ST Report: 23-Nov-90 #647

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 01/01/91-09:48:53 AM Z

From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 23-Nov-90  #647
Date: Tue Jan  1 09:48:53 1991

                  *---== ST REPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---*
                  "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine"
                            STR Publishing Inc.

 November 23, 1990                                                  No.6.47

                         STReport Online Magazine?
                          Post Office Box   6672
                          Jacksonville,  Florida
                               32205 ~ 6672
                               R.F. Mariano
                            Publisher - Editor
                   Voice: 904-783-3319  10 AM - 4 PM EST
                 BBS:  904-786-4176  USR/HST DUAL STANDARD
                    FAX: 904-783-3319 12 AM - 6 AM EST
     **  Fnet Node 350 * FidoNet Node 1:112/35 * NeST Node 90:03/0  **
               STR'S privately owned & operated support BBS 
              carries ALL issues of STReport Online Magazine
       carrying STReport Online Magazine for their user's enjoyment

 > 11/23/90: STReport? #6.47  The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine!
     - The Editor's Desk      - CPU REPORT        - CPU STATUS REPORT
     - PORTFOLIO NEWS         - 2M Amigas Sold    - SEAGATE MECHS
     - Stock Report           - ABC History?      - STR Confidential

                      * ATARI/COMDEX > ANOTHER LOOK!*
                            * WHY KENAN LEFT! *
                        * ATARI IN SAUDI ARABIA! *

                         ST REPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE?
                     The _Number One_ Online Magazine
                              -* FEATURING *-
                "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information"
       Current Events, Original Articles, Hot Tips, and Information
             Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports
 STReport's  support  BBS,  NODE  #  350 invites systems using Forem ST and
 Turbo Board BBS to participate in the Fido/F-Net  Mail Network.   Or, call
 Node 350  direct at  904-786-4176, and  enjoy the excitement of exchanging
 information relative to the Atari ST  computer arena  through an excellent
 International ST Mail Network.  All registered F-NET - Crossnet SysOps are
 welcome to join the STReport Crossnet Conference.  The Crossnet Conference
 Code  is  #34813,  and  the  "Lead  Node"  is # 350.  All systems are most
 welcome to actively participate.  Support Atari Computers;  Join Today!

 > The Editor's Podium?

     Here we are a week after Comdex,  and  all  the  smoke  is  just about
 completely cleared.   This  week's issue  contains a pair of articles that
 are ..well, to say the least, "illuminating and thought provoking".  While
 STReport anxiously  craves to show support for Atari as it is the computer
 we chose and our being Atari enthusiasts is a fact.  Still, we are report-
 ers, as  the name  STReport implies.   After  having received  a number of
 'attaboys' for our last two issues,  this week  STReport received  a chal-
 lenge  from  a  group  of  developers  to present their view of Comdex and
 current events.  We have done just that in an honest attempt  to be impar-
 tial.   We now  ask that the two articles be read with objectivity in mind
 and understanding for the plight of the Developers in heart.

     Additionally, STReport extends to any responsible party an opportunity
 to submit,  for publication  after approval,  a reply to the articles con-
 tained herein.  It is our basic endeavor to involve as many of the readers
 in the  contemporary issues  as possible.   We  feel the  input from every
 reader is more than just 'valuable'.  It is absolutely needed.  None of us
 cares to  see the  ST become an orphan or at best, an engine without fuel.
 The fuel being the products of the developers.  Fact..  the developers are
 upset, very upset!




                          FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY


                              to the Readers of;
                         STREPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE
                  "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine"

                         NEW USERS; SIGN UP TODAY!

               CALL: 1-800-848-8199 .. Ask for operator 198

                 You will receive your complimentary time
                       be online in no time at all!

                 WHAT'S NEW IN THE ATARI FORUMS (Nov. 21)

  The following files are available in LIBRARY 1 of the Atari 8-Bit Forum
      (GO ATARI8) in honor of Thanksgiving thanks to Lawrence Estep:

       CORNCP.BAS - Cornucopia by Joey Latimer from 11/84 Family Comp.
       FALL.BAS   - Falling Leaves from Family Computing magazine
       SUGRPM.BAS - "Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy"
       TURCHS.BAS - Turkey Chase game by Steven C.M. Chen
       TURKEY.BAS - A beautiful holiday turkey from Family Computing
       TURPNC.BAS - Turkey Panic text adventure from Family Computing
       WSHBNE.BAS - Pull the Wishbone game from Family Computing

     If you  have any  Thanksgiving-related files  you would like to share,
     please upload  them to  LIBRARY 1.   Upload  time is  free of standard
     CompuServe connect charges.

                                COMDEX NEWS

     SYSOP*Ron Luks combined all the various ST, STe, and TT press releases
 from COMDEX and uploaded it to LIBRARY  1  of  the  Atari  Arts  Forum (GO

     Portfolio-related  press  releases  are  available in LIBRARY 1 of the
 Atari Portfolio Forum (GO APORTFOLIO) also under the filename COMDEX.PR.

     Additional COMDEX NEWS REPORTS are available in STReport's STR646.ARC,
 ZNT546.ARC. (available in LIBRARY 1 of the Atari Arts Forum).

                           NEW TETRIS-LIKE GAME

     A new  Tetris-like game  is now available in LIBRARY 1 of the Atari ST
 Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS).  Collapse is a  low resolution  game, object of
 which is to align similar block rows in three or more.  
                        Check out file COLLAP.LZH.




   Issue # 92

 by Michael Arthur

 Dream Systems? VIII


 Part II

       In the  computer user's  quest for  faster and more powerful systems
 that will do more in less time, much of the focus in the computer industry
 has been  on high-end  products like  the NeXT workstations or 80486-based
 IBM Clones.  Unfortunately, the  extreme  cost  of  these  "Dream Systems"
 forces the  ordinary user  to look for alternatives that both approach the
 power levels of the high-end "Dream System" and are reasonably affordable.
 In short, the search for "Power Without the Price"....

       This essay  features a  list of "Practical" Dream Systems that could
 be configured from the major microcomputer standards in the low/middle end
 of the  market.   I ignored variables like operating systems and software,
 and concentrated on the actual computers' features and  speed, the largest
 hard  disk  you  could  attain,  and  the  best graphics that system could
 provide.  While operating systems and software are a definite  factor in a
 computer, I  wanted to aim for the best hardware that would make operating
 systems and software perform faster and be more versatile to the user.

       All of the Practical Future Systems shown cost from $2500  to $5000,
 since surveys have shown that many computer owners own systems that are in
 that price range. Also, all of the Dream Systems have at least 2 Megabytes
 of RAM,  since this  is quickly  becoming a  requirement for running major
 software applications.

       After doing some research, I found several configurations that could
 claim to  be "Affordable  Dream Systems".   Shown  in no particular order,
 here is my list:

         (Warning:  Do not be surprised by the Retail Prices Shown.)

 System #1:          - Tandon SL 486/25 with Expanz Data Compression Card -

 Total Cost of System: $4980.00 Dollars

      This IBM Compatible is a system with a 25 MHZ 80486 chip, 2 Megabytes
 of RAM  onboard, 3  PC AT (and 1 PC XT) Expansion Slots, a 1.44 Meg Floppy
 Disk Drive, and a 40 Meg Hard Drive.

      To further enhance this system these components are added: Infochip's
 Expanz data compression card (which would be used to allow the 40 Meg Hard
 Drive to store up to 80 Megabytes of  Data), a  CompuAdd SuperVGA Graphics
 Adapter, and a Dell SuperVGA Color Monitor.

                  So with this system, you would have:

     Tandon SL 486/25 with a 25 MHZ 80486 chip  (Cost: $4000.00)
     CompuAdd Extended VGA Graphics Adapter     (Cost: $ 280.00)
     InfoChip Expanz Data Compression Card      (Cost: $ 200.00)
     Dell SuperVGA Color Monitor                (Cost: $ 500.00)

 VGA Graphics Resolution: 320x200 with 256 Colors out of 256,000
                          640x480 with 16 Colors Displayable out of 256,000

 SuperVGA Resolution:  640x480 with 256 Displayable Colors out of 256,000
                       800x600 with 16 Colors out of 256,000

 Faults with System:  None whatsoever.  A Superb system, with a decent
                      amount of expansion slots.

 System #2:             - Macintosh IIsi w/NuBus Adapter Board -

 Total Cost of System:  $4880.00

     This Macintosh  uses a  20 MHZ 68030, Two Megabytes of RAM onboard, an
 internal 40 Meg Hard Drive, 1.44 Meg High Density Disk Drive, an AppleTalk
 Networking port,  and a  built-in Video  Adapter chip.   It  uses the SWIM
 (Sander-Woz Integrated Machine) Disk Controller chip  to allow  the Mac to
 read/write to  MS-DOS and  OS/2 formatted disks.  Added to this is a NuBus
 Adapter Board that gives  the Mac  IIsi one  NuBus Expansion  Slot, and an
 Apple 12-inch RGB display.

                   So with this system you would have:

       Macintosh IIsi w/2 Megs of RAM and Keyboard (Cost: $4030.00)
       Apple 12-inch RGB Monitor                   (Cost: $ 600.00)
       NuBUs Adapter Board                         (Cost: $ 250.00)

 Macintosh II Resolution:  640x400 with 256 Colors out of 16 Million

 Faults with System:  - No Floating Point Math Chip, for spreadsheet
                      - Only One Expansion Slot.

 System #3:            - Atari TT030/2 with 33 MHZ 68030 Chip -

 Total Cost of System: $3550.00

     This is  an Atari  TT030/2 with  a 33  MHZ 68030  chip, 2  Megs of RAM
 onboard, an internal 50 Meg Hard  Drive,  a  720K  Floppy  Disk  Drive, an
 AppleTalk Port,  and 1  VME Expansion Slot as Standard.  An Atari PPC-1246
 Multisync Monitor has been added.

 So with this system you would have:

       Atari TT030/2 with 2 Megs of RAM  (Cost: $3000.00)
       Atari PPC-1246 MultiSync Monitor  (Cost: $ 550.00)

 Atari STe Resolutions:  (Supported by TT)

       320*200 with 16 displayable colors out of a 4096 color palette
       640*200 with 4 Colors out of 4096
       640*400 in Monochrome

 Atari TT Resolutions:

       320*480 with 256 Displayable Colors out of a 4096 Color Palette.
       640*480 with 16 Colors out of 4096
      1280*960 in Monochrome

 Faults with System:  1 Expansion Slot is not enough for many users.  Also,
                      no "Expansion Slot Box" is available to remedy this

 System #4            - Amiga 3000/16 with 2 Megs of RAM -

 Total Cost of System: $4100.00

     This is an Amiga 3000 with a 16 MHZ 68030 and a 16 MHZ  68881 Floating
 Point  Math  Chip,  2  Megs  of  RAM  (with no CPU Cache) onboard, 2 PC AT
 Expansion Slots and 4 Zorro III (32-bit) Slots.  It  also has  an improved
 version of  the Amiga's  Enhanced Chip Set, which both boosts its graphics
 capabilities, features a Display Enhancer Chip  (known in  the Amiga world
 as the Amber "FlickerFixer" chip).  This system also has a built-in 40 Meg
 Hard Drive, and a Commodore 1950 Multisync Monitor has been added.

                   So with this system you would have:

        Amiga 3000/16 with 40 Meg Hard Drive  (Cost: $3300.00)
        Commodore 1950 Multisync Monitor      (Cost: $ 800.00)

 Amiga Resolutions: (Not including Overscan)
                   320x200 with 32 colors out of 4096
                   320x200 with 64 colors out of 4096 (Extra Half-Brite)
                   320x200 with 4096 colors at the same time (HAM Mode)

                   640x200 with 4 to 32 colors
                   640x400 with 2 to 16 colors (interlaced)

 With Enhanced Chip Set:  (most capable graphics modes shown)

      640x256, with 64 displayable colors out of 4096
      1280x400, with 4 colors out of 64 (interlaced)

 Faults with System:   None....

 System #5:           - Mega STe/4 with 16 MHZ 68000 Chip -

 Total Cost of System:  $2700.00

     This is a Mega STe with a 16 MHZ 68000, 4 Megs  of RAM  onboard (and a
 32K CPU  Cache), 1  Mega ST Expansion Slot, an AppleTalk port, a 720K Disk
 Drive, and a built-in 80 Megabyte Hard Drive.  Along with this would be an
 Omnimon Rainbow Monitor from Wuztek Inc., which is capable of handling all
 of the STe's resolutions.

                       So with this system you have:

       Mega STe/4 with 16 MHZ 68000  (Cost: $2000.00)
       Wuztek Omnimon Monitor        (Cost: $ 700.00)

 Atari STe Resolutions:

       320*200 with 16 displayable colors out of a 4096 color palette
       640*200 with 4 Colors out of 4096
       640*400 in Monochrome

 Faults with System:  - No Floating Point Math Chip, which could be useful
                        in future spreadsheet applications.
                      - Many users need more than the 1 Expansion Slot
                        provided by the Mega STe.

 System #6:       - Macintosh LC with built-in Video Adapter Chip -

 Total Cost of System: $2930.00

     This Macintosh uses a 16 MHZ 68020 and has Two Megs of RAM onboard, an
 internal  40  Meg  Hard  Drive,  a  1.44  Meg  High Density Disk Drive, an
 AppleTalk Networking port, and the Video Adapter and  SWIM Disk Controller
 chips found  in the  Mac IIsi.   It also has a proprietary expansion slot.
 Added to this system is an Apple 12-inch RGB monitor.

                   So with this system you have:

       Macintosh LC with 2 Megs of RAM and a Keyboard (Cost: $2630.00)
       Apple 12-inch RGB Monitor:                     (Cost: $ 600.00)

 Macintosh LC Resolution: 640*480 with 256 Displayable Colors out of a
                          16 Million Color Palette.

 Faults of System:  - No Floating Point Math Chip.
                    - Only one card (Apple's IIe emulator board) is
                      available for the LC's proprietary expansion slot.
                    - Like many of the new middle-end systems available,
                      the Mac LC only has 1 Expansion Slot.

 Here is a Graph of the features of each Dream System:

                           :DREAM SYSTEMS LIST:
              (Comparison of each Systems' Optimal Features)

 Dream      |Main Chips,|MHZ Rate|Mass      |Expansion|Graphics Displays/ |
 System     |Megs of RAM| & MIPS |Storage   |  Slots  |Best Resolution(s) |
 IBM 486    |Intel 80486| 25 MHZ |  80 Meg  |Three (4)|640*480, 256 Colors|
 System     | Two Megs  |        |Capability|  PC/AT  |800*600,  16 Colors|
 Mac IIsi   |   68030   | 20 MHZ |  40 Meg  | One (1) |640*480, 256 Colors|
 System     | Two Megs  |        |Hard Drive|NuBus    |                   |
 Atari TT030|   68030   | 33 MHZ |  50 Meg  | One (1) |320*480, 256 Colors|
 System     | Two Megs  |        |Hard Drive|VME Bus  |640*480,  16 Colors|
 Amiga 3000 |68030/68881| 16 MHZ |  40 Meg  | Four (4)|320*200,4096 Colors|
 System     | Two Megs  |        |Hard Drive|Zorro III|640*256,   4 Colors|
 Mac LC     |   68020   | 16 MHZ |  40 Meg  | One (1) |640*480, 256 Colors|
 System     |  Two Megs |        |Hard Drive| LC Slot |                   |
 Mega STe   |   68000   | 16 MHZ |  80 Meg  | One (1) |320*200,  16 Colors|
 System     | Four Megs |        |Hard Drive|Mega ST  |640*200,   4 Colors|

       1 VAX MIPS approximately equals 1750 Dhrystones per Second.

     Also, the Expansion Slot Column now  measures the  number of available
 expansion slots  in each  Dream System AFTER installing the various add-in
 boards in each System  Configuration.   The number  in parentheses  is the
 total number of expansion slots in the system.

                             :Dream Systems List:
                        Basic System Performance List
 Dream      |Dhrystones |Data Transfer| Linpack  |Size of Bus|Size,Type of|
 System     |in VAX MIPS|    Rate     |  MFLOPS  |Architectr.| CPU Cache  |
 IBM 486    | 9-12 MIPS | 8 Megabytes | 0.9 - 1.2|  16 Bits  |  32K SRAM  |
 System     |           |  Per Second |  MFLOPS  |    Wide   |            |
 Mac IIsi   |2 - 4 MIPS | 10 Megabytes|  Has No  |  32 Bits  |No CPU Cache|
 System     |           | Per Second  |Math Chip |    Wide   |            |
 Atari TT   |5 - 7 MIPS |    N/A      |  Has No  | 16/24 Bits|  32K SRAM  |
 System     |           |             |Math Chip |    Wide   |            |
 Amiga 3000 |  3 MIPS   |Up to 33 Megs|Up To 0.1 |  32 Bits  |No CPU Cache|
 System     |           | Per Second  |  MFLOPS  |    Wide   |            |
 Mac LC     |  2 MIPS   |    N/A      |  Has No  |  16 Bits  |  32K SRAM  |
 System     |           |             |Math Chip |    Wide   |            |
 Mega STe   |  2 MIPS   |    N/A      |  Has No  |  16 Bits  |  32K SRAM  |
 System     |           |             |Math Chip |    Wide   |            |

       MFLOPS - Million Floating Point math Operations performed Per Second
       SRAM - Static RAM memory (many times faster than DRAM chips)
       MIPS - Million Instructions performed Per Second



       Lotus Development  has recently  purchased Samna  Corp., a prominent
 Microsoft Windows applications  developer,  for  $65  million.    Lotus is
 offering $18.84 a share for Samna, which currently makes two Windows-based
 word processors (Ami and Ami Professional).   Samna  will become  the Word
 Processing Division  of Lotus,  and its Microsoft Windows programmers will
 help make Lotus' other products (like  Lotus  1-2-3)  fully  based  on the
 Windows standard.

       Lotus will  also be diversifying its line of products (read: sources
 of revenue) with this deal, while  Samna  will  use  Lotus'  marketing and
 development resources  to make Ami Professional a dominant standard in the
 Windows word processing market.  Interestingly,  Jim Manzi  (the President
 of  Lotus)  has  said  that  Lotus  "intends  to provide tight integration
 between (Ami Professional) and our spreadsheet and graphics products under
 development for  Windows 3.0."   This  indicates that Lotus is now porting
 both its 1-2-3 spreadsheet and  its  FreeLance  Plus  graphics  program to
 Windows 3.0, and that Lotus is now fully backing its future on Microsoft's

 - West Chester, PA                       COMMODORE SELLS 2 MILLIONTH AMIGA

       Commodore Ltd. has recently  revealed  that  it  has  sold  over two
 million Amigas  worldwide.   In an  announcement this  week, Commodore had
 said that Amiga sales "have increased dramatically" in 1990.   Of interest
 is the  fact that  Commodore announced  that it  had sold  its 1 millionth
 Amiga in early 1989.  Since  the Amiga  was introduced  in 1985,  it seems
 that Commodore  has doubled its rate of Amiga sales since it first reached
 the "1 million computer" mark, and  that the  Amiga is  gaining popularity
 after initially slow sales.


       One of  the more  innovative items  shown at  Comdex was Globalink's
 GTS (Globalink Foreign Language  Translator).   This DOS-based  program is
 capable of  translating ASCII documents written in foreign languages at up
 to 20,000 words per hour.  Meant to help human  translators in  efforts to
 translate long  documents, this  $1000 product is able to interpret idiom,
 context- and subject-specific text,  in addition  to "literal translation"
 features  found  in  other  computer-based translators.  GTS also provides
 clearer and less  "stilted"  translations  of  documents,  and  features a
 modifiable dictionary  of words.  Globalink is also making versions of GTS
 geared towards documents dealing with computers, law, and commerce.

       One drawback to this program is that users  must purchase  a version
 of GTS  for each  "translation direction".   For  example, if  you own the
 "English to Spanish" version  of GTS,  and you  want to  translate English
 text into  French, you  have to buy the "English to French" version of GTS
 for another $1000.00.   Globalink also  supports the  German, Russian, and
 Chinese languages  in its  library of  translation tools.  However, GTS is
 quickly becoming popular  among  international  businesses  and embassies,
 who have  experienced vast  improvements in  the time  it takes them to do
 their translation work.

 - Washington, DC                         US SOFTWARE SALES UP 24.4 PERCENT

       The  Software  Publishers'  Association  has  recently  revealed its
 statistics about  the collective  revenue of  150 of  its member companies
 over the 3rd Quarter of 1990, in order to help judge the  financial growth
 of  the  softwre  industry.    The  SPA  has found that among its members,
 international sales  increased by  61.2 percent,  while worldwide software
 sales grew 34.1 percent.  Interestingly, DOS/Windows software sales (which
 were up 31.9 percent) surpassed that of Macintosh software sales  (only up
 5.5 percent),  and Windows  applications sales are quickly approaching the
 level of Macintosh program sales.  Other findings are that:

       - Windows applications sales grew by 213.1 percent.

       - Spreadsheet sales were down 1.4 percent, while Word processor
         sales were up 37.1 percent.

       - Sales of entertainment software were down 19.2 percent, while
         educational software sales were up 23.7 percent.

       - Desktop Publishing Software sales were up 44.3 percent, to $47.4
         Million.  Interestingly enough, MS-DOS DTP packages accounted for
         $28.2 million in sales, while only $18.4 million worth of
         Macintosh DTP software was sold.


                    :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.

               -> NOW!  GENIE STAR SERVICE IS IN EFFECT!! <-


 > SEAGATE MECHS STR Spotlight?                 "What's the Story, Jerry??"


 by R.F. Mariano

     Over the past few months, a number of those who  supply assembled hard
 drives to the ST community seem to be "experiencing" problems with certain
 versions of the Seagate Hard Disk Mechanism.  
     Sure, I am wearing  the hat  of one  who is  directly involved  in the
 marketplace that  sells and  services mass  storage devices.   Since 1985,
 Seagate mechanisms have been used in most all the systems  assembled here.
 Some  1,485  drives  later,  there  has  only  been 16 instances where the
 Seagate mechanism was directly responsible for the "in  the field" problem
 that arose.   Compared to the number of Seagate mechanisms that are in the
 field that we can account for, and those that failed,  the percentages are
 very good.   Of  course, we  can look at the failure rate of the removable
 drives and find a number of them have croaked, as have the  carts themsel-
 ves.   And we  will find  that the  manufacturer's warranty leaves a great
 deal to be desired.  Does  this mean  the manufacturer  should be avoided?
 Of course  not.   And neither  should Seagate.  Unless of course there are
 OTHER less obvious reasons for bad-mouthing Seagate incessantly and recom-
 mending another  manufacturer repeatedly.  Remember Rodime, "the very best
 ..." And oh how  great the  Miniscribes were  touted to  be... until.   Oh
 well, nobody's perfect.
     If we  were to  begin comparing  other problems  and component failure
 rates, we can start at the DMA Cables, and certain  versions of formatting
 software that has caused video problems and Fat Table problems.  But these
 are all part of the business, nobody's perfect.   When  the revisions came
 through for  the Host  Adaptors, there  were "growing pains" and again fat
 tables fell victim, but as stated earlier, nobody's perfect.
     Then came the power  supplies in  the "shoebox"  cabinets, that  for a
 while in  1987, the  doggone things  were dropping  like flies, especially
 those cabinets that came from  a  certain  supplier  in  Texas,  the power
 supply boards were replaced without question, but the inconvenience factor
 and replacement logistics were a bear.  But.....once  again, nobody's per-
     After calling  Seagate's Customer Service Department it was discovered
 that yes, they had a problem with the EARLY 3.5 drives and then, only with
 the 20mb 3.5" drive in most cases.  The spindle would stick.  At one point
 in time, Seagate had in their  instructions  to  never  install  the drive
 upside down,  that is  the circuit  board facing  up, yet a number of sup-
 pliers of assembled drives  did just  that!   With little  or no problems.
 Now it is discovered that the problem can be alleviated (in some cases) if
 one were to flip the drive mechanism over and re-install  it in  the cabi-
 net.  Seems this changes the resting point of the spindle.
     As for  certain versions  of utility software finding itself incompat-
 ible with some of the Seagate mechanisms, "this  occurance is  a result of
 the  ongoing  forward  movement  of  Seagate  in programming their onboard
 systems to give the very best  performance to  the overall  computing com-
 munity and  not a  "special interest niche," they said.  Frankly, it would
 appear that the responsibility lies with the software  publishers to main-
 tain an  up to date version that complies with the hardware, not the other
 way around.  Right Bruno?
     How very easy it is to recall the Adaptec story, when at  one time you
 could only  use the  Adaptec because it was the controller to have... then
 miraculously, the OMTI came  crashing upon  the scene  and now,  it is the
 only one  to use.   Strange  though, many of the users now own Adaptec and
 find the software does only  the  barest  of  functions  well.    Why this
 vacillation?   Could it be that the OMTI 3500 series controller market has
 been cornered?  Who knows.  

     One thing is for sure, SEAGATE is going to be around for many years to
 come, perhaps  a lot longer than those who are, "oh so busy", bad-mouthing
 a good company that provides a  fine,  affordable  product  to  the entire
 computing community.  

     The time has come for all folks in the hard disk arena to realize that
 the Hard Disk Mechanism Business does not revolve  around the  Atari Niche
 market, in  fact, in most cases, the Atari market must comply with the big
 picture.  Seagate ships far more drives per month than  any other manufac-
 turer of  the mechanisms.   And although they may be the Volkswagon of the
 hard disk world, they're quite reliable.


 > Stock Market ~ STReport?                     And the Band Marches On....

                                                     THE TICKERTAPE

 by Michael Arthur

     The price of Atari stock rose 1/8 of a point on Monday, but dropped by
 1/4 of  a point  on Tuesday.   On Wednesday it was down by 1/8 of a point,
 and the price of Atari stock was up 1/8 of a point on Thursday.  On Friday
 the price  of Atari stock went up 1/8 of a point, ending the week at $2.25
 a share.  The price of Atari stock was at  the same  price on  November 16
 that it was on November 2 and November 9.

    Apple Stock was down 3/8 of a point from Friday, November 9, 1990.
             Commodore Stock was up 1 3/4 points from 11/9/90.
                IBM Stock was up 3 1/2 points from 11/9/90.

               Stock Report for Week of 11/12/90 to 11/16/90

 STock|   Monday    |  Tuesday   | Wednesday  |  Thursday  |    Friday    |
 Reprt|Last     Chg.|Last    Chg.|Last    Chg.|Last    Chg.|Last      Chg.|
 Atari|2 3/8    +1/8|2 1/8   -1/4|  2    - 1/8|2 1/8   +1/8|2 1/4    + 1/8|
      | 221,700 Sls | 33,200 Sls |            |            |  31,400 Sls  |
  CBM |7 1/2   + 1/2|7 3/4  + 1/4|7 7/8  + 1/8|  8    + 1/8|8 3/4    + 3/4|
      |             |            |            |            | 266,200 Sls  |
 Apple|36 1/4   +3/4| 36    - 1/4| 37     + 1 |  36    - 1 |35 1/8   - 7/8|
      |             |            |            |            |1,634,000 Sls |
  IBM | 113   +2 3/4| 112    - 1 |113 1/2     |112 5/8 -7/8|113 5/8   + 1 |
      |3,453,300 Sls|            |      +1 1/2|            |2,269,700 Sls |

   '#' and 'Sls' refer to the # of stock shares that were bought that day.
                  'CBM' refers to Commodore Corporation.


 > STR Portfolio News & Information?                  Keeping up to date...

                     PowerBASIC PROGRAM COMPILER CARD 
                                  for the
                        PORTFOLIO PALMTOP COMPUTER

 ctsy CIS
     While the Atari Portfolio Palmtop  Computer has the most commonly used
 software applications built-in, individual and corporate  buyers have felt
 that  the  go-anywhere  computer  would  be even more useful if they could
 quickly and easily develop their own unique programs.  To  give users this
 application flexibility,  Atari Computer has introduced the new PowerBASIC
 Portfolio Compiler Application Development Card.
     The PowerBASIC Compiler is a true compiler that can be  used by anyone
 to  develop  fast,  efficient  .COM  or .RUN files directly from their own
 source code.  Company officials note that the  files are  directly execut-
 able on  the Portfolio  and perform  at 4 to 100 times the speed of an in-
 terpreted BASIC program.
     Developed by Spectra Publishing  of Sunnyvale,  CA, the  compiler is a
 compact version of the firm's highly popular PowerBASIC Compiler (formerly
 Borland's TurboBASIC (TM)) that  operates on  IBM (R)  and compatible per-
 sonal computers.  PowerBASIC is the first compiler that has been specially
 designed for the palmtop computer market.

     Spectra officials note that programs are  easy to  develop and  run on
 the Atari  palmtop.  Using the one-pound computer's built-in editor, users
 simply enter their source code directly or download  it from  another com-
 puter.  Then, the user types the name of the file on the system's typewri-
 ter-style keyboard  and an  executable program  is completed  and ready to
     "The Portfolio  is great  to slip into your attache' case, coat pocket
 or purse," Joe Byrd,  Spectra's general  manager commented.   "Because the
 palmtop computer  is so energy-efficient (it runs for weeks on standard AA
 batteries), it's ideal for professional people  who are  on-the-go.  While
 the built-in  spreadsheet, text editor, calculator and other programs will
 be used for day-to-day activities,  everyone  needs  the  ability  to have
 programs that  are convenient and/or unique to their organization or their
 way of  working.   We've provided  a fast,  easy and  economical method of
 developing those programs to help the user release the power of the Portf-

     Sam Tramiel, CEO  for  Atari  Corporation,  said  that  the PowerBASIC
 Portfolio Compiler  provides a  very powerful,  enhanced version of BASIC.
 "This is a complete, high-level language that features structured program-
 ming elements,  floating-point arithmetic,  dynamic strings and comprehen-
 sive data file manipulation capabilities,"  he  noted.    "It  gives users
 access to all of the Portfolio's built-in capabilities.  PowerBASIC proves
 that the Portfolio is  a serious  computer for  serious users  who do more
 than sit  at a  desk but don't want to lug around a laptop computer all of
 the time."
     With PowerBASIC, people who develop their own applications programs on
 the Portfolio  have a  complete stream of structured programming elements.
 Data files can be accessed in  either sequential,  random-access or binary
 modes. This allows for manipulation of individual lines, records or bytes.
 The floating-point arithmetic conforms  to IEEE  standards and  has a full
 complement of math functions.
     PowerBASIC  supports  a  full  complement  of  relational  and logical
 operators, as well as true dynamic strings.   To produce  quality applica-
 tions software, users can debug their programs using PowerBASIC's built-in
 trace debugging system.
     Atari officials note that  the PowerBASIC  Portfolio Compiler Applica-
 tions  Development  Card  should  be  available  through Portfolio dealers
 across the country in less than 60 days.  Suggested retail price  is under
 For more information, contact:

                       Greg Pratt, General Manager,
                   Atari Computer, 1196 Borregas Avenue
                            Sunnyvale, CA 94088
                    (408) 745-2000, FAX (408) 745-2088.

 ctsy CIS

 DOSCMD.ADR                04-Nov-90 3505 

     Title   : DOS commands for Portforlio: Syntax and examples
     A synopsis  of DOS commands with syntax and examples of use.  Includes
     examples of * and ? wildcard use.  It can be kept  conveniently in the
     the Atari Portfolio as an Address Book (.ADR) file.  This allows quick
     data-base-like access.  An essential supplement  to the  PF/DOS "HELP"
     command  for  infrequent  users  of MS/DOS (especially Macintosh users
     like me).

 [JAPP [/A/C/D/E/S/W/C]
 Only one allowed
 Takes you directly to ADDR BOOK,CALC,

 BREAK (no arg)-reports current state
 BREAK ON  -Fn B halts immediately
 BREAK OFF -Fn B halts at next screen or keyboard activity

 CD [dir string] (Change Directory)
 CD    -returns current dir
 CD \  -changes to root dir
 CD .. -moves up one level
 CD NOTES (no \) -move down one level

 CHKDSK [disk][/p] (list disk content)
 CHKDSK a:  -lists memory useage of disk
 /P =one page at a time

 CLS   (clear screen)
 CLS   -also homes cursor and window

 COPY [path1] [path2]
 * =wildcard, ? =single char wildcard

 DATE [mm-dd-yy]
 DATE 10-26-90 -sets date
 DATE   -returns current date, asks for new one (RETURN keeps current)

 DEL [path]  (Delete file)
 * =wildcard  ? =single char wildcard

 DIR [path][/p][/w][>] (List directory)
 DIR A:\DATA  -lists files,size,date &
 DIR           time on default or
 /P =one Page at a time
 /W =names only across screen Width

 FDISK [n] (set RAM disk size)
 FDISK 16  -sets the size of the C:RAM disk  to 16K  also does  cold start:
           all data lost

 FORMAT [disk][/V] (disk format)
 FORMAT A:  -formats card in a: all previous data lost!  
 /V will ask for volume name after format

 HELP (Lists DOS commands)
 HELP  -lists only, no syntax or examples

 MD [disk][path][dirname] (Make dir)
 MD DATA -creates directory DATA below current disk\directory

 OFF  (PF off (standby))

 PATH [path1];[path2]... (search path)
 PATH ;  -reset to  current working dir Sets search path for any executable
        command looking for a file, esp. in .BAT files

 PROMPT [text][$n$m..] (set sys prompt)
 PROMPT PRTF $p -Prompt=Prtf a:\data>
 $d=cur date $t=cur time $p=cur dr\dir
 $v=DOS ver# $n=cur drv  $g= >
 $l= <       $b= |       $_=CR-LF
 $s=space    $h=backsp

 RD [drive][dir] (remove directory)
 -directory must be empty

 REN [path]file1 file2 (Rename)
 -both names must have same path

 RUN [path][file] (Run mem card prog)(used ONLY for certain Portfolio mem
                   card progs)

 SET [chrstr1]=[chrstr2] (set synonym)
 SET -returns current definitions
 SET NAME=  -removes setting
 (used mostly in .BAT files)

 TIME [hh:[mm:[ss]]] (Set time}
 TIME -returns cur time and req new
 TIME 06:17:29

 TYPE [path]filename[/p] (Type file)
 TYPE C:\NEWDAT.TXT -displays file contents 
 TYPE TESTDAT.TXT/P -ditto, 1 p at time

 VERIFY [ON,OFF] (File write verify)
 VERIFY  -displays current setting

 VER (DOS version number)
 VER  -prints DOS version number on screen

 VOL [disk] (Display Vol number)
 VOL a: -displays label for disk a:
         (see also LABEL)

 < [device] (Redirect input from dev)

 After any command requiring input
 Devices:           PRN -parallel port
 AUX -serial port   LPT1    "      "
 COM1   "     "     NUL -no output
 CON -console(kybd) FILENAME

 (> [device] (Redirect output to dev)

 After any command producing output
 Devices:           PRN -parallel port
 AUX -serial port   LPT1    "      "
 COM1   "     "     NUL -no output
 CON -console(kybd) FILENAME


 > THE FUTURE & ATARI STR PROBE?                Taking a long, hard look...

                        ATARI/COMDEX - ANOTHER LOOK

                        IS ANYTHING DIFFERENT NOW?

 by Elliott Steinberg

     Comdex for Atari this year was  an *utter  disaster*!!   Mind you now,
 this is  my opinion  and my  opinion only.   But to back it up I'd like to
 take a moment or two to point out the glaring warning signs  and screaming
 evidence that this is and will be the case.

     All questions  were asked  this week,  after Comdex, and were answered
 by developers whose identities will be kept anonymous for obvious reasons.

     [Q]  Did Atari  have an elaborate display of the famous laptop,  Stacy
          on display?
     [A]  No, the  only Stacy  units to  be seen  were those  brought in by
          developers who  were displaying  their wares  in the Atari booth.
          One would think, with the thousands  of dollars  spent in develo-
          ping the Stacy, Atari would have at least had a number of them on
          display, if only for midi applications.  The most I saw was maybe

     [Q]  Were Atari's  three ABC (Atari Business Computers).  Atari's  MS-
          Dos Clones on display?
     [A]  Nope, nowhere to found, not even a mention of them this year.

     [Q]  How was the attendance this year  at Atari's  display compared to
          last year's in the west hall?
     [A]  Attendance from  the showgoers was maybe 1 TENTH  of last year's,
          when Atari was in the West  Hall.   It was  like a  "ghost town",
          very few  people even  *cared* about the TT or the Mega-STe, most
          folks gravitated toward the  Portfolio display.   Clearly  65% of
          the Atari booth was dedicated to the Portfolio.  The entire Sands
          Convention Center was not  well attended,  it was  like Atari was
          exiled in Siberia.

     [Q]  Do you  think the TT030 will be able to  hold its own against the
          new line of contemporary machines now hitting the US market?
     [A]  The TT030 pricing is  LUDICROUS!   They (Atari)  are living  in a
          dream world  where they  seem to see the Amiga as their only com-
          petition and all pricing is against only the  Amiga and  not aga-

     [Q]  Did Atari live up to the expectations of the userbase and develo-
          pers who waited patiently for this year's "spectacular showing"?
     [A]  People were pretty much waiting for  Comdex to  see if  Atari had
          any surprises left. There were no pleasant surprises. The TT is 3
          years obsolete, the STE 4 years obsolete at best.   The Portfolio
          was the  big crowd  catcher this year.  Every third person wanted
          to see the "MS-Dos compatible machine."

     [Q]  Have you any idea  why E.  Kenan decided  to drop  the entire USA
          thing he  was to  head up?   And  do you  feel the new man, Gregg
          Pratt will be the man for the job?
     [A]  After many discussions with  other developers  and some  folks at
          Atari, there  seems to  be two different stories circulating that
          describe why Elie left.  The first, in a nutshell, relates to how
          Elie was describing how he was going about making the changes and
          personnel realignments when he was interrupted  and informed that
          the plan  was far  too expensive.   At  this point, Elie informed
          them that he was not asking for approval but merely outlining his
          plans and  goals and  that he fully intended to proceed.  At this
          point he was again informed that it was much too expensive.  Elie
          stood up turned and in so many words, "hit the road".  The second
          briefly related, is basically  the same  in that  he was  told he
          could  not   do  this  or  that  because  of  either  expense  or
          inconvenience.   So, Elie  who had  an ironclad, non-interference
          clause went back to France.  
          As  far  as  G.  Pratt  is  concerned, I'll quote what I've heard
          myself from many of the  developers  throughout  the  show, "Greg
          Pratt seems  to have little or no real technical grasp, he may be
          the most enthusiastic appointee so far, but how can he  relate to
          anything that may effect us good or bad?"  
     There you  have it folks, there was quite a bit of casual conversation
 also where  old familiar  expressions were  heard like  the "Titanic", the
 "Hindenburg", The  San Francisco Earth Quake, O'leary's Cow and many other
 descriptively colorful ways the developers used  to illustrate  their con-
 fidence (frustration)  in the future of the ST and Atari.  In all fairness
 it must be said  that most  felt the  Portfolio had  a very  bright future
 indeed as  long as  the same  leaders who made the ST a 'success' were not
 allowed to make any decisions effecting the Portfolio.

                     THE DOLL HOUSE OR HOUSE OF CARDS

 by Larry Karowski

     Just about two years ago a  former, long  time Atari  employee told me
 that the  only way  you could  possibly understand  Atari completely is to
 compare Atari to three kids with  a doll  house.   What, you  say, compare
 Atari to a doll house?  Yup, stop for moment and think about it...  

     Christmas, 5  years ago,  Daddy bestows  upon his  three sons a rather
 elaborate doll house to play with.  The number one son organized  the doll
 house and placed various dolls and toys in each room and then went outside
 to play with his new car.  Son #2 didn't like the  way the  dolls and toys
 were arranged,  so he  changed some of them around.  Then he too, went out
 to play with his friends.  Son  #3  then  came  in  and  loudly exclaimed;
 "Those brothers  of mine  haven't the  first idea  about playing with doll
 houses!  I will absolutely have to do  this myself  to make  sure its done
 right!"   And so,  he proceeds to re-arrange all the dolls and toys in the
 entire house!  Content with his elaborate efforts, he then went outside to
 admire the stars.  By this time, the first son came back and promptly blew
 his top because the doll  house  was  completely  re-arranged  without his
 permission.   He began throwing some of the dolls out because they weren't
 with the right toys.  

    Now, let's reword the previous paragraph  changing dolls  to people and
 toys to jobs.  

     Christmas 5  years ago,  Jack bestowed  upon his three sons a new com-
 puter company to "play" with.   The number  one son  organized the Company
 and placed  various people  and jobs in each room and then went outside to
 play with his new car.  Son #2  didn't like  the way  the people  and jobs
 were arranged,  so he  changed some  of them around.  Then he too went out
 to play with his friends.  Son #3 then came  into the  building and loudly
 exclaimed; "Those  brothers of  mine haven't  the first idea about playing
 with computer companies!  I will absolutely have to do this myself to make
 sure its  done right!"   And  so, he proceeds to re-arrange all the people
 and jobs throughout  the  entire  company!    Content  with  his elaborate
 efforts, he  then went  outside to  admire the  stars.   By this time, the
 first son  came back  and promptly  blew his  top because  the company was
 completely re-arranged  without his  permission.  Since many of the people
 were unable to finish the jobs assigned them,  due to  the outrageous con-
 fusion, he, in a fit of temper, began firing some of the people.  

      Crazy way to run a business isn't it.. 

     But lets  look at  Atari today..  In the past year, the company was so
 disorganized it seemingly, was unable to order monitors  to sell  with its
 computers.. Then..  when they  did manage to get some computers into their
 warehouse to sell to its surviving dealers, there are no  monitors to sell
 with the  computers.  This level of expertise was so bad, as far as having
 the monitors and computers available at the same time, that  Pacific soft-
 ware (The  largest Atari  distributor) and  Talon Tech both carry and sell
 competing mono and color monitors so that the remaining Atari  dealers can
 purchase them  to sell  with the computers they "occasionally" obtain from

     Last March there were rumors posted on GEnie  that the  Mega computers
 were going  to be  discontinued.   Atari spokespersons immediately got on-
 line and vigorously denied this statement.   However,  since that  time (8
 months ago)  Atari received  only ONE large shipment of Megas.. (approxim-
 ately 100) which were quickly sold out (in spite of  there being  no mono-
 chrome monitors  available).   In August  and September Atari received and
 shipped a whopping grand total of 23 Mega computers.  Everyone bemoans the
 fact that  Atari does  not advertise.. TRUE, but that's not the real prob-
 lem!   From all  angles of  observation, it  would seem  that Atari hasn't
 enough money  to manufacture  and ship large quantities of computers, (let
 alone do the R&D).  As a result, the few computers they do make, they sell
 most all  in Europe.   The advantageous international money exchange rates
 forces this to happen. 

     Lo & behold, Atari has announced the all  NEW Mega  STE.   This sounds
 great, but  lets take  a good  look at the "facts".  This computer has not
 been seen nor is it owned by any developers, which  means no  new software
 that takes advantage of its new features.  Unfortunately, it can also mean
 its more than likely a long way from being ready for sale in the  USA.  It
 has not  been FCC  Type Accepted  (approved).  Can you spell sometime next
 year?  It is not selling in Europe yet so that could mean add a minimum of
 another 4-8  weeks before  it ships  outside the  USA.   (Could it be that
 Europe is trying to clear out the Mega ST 1  computers first?)   This very
 easily can  translate into  a longer  delay to  allow dealers worldwide to
 sell out their existing Mega ST  inventories.    This  may  mean  that the
 earliest we  will see  the new megas is late first quarter.  Perhaps early
 June if all else fails.  

     Now comes the TT, it was announced over TWO years ago and is still not
 in distribution  here in the USA.  Strange, how Atari announced in Septem-
 ber that they would be selling the TT at Comdex.  Everything  was going to
 happen the  first week  of November.   Then, on the first day of the show,
 Atari tells the developers the absolutely great news, the double whammy...
 going to be a LUMP OF COAL.   Now, it  seems the  TT was  NOT FCC approved
 even though numerous Atari employees said it was.  Perhaps Apple's announ-
 cements of dramatically lower prices and  NEW PRODUCTS  that ARE  ready to
 ship  caught  Atari  by  utter  and  complete surprise, (its not that they
 weren't forewarned by the online press months ago).     And, as  a result,
 they were  forced to  redesign the  CPU to make it more competitive to the
 Apple line of inexpensive computers.   This  might  have  forced  Atari to
 re-submit  the  now  32Mhz  TT..  No  one  knows!  Atari will not tell its
 dealers and developers who have remained  loyal  anything  at  all!   Why?
 Possibly, Atari  was planning  all along  to give them the biggest letdown
 yet this year.  There will be many loyal developers  and dealers  going to
 different computer platforms now, if they can financially do it at all.  

     Speaking of  going out of business.  Where have all the big, reputable
 developers/publishers gone?   MichTron  & Antic  Software are  OOB.  Three
 years ago,  between the  two of  them they published 3 or 4 new programs a
 month.  Antic told the developers of their  great Cyber  programs to shove
 off because  we are  not interested  in selling  a new program for the ST.
 There is no market.  MichTron  refused to  publish HiSoft's  new Assembler
 for the  ST saying  they couldn't  afford to print the manuals, they would
 LOSE TOO MUCH MONEY!   What lose money?   No market... What has Atari done
 to us?   Microsoft,  Imagen, and  many others  are no longer interested in
 doing any further development  for the  Atari Platform.   WHY??   Big game
 companies (like Microprose) that have games developed in Europe for the ST
 refuse to sell them in the US stating  there is  no market  and they don't
 care to deal with Atari. 

     The loss to the Atari community worldwide is staggering...  Soft Logic
 is now concentrating on software for the Amiga,  Migraph is doing great in
 the PC  market.   Numerous developers  from Antic  Software are working at
 Auto Cad in the PC market.  MichTron's Gordon Monnier and Tim  Purves seem
 to be  working for GEnie.  These folks and guys like Tom Hudson, Dan Moore
 and many other GIANTS who started with the ST and  who know  it inside and
 out  have  left  the  Atari  market  only to TRY AND MAKE A DECENT LIVING.
 Atari, why have you done this to them and the users!  You had  some of the
 greatest developers  in the industry killing themselves to support you and
 you didn't support them at all. Instead, you found it  necessary to punish
 the more outspoken developers, you just had to be vindictive!  

     Well Atari,  it would  appear your  actions toward the great developer
 corps. you once had, that supported you, has come back  to bite  you right
 in the  butt.  Amazingly, even for this Comdex, the "make or break" Comdex
 for you, it was easy to make the  plans  to  shun  all  but  the  few that
 "worked" in  YOUR booth  at the Sands Exposition Center.  A closed dinner?
 A public relations masterstroke!?   Traditionally,  this event  was looked
 forward to  by many developers and staunch Atari supporters, this year you
 even turned your back on them.  Some say it was  because of a serious case
 of the cheaps!  Worst of all, You didn't help those who were there a bit a
 bit, all you did was mislead to them, telling them the new  computers, the
 new advertising, the new marketing plan, the great Elie Kenan, the year of
 Atari, all these great things are going to happen in  a few  months.. talk
 about a  stroke job...  every year the same things are said and they still
 have not happened.  Now, as a direct result; at this time  there isn't but
 one or  two developers  who believe * anything * worthwhile will happen in
 the ST market.

     The last new major software program introduced to  the US  market by a
 US developer  was Wordflair  over a  year ago  and it too was born through
 controversy at Sunnyvale.  No one, not a single soul in their  right mind,
 is writing big, major programs for the ST.  There are some small utilities
 being written by Codehead,  Double Click  and Gribnif.   But  Codehead and
 Double Click  have stated  publicly that  they are  going to start writing
 software on other CPU's as they can not survive solely on Atari sales.  

     During the Christmas season, most  software  houses  do  75%  of their
 business.    Selling  software  for Christmas Presents and after Christmas
 sales of software to people who have purchased or received  a Computer for
 Christmas.   Since Atari  will not  be selling any Megas, Mega STe or TT's
 during this coming Christmas  season, most  software developers  will lose
 even more business.

     People who  want a new, modern computer for Christmas are not going to
 wait for Atari to get off its dead  a** and  ship the  new TT030  and Mega
 STe.  Granted, there are 1040STe units and SC1435 Color Stereo monitors in
 the warehouse, but who would buy a 1040STe now when  they can  have a Mega
 STe with  the new  fancy desktop in a few months?  Besides, most folks are
 fully aware of Atari's  generous  trade-in  and  upgrade  policies.. NONE!
 They  know  they'd  have  to  sell  the 1040STe privately to get anywhere.
 There is no doubt that many folks wanting a nice Christmas will go out and
 purchase a new, IBM MS-DOS Clones with windows or one of the new, inexpen-
 sive Macs.  These are people that Atari will, unfortunately, lose forever.

 Next week:

          An honest look at the new bundles Atari has announced.
                            Are they for real? 



 - Sunnyvale, CA.                     MegaSTe/TT - VME CARDS ARE AVAIALABLE

     The TT  & Mega  STe will properly support 3U VME cards.  VME card man-
 ufacturers seldom make 'drivers' for their cards.   It is  usually left to
 the software  developers.   The VME  card mfgr.  doesn't usually know what
 type of system the card will be used in.  If say, somebody wanted to do an
 8-line BBS  for the  MegaSTe/TT that  worked with  the Green Springs Octal
 Serial Port Industry-Pak(tm) VME  card,  he  would  start  by  writing the
 Rsconf/Bconmap drivers  for the  computers.  This would enable the 8 addi-
 tional serial ports to behave just like the existing ports.  Then he would
 write a  BBS that  basically worked with COM1: through COMx:  As far  as I
 know, there is little reason why most available 3U VME cards wouldn't work
 in the  TT/MegaSTe.   There is  company in Germany (Rhotron(sp?)) that has
 4,8,12, and larger VME expansion cages  available along  with data collec-
 tion cards  with datalogging  software, A/D  convertors, and more.  All of
 this would be very FCC class-A oriented, so it shouldn't  be difficult for
 an enterpreneur  to bring  over the  pond.   There was a company at Comdex
 showing a 6U form factor 16 Mhz '286 card that was sure the card  could be
 designed for  a 3U slot, although the cheapest card his company made was a
 $3000 robotics-control card.  The  Slot(s)  are  a  natural  for something
 along the lines of AT-Speed, etc.

 - San Francisco, CA.                        NINTENDO INTROS SUPER FAMICOM!

     Now, at  least in the Japanese market, Nintendo has introduced its own
 replacement system called Super Famicom.  It's the  successor to  the Fam-
 icon -  short for  family computer  - that has been sold only in Japan for
 several years.  Super Famicom sells for about $167 in Japan.   An improved
 video system,  with 512  kilobytes of RAM for video alone, will allow more
 latitude in animation, larger objects on  the screen,  and up  to four in-
 dependently  scrolling  backgrounds  for  depth  effects.  The new machine
 reproduces up to 32,768 colors, and there are new visual  effects as well.
 This systems can also be fitted with an optional modem.

     A digital-signal-processing  (DSP) chip  permits lifelike synthesis of
 voice and sound effects plus music  that  can  be  patched  into  a stereo
 system.    Super  Famicom's  software  format  will NOT be compatible with
 current Nintendo systems.   Nintendo hasn't  announced plans  to bring the
 new machine  to the  U.S. market yet, but many will be watching whether or
 not Super Famicon becomes a  popular hit  in Japan.   "Except  for culture
 specific  games,"  says  NEC  vice  president  of software Bob Faber, "the
 Japanese market is a good predictor for U.S. sales.

 - San Diego, CA.                                 FTL BREAKS SOUND BARRIER!

     FTL is working on a solution to the lousy sound  on the  IBM.. they've
 got a  little DAC board that plugs into the printer port on a PC that lets
 you connect an external amplifier  and  get  digitized  sound  in games...
 (like Dungeon Master for instance.. :)

     It's true that other sound boards are available, but the big advantage
 of this one is its price... it's *FREE* ..!  They plan to include  it with
 the IBM  version of Dungeon Master, and freely publish the software needed
 to use it, in  hopes of  having other  software companies  adopt it  as an
 inexpensive standard.   Leave it to FTL to come up with an SUPER idea like

 - Sunnyvale, CA.                              ATARI PART OF DESERT SHIELD!


 by Mike Langberg,
 Mercury News Staff Writer

 Denied a real war to keep them busy, U.S. troops stationed in  the Persian
 Gulf are getting a hightech distraction from Atari Corp. of Sunnyvale: the
 company's Lynx hand-held video  game system,  offering electronic conflict
 through  games  such  as  Blue  Lightning,  Electrocop, Gauntlet and Slime

 Atari is shipping 15  Lynx Kiosks,  each containing  four of  the portable
 units, to military recreation centers in Saudi Arabia. The USO and Defense
 Logistics Agency are promising delivery by Christmas.

 "We're sending  U.S. technology  to Desert  Shield," said  Atari chief ex-
 ecutive Sam  Tramiel, taking a gentle poke at Atari's much bigger Japanese
 competitor, Nintendo.

 Atari is donating the kiosks and games, valued  at $50,000,  to the milit-
 ary.The company is also offering a special deal to Desert Shield GIs eager
 to zap space aliens: a Lynx unit, game cartridge and six AA  batteries for
 $120, one-third off the retail price of $180.

 Shortly after  U.S. troops  arrived in Saudi Arabia, a soldier wrote Atari
 asking for a sun visor to  help him  play Lynx  games in  bright sunshine.
 Atari decided  to donate  Lynx units  after more letters arrived from sol-
 diers seeking everything from  more game  cartridges to  desert proof car-
 rying cases.


     I would  guess that  the "Panther" is NOT an ST.  First, the ST cartr-
 idge port only has a 128K  address space  (the carts  in the  SEGA Genesis
 have a  1MB add.  space).   Second, the ST has no sprite capabilites.  And
 even the STE has a limited  capability for  scrolling (try  to make  an ST
 recreate  some  of  the  scenes  in  some of the newest Genesis games like
 Phelios and Thunder Force III).  Third, the ST can  still only  display 16
 colors (without  tricks)to the  existing STE,  the main logic behind using
 the ST hardware would become irrelevant.  The  only reason  you would want
 to use the ST as a frame would be to provide an easily accessible software
 base (like  the XE  game machine).   Since  none of  the existing programs
 would  use  the  new  features  (most  don't even use the STE features and
 'most' of the world has been able to  purchase STEs  for almost  a year!),
 all the existing works would pale next to the Genesis or Turbo.

     Also, the few reports (rumors) that do exist claim that the system has
 multi-planar scrolling and hardware scaling.

     As an  educated guess...I  would speculate  that the  "Panther", if it
 exists, uses an 8 or 16mhz 68000.  It probably has sound comparable to the
 Lynx (except in Stereo), a derivation of the  Lynx chipset  for scaling, a
 new sprite  engine (at  LEAST 80  sprites...hopefully more),  a 4096 color
 palette (maybe 32,768) with 256colors in 320x480 ala  the TT.  Since Atari
 has expressed  an interest  in a 'CD-ST' in Europe...a CD-ROM as an option
 or perhaps even a standard feature is possible.

     The main reason I chose these features (THEY ARE TOTALLY  MY CREATION,
 that ALL of them can be  derived  from  hardware  that  already  exists in
 Atari's arsenal (except the sprite chip, which really MUST have 80 sprites
 just to be competitive with the other systems).

 I wish someone at Atari could give me a 'hint' as to  whether or  not I am
 even close  to correct  on this one...but I guess we will have to wait and
 see if the 'Panther' ever surfaces.

                                                       Matt K. 

 Matt, we have been assured, that to see a Panther one must  go to  the Zoo
 as there are no Panthers at Atari. re: Bob Brodie


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

                      NEW LOW PRICES! & MORE MODELS!!
                             HOLIDAY SPECIALS!
                       ** EFFECTIVE  -> 11/19/90 **

                      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)

                           Conventional Shoe Box
            Model        Description      Autopark       Price
            SGN4951      51Mb 28ms   3.5"    Y          519.00
            SGN6177      62Mb 24ms   3.5"    Y          619.00
            SGN1096      85Mb 24ms   3.5"    Y          649.00
            SGN6277     120Mb 24ms   3.5"    Y          889.00
            SGN1296     168Mb 24ms   3.5"    Y         1069.00
            SGN4077     230Mb 24ms   3.5"    Y         1669.00


         20mb #AI020SC   379.95              30mb #AIO3OSC   419.95
         50mb #AI050SC   449.95              65mb #AI065SC   499.95
                           85mb #AI085SC  $559.95
                        MEGA ST Internal Hard Drives

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

                         FROM 30mb 28MS @ $419.00!
                      Ask about our "REBATE SPECIALS"




       * 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.

                 --->> SPECIAL NOW ONLY __$719.00__ <<---

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

                       SPECIALLY PRICED ** $1329.00 **

         - Syquest 44 Model [555] and the following hard drives -
          50mb SQG51   $1039.00           30mb SQG38    $1019.00
          65mb SQG09   $1109.00           85mb SQG96    $1119.00
           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 -
            * SLM 804 Replacement Toner Cartridge Kits $46.95 *
                          Replacement Drums; CALL
                   Keyboard Custom Cables Call for Info
                      ALL POWER SUPPLIES UL APPROVED

                       -* 12 month FULL Guarantee *-
                         (A FULL YEAR of COVERAGE)


                     DEALERS and DISTRIBUTORS WANTED!
                         please, call for details

                 Personal and Company Checks are accepted.

                        ORDER YOUR NEW UNIT TODAY!

           CALL: 1-800-562-4037   -=**=-    CALL: 1-904-783-3319
           Customer Orders ONLY               Customer Service
                                9am - 8pm EDT
                                Tues thru Sat


 > A "Quotable Quote"?

                       "MANY A TRUTH WAS SAID IN JEST"

                                             ...Marvin Trotenberry

                        STReport Online Magazine?
     Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide!
 STReport?           "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE"       November 23, 1990
 16/32bit Magazine          copyright = 1990                    No.6.47
 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.

Return to message index