls, fax's, telexes, swift and email messages later
 I was on the plane jetting off towards Hawaii.
 I had by this time managed to contact a few friends and the Z*NET crew
 world wide to say I would be there in their towns and lets met each
 other for a social hour or two (or was that three or four).  I had the
 pleasure or as I was later to discover the displeasure of flying on
 Continental Airlines.   They are a little like their old adverts "We
 know the Pacific"  "Yes sure, you have been in it enough" we always used
 to joke.
 For those of you (most of you) who have flown in an commercial airline
 you will have read the emergency information in the seat pocket in front
 of you (hmmm I am even sounding like a hostee) or seen the
 demonstrations where they show what to do if the emergency air supply
 drops down.
 Picture this if you will.  A lovely winters Friday evening.  We takeoff
 into the sunset out of Auckland on our first leg to Hawaii.  I am
 sitting next to a MAC fanatic from a place called Christchurch.  With
 all the formalities out of the way like why do you have a MAC and why do
 I use an IBM and a what, an Atari?  We are half way down the runway
 heading for the big blue yonder.  Now forced firmly back in my seat as
 the Boeing 747-400 tries to defy nature and become lighter than nature
 intended and become airbourne.
 When all of a sudden there is a row of oxygen masks in my face.  Well I
 can not be called slow but I had the sucker on my face in a few seconds
 flat.  Then I realised.  Opps!  We were the only ones with the Oxygen
 masks.  Now either we were the only lucky ones or we had a fault with
 the aircraft and it spat them at us to make sure we stayed awake all the
 trip.  I am lucky to say it was the later and after a quick whiff of
 recycled air (they did not work, YIKES) the hostess crawled up to us and
 said in a pleasant voice "Don't worry false alarm (in her best American
 accent)"  We spent the rest of the haul talking about the new Macintosh
 packages and the new products they were about to release on the world
 markets and how great Spectre GCR is even if it is on an Atari.
 It was interesting to note the comments about the Atari from people I
 speak to and this conversation was no different.  The chap next to me
 had seen, heard and used "A-MAX" for the (dare I say it) Amiga but was
 suprised to hear there was on for the Atari ST.  I then informed him
 that Otago University, the largest MAC dealers in New Zealand and only a
 few hundred miles from his home used them.  I guess this got his juices
 going as he was a principle of a high school in Christchurch.  To hear
 the author of A-MAX was from Wellington my old stomping ground suprised
 him even more I think. (Wellington is NZ'z capital city)
 Well after another attack of the oxygen masks we landed at Hawaii.  I
 guess half the population of Japan was on holiday (Vacation) this
 Saturday.  There were 2000 of them along with our plane all trying to
 clear customs and immigration.  I wonder who was looking after the

 Now as I said before we left home in winter .  It was 10 degrees celsius
 at home and here we are in summer at 30 degree celsius (you work out the
 conversions to F.) so the old body suddenly rebelled and dropped 10lbs
 of water all over my face.  We cleared customs and officially entered
 the USA.  This all over we headed for the flights to Los Angles in
 another building via the local bus.
 Now a word of warning here for all confirmed smokers out there.  This
 jolly flight from Hawaii to LAX takes five and a half hours and _NO_
 SMOKING_ .  Ah heck my body can handle three to four hours but five
 hours!  Hmm so I took the easy way out I went to sleep for four and a
 half hours of the flight.
 For those of you who love statistics here is a good one for you.   I
 arrived in Los Angles one before I took off from New Zealand.  I arrived
 at 6pm on Friday night and I flow out of New Zealand at 7pm on Friday
 night.  I always say you chaps are behind the times.
 While I was on the plane I meet several couples from NZ doing the same
 sort of trip I was so we decided as we had a six hour stop over in LAX
 (Air Port speak for Los Angles) we would go to one of the lounges we
 belonged to.  We to cut a long story short we ended up in the Air
 America Lounge.  If it was not for this oasis in the wilderness so to
 speak I would have gone nutty waiting in the Continental lounge for six
 hours.  Heck these guys even had New Zealand and Australian beers.
 Well after a few hours and a quick phone calls later (Help I could not
 fly the phones.. grrrr) it was "here's Johnny time".  I had arranged to
 meet John Nagy at the airport a few days earlier and low and behold here
 he was along with John King Tarpinian.

 John (which one there were three of us) Nagy mentioned Bob Brodie was
 going to try and get down to say hi.   But I guess Bobs wife was
 swapping recipes with Nacy and Bob had to entertain Ronny, times are
 tough Bob.  But thanks for the thought anyway.
 Now I guess it is an old American habit to take "care packages" for
 those from countries less fortunate than the USA.  What John had with
 him was incredible.  I must confess I had never seen such goodies, that
 most of you take for granted each and every day.  John (yep the Nagy
 one) had a bag full of goodies, from the ATARIUSER magazine, to Licence
 Plate holder which say ATARI  (these are now on my car John, thanks) to
 cups and hats with the Lynx logo's on them.
 We sat for a while over several beers talking about what was happening
 in the Atari world here in the USA and at home in New Zealand and the
 Pacific.  My first shock was to find out the lack of retail outlets in
 the USA.  When I explained to the John's that my countries population is
 3.3 million (1/8th of LA`s population) and we have a total of 32 dealers
 throught both the North and South Islands.
 You see over the years I have come to believe as others have, that as
 the USA is the home of Atari Inc. all things that are Atari were to be
 found in there.   I guess you could say alot of us out there think of
 the USA as the "Land of Oz" (like Alice in Wonder Land) for Atari
 Well if nothing else this confirmed what I had read on all the On-line
 systems I use in the USA.  Alice packed her bags and went to Germany,
 but more on this next week.
 All of a sudden I realised it was nearly time to catch my connection to
 New York so I said my farewells and was about to give some duty free
 cigarettes to John and John when I realised they did not smoke.  So I
 guess by now they will have had a headache from the Scotch Whiskey
 instead.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank John Nagy and
 John King Tarpinian for popping over to see me it was great guys.  Next
 time we do it in Auckland or at the "Green Onion" down the road from LAX
 For those of you who have not read ATARIUSER yet may I suggest that you
 get a copy and read it.  I am sure you will be more than suprised at
 the quality as I was.  I had several copies I dropped off all over the
 world in the next fourteen days and the comments were the same
 everywhere, "great stuff" , and the most common remark was "where do I
 get from ?"
 So it was onto another flight to New York this time.  Another four hours
 and yet again no smoking. Guess what?  I slept all the way again.

 On Saturday morning the 20JUL91 (or 20/07/91 as we write it)  I arrived
 at Newick airport.  I am sure Dan McNee knew that I was flying into here
 and did a rain dance from the comfort of his home in California as I
 arrived to 12 inches of rain.

 Next week New York "What a neat city" to Germany .

by John Nagy

 [This has been the hardest show review I have ever had to write... at
 least the hardest to get started.  There's so much to report, and all
 of it is good news.  Where to start?  I have to admit that a
 significant amount of my time since the show has been consumed by...
 er, RESEARCH, yeah, that's the ticket, research work on the new Lynx
 machine that I got at the show.  I find that the fastest way to make it
 to 1:00 A.M. is to pick up the Lynx at 10:00 P.M..  Headphones cause a
 distinct enhancement of the time dilation effect.  Fortunately, I am
 not a "game" person, so I'm able to preserve my objectivity and keep
 the proper distance from the addictive nature of the Lynx.  The proper
 distance seems to be about 15 inches.  I'll share more details with you
 as my intensive research continues...]

 It was the best turnout to any user-group show in years.  More than
 3,500 people came to the Glendale Civic Center Saturday and Sunday,
 September 14 and 15, for the Southern California Atari Computer Faire,
 Version 5.0.  Official gate/ticket sales were 3,297, plus the usual
 number of people involved in the booths, helpers, vendors, Atari
 personnel, guests, and late walk-ins.

 As usual, the weather was perfect for Los Angeles - near 80 and hazy
 (that's what we call it when the air is bad enough to be visible). 
 Over 1,000 people were roaming the wide isles at Glendale within the
 first hour of opening, and the line outside for tickets never
 dissipated until early afternoon.  At times it was more than a block
 long!  The most desirable complaint imaginable for show promoters was
 often heard on Saturday: "It's too crowded here."  Saturday totals were
 2,100.  Sunday yielded another 1,200.

A total of 51 individual developers and dealers were represented, more
than any Atari show on record to date.  Sales were almost frighteningly
good.  Some developers were unprepared for the volume of sales and ran
out of products by mid-day Saturday.  Fortunately, most of them were
able to generate or locate more stock.  Others simply took orders to
ship later.  A show promoter's second most desirable complaint: "Sales
are too good - we didn't bring enough product."

Over the six year history of the Los Angeles area show, attendance has
been: 1986 - 3,000; 1987 - 5,000; 1988 - 3,500; 1989 - canceled; 1990 -
 2,500; 1991 - 3,500.  Increased attendance this year despite an
indisputably shrinking userbase is attributed to organizer John King
Tarpinian's success in effective publicity and advertising placement,
plus a very open and flexible attitude.  Everyone involved in the show
from H.A.C.K.S. and other participating clubs that provided the
volunteer work on up through the vendors, developers, and Atari itself
were cooperative and unselfish in their efforts to make this the best
show it could be.  Virtually no rules, regulations, or up-charge items. 
Profit was never a motive, and the volunteers didn't have their hands
out for goodies.  User group tables were free.  It worked just fine.

Bob Brodie, Atari's Communications and User Group man, was a key to the
success as well, although he was unable to participate in the show
itself.  Bob personally arranged Atari's involvement, including the
equipment to be used by all of the vendors and developers, and the
Atari display itself.  Not as much show stock is available as used to
be, and with the larger number of vendors at the Glendale show, hard
decisions had to be made as to where the equipment would do the most
good.  The vendor floor was favored over the Atari area on the main
stage, resulting in a sparse display under the Atari banner.

Sadly, more than one individual was heard to say, "Look how Atari is
supporting this show!  It's disgraceful to see almost nothing on that
stage.  And Bob Brodie didn't even bother to come!"  I informed them
whenever possible that the many dozens of STe and TT machines littering
the main floor were ALSO from Atari and were placed where they were
really needed, and that Bob had come on Friday but had to leave
Saturday morning to attend to urgent family health matters.  Profuse
apologies always followed from the complainers once they understood the
situation.  It's a shame that some users have been conditioned by the
more reactionary media to assume the worst, then to treat their
assumptions as fact.


Because of uncertainty of attendance, the seminar schedule was small by
comparison to last year's Glendale show, but more time was allotted to
each.  Atari Corp had the first seminar on Saturday, with Bill Rehbock
(Atari's Technical Developer support man) and James Grunke (Atari's
Music division head) standing in for Bob Brodie.  Mike Fulton, part of
Atari's Technical department, was in the audience of nearly 200 to lend
some additional information.  Bill carried most of the talk and did
just fine.  He gave a well received and remarkably technical and
detailed talk.  Many in the audience were pleased to get a real nuts
and bolts view and discussion about the Atari hardware, both existing
and to come.  In fact, Bill told far more than any of us thought we
would hear, revealing a reasoned and purposeful course of action ahead
for Atari.  He also showed the exciting new ST BOOK notebook size
computer, which had the audience ooing and aahing.  I joked with Bill
after the seminar that he had spilled enough inside secrets to get him
fired several times.  Z*Net will carry a full story about the content
of Bill's talk next week, but highlights of it will pepper the Z*NET
NEWSWIRE this week and for several more to come.

Next up was the inimitable Dave Small, packing in a standing room only
crowd.  They were treated to Dave's remarkable wit and philosophy as
well as details and history of his equally remarkable Macintosh
emulation systems and new SST 68030 upgrade board.  Dave spoke to and
with the audience for over an hour and a half, concluding with his
classic "how I coded the Magic Sac Keyboard/mouse handler" story,
complete with extended vocal emulation of "pain made audible", namely
Neil Young recordings.  For those who have missed the pleasure of
hearing the story, Dave relates how he tackled the monumental and
frightening task of writing the code to make the Atari keyboard look
like Mac input.  He was assisted (?!?) by the most miserable and
depressing sound he could find, Neil Young LIVE, played over and over
until the job was done.

Despite having a hard act to follow, Nathan Potechin finished the day
of seminars with a long and thorough look at CALAMUS SL, doing page
composition live on an overhead projector.  Towards the end of the
presentation, the audience was smaller but very involved in discussing
the features, procedures, and power of Calamus.  Nathan was pleased to
see the level of sophistication in the users, and discovered some new
things about Calamus SL himself through their questions and
suggestions.  A full-color overhead screen unit was available, but it
would not operate with the TT on hand, so the new color capacities of
SL were not able to be demonstrated in the seminar.  Instead, Nathan
used his MEGA ST with Jim Allen's 68030 upgrade board in it, making
Calamus SL run at speeds faster than a TT.  Fortunately, Calamus SL was
shown in color on the main floor of the show, and it looked
particularly dazzling on the MATRIX COLOR VIDEO CARD equipped TT on the
Atari stage.



Atari's display was small, as mentioned earlier.  But it featured the
full line of ST and TT products, as well as a number of Portfolio
computers.  The ST BOOK was periodically available for the general
public to admire and try for themselves.  I found the unit to be
absolutely irresistible.  The display is monochrome only, and has no
backlight.  But the view is clear and clean in any light that's enough
to type by.  The keyboard is a bit smaller than standard, but not
enough to let my fingers know it.  The keys are sort of like very hard
rubber -- the no-slip effect makes typing very easy and errors less
frequent.  The key motion is small but the feel is very satisfying.  On
the other hand, the "vector mousepad" that most users rave about was
less than pleasing to me.  Although it can certainly be gotten used to,
the motionless pad is disorienting.  Press gently at any edge of the
mouse disk, and the pointer moves proportionally to your pressure and
position.  I found that the fact that the mouse pointer disappears when
in motion (common on any LCD screen due to the pixel response time)
combined with no tactile feedback from physical motion at the mousepad
makes for very unpredictable pointer placement -- at least at first.  I
seem to be in the minority in my dissatisfaction.  But I am part of the
unanimous majority that wants one of these computers as soon as
possible.  They will be coming into the USA at a trickle (a few hundred
a month of the 1,000 a month total production allotment) until the
screens become more available from the supplier in very early '92.

In front of the stage, the LYNX PLAYGROUND was usually fully utilized,
with 10 Lynx units (new and old models) running the latest releases for
the miniature color game system.  [I, of course, was only doing
RESEARCH there...]


Two Southern California retailers dominated the center isle with
massive displays of Atari merchandise of every description at
remarkable prices.  Both are ATARI AEGIS approved dealers.  Not a whole
lot of Atari brand hardware was available, however, due to consignment
arrangements that were not completed in time for the show.  But the
Computer Network (of Glendale) and Mid Cities CompSoft (of Bellflower)
each brought what appeared to be their entire store with them to the
show.  In fact, both stores had arranged with other stores (that were
unable to come to the show) to sell their stock on consignment as well,
making for a more varied offering of hardware and software, domestic
and imported.  The Computer Network built custom walls and hung row
upon row of racked software in their huge walk-through sales floor.  A
complete MIDI studio graced the end of Computer Network's area, as well
as two full DTP workstations.  This would be the home base of Nathan
Potechin of ISD, showing the latest in Calamus and DynaCADD, as well as
a functioning FAST TECHNOLOGY TURBO 030 board running at 40 mHz in a
Mega ST.  (More on that in a separate article!)  Goldleaf
representatives rotated their showing of Wordflair II and the range of
3K products between the M stores that specialize in synthesizers and computers,
and his stores are in fact the USA's leading volume retail outlets of
Atari computers.  He had a great special going on a Roland MIDI
controller (we call them keyboards) in a hardware bundle, and it sold
out on Saturday.  Also in the Goodman's area were factory
representatives of ROLAND and HYBRID ARTS.  Hybrid premiered "Digital
Master", a mid-market entry in the growing direct-to-hard-disk
recording and sound manipulation market.  Hybrid's ADAP series is the
high-end standard in hardware, used in major motion pictures and
television commercials for unparalleled sound re-recording and special
effects.  "Born on the Forth of July", "Honey I've Shrunk the Kids",
and many more movies have been done on ADAP using Atari computers for
controllers.  Now, Hybrid's Digital Master will make similar audio
power available to small studios, TV and radio production facilities,
and even to high-end home studios.  And like ADAP, it uses the Atari
computer as its front end.  At under $4,000, it's not a consumer
device, but it's priced right for low-end pro use.

Roland was showing a variety of their sound modules, including the CM-
32L in a bundle with TENTRAX.  Together, they offer a new level of ease
of use and variety of sounds for begginer or advanced user.  Tentrax
looks like a ten channel studio mix board on the screen, and operates
the same way, complete with VU meters on each channel.  Roland's
representative Jan Paulshus was enthused by the turnout of MIDI
literate users, as well as by the substantial sales he made during the
Glendale event.  He pledged Roland's and Steinberg's continued
development on the Atari platform, the computer he believes is the only
one that is serious about offering a wide and competent MIDI presence.

Recognized musicians and studio people were present all during the
show: members of Earth, Wind, and Fire; jazz musician and producer
Ronnie Foster; the keyboardist for Phil Collins and Genesis; studio and
session people from Bon Jovi, Scorpions, and others; producers of TV
shows, commercials, and movies; more.  Keep in mind that this is
"Hollywood", and Atari is what many of the people who shape the sounds
of our times are using.  It's only natural that they would come out for
a major Atari show like Glendale.  Formerly the audio technician for
the Beach Boys supergroup, Atari's James Grunke made them feel at ease
and in professional hands.  Familiar faces from TV and movies were seen
all weekend, too.

James Grunke made it plain that Atari is remaining aggressively in the
MIDI field, and numbers of major players in the industry are convinced
that Atari is the best way to play.  Many professionals who use Mac
MIDI hardware and software admit to having had it given to them, but
when they choose hardware and software for themselves, it's Atari,
thank you.  James also pointed out that calling everything MIDI
software is really not right; it's MUSIC software.  MIDI is just a
port.  We don't call Calamus or Word Perfect "Parallel Port Software",
after all.


For the sake of organization, I'm grouping those who are primarily
wholesalers and distributors of products separately from distributors
who also generate significant original software (I'll call them
"developers".)  No qualitative inference is to be taken by my
classification!  I just hope I don't miss any!

Best: Brad Koda had his usual array of incredible Atari collectibles,
parts, thingies, dowhatsis, and more parts.  Need to repair an 810 disk
drive (remember them?)?  See Brad.  New parts for new computers too. 
Cheap and amazing.  Atari's module to expand a 600XL to 64K for $24. 
Browsing the Best table is worthwhile even if only for the smiles that
the memories bring back.  He had the 1200 baud SX212 modem for $25.

Michtron: A different Michtron with a different flavor.  The irascible
Gordon Monnier is gone and Michtron is no longer in Michigan.  New
owner James Dorsman offered great deals on Michtron titles old and new,
and the Stereo Replay was a hot item.  Interesting and cheap was a 3-D
spreadsheet system.  ProText, HiSoft Basic ($14.95!!), and other titles
were cheap enough to make you buy it without a second thought.

PDC: "Public Domain Corporation" offers commercial products like any
one else.  Their main display was STEALTH, a full featured terminal
program by Hagop Yanoyan that grew from HagTerm.  The also offer memory
upgrade kits, TCB Tracker sound digitizers, and more, but did not push
them by comparison to STealth.

Rimik: Richard Betson left Talon and started his own import and
development/distribution company.  The main offering was MULTIGEM, and
the demos were intriguing.  It takes a bit of getting used to seeing
real activity in several windows at once.  Multitasking that really
works.  Other Rimik products are DTPaint and Menu Plus.

Rio Computers: These folks had a crowd most of the time.  Distributors
of the Lexicor graphics products, Rio had Lee Seiler at their booth
most of the time showing off his Lexicor creations done with Phase 4
products.  Some of his art looks more like photographs than actual
photographs do.  Other Rio interests included GENLOCK, the remarkable
$850 wringer-washer looking full page scanner, Superchargers and
expansion boxes for them, and a $499 super VGA card for use with the
Supercharger MS-DOS emulator.

Talon: Superchargers, PC Speed and AT Speed, and lots and lots and lots
of those colorful Beetle Mice.  The Mice look like fingers with
Hollywood Secretary Nails on them to me... but for $29 each, they were
irresistible to many buyers.  A display of a well known IBM race car
program running in emulation at full speed attracted a lot of

Zubair: Abu brought Z-Keys (PC keyboard adaptor), lots of easy memory
upgrades, ST/ime clocks (now for STe machines too) at show special
savings.  He also advertised yet another new scanner, interface, and
powerful editing software.  Unlike most other companies, Zubair will
sell the interface and software without a scanner, allowing you to use
any brand of your choice that uses the now standard mini-round plug.


ADG: Andrew Gordon is a musician who has brought his art together with
the computer to make a training and learning system.  His book, disk,
and tape packs of "Outstanding Blues and Jazz Compositions" allow a
unique practice and appreciation experience.

AtariUser Magazine: Although they had no booth, AtariUser was
everywhere at Glendale.  The October issue was rushed directly from the
printer to the hall on Saturday morning, and everyone was handed an
issue at the door with their ticket package.  Attendees loved it,
although the floor was a bit unsafe while users walked and read at the
same time.  The editors staff circulated all day on both days of the
show, and sales manager Kevin Horn offered his colorful AtariUser T-
shirts and polo shirts for sale.  They looked even better in person
than in the magazine ads.

Branch Always Software: Darek Mihocka sold out of his QUICK ST 3
several times... He was able to make new product on site, but something
went wrong on the master disk for his upgrades for QST 2 on Saturday. 
Most buyers of the upgrade will have to get another disk, as the one
that was duplicated shows a virus and irretrievable files.  The "virus"
is not really a virus although it will register as one.  It's just a
badly botched boot sector.  Darek says he sold three or four times as
much product as he was prepared for.  Another intriguing item at the
BRASOFT booth: Darek's 8-bit emulator made a comeback in a TT version,
running at full 8-bit speed in all graphics modes.  Why?  Why not?  He
also has had a full-speed 8-bit emulator that runs on IBM computers for
over a year, but Atari won't let him release the Atari operating system
(required) for use on non-Atari computers.

D.A. Brumleve: Dorothy Brumleve brought her smiling face and cigarettes
to Glendale to show her unparalled line of programs for children.  At
her low-key booth, Dot managed to sell a lot of product to parents who
realize the value of having computer-ready children.  Her KIDPRGs
programs are usable by kids a young as 2 or 3 years old!  Titles
included Telegram, Kidpublisher Professional, Super Kidgrid, and

Clear Thinking: Ed Hack is not the author... it's the product.  Craig
Harvey of Michigan came to show and sell his Edhack text/program/sector
desk accessory editor, now in version 2.2.  It will work on any size
file, even larger than RAM.  A lot for $18.95.

CodeHead Software:  John Eidsvoog and Charles F. Johnson had a busy
weekend, again doing the fastest demos known to man.  They premiered
Multi Desk Deluxe and sold out in the first three hours.  The new
version of the desk-accessory expander allows virtually an unlimited
list of available DA's, and doesn't take up RAM until you call the one
you want to use.  Maxi File III also did a disappearing act at special
show prices.  But the excitement at CodeHead was mostly over a pair of
new imported drawing products, Avant Vector and Repro Studio.  These
titles sell for lots more overseas than the CodeHeads will charge here,
but they are still pricey by US standards.  At $495 ($449 introductory
price), Avant Vector does automatic vector conversion of even the most
complex scanned (bit) images and even supports popular scanners.  The
result is full scalable and manipulable vector graphics.  The system
goes further to provide absolutely unmatched vector drawing tools.  An
even more expensive version supports plotter and PostScript output. 
Repro Studio is a matching bit-image application.  CodeHead will ship
the product in the coming week or so.

Phil Comeau Software: From Ontario, Canada, Phil brought his GramSlam
grammar and style checker as well as a new product, Grammar Expert. 
Expert offers online help for improving the use of written English.

Compo: All the way from Europe for the Glendale show, Neil O'Nions
patiently and quietly demonstrated what may be the most powerful word
processor yet.  The $179 That's Write (and the $89 cut down version
called Write On) leads the market in Germany, and Compo is tackling the
UK, French, and US markets now.  Almost like a DTP system, That's Write
has paragraph style tagging that changes all your preconceived notions
about page formatting.  And more: it allows mixing of resident printer
fonts and GDOS bit fonts even in the same word!  Although it doesn't
use GDOS itself, GDOS fonts can be loaded and unloaded on the fly. 
Best of all, That's Write is a growing product, with significant
upgrades planned for the coming year.  It's nice to see a major
application that will have continuing development.  Compo is also
worldwide distributors of PC-Speed and AT-Speed IBM emulators.

Double Click: Mike Vederman drew a crowd with demos and pre-sales of DC
DATA DIET, a real-time and transparent system that can nearly double
the storage capacity of your hard drive without slowing things down
perceptibly.  It boasts a 100K/sec throughput.  Essentially, files are
compressed and expanded upon saving and retrieving, without user
intervention.  It looks bulletproof and may sell "jillions" of copies. 
Their other products, DC DESKTOP, DC Utilities, DC Shower, etc, all
were available at show prices.  Mike also showed a product to be ready
later in the year, the Game Workbench.  Similar in concept to STOS but
more involved, the Game Workbench will be both a tool to make high
quality games and a multi-media editor and presentation application. 
And very easy to use.  Cheap too, probably well under $100.  With this,
anyone will be able to make animated interactive presentations or
custom games.  I didn't see DC NoveTalk, their new Novell Network
software designed for use on ST's while in PC emulation mode.

Gadgets by Small: Who would have believed that the focus of attention
at Dave Small's would not be on a Mac emulator?  The GCR's on display
were almost a paperweight by comparison to the interest in the SST
68030 speedup board for the ST computers.  Yep, what you've heard is
true, the SST makes your ST FASTER than a TT.  By quite a bit.  You pay
for what you get, though-$800 up to near $1,500.  But cheaper than a
TT, certainly.  And the speed wars are on between the Gadgets gadget
and FAST's technology.  More on this in a separate article.  Short
version: Yikes!  They are both mighty fast!

Gribnif:  The NeoDesk folks are now lots more.  Rick Flashman and Trish
Metcalf have expanded the Gribnif umbrella over Strata Software's
STalker and STeno (both in new and more powerful versions) as well as
GTSoft's Cardfile (also upgraded in the process).  Glendale was the
premier of the new STalker 3 terminal-in-a-desk-accessory.  It's now
simply "awesome".  Can you believe it will do all its things in
background mode?  Yup.  Run scripts?  Yup.  Even emulate ALADDIN?  Yup. 
Run a mini BBS?  Yup.  Multiple simultaneous sessions online?  Yup.  A
special show price?  Yup.  A sellout?  Yup.  Also drawing attention was
Arabesque, an integrated vector and bitmap drawing and painting
application.  Although not ready for sale (documentation still to go),
Arabesque will be under $200 by the end of November.  A companion
program, Convector, will follow later, adding outline-tracing of bitmap
images or scans.

ICD: The Chicago based ICD was represented by Jeff Williams and Doug
Wheeler, and showed their line of hard drives, tape backups, and even
8-bit products.  Their AdSpeed 16 mHz 68000 accelerator board was
there, plus something new:  AdSpeed STe.  About $50 more expensive than
the $299 AdSpeed, the STe unit is a no-solder jewel that also features
a math co-processor socket for DynaCADD and other software that can
benefit by it.  They were taking 8-bit orders for products as well, and
will consider new production runs if demand is there.  Negotiations
with other companies are engaged that may result in someone else taking
over the entire ICD 8-bit line.

JMG: The Hyperlink folks from Canada had ever-improving demonstrations
of their layered-look windowed interactive display/database/application
generator.  As more users create their own applications, they have
shared them with JMG.  So there's a growing library of uses and idea
starters.  Regularly $149, it was $125 at the show.

McDonald and Associates: Rod McDonald puts out the widely read ST
INFORMER monthly.  He also manages Application and Design Software,
makers of the Universal Item Selector (an absolute must-have utility). 
UIS 3 his improved again, and Rod and company were doing upgrades at
the show.  Of course, I forgot to bring my registered copy both days. 
A&D also now has the Universal Network, a software network manager that
will interface any and all of the existing networking hardware.  Rod
says he has sold his network to school systems and newspapers around
the world, with the largest setup connecting over 100 ST computers.  He
also showed Tax Wizard and G-Print.

Micro Creations: The G.I.M.E. Terminal is more than just the
pictures-by-modem system we have seen at shows for over two years now. 
It uses a full GEM iconed screen for full featured terminal functions,
and has a C-like script language that makes it programmable into a BBS
or whatever.  It still sends nifty pictures.  Micro Creations also
showed a video poker card game that looked well polished.

Musicode:  Polished cards hit their peak at the Musicode exhibit, where
Blackjack Plus 3 drew the gambling crowd.  Very, very complete and
realistic, BJP3 will let you program in your play strategy in order to
test it before you unleash yourself on Vegas.  Their MIDI software
almost was an afterthought by comparison.

Omnimon Peripherals Inc. (OPI): We used to call Paul Wu's company
Wuztek, but they have grown.  Their large booth featured the all-
knowing Norm Weinress, designer of OPI's DEKA keyboard interface for PC
keyboards, and Norm previewed his Omnichrome board.  This one looks
like a hit: it is for regular ST computers, plugs in, and gives a 16
million color palette and 256 colors in 640 x 200 resolution on
existing ST monitors, and up to 800 x 600 resolution in 256 colors on
multisynch monitors!  It will start at $399 and go up for more
features.  OPI still offers the Rainbow series of ST-ready multisynch
monitors, and they were $100 off for the show.

Oregon Research Associates: Bob Luneski's Diamond Back II vesion 2.03
was another early sellout.  The premier hard drive backup system, DBII
offered a new version starting at the Glendale show.  Bob says he has
radically improved the "backup with compression" option, so much so
that it takes HALF the time a regular backup takes.  He has formulated
a compression scheme that mashes files down to 50% of their original
size and does it faster than the ST can write to disk.  The result is
backups in half the time on half the disks.  Seeing as how DBII was the
fastest backup on the market already, that's really saying something.

Safari Fonts: Jay Pierstorff has made hundreds of fonts for PageStream
and now for Calamus.  He was there from the San Francisco area with
about a zillion fonts from his own company as well as from Cherry Fonts
and others.  A good selection of imported ST magazines was also a
welcome addition.

SDS: I'm old enough to remember the mildly subversive college group
"Students for a Democratic Society".  Wrong SDS.  Software Development
Systems is a newcomer developer with a printer utility pack for HP
Deskjets, Laserjets, and the Atari lasers.  It really does a lot, and
should be available October 15.  Ready now is the Newdesk Icon Editor. 
This one is a CPX module that enables you to create or modify the icons
on the TT and Mega/STe newdesk desktop.  It's only $19.95.

Sliccware: Randy Foster continues to improve his multitasking
environment and desktop system, Slicctop.  It is impressive to watch
him set a long series of file copy and move operations, and then shut
off the machine... turn it back on, and after the boot, it picks up
where it left off.  Yikes.  An impressive list of features and power
have failed as yet to cause other third party developers to write
custom Slicctop-enabled applications, but most existing software can
benefit from the environment.

SoftAware: Informer II has steadily grown more complete and
professional in features and presentation.  The graphic-enabled
database was selling well.

Softlogik: Yep, Pagestream 2.1.  A low key exhibit, but the power of
the improved Pagestream is well known and well received.

Sudden Inc.: Ditch everything you know about word processing and text
editors before you sit down with Sudden View.  A desk accessory text
editor, it's, well, shocking.  Think of it more like a paint program
that uses letters.  Scrolling, cut and paste, formatting, all the
normal functions of an editor, but handled with the speed and abandon
of a graphics editor.  Words fail to accurately describe it.  Too many
people walked right by the unassuming booth and missed the experience. 
I'd like to see Sudden View expand into a full fledged word processor
with spell checking, etc.

Wizworks: Dr. Bob couldn't make it this far from his East Coast home,
but representatives offered the Wizworks catalog of graphics tools and
fun.  Multiviewergraphica, an image editor par excellence; Mug Shot!,
the face maker; Image Cat, to catalog your many image files, and more.

Z*Net: Yes, I was there too.  It was great to meet old and new friends
and to get first hand feedback about our weekly news service.  It was
fairly unanimous: keep up the news reporting and leave the bashing to
others.  They appreciated a focus on things that can help them use
their machine rather than on the political hoopla and pressure games. 
Those flaming editorials haven't done anything to change the company
anyway, but they have unduly discouraged users who were happy until
they were told that they were fools.  Thanks for sharing that with me,
and you can expect more of what you have come to expect from us at
Z*Net: News, not Blues.

[Is that all?  No.  Other developers were scattered in and among the
retailers and distributors... there were just too many of them.  That's
the show promoter's THIRD most favorite complaint.]


H.A.C.K.S. was the sponsoring group of the Glendale show, once again. 
It stands for "Hooked on Atari Computer Keyboards Society"... what some
folks won't do to make an acronym work out!  The show was masterminded
by John King Tarpinian as usual, and his casual and giving attitude was
reflected in every facet of the show.  His own group declined to have a
table at the show so that the members could concentrate on giving the
vendors and hall personnel the support they needed.  These folks
deserve an international round of applause for a job not just well
done, but for conduct beyond the call of duty.

Other clubs with tables and displays at the Glendale show:

San Diego ACE: A SoundTools demo of voice digitization plus lots of
hardware on display.  They also offered their newsletter, the I/O

NOCCC: North Orange County Computer Club offered used software and
magazines in a swap-meet fashion for their members.

ACES: From the San Gabriel Valley, selling blue Atari hats.

ACAOC: Atri Computer Association of Orange County sold PD disks
including MAC disks for GCR users.  This group used to have presidents
named Bob Brodie and Mike Fulton.  Hmmm.

South Bay Ace: Demos and disks for sale from the South Bay of Los

RAM: "Real Atari Maniacs" from Ventura County, California, offered
"free advice" and solicted memberships.

WRAP-UP: What does this all mean?

The aftermath of a show of this size is usually a slow period for
retailers, mostly getting returns for bad disks or software that didn't
pan out as the buyer hoped.  This year, the Computer Network and other
stores in Los Angeles report the opposite.  New users, new buyers are
coming into the stores and buying at a clip notably above that of the
normal season.  People came to the show and were invigorated by the
crowd, by the new software, by the enthusiasm of the show.  MIDI users
are finally exploring other uses of their "music computer".  Even the
developers are encouraged beyond anything imagined only a week earlier. 
Crowds thronged around booths that might have been lonely.  Sales,
sales, sales of software and hardware marked what might have been
another disappointment in a series, part of the winding-down of Atari. 
Instead, the Glendale Show Success may be the first glimmer of a new
day for our favorite computer.

You may be saying, yeah yeah, right, John.  Get some coffee and call me
back.  OK, I will.  Next week, I'll tell you the blow-by-blow inside
details of Bill Rehbock's spill-the-whole-story talk at Glendale.  [I
have it all on videotape, he can't squirm out of any of it!]  Taken
together with the show itself, it all might change your mind too.

- John Nagy, exclusive for Z*Net News Service, Copyright 1991 by Rovac
Z*MAGAZINE Atari 8-Bit Online Magazine is a bi-weekly magazine covering
the Atari and related computer community.   Material  contained in this
edition may be reprinted without permission,  except where otherwise
noted,  unedited,  with  the  issue number, name and author included at
the  top  of each reprinted article.  Commentary and opinions presented
are those of the individual author and  does  not  necessarily  reflect
the opinions of Z*MAGAZINE or the staff.  Z*Magazine Atari 8-Bit Online
Magazine, Z*Net Atari Online Magazine, Z*Net  are  copyright (c)1991 by
Rovac Industries  Inc, a registered corporation.  Post  Office  Box 59,
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               Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries, Inc..

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