ST Report: 07-Dec-90 #649

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 01/05/91-12:28:46 AM Z

From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 07-Dec-90  #649
Date: Sat Jan  5 00:28:46 1991

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

 December 07, 1990                                                  No.6.49

                         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

 > 12/07/90: STReport? #6.49  The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine!
     - The Editor's Desk      - CPU REPORT        - JOPPA FAX
     - SIMM Upgrades          - After the ST      - TT030 Overview
     - Duggan's Goodies       - PHOTONICS         - PORTFOLIO NEWS
     - DJ Boy Review          - TURBO EXPRESS     - STR Confidential

                        * DELUXE PAINT CONFERENCE *
                          * NEW PRODUCTS PARADE *
                           * UK COMPUTER FAIRE *

                         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?

     This issue has become  rather  large,  mostly because of  the many new
 products listed, the reviews and special articles submitted and of course,
 the Christmas "Source listings.  Rather than carry on here, let's remember
 the time of it is and treat each other in the True Spirit of Christmas.

     Atari is on the rebound, there's product in the pipeline, the Lynx and
 the Portfolio are doing well....  Things are looking up!

                                   thanks for your strong support!




                          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 (Dec. 7)


 The following  new files are available from Double Click Software in their
 Library 13 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN):

 DCMSTK.ARC -  DC  MOUSE STICK  is a  FREEWARE program  that allows  you to
 plug your  joystick into  joystick port  0 or  1 and  use it just like the

 DCSLK2.ARC - DC SLICK SHIFT v1.01 is a FREEWARE program  that emulates the
 LEFT  or  RIGHT  mouse  button  using  any  combination  of  modifier keys

                             NEW EXPOSE' DEMO

     An updated version of the Expose' Demo, a  new desk  accessory program
 that will Load/View/Clip graphics, Load DEGAS, DEGAS compressed, IMG, GEM,
 MacPaint, Tiny, Neochrome(color->mono), Save in IMG  or DEGAS  format, and
 more, is now available in LIBRARY 6 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIV-
 EN) under the filename EXPOSE.ARC (courtesy of MAXWELL CPU)

                         NEW PBASIC FOR PORTFOLIO

 Version 3.0  of PBASIC  for the  Atari Portfolio  is now  available in the
 Atari Portfolio  Forum (GO APORTFOLIO) under the filename PBAS30.ZIP. This
 version includes strings, more functions, help file for  address book, and
 is faster.




   Issue # 94

 by Michael Arthur



       AT&T, as  well as  several University research teams, have developed
 experimental "photonic" computers that  utilize optical  technology.  With
 these devices  promising to  be many times faster than ordinary electronic
 computers, these developments have stirred up much discussion  on both the
 capabilities  of  optical  computing,  and  its  role in the future of the
 microcomputer industry.  In order  to  understand  the  potential  of both
 photonics  and  optical  computers,  let  us  take  a  look  at  both  the
 differences between photonics and  electronics, and  how optical computing
 is being developed.

       In ordinary (or electronic) computers, streams of electrons are sent
 through transistors,  which manipulate  this flow  in a  network of "logic
 gates",  which  can  perform  mathematical operations.  However, in AT&T's
 experimental optical computer, bursts of low-intensity lasers are directed
 towards a  light modulating  crystal, which  acts as aswitch. These bursts
 cause changes in the "switch",  so  they  either  become  opaque  (so they
 absorb light), or translucent, so they can reflect light.

       Then, a second burst of lasers (of equal strength) are reflected off
 the switches, in order to determine which "state" they are in.  If a laser
 that has  been directed  towards a  switch is strongly reflected, then the
 switch is translucent, and the data bit which it represents  is determined
 to be  a binary number 1.  If the laser which is reflected from the switch
 is relatively weak, then the switch is opaque, and the bit is 0.  A series
 of these  "weak/strong" switches can then be coordinated into logic gates,
 so they can perform mathematical operations.

       This type of technology is known as photonics.  Just  as electronics
 uses electrons, photonics use the components of light (or photons), in its
 operations.  Streams of photons (or light) are generated by  either an LED
 or  a  VERY  small  laser,  and  are  then transmitted to light modulating
 crystals, which are then coordinated into  the logic  gates which  make up
 the chip.

       There  are  several  advantages  to using optical technology for in-
 tegrated circuitry, including:

       -  Speed.  Since they  are, in  essence, what  light is  made up of,
 photons travel at the speed of light.  Therefore, photonic techology would
 be a LOT faster than electronic  technology.    Resulting  in  MUCH faster
 computer circuits....

       -   More compact designs.  Far less energy is needed for using beams
 of light for computing than electricity, since one would not  need to pump
 as much  energy into  a photonic  circuit in  order to  maintain it.  This
 would also result in photonic devices  generating much  less heat, meaning
 that optical circuitry could be fitted more closely than normal electronic

       Also, while  electrons are  part of  a category  of particles called
 fermions (whose electrical charges repel one another), photons are part of
 a particle class known as bosons, which do not interfere  with one another
 like fermions.   The  reason that  wires are  needed to transmit electrons
 (and electricity,for that matter) is because competing streams of fermions
 would otherwise  distort each  other so  much that  they couldn't get from
 Point A to Point B in any semblance of order.  Since  photons do  not have
 this  problem,  large  numbers  of  them can be transmitted close (or even
 through) each other without creating a problem.

       This means that different streams of light can be sent  next to each
 other simultaneously.   Now,  if each  stream of  light stood for a bit of
 data, then  one could  easily implement  64-bit, 128-bit,  or even 256-bit
 microprocessors using  photonics.   And given that the state of the art in
 electronic microprocessors is 32-bit chips....  This type  of method could
 also be used to implement vastly sophisticated neural networks or parallel
 processing systems, since each  stream  of  light  could  be independently
 accessed by several photonic circuits.

       This, and  other benefits  of photonics  is one  of the many reasons
 that Japanese companies have been quietly pumping millions of dollars into
 optical  computing  research.    Also,  it  seems  that the combination of
 photonics and holographic technology  is  being  researched.    Instead of
 transmitting light  to a photodetecting crystal, some scientists are look-
 ing into directing a  stream of  light towards  holograms,so as  to create
 holographic images on certain points of a two-dimensional grid which would
 correspond to bits (or pages) of data.   Called "Page-Oriented Holographic
 Memory", this technology could be capable of storing a gigabyte of data on
 each storage unit.  Also, using photonic technology  to "read"  this unit,
 one could  access data  at a  rate fast  enough to  make memory for purely
 optical computing reasonably fast....

        However,  while  the  benefits  of  optical   computing  are  many,
 implementing integrated  circuitry that  is fully  based on photonics will
 take several years of development.  In order  to utilize  the abilities of
 optical  computing  in  the  near  future,  an  upcoming technology called
 optoelectronics is being developed,  which combines  the speed  of optical
 technology with proven electronic circuitry.

       In  optoelectronics,  light  is  transmitted  via  optical fibers to
 light-detecting crystals (or photodetectors),  which  them  simply convert
 light into  electrical impulses,  which can be used by ordinary electronic
 devices. In essence, data is sent at the speed of light to each electronic
 circuit, which  then processes  the data at a normal rate.  This method of
 interconnecting  chips  has  great  potential.    For  example,  whole bus
 architectures could  become networks of optical fiber, sending data at the
 speed of light for microchips to process.   Resulting in  that, instead of
 carrying only megabytes of data a second (like current bus architectures),
 optical buses could easily  transmit a  gigabyte (1024  megabytes) or more
 amounts of data a second....

       Photonic  technology,  though,  is  only  in  its earliest stages of
 development.  Currently, the accuracy of calculations done with completely
 photonic  computers  is  low  in  comparison  to that of modern electronic
 computers.  Also, new design techniques  must  be  developed  in  order to
 develop microchips  which take full advantage of the capabilities inherent
 in photonic  technology.   However, optoelectronics,  photonics, and other
 technologies used  in optical  computing will certainly become an integral
 part of future computer technology....

 CPU Systems Roundup?


 Name: Chaz #3 @3111
 Date: Thu Nov 22 01:54:21 1990

   Joppa FAX! Modems

       Currently we are selling 2 versions of the FAX/Modems, they  are the
 Joppa  FAX  SF01  and  Joppa  FAX  SF02.  They  both are a data modem with
 Send/FAX capabilities, and the  software that  we ship  with them  is 100%
 Atari ST/STe  compatible.   The following describes the modem and software
 features of our current 2 products.

 Modem Features:
       A full featured 2400/1200/300  bps auto-dial/auto-answer  modem that
 plugs  into  the  serial  port  of  any computer or terminal.  It features
 superior Hayes  compatability,  and  utilizes  the  latest  digital signal
 processing  technology,  adaptive  equalization,  and  phoneline impedance
 matching to assure clean, fast transmission of data, even over noisy phone
 lines.  It's packed with helpful convience features to make communications
 easy, like:

 - 8 Status lights                           - Call progress tone detection
 - High quality speaker for call monitoring, - A second phone jack
 - Complete analog/digital powerup and loopback diagnostics.

       It's made in the USA using advanced automated assembly and testing
 to meet the highest standards of quality and performance.

 Software Features:

       - Enables 4800/2400 bps (Joppa FAX SF01) or 9600/7200/4800/2400 bps
         (Joppa FAX SF02) Group III broadcast FAXes.

       - Software will allow for faxing of ASCII text files, .IMG files,
         .PC3 files, .PI3 files and JFAX files.  You can view IMG, DEGAS,
         and JFAX files.

       - Context sensitive online help facility.

       - You can schedule FAX transmissions when rates are less or send
         them immediately.  You can also broadcast FAXes to one or several
         different locations.

       - Automatically allows for creation of a cover page to each

       - Transfer log that records the status of all FAX transmissions.

       - Includes our own custom drivers for Pagestream 1.82 and
         Calamus 1.09N desktop publishing programs.

         Suggested Retail:       $169.95 Joppa FAX SF01
                                 $229.95 Joppa FAX SF01

       To ALL existng owners of the Joppa FAX SF01 who  wish to  upgrade to
 the Joppa FAX SF02:   Send us your modem, original disk, registration card
 (if you have not already done so), and $45.00 to  us and  you will receive
 the 9600 bps SendFAX chip, along with version 1.2 of our software.

 Some added features of our software from 1.0 include:

       - Sorting of dialing directory.
       - Automatic detection of which resolution the file was saved as.
       - Automatic loading of all the pages that are to be FAXed in
         memory (providing you have extra memory available).
       - Line impedance program to reduce line echo.

       For those  that wish  to upgrade  only to  version 1.2  send us your
 original disk, registration card (if you have not  already done  so) along
 with $1 and we will update your existing software to v1.2.

                     Joppa Software Development
                              PO Box 226
                           Joppa, MD 21085
                       (301)676-2989 voice/FAX

       Due to  tremendous amount  of request  for the SOFTWARE only part of
 our product, we have decided  to  allow  owners  of  existing Zoom/Generic
 2400/4800 or  Zoom/Generic 2400/9600 Modem/SendFAX's to purchase the soft-
 ware directly from us.  These are the  only modems  that we  are currently
 allowing this  for.   You MUST  send us  your modem  to us as we modify it
 internally so that our software will work with  it. The  following options
 represents our current pricing:

   1) Zoom/Generic 2400/4800 Sendfax to JoppaFAX SF-01 (4800) $39.95
   2) Zoom/Generic 2400/4800 Sendfax to JoppaFAX SF-02 (9600) $69.95

 Option 1 represents a software only version of the modem.
 Option 2 represents software/hardware (new 9600 chip) of the modem.

 Send us your modem only along with $39.95 or $69.95 (postage included) and
 we will return it to you with the software and manual.

                     Joppa Software Development
                              PO Box 226
                           Joppa, MD 21085
                       (301)676-2989 voice/FAX



                    :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!! <-


 > DELUXE PAINT CO. STR Feature?   GEnie Online Conference with the Authors

                              December 5, 1990

                              <[Sysop] JEFF.W>
     On behalf of the  Atari ST  Roundtable, I  welcome all  of you  to the
 Deluxe   Paint ST  RealTime Conference  on GEnie.  Before getting started,
 some  business about how an RTC works.  While the RTC  room is  in Listen-
 -Only  mode, you can only address our guest when I let you talk.

 To get my attention, just /RAIse your hand.  Just enter this from your
 keyboard: /rai

 I'll acknowledge your raised hand as soon as I can, but please be patient.

 I -WILL- let you know when your turn is coming up.

 Some other RTC commands are:
    ?     -  Lists all RTC commands.
    /sta  -  Status (list) of everyone in the RTC room.
    /exi  -  Exit the RTC, but you remain logged onto GEnie.
    /bye  -  Log off of GEnie directly from the RTC.
    /rai  -  Lets me know you wish to address our guest.

 And now, let's get started.

     One of the particular  strengths  of  the  Atari  ST  is  its graphics
 capabilities.   The granddaddy  of ST  paint programs is Degas (pronounced
 "Day-gah", the "s" is silent), later  becoming Degas  Elite.   Cyber Paint
 and   Spectrum 512  were the  next paint packages to catch on, pushing the
 ST's  graphics and  animation abilities  further.   While there  have been
 other   paint packages,  Degas, Degas Elite, Cyber Paint, and Spectrum 512
 have  been the major players.

     After a period of stagnancy in paint programs, the ST  is now enjoying
 the recent  release of  two new  paint programs.   The co-author of one of
 them is here with us tonight.

 Anthony Pabon is co-author of  Deluxe  Paint  ST,  which  is  published by
 Electronic Arts UK and is marketed here by Electronic Arts USA.

 Rather than  me trying  to describe DPaint ST for you, let me turn it over
 to Anthony.  Do you have any opening statements before we go to questions,

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 I would  like to  introduce the  people in the room with me.  In the room,
 there is Troy Gillette (animation guy),  Stephen White (original  Da Vinci
 programmer),  and  Theodore  Pabon  (beta  tester,  artwork,  and  general

 Would you like me to begin with a description of DPaint?

                              <[Sysop] JEFF.W>
 Yes, please.

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 Oh, boy.  Here we go...

     In short, Deluxe Paint ST began over two and half years ago.   At that
 time,   we were  developing some  projects that needed graphics.  We found
 the existing paint programs to lack  needed features  and to  be too slow.
 Deluxe Paint  ST (originally called Da Vinci) began as a simple utility to
 be used with the existing editors, but it got a  bit out  of hand,  and we
 soon realized  that we might as well take the plunge and make the ultimate
 art package.

 Enough history!

                              <[Sysop] JEFF.W>
 What are some of the features of DPaint ST that distinguish it  from other
 paint programs for the ST?

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 DPST has many features not found in the other paint packages.

 First, DPST  supports up  to 999  buffers each  which can hold a 999 frame

 Next, we have many drawing modes, which aid  in making  very fancy looking
 displays with a minimum of work or art knowledge.

 Also, we  have a  real-time magnify,  which updates  at about 100 frames a
 second.  Plus, the magnify works with all drawing modes & tools.

 DPST supports the 4096 palette of the STe.

 Plus, it all works in 512K (although it takes advantage of any more memory
 if you've got it).

 Our font  system allows you to edit and design 16 color fonts within DPST.
 Also, the fonts are proportional with kerning.

 Basically, we've got more drawing  tools,  features,  and  speed  than any
 other drawing package.

 We could go on about this all night, are there any specific questions?

                          <[Robert] R.CARPENTE17>
 What animation advantages does it have over CyberPaint?

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 First, we  support multiple  animations.   You can  theoretically edit 999
 animations (with different palettes)  simultaneously.   Also, our tweening
 is much  easier to  use than  Cyber's.   Also, we work in 512K, and we can
 hold much larger animations in 1 Meg.

                          <[Robert] R.CARPENTE17>
 How many animation frames can you support with 4 Megs?

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 You can have 999 frames per each buffer, so any 1 animation  has a maximum
 of 999 frames.

                              <[Sysop] JEFF.W>
 I  take  it  the  contents  of  the frames determine the size, which would
 determine the number of frames you could  have  in  a  system  of  a given
 memory size?

 (Did that make sense?)

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 Yes, we  delta compress the frames, so the more complex the change between
 the frames, the more memory is used.

                          <[bry @ ahh] B.NYSTROM>
 Why the IFF file format (besides  being compatible  with Amiga)?   Does it
 have any  other advantages  (IFF)?   And is  the new IFF format compatible
 with Amiga?

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 We went with the IFF file format because of its flexibility.
 Also, we wanted to be somewhat standard with  existing machines  and prog-
 rams.   Yes, we  support the  Amiga IFF  as an  option within DPST.  To be
 compatible with the Amiga, you select that you want the  file to  be saved
 using the ILBM compression.

                          <[bry @ ahh] B.NYSTROM>
 Does that mean that the ST IFF mode is not compatible on all machines?

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 No, DPST  defaults to  our own compression technique.  We still save using
 the IFF standard, but unless a program supports  our compression,  it will
 not be  able to load the picture.  We offered our compression technique as
 an option because it compresses  and  decompresses  much  faster  than the
 Amiga standard.   If  you want  to be compatible, for now, be sure to save
 the picture using ILBM (byterun) compression.

                          <[bry @ ahh] B.NYSTROM>
 Thank you very much...And thanks for a great ST program!

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 Thanks, bry!

                              <[Sysop] JEFF.W>
 DPaint ST works in other graphic formats also, right?

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 Yes, we also support D.e.g.a.s compressed and  uncompressed and NEOChrome.

 You mention  that you can have much larger animations than Cyber, you  are
 using this proprietary compression, is it compatible with the SEQ a nd DLT

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 No, it's along the same technique, but it is not  compatible.  I've heard
 that someone  is working  on a  converter.   A quick  comment, we uploaded
 complete docs on our compression onto GEnie.  It's not proprietary.

 I know that DP is 2  -1/2 animation,  but can  it import  .3D2 files?? Or,
 just bit mapped graphics only??

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 I'm not  sure I  know what  2 -1/2 animation means?  DPST does not support
 .3d2 files.  DPST only deals with  bit map graphics.

 2 -1/2 is flat objects give a 3-D perspective effect.  Thanks, that's all
 for me.

 Maybe a way off base question, but I am very pleased with your program and
 wondering if it can run Mega STE at 16mhz.

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 Yes!  In runs just fine at 32MHz on a TT.  It'll work just fine.

                          <[bry @ ahh] B.NYSTROM>
 Me again (short Q!  :-)..  2 part:

 1) What else is  ArtisTech working on (or planning to work on), and

 2) what was DPST written in?

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 We are  currently working  on two games.  We can't comment  too much about
 them right now, but I can  tell  you  that  they're  both adventure/arcade

 Next, DPST,  believe or  not, was  written using  a C   compiler.  We used
 Laser C (which is an excellent program), and  the entire  DPST was written
 using inline assembly statements.  Pretty weird, huh?

                          <[bry @ ahh] B.NYSTROM>
 (IMHO) Sorry to hear that they are games :-(

 DPST is  a good productivity tool and that is more of what the ST needs to
 survive here in the US....Thanks!

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 Don't worry, we're all utility happy around here.   Games  don't take very
 long, and  I'm sure at least someone around here will be making new utili-
 ties soon!

                              <[JR] J.WENZEL2>
 I was wondering what the actual  frame  rate  for  animations?  (  I don't
 recall it being stated in the manual )

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 We set our maximum frame rate to 30 frames a second.

                              <[JR] J.WENZEL2>
 A comment:

 I've been  using DPaint for around 2 weeks now and would like to convey my
 most heart felt thanks for the development of such a high quality graphics

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 Thanks, JR!   We  worked extremely  hard and long on the  project, so it's
 always nice to hear compliments like that!

                              <[Sysop] JEFF.W>
 JR, a question for you...

 What feature of DPaint ST stands out the most for you?

                              <[JR] J.WENZEL2>
 It's hard to say...

 One of the most useful aspects about it  is the  ease with   which objects
 can be  manipulated on  various axcies  of rotation and the drawing opera-
 tions are quite excellent.

                              <[Sysop] JEFF.W>
 Thank you, JR.  It's good to get a user's point of view.

                              <[JR] J.WENZEL2>

 Thanks, one of the reason I purchased  Dp  was  the  knowledge  that  I am
 getting a  program with  support behind  it.   I always saw the Amiga ver-
 sion(s) and enjoy using them.

 I am just learning how to use DP, but I look forward to years of use.

 Now my question.

 Is there anyway to stop DP from accessing my drive when I  load DP  off my
 Hard Drive.  Without a disk in A it crashes???

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 That's very  strange!   Delete your .cfg file.  It sounds like it's trying
 to configure to drive A.

                            <[Tired Ken] K.BAD>
 Good evening!

 Got a couple of quickies...

 Number 1, is there a way to draw on a canvas that's larger than  a screen?
 (or am I missing something in this excellent manual ;)

 Number 2,  when you  draw diagonal  lines with  a /-shaped  brush, you get
 holes in the lines...  can you recommend a workaround?

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 No.  We discussed having larger canvasses way  back at  the beginning, but
 we were  so interested  in speed  and memory  saving that we threw out the

 The reason you get holes in lines is that you are drawing  with a diagonal
 brush.  Any paint program will do the same thing.  If you want to plug the
 holes, just use a brush which is double thickness.

                            <[Tired Ken] K.BAD>
 Okeydoke, thanks.  And thanks for a great paint program.   The  more I use
 this thing, the more I like it.

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 Thanks, Ken.

                              <[Sysop] JEFF.W>
 That just  about wraps things up.  Anything else you'd like to  add, Tony,
 Troy, Stephen, and Theodore?

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 A quick plug.  We got "best application software of 1990" from  readers of
 ST Format, and best art/graphics package by ST Format editors.

                              <[Sysop] JEFF.W>
 Congratulations!  It's well deserved!

                           <[ArtisTech] A.PABON>
 Thanks, Jeff.

                              <[Sysop] JEFF.W>
 Thank you  folks for  being our  guests this evening and thanks to all who
 participated.  Thanks to all for  making this  Deluxe Paint  ST Conference

 (C) 1990 by Atari Corporation, GEnie, and the Atari Roundtables.  May be
  reprinted only with this notice intact.  The Atari Roundtables on GEnie
         are *official* information services of Atari Corporation.

 > Stock Market ~ STReport?          VALUE OF ATARI STOCK JUMPS 12 PERCENT!

                                                     THE TICKERTAPE

 by Michael Arthur

     The price  of Atari stock went up 1/8 of a point on Monday, and was up
 another 1/8 of a point on Tuesday.   On Wednesday  its price  was down 1/8
 of a  point, and  went up 1/8 of a point on Thursday.  On Friday the price
 of Atari stock stayed  the same,  ending the  week at  $2.25 a  share.  On
 November 30, the price of Atari stock was up 1/4 of a point from its price
 on November 23.

     Apple Stock was up 3/8 of a point from Friday, November 23, 1990.
       Commodore Stock stayed at the same price it was on 11/23/90.
                  IBM Stock was up 1 point from 11/23/90.

               Stock Report for Week of 11/26/90 to 11/30/90

 STock|   Monday    |   Tuesday  |  Wednesday  |  Thursday  |   Friday    |
 Reprt|Last     Chg.|Last    Chg.|Last     Chg.|Last    Chg.|Last     Chg.|
 Atari|2 1/8   + 1/8|2 1/4   +1/8|2 1/8   - 1/8|2 1/4   +1/8|2 1/4   ---- |
      |             |            |             |            | 20,500 Sls  |
  CBM |9 1/2   - 3/8|9 3/8   -1/8|9 7/8   + 1/2|9 3/4   -1/8|9 7/8   + 1/8|
      |             |            | 394,300 Sls |            | 230,900 Sls |
 Apple|36 3/4  + 3/8|37 1/2  +3/4|36 3/4   -3/4|36 3/4  ----|36 3/4  ---- |
      |             |            |             |            |1,084,900 Sls|
  IBM |113 7/8      |113 1/2     |112 3/8      | 112   - 3/8|113 5/8 +13/8|
      |       +1 1/4|        -3/8|       -1 1/8|            |1,804,400 Sls|

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


 > 4mb 1040STe STR Feature?                           "....Yes, it's easy!"

                          UPGRADING YOUR 1040STE.
                           "A very SIMMple task"

 by Jim Keho, PHAST

     If your STe is still under  warranty you  may want  to print  this out
 and save  it for  the future. This will void your warranty..  I waited the
 90days. And if your not completely sure you can do  this, Take  it to your
 local Atari  dealer if  available.. I  can't guarantee that it'll work for
 you, but it did for me.

     Yes, it's easy. There's a different way to do a  2meg, 2.5meg,  & 4meg
 upgrade, therefore  I hope  this'll be  of help  to anyone that desires to
 upgrade their STE.

 Tools needed:

 Parts needed:
     SIMMS (depends on how much your going to upgrade to),  you'll need two
 1meg SIMMS  for upgrading  to 2  megs, and  four 1meg  SIMMS to upgrade to
 4megs. 100ns or faster is fine.  And 1megx9 are also used in IBM's,  so if
 you ever  want to  use them later in an IBM you'll have them. Prices vary,
 I've seen and heard prices ranging from $30.-$50. per SIMM.

     There's also a little program w/text file floating around (on BBS's)t-
 hat allows  using two  of the 256k SIMMs (that came in the STE) along with
 two 1meg SIMMs and fools the MMU into thinking it's a 2.5meg  STE, instead
 of a  4meg STE.   You'll  need to locate this little program if you'd like
 to try it.  I did try this out.  And it  works, but  it seemed  like I was
 doing a  lot of  cold booting  to get  it to  work most of the time.  So I
 decided it wasn't worth the trouble for the extra half  a meg.   I'll have
 to wait  until I  can afford two more 1meg SIMMs.  You may also be able to
 get a little trade-in for the  four 256k  SIMMs if  you want,  they're not
 worth a lot.

                                OK, Ready?

     Unplug everything. Turn the STe computer upside down, remove the seven
 screws on the bottom  (these are  the ones  identified by  a little square
 hole).   When all  screws are removed turn the computer back right side up
 with the keyboard facing you, and  remove the  top half  of case  taking a
 little care  at the  floppy drive end (it kind of sticks).  Now you should
 be looking at the whole keyboard and metal shielding along  the back.   At
 this point,  you need  to remove the screws holding the shield to the back
 left (don't forget the 3 on  the backside)  which covers  the power supply
 and SIMMs,  now untwist the metal tabs holding the shield (if applicable).
 That's it. You should be able to see  the four  256k SIMMs.   For  the big
 question:  How much to upgrade?

     For adding  two 1meg  SIMMs for  2megs, you'll need to remove all four
 256k SIMMs (that came  in the  STe) and  install the  two 1meg  SIMMs like
  2 megs         (Back of STE)
               |-----1meg SIMM-----|
               |------empty--------|     top view
               |-----1meg SIMM-----|
                 (Front of STE)
     And for  adding four  1meg SIMMS  for 4megs, you'll need to remove all
 four 256k SIMMs (that came in  the STE)  and install  the four  1meg SIMMs
 like this:
  4 megs         (Back of STE)
               |-----1meg SIMM-----|
               |-----1meg SIMM-----|     top view
               |-----1meg SIMM-----|
               |-----1meg SIMM-----|
                 (Front of STE)

 OK, That's it. Pretty SIMMple. eh?


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

                         THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM

 On CompuServe

 by Walter Daniel  75066,164

     The big news in the forum this week is that BJ Gleason uploaded PBASIC
 3.0 (Library 1, New Uploads).  This version adds strings,  two dimensional
 arrays, many sample programs, and an online help file.  The online help is
 actually a Portfolio Address Book file; you call the Address  Book to read
 the "cards"  about each  topic.   Here's a tip:  when pressed for speed in
 PBASIC, use one-letter  variable  names.    The  interpreter automatically
 recognizes that they must be variables and skips the time-consuming search
 through the command table.

     Other uploads this week:  PF1.1 is a program that works like  the File
 Manager that  now ships  with all  Portfolios.  It performs some functions
 differently and will likely be upgraded.  BJ Gleason also uploaded two new
 Portfolio games,  Othello and Fence.  I'm a novice at Othello, so the Port
 beat me handily.  In Fence, you drop "fences" that bounce a ball towards a
 moving target.   I  uploaded a bibliography of a few magazine articles and
 one book about the Portfolio while someone who attended COMDEX  uploaded a
 text file with coverage of the Portfolio products shown there.

     Some COMDEX  topics are  still being debated in the message area, many
 of which deal with desired features for the next Portfolio.   A "Portfolio
 vs. Sharp  Wizard vs.  Casio BOSS"  debate seems  to have  been ignited by
 COMDEX.  My interpretation of the debate is that the  Wizard and  BOSS are
 really good  at organizing (scheduling, phone numbers, etc.) since that is
 what they were designed to do.  The Portfolio does have organizing functi-
 ons, but it can do much more:  BASIC programming, games, terminal emulati-
 on, and so on.  Top-of-the-line Wizards add some of  these functions thro-
 ugh expansion cards, but those cards can be expensive.

     A great  many of  the forum  messages are  requests for  help from new
 users.  Most of these requests deal with connectivity to desktop machines,
 so a  bit of  coverage here is in order.  There are essentially three ways
 to move files between a Portfolio  and a  desktop computer:   the  PC card
 drive, the Smart Parallel Interface, and the Serial Interface.

     The PC  card drive  (less than $100) is for MS-DOS machines--an inter-
 face takes a slot in the  computer and  connects to  a Portfolio  RAM card
 reader.  The RAM cards can then be read by the computer like floppy disks.
 This is the most efficient way of moving files, but  is only  available to
 MS-DOS users  at present.   We  Mac and  ST users  sure would  like a card
 reader for our machines!

     MS-DOS users can also use the Smart Parallel Interface (about $40) for
 file transfer.  The interface comes with both 5.25" and 3.5" disks with PC
 file transfer software; the Portfolio  software  is  in  ROM  and accessed
 through the Setup program.

     The Serial  Interface (about $60) provides an RS232-C port that can be
 connected to modems, serial printers, or other computers.  For file trans-
 fer, you  need a  null-modem cable and terminal programs on both machines.
 Getting the terminal program such as XTERM2 into your Portfolio  the first
 time is  the difficult  part.  While I've heard that it is possible to use
 the COPY AUX command, it's much easier to  get someone  to copy  XTERM2 to
 your RAM  card.   For example, my Atari dealer copied it to the RAM card I
 bought from him.  XTERM2 is  also on  the DOS  Utilities ROM  card sold by

     Please, Do  send feedback  and suggestions to me on CIS; in the forum,


 > The Flip Side STR Feature?                    "...A different viewpoint"

                    A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT

 by Michael Lee

    Have  you been confused as to what type of SIMM's the new   STe's  use?
 What speed?  What's the price?  Here's some info that might help....

    From Frank Bell on Genie:
 ...The  STE contains 4 256K SIM boards equaling 1000K (1  meg).  You  can
 upgrade to 2 or 4mb using 2 (or 4) 1mb SIM boards.  Unlike the old  ST's,
 you can't upgrade to 2.5Mb.  To upgrade,  your dealer just has to open up
 the  machine,  take  out the 256k SIMs and push in  the  1mb  SIMs.  Five
 minutes of his time and one hour labor (plus SIMs) for you.
 ...I've  heard  that a friend of mine has written to  small  Auto  Folder
 program which allows the use of two 1mb SIMs (in the lower bank) and  two
 256K  SIMs  (in  the upper bank) thus giving us  2.5mb  of  memory.  I'll
 contact him and see if he'll release it to PD. Make sure the person doing
 your  upgrade  gives  you back your 4 256k  SIMs,  you  might  need  them
 (anyway, nobody else does).

    From B.Malatesta on Genie:
 ...Anyone  who is looking for SIMMs  contact  MET (Micro Electronic Tech-
 nologies Inc.),  they sell lifetime warranty SIMMs.   Item 299-MD1M08M-80
 at only $50.00 EACH.. Call them at 1-508-435-9057.

    From Doug Wheeler (Gadgets) on Genie:
 ...The  Chip Merchant in San Diego (almost always the lowest  prices)  is
 advertising 1 Meg SIMMs for $39 (see latest MacWeek).

    Jim Allen (FAST Tech) on Genie:
 ...I'd invest in 1Megx9 SIMMs at 70ns....Any SIMMs faster than 150ns  are
 fine,  invest in the best and they will be useful for many years...use x9
 SIMMs so they have worth for PCs.


    From Ken B. (Atari) on Genie:
 ...The desktop does what it can to clean up after programs that bomb out,
 but more often than not,  it isn't enough.  The best thing to do when you
 see bombs is reboot.
 ...Guy Kawasaki said something very interesting that I'll paraphrase  for
 this occasion:  "The number of bombs you see on the screen when a program
 bombs out is equal to the number of additional months the program  should
 have been tested before it was released."


    From Lauren (Wordflair) on Genie:

 Goldleaf Publishing,  Inc.  cordially invites users of the following word
 processing  programs to switch to Wordflair II to attain a new  level  of
 document processing power:

 1st  Word  Plus (GST) Microsoft Write Word-Up (Neocept)  Word  Writer  St
 (Time Works)

 Now through February 15,  1991 only,  users of any of these programs  may
 order Wordflair II direct from Goldleaf Publishing,  Inc. for half price.
 In  order  to  qualify for this special  offer,  users  must  send  their
 original  disk(s)  and  a check or money order in the amount  of  $75  to
 Goldleaf Publishing,  Inc.  at 700 Larkspur Landing Circle,  Larkspur, CA
 94939.  For more details,  contact us at 415/461-4552.  Wordflair II will
 ship on or before January 2, 1991.


 Atari User Group Coordinator,  Bob Brodie,  will be appearing at the ACES
 user  group  meeting in Southern California on  December  12,  1990.  The
 meeting will be at the West Covina City Hall Council Chambers, just south
 of the San Bernardino Freeway (10) at the West Covina Parkway Exit. Exact
 address is 1444 W. Garvey.

 For  further information,  please contact Tara Jacobs,  President of  the
 Atari Computer Enthusiasts Society (ACES) at 818-331-1172.

 Everyone is admitted free. The meeting starts at 7:00PM.


 Are  you interested in programming on the ST but can't afford  the  Atari
 developer's package?  Here's three books that are "must haves"...

    From Stan Sensy on Genie:
 I received all three of the Compute's Reference Books from Micro-Tyme,  a
 mail order house in Ohio.  The number is 1-800-255-5835.  This was a  few
 months back, but they still list them in their advertisement in STart. If
 you  can't get them there,  here are the titles,  ISBN numbers,  and  the
 price listed on the book.

    Atari ST : VDI          ISBN 0-87455-093-9          $19.95
    Atari ST : AES          ISBN 0-87455-114-5          $19.95
    Atari ST : TOS          ISBN 0-87455-149-8          $24.95

 I don't know if they still have them in stock. If not, you should be able
 to order from B. Dalton or Waldenbooks as long as you have the ISBN info.


 Some interesting information about the new STe's.   It looks as if  Atari
 is finally shipping them with TOS 1.62 installed.

    From John Townsend (Atari) on Genie:
 ...STE  machines  are now being manufacturered with TOS  1.62,  MEGA  STE
 machines will have their own version and the TT was 3.01.  None of  these
 OS versions require any patch programs at all.
 ...TOS 1.4 upgrades are still being shipped the same way.


 Until next week.....


 > TT030 OVERVIEW STR FOCUS?                      A CANDID LOOK AT THE "TT"

                             TWO CENT'S WORTH

 by M. Perdue

     Over  the  last  several  months,  I have read and heard many negative
 comments about Atari's new computer; the 'TT030'.  In fact, the complaints
 were so  numerous that I had almost decided that I didn't want to waste my
 time or money on one, and was seriously looking at products available from
 other vendors.  That's when  fate stepped in.  Last month, I had the plea-
 sure of attending COMDEX to help Ditek International show a product called
 DynaCADD.   Since I  was already familiar with the 'ST', I was assigned to
 work the Atari booth, and given my very own 'TT030' for the  week.   I had
 only a  brief exposure to the machine before COMDEX, so on the first day I
 decided to come in a little early and 'play' with  it.   I was impressed!!
 Where was  the slow  machine that  I had  been reading  about?  The TT was
 really fast.  By the end of the week I had decided  that there  was little
 or no justification for much of the complaining that was going on.

     Since  COMDEX,  I  have  obtained  my  own TT (yes, they are available
 through VAR's even as you read  this), and  I am  now even  more impressed
 than  before.    All  of  the  well  written software already works on the
 machine in the ST resolutions.   And the  really good  stuff (DynaCADD and
 NeoDesk for  instance) also  support the  new TT  resolutions AND the TT's
 faster RAM.  From  my own  experience, every  program that  I have written
 which doesn't  work has been because 'I' have broken the rules for progra-
 mming the GEM environment.

     I have also done a little  testing to  see just  how fast  the machine
 is. For  the tests,  I used  Quick Index  1.8 from Branch Always Software.
 This program gives a nice comparison  to a  'plain ST'  in several perfor-
 mance catagories.  I ran  the tests in all ST resolutions (it's not really
 fair to compare modes the ST doesn't have) and  averaged the results:

                             ST RAM                TT RAM
     CACHE                ON        OFF         ON        OFF
     CPU Memory          566%       172%       811%       264%
     CPU Register        825%       197%       825%       319%
     CPU Divide         1022%       768%      1022%       867%
     CPU Shifts         3528%      2050%      3528%      3106%
     DMA 64K read       5853%      5853%      5853%      5853%
     GEMDOS file read   2419%      2348%      2419%      2419%
     TOS text            252%       153%       268%       161%
     TOS String          238%       159%       239%       160%
     TOS Scroll          229%       156%       229%       156%
     GEM Dialog          175%       125%       179%       125%

 So, what does all this mean? It means that the TT is faster than  the  ST,
 up to 58 times faster in some areas. That's pretty impressive! As for some
 of the other complaints:

          "It would sell better IF it didn't say Atari on it..."
          "It would sell better IF it had a different case..."
          "It would be faster IF it had a BLITTER..."
                               IF, IF, IF...
          "If frogs had wings, they wouldn't bump their butt so much!!"
          "If developers spent less time running down the machine, and more
          time developing software, Atari might have something to advertise

     In closing, let me say that in my  opinion, the  TT is  well worth the
 wait and  the money.  I recommend that anyone looking for a more  powerful
 system than their ST look real close at the TT; you'll be  glad you did.


 > MDC-RCC STR SHOW NEWS?                   A Multi-Facet Show in St. Louis


 by Ray Perry,
 MDC-RCC Atari SIG director

 November 30, 1990

      On Saturday, November 3, 1990,  the  third  annual  McDonnell Douglas
 Recreational Computer  Club Computer Fair was held in St. Louis, Missouri.
 The show was located in the large (~9000  square foot)  Building 33 cafet-
 eria on  the McDonnell  Aircraft engineering  campus.  Exhibitors included
 the 10 Special  Interest  Groups  (SIGs)  of  the  MDC-RCC  (Amiga, Apple,
 Atari, Commodore, CP/M, IBM,  Macintosh, Tandy, Texas Instruments, Timex/-
 Sinclair), as well as  other  local  user  groups  (ACE-St.  Louis, CUGSL,
 EAUG), manufacturer  representatives (Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Apple), area
 dealers (Cedar Computer, CompuAdd,  First Capitol  Computer, Forsythe Com-
 puters, Mind's  Eye, Plato,  Randall Home  Computers, Systems   Plus), and
 local software developers (Greg Kopchak, Softlogik,  Kelly Webb).

      Between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., the show  attracted more  than 700 visit-
 ors, nearly  half of  whom were MDC employees.  Most people took advantage
 of this opportunity to use and compare different  types of  computers.  No
 actual sales  took place at the show, but several dealers reported increa-
 sed business the following  week.   Many exhibitors  also donated valuable
 door prizes.   Most  notable among  these were HP DeskJet 500 and LaserJet
 IIP printers contributed by Cedar Computer.

      THE ATARI DISPLAY:  Atari was well-represented at  the show,   with 5
 Mega STs,  6 1040 STs, an SLM804, a 130XE, and a Portfolio.  On my Mega, I
 demonstrated Calamus  (using Kelly  Webb's HP  DeskJet   500), the Migraph
 Hand Scanner,  the StereoTEK 3-D glasses, and the ST Replay audio digitiz-
 er.  Jay Jones displayed the SLM804 laser printer and ran the  Spectre GCR
 Macintosh emulator  on his Mega.  Jeff Randall, of Randall Home Computers,
 demonstrated IBM  compatibility with his Mega and the Supercharger.   Troy
 Baldwin used  his Mega  to show  Atari desktop  video animation capability
 with the JRI Genlock.   And  Cory  Baldwin  (Troy's  brother)  also showed
 Spectre on  his Mega.   Hank  Vize ran  Pagestream and  WordPerfect on his
 1040, and Kelly Webb demonstrated his  Seurat paint  program on  two 1040s
 (color  and  mono).    Greg  and  Randall Kopchak gave a mini-MIDI concert
 using their 1040, a MIDI keyboard, and a synthesizer module.

      The smallest member of the Atari family, the Portfolio, was gracious-
 ly provided  on very  short notice  by Bizmart.   The  little computer was
 mounted on an attractive tabletop display unit which  described the Portf-
 olio and  its peripherals.  Multi-player games such as MIDI-MAZE and Stunt
 Car Racer were demonstrated on two  networked 1040s,  and the ever-popular
 Barn Blaster  was running on the 130XE.  There were also two demonstration
 video tapes running on an alternating basis.  The first was Antic's impre-
 ssive Cybermation  video, which  shows their Cyber animation products, and
 features music by Jean-Michel Jarre.  Jeff Randall made the  second video,
 which shows  elaborate games and other things which look good, but are too
 complicated for a live demonstration.

      Jeff Randall had hoped to bring one or  more 1040  STes to  the show,
 but his  shipment didn't arrive in time.  However, he got the machines the
 following Monday, and 5 of the  6 were  sold in  about a  week.   We asked
 Atari to  provide hard-to-find items such as a STacy, a 19" monitor, and a
 TT.  But, unlike the 1989 show, we didn't get anything from Sunnyvale this
 year.   I also brought my Sony 8mm camcorder to the show, but I was unable
 to get it past the McDonnell  guard force  when my  security escort failed
 to  show  up  with  the  promised  camera pass.  This made it difficult or
 impossible to demonstrate VIDI-ST, Computereyes, and the JRI Genlock.

     I never left the Atari booth myself, so I can't comment on  the displ-
 ays of  "other" computers.   However, people who did tell me that our dis-
 play was again the biggest and busiest of the show.  I think the  show was
 a success  for everyone,  including Atari,  and I  hope that  Jeff and Tim
 Randall sell a lot of STes (and STacys  and TTs?)  as a  result.   I would
 like to  thank all  the individuals,  user groups, and companies that made
 the show  possible.  The McDonnell Douglas Recreational Computer  Club has
 decided to  hold the 1991 Computer Fair at an off-site location,  with the
 exact time and place to be  announced soon.   The  site chosen  will allow
 direct sales  and will  have no restrictions on recording devices (like my
 camcorder).  With everyone's help, we    can  make  next  year's  show the
 biggest and best yet.


 > NEW PRODUCTS! STR InfoFile?                           Stocking Stuffers!


     Duggan DeZign  Inc. proudly announces the release of another fantastic
 new product directed at anyone who plays games  on any  personal computer!
 It's called  'THE STIK-GRIPPER  T.C.S.' (Total  Control Stand) and it will
 bring the fast and furious arcade action into your home!

     THE STIK-GRIPPER T.C.S. is a rugged,  three piece  plastic stand which
 you easily  mount your  Joystick to  thru the use of the large Velcro pads
 provided or the Suction cups on  your  Joystick!    Here's  how  it works:
 Simply place  the T.C.S.  on any chair with your legs over the base of the
 stand (see below).  This will firmly hold  your Joystick  front and center
 of you where you need it!  This product is excellent for Flight Simulators
 as it gives the true 'Flying by the Stick' feel!   It  also allows  you to
 use  the  Keyboard  and  the  Joystick  at the same time which can be life
 saving at crucial moments!

                        The STIK-GRIPPER T.C.S.
                 Joystick --> |_________|
                               ---------  <- TOP PLATE
                            Your   | Your
                             Leg   |  Leg
                            ----------------  <-BASE
                        | |     Chair        | |
                        | |                  | |

     THE STIK-GRIPPER T.C.S.TM is very versatile as just about any Joystick
 can be  mounted to  it.   Even large  Joysticks such  as the Gravis SWITCH
 can be  mounted to  it. Smaller Joysticks such as the Suncom SLIK STIK and
 the Atari  2600 Joysticks  also work  excellent with  this product.    THE
 STIK-GRIPPER T.C.S.  also adds  Tremendous value if your Joystick has Suc-
 tion cups as you can stick them to the top of the  T.C.S. instead  of have
 to secure it to a table!

     Best of all, the THE STIK-GRIPPER T.C.S. is ergonomically designed for
 long, comfortable play.   It  eliminates  hand  fatigue  from  holding the
 Joystick and allows you to rest your arms and hands while you play!

     THE STIK-GRIPPER T.C.S. has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of
 only $19.99 and will  be  available  on  December  1st,  1990  at computer
 dealers everywhere.

 Or, send a check or money order to:

                            Duggan DeZign Inc.
                         300 Quaker Lane, STE # 7
                            Warwick  RI  02886
                 Phone (401) 823-8073   FAX (401) 826-0140


        *** NE Atari Fest Video Tape of the Show NOW Avaliable ***

 | Did you miss the opportunity to attend the New England AtariFest '90? |
 |       If you attended, would you like to re-live the experience?      |
 |                                                                       |
 |                                                                       |
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 |  non-stop enjoyment, including the entire seminars by Bob Brodie and  |
 |  Ralph Mariano.  All for just $14.95 + $3.00 s/h ($17.95 total).      |
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 |    Send check or money order, payable to SSAG (in U.S. funds) to:     |
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 |                           SSAG - NEA '90 Video                        |
 |                                                                       |
 |                             P.O. Box 129                              |
 |                                                                       |
 |                           Hyde Park, MA 02136                         |


 > The Future of the ST STR Feature?                " man's opinion"

                          LIFE AFTER THE ATARI ST

 part I

 by Darek Mihocka,
 President, Branch Always Software

     "1990 will be the year of  Atari!"   Well, maybe  not.   Ok, how about
 "1991 will  be the  year of  Atari!".   Sorry. Wrong again.  It seems that
 every year we Atari users get our hopes up, and every year  we are treated
 to more  disappointment and  waiting. And  for some reason the Atari users
 hang on hoping that next year will  be  the  year  Atari  finally  gets it
 right. I for one am fed up with the waiting and have decided to write this
 article for  the benefit  of all  the other  Atari users  stuck in similar

     What I am going to do is to try to open your eyes to other alternativ-
 es, and perhaps ask some questions  and  make  some  statements  that will
 upset some  Atari users.  There is life after the Atari ST.  Whether it be
 a Mac, or a PC clone, or an Amiga, or NeXT, or  some other  computer.  The
 alternative I  will focus  on will be an inexpensive 386 clone running DOS
 and the Windows graphics environment.  Millions of  such machines  are al-
 ready in use in this country, and it is an excellent step up from the ST.

     I am fully aware that by this time, most of the people who have bothe-
 red to read this far are having thoughts like "Messy DOS sucks", "clones",
 "there's no  good software  for the PC", "IBM sucks", "he's abandoning the
 ST", "GEM lives!", "I'm using PC  Ditto", etc.   This  is expected  and is
 exactly why  someone needs  to sit down and explain the facts about PCs to
 Atari users.   If you wish to be close minded, then stop reading right now
 and keep suffering.

     It has  been my experience (from meeting literally thousands of fellow
 Atari users over the years) that we Atari users are  a strange  bunch.  We
 are steadfastly loyal to our machines.  Fanatically so, to the point where
 it is irrational.   This may  have been  helpful in  the past  to keep the
 Atari community alive, but I'm afraid the patient is terminally ill.

     The sad fact is that this loyalty has made most Atari users too close-
 minded about what is going on in the rest of  the computer  world.  Things
 that were  true a  few years  ago (for  example, that  the ST had superior
 graphics and price) are no longer  true.    More  than  50  million people
 around the  world use  DOS based  machines (IBM PCs, ATs, Compaqs, clones,
 etc).  Perhaps a  million use  TOS based  machines (STs,  Mega STs, STEs).
 This alone says something about how futile the cause has become.  There is
 life beyond video games and graphics demos.

     Let me start off giving a bit of background about myself so  that I am
 not accused  of not knowing what I am talking about.  I have been an Atari
 400/800/XL/XE/ST/STE user and developer for almost 10 years.  I  am one of
 the founders  of Branch  Always Software, and developed Quick ST, MonSTEr,
 ST Xformer, and many other 8-bit and ST programs.  For the last 3  years I
 have  also  been  a  part-time  (and now full-time) developer at Microsoft
 involved in various DOS, Windows, OS/2, and GEM products.  I have also had
 the opportunity to live in both Canada and the United States and see first
 hand the state of the Atari communities in both countries.

     When I lived in Canada, I  was  rather  fortunate  to  live  within an
 hour's drive  of Toronto  where at  one time  dozens of Atari 8-bit and ST
 dealers were located.  There was no shortage  of STs,  130XEs, laser prin-
 ters, monitors,  and even those color ST monitors with the built-in floppy
 disks.  There were also many user groups.   The  Toronto Atari Federation,
 which I  was proud  to be  a member  of for several years, easily drew 200
 people to its monthly meetings.  However, more recently here in the United
 Stated, I  have seen  dealers disappear  one by one, user group attendance
 drop sharply, and there is a noticeable shortage of Atari products.

     What were the reasons for Atari's  success and  loyal following  a few
 years  ago  and  the  current  decline?   I can think of two good reasons:
 technical excellence, and low  price, better  known as  "Power Without The
 Price".   It was a catchy slogan, and one that in 1985 was very true.  The
 520ST and later the 1040ST were amazing marvels  of technology.   In 1986,
 in my  first year  of college,  I upgraded from my Atari 8-bit system to a
 1040ST.  For $1600 (or $1200  U.S.) I had  a one  megabyte machine  with a
 state-of-the-art  3.5"  disk  drive,  color and monochrome monitors, and a
 graphical environment built-in.  Nothing on the market  at the  time could
 match that  power for  that price.   For another $800, I had a 20 meg hard
 disk.  As a student, it  was the  ONLY 16-bit  computer I  could afford to
 dream of owning.  And I didn't just have to dream.

     Oddly enough,  the ST  system cost me less that the Atari 400 system I
 bought in 1981.  This is due to the fact that the power of  computers dou-
 bles roughly  every two  years.  Computing power is becoming cheaper every
 year, which is why my original Atari 400  system wouldn't  fetch even $100

     Similarly, in 1982 one could purchase a 64K IBM PC with cassette BASIC
 and a monochrome monitor for about $3000.  Today, for a similar price, you
 can buy a machine 30 times faster with 10 times the screen resolution.

     Tragically, Atari  didn't continue  along this trend after 1985.  Many
 things were promised such  as CD-ROM  drives and  transputers and powerful
 new TOS  upgrades.   These items  have all finally been released, sort of.
 Today, the 1990 model of the Atari 1040ST  has the  same memory, graphics,
 sound, disk  storage, and speed of its 1986 predecessor.  The only differ-
 ence is that it contains TOS 1.2 instead of TOS 1.0, a  minor improvement.
 The long awaited TOS 1.4 is yet to be found in most machines because Atari
 won't start installing it in new  machines until  old supplies  of TOS 1.2
 chips run  out.   The promised blitter upgrade of 1986 never materialized.
 CD-ROMs are available to developers and are used as little more than audio
 CD players.

     The top  of the line ST, the 1040STE, while costing around the same as
 the 1986 1040ST, has only a blitter chip,  extra colors,  stereo sound and
 TOS 1.6  (really just  a modification  of TOS  1.4) to show for 4 years of
 technological improvements.  No 68010 or  68020  chip.  No  1.44  meg disk
 drive.  No improvement in screen graphics that many people expected.

     During the  same 4  or 5 years, companies like Apple, IBM, Compaq, and
 Commodore have followed the trend.  The difference between the 6 Mhz 80286
 based AT  and a 20 MHz 80486 based PS/2 are amazing.  Or compare the orig-
 inal Mac with one of the new Macs in the same price range.

     Just think of all the other advances where  power has  increased while
 price hasn't.   From 300 baud modems to 2400 baud modems. From 160 charac-
 ter-per-second 72 dot-per-inch dot-matrix  printers to  8 page  per minute
 300 dot-per-inch  laser printers.  From 640x200 2 color CGA cards to 1024-
 x768 256 color VGA cards. From 20 megabyte hard disks  to faster  and sma-
 ller 150 megabyte hard disks.

     One could point to the TT and say that this is the missing computer in
 Atari's evolution.  At 32MHz, it is 3 to 8 times faster  than the  ST, has
 improved graphics, a 1.44 Meg floppy disk, a hard disk and several megs of
 RAM.   But a  complete TT  system with  monitor currently  sells for about
 $5000 in  Canada.  This is significantly higher in price than not only the
 ST, but also much higher in price than many competing computers!

     I am also one of many unhappy developers who is fed up with waiting to
 receive a  16MHz developer's  TT.   For months  I have  been given various
 stories, depending on who at Atari I spoke  with.   One person  said all I
 have to  do is phone up Sunnyvale and order a machine (and send $1900) and
 I'll have it in a few days.  Another person  said that  I am  on a waiting
 list of  developers due  to a  shortage of machines, and that the price is
 really $2500.  Another person said to wait after Comdex.   After  Comdex I
 drove to  Sunnyvale, cash  in hand, to buy a machine only to be given more
 excuses.   The latest  I heard  is that  they feel  that the  nature of my
 products would  not generate enough TT sales to justify letting me buy the
 developer's unit.  I wish they would at least get  their stories straight.
 If developers  can't get  them, who is going to write new software for the

     Whatever the reason, I  have been  unable to  get a  development TT to
 write products  for.   Meanwhile, 130 miles north in Vancouver B.C., Atari
 dealers are selling the full blown 32 MHz units to  anyone who  is willing
 to blow  $5000, and  in Germany  the TT  has been around for months.  With
 very few developers owning TTs and  developing software  to take advantage
 of the  TT's power,  the TT  is nothing more than a fast ST at the moment.
 If you want a fast ST, spend $300 on a 16MHz accelerator board and drop it
 in a Mega ST or STE.  You'll have most of the speed of the TT!

     What went  wrong with  Atari?  Certainly this question has been argued
 to death  by just  about all  Atari users.   As  a developer,  I point the
 finger not  on the lack of advertising, but rather on the usually pathetic
 developer support.  There was a ray of hope earlier this year, and in fact
 for  a  while  I  was  receiving  regular monthly developer's newsletters.
 Atari talked to developers.  They let them  see and  touch the  TT and the
 lucky few got to own them.  They sent out documentation.  They shipped the
 Portfolio and STE and Stacy  one  after  another  and  things  were really
 looking good.   But now that several key people involved with this turnar-
 ound have left, it does not look promising.  They are already  past due on
 their newsletters.

     And a  few months  of developer  support won't change the years of not
 releasing needed information to developers or  providing the  kind of sup-
 port required. It has become a spiral, slowly eating away at Atari. Devel-
 opers are unhappy and leave  for  other  markets.  This  results  in fewer
 software products,  and thus  fewer machines sold. This results in a small
 market which drives away more developers. The total result to the end user
 is a small selection of software and far less "Power" for the "Price".

     A lot of ST users, frustrated by the lack of software for the ST, have
 purchased software or hardware emulators, to make their ST act  like a Mac
 or PC  clone. "It's a cheap Mac or PC" they say. Well, perhaps they bought
 the wrong computer. These  other computers  have flourished  over the past
 few years. Why?

     One reason  is better  developer support.   Another reason is that the
 companies did not try to do everything themselves.  IBM  is good  at buil-
 ding 80x86  based machines  (although some would argue with that).  If you
 want an operating system, you go  to Microsoft,  not IBM,  and buy  DOS or
 OS/2.   If you  want to improve the screen graphics, you go to one of many
 dealers of VGA cards, not IBM.  If you want to upgrade your hard disk, you
 go to  a hard  disk dealer.   Unlike  IBM, Atari  forced you  to buy their
 monitors, their disk drives, their hard  disks, their  printers, etc.   It
 took several  years for  third party companies to offer alternative produ-
 cts, and in the area of screen graphics, there are  still no  cheap alter-
 natives.   Closing the  machines off  so that expansion cards could not be
 easily added to the machine also  didn't  help.    There  are  hundreds of
 third-party plug-in  cards for  the PC, which do everything from improving
 screen graphics to interfacing to a CD-ROM to speeding up calculations.

     IBM was  not always  like that.   They  learned their  lesson from the
 clone makers.  Apple is beginning to learn its lesson and is also changing
 its ways. Many other companies never did learn. Remember the  Coleco Adam?
 Or the Mattel Aquarius or Intellevision?  Or the ZX81? ... Or the ST?

     Enough depressing  talk.   Let me  now start talking about the future;
 perhaps a year from now, or two years.   When  the ST  market has  all but
 completely died, and the number of PC compatibles tops 100 million.  Where
 will you be?  Do you plan on still being just an Atari ST user, stuck with
 software  from  the  late  1980's  and  a machine you have no hope of ever

     I didn't think so. After coming back empty handed from Sunnyvale a few
 weeks ago, I decided that for my software company to survive, it will have
 to expand into new areas (no thanks to being shut  out of  the TT market).
 Besides, since  the TT was now out of the question, I needed to satisfy my
 craving for a more powerful computer than an 8 MHz ST. Having  worked with
 almost  every  personal  computer  under  the  sun, I decided to look into
 getting something from the IBM PC  market. I  have to  admit, I  was a bit
 ignorant  myself  about  what  exactly  was available. Being used to using
 machines costing $15,000 or more at my day job, I wasn't quite  sure where
 the level  prices in the low-end PC market were. The goal to was hopefully
 spend less than the cost of a TT.

     At $2000, the IBM PS/1 is a good machine with  a solid  company behind
 it. It has everything you need to get started in only minutes, such as DOS
 and Works, and a similarly equipped STE system would cost  about the same.
 However, being  a real  IBM, you pay for the name, and similar 80286 based
 machines sell for as low as $1200.

     Thinking for the future, I also ruled out  anything less  than a 80386
 or 80386SX  based machine.  Why? The  8088 and 8086 are over 10 years old.
 They are slow, only support up  to 1  megabyte of  memory, and  are as ob-
 solete  as  the  6502  chip.  The  80286 chip, while it is much faster and
 supports protected  mode operation  (I'll explain  that later),  it is not
 really a  multitasking processor. It is about as multitasking as the 68000

     On the other hand,  the 80386  and 80386SX  chips (I'll  just refer to
 them as  "386" from  now on), were designed with multitasking in mind. Not
 only are they extremely fast replacements of the 8086 chip,  but they have
 built into them what is called "virtual machine" mode. That means that the
 386 can make itself appear to be an ordinary (but  fast) 8086  running one
 piece of  software, and  then switch  over into  another "virtual machine"
 that is running some other piece of software. Both pieces  of software are
 running at the same time, on the same 386 chip, and each piece of software
 thinks that it is alone in the computer. This is multitasking.

     If this sounds too technical, don't worry. Just know that  it is great
 stuff as  far as  running software goes. I'll discuss multitasking in more
 detail next week.

     Anyway, back  to buying  a computer.  I went  to one  of many computer
 dealers in  Seattle that sells PC clones. Since the design on the PC is so
 modular, many of these dealers build the machines right on the spot, using
 off-the-shelf parts. That way you can mix-and-match parts to make your own
 custom machine. You decide on the hard disk  size, the  graphics card, the
 floppy disk drive, etc.

     Now that  I decided  on a 386, I had to decide on a floppy disk. 5.25"
 floppies are pretty well  obsolete, so  3.5" was  the way  to go.  720K or
 1.44M? Well,  720K is  ST compatible,  but 1.44M drives (which simply hold
 twice as much information  as the  standard 720K  ST drives)  are becoming
 common in  many machines  and even  in the TT. So I chose 1.44M. How big a
 hard disk? Well, my 20 meg ST hard  disk filled  up fast.  I went  with 60
 meg. How  much memory?  Memory is  cheap, so 4 meg. This ensures I can run
 OS/2 and multitask comfortably with Windows and don't have to  worry about
 upgrading hassles later on to save a few bucks now. How many serial ports?
 Well, one would certainly do, but since I plan on  hooking both  my modems
 up (I  have two  phone lines) the thought of logging on to both Compuserve
 and GEnie at the same time sounded appealing. I can  download a  file from
 one online system while reading messages in another. So, two serial ports.
 In fact, during the course of writing this  using Word  running on Windows
 3, I  have   been logging  into both GEnie and Compuserve using a terminal
 program running in another window, and  have Flight  Simulator 4  going in
 the background, and I can switch to any program in an instant.

     So far  we have  a 386 motherboard and DOS 3.3 thrown in. Now there is
 the matter of deciding on a graphics card. EGA is ok. It  provides 640x350
 resolution  in  color,  which  is  almost twice the resolution of the ST's
 color monitor. But again, the price difference between  EGA and  VGA cards
 is small  enough that a few dollars now will save some regrets later on. I
 chose a  1024x768 card,  which displays  16 colors  in that  mode, and 256
 colors in  regular 640x480  VGA mode.  Throw in a 400 dpi Microsoft Mouse.
 Finally, a multisync monitor rounded out the parts list.

     In the end I purchased a 4 meg 386, running at 25  MHz, with  a 60 meg
 hard disk,  256 color  super VGA, 2 serial ports, a printer port, a mouse,
 1.44 M floppy, and a really sharp monitor for a grand total  of.... $4000?
 No. $3000? No. Try $2100 (plus tax of course, but that's not their fault).
 For about $200 more, I got Windows 3.0 and Works 2.0, two very good pieces
 of software to start off the system. The machine has a Norton SI rating of
 26, and in real life tests it is  only 40%  slower than  the fastest 80486
 based machines I have tested.

     Your prices may vary from state to state and dealer to dealer. But for
 about under $2500 it is possible  to purchase  a complete  386 system with
 software that  matches any  similar ST system in price and outshines it in

     I would like to stop at this point and say  that next  week I  will go
 into the  software aspect  the 386  system. I will discuss things like DOS
 and Windows and just what good is multitasking. I'll discuss  some popular
 software packages  that are  available. I'm  sure a  lot of  ST users have
 heard of Windows 3.0 and have a limited knowledge of what it does, but how
 many of  you really know how powerful it is? Having used and developed for
 Windows since the days of Windows 2.0, I know that it has  things to offer
 to even  the most  die-hard GEM fans. I have barely exposed the tip of the
 iceberg in terms of what can be done on a 386 machine.

     I would also like to hear from ST users about what I just said.  I can
 be reached by email on GEnie and Compuserve, or most mornings and evenings
 at the Branch Always Software phone  number.  Let  me  know  your feelings
 about this  so that I can address your concerns next week. I don't want to
 give the impression that I am abandoning the ST market.  I am  not. I have
 far too much invested in development right now to give it all up because I
 got a new toy. And I like the ST and always have.  I wouldn't  be spending
 thousands of dollars on advertising and newsletter mailings and developing
 newer products if I didn't plan to support the computer.


 > SEGA GENESIS STR Review?                              DJ Boy from Kaneco

 DJ Boy
 Sega Genesis

   You  are  DJ Boy,  a roller skating kid,  who's  girl  has  been
 abducted  by  the  local thugs...your job as DJ Boy  is  to  skate
 through all the levels and eventually get your girl back.

    It won't be've got several opponents on  the  street
 that you need too look out for:

 Honey: who enjoys chucking bombs at you.

 Dave : a chubby kid who whistles,  calling more baddies into  the

 Chic : These guys might be small, but their kicks can do damage.
 Sam  : They like to dance around you on their skates taking  pot-
        shots at you.

 Harry: Hits you from the side with elbow-blows.

 Hatch: Uses a downward elbow-chop..ouch!

      At  the end of each level is an enemy boss...each  has  their
 own attack,  with most being pretty funny...the 1st level boss  is
 tough,  a  heavy-set lady that does flying kicks and  throws  some
 kind  of  slop at you is pretty tough...each boss  has  their  own
 weakness, most can't handle a certain attack method.

      You have forward,  and reverse punches,  as well as a  flying
 kick and a double-direction punch,  great for getting out of tight
 jams.   Certain CHIC characters (see above) drop a hamburger  when
 they're eliminated...this refuels your energy bar.   At the end of
 each level more energy containers are added to your bar.

      Also  at  the end of a level is a store...when  an  enemy  is
 killed a coin (three for bosses) is dropped,  these can be used to
 buy a stronger punch,  more speed,  a reserve life,  more  energy,
 quicker punch, or more for your energy bar.

      This  game is in the Double Dragon genre,  in that you  kick,
 punch and duck your way through the game...the main difference  is
 that  you're on roller skates.   Each level has a definite  attack
 pattern,  which can be memorized after several plays.   There is a
 difficulty selector in the game as are the normal sound test stuff
 that most Genesis games have.   This always adds something to  the
 game  as  it  can  be played at a  harder  level  once  it's  been
 finished.  I usually set games to hard when I start to play  them.
 This game seems too easy (for me) at the easy setting.

      All-in-all, its a nice's not the blockbuster hit of
 the  year,  but its fun,  and has some quick actions.   The  enemy
 bosses  are funny to watch,  you almost don't want to  beat  them.
 The end of the game has all the bosses returning to fight you with
 no  energy  refills or breaks...I'm not sure if  there's  a  final
 boss,  I've been playing for a little over a week,  and have  only
 gotten to that point once (on easy setting).   Since there are  no
 pictures  on the back of the box (who's crackpot idea was  this?),
 you  might wanna ask if a store has a demo copy,  or a manual  you
 can look at to help you decide.

      DJ Boy synopsis:
      SOUND   : C (not the greatest)
      GAMEPLAY: C (some of the special moves are hard to pull off)
      OVERALL : B-

                              Captain Drazil


 > TURBO EXPRESS STR Review?                   "....The screen is great..."

                               TURBO EXPRESS

 Turbo Express
 $249-$280 (depending on where you go)

      Well,  I broke down and plunked out for the Turbo Express,  I
 hadn't  planned on getting one,  but in my never-ending quest  for get the idea.

      In  case  you aren't familiar with this,  the  Express  plays
 Turbo-Grafix  16  games (excluding the CD ones).   These  come  on
 small  cards  about twice as long as Lynx  cards,  with  the  same
 thickness.  The unit itself is black, with the normal control pad,
 two fire buttons,  'I' and 'II', two switches for each fire button
 that enable turbo fire (three levels,  off,  semi-rapid,  and real
 rapid), start and run.  Pressing start and run reset the unit.  On
 the left side are the power port,  earphone jack,  and the  volume
 and  brightness controls.   On the bottom is the link cable  that
 lets  two  Expresses link together (games  that  actually  support
 this aren't out yet).

      The sound is clear,  and with earphones are in  stereo...I've
 tried this,  and the games sound the same as on the  Turbo-Graphix
 16 with the Turbo Booster.   The screen is is higher in
 resolution than that of the Lynx,  and owning to the fact that the
 screen was designed for TV,  being shrunk down makes it look  even
 sharper  (I  was very mistaken in thinking that doing  this  would
 look bad).   as far as I can see,  it is more vibrant and colorful
 than that of the Lynx,  although roughly the same size as the  one
 on  the  Gameboy.   I've  heard reports  of  persistence  problems
 (objects that leave trails behind them when they move),  and  from
 the  games  I've  played  (Bonk,  Sidearms,  Chew-man-fu,  Blazing
 Lasers,  Alien Crush,  Keith Courage,  Splatterhouse, Moto-Roader,
 Cybercore, and Victory Run), I can see no noticeable trails, these
 might have been pre-production models or something.   Some text is
 readable,  but  if text (mainly bright text) appears  on  anything
 other  than  black,  or a dark  shade  of  purple/blue/brown,  its
 unreadable...I  can  make it out if I hang my  Lightboy  (for  the
 Gameboy)  over  the  screen,   but  unreadable  otherwise...unless
 someone has a Turbo-Grafix 16 to play the games on as  well,  most
 of  the  text (stuff like the Boss characters' comments  in  Bonk)
 can't  be made out.   I have no trouble making out  small  objects
 however (ie. Carrots and Meat in Bonk are clearly distinguished).

      As for the TV tuner,  I don't know how good this is, I didn't
 feel  like buying it straight off,  and feel that the price  might
 drop on this, people seem to be pushing it quite a bit as if sales
 on it are kind of slow,  and I hardly watch my B/W Watchman as  it

      Buying  this unit has given me the chance to try out a  bunch
 of  Turbo  games where I work...Legendary Axe looks  nice  on  the
 unit,  the version of Klax isn't as good as the Lynx version,  the
 digitized   sounds  are  right,   but  they're  really   scratchy.
 Vigilante  is Kung-fu (remember the game that NEC was  ragging  on
 when  the  Turbo-16  first  game  out,   this  is  it,  only  with
 beatnicks)...I tried several others,  and they all look nice, as I
 said  most  text  is unreadable,  and I wouldn't  be  surprised if
 someone brought out a magnifier thing for this unit.

      As  purchased,  the  unit  comes  with  6  NEC  (what  else?)
 batteries,   styrofoam   (so   nice  for   making   doorstops,   a
 manual/warranty card,  and a strap to dangle this from your wrist
 (not suggested in dark alleys).

      The batteries they give you last about an hour...  I suggest
 buying  a  couple packs of good batteries,  as they last  about  2
 hours...this thing drains power like a city...when you open up the
 battery compartment after play,  the batteries are warm.   Someone
 suggested  getting rechargeable batteries,  the manual says to use
 only NEC rechargeables, which sounds like a marketing gimmick. The
 AC adapter should be out soon, and a rechargeable pack will be out
 in Spring of '91,  as will be a car ciggie-adapter,  and the link-

      I  like  this unit...yes it  eats  batteries,  and  yes,  its
 somewhat pricey,  but its portable, and plays Turbo-Graphix games.
 If you already have a Turbo-Grafix and some games,  you might want
 to  look  into this,  games I thought were kind of  boring  (Keith
 Courage)  make nice portable games!   If you don't have  a  Turbo-
 Grafix  already,  you might wanna sleep on it,  and try and get  a
 look  at  the unit before you buy.   Remember,  it comes  with  NO
 GAMES,   so  you'll  need  to  put  out  another  $25-$60  to  get
 started...that was one of the main reasons for me getting this,  I
 already had roughly 10 games.  There are quite a few games out for
 the unit in the $25-$35 range, quite a few of those are good.

      In  the past,  I've just rated games,  so I'm making up  this
 rating  system  off  the top of my  head,  any  questions  can  be
 addressed  to  me  at  the above  node,  where  I'm  the  residing

      GRAPHIC CLARITY : 8  (GREAT!, only some text is illegible)
      SOUND CLARITY   : 7  (Good as well, speech is scratchy on most
      FEEL OF CONTROLS: 9  (Smooth controls, and in this case, it
                            fits the hand nicely)

      OVERALL         : 8


 > TRACKBALL STR Review?                     .....A great stocking stuffer!

                         Kraft Systems TRIPLETRACK

 by Tim Holt
 President: Atari ST Club of EL Paso

     I have been frustrated for a long time  at all  the nifty  things that
 are available  for the ST in Europe, such as IBM style cases made just for
 the ST,etc.  One of the more nagging longings that I  have had  was to get
 a trackball for my ST.  Ever since I saw them down at Jenkins'for the IBMs
 and in all those slick European magazines for the ST,  I have  been on the
 lookout.  Well, I don't have to look any longer, because Kraft Systems has
 very quietly come out with "Tripletrack" an extremely nice replacement for
 the standard  ST mouse.  For those of you that have limited desk space, or
 are like me and drag the mouse all over God's creation, the Tripletrack is
 a Godsend.

     The Tripletrack  comes in a light grey color, and is loaded with feat-
 ures that you won't find in any mouse that I  have seen  for the  ST.  The
 entire unit is smaller than the mousepad I had been using, at about 6 by 4
 inches.  Three buttons  instead of  the normal  two are  located below the
 trackball, instead  of above.The track ball and the buttons are a slightly
 darker grey than the rest of the box.

     Here is a list of features that I think you will find very

 Compatibility: The Tripletrack is designed to work with all Atari
                ST series computers. This includes the ST-e.
                Tripletrack also works with (get this) the Atari
                400-1200 series, the Amiga series, and the
                Commodore 64/128 computers. As you can see, maybe
                the name should be the Quadruple Track instead.
                A small switch on the right side of the box sets
                which type of computer the trackball will use.

 Design:        As I mentioned before, the Tripletrack has three
                buttons instead of two. The reason is that the two
                outside buttons function like the right hand mouse
                button on a regular mouse. This is very nice for
                us lefties.

                The box itself is less than two inches tall, six
                inches long, and 4 inches wide. The ball itself is
                about two inches in diameter, and is placed in the
                center of a three tier box. The top tier has two
                special function keys, the middle tier contains the
                track ball, and the bottom tier, the one closest to
                you, holds the three mouse buttons. Kraft calls
                this "ergonomically designed". I guess that is the
                trackball equivalent of Farfegnugen.

 Functions:     This is what separates this Trackball from a
                regular run-of-the-mill mouse:
                1. Joystick Emulation: The Tripletrack can be
                   used like a joystick! No more need for another
                   set of wires hanging out of your ST. The Triple-
                   track can be used as a joystick. All you have to
                   do is select position 3 on the computer select
                   switch, and you have a joystick instead of a
                   mouse. In this mode, the left and right buttons
                   act as fire buttons, and the middle button
                   is disabled. (Again, a nice benefit for the
                   left handed in the crowd.) And you do not have
                   to turn off your computer to switch modes! A
                   nice touch.

                   While in joystick emulation, the other
                   function key, (mode key) can be set for
                   Autofire, so that when you fire your gun
                   or whatever, you REALLY fire! The Autofire
                   allows automatic continuous firing. You
                   do not have to hold a button down or repeatedly
                   press a button to get a burst of fire that
                   should wipe out even the evilest of enemies.
                   When you are not in joystick emulation, just
                   switch the mode switch to "D". This allows the
                   mouse to drag items, just like normal.

                2. Locking Button: This allows you to lock on a
                   drag, and the drag stays on as long as the
                   button is depressed. In Joystick mode, this
                   button allows for continuous autofire. To
                   deactivate the continuous autofire or drag,
                   just depress the button. Now you have single
                   shot activated. Either way, this is an excellent

                3. Optional Footpedal: The Tripletrack has an
                   optional footpedal that performs the same
                   functions as the right and left mouse keys.
                   The footpedal plugs into the top side of the
                   Tripletrack and allows for some interesting
                   control of programs. Feet and hands!(This option
                   does NOT come with the Tripletrack, but can be
                   purchased separately.)

     Personally, I think this is a pretty impressive  list of  options that
 the Tripletrack comes with.  However, you probably are asking yourself how
 well the darn thing works.  Well, I like it!  I  must admit,  using a reg-
 ular mouse  for 4  years has  gotten my hand used to using my index finger
 to do all the work.  With the Tripletrack however, the design makes use of
 your index,  middle and  fourth digits  to move the trackball.  Your thumb
 and little finger are the ones  that depress  the buttons.   This  feels a
 little clumsy  at first,  simply because you are accustomed to doing some-
 thing else.  However, with a little practice(about  a half  hour) you will
 feel just  fine about the digit switch.  The cursor movement is exception-
 ally smooth, and with the  various  mouse  accelerators  around,  the darn
 thing literally flies across the screen.  Response is the best I have EVER
 seen. And I have gone through my fair share of  mice (mouses?)  in my four
 years of ST computing.

     Why buy  the Kraft Tripletrack? Well, if you are like me, you ran  out
 and bought the Practical Solutions Cordless Mouse as soon as  it came out,
 and quickly went through about $50 in batteries.  No such problem with the
 Tripletrack.  It is just like a regular mouse, and plugs directly into the
 first joystick  port.   While the   Atari  mouse is functional, it doesn't
 look nice.  Tripletrack  looks a  lot better  than the  Atari mouse.   The
 options mentioned  previously make  this an  excellent buy,  and Kraft has
 included a nice cloth cover with the Tripletrack to keep the dust  and dog
 hairs out  while you  aren't using  it.   Even the cover matches your ST's
 color!  Kraft includes a FIVE YEAR WARRANTY!  That's  a pretty  long time,
 and if  you think  about it, that warranty will probably outlast your com-
 puter.  Top that off with a $3.00 rebate, and Kraft has a definite winner.

     One last  thought: For  whatever reason,  Kraft does  not appear to be
 actively advertising this excellent product in  the Atari  arena.  Perhaps
 they are  trying to  get the  Amiga market, or are just waiting to see how
 word of mouth works. (Or maybe their advertising executive is  an ex-Atari
 advertising executive!)   For  this reason, your dealer may not know about
 the Tripletrack as a product for the ST.  Let them know!  And if  you pur-
 chase this product, make sure you send the registration card and let KRAFT
 know you are an ST user. (There is a small comment area  on the  card, but
 no place asking computer type.)

     The Kraft  Tripletrack trackball  for the  Atari ST is a definite MUST
 HAVE for any serious ST user!

                           The Kraft Tripletrack
                        Trackball for the Atari ST
                            Kraft Systems Inc.
                            Retail price: 79.95

                            Kraft Systems, Inc.
                          450 W. California Ave.
                             Vista, CA., 92083

                                 Tim Holt
                    President: Atari ST Club of EL Paso
                             10953 Yogi Berra
                           El Paso, Texas 79934

     Any and all parts of this article may be reproduced as long  as credit
 is given  to the  author and  the Atari  ST Club of El Paso.  Kraft, Atari
 ST, Tripletrack and any  other  registered  trademarks  are  those  of the
 company involved.




     Traveling for  the holidays?   If you find yourself in London, England
 on Jan. 4-6, be sure to stop at the 3rd Annual 16Bit Computer Faire at the
 Novotel in Hammersmith!

     Several US  developers will  be traveling  to this  ST and Amiga show,
 which boasted  over 25,000  attendees and  over 100  exhibitors last show.
 These  include  Soft-Logik  Publishing,  Double Click Software and Unicorn
 Publications, producers of Atari Interface magazine.  Best Electronics and
 SLICCware may be exhibiting as well.

     "The great  guys (Mike  and Gilbert) at Double Click will be sharing a
 booth with us at the London show," said  Pattie Rayl,  managing editor for
 Atari Interface.  "This will be a big splash for both our companies, since
 neither of our products  are  currently  distributed  outside  the  US and
 Canada.   This will be the first time that people in Europe will see Atari
 Interface, but after the show, they  should be  able to  find it  in news-
 stands all over.  The magazine soon will be distributed world-wide!"

     Those wishing to obtain more information about the show can contact:

                     Gordon Monnier at (313) 673-5455
              Westminster Exhibitions at 011-44-81-549-3444.

 - Hopkins MN                                IMAGE SYSTEMS HAS THE "GOODS!"

 Here are some specs on some of the things I have worked on.
 Moniterm Viking Atari.  19 B/W Screen 1280*960 pixels.
 Requires TOS1.4 and a Mega2 or 4.
 Price          and          availability         contact         Moniterm.
 Image Systems ISAC card.  1024*768 16 colour from 4096.
 Also operates in "high res" DuoChrome.
 Requires TOS1.4 and Mega2 or 4.
 Optional kit  operates card  in 800*600  mode for  slower colour monitors.
 List $800.00   Special Developer price available!
 Dealers needed!  Driver software  is considered more mature and works with
 more programs.
 Image Systems M24L " Max" Greyscale monitor. 1024*768 to 2048*1536
 Dynamic Multisweep.  Large 24 Inch  viewing area.  This keeps  DPI correct
 vrs Atari Mono unlike Moniterm 19".  Very bright display.
 Includes tilt rotate base.  Solid metal chassis.
 NOT CHEAP JUNKY PLASTIC.  Works with TT and with Viking Atari card.
 List $1995.  Genie users 1295.00  Dealers needed!
 Oh one  last comment  about the  display cards for both Moniterm & Images,
 installation does NOT require soldering cutting  etc.   They are  plug and
 play cards  that snap into your Mega Expansion bus. If you want to contact
 Image Systems call 800-IMAGES-0 If you want to contact Moniterm call (612)


 > CHRISTMAS IS COMING! STR InfoFile?                  .....Santa's Helpers


  ABCO Computer Electronics             Gribnif Software
  P.O. Box 6672                         P.O. Box 350
  Jacksonville, FL. 32221               Hadley, MA 01035
  (800) 562-4037                        (413) 584-7887
  Hard Disks & Supplies                 NeoDesk & Turbo C

  A & D Software                        ISD Marketing Inc.
  226 NW 'F' Street                     2651 John St., Unit #3
  Grants Pass, OR 97526                 Markham, Ontario, CA *L3R 2W5
  (503) 476-0071                        (416) 479-1880
  Universal Item Selector               Calamus, DynaCadd etc...

  Alpha Systems                         L & Y Computers
  1012 Skyland                          13644c Jefferson Davis H'wy.
  Macedonia, OH 44056                   Woodbridge, Va.  22191
  (216) 467-5665                        (703) 494-3444
  16 and 8 bit Support                  Atari products and Software

  B&C ComputerVisions                   Mars Merchandising
  3257 Kifer Road                       1041b St. Charles Rd.
  Santa Clara, CA 95051                 Lombard Il.
  (408) 749-1003                        (817) 589-2950
  Atari Products & Supplies              Atari Products & Accs.

  Branch Always Software                Lantech
  14150 N.E. 20th St.                   PO Box R
  Bellevue, WA 98007                    Billerica, MA  01821
  (206) 643-9697                        (508) 667-9191
  Quick ST, Software                    10 Megabit Local Area Network

  Best Electronics                      Migraph Inc.
  2021 The Alameda Suite 290            200 S. 333rd St.
  San Jose,  CA  95126                  Federal Way, WA 98003
  (408) 243-6950                        (206) 838-4677
  THE Atari parts source & Supplies     Top Notch Graphical Products

  Carter Graphics & Computers           Practical Solutions Inc.
  914 W. Sunset Blvd.                   1135 N. Jones Blvd.
  St. George, UT 84770                  Tucson, AZ 85716
  (801) 628-6111                        (602) 322-6100
  Atari Products                        Atari support products

  CodeHead Software                     Prospero Software
  P.O. Box 74090                        100 Commercial St.
  Los Angeles, CA 90004                 Suite 306 Portland, ME 04101
  (213) 386-5735                        (207) 874-0382
  Software Products "Codekeys"          Software Products

  Comput-Ability                        Rio Datel Computers
  P.O. Box 17882                        3430 E. Tropicana Ave., #65
  Milwaukee, WI 53217                   Las Vegas, NE 89121
  (414) 357-8181                        (800) 782-9110
  Atari Products & Distributor          International Products

  CompuServe Information Service        San Jose Computers
  (614) 457-0802                        640 Blossom Hill Road
                                        San Jose, CA 95123
                                        (408) 224-8575
  Online Services                       Atari Products

  Debonair Software                     Sideline Software
  P.O. Box 521166                       840 NW 57th Court
  Salt Lake City, UT 84152              Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
  EL CAL The Math Machine               (305) 771-9035
  Atari Support Products                International Software Source

  D & P Computer                        SofTrek
  P.O. Box 811                          P.O. Box 5257
  Elyria, Ohio 44036                    Winter Park, FL 32793
  (800) 535-4290                        (407) 657-4611
  Atari Support Products                TurboST "The Software Blitter"

  Double Click Software                 ST Informer
  P.O. Box 741206                       909 NW Starlite Place
  Houston, TX 77274                     Grants Pass OR  97526
  (712) 977-6520                        (503) 476-0071
  Software Developer                    Monthly Newspaper

  Fast Technology                       Talon Technology
  P.O. Box 578                          243 N. Hwy. 101, Ste 11
  Amdover, MA 01810                     Solana Beach, CA 92075
  (508) 475-3810                        (619) 792-6511
  16Mhz 68000 Accelerator               Supercharger IBM Emulator

  Gadgets by Small                      Toad Computers
  40 W. Littleton Blvd.                 556 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd.
  #210-211, Littleton, CO 80120         Severna Park, MD 21146
  (303) 791-6098                        (301) 544-6943
  Spectre GCR MAC Emulator              Mass Storage devices & Atari Prod.

  Goldleaf Publishing, Inc.             WuzTEK Omnimon Peripherals
  700 Larkspur Landing Circle,          One Technology Dr. Bldg. 1E, #301
  Suite 199  Larkspur, CA 94939         Irvine, CA 92718
  (415) 461-5703                        (714) 753-9253
  WordFlair Document Processor          Atari support products


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

                      NEW LOW PRICES! & MORE MODELS!!
                             HOLIDAY SPECIALS!
                        ** EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY **

                      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"?

                      "TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY..."

                                              ...KRIS KRINGLE

     Please, take a moment to remember the boys on the U.S.S. Arizona.

                        STReport Online Magazine?
     Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide!
 STReport?          "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE"       December 07, 1990
 16/32bit Magazine           copyright = 1990                   No.6.49
 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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