Pagestream 2.1 (Part II)/DTP/Commercial

From: Len Stys (aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/24/91-03:49:15 PM Z

From: aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Len Stys)
Subject: Pagestream 2.1 (Part II)/DTP/Commercial
Date: Wed Jul 24 15:49:15 1991

Contributed by: sytang@lamar.ColoState.EDU (Shoou-yu tang)
This review was obtained from: Z*Net #9130 without modification.
                     PAGESTREAM 2.1 REVIEW - PART 2
                           by Vernon W. Smith
Reprinted from ACE of Syracuse Newsletter
This review is uploaded to the BackStairs BBS sponsored by Atari Computer
Enthusiasts of Syracuse for the information of Atari ST users.  It may be
distributed by and to anyone.  Please credit the author, the BBS and Atari
Computer Enthusiasts of Syracuse, NY.
In "An Early Review of PageStream 2.1" uploaded recently, (Also appearing in
last week's edition of Z*Net) I described two days of experience with its new
and improved features.  My conclusion was that as the leading desktop
publishing program for the Atari ST, it was well worth purchasing as an upgrade
or as a new program.
Since then, another few days, I've had a chance to experiment with a layout
which I hope to see published in the September/October issue of the ACE of
Syracuse Newsletter.  What I want to do is to show comparison pages produced on
the Atari SLM 804 Laser Printer respectively with PageStream 2.1 direct,
PageStream 1.8 direct, and PageStream 1.8 with UltraScript.
In setting this up, I ran into my first serious problem with PageStream 2.1.
I printed my opening page from 2.1 and it looked good.  But the next time
I tried to print out the same page, the tops of the characters in the headline
at the top of the page were skewed about one-eighth inch to the right.
What was worse was that everything I printed out after that from any ST program
was skewed about a half-inch down from the top of the page for a depth of about
an eighth of an inch.  Even my test run programs for the SLM 804 were skewed at
that point.
I tried closing and opening the PageStream program, rebooting the Mega ST4
computer, and changing to a different removable cartridge on my Toadfile 44
Syquest Removable Hard Drive.  The skew persisted.
Since it was affecting all programs, I assumed it must be a printer problem.
I experimented with moving various programs in and out of my AUTO folder to no
avail.  Finally, I turned everything off and went to bed.
The next day, the saved one-page PageStream 2.1 file printed the first time
perfectly.  But, again, all subsequent use of the printer showed the skew.
I went to PageStream 1.8 installed on another partition and prepared a page for
UltraScript output to disk.  It saved ok but, when I tried to print the file
through UltraScript, instead of a busy bee cursor and eventual printout, I got
the message, "Using Margins...Starting Server" and a kickback to the regular
cursor, showing the program had aborted.
This time, I immediately turned off the system and the printer and tried again.
Everything worked fine, as it had before I started to use the PageStream 2.1
I am thus able to pin down the problem specifically to PageStream 2.1.
I can get one good page but I have to turn off the system and the printer
to get another.
That's the bad news.  The good news is that when I called Soft-Logik
Publishing's Technical Support Line at 314/894-0431, I was able to get
through on the third ring and a patient support person named Sheryl
identified me as a legitimate PageStream 2.1 purchaser and took down the
information about my problem.  She asked me to send in documentation including
a disk with the problem file.
Less than ten minutes later, she called me back to say she had talked
with a programmer and that this was a problem Soft-Logik is aware of for which
there is no fix yet.  She said I would be sent a new printer driver as soon as
it becomes available.  No further documentation of my problem would be
I've stuck with Soft-Logik through many upgrades since the original Publishing
Partner and I feel sure they will correct this bug as quickly as possible.
In the meantime, it prevents me from using 2.1 to any serious degree because
normally I can't afford the time to turn the printer and system off and on for
every page I print.
In the meantime, I have taken the time to compare the three types of printout
mentioned above.
PageStream 2.1 comes with three Compugraphic type font families labeled
Garamond Antiqua, CS Triumvirate, and CS Times.  Eight other type faces
are repeats from earlier PageStream fonts except that all have screen
representations which more closely approximate the printed character shapes.
PageStream 1.8 uses a PageStream Helv font family which looks like Helvetica
and a PageStream Tyme family which looks like Times.
UltraScript's PostScript-emulation packages of fonts include Helvetica and
Times, which can be directly compared with Helv (PageStream 1.8) and CS
Triumvirate (PageStream 2.1), Tyme (1.8) and CS Times (2.1), from the
PageStream programs.  I also am using UltraScript Palatino which has some
similarities in appearance to 2.1's Garamond.
Good news is that the PageStream 2.1 faces are noticeably better in printout
than the PageStream 1.8 faces.  The letter forms are more subtly shaped with
greater contrast between thicks and thins.  On the printed page, 10 point Tyme
text with 11 point fixed leading looks much heavier and darker than 10 on 11 CS
Times.  However, if you have a dot matrix printer, you may prefer Tyme over CS
Times because it is easier to get dropouts in small text sizes in characters
like "b" and "o" which have higher contrasting thin and thick sections. On the
Atari Laser Printer, with the toner density set properly, CS Times is much more
Ten point Helv Bold (1.8) subheads show darker on the screen but appear lighter
on the printer.  Ten point CS Triumvirate Bold Hubheads (2.1) are sharper and
darker as well as more open.
Larger sizes of Tyme and Helv look fine by themselves but when compared side by
side with CS Times and CS Triumvirate they are slightly heavier and less
As far as I'm concerned, UltraScript is still champion in looks but not
by much.  And UltraScript can be used with 2.1, according to the Manual.
What deters the use of UltraScript, given the availability of 2.1's
Compugraphic fonts, is the time needed for printout.  I clocked a printout of
nearly identical pages in the three formats: 2.1 direct to Atari SLM804 Laser
Printer, 1.8 direct, and 1.8 with UltraScript.  PageStream 2.1 direct took
about two minutes to roll off the first page.  PageStream 1.8 took 15 seconds
longer.  But UltraScript took more than three minutes for the PageStream 1.8
print to disk and another five minutes processing from disk to printer through
the UltraScript program.
I've always been willing to endure the extra UltraScript time because of the
improvement in quality over PageStream 1.8 but I'm sure when 2.1 is working
properly I'll not want to bother when using comparable fonts.
I could go on about the graphic capabilities of PageStream 2.1 but they are
really just a continuing enlargement of format compatibilities.  Bitmap support
includes IMG, IFF, TIFF, MACPAINT, GIF, DEGAS, PCX, NEO,  and TNY.  Object
drawing support includes GEM Metafile, DR2D, AEGIS, and PRODRAW.  PostScript
support includes EPS, MACEPS, and IBMEPS.
If a particular format is important to you, you should try to look at a copy of
the PageStream 2.1 Users Manual before buying the program.  The PostScript and
the GEM formats, in particular, have some limitations.  For example, text
stored with some of these formats will not be imported.
PageStream 2.1 (and 1.8 before it) has color capabilities which I have not
explored because I do not have a color printer and do not prepare color
separations for commercial processing.
The general improvement of PageStream 2.1 over PageStream 1.8 makes it a
worthwhile purchase new or as an upgrade (assuming the Atari Laser Printer
bug is solved promptly for those who are affected by it.)
PageStream 2.1 is currently available from Atari dealers and mail order sources
or direct from: Soft-Logik Publishing Corporation, P.O. Box 290070,
                St. Louis, MO 63129, Phone: 1-800/829-8608.
List price is $299.95. VWS, 315/474-0450.
                      Z*NET Atari Online Magazine
               Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries, Inc..


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