ST Report: 25-May-90 #621

From: Len Stys (aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 06/11/90-12:56:22 AM Z

From: aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Len Stys)
Subject: ST Report: 25-May-90  #621
Date: Mon Jun 11 00:56:22 1990

                  *---== ST REPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---*
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                            STR Publishing Inc.

  May 25, 1990                                                    No.6.21

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 > 05/25/90: STReport?#6.21  The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine! 
     - The Editor's Podium    - CPU REPORT        - CPU STATUS REPORT

              ---===*** TT TO MAKE CANADIAN DEBUT! ***===---
                   --==** PORTFOLIO OS AT RISK??? **==--
                ---===** CIS' RON LUKS INTERVIEWED **===---

                         ST REPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE? 
                  "Only UP-TO-DATE News and Information"
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        Current Events, Up to Date News, Hot Tips, and Information
             Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports
 STReport's support  BBS, NODE  # 350 invites systems using Forem ST BBS to
 participate in  Forem BBS's  F-Net mail  network.   Or, Please  call # 350
 direct at 904-786-4176, and enjoy the excitement of exchanging ideas about
 the Atari ST computers through an excellent International ST Mail Network.

 > The Editor's Podium?

     This weekend  heralds  the  beginning  of  summer  1990,  Memorial Day
 Weekend  the  time  for  the  "Indy  500"  and many other enjoyable annual
 celebrations.  For example,  the official  opening of  the beaches  in the
 northern climes and of course, the seasonal openings of the many amusement
 parks around this great nation.   What  does  all  this  have  to  do with
 computers?   Not a  doggone thing except that if this issue were to depend
 on bringing  the readers  positive, solid  information about  the world of
 Atari, we would have to forfeit this week's issue, well.... almost.
     Atari &  Russia, how very reassuring!  What a marvelous idea!  Without
 a doubt, a marketing stroke of  genius!    Surely,  these  comments echoed
 through  the  hallowed  executive  halls  and  washrooms  out at 'you know
 where'.  After all, who better to congratulate them then  themselves?  The
 'other side  of the  coin' is also looming large on the horizon, according
 to Atari's Pratt, they're going to  play  "Let's  make  a  deal"  with the
 Russians involving  computers for DRAM chips.  But think about this folks,
 when will the USA see any real  market  penetration  by  Atari?    Are the
 loyal US  users about  to take  a deeper  back seat?  For Atari to get the
 Russian DRAM, they must ship computers to Russia.  

     Between the existing European, Canadian and other world markets, where
 will  all  this  leave  the  USA?    Will the accommodating and apologetic
 statements sound like..  "While Atari sincerely wishes to ship  all of its
 product to the US Computer Market now, it has to live up to its agreements
 in Eastern Europe."  Or, "Atari now boasts  of being  the leading computer
 in use  in Eastern  Europe while  the US  userbase has remained at a loyal
 500,000 for the past  four years.   And,  "The vast  flow of  new software
 originating  from  the  Eastern  European  Market  has bolstered the Atari
 Computer markets in its other market areas."  When.. when  is the  * USA *
 going to  get the  real flow  of product?   At the rate we are going, that
 will remain the $64,000 question.   Strange, but  in looking  back at past
 issues of  STReport, the very same question was being asked every year for
 the last two years.....  

     In light of the successes of all the  letter writing  campaigns and of
 course, the "Revolution" (tongue in cheek), USA's Atarians can now bask in
 the sweet light of knowing they  will be  seeing all  the products  on the
 dealers shelves.   POP!  And then   the  lights really went on.  Those who
 really must feel let  down are  the many  loyal users  who sent  Atari the
 many letters of endorsement and support over the past two years where they
 have found that the critiques in the onlines etc., were in their opinions,
 far too  critical of Atari and its adept marketing and sales procedures in
 the USA.  Like the man says... "You  ain't seen  nuthin yet!"   Wait 'till
 they get  cookin' with the Eastern Europeans.  While STReport welcomes the
 opportunity to  congratulate  Atari  for  its  apparent  success  with the
 Russians, we  in all  fairness to  the USA's  users, fervently entreat the
 powers that  be at  Atari to  NOT make  the US  Atari Computer marketplace
 wednesday's child  for another  year.   Simply put,  the US Atari computer
 market shows every sign  of not  surviving if  it is  handled in  the same
 lackadaisical manner it has been for the last two years. 
     Whichever way  it goes,  we, the  diehards, will be here waiting while
 we continue clearing the cobwebs from our shelves  where we  made room for
 the new goodies....




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 announcements, and the conference area.




   Issue # 68

 by Michael Arthur

 Remember When....

     In May 1973, the  first non-kit  microprocessor-based computer (called
     the  Micral)  was  introduced,  and  how the term, "microcomputer" was
     first used to describe it?

     Or how, in January 1975, an  article in  Popular Electronics described
     the first "personal computer", the MITS Altair 8800, which (along with
     the Micral) was based on the Intel 8800 chip?

 CPU Systems Roundup? XXVIII


     When the first round  of  Unix-capable  80386  PCs  first  reached the
 market,  much  interest  was  turned  towards  how  a  reasonably powerful
 Unix-compatible low-end workstation  would  do  in  the  growing 'Personal
 Workstation'  segment  of  the  computer industry.  Commodore has reopened
 this  debate  by  introducing  the  Amiga  3000,  a  $4000.00  68030  Unix
 workstation which  appears to  be poised  at taking a significant share of
 both the Multimedia Market,  and some  of the  low/middle end  of the Unix
 Computer industry.   Since  this is  the same  niche that the 68030 TT was
 intended for, let us both take a look at the Amiga 3000, and compare it to
 the  68030  TT,  in  order  to  gain  a more objective perspective of this
 growing situation:

     The Amiga 3000 is based on the Motorola 68030 chip, and uses  either a
 16 MHZ  68881, or  a 25 MHZ 68882 Floating Point Math Chip.  It comes with
 1 Meg of Chip RAM onboard  (expandable to  2 Megs  onboard), and  1 Meg of
 Fast RAM  onboard (expandable  to 4  Megs Onboard).   It also comes with a
 23-pin Amiga video port, a 15-pin VGA Multisync Monitor port,  a DMA-based
 SCSI Port,  an RS-232  port, and a Parallel port.  The Amiga 3000 supports
 a total of 3 internal 3.5" disk drives,  and has  an internal  40 Meg Hard
 Drive as standard.

     The Amiga  3000 uses  the 32-bit Zorro III Expansion Bus Architecture,
 which is downward compatible with Zorro II (Amiga 2000) Boards.   In order
 to do  this, it  multiplexes the address and data lines of Zorro III-based
 cards.  The A3000 (or Amiga 3000) has 4 Zorro III Expansion Slots onboard,
 as well  as 1  100-pin Video Slot (for attaching Genlocks or Video Cards),
 and 2 100-pin AT Expansion Slots, for use with Commodore's  Bridgeboard PC
 Emulation boards.   It  also features  a 200-pin  CPU Expansion Slot, with
 processor takeover capability, and support for  a CPU  Cache Board.   With
 this Slot, the Amiga 3000 can easily support CPU Accelerator Cards....

     The Amiga  3000 motherboard  uses over 9 Custom Chips as Coprocessors.
 Three chips, codenamed "Fat  Agnes", "Daphne",  and "Super  Denise", are a
 set of  Graphics/Sound Coprocessors known the Amiga Enhanced Chip Set.  In
 the Amiga 3000 version of the ECS, hardware support for 60 Hz  (PAL) video
 on European  machines is included.  Here is a list of some of the graphics
 modes supported by Amiga 3000's Enhanced Chip Set (or ECS):

     - 320*200 with 4096 Colors displayable at the same time.
     - 640x256 with 64 displayable colors out of a 4096 color palette.

     - 640x480, with 4 displayable colors out of a 64 color palette.
     - 640x960, with 4 colors out of a 64 color palette  (interlaced)

     - 1280x200, with 2 - 4 colors out of a 64 color palette
     - 1280x400, with 2 - 4 colors out of a 64 color palette (interlaced)

     In all, the Amiga 3000 uses 9 Custom Chips as coprocessors,
     including the ECS and these chips:

 1> RAMSES Chip   - 32 bit fast RAM support Custom Controller supporting
                    static  column  mode  DRAMs  and  allowing  the  CPU to
                    perform DMA Burst-Mode access to RAM.

 2>  AMBER  Chip        -  Video  Display  Enhancer  chip,  which  provides
                    deinterlaced displays  for  certain  Enhanced  Chip Set
                    resolutions,   provided   that   a   multiscanning  (or
                    Multisync) Monitor is used....

 (Note:  The 1280*400 resolution cannot be deinterlaced with the Amber
         chip, and it cannot display the 1280*200 mode on a VGA Monitor
         by itself....)

 3> DMA SCSI chip - SCSI Controller which Supports 32bit DMA (Direct Memory
                    Access) Data Transfers through the SCSI Port.

 Commodore makes two versions of the Amiga 3000:

       1)  The Amiga 3000/16, with a 16 MHZ 68030 and a 16 MHZ 68881
           Floating Point Math Chip

       2)  The Amiga 3000/25, with a 25 MHZ 68030 and a 25 MHZ 68882
           Floating Point Math Chip.

     Interestingly enough, it seems that the  Amiga 3000/25  uses a  16 MHZ
 memory subsystem,  meaning that  its speed  performance will be injured by
 waitstates when it accesses memory.   As such,  the Amiga  3000/16 will be
 featured in  this article,  as it  will not  encounter a similar slowdown,
 and is only 10 - 20 percent slower  at "real-world  software applications"
 than the more expensive Amiga 3000/25....

    Graphic Comparison of the features of the 68030 TT and Amiga 3000:

                      Atari TT/Amiga 3000 Features List:
                    (Comparison of each Systems' Features)
 System Features|         Atari TT030/2        |      Amiga 3000/16       |
 and Components |    Base System:  $3000.00    |  Base System:  $3300.00  |
 Processing     |  16 MHZ Motorola 68030 chip  |16 MHZ Motorola 68030 chip|
 Features       |    16 MHZ 68882 Math Chip    |16 MHZ Motorola 68881 chip|
 Megabytes of   |   2 Megabytes of 32-Bit RAM  |   1 Meg of 32-Bit DRAM   |
 Standard RAM   |      used as "Chip" RAM      |   1 Meg of "Chip" RAM    |
 Description of |TT TOS. (AT&T Unix V.3.2 with |AmigaDOS 2.0/WorkBench 2.0|
 Operating      |X/Windows V11 & the X/Desktop | (AT&T Unix V.4 scheduled |
 Features       |GUI need 4 - 6 Megs of RAM)   |for Sept.1990 - Jan. 1991)|
 Type of Bus    | 32-Bit VME Bus Architecture  |   32-Bit Zorro III Bus   |
 Architecture   |   with Two Expansion Slots   |  with 4 Expansion Slots  |
                |   # of Displayable Colors    |  # of Displayable Colors |
                |   1280*960 in Monochrome     |  1280*200 w/2 Colors     |
                |    640*480 w/16 Colors       |   640*400 w/4 Colors     |
 Graphic Display|    320*480 w/256 Colors      |   320*200 w/4096 Colors  |
 Resolutions and|                              |  (w/o interlace flicker) |
 Capabilities   |                              |                          |
                |   The TT supports the ST's   |Most Amiga Graphics Modes |
                |resolutions, and has a 12-Bit |in the Amiga ECS support a|
                |per Pixel (4096 Color) Palette| 12-Bit Per Pixel Palette |
 Standard Amount|    40 Megabyte Internal      |   40 Megabyte Internal   |
 of Mass Storage|         Hard Drive           |        Hard Drive        |
 Built in I/O   |Atari ST Ports, and [1] SCSI  |  Amiga 2000 Ports, and   |
 Ports          |  [1] DMA  [1] Appletalk Port |     [1] SCSI/DMA Port    |
 Sound/Audio    |Uses Digital Sound Chip for 8 |Uses Amiga Custom Chip for|
 Capabilities   |Stereo Sound Channels (Voices)|  4 Stereo Sound Channels |
 Networking     |Sun Network File System (NFS),|TCP/IP, NFS, Ethernet are |
 Capabilities   |TCP/IP, and AppleTalk Port    | available at extra cost  |

       Based  on  both  this  graph,  and  last week's System Descriptions,
 presented below is a  comparative  analyses  of  both  systems,  which are
 classified according to the above topics:

 Processing Speed:

     Since both  workstations use  a 16 MHZ Motorola 68030 chip, and have a
 68881 Floating Point Math chip, the only way  to determine  which computer
 is the "fastest" is to look at their architectures.  Both the 68030 TT and
 the Amiga  3000 have  a special  segment of  RAM which,  while slower than
 standard System  RAM, is  accessible by both the systems' custom chips (as
 Video RAM for Graphics Coprocessors), and by their CPU as System RAM. This
 is  called  "Chip  RAM"  in  the  Amiga  world.  Both the A3000 and the TT
 support up to 2 Megs of Chip RAM.   It  is also  notable that  Chip RAM is
 significantly slower than Fast RAM (or memory accessible only by the CPU).

     The  Amiga  also  uses  "Chip  RAM"  to store the currently displaying
 graphics of any application it runs in Windows.  When it runs out of "Chip
 RAM memory"  to allocate  to Amiga  apps, it  can't open any more windows.
 Meaning that an Amiga then can't run any new programs  without killing off
 a program  that is currently running.  This isn't a problem with the 68030
 TT  (as  TOS  doesn't  multitask  and  Atari  Unix   doesn't  suffer  this
 limitation), and  the average Amiga User would probably not encounter this
 problem on a regular basis....

     Another thing that the Amiga 3000  and 68030  TT have  in common  is a
 less-than-straightforward approach  to supporting  CPU Caches.   While the
 Amiga 3000's CPU Slot has the pins necessary to support CPU caching, it is
 still limited in that CPU Caches can only assist the 68030's built in data
 cache, and must be very careful only to  cache the  Amiga's Fast  RAM.  On
 the Amiga,  Chip RAM  cannot be  Cached since  it is accessed and modified
 directly by the  Enhanced  Chip  Set,  at  memory  locations  which aren't
 predictable enough  to allow  caching of  actual data stored by the CPU in
 Chip RAM.  But on the other hand, while this isn't an  issue with  the TT,
 Atari hasn't included any direct cache support for it....

     The 68030  TT and  Amiga 3000 both use a 32-bit Bus architecture.  The
 Amiga 3000 uses its new  Zorro  III  bus,  and  has  included  support for
 Burst-Mode DMA  (Direct Memory  Access) Transfers  of 20 - 25 Megabits Per
 Second, with a theoretical limit of 33 Mbits/Second.  This  means that the
 Amiga 3000/16  will be  able to  access data  from memory at a respectable
 rate.  The 68030 TT uses the VME Bus Architecture,  which is  also capable
 of similar  Data Transfer rates, so one does not surpass the other in this
 sense to a certain extent....

     However, one main issue is  Graphics  modes.    Some  of  the graphics
 capabilities supported  by the  Enhanced Chip  Set tend to take up a great
 amount of CPU time.  For example, if one tries to display  16 colors  at a
 640*400  resolution,  one  experiences  a  noticeable  slowdown  in system
 performance.    However,  Atari  has  made  sure  that  the  TT's graphics
 capabilities don't  produce a  significant decline  in system performance.
 In other ECS Graphics Modes this is not an issue.

     Here are Dhrystone Ratings for the 68030 TT and Amiga 3000, as
     performed by Atari and Commodore:

             A3000 (16 MHz)   A3000 (25 Mhz)       68030 TT

 Normal          4300            6050                N/A
 w/Registers     4400            6225                5700

 68020           4770            6800                N/A
 68020/Reg       4970            7000                N/A

 Lattice C 5.0 was used for the Amiga 3000, while Turbo C 2.0 was used for
 the 68030 TT results..

 Normal = Compiler set to 68000 Code Generation
 68020 = Set to generate 32-bit Code

 Operating System Features:
 First Place - Amiga 3000. While both the 68030 TT and Amiga  3000 will run
 Unix, the  Amiga 3000's  native OS  (read: AmigaDOS/Exec) provides several
 features (like multitasking and Arexx's Interprocess Communications tools)
 which aren't  available in  TT TOS.   However, Atari Unix for the 68030 TT
 provides X/Desktop 2.0 (a  GEM-like X/Windows  Desktop and  Graphical User
 Interface), while  Commodore has announced no similar File Manager/Desktop
 for Amiga Unix.  But this, in the short term, won't matter as much to many
 A3000 or TT Users as AmigaDOS and TOS.

                         Atari TT030/2 Unix Notes:
     The 68030  TT uses  a version  of AT&T  Unix Version 5.3 (with support
 for Berkeley  Unix).   Called ATX  (or Atari  Unix), it  also supports the
 TCP/IP and  NFS networking  standards.   Atari has also gotten Ixi Ltd. to
 port X/Desktop, a GEM-like  Graphical User  Interface (GUI)  running under
 X/Windows, to  the TT.   This  means that  the TT  has the  power of Unix,
 combined with a Unix GUI to make it easier to use.  Furthermore, X/Desktop
 is also supported by several Unix vendors (including IBM and SCO), meaning
 that if Atari R&D works with  Unix software  companies, that  the 68030 TT
 will have no lack of GUI-capable Unix software....

                           Amiga 3000 Unix Notes:
     The  Amiga  3000  uses  a  version  of  AT&T  Unix  Version 5.4, which
 supports both Berkeley Unix and SCO  Xenix programs.   It  also comes with
 Sun's Open  Look Graphical  User Interface.   Called Amiga Unix (or AMIX),
 it will be bundled  with  the  Network  File  System,  the  TCP/IP federal
 network  standard,  and  (reportedly)  X/Windows  11.2.  Commodore is also
 working to include Motorola's  68000 ABI  (Applications Binary Interface),
 in  AMIX.    Such  a  feature  would allow any ABI-compatible Unix program
 written  for  any  68000-based  computer  to  run  on  the  Amiga  without
 modification or porting needed....

 First Place  - Atari  68030 TT.   It  uses the VME Expansion Bus, which is
 not only used in Sun Workstations, but has been a standard for  years.  As
 a result,  there are  literally hundreds  of VME  cards out on the market,
 serving almost any conceivable function.  In comparison,  the Amiga 3000's
 Expansion  Bus  Architecture  doesn't  have  any  32-bit  Expansion  Cards
 available for it yet....

 I/O Ports/Networking:
 First Place - Atari 68030 TT.    While  the  Amiga  3000  has  some add-on
 products available  for it providing ArcNet, DECNet, and Ethernet support,
 the TT030/2 has as standard  all  of  the  I/O  ports  (SCSI,  RS-232, and
 AppleTalk ports)  necessary to  make it  a desirable  entry in the low-end
 workstation market.  Atari  is also  developing an  Ethernet card  for the
 TT030/2, and  the TT030/6 (the 6 Meg Tower version of the TT) will feature
 an Ethernet Port.

     In terms of software support for computer networking,  both Amiga Unix
 and ATX  (Atari Unix for the 68030 TT) will support TCP/IP and the Network
 File System (NFS),  which  are  Unix  standards  for  accessing  files and
 resources over  a Network.   However,  while both  the A3000  and 68030 TT
 will have solid networking software tools, the 68030  TT having  a network
 port as standard gives it a greater advantage....

                 Market Outlook for the Amiga 3000 and 68030 TT

 Amiga 3000 Outlook:

     The Amiga  3000 has  a great  deal of  potential, as the first low-end
 68030-based workstation currently available.   As  it runs  AmigaDOS, many
 Amigans are  starting to  buy it to replace their old systems.  This trend
 will certainly continue, and the Amiga 3000 will  quickly become prevalent
 in  the  Amiga  community.    With  its  32-Bit Zorro III Bus Architecture
 supporting both 20-25  Mbit/Second  Data  Transfer  rates  and  faster CPU
 accelerator  boards,  the  Amiga  3000 provides much greater potential for
 expansion board makers than any other previous Amigas.

     However, in order to  gain strong  momentum in  the Computer Industry,
 Commodore  has  to  sell  to  a  wider  audience.   The Amiga has gained a
 reputation for being the  first capable  "multimedia", or  "desktop video"
 computer, for  the great mass of graphics/CAD rendering/animation products
 currently  taking  advantage  of  its  graphics/sound   abilities.    With
 multimedia  gaining  more  clout  as  an "industry buzzword", Commodore is
 trying to use the Amiga's reputation to give the A3000  a foothold  in the
 business  market.    It  will  be  interesting  to  see how this situation
 develops, as the Amiga  3000 provides  solid processing  capabilities, but
 has graphics  capabilities that  have already been overcome by both Mac II
 Color Boards, and the  VGA/SuperVGA standard.   It  seems that Commodore's
 greatest  struggle  in  the  multimedia  market is both getting "big name"
 software companies to write products for the Amiga 3000, and maintains the
 Amiga's current advantages in graphics/animation software, and other video
 products like Genlocks and video effects  tools.    Of  course,  with many
 developers now writing multimedia software for the IBM and Mac....

     Also, while  the Amiga's  OS (no matter what one's opinions of it are)
 does provide a working multitasking  system,  it  definitely  doesn't have
 enough support  to carry  the A3000  in the business market.  As Unix does
 have a growing base  of industry  support, a  software base  with products
 undreamed of by Amigans, and many capabilities which won't be supported by
 the Amiga's OS (like multiuser support),  Commodore is  also targeting the
 Amiga 3000  at this  market, as a low-end Unix Workstation.  With its good
 processing and data transfer speeds, the Amiga 3000 is definitely a viable
 option in  this area.   Many  workstation vendors, including Sun, DEC, and
 IBM, are starting to focus on this area, however, so Commodore has  a huge
 task ahead.   And  as the  Amiga also  has a reputation as a game machine,
 Commodore will have to  increase its  efforts in  boosting the  Amiga as a
 "multimedia engine" in order to succeed in the Unix market....

 68030 TT Outlook:

     Since  the   68030  TT  runs  TOS,  has  many  improvements  over  its
 predecessor (including VGA-style graphics),  and has  an industry-standard
 expansion bus,  the TT  seems a fitting upgrade to the Atari ST.  Being in
 the $2500 to $5000.00 price range, the 68030 TT is obviously aimed  at the
 middle to  high end  of the  market, and  is intended  for the ST User who
 wants to upgrade to a more powerful system.  Given all this,  the 68030 TT
 seems destined to become the ST's successor.

     But since  it is in the same price range as the Mega ST's, is aimed at
 the same market, and uses an  industry standard  bus (while  Atari shunned
 the Mega  ST's expansion  bus to the effect that there are VERY few boards
 out for it), the 68030 TT  makes the  Mega ST  obsolete.   And since Atari
 will probably  not support  any good policy allowing ST owners to trade-in
 their Megas and upgrade to the 68030 TT for a  worthwhile (and profitable)
 price,  the  TT  may  be  a  harbinger  of  tough luck for present Mega ST

     The TT030/2 is  directly  poised  at  the  new  'Personal Workstation'
 market, which  promises to grow into a billion-dollar industry in the next
 few years.  It meets all  the requirements  for a  workstation, as  it has
 AT&T  Unix,  compatibility  with  standard  LAN  Networking  Systems,  and
 graphics which, though not spectacular, would be a desired asset  for many
 low-end workstations.

     Furthermore,  large  organizations  (notably  the U.S. Government) who
 have  bought  high-end  microcomputers  or  workstations   often  need  to
 interconnect them  through LAN Networks, but cannot afford the cost to buy
 similarly powered computers for their entire  staff.   The 68030  TT could
 provide these  businesses with  an efficient  "X/Windows Terminal" for use
 as an inexpensive Node in a LAN Network.  And  while this  market may seem
 mundane or  prosaic, it seems that this may be the largest untapped market
 in the workstation industry.  But  as  I  said  before,  several companies
 (Sun,  IBM,  and  Apollo,  for  example) are beginning efforts to tap this
 market, so....

     Given that low-end Unix workstations are only now  beginning to target
 this niche,  the TT030/2 has a unique opportunity to propel Atari into the
 middle/high  end  of  the  microcomputer  market.    The  TT030/2  will be
 especially popular  in Europe, where there is a massive need for good Unix
 workstations, and where Atari has enough clout to  make the  TT a standard
 in the business market.

     However,  the  68030  TT  may  not  be  so lucky in the US, where most
 people who need Unix would  be  more  likely  to  consider  a  Sun  or IBM
 Compatible.   In order  to get a foothold into this market, Atari will not
 only have to produce quality products,  but  gain  a  good  reputation for
 supporting them in the Unix marketplace.  While Atari has always made good
 products, the potential for ENORMOUS revenue that Atari could make off the
 68030 TT  will be  seriously jeopardized  if plans  aren't established for
 Third-party Unix Software  support,  and  a  Sales  and  Technical Support
 Division  capable  of  handling  marketing  and  support  efforts to large
 organizations.  Notably, Sun has built  its businesses  on having Regional
 Sales and Support Teams, which can handle workstation sales and support on
 a personal basis with its Customers....

     One way that Atari could quickly  establish such  a sales  force is to
 build  relationships  with  currently  available options.  For example, if
 Atari were to get Computerland or Businessland to sell TT030/2's, not only
 would  Atari  have  a  TREMENDOUS  sales  tool for their computer, but the
 technical support resources needed for Atari to endear  itself to business
 would come  with the  package.  Also, the publicity that would result from
 such a deal would be priceless advertising for the ST line.   But the main
 reason for  Atari being advised to do such a move is that Business-related
 Computer Centers like Computerland may be one of Atari's only  options for
 obtaining  decent  sales  and  support  for 68030 TTs among businesses and
 organizations such as universities....

 CPU MacNews?

       Apple Makes Bid to Regain Educational Market, Delays System 7.0

     Apple Computer has announced that  it  will  be  providing Educational
 Sales discounts  of around  40 -  60 percent for its Macintosh Plus and SE
 line of computers.  With this discount, schools  and universities  will be
 able, for  example, to  purchase a Mac Plus for $700 - $1100, a Mac SE for
 around $1500, and a Mac SE/30 for $2300 - $2600....

     Many industry analysts see  this as  both an  attempt to  displace the
 millions of aging Apple II computers now in the educational market, and to
 regain its share of the  Educational  Computer  Market.    Dataquest Inc.,
 states that  Apple now has a 42 percent share in this market, while it had
 a 58 percent share in 1988.    Interestingly,  many  Apple  II  users have
 expressed great  concern over the possibility of Apple "phasing out" their
 computer line.  Also,  Apple  officials  have  commented  that  a low-cost
 version of  the Mac  (rumored to cost $2500 - $3000) will be introduced in
 1991, and one official  recently said  that Apple  II compatibility  was a
 "major concern" for such a machine....

     Apple  has  also  announced  that  Version 7.0 of the Macintosh System
 Software won't be shipping until 1991.  Apple  first announced  System 7.0
 in  May  of  1989,  and  had  last  said that it would be available before
 September.  While many  Macintosh Developers  have System  7.0 Development
 Kits, Apple  has experienced  problems both debugging several new features
 of System 7.0, and making it  run comfortably  with large  applications on
 Macintoshes with 2 Megs of RAM....

 But ponder, if you will, these questions:

 1)   Would widespread coverage among the computer industry media be a more
     effective means of "advertising" the 68030 TT?

 2)  Given that the current  Motorola/Hitachi suit  is on  appeal now, what
     would  happen  if  Apple  only  now  was  in  the  beginning stages of
     developing a 68040-based Macintosh?



     Several computer company  CEOs,  including  John  Sculley  (of Apple),
 Scott McNealy (of Sun Microsystems), and John Akers (of IBM), have started
 a lobbying  group called  the Computer  Systems Policy  Project, with John
 Young (Hewlett  Packard's CEO)  as its Chairman.  CSPP will first turn its
 efforts  towards  identifying  foreign  markets  which  are  closed  to US
 Companies, and improving US Companies' access to foreign markets.

     The CSPP  will also  work for strengthened "anti-dumping regulations",
 or laws prohibiting foreign companies to sell products at a  cost which is
 unrealistically  below  their  market  or  manufacturing cost.  The latter
 concern was heightened by the collapse  of the  US DRAM  Chip Industry, in
 which Japanese  chipmakers were  able to  gain dominance by "dumping" DRAM
 Chips onto the US market in order to gain market  share.   In this regard,
 the CSPP is working for the establishment of "realistic cost calculations"
 to determine fair pricing levels for products, and better ways  to prevent
 companies to evade anti-dumping laws.

     US Trade  Representatives are  currently involved with negotiations on
 the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (or GATT), which is a 97-nation
 treaty which  regulates trade issues (such as tariffs).  A new GATT Treaty
 is expected to be completed before the end of 1990.   The  CSPP intends to
 work as an advisory group for the US in these negotiations.


     IBM  has  recently  introduced  the  IBM PS/2 Model 25 286, a personal
 computer for  the small  business/educational market  with a  12 MHZ 80286
 chip, 1  Megabyte of  RAM (expandable  to 4  MB onboard),  a 1.44 Meg Disk
 Drive, and VGA Graphics.  Cost: $2300.00 w/o  hard drive,  $3000.00 with a
 30 Meg Hard Drive.

     This PS/2  is notably  IBM's first  low-end system to support VGA, and
 is being marketed as a price/performance alternative for small businesses,
 LAN  Network  nodes,  and  the  educational market.  Interestingly, IBM is
 expected to introduce several  "multimedia peripherals"  for this machine,
 including a CD-ROM Drive....


     Symantec Corp.  has recently  reached an agreement to merge with Peter
 Norton Computing.  In this merger (to be completed in  August 1990), Peter
 Norton becomes  a member  of the Symantec Board of Directors, and will aid
 in product design and  development  for  both  the  Norton  Utilities, and
 Symantec  line  of  products.    Interestingly, it seems that Peter Norton
 decided to merge his company as an alternative  to "taking  it public" (or
 issuing out shares of stock for his company)....


     The University  of Arkansas  has announced  that it has recently won a
 fairly  broad  patent  for   thallium-based   superconductors.     Several
 researchers have  found that this type of superconductor holds some of the
 greatest promise for developing higher-temperature superconductors. One of
 them, IBM,  has obtained  a patent  for a relatively narrow application of
 this technology.

     Interestingly, it seems that superconductor research  has led  up to a
 series of  patent infringement  lawsuits.   Four groups, including IBM and
 DuPont,  are  currently  fighting  over  patent  rights  for yttrium-based
 superconductors.   The University of Arkansas' move is expected to trigger
 a similar incident between it and IBM....


 > STUDENT DISCOUNTS STR OnLine?        Students need Atari STs too!

 Subject: Re: Educational discount.
 Message-ID: <>
 Date: 7 May 90 05:13:35 GMT
 Sender: (news 'R' us)
 Organization: University of Alaska Fairbanks
 Lines: 64

 In article <35003@shemp.CS.UCLA.EDU>, (Steve
 Whitney) writes...
 >>  Yep... I believe that Atari would pick up _more_ than a few sales by

 It has been pointed out numerous times over the years in this group that
 Atari doesn't want to sell machines in the US, and they are doing an
 excellent job of it.  However, if they ever change their minds,
 educational discounts would be a good start.  I actually recall them
 advertising a small discount a few years ago as part of a back-to-school

 >>     1) Making ST, Mega, TT _available_ at university computer shops in
 >         the first place.

 Very important.

 The Atari store is across town from this campus.  Many students don't own
 cars.  Those that do have a hard time getting off campus during normal
 business hours due to classes and classwork.  Why should they bother to
 drive a few miles to check out Atari when they can purchase Apple, IBM,
 Toshiba, Zenith, NeXT, etc on campus (with the cooperation of the local
 dealers, I might add)?

 >>     2) Offering a student discount on said machines

 I've asked the local Atari dealer several times why they haven't pushed
 for this.  Their answer: "Atari's prices are already lower than anybody
 else, so why bother?"  This is of course false.  Also, I've noticed many
 students seem to believe that if brand X offers a discount and brand Y
 doesn't, then it must be cheaper to buy the brand X system.  Faculty say
 things like, "the brand X discount program shows that they are committed
 to higher education; brand Y obviously isn't, so avoid them."  Brand Y is,
 of course, Atari.

 >>     3) Placing ads in campus rags like Apple, Zenith, IBM, and NeXT do.

 The Atari dealer does here, periodically.  It seems to help somewhat in
 offsetting the damage done by lack of (1) and (2), in that there are some
 students and faculty who have STs.

 I would also add:

      4) Introduce an ST variant with built-in thinwire ethernet.
         On this campus and many others, a machine won't even be considered
         for classroom/lab use if it can't be networked.  And students want
         to buy the same machines used in the classes and labs so they can
         use familiar software with it.

 >>      It wouldn't be too tough to do, I imagine.  Even step 2 could be
 >> implemented by itself just to nullify the competition's power/price
 >> advantage.

 Sad but true.  You can mail-order fast 286 and 386sx systems w/hard disk
 for the cost of the Megas, and the university discounted Apple and other
 big-name systems are comparable in price.

 >> --
 >> Steve Whitney   "It's never _really_ the last minute"       (())_-_(())
 >> UCLA Comp. Sci. Grad. Student                                | (* *) | 
 >> Internet:              UCLA Bruin-->    {  \_@_/  }
 >> GEnie:    S.WHITNEY                                           `-----'  

 I'm not even a student anymore, so I'm not arguing for a student discount
 because it wouldn't do me any good.  I would just like to see Atari go for
 the university market, because it seems to me like one of the few options
 they have left to find a niche for themselves.  Even though my STs are 4
 years old, I'd hate to see them orphaned when the parent company dies.  I
 certainly don't plan to buy more Atari equipment until I see some evidence
 of intelligent life in Sunnyvale, though.

 Don Rice                              Internet:
 Geophysical Institute                 E-mail:   fnddr@alaska.bitnet
 University of Alaska                  Phone:    (907) 474-7569
 Fairbanks, AK 99775                   Loran:    64.86N 212.16E


 > PRODUCT AVAILABILITY STR InfoFile?       Listings of "available goods"

      __    _________    __       _______   _           ________  _________
     /  \  |___   ___|  /  \     |  ___  \ | |         / ______/ /___  ___/
    / /\ \     | |     / /\ \    | |___| | | |        / /_____      / /
   / /__\ \    | |    / /__\ \   |  ___  / | |       /_____  /     / /
  / ______ \   | |   / ______ \  | |  \ \  | |      ______/ /     / /
 /_/      \_\  |_|  /_/      \_\ |_|   \_\ |_|     /_______/     /_/

                                                           ** ** **
 TO:   ALL ATARI DEALERS AND DISTRIBUTORS                  ** ** **
 FR:   ATARI U.S.                                          ** ** **
 DA:   May 21, 1990                                        ** ** **
                                                          **  **  **
 RE:   PRODUCT AVAILABILITY                             ***   **   ***

 Attention all dealers and distributors of Atari products in the United
 States.  Review your inventory at this time.  The items below are NOW IN
 STOCK.  It is highly recommended that you make your inquiries and place
 your orders as rapidly as possible.  Make certain your back orders are
 covered and open customer orders are filled.  Information contained herein
 is as of May 21, 1990 per Mr. William Crouch, V.P. Sales Atari.  Place
 your orders through your local representative or call (408)745-2000 and
 ask for dealer sales.

 520ST     -    NOW IN STOCK!
 SC1224    -    Color Monitors IN STOCK - DON'T WAIT - BUY UP NOW
 SM124     -    AVAILABLE NOW!
 SLM804    -    NOW AVAILABLE!



 Additional updates will be posted when available.  All quantities and
 price reductions limited to stock on hand.  Please post this notice for
 all dealers.

                          *** END OF MESSAGE ***

 Editor Note;
     One can't help but wonder if this type message is the precursor to the
 news that  the lines  of communications  in the  actual dealer network are
 spotty... if in place any longer at all.  Why would Atari place Dealer and
 Distributor info in the public fora?


 > Stock Market ~ CPU NewsWire?     Watchin' the Sheckles Grow!

                                                     THE TICKERTAPE

 by Michael Arthur

 Concept by Glenn Gorman

     The price  of Atari Stock  went up 1/8 of a  point on Monday, and went
 down 1/4 of a point on Tuesday.  On Wednesday,  Atari Stock went  down 1/8
 of a point, and went  down 1/8 of a point on Thursday.  On Friday, it went
 up 1/4 of a point.  Finishing  up the week at 5 points, the price of Atari
 Stock is down 1/8 of a point since the last report.

       Apple Stock was down 2 7/8 points from Friday, May 12, 1990.
           Commodore Stock was down 1/4 of a point from 5/12/90.
                IBM Stock was up 1 3/8 points from 5/12/90.

                 Stock Report for Week of 5/14/90 to 5/18/90

 STock|   Monday    |   Tuesday   | Wednesday  |  Thursday  |   Friday    |
 Reprt|Last     Chg.|Last     Chg.|Last    Chg.|Last    Chg.|Last     Chg.|
 Atari|5 1/4   + 1/8|  5     - 1/4|4 7/8   -1/8|4 3/4   -1/8|  5     + 1/4|
      |             |             |            |            | 63,600  Sls |
  CBM |7 1/2   - 1/4|7 3/8   - 1/8|7 5/8   +1/4|7 5/8   ----|7 1/2   - 1/8|
      |             |             |            |            | 143,000 Sls |
 Apple|41 3/4  - 7/8|41 3/4   ----|41 1/2  -1/4|41 1/2  ----|39 3/4 -1 3/4|
      |             |             |            |            |2,307,700 Sls|
  IBM |114 1/4  +1/4|115 5/8      |115 3/8 -1/4|116 1/8 +3/4|115 3/8  -3/4|
      |             |       +1 3/8|            |            |1,770,200 Sls|

        'Sls' refers to the # of stock shares that were traded that day.
        'CBM' refers to Commodore Corporation.
        '----'  means that the stock's price did not change for the day.


 > LYNX POWER STR Tech Notes?        Battery power alternatives..

                             LYNX BATTERY PACK

 Special thanks to [Stace]'s friend for his suggestion!

                           "Lynx'rs everywhere!"

     It may be a while before I have some sort of real product so I thought
 I'd release  the information  on how  to build  your own  6 D-Cell battery
 pack.   These directions  are extremely complex and shouldn't be attempted
 by people like myself (slight grin with a twist).  I don't  know very much
 about  electronics  so  attempt  at  your  own risk (it ran electrocop for
 25hrs. and it didn't hurt anything that I can see.)

     Take a trip to the nearest  Radio  Shack  and  pick  up  the following
 items: (3) "D" Battery Holders (CN. 270-386A) or something that holds 6 D'
 Cells.  I bought 3 2's, because I thought they would work better in a belt
 pack then  a single  piece. Next,  a coaxial power plug (3.5mm O.D.x 1.3mm
 I.D.(CN. 274-1571)) check twice I didn't and ended up going  back the next
 day after  chopping the  end off  my adaptor.   Grab some 20-22 Gauge wire
 (Red and  Black will  help), a  soldering pen,  some acid  core solder and
 don't forget  the black  electrical tape  (covers that unsightly soldering

     Now, with the hands of a surgeon line up the D-Cell containers  so all
 the wires  hang out  one side.  Start on one end and solder the Black wire
 on the First container  to the  Red wire  on the  Second, then  solder the
 Black wire on the Second container to the Red wire on the Third container.
 Now, if all went well you should have  a Red  wire on  the First container
 and a  Black wire  on the  Third container.   Next, wrap the solder joints
 with electrical tape then tape them to the side of  D' Cell  containers as
 you wrap  them together  in a  block leaving  the Red  wire and Black wire
 hanging free.

     Take and cut some Black and  Red wire  roughly the  same length.   The
 length of the wire will probable have some effect on the length of battery
 life but I couldn't say what that might be.  I used  about 4  feet of wire
 but cut any length you want, experiment. Cut one of the wires hanging from
 the battery box a little shorter then the other, this  will help  keep the
 electrical tape  blobs from being on top of one another.  Next, solder the
 Red wire you cut, to the Red wire on the Battery Box.  Do the same for the
 Black wires.   Now  tape those joints.  For neatness I twisted the Red and
 Black wire together wrapping it ever 8" with a small piece of tape.

     Last but not least, unscrew the cover off  the Coaxial  Plug (the plug
 you already tried in the Lynx before leaving the Radio Shack Parking lot!)
 and put it on the Red/Black wire before you do  anything else!   Make sure
 it's on the right way...check again, I know but it's gonna be on the wrong
 way (it's some kind of electrical law).   Next, cut  your wires  the right
 length so  you don't  end up with six inch's of slack in one of the wires.
 Hook the Red wire to the center leg and the Black to  the outer  leg, make
 sure they  don't touch.  Solder them in place.  I always put a small piece
 of tape around the center solder  joint just  for extra  protection. Screw
 the cover on?

     Now about  10 minutes should have passed.  If you did everything right
 there should be some wire and tape left,  good job!   If  you have trouble
 soldering make  sure the  tips clean  and tight.  Allow the wire and metal
 connections to heat to the point that the solder flows  evenly and appears
 to suck  into the  wire.   Don't let  the solder gun sit on it longer then
 necessary.  Good Luck and if you have any problems or just want to give me
 your results, send E-Mail to:

 P.S. I'd  like to  thank those  people that  have been  ordering cases and
 supporting my efforts. I listen to every comment and will  continue to act
 on them.  Thanks again!


 > RON LUKS INTERVIEW STR Feature?     CIS Atari SIG's head sysop....

     STReport's Online Today presents;

                          THE RON LUKS INTERVIEW

 by Oscar Steele

 While I've  been covering  GEnie for a few months now, it's only fair that
 we give a fair share of  the limelight  to the  "other" network  - as it's
 called by  some GEnie  users.  And the best way to do so is to get to know
 the man behind the Original Atari section on any major network, Ron Luks.

 >>>> How long has the ST section been on Compuserve?

     It opened almost at the same time as  the ST  was released,  the 8 bit
 Atari  forum  started  8.5  years  ago.   We're about to celebrate our 9th
 anniversary during November of this year.    The  story  behind  how Atari
 coverage started  began in early 1980 when I was only a regular CompuServe
 customer.  I had just bought  a new  Atari 800  and I  looked for  a place
 where Atari  people met.   There  was no  such place; there was however, a
 Popular Electronics magazine sponsored forum.  They allowed me to  start a
 subsection about  Atari on  the forum.   When  it became  the most popular
 section in the forum, CompuServe permitted me to start my  own forum (they
 weren't called  forums at the time, they were called SIGs) and I called it
 Sig*Atari.  Many people ask me if  the  name  came  from  Sig  Hartmann of
 Atari, but  that was when Warner Bros. owned Atari, so Sig hartmann wasn't
 even around. To make a long story short,  I founded  the Atari  forums and
 have been manager and lead sysop since the first day they opened.

 >>>> Please, give a short autobiography about yourself and your          
      relationship to Compuserve

    I was  living in  Manhattan and  was an  active partner  in a brokerage
 firm; I also had my own seat on the American Stock Exchange.  While  I was
 waiting for  the IBM  PC to come out, Atari released their now famous 800.
 I saw Star Raiders and was instantly hooked.  I intended it  to just  be a
 game machine  while I  was waiting  to buy  a "real" computer.  One of the
 items I purchased along with the 800 was  a modem,  which, at  the time, I
 had  no  conception  of  its  use  and future influence.  The package also
 included  a  CompuServe  signup  kit;  and  that's  how  I  got originally
 involved with Compuserve!

     I've been  fortunate to have had a number of famous sysops involved in
 the Atari  Sigs on  Comp U  Serve i.e.,  Russ Wetmore,  author of Preppie;
 Michael  Reichmann,  who  became  President  of  Batteries Included; Steve
 Ahlstrom, who went on to initiate the Amiga forums on CIS.   Most all were
 Atari software  authors.  Tom Hudson, an extraordinary software developer,
 was also a sysop and an online editor for Antic.  Toward the end  of 1982,
 after having  sold my seat on the exchange, I left Wall Street and retired
 from the "super busy" schedule.  It was at this  time that  I decided that
 the care & feeding of SIG*Atari was a full time job.

     The forums  started with  the Atari  8 bit, and at the time the ST was
 released,  we  dedicated  two  separate  forums.  8bit  and  ST.   Shortly
 thereafter, the  ST developer's  forum opened,  anyone who claimed to be a
 developer  was,  at  that  time,  allowed  in  the  forum.    However,  it
 subsequently was closed when support from Atari for developers dwindled to
 almost nothing.    When  it  finally  closed,  it  was  absorbed  into the
 productivity  and  vendor  forums  (where  people  like MichTron, ISD, and
 Codehead were given access for customer support).  The ST  forum grew into
 ST Arts  and Games and the Productivity forum.  And now, we boast of a new
 and very active Atari Portfolio forum.

                         Our Current SysOp Staff:

                    8-bit forum: Don Lebow, Bob Puff, 

                    General: Keith Joins, Bill Aycock

                    ST: Dan Rhea, Dave Groves, Mike Schoenbach
                        Charles Mc Guinness, David Ramsden, Ron Luks

                    Portfolio: John Knight

 >>>> How many ST users access Compuserve?

     CompuServe has close to  600,000 customers.   They  don't allow  us to
 give out actual ST numbers,  but I can say it's in excess of 20,000 users.

 >>>> Has  there been  any effect  on your ST Forums since GEnie introduced
 its ST roundtable?

     Absolutely, many people go there because the 1200 baud rates  are less
 expensive.   We'd like  to think  we're the  best.   In reality, 2400 baud
 rates are far closer to being  comparable to  everybody's rates  than most
 realize.    (things  may change  very drastically in the fall, but I'm not
 allowed to say anything more on that).

 >>>> What is QUICKCIS and has it helped Compuserve?

     QuickCIS is an excellent  Terminal Program  written by  Jim Ness.   It
 provides  for  very  rapid  online  accessing of the system thus, it helps
 conserve time for the users  by  auto  -  capturing  messages, downloading
 files, logging  off, and  allowing them  to create  reply messages and new
 messages off line.  After  which,  the  user  logs  back  online,  it then
 automatically and  accurately posts  the new messages in the proper areas.
 The program also allows  users  to  scan  data  libraries  for  the newest
 entries.   This fine  programming effort has proven itself many times over
 in terms of allowing users to get the most for their online  dollar; thus,
 encouraging people to use CompuServe more often.

 >>>> What are your plans for the future?

     We  plan  on  maintaining  the  8  bit  forum as long as there is user
 interest.  However, it is clear that Atari is dropping the line.   We have
 no intention  of pulling  out of the market.  We'll stay active with the 8
 bit forum as long as possible.

     Additionally, we plan on  increasing the  amount of  Portfolio support
 significantly.   The promising future coming out of the Portfolio division
 appears to be greater than the  TT  or  STacy.    The  TT  is  already old
 technology  and  it's  not  even  released  yet.   When Atari does finally
 release the TT, I think it'll be anything but a  state of  the art device.
 The Portfolio is where they stand to make their biggest success.

     ST support  will remain  about the same level, but CIS plans to do two
 things.  We plan to become far more competitive in  the pricing  arena and
 we  are  also  introducing  products  that  take  advantage of the Desktop
 interface and  the Atari.   CIS  has an  HMI (Host  Micro Interface), that
 allows  you  to  use  your  computer  desktop to select various CompuServe
 functions.  An IBM version is already available, the Mac  version is about
 to come out, and the Atari version is under development.  

 >>>> What do you think of ATARI'S current situation?

     I think  the company is failing and that they literally have wiped out
 the vast majority of their developers.    For  the  first  time  since the
 Tramiels have  taken over,  the developers  are finally  getting the first
 dim glimmer of attention.  However,  there are  some developers  that will
 never come back.  On top of which, the dealer network has been devastated;
 for all practical purposes there is no real dealer network left.

 >>>> What if ATARI USA closed its doors and moved to Europe?

     The only thing preventing it is that the majority of the stockholder's
 (Jack, his  sons and  grandchildren) live here in the States.  But clearly
 most of the profits are coming from Europe.  Atari isn't even listed in US
 mainstream computer  magazines; the name Atari is rarely mentioned in same
 caption with computers.  It's generally considered a game company.   Their
 games  don't  even  dominate  that  market  as  they  once did.  And their
 installed userbase, including  dealers,  and  developers  haven't received
 adequate support in years.  It is slowly changing for the better; however,
 it's highly  questionable whether  or not  it's too  little, too  late.  I
 personally think  that it's very possible for Atari to profit and survive,
 but its definitely a uphill battle.

 Thanks and kudos go to Ron for taking the time to grant  this interview. I
 know he's  a busy man (he must of have had a half dozen phone calls in/out
 of his office during  the interview  <Grin>).   Hopefully, I'll  be giving
 you an indepth look at CompuServe in the next few weeks.

 P.S. Ron adds:

     We are  totally independent,  with NO  Atari censorship.  We are proud
 that we are the  largest  independent  source  of  support  for  all Atari


 > PITTSBURGH SPEAKS! STR SOUND OFF?      A different viewpoint...

 STReport Reader Mail Call

 Item    4394729      90/05/22        19:43
 From:   J.THAYNE           J. Gregg Thayne
 To:     ST.REPORT          Ralph F. Mariano

 Sub: My Response to Donora PA

      Dear Ralph:

      I would  like to comment on the letter that you received from Donora,
 Pa. in the last issue of ST Report.  I feel that  I have  to comment since
 that he did not hear the ENTIRE conversation, and I want to set the record
 straight, so that Pittsburgh can move on to the real problems at hand.

      From now on, I will refer to the letter writer as Mr. X. While  it is
 true that  I had  a conversation  with Rick from Gribnif Software, the way
 that Mr. X paraphrased it left out a lot of the IMPORTANT things.  Here is

      While at  the North-East AtariFest I wanted to get my copy of NeoDesk
 upgraded to a more  current version,  since I  can't use  it with  all the
 programs  that  I  use.    I  went  to the Gribnif table and talked to the
 gentleman there, which happened to be Rick of  Gribnif Software.   I asked
 him how  much it  would be  to upgrade  from version 1.x of NeoDesk to the
 current version that they were selling and promoting at the show.  He told
 me that  it would  be $20.00.   I ran back over to the PACE booth, where I
 was 90% of the show, and got my original disk, then went back to Rick.

      I said, "Here is my original disk, but  I have  the Docs  at home, if
 you need,  I can  bring them  in tomorrow  if you need them, now what do I
 have to do?"  He then informed me to fill out this card that he handed me,
 and that  they would send me my new version in 2-8 weeks.  I asked him why
 he could not just upgrade to the current version that they had  there.  He
 told me  "We don't  do it  THAT way."  I then explained that my friend had
 that done at a previous show  within the  last year,  and he  repeated the
 above, but  in a  way that  I did  not like.  His tone was starting to get

      Since I really wanted the program at that  time, and  that I  use the
 program often, I asked him if the $35 price was what they were charging to
 buy it new, and he answered "Yes".  I then brought up the fact  that there
 were several  vendors there  that had  the product NEW and the new VERSION
 for a lower price.  He then told me in a very harsh tone,  "You can't find
 the program  at a  lower price."   I then gave him figures from two of the
 vendors at the show, and said that I could go  over there  and buy  it new
 for at  least $5.00  cheaper than  they were  selling it  new, and I would
 have it NOW.  Not to mention the fact that I could  do what  a lot  of the
 show attendees  did, and  tell the other vendor with the higher price that
 the other vendor had it at  a lower  price, and  they would  then match or
 beat  the  price,  so  I  expressed  that I could probably get NeoDesk for
 around $25.00.  That  would only  be $5.00  more than  the upgrade,  and I
 wouldn't have  to wait  WEEKS to get the new version.  After expressing my
 dislike for his policies, I then  DID say,  "I will  just get  the program
 (NeoDesk) at a lower price elsewhere."

      Now  the  last  quote  was  what  I  said,  and  if heard without the
 previous conversation, it could be taken wrong, but if Mr. X was there for
 the ENTIRE  conversation, then  he would  not have been misled.  One final
 note about my experience  with Gribnif  is that  while I  was walking away
 from  the  booth,  after  saying  that  I would get the program at a lower
 price, I overheard Rick say a few nasty things about "that guy...",  and I
 was not pleased.

      On to  better things.   I  can understand  the problems that the show
 had, and even some of the good things that happened, but the  REAL problem
 is that  we as  Atari Users must UNITE and stop the petty wars, and get to
 the heart of the problem, and that being Atari.  How can  we as  users try
 to  gain  new  members  when  there  is a shortage of Atari product in the
 U.S.A.?  I have talked to  the latest  Atari Dealer  that we  HAD, and his
 reason for not supporting the Atari line of products anymore was "Problems
 with Atari."  It was not competition from local or  mail-order places, but
 it was the problems of Atari itself.

      I feel that until the users can stop their bickering, and focus their
 attention on the real problems, we will never get anywhere, and we may end
 up  as  orphaned  computer  users.    We  must let Atari know that we want
 SUPPORT, product and advertising.  I can't remember  the last  time that I
 saw an ad in a MAJOR magazine for a ATARI computer.  We need to let people
 know that Atari is more than just the game machine  that they  still think
 of.   Atari has  to get  off their  duffs and get on the ball.  Atari does
 well out of the  U.S. but has  problems here,  I don't want  to hear about
 the FCC and how strict they are, IBM and other companies don't  have these
 problems when they sell their products both over seas and in the U.S.

      These opinions are my own, and in no way represent those of PACE, the
 Pittsburgh Atari Computer Enthusiast.   And  another note,  I am  the PACE
 Atari 8-Bit  SysOp, and  not ONE of the Vice Presidents.  I was last term,
 but that was before the AtariFest.

                                    Thanks you for your time;

                                    J.G. Thayne
                                    Greentree, PA
                                    PACE 8-bit Sysop


 > SALES & PR?? STR Spotlight?    What a what a way to run 'em off!

                                             WHO... IS IN CHARGE?

 by Ed Baker

 (Note: The following is strictly my own feelings and reflections on Atari
 and their narrow line of thought.)

     First of all, I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Ed Baker 
 and I am the President of STar of Belleville, Illinois.  A user group
 located about 30 miles East of St. Louis.  We are one of four Metro St.
 Louis Atari user groups. 

     Hank Vize (President of EAUG out of Alton, Illinois) recently  helped
 out an international touring dance group which was performing 'Sanctuary'. 
 What makes this group interesting to the Atari community is the fact that
 they utilize the Atari ST to help create a 3-dimensional sound system for
 the audio portion of the show.  Hank wrote a review about the group which
 recently appeared in an issue of ST Report. 

     A number of local Atari users attended the performance and were over
 whelmed by the audio portion of the performance. But this is about the
 performance and that's not what I'm here to talk about, so let me move on
 to what I swore would never happen again....  Atari's great wisdom and
 business practices amazing me.

     Please, allow me to state that Atari loaned two Mega-4 systems to the 
 dance company for use during the performances here in St. Louis.  This was
 a good point on Atari's side but even that was marred by  the fact that no
 one knew who the units were being sent to. The  local Atari dealer had
 been asked by Bob Brodie to accept the  units and have the dance group
 sign for them when they arrived. The dealer happily agreed to help out but
 the units ended up being  sent directly to Michael Fioretti, from the
 dance group and in the  mean time the dealer is still looking for the
 units to arrive. 

     Meanwhile, the systems ended up arriving after the company had to 
 borrow other systems from a local user group to prepare for the show.
 Because the dance company had already set-up the audio system they didn't
 want to chance it by disassembling the present units  for the ones sent by

     After the performances were over Michael was given the opportunity to
 purchase the units from Atari at DEALER COST or send them back. He
 declined the offer, so the local Atari dealer stated to Michael that he
 would be interested in purchasing the units. Now remember, this is the
 dealer that was contacted by  Atari for help in setting this all up. 

     The dealer took the units from the dance group and accepted the
 responsibility of caring for the units figuring there would be no problem 
 from Atari. He made a phone call to Atari on Monday and asked to talk
 with the person in charge of dealer shipments. He was told that she was
 off that day and to call back Tuesday. 

     On Tuesday, Tammy (last name unknown) who is responsible for dealer
 shipments  for Atari returned his call and after explaining that the dance
 company did not want to purchase the systems but that he did, the dealer
 was told that the only way he could purchase the systems  was if Michael
 sent the full payment to Atari and then the dealer purchase the systems
 from Michael.  

     Does this sound rational? My question is, why couldn't the dealer
 just put the systems on his floor plan with Atari directly? Why did the
 dance company have to purchase the units first just to turn around and
 sell them to the dealer? Well to say the least the dealer was a little
 put back and instead of going though this Mickey Mouse deal sent the
 units back to Atari costing the dealer money in postage and insurance.

     Once again, the dealer comes out on the short end of the stick and the
 area loses the chance to purchase some computers. Tell me Atari, just
 what kind of people are you wasting money on to make all these wise


 > FOLIO INFO STR OnLine?    " of the card's pins was altered...."

                                                  ANOTHER GAME PLAY?

 S17/Community Square
 24-May-90  11:28:10
 Sb: #697-#FLICKER
 Fm: ATARI Dev. Support 70007,1072
 To: Barry Kominik 76004,3110

     There is an interesting thing that happened to the RAM cards.  In
 order to make them proprietary to Atari, one of the pins was altered in
 function.  The effect of this is to charge the card battery off the
 Portfolio's battery.  There were very few of these cards distributed by
 Atari, but Mitsubishi Plastics cards from other sources may be configured
 this way.

 There is 1 Reply.

 S17/Community Square
 24-May-90  15:32:48
 Sb: #712-FLICKER
 Fm: SYSOP*Ron Luks 76703,254
 To: ATARI Dev. Support 70007,1072

 Is there any reason to physically alter or modify the card to make it
 proprietary to ATARI CORP other than to insure that ATARI would have a
 captive market for sales of extra RAM cards?  Or does this modification
 significantly boost the charged life of a card?



 > MIDI-TASKING STR OnLine?          Multi-tasking for the ST?

 C.BINCKLEY posts;

 From Atari's "MIDI Magazine;"
 A quarterly publication from the Atari Corporation, and this is the first

 Some relevant quotes:
      - "In mid-1990, Atari plans to release the Atari MIDI-Tasking System"
      - "Atari recruited Intelligent create [it]."
      - "...allows...users to run up to six GEM applications
      - "...information can be exchanged between applications, even in real
      - "...any MIDI application can address any MIDI hardware device, 
          assuming that a driver has been written for the device."
      - "...the key difference between the Atari...system and systems such
          as SoftLink, MROS, MPE and [Hybrid Arts'] HybriSwitch is that the
          Atari system uses the ST's built-in GEM kernel to do the multi-
      - "The Atari...system's functions _can be used in conjunction with
          MPE, MROS, and SoftLink,_ however, because the system's
          MIDI-tasking capabilities are independent of its GEM
      - "Although the system can work with non-MIDI applications, Atari
          doesn't plan to promote the...system outside the music market." 

 And the final paragraph of the article reads: 

 "The Atari MIDI-tasking system functions with all Atari MEGA and ST
 computers. A minimum of one megabyte RAM is recommended. The MIDI-tasking
 will soon be available through Atari dealers for $12.95 suggested retail."

      Yes - _$12.95_ gives us multitasking Ataris, at least for MIDI
 applications.  Let's hope this is for real...

                                                       -- Chuck -- 

 I hope Atari doesn't mind me reprinting from the magazine here.  I have
 gotten the impression that VERY FEW people are aware of this program, and
 I, for one, would like to see Atari remain competitive in the music
 marketplace.  This system sounds, at the very least, like a LEAP in the
 right direction (now, if we can get something like Hypercard/MIDI Manager
 happening on the Atari...).


 > ATARI UP FRONT! STR OnLine?      "Is it time to put up or.......?"

 ctsy GEnie

     This past week we observed the following post from an obviously 
     enthusiastic Atari ST user, we felt it warranted being shared with our
     readers as it opened the door to a reply and we request reader replies
     be sent in to continue this subject..

 Category 18,  Topic 9
 Message 104       Mon May 21, 1990
 D.FRUCHEY                    at 20:41 PDT
 The title of this topic seems inflammatory rather than honestly inquiring. 
 Perhaps the author should change the statement to: "IT'S TIME TO ABANDON

 Nevertheless, I'm going to try and rise to the bait and actually do a
 little DEFENDING of Atari Corp. (I can't actually believe I'm doing this
 as I know I'm going to get burned in responses but here goes anyway :^) ).

 The big question is this: Does the Atari line of computers meet your
 needs?  Is the wordprocessor you use sufficient to produce the types of
 documents you create (I use WordPerfect and the answer is yes, it really
 doesn't matter that I don't have version 5.1, the current version meets my
 needs). Is there an existing database that fulfills your needs? Again, the
 answer is yes. With the exception of a Hypercard type program I can buy a
 database to fulfill any of my needs or contact a database company that
 will customize for my needs (such as High-Tech advisers).  Is there a
 spreadsheet or financial package that meets your needs (since products
 like LDW power are Lotus compatible you can't point a finger in that
 direction)? Is there a desktop publishing program that fulfills your needs
 right now (the latest versions of Pagemaker, Express, and other products
 are now finally using options available in ST programs for over a year)?

 The list goes on and on. A friend of mine recently was convinced to buy an
 IBM compatible because there were over 20,000 pieces of software available
 for the system. However, only about 4,000 pieces of software can be used
 by the average user. The rest require add on cards, higher resolution
 monitors, windows, a mouse, more RAM, etc. His IBM was ultimately no
 bargain and, guess what folks, the ST also  boasts about 4,000 software
 titles.  What did he gain? A higher price tag and a larger group of fellow
 users. But then the IBM world speaks so many different languages.  Do you
 use UNIX, MS DOS, Windows, GEM, OS/2? Does your system run with an 8088,s
 80286, 80386SX, 80386, 80486?  It makes a difference in what you can and
 can't do.  The PC world is fractured into such a diverse group of small
 user specific clicks that it is difficult to maintain any standards.

 What about the MacIntosh world? I just finished reading the latest issue
 (May 1990) of MacWorld and the editorial is chock full of complaints about
 promises by Apple to complete their System 7 operating system by the end
 of this year.  Apple will only promise a reduced version of the new system
 because it is INCOMPATIBLE with the existing software and the third party
 developers are screaming. The execs at Apple have fudged and promised a
 version 7.5 or possibly 8 that will come out with all the new additions
 they promised in the current software. When? Your guess is as good as
 mine. BTW...  Has anyone looked at the price of a MAC II system?  I can
 purchase a full ST system with 30 Mb hard disk, laser printer, and
 software for the price of their system. That's a heavy price to pay when I
 can do the same thing on an ST faster and easier (honestly I have tried).

 Let's move to the dreaded Amiga... A recent article in Forbes Magazine
 criticized the Commodore corporation heavily for their inconsistent
 management practices and failure to integrate sound operating software
 with their system. In the last year or so Commodore had dropped their
 market share rating from 26 to 6 and sales have dropped substantially in
 foreign markets (but they have advertising!). The Amiga has become the
 true game machine of the home computer market but some critical
 applications software is still missing or underdeveloped on this system.

 Problems with hardware, software, support, and consistency exist on every
 single computer system.  Does the Atari system you own meet your computing
 needs now or can you upgrade an Atari system via hardware or software to
 meet your needs? Can you contact someone in Atari or a third party company
 who can resolve your problems? Have you made the attempt to see problems
 resolved directly instead of sharing your woes with other users online?

 I like the ST line of Atari computers and I'm hoping to someday own a TT
 (but my ST works great and I use it every day). Yes, I am disappointed by
 Atari's seeming lack of consistency, poor developer support, and the lack
 of purchaseable machines on the U.S. market.  But I believe that Atari is
 hurting themselves and their profitability by failing to meet the wants of
 their user base in this market - not the user. I won a solid machine (oops
 I meant "own" not won) that is as fast as the competition, reliable, and
 affordable. I own or can buy software that will meet my every need and in
 99.9% of the cases will also meet the needs of other users. As long as
 they give Atari an honest chance as a machine, not a corporation.

 The pulpit is now empty, I'm back to my normal routine. See YA!

 Dan "I Love My Atari" Fruchey

     Dan there probably isn't a soul who owns an ST that will disagree with
 you.   You have  come quite  close to the mark.  But missed a few possibly
 very important points... 

     Should the users feel  comforted and  reassured by  your comparing the
 alleged misery  of the users of other computer platforms to the conditions
 prevalent in the Atari arena?  No, not hardly.  No other  platform is like
 Atari's  is  now;  developers  are  bailing out, dealers are dropping like
 flies, oldtime users are  dumping  their  gear  while  literally screaming
 they've have  enough of Sunnyvale's lack-luster approach to the US market.

     Please observe the  situation  most  developers  facing,  for example;
 most will  tell you they love the machine, "its the finest machine for the
 money."  But Atari must increase the size of the installed userbase in the
 USA.   It becomes  very real  and still  remains very simple, they need to
 feed their families, pay the bills, etc...! 

     Folks are selling their ST machines hoping to  get 'some'  of the hard
 earned money  they spent  back.   Many are purchasing into other thriving,
 ongoing and well supported US computer  platforms.    While  most  find it
 quite easy  to criticize  the "other"  platforms, the  truth remains; they
 (the users in those platforms) have NEW up  to date  hardware and software
 appearing on  the market  almost every  day.   Does the Atari market?  Not
 with any regularity!  Instead, we get excuses and double  talk.   There is
 good  reason  behind  the  unrest  and  increased appearance of "For Sale"
 posts...  The ST computer users in the USA are  getting tired  of the "who
 cares about  you" attitude  Atari continues  to unwittingly display toward
 the US market.  Enough is enough... most  users have  had more  than their
 fair  share  of  unreasonable  treatment  and are now taking their dollars
 elsewhere, (the recent earnings statements posted prove that).
     Are  we  to  sit  idly  by  while  witnessing  the  'obvious continued
 snubbing'  of  the  US  market  while  we comfort ourselves in the joys of
 listening to yesterday's applause?  We  live, work,  and play  in the USA,
 Atari has managed to mangle its image in this country to a point where its
 redemption is a MAJOR Public Relations nightmare.  Yet we believe that the
 'comeback' process  is really  not all  that involved,  it may require the
 'putting away' of past animosities and giving cause to renew alliances and
 friendships between  ALL Atari  enthusiasts.  Of course the release of new
 and existing product to  the US  marketplace in  'copious quantities' will
 certainly help a great deal. 

     While firmly believing I own five of the very best computers available
 for the money I have invested.  I still  have, unfortunately,  left myself
 wide  open  for  the  rude  awakening.    Where  or  what  will be with my
 investment six months further down the road.

 Most of all, Atari seems to have forgotten;

               o - They're based in the USA
               o - They got their start with US investment dollars
               o - Their stock is sold on NY's Wall Street
               o - The customer is ALWAYS RIGHT!
               o - Good Customer Relations is fuel for future business
               o - Industry support (developers) is an absolute must

     It seems they continue to  "allow"  the  USA  market  be  the  last to
 receive or never see many products mentioned or shown in Europe.  Its very
 easy for most of us to continue to use and enjoy the various arrays  of ST
 equipment we now own, but its equally as difficult to understand why, year
 after year, the USA habitually gets  the short  end of  the stick.   Thus,
 leaving  most  of  us  with  no  avenue  to improve our systems with while
 remaining loyal to Atari.  Not to mention  the obvious  message being sent
 by Atari  to prospective  developers throughout  the USA  that they do not
 have a growing, prospering market in the Atari computer line at this time.
 And folks wonder why Borland has yet to release Turbo C in the USA?  There
 are literally hundreds of  superb programs  available in  Europe that will
 never see  the light  of day  in the USA because the European distributors
 fell there  is no  profitability in  exporting to  the States.   This they
 directly attribute to Atari's lack of activity in the USA's marketplace.

      Perhaps,  the  'powers  that  be'  will  take  notice of the alarming
 numbers of "for sale" posts  popping  up  all  over  the  BBSs  and Online
 services...  And  hopefully  begin  to  realize how they (Atari), by their
 actions and decisions, are indirectly encouraging droves of loyal Atarians
 to migrate other computer platforms.  Oh sure, there will be those who say
 they're selling    their  STs  so  they  can  get  STes  or  TTs.   That's
 Fairytales!  Let's  stop  kidding  ourselves,   they're moving on to other
 computer platforms plain and simple.  Why?   "The machine  ya love  from a
 company so  easy to  ......"  Three years I have been hearing that and for
 the same three years I have chuckled at it.  Unfortunately, at  this time,
 six months  into 1990, with the STe on sale all over the globe but NOT YET
 in the  USA, etc....come on  Atari, stop  making us  who still continually
 preach the  wonders of  your machines, look like loyalist groupies instead
 of sensible, intelligent computer  users.      The  Advantage  package was
 promised at the last fall Comdex show (1989), how long does it take to put
 a promotion together?  AND WE CONTINUE TO WAIT...........and WAIT.
     Six months into 1990  and what  has Atari  done in  the USA  where WE,
     loyal Atari ST computer users one and all, LIVE?

 ctsy CIS

 20580 S8/Hot Topics
 21-May-90  01:17:01
 Sb: #20576-Atari dead?
 Fm: Bob Retelle 71550,3312
 To: ST Informer 70007,3615 (X)

 Right now, recommending an Atari product to *anyone* is like recommending
 they buy a DeLorian automobile, knowing that the company is on shaky
 ground and that support and dealers for the car are drying up... and not
 telling them..

 I don't feel I can recommend the combination of an ST and any of the IBM
 emulators over a "true" IBM to anyone who wants that kind of system.

 *IF* they can find an Atari dealer to sell them the ST, and *IF* that ST
 happens to be one that will take the pc-ditto II board, and *IF* they can
 install it or get it installed, then maybe they'll have the equivalent of
 a crippled IBM clone. 

 IF they buy a true IBM clone, they'll get a machine that runs, right out
 of the box.  They'll be able to upgrade it and expand it with no problems
 at all.  It will run 100% of the applications they want, and it will grow
 with them as their needs grow.

 True, they'll miss out on the "native ST mode" programs, but the way
 things are going, they won't miss out on much...


 Hot Topics
 21-May-90  01:46:55
 Sb: #20576-Atari dead?
 Fm: Dan Deckert 74156,1432
 To: ST Informer 70007,3615 (X)

 I've had a 1040ST since shortly after it came out.  It gets used
 (primarily for games) every day.  Before that, I used a series of Atari
 8-bit computers to great effect.  I even own a Portfolio.  I've been a
 supporter of Atari computers for a long time.  I also do work as a
 computer consultant.  It's been over a year since the last time I honestly
 felt that I could recommend a Mega/ST to a new computer user.

 I'm using a 25 MHz 386-based PC clone with SVGA, 4 MB of RAM, and 80 MB of
 hard disk space to create this message.  My total investment in this
 system (including software) is still less than what I've spent on the ST
 over the years.  There's nothing except Mac emulation that this machine
 can't do better than an ST.  I still love my 1040, but it's a computing
 dead end.

 Category 18,  Topic 9
 Message 108       Tue May 22, 1990
 BREHBOCK                     at 22:30 CDT
 I'll play devil's advocate...  I _need_ a FoxPRO clone on the ST;
 Versasoft's dBMAN is just adequate, and advanced functions and commands
 are buggy.  I _need_ LDW Power to update related, but currently un-opened
 spreadsheets (ala Excel).  I need WordPerfect to run on the Moniterm. 
 (Although getting _anything_ to run on a PC on a big screen requires a
 hammer & crowbar :-)

 The ST is still comparatively young, there are still a lot of rough 'un-
 professional' edges on a lot of the software. I like my ST, and I've got a
 lot of patience, (and a 25Mhz '386 :-), so I'm willing to bide my time
 while the ST grows up.

 There is no better Desktop publishing solution than PageStream, (although
 Quark Express 3.0 is pretty close) LDW Power is  'snappier' on the Viking
 than Excel is on a Wyse 7190 under  Windows.  TouchUp is quicker (most
 functions) on my T-16'd ST than my '386 (except for a few functions that
 have been optimized  in 80x86 assembler for the PC version that are still
 C in the ST)

 Antonio Salerno is supposed to be working with some big-name software
 houses, let's hope he's successful! I believe that the ST/TT is a better
 platform, and it will find  its niche someday (hopefully soon), Atari is
 trying harder than they ever have to make it a winner, I hope it's a good


     W.E.  Rebock,  a  registered  developer,  makes  some very interesting
     points here.  Frankly,  we find  ourselves in  well, "almost"  in full
     agreement.    There  are  however,  a  few  questions  and  points  to

     Does Bill actually expect most ST (power without the price)  owners to
 run out  and buy  an IBM  "25 MHz 386" while they wait for the ST to "GROW
 UP"?   The important questions  are whether  or not  most ATARI  ST owners
 depend on  their STs on a daily basis and can they afford the wait.  Also,
 do they need their Atari computer systems kept technologically up to date.

     To collectively  lump all  the software available to ST owners under a
 heading of "rough edged and unprofessional.."   is  grossly unfair  to our
 loyal developers.   No  matter how  the previous  statement is  read it is
 still incorrect.  Regardless of what is said  by all  the challenges made,
 Atari is ultimately responsible for the condition of the ST marketplace in
 the USA, not the users, developers, or dealers.  
     STReport opinion about endorsements is like this; there is no  way one
 should  'ever'  say  there  is  "no  better  than" about any program as it
 "hints" at partiality and  certainly  magnifies,  that  perhaps,  the view
 taken  was  tunnelvision.    Both  of  the  major (Calamus and PageStream)
 Desktop Publishing packages available in the ST arena provide the ST users
 with the  very finest  of most  all the other computer platform's best DTP
     It's sad to see  valiantly veiled  attempts at  trying to  urge either
 Atari or  the developer  corp. to get excited all over again, about the ST
 arena.  It would have been so much more productive if the  writer had come
 right to  the point  and said  it like it is; "ATARI HAS GOT TO GET ON THE
     To mention A. Salerno's name in a passage relating to  supposition and
 improbabilities  is  nice,  but  adds  nothing  to  the credibility of the
 remarks being made.  Whether or  not Salerno  is involved  in any  type of
 dealings is  not relevant  to the  topic as  there are no solid results to
 bring forward, only a different way  of  saying  'wait  and  you  shall be
     In  the  last  few  years  we  have  been told this very same rhetoric
 ("Atari is trying harder than they ever have to make  it a  winner, I hope
 it's a  good year.")  by a  number of ardently loyal individuals who meant
 well, but have since  themselves given  up and  unfortunately, migrated to
 other computer platforms. 
     While not  pointing to  anyone in particular within the company, Atari
 has alluded to many wonderful and exciting "new  things" in  the past only
 to come  up with  a bevy  of disappointing excuse(s).  Or some type of sad
 story or, as in the recent past,   the ominous  'silence' preceded  by the
 "played down" repetitious delays.  

     Atari should look to the future and put the negative past out of their
 plans for the future,  but then,  who are  'we the  users' trying  to tell
 'them' what  to do?   After  all, they hold all the chips and call all the
 shots.  Or so they think, they continually seem to forget one  small item.
 We  (the  USA  customers/buying  public)  hold  the real money and Atari's
 future in our hot little purchasing hands.


 > STReport CONFIDENTIAL?          Sayin' it like it is.....


     Last week STReport brought you up to date  on the  international scene
 with the  news that  Atari was involved in landmark trade talks, this week
 we present the juicy details..

     "The Atari Corporation is involved in talks to  acquire computer chips
 from the  Soviet Union,"  Gregory Pratt,  Atari's chief financial officer,
 pointed out that "the  company  had  obtained  and  tested  dynamic random
 access memories,  or DRAM's, produced in the Soviet Union."  The chips can
 store 256k of information.  Mr. Pratt said "Atari's main goal was  to sell
 computers in  the Soviet  Union.   But knowing  that the  Soviet Union has
 little currency to pay for our products, the  company is  actively looking
 for something  to trade for."  Atari Corp. is seeking to solidify a 'first
 ever' agreement with Russia to trade personal computers  for DRAM.   "This
 thing came out of nowhere and it's now moving very fast,"  said Pratt.

     The proposal  is for Atari to swap its computers for the 256K DRAMs, a
 basic component of many Atari products, from a  Soviet-owned semiconductor
 plant  in  Zelenograd,  a  center  for  much  of  the  country's high-tech
 research.  As pointed out in the last few weeks, Global Development Corp.,
 a  international  trade  consulting  firm  has  arranged  for  a series of
 meetings in Santa Clara  next  month  between  Soviet  officials  and U.S.
 high-tech companies, Atari among them.  The Soviets are willing to provide
 all their excess production, as many as 2.5 million chips a month.

     Workers at the Soviet plant would be allowed to keep 25 percent of any
 profit  from  selling  Atari  products, Mark Muchnick, president of Global
 said.  "They're just dying to  get  their  hands  on  computers," Muchnick
 added.  "For the first time in their lives, these guys could get something
 more than a paycheck."  Atari engineers have been testing the Soviet chips
 to see  if they  meet their  requirements. "Basically, the chips work ok,"
 however there has  been  a  few  problems,  David  Harris,  VP  of Atari's
 International Division, said.
     Hopefully,  Atari  does  a  better  job  of  keeping  up  with  timely
 deliveries and their contractual agreements with  the Russians.   You see,
 these guys, unlike the US userbase,  have many VERY BIG GUNS. ;-)


 - Santa Clara, CA                             BORLAND SHIPS C++ COMPILER

     Borland International,  Inc. announced  the availability  of Turbo C++
 Professional, a new  development  environment  that  lets  programmers add
 object-oriented programming to their skill set and more effectively tackle
 today's  complex  programming  projects.  Turbo  C++  Professional  offers
 complete  support  of  AT&T's  C++  2.0  specification  as  well  as  full
 compatibility with  ANSI  C.  Turbo  C++  also  includes  the Programmer's
 Platform(TM),  a  new  development  environment,  and Borland's VROOMM(TM)
 memory  manager.      "Turbo  C++  opens  the   world  of  object-oriented
 technology to programmers while maintaining the performance and efficiency
 of C,"  said Philippe  Kahn, Borland's  chairman, president  and CEO. "And
 VROOMM lets programmers break through the 640K memory barrier in their own

 To   increase   their   productivity,   many   programmers   are  adopting
 object-oriented  programming  with  C++.  Borland's Turbo C++ Professional
 supports both ANSI C and AT&T C++ allowing programmers to  move to  C++ at
 their own pace.

 Turbo C++  includes four comprehensive manuals and on-line hypertext help.
 The Getting Started manual  includes installation  guidelines, an overview
 of the  Programmer's Platform  and hands-on tutorials for learning C++ and
 C. The User's Guide contains in-depth information on use of Turbo C++. The
 Programmer's  Guide   offers  technical   information  on  Turbo  C++  and
 programming for the IBM PC and Intel 80x86 architecture, plus a functional
 cross reference  to the Library Reference manual. The latter documents all
 functions and global variables in Turbo C++ and provides examples for most
 RTL functions.   Turbo C++ also includes TCTOUR, an on-line Computer-Based
 Training  system,  which  familiarizes  new  users  with  the Programmer's
 Platform.    Turbo  C++ Professional comes with the above manuals and five
 additional manuals: Turbo Debugger  User's  Guide,  Turbo  Profiler User's
 Guide, Turbo  Assembler User's  Guide, Turbo Assembler Reference Guide and
 Turbo Assembler Quick Reference.

                          Availability and Price
 Turbo C++ is available  for  IBM  PC/XT/AT  and  PS/2  computers  and 100%
 compatible systems  with 640K RAM (512K for command-line compiler), a hard
 disk and DOS 2.0 or later.

          Turbo C++ has a suggested retail price of $199.95; 
          Turbo C++ Professional is $299.95. 

 Both products are available immediately through major resellers  or direct
 from Borland. Borland will offer Turbo C 2.0 at a reduced price of $99.95.
 Registered Turbo C customers can take  advantage of  a special promotional
 offer and buy Turbo C++ for $79.95, or Turbo C++ Professional for $149.95;
 registered owners of Turbo C Professional  can buy  Turbo C++ Professional
 for $125. There will also be a 60-day introductory pricing offer of $99.95
 for Turbo C++ and $179.95 for Turbo C++ Professional. 

 Turbo C++ DiskTutor is a book/disk package designed for C  Programmers who
 want to  learn Turbo C++. The $39.95 package, which includes a streamlined
 compiler, will be released by Osborne/McGraw-Hill  this summer. Additional
 Turbo C++  books and  textbooks are scheduled for release this summer from
 major  third-party  publishers   including   Addison-Wesley,   M&T  Books,
 Osborne/McGraw-Hill, Que  Corporation, Howard  W. Sams,  Sybex, Tab Books,
 John Wiley & Sons, and Wordware Publishing.

 Borland  International,  Inc.  (Scotts   Valley,  Calif.)   is  a  leading
 developer of  high-performance software  products. Borland  offers some of
 the  world's  most  widely  used  business  applications  and  programming
 software  such  as  Paradox,  Quattro Pro, SideKick, object-oriented Turbo
 Pascal, Turbo C, Turbo C++ and Turbo Debugger & Tools.

 - Toronto, Canada                          ATARI CANADA TO HOST TT's DEBUT

     Atari Canada will be showing the TT during the first week in June, the
 4th for  the local  usergroups and  the 6-7-8  for the show proper, at the
 Palace Bonventure downtown, where they will host the "NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT
 OF THE  TT".    What  a nifty  title North American Debut sounds like, but
 does this mean that the TT will officially be available in Canada  AND the
 USA?   Or is  this just  another word game for "Let's release it in Canada
 and wait on the USA?  

 - New York City, NY                                PORTFOLIO OS AT RISK???

     According to  one of  our inside  track sources,  reportedly, there is
 great unrest  in the  land of the Palmtops, something about a disagreement
 over operating systems..and/or the future of same, also  something about a
 512k  version  vs  the  current  OS,  along with a fully MS DOS compatible
 version and related support  or better  yet, non-support.   This  story is
 just breaking  but we  felt since the the tracking of such stories needs a
 beginning....  Seems as though a very recent deadline was  allowed to come
 and go..


 > Hard Disks STR InfoFile?           Affordable Mass Storage....

                        NEW PRICES! & MORE MODELS!!

                      ABCO COMPUTER ELECTRONICS INC.
              P.O. Box 6672  Jacksonville, Florida 32236-6672
                                Est.  1985

                   Voice: 904-783-3319  10 AM - 4 PM EDT
                     BBS: 904-786-4176   12-24-96 HST
                    FAX: 904-783-3319  12 PM - 6 AM EDT
   All systems are complete and ready to use, included at NO EXTRA COST
                 are clock/calendar and cooling blower(s).
                 (you are NOT limited to two drives ONLY!)
                   (all cables and connectors installed)

         51mb #SGN4951   519.95              65mb #SG60101   649.95
         80mb #SGN296    709.95             100mb #SG84011D  839.95
        120mb #SGN120FH  989.95             120mb #SG120DD  1128.95
        170mb #SGN2962  1369.95             260mb #SG60102  1849.95


         20mb #AI020SC   379.95              30mb #AIO3OSC   419.95
         50mb #AI050SC   449.95              65mb #AI065SC   499.95
                           85mb #AI085SC  $559.95

                      (500 - 600k per sec @ 23 -33ms)

                      Ask about our "REBATE SPECIALS"
                           FROM 30mb @ $419.00!




       * SYQUEST 44MB (#555)>> ABCO "44" << REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE *

          - ICD Utility Software        - 3' DMA Cable 
          - Fan & Clock                 - Multi-Unit Power Supply
                          (1) 44 MB Syquest Cart.

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                      *** SPECIAL SYQUEST OFFER!! ***
                       ***** for $50.00 LESS! *****

      -> DO IT YOURSELF BARE SYQUEST UNITS $600.00ea  2 for $1100.00
                    Syquest Mechanism - 2 year warranty

                        SPECIALLY PRICED  $1539.00 

         - Syquest 44 Model [555] and the following hard drives -
          50mb SQG51   $1179.00           30mb SQG38    $1099.00
          65mb SQG09   $1239.00           85mb SQG96    $1299.00

           Listed above are a sampling of the systems available.
      Prices also reflect various cabinet/power supply configurations
    (over sixty configurations are available, flexibility is unlimited)
            *** ALL Units: Average Access Time: 24ms - 34ms ***

             LARGER units are available - (special order only)

                        NO REPACKS OR REFURBS USED!

       - Custom Walnut WOODEN Cabinets - TOWER - AT - XT Cabinets -
                   Keyboard Custom Cables Call for Info
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           CALL: 1-800-562-4037   -=**=-    CALL: 1-904-783-3319
           Customer Orders ONLY               Customer Service
                                9am - 8pm EDT
                                Tues thru Sat


                    :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT:

      To sign up for GEnie service: Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369.

               Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that).
                         Wait for the U#= prompt.

                 Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN.

                       **** SIGN UP FEE WAIVED ****

           The system will now prompt you for your information.


 The Roundtable  is an  area of GEnie specifically set aside for owners and
 users of Atari ST computers, although all are welcome to participate.
 There are three main sections to the Roundtable:  the Bulletin  Board, the
 Software Library and the Real Time Conference area.

 The Bulletin  Board contains messages from Roundtable members on a variety
 of Topics,  organized under  several Categories.   These  messages are all
 Open and  available for all to read (GEnie Mail should be used for private

 If you have a question, comment, hot rumor or an answer to  someone else's
 question, the Bulletin Board is the place to share it.

 The Software  Library is  where we  keep the  Public Domain software files
 that are available to all Roundtable members.   You can  'download' any of
 these files  to your own computer system by using a Terminal Program which
 uses the 'XMODEM' file-transfer method.  You can also share  your favorite
 Public Domain  programs and  files   with   other  Roundtable  members  by
 'uploading' them to the Software Library. Uploading on  GEnie is  FREE, so
 you are encouraged to participate and help your Roundtable grow.

 The Real  Time Conference  is an area where two or more Roundtable members
 may get together and 'talk' in    'real-time'.    You  can  participate in
 organized  conferences  with  special  guests,  drop in on our weekly Open
 COnference, or simply join  in  on  an  impromptu  chat  session.   Unlike
 posting messages  or Mail  for other  members to  read at some later time,
 everyone in the Conference area can see what you type immediately, and can
 respond to you right away, in an 'electronic conversation'.


 > A "Quotable Quote"?

                     "CRYING TOWELS ARE FOR NINNIES...

                                              ...Lonnie Tamale

 STReport?             "Your Independent News Source"          May 25, 1990
 16/32bit Magazine           copyright = 1990                     No.6.21
 Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of
 the  editors,  staff,  STReport?  CPU/STR? or  ST Report?.   Permission to
 reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted.   Each reprint
 must include the name  of the publication, date, issue #  and the author's
 name.  The entire publication and/or portions therein may not be edited in
 any way without prior  written permission.   The contents,  at the time of
 publication,  are  believed  to  be  reasonably  accurate.   The  editors,
 contributors  and/or staff are not  responsible for either  the use/misuse
 of  information  contained  herein  or  the  results  obtained  therefrom.



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