ST Report: 14-Dec-90 #650

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 01/17/91-12:24:03 AM Z

From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 14-Dec-90  #650
Date: Thu Jan 17 00:24:03 1991

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

 December 14, 1990                                                  No.6.50

                         STReport Online Magazine?
                          Post Office Box   6672
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                               R.F. Mariano
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 > 12/14/90: STReport? #6.50  The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine!
     - The Editor's Desk      - CPU REPORT        - GERMANY CALLING
     - THE FLIP SIDE          - TT & UNIX??       - IMMORTAL a Review
     - TT vs IBM Essay        - STR Mail Call     - Life After the ST
     - PORTFOLIO NEWS         - SAFEKEY Debut     - STR Confidential

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 STReport's  support  BBS,  NODE  #  350 invites systems using Forem ST and
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 > The Editor's Podium?

     The Holidays,  they  bring  thoughts  of  joy,  happiness  and gleeful
 children opening  gifts.   Is that all there really is to the Holiday Sea-
 son?  Of course not.  The folks  who maintain  outlets for  Atari products
 look forward to the holiday season on an annual basis.  Why?  Because they
 know that  traditionally, it  the time  of the  year when  their sales are
 expected  to  be  brisk.    For  the last three years, the faithful, loyal
 dealers have had to  'make do'  to a  large extent  because of  one delay,
 excuse or  whatever.. Now, to top it off, some braintrust at Sunnyvale has
 decided to begin spewing forth the non-sense that the real  computer sales
 time is  "the Back-to  School" time  Aug-Sept.   What a joke!  I have been
 that route myself, and when I  had  four  sons  in  college,  the tuition,
 clothing and  travel etc.. expenses took the major priority.  I bought the
 computers during yuletide time.   The  holiday  season  is  where  its at!
 Don't let  any mickey  mouse demographic  study fool  you.  Please bear in
 mind that 32% of all these type studies are totally flawed.

     Wonderful, now we are told that  the  TT  has  not  attained  the much
 coveted, at  least for  Atari, FCC  CLASS B CERTIFICATION.  One can't help
 but wonder why these very same things happen  year after  year.   When was
 the TT  FIRST announced??   Where??  And when will it be available in full
 distribution in the United  States??   All very  good questions.. wouldn't
 you agree?   I'll  bet we  will wait  for some  time to come before we get
 straight, to the point, answers.

     Then comes the Mega STe, known about for about a  year, rumors persist
 that it  will be  in distribution  in Canada by mid-January.  That's nice,
 but it also sez the thing is not fully accepted  by the  FCC.. if  at all!
 Although the company's products (those that get to the US market) are well
 made and are extremely user friendly,  one would  think the  leadership of
 the company  would do  its best  to deliver everything on time and most of
 all, to keep their word.

     There are many other great products  available from  Atari through its
 dealers and  mailorder that  can more than makeup for the lack of the very
 latest goodies.  For example, the Portfolio, it  never ceases  to amaze me
 on how this computer can enjoy such success and support from the very same
 company that seems to be having soooooo much  trouble with  the ST market.
 The Portfolio  and the  Lynx are fine examples of first rate products that
 are enjoying the full support of Atari Corp. And.. they  are in  good sup-
 ply.   Sure, we  will most certainly have to wait for the Mega STe and the
 TT, but that only makes for a lively market for the developers who support
 this  platform.    The  accelerators,  memory  upgrades and of course, the
 1.44mb floppy drive upgrades.  There  is no  reason why,  for those  of us
 who care to, cannot bring our existing equipment to new heights of perfor-
 mance that can, in  some cases,  exceed those  of the  "RSN" products that
 have yet to arrive.  There are even rumors that this stuff may not hit the
 US market until early spring of next year.  Could it possibly  be Atari is
 'buying time'  to see how the US economy fares before investing heavily in
 new product inventory?  Only time will tell.

     In another vein, the strain on the US workforce is  already being felt
 by major transhippers, it seems many of the young men who were employed by
 these companies are now overseas with  "Desert Shield".   The  problems of
 the  holiday  rush  have  been  compounded  greatly  now with all the new,
 temporary help taken on by these companies.   Delays are  not uncommon so,
 if at all possible ship early and insure well.

                 As is always the case thank you for your solid support.


 ps; support your Atari third party developers, upgrade & enhance now.



                          FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY


                              to the Readers of;

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                 WHAT'S NEW IN THE ATARI FORUMS (Dec. 15)


 Bill and  Pattie Rayl  and the Atari Interface magazine can now be reached
 on CompuServe by writing to User ID number 70007,4640.


 Practical Solutions announces a  new, innovative  software security device
 for software  developers.    Please  read SAFEKY.TXT  in LIBRARY 12 of the
 Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN) for information.

                        PORTFOLIO CONTEST REMINDER

 If you haven't heard about  the  Atari  Portfolio  Forum  contestn, please
 read CONTST.TXT  in LIBRARY  1 (NEW  UPLOADS) of the Atari Portfolio Forum
 (GO APORTFOLIO) for a  description  of  the  contest,  the  rules,  and of
 course the prizes!

                      DEMO OF NEW VERSION OF CODEKEYS

 A  demonstration  version  of  the  latest revision of CodeKeys, the Macro
 Tool from CodeHead Software, is  available  in  LIBRARY  16  of  the Atari
 Vendors Forum  (GO ATARIVEN)  under the filename CKDEM1.ARC.  New features
 include: "force" the current time/date into a document  (in any program!),
 schedule  macros,  individual  lock,  bell, and "mouse return" flags, more
 editing capabilities, and more.




   Issue # 95

 by Michael Arthur



       When  Microsoft   introduced   MS-DOS in  1981, one  of its greatest
 virtues was  its support  for an incredible (at that time) 640K of memory,
 which was more than enough for any reasonable task.  At that time, though,
 Digital Research  was offering  M/PM, a  multitasking version of C/PM, and
 although it did not catch on, it caused many PC owners to  desire that DOS
 multitasked.  And while rumors of a multitasking DOS persisted (often when
 IBM/Microsoft was about to announce  a  new  version  of  MS-DOS), nothing
 became of them.

      In 1984,  these rumors  surfaced yet  again, when IBM was introducing
 the IBM PC AT.  By this time, as DOS programs had  gotten larger  and more
 powerful, 640K  of RAM was no longer the large amount of memory it used to
 be, and PC users began to want support  for more  memory.   This time, IBM
 fueled the  rumors by  saying it was developing a new DOS that would fully
 use the AT's abilities, foremost among which was the new 80286 chip.

       At that time, QuarterDeck  had  come  out  with  a  program switcher
 called Desq,  and Digital  Research was  making Concurrent  DOS, a program
 that could multitask DOS  programs.   Although both  programs used  a win-
 dowing scheme,  neither became  that popular,  since Concurrent DOS lacked
 essential features and Desq didn't really multitask.

      So as time passed on the "multitasking DOS", rumors were  not fulfil-
 led.   Then, in  1986, Intel developed the 80386 chip, which featured both
 an MMU chip and a "virtual 8086 chip"  mode that  allowed it  to multitask
 8086-based programs.  Seeing that the hardware was in place, many began to
 demand  that  IBM/Microsoft  provide  the  software   to  allow   PC's  to

       Thus it was cause for celebration when IBM announced OS/2 along with
 the PS/2 and MicroChannel in April 2, 1987.   Just  as hoped,  it used the
 80286 chip's  capabilities, supported  up to 16 Megabytes of RAM, and most
 importantly, multitasked.  And though it didn't multitask DOS programs, it
 did have  a compatibility  box to  run them.   But after the fanfare, some
 flaws about OS/2 began to emerge that spoiled the good news.

                         OS/2:  TROUBLE IN PARADISE

       These flaws weren't bugs or inadequate implementation of  its featu-
 res, but design flaws that crippled OS/2's usefulness.  Although OS/2 is a
 very powerful  operating  system,  with  a  task-switching/priority scheme
 that is arguably more sophisticated than Unix's, a vast  array of facilit-
 ies for InterProcess Communications (or IPC's,  which allow  tasks to com-
 municate with  each other),  and is (like IBM's MicroChannel Bus Architec-
 ture) based on minicomputer technology, the fatal reality  was that OS/2's
 foundation itself wasn't as sound as its many capabilities.

       Foremost among  these design  flaws was  the decision to support the
 80286 chip instead of the superior  80386 chip.   The  most obvious reason
 for 80386 support is that the Virtual 8086 mode would allow a 386-specific
 OS/2 to multitask both OS/2 and DOS programs at the same time.  To support
 DOS programs,  OS/2 used a "DOS Compatibility Box" that could only run one
 DOS program at a  time.   As it  stopped all  OS/2 multitasking operations
 while in operation, this feature became a hindrance to OS/2 users.

       Another way that OS/2's use of the 80286 chip hurt its popularity is
 in program development.  The  80286  chip  can  only  address  16-bit data
 segments that  are 64K in size.  This is often a hindrance to programmers,
 especially when writing large applications.  In comparison, the 80386 chip
 supports 32-bit data segments that can be 4 Gigabytes in size.  One of the
 most heralded attractions of OS/2 was the potential  to use  it in porting
 minicomputer applications  over to  it so they could be run with microcom-
 puters.  However,  minicomputer  programs  definitely  need  data segments
 larger  than  64K,  and  this  deficiency further slowed the acceptance of

       Another problem with OS/2 is that it was far too large.   OS/2 (with
 the Presentation Manager user interface) required 2.5 Megs of RAM just for
 itself, and  since OS/2  programs are  typically larger  and more powerful
 than DOS  programs, an  OS/2 system would have required around 4-5 Megs of
 RAM for normal use.   One corollary to this problem is that as OS/2 itself
 was large,  it was  also very  slow.  Disk access was 50 percent slower in
 OS/2 than with DOS, and it was apparent that an OS/2 version  of a program
 would tend to be slower than a DOS version of the same program.  Given the
 fact that versions of Unix for  the 80386  weren't as  slow as  OS/2, many
 users began  looking at  Unix (and the 80386 chip) as a better alternative
 than OS/2 with the 80286 chip.  As OS/2's inadequacies  became more clear,
 a  few  began  seeking  other  ways  to  obtain  a  windowing multitasking
 operating system that wouldn't have OS/2's handicaps.

                             OS/2 AND DESQVIEW

       While IBM/Microsoft  were  developing  OS/2,  and  the  IBM Industry
 waited  for  a  multitasking  system,  a company called Quarterdeck Office
 Systems continued to improve and modify Desq, their  old program switcher,
 to remedy  its deficiencies.   When the 80386 chip was introduced in 1986,
 Quarterdeck began development on a new  version of  Desq, which  would not
 only multitask  DOS programs  but become  almost an  operating system unto
 itself.  Ironically, this  product  became  available  just  a  few months
 before IBM had started shipping OS/2 1.0.

       The product  that emerged, renamed DESQview, was now capable of much
 more than its predecessor.  Not  only did  it utilize  the 80386's virtual
 mode to  support multitasking,  but Quarterdeck was even able to implement
 a measure of DOS  multitasking on  systems based  on the  80286, 8086, and
 8088 chips.   In addition to this, DESQview only had about 1% of overhead,
 meaning that it could run  DOS  programs  about  as  fast  as  DOS itself.
 DESQview also  had support  for the  Lotus/Intel/Microsoft Expanded Memory
 Specification (or LIM EMS 4.0), so that it could handle  up to  32 Megs of
 RAM.   And when  used with  a 80386,  DESQview used  the 386's MMU (memory
 management unit) to provide memory protection, so an "ill-behaved" program
 wouldn't crash or interfere with the system.

       Seeing  that  any    operating  environment, even a DOS multitasker,
 needed to have third-party support, Quarterdeck  designed a  series of API
 (Application Program Interface) Toolkits, allowing programmers to directly
 use DESQview's multitasking capabilities, as well as other things found in
 a  true  operating  system.    The API let applications use DESQview's IPC
 facilities to exchange data between its own tasks and other DESQview-based
 programs,  and  access  its  menuing  and  windowing  routines  to  design
 Macintosh-like features into DESQview-specific programs.  Also, DESQview's
 support  of  PharLap's  DOS  Extender  allowed  it to run 386-specific DOS
 programs that could take full advantage  of the  80386 chip's  32-bit data
 segments,  be  larger  than  640K,  and    multitask along with normal DOS
 programs.  DESQview became an extremely  popular alternative  to OS/2, and
 Quarterdeck sold several million copies of the program.

       However, when  Microsoft Windows  3.0 was  introduced, it eroded the
 industry support for both  OS/2 and  DESQview.   In addition  to having an
 attractive graphical user interface with API facilities just as functional
 as DESQview's, it also used the 80386 to multitask DOS programs.  Combined
 with  Microsoft's  major  marketing  efforts, Windows 3.0 has now eclipsed
 DESQview as a major DOS multitasking standard.

       But even though Desqview and Windows  3.0  have  so  much  going for
 them, there  are several  factors that  give OS/2  a great advantage as an
 operating system in the long run.  One  is that  even though  DESQview and
 Windows both  multitask DOS  programs and have Toolkits to make future DOS
 programs more powerful, they are using the DOS  standard (now  more than a
 decade old)  as their  foundation.   In comparison, OS/2 provides a newer,
 more sophisticated standard designed with multitasking operations in mind.

       Another advantage of OS/2 lies in SAA, a  new strategy  that IBM has
 implemented around  OS/2 Extended Edition, a version of OS/2 with Database
 Manager, an integrated SQL Database system  that is  compatible with IBM's
 DB2, a  mainframe database standard, and Communications Manager, which has
 utilities to  allow  communications  between  separate  IBM  computers and
 terminals.   Systems Application  Architecture, or SAA, is a common set of
 guidelines that  will allow users to learn and use applications on any IBM
 system, from IBM Mainframes to the PS/2, more quickly, and for programmers
 to port applications running  on one  IBM computer  to another  IBM system
 more easily.

       SAA consists  of three components:   CUA (Common User Access), which
 defines Presentation Manager as the standard graphical user  interface for
 IBM applications, CPI (Common Programming Interface), which is  a standard
 set of operating system calls allowing IBM applications to be ported among
 OS/2,  OS/400,  MVS,  and  VM,  the  Operating Systems used in IBM's PS/2,
 workstation, and mainframe systems.   CCS  (Common Communications Support)
 standardizes the  various terminal  emulations and protocols used for LAN,
 modem/terminal communications in IBM  systems.   This  unified approach to
 computing could allow IBM Mainframe Users to integrate AT Clones and PS/2s
 into their businesses, and would make the power  of mainframe applications
 available to OS/2 Users.  However, since OS/2 Extended Edition will be the
 VERY first application to support IBM's  SAA, the  success of  SAA depends
 solely on OS/2.

       In addition to this, IBM and Microsoft have also removed many of the
 deficiencies that plagued OS/2 in the past.  IBM recently  introduced OS/2
 1.3, which  can effectively  run with only 2 Megs of RAM, and Microsoft is
 preparing to introduce a 386-specific version  of OS/2  (Version 2.0) that
 will take  advantage of  the 80386's  capabilities.   These include 32-bit
 data  segments,  being  able  to  multitask  both  OS/2  and  DOS programs
 simultaneously, and  using the  80386's special  features for faster, more
 secure multitasking.   Also,  Citrix  Inc.  is  now  shipping  a multiuser
 version of OS/2 that will help its acceptance in the PC workstation market
 that is now dominated by the Unix operating system.


                    :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!! <-



 Conf : Fido Support
 Msg# : 39  Lines: Extended  Read: 1
 Sent : Dec 10, 1990  at 11:46 AM
 To   : Peter Segerdahl
 From : Singh Khanna at AutoBoss/Bunola,Pa/Fido129-96
 Subj :  @FIDO 2:249/8

     I'll be watching the mailbox with baited breath!  ?;->

     Well, to be honest with you,  I really  don't want  a '486  machine, a
 '386DX would  be much  much better,  and those  prices are going down even
 faster than the '486 prices!

     The advert said that the TURBO030 came in speeds up to 33MHz  (I don't
 know if that's cached or not...), upgradable. And potentially ("potential-
 ly, that's how *I*  interpret it!)  "user-upgradable" (why  does that part
 bother me  so much...  :-(  ) to 50MHz. So it kinda looks good. Of course,
 Atari said that the TT was similarly upgradable  to either  a faster 68030
 (they proved that one!) or a 68040 CPU, so who knows? As they say, "seeing
 is believing!"

     Sorry, I don't have any more  info, just  what I  read in  that advert
 that was  posted here,  and some  conjecture. I  do know that if I were to
 purchase this TURBO030 upgrade, I would want not only  much better resolu-
 tion/color capability  as well,  but also the TT TOS in ROM, suitably ada-
 pted thru perhaps a second ROM  set to  run   inside my  ST. In  short, an
 upgrade from  ST to  TT. I  mean, we're  talking about a rather fairly ac-
 celerator here, and even if you had this board cranking along at  it's top
 speed of  50MHz, you're  still slowed  down away  from the CPU by the ST's
 architecture! I would Imagine  that for  compiling programs,  ray tracing,
 huge database/spreadsheet  sorting, massive  document formatting and spell
 checking, and lots of file compressing,  this would  be really  great. But
 I'm not certain I need all of that....

     HAH! I  don't care!  <grin> That  is, until the price drops and it be-
 comes affordable to those in my level of poverty!

     Ooops! 'Scuse me, I should have said "MUSIC", not "MIDI". I don't know
 if there's  any specific magazine for MIDI. However, I'd be willing to bet
 as large a sum of money as I can muster that if I were in the USA, I could
 find at  least 1,  perhaps more. By the way, when I left a year or so ago,
 the MUSIC magazines were the only places where regular Atari adverts could
 be found....

     Can't  help  there  either.  I  purchased a small Yamaha synth about 3
 weeks before Saddam's-Fun-in-the-Desert-Vacation began,  since I'm  in the
 military, I haven't had the time to really learn to use it. Beyond hooking
 up a cable to the MIDI OUT for  stereo sound  (where available),  I really
 haven't been  able to  get into  MIDI yet.  I've heard  lots of good thing
 about CuBase, and Avalon, but don't know enough to use this STuff...

     I would think  that  if  someone  who  could  easily  afford  to spend
 10,000-20,000 on  a dedicated  MIDI computer instead *chose* to buy an ST,
 perhaps there's a number of compelling reasons for  it.... I  mean, beyond
 personal bias and love for Atari Corp!  ?;->

     I wouldn't know, having my old 1040STfm... too bad about that.

     My keyboard doesn't bother me at all, is the STE's different?

     Granted, the standard ST mouse is a pitiful creature.... I tried out a
 new one (can't recall the name), it had a *very*  nice action  to it, sim-
 ilar to  the Logitech  high-end feel. However, the shape of this mouse was
 horrible, sort  of a  hump-shape, when  holding it  the lay  of my fingers
 placed the  finger-tips about .5" beyond the mouse and onto the mat! I had
 to sort of bend my fingers to use  it, very  uncomfortable... Too  bad the
 mouse shell  was like that, I really did like the action of the buttons...
 I also tried the BEST Mouse. Also a far superior  product to  the standard
 ST Mouse,  in terms  of button action, and overall shape. The only thing I
 wasn't thrilled with was the shape of the buttons, they're  sort of trian-
 gular, which  means that you can't lay your fingers flat and click comfor-
 tably. However, this time only a slight crook  of the  fingers were neces-
 sary, so I'll probably go with this one as my next mouse.

     I've heard  that somewhere  there's a file kicking around on the BBS's
 in the USA on how to modify a Logictech Mouse to be used on the ST! If you
 ever see  such an  article, please post it to me, it would be great to use
 those mice!

     Here in Germany, I've  come to  appreciate the  SM124. Seems  that the
 mono monitors  are the  most popular (while in the USA, the SC1224 was the
 most popular), and so most software runs on it. At  a computer  store last
 week I  saw a  terrible thing...  It was called The TOWER ST, a Mega2 in a
 tower case,  with 3.5"  and a  5.25" floppies,  static HD's  inside, and a
 Syquest 44MB  removable cartridge.  Also, drive  activity lites, and a CPU
 speed indicator which read 16MHz since the monster had a 68020 accelerator
 card installed...  The Damned Thing also had a 20" Eizo monitor hooked up,
 with what looked to me like SuperVGA video,  along with  ATSpeed (I think)
 installed in the tower... It goes without saying, I was extremely displea-
 sed by this shameless display of ST modification!  ?;-> Oh yeah, and I was
 green with  jealousy too!  It also had a *very* nice mouseball, high qual-
 ity, hooked up.... Very ugly, all of it. They had  the Atari  CD-ROM drive
 with CDs  of PD  soft- ware in the store, I suppose they could have driven
 me insane by hooking that up too, but out of kindness, they didn't...

     YEP! I sure have! On a Tandy TRS-80  Model III,  and on  an Apple. Oh,
 and  on  an  Atari  800,  and  on  a C-64. However, I grant you that these
 machines are hardly in the same class as the ST, and a bit old, and that I
 have 2  programs that  I always  use to  speed up disc access anyway (DIS-
 KIO.ACC or SpeedTOS, and L-CACHE.PRG AutoFolder program), so  perhaps that
 doesn't count.....  <grin>

     Well, you  forgot the  SC1224, which is a very nice color moniter, far
 superior to the  standard  color  moniter  offered  by  Commodore  for the
 Amigas! The  Atari external floppy drives are a bit of a joke, and Atari's
 HD's are not to be admitted to being owned.... The El Cheapo  plastic used
 in the 1040STfm case is shameful.

     Oh, one  other thing...  All in all, especially for what I paid for my
 ST 2.5 years ago... It's a  damn fine  machine! Performs  quite adequately
 for 90%  of all  home uses  straight out  of the box, and is more flexible
 than any other machine on the market (in that it  can run  ST software and
 [with emulation/alternate OS software] IBM/ Macintosh/C-64/Atari 800/Apple
 ][g/Z-80 CPM/MINIX/OS-9/RTX/MiNT and I'm  sure I've  missed others. That's
 more software  than *any*  other computer  in the entire world. Of course,
 one might wonder why  it is  that such  extensive emulation  and alternate
 OS's are  necessary...) bar none. And it holds the lion's share of the USA
 market of MIDI computers. Not too shabby for a machine that's over 6 years
 old, and has seen so little upgradability/changes from the original, eh!?

     Qualms, qualifications, and agreements posted above...  ?;-> So, like,
 do you so dislike your ST?  Have you had it long?  What made you decide to
 purchase it in the first place?

     Ah, so,  STE! Well,  there's the  first substantial  upgrade to the ST
 line, and by everything  I've read,  a bit  buggy yet...  I don't  think I
 could recommend an STE to anyone until it's a bit more solid, and has more
 specific software (STE-only software). I just don't see any reason  to buy
 one. The  extra colors  are nice,  as is the SIMM RAM upgradability, but I
 don't think it justifies itself too well yet.  I like  the compatibility I
 have with a straight ST over the STE. That is to say, 100%, since the vast
 majority of the software base was written expressly for it.

    Well, of course it is!!!! As they say, "you get what you  pay for", and
 Atari's motto  of "POWER  WITHOUT PRICE" means that some corners had to be
 cut somewhere! 1.5 years ago, I'd  have  said  that  you  were  getting an
 incredible  deal  on  the  ST,  with it's capabilities vs. it's price. Now
 tho... now I think you're simply getting what you pay  for, nothing extra.
 By this  time next  year, if  the ST's prices hold where they are, I think
 you'd be getting ripped  off. I  say this  because of  a simple comparison
 with other  systems (not  Amigas or  Macs, I'm not impressed overmuch with
 either of those! with IBM compatibles  mainly)  and  price  vs.  power and

     Only if you want to! Remember that often what a student uses in school
 is the machine they use at home, and  if they  like it,  they're likely to
 become long-time  customers of  the company. This was Apple's strategy. It
 worked. Also, most of these schools aren't cheap, and they  aren't public.
 They're private/commercial,  and they could  afford different machines....
 But again, they choose ST for MIDI...

     Absolutely!  ?;->

     Nope, actually it makes me kinda sad to know how  true it's  been over
 the years. Now I understand Atari has a whole new line of products. Unfor-
 tunately, while I love the computer, I have no more trust in  the company.
 I have no wish to have my computer to become an orphan (either thru bankr-
 uptcy or Atari's pulling out of the USA- neither would surprise me at all)
 and the  idea of  support for  my machine  is starting  to appeal to me. I
 mean, when I look at all the support that the  C64 *still*  gets both from
 the Commodore  and from  third parties, it really bothers me to compare it
 to Atari and my ST. And  when I  look at  all the  ST magazines  that have
 shutdown for lack of readership in the US, or other problems (for the last
 6 months, the ST section in Computer Shopper has moved further and further
 towards the  back of  the magazine,  while coverage  for the ST has gotten
 smaller and smaller... This  month,  the  ST  section  has  now completely
 disappeared,  a  bad  sign....).  COMPUTE  magazine  used to put out an ST
 issue, then they quit. Now they're back, and they're covering IBM compats,
 C64's, Macs, Amigas, but no ST. And it's odd, because the games advertised
 in the mag often mention an ST version, but as far as the articles go, the
 ST might  as well not exist. No, I don't feel confident on this subject at
 all. I'm just glad that I have lots of software, just in case... Hence, my
 next computer  is almost  certain to be a '386, running either Windows 3.0
 or X/GEM, or UNIX/MOTIF, or some  combination thereof.  The critical thing
 will be to LAN the ST to the '386, then I'll be a happy man!

 --- D'Bridge B1046/0a4
  * Origin: Panther BBS (2:249/8)


 > THE FLIP SIDE STR Feature?           ...A different viewpoint

                    A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT

 by Michael Lee

 It seemed time to pop back into the Gadgets by Small Roundtable on  Genie
 and   see  what  was happening with Spectre 3.0 and his  new  '030  board.

 Let's see what Dave Small has to say about these two matters...

    Hooray! After a number of minor, fiddly, and thoroughly annoying bugs,
 Spectre 3.0 is FINALLY ready for Gamma test.   It literally went  through
 20 Beta versions until it solidified.   But it passed Beta Test,  where a
 group  of  Spectre  experts have gone over it with  fine  toothed  combs,
 finding bugs.

    I'm sorry 3.0 has taken so long.   We'd planned on more like an  Sept.
 or Oct. announcement, but with the TT release ("Gee, the floppies stopped
 working...and  the  hard disk...and and and ") tripped us  up...It  seems
 solid enough now.  There were also bugs relating to entirely new features
 that  had to be unsnaggled,  bugs relating to 68030,  MegaTalk,  and  the
 phase  of the moon.   (We ALREADY had reserved time for unexpected  bugs.
 But we didn't reserve time for unexpected unexpected bugs.)

    Anywho, I wanted to pass along word of this progress, because if Gamma
 test goes well (knock wood, but it usually does), Spectre 3.0 will be out
 pretty quickly.

    The  030 board will be ready when all the final snags are worked  out.
 We  are taking the time to do our best to make sure it works out  of  the
 box  in real world ST's as opposed to (say) one ST in the lab with  ideal
 timing, chip driving, and so forth.

    ...the onboard RAM is the key to this thing. And look, RAM  is *cheap*.

 Price some 1 meg SIMMs.  Around $ need 4 of them.

    ...When the Benchmark Wars erupt,  you'll see what I mean.  We've  al-
 ready  seen  numbers  that make us wonder if  the  benchmarker  has  been
 overloaded and gone whacko.

    We  simply  feel we have a clean design that will greatly  expand  the
 ST's performance and lifetime.  12 megs of memory matched with a high Mhz
 68030  is  nothing  to sneeze at by  anyone's  standards,  unless  you're
 Seymour Cray.

    Much,  much  work is going on in the 68030 project.  We still hope  to
 have it all finalized by year's end,  and maybe even start beta testing a
 few...but I have a healthy respect for Murphy's Laws.


    From Mark Reardon on Genie:

 I bought a "Forget Me Clock II" by Frontier (UK Import) about a month ago
 and it works great on my STe. Though its using the cartridge port its got
 a pass through so you can still use the Spectre GCR.  No need to open  up
 the computer and it cost less than $30.00


    Question from Mel Motogawa on Genie:

    I was at my Atari dealer Tuesday and saw a new monitor with the  Atari
 label on it. I believe it was the one for the TT because it had the green
 screen switch on it. I can't remember the name for it, but it was a color
 monitor and it did look like it was 14".

    Answer from Bob Brodie (Atari User Group Coordinator) on Genie:

    The new monitor is the SC1435.  It is indeed produced by Phillips, and
 comes with a detachable tilt swivel base. It does have stereo speakers, a
 14"  screen,  and a green switch that allows the user to emulate  a  mono
 screen.  The resolution doesn't change, though. It's still medium rez and
 low rez only.  Suggested retail price is $399.95

    PS -  you  should see the 4096 color pics from Deluxe Paint  on  this!
 They really look great!!!

    Answer from Alan Hamilton on Genie:

    The "green" switch makes your monitor display green only,  so it looks
 like  a  monochrome with a green tube.  (It still only supports  low  and
 medium rez, though.)


    From Harry Wootan on Genie:

    I got upgrade info for Thunder today.   Send $13 ($10 + $3 s/h)  along
 with original disk to:

                              Electronic Arts
                                ATTN: Mary
                               P.O.Box 7530
                           San Mateo, CA  94403

    The  number for direct sales is 1-800-245-4525  OR  415-571-7171,  ext
 555. Expect to wait on the line a while before you speak to a human.

    The  tech support number is 415-572-2787.  I have't spoken  to  anyone
 there.  They  might  be  able to tell you the  differencees  between  the
 versions. (But I wouldn't bank on it.)

    I don't know the specific current version. (I'm way behind with 1.0x.)
 I was just pleased to be able to talk to someone (finally) who could find
 out the upgrade policy.   Mary is the person I talked to.  She  suggested
 the  "ATTN: Mary".  I  didn't think to ask whether others should  do  the
 same.  But  I'd  guess it wouldn't hurt to direct it to someone  who  may
 actually be aware of the ST upgrade for Thunder!

              <It's NOT common knowledge among the EA folks!>


    Here's some information that might help keep the rumors down:

    From Bob Brodie (Atari User Group Coordinator) on Genie:

    ...The Stacy is still not FCC Class B approved.  The Stacy is FCC Type
 A,  which means it can only be sold into non-residential uses.  I am  not
 aware of any mods relating to the power connector.

    What has happened is that dealers that we sold this class A device  to
 have sold the Stacy to anyone that wanted to buy them, with no regard for
 what the sales might be for.  So,  they have ended up in places (like the
 home) where they are expressly prohibited from being. In order to correct
 that,  our  VP  of sales is now requiring a written  statement  from  the
 dealers saying that they will not sell the Stacy for home use.

    The  net  effect of this is that the Stacy is "pulled"  for  the  home
 market until it gets FCC Class B.  That's the way it was really  supposed
 to be all along....We are still shipping Stacys,  we're just covering our
 bases while we do it!


 Until next week....



                 IS THE TT/030 TO LATE FOR IT'S OWN GOOD?

 by Brad Martin and Joe Cross

     Weeks before  Atari's introduction  of the  TT/030 at  the Fall Comdex
 last month Atari was telling it's  few remaining  dealers that  the TT/030
 would be  shipping to  them at  the same  time that  they were introduced.
 Well, as fate would have it, Atari had not yet received the  necessary FCC
 class B  sticker that is required to sell electronics to consumers here in
 the United States.  Atari promised at that time that FCC certification was
 only two weeks away, and that Atari had a warehouse full of TT/030's ready
 to ship.

     Well, one month has gone by since the TT/030's, and according to Atari
 the TT/030  has not  yet received FCC certification yet.  And the expected
 shipping date has now been pushed back to  late January.   Worst  still is
 the news  that Atari  might not have enough TT/030's to ship more then one
 to each dealer, and that they  will not  have enough  to ship  in quantity
 until late  summer.  This just reflects Atari's past shipping history, and
 upsets and alienates both dealers, developers and users alike.

          The most damage that this does is that it causes  new people, who
 were perhaps  seriously looking  at the  TT/030 as a new computer, to con-
 sider something else.  One dealer, when asked about this, said that he has
 had a  lot of  inquires from  non ST owners about the TT/030 as a low cost
 UNIX platform, but because of lack of shipping people have  stopped asking
 about the  TT/030, and started asking about the Commodore Amiga 3000.  Why
 the Amiga 3000?  Well the following article by Joe Cross should explain to
 you why.

     Several vendors  have released micro-computers with AT&T's Unix System
     V. release 4.  this version is often  referred to  as SVR  4.   UHC of
     Houston Texas  claims to  be the first vendor to ship SVR 4, with Dell
     Computer of Austin Texas right on  their  heels.    At  the  last Fall
     Comdex, Commodore  Business Machines took the wraps off of their SVR 4
     implementation for the Amiga 3000.   This  version  has  been  in beta
     testing in 21 universities throughout the world. Including the Univer-
     sity of Virginia, which replaced the Apple Macintosh version exclusiv-
     ely with  Commodore 3000.   Commodore  expects to start shipping their
     Unix computers early in 1991.

     Commodore has in fact been written  up in  such industry  magazines as
     Unix Today,  while Atari  hasn't even  been mentioned.  In fact, Atari
     only recently began work on a SVR 4  version of  Unix.   They had been
     working for  many months  on an  older version  of Unix, but they com-
     pletely scrapped all that work a few months ago in  favor of releasing
     a SVR 4 version, which will now be very late, perhaps too late.


 > THE IMMORTAL STR Review?     "....The game has many nice subtle touches"

                               THE IMMORTAL

 by Oscar Steele

     Electronic Arts  (EA) and the ST have a special relationship in Europe
 EA produces top quality games and advertises heavily in that  market.  The
 Immortal is  the product  of that environment, and users in the US are the
 ones who benefit indirectly.

     The game is unique in several aspects.  It offers a rather  unusual 3D
 effect by  showing an  angle view  of the  screen (as previously done with
 Airball).  It takes a short  while to  get used  to, but  once you  do, it
 becomes quite natural.

     You are  a wizard  who's mission  is to find your mentor help up some-
 where in a dungeon.  The audience is clear, people  who were  entranced by
 Dungeon Master.  Immortal is similar to DM and at the same time different.
 The angle of perspective adds a very unique aspect to the game.  And while
 Dungeon Master  uses magic in an intensive manner, casting spells requires
 putting together two parts in a  variety  of  ways.    Immortal  makes the
 spell-making process  simple, a push of a button is all it takes.  Rather,
 it concentrates on using it more  as an  imaginative ingredient.   For ex-
 ample, Fireballs  may be used to kill creatures.  But it takes imagination
 to come up with the idea that you  can light  the torches  in an unlighted
 room  in  order  to  see  the  Shadow creatures (and that's only after you
 figure out that the room's torches AREN'T lit since the  room is  the same
 brightness as others).  There are things you must watch for very carefully
 on the screen and things you must discover on your own - or die.   Case in
 point, is  the scene  in which  you must  refract light  to another point.
 What do you use to do it...

     The game has many nice subtle touches.   When words  are typed  on the
 screen, pushing the joystick button makes them print much faster.  This is
 very helpful when replaying  scenes that  you'd like  to pass  quickly.  A
 GEM-like system  of dialog  boxes with  yes/no answers  is implemented.  A
 mouse is not even necessary  since  the  joystick  controls  all questions
 quite well,  a very  well thought-out interaction element when it comes to
 games.  The only detraction is having to push the  space bar  for a inven-
 tory menu.  This should have been implemented for joystick use as well.

     I think  that even  game players  who aren't D & D nuts will get a big
 kick out of the  graphics; in  short it's  a fun  game.   The graphics are
 excellent and the creatures are animated.  For example, when you fight the
 demons, all participants move, slash, and blood spurts.  When  your wizard
 dies he  melts into  a pool  of goo.  Immortal is certainly not lacking in
 the graphics and imagination departments.

     The manual is superb.  It  does  not  mention  certain  details, which
 keeps game play interesting.  It does a fine job of teaching you the moves
 by guiding the player through the first level of play.   The  tour clearly
 explains what  to do  and when  to do it.  It does an excellent job of ex-
 plaining the functions and delves into building up  your reasoning skills.
 The booklet  is full  of graphics  placed.   Software manuals are a dime a
 dozen, but luckily we get to run into some that are fun to read  once in a
 while, and this is certainly one of those.

     The only  major detraction  I found  was the  lack of  a save feature,
 which will undoubtedly turn off many would-be adventurers  after the first
 couple of  dozen tries.   There  are puzzles to be solved here.  Failing a
 tough one, only to go through the motions that you already know is a stiff
 penalty to  pay, and  becomes boring the sixth or seventh time around.  If
 you can live with this, there's no problem.

     Completing a level will give you  a  certificate  number  to  the next
 level. You  can use  this number to start on future levels.  But this does
 not make up for a save-game feature.  It works nicely for  Rick Dangerous,
 an action game, but it is extremely lacking in this game.  A save game, as
 in Dungeon Master is mandatory.  Without it  the game  is intimidating, in
 fact, if  I wasn't  reviewing it,  I would  have stopped  playing after my
 wizard died right before  the end  of the  first screen  level (this after
 playing a dozen times straight in a row).

     So to  sum up,  the graphics are dazzling, the game play is great, and
 the animation is fluid.  If you can play around the drawbacks of the space
 bar annoyance  and lack  of a  save game feature, then there's no problem,
 the game's a winner.  The Immortal will definitely challenge, but it's not
 for those  seeking action  shoot 'em ups, unless you have the patience and
 stamina to crack the puzzles and solve the adventures.

 The Immortal: $44.95

                         Animated action/adventure

                            Double Sided Drive
                                1 Megabyte

                              Electronic Arts
                             1810 Gateway Dr.
                           San Mateo, CA  94404
                              (415) 571-7171


 > TT vs IBM STR SOUND OFF?   "Now some may say that I haven't been fair.."

                               TT030 vs IBM


     I read the other day in  an online  mag about  a person  who bought an
 IBM.   He made  some comparisons  to the TT.  He bought a 386.  Great!  He
 paid only $2100 (US  I presume)  for his  25mhz system.   That  includes a
 mouse, HD, 2 serial ports, a parallel port, and VGA.  Did I miss anything?
 Oh yea,  that includes  an operating  system.   He also  bought (for $100)
 Windows.  OK, lets compare.

     The TT  lists for  around $3200  US for a 4 meg model.  Perhaps street
 price will go as low as $2800 (its anyone's guess) and a monitor for $600.
 Now just what does that include.  A 68030 processor running at 32mhz.  Now
 to be fair, that is only the processor speed, all  the other  I.O. is lim-
 ited to  16mhz, however, you still get 32mhz through the processor.  Also,
 the Motorola chip is a bit more efficient than an Intel chip *(see below)-
 ... check  it out  for yourself,  don't take  my word  for it.   So in all
 reason, we can say the TT is 7mhz faster than the 386.

     OK, lets add 2 serial ports, a mouse (lets see is that  a serial mouse
 or a  bus mouse?),   VGA  color, a  HD, a  parallel port, and an operating
 system. How much does that add to the price?  WHAT you  mean its included?
 And you  don't have  to guess  what type  of mouse?   KOOL!  Ok, but I'm a
 musician so I will need to add Midi to my system, and yea lets  add a game
 port, you  know, for  joysticks.  And, by the way, how about stereo sound?
 And maybe I will need to hook up to a LAN.   So how  much extra  will that
 cost?  WHAT!!!! THAT'S INCLUDED TOO!!!!!  Gee on my IBM, it would have now
 cost me at least an additional $800 (game port 25, midi 200,  stereo sound
 175, Apple Talk [if you can get it] 400).

     GREAT!   Now lets add the math co-processor (the 386 didn't have one).
 What does that add?  INCLUDED?!!!  WOW,  on the  IBM it  costs $550  for a
 25mhz math co- processor!

     Ok, now  I want  that new  operating interface, yea Windows.  How much
 now? FREE!  ITS BUILT IN!  ALL PROGRAMS RUN WITH IT?  But  that's not like
 the IBM.   Windows  doesn't work  with lots  of programs.  And even if the
 programs runs within Windows  many don't  use the  windows interface, they
 will only  run with  windows is  loaded.  KOOL, and most Atari software is
 written already to work with the "windows" interface.

     OK, enough of the drama...the TT also has  a VME  bus and  a SCSI port
 and that's all included.  IS there a VME available for IBM?  The SCSI will
 cost around 200 (subtract the floppy/hard controller -70)  so its  cost is
 actually  130.    And  lets  add  a  cartridge  port  for some spectacular
 programing feats like Spectre GCR not to mention the speed  of the Migraph
 hand scanner.  The IBM?  No cartridge port.  So it doesn't matter how much
 you can't get it.

     Oh, but there is a problem!  Aha!  Most  of the  programs that  run on
 the ST  haven't be  recompiled for a TT version so they only run about 4-8
 times faster.  (An actual test using a  16mzh TT  ran 4  times faster than
 the  ST:  This  was  a  print  test using Calamus to print to a Linotronic
 Imagesetter at  1270 dpi.  The page  was 20  inches wide  so it  had to be
 rotated then  printed. On the ST it took a little over an hour, on a 16mhz
 TT without the new OS it took  16  minutes).    BUT,  soon  the recompiled
 versions will be out allowing for faster operation.

     The 386  doesn't have  a onboard instruction cache, the TT does.  So a
 486 (which does have an onboard  instruction  cache)  will  run  you about
 $3600 for a clone, plus add all the extras will put you over $4500.

     OK...The 386  (clone) costs  $3700 and the Atari costs $3400 (remember
 its a guess).  AND the Atari is still faster.  As a matter of fact  I soon
 hope to have bench marks available comparing it to a 33mhz 386 and 486.

     Compatibilities: Most  applications, and  about 1/2  the game software
 (including Time Bandits, Pac  Man,  Kid  Glove,  The  Spy  Who  Loved Me).
 Availabilities:  Check with Atari.

     Now some may say that I haven't been fair.  The 386 has a monitor that
 is 800+ by 600+ resolution with 256 colors.   OK,  the TT  only has  320 x
 480.   That resolution  is not  available, YET.   Wait for some of the VME
 cards to come out allowing these  increased resolutions.   I  have no idea
 what the cost will be.

     * A  test performed  by a  local dealer used a 33mhz 386 and a regular
 Mega ST to print the test document from  Ultrascript.   Both machines used
 the same  printer for  fairness (when  using the SLM 804 instead the Atari
 beat the IBM by almost half).  On the 386 it took 5  minutes, on the ST it
 took 5 1/2 minutes.  AND that's a 8mhz ST against a 33mhz IBM.  Talk about
 processor efficiency.

 I support the revolution!


 > STR Mail Call?                                     Letters to the Editor


 : 24394 S14/ST REPORT
 10-Dec-90  00:30:53
 Sb: #new article
 Fm: Pat Augustine 73670,2200
 To: ST Report

     Isn't it counterproductive for an  ST  support  magazine  to  carry an
 article  encouraging  ST  users  to  leave the ST computer for 386 clones?
 Darek Mihocka certainly has a point, but I  don't think  there are  any ST
 users left  who are  unaware of the change the computer industry has taken
 in the last 5 years. The simple effort involved to  find an  ST dealer (vs
 finding a  clone dealer) is enough to explain to anyone where Atari stands
 in the market.  I just  don't think  it is  right for  an ST  mag to begin
 carrying  a  series  of  articles  that basically says "Hey, ST users, you
 lost, it's time to cut your losses and run!"
                                             One man's opinion.

 : 24405 S14/ST REPORT
 10-Dec-90  12:10:55
 Sb: #24394-new article
 Fm: Jim Ness 74415,1727
 To: Pat Augustine 73670,2200 (X)

 Pat -

 I think that those ST users who are considering buying  other machines are
 looking for  info on  386 clones, in any case.  Whether they get that info
 from someone whose reputation they know  and  trust,  or  from  some MSDOS
 magazine ad,  they DO  want that info.  It is unfortunate that this situa-
 tion exists, but I did enjoy the article, and Darek  did present  his info
 in a mostly positive manner.


 : 24411 S14/ST REPORT
 10-Dec-90  20:29:10
 Sb: #24394-#new article
 Fm: Atari Interface 70007,4640
 To: Pat Augustine 73670,2200 (X)


 What do you think is right for a magazine to carry a series of articles on
 in this changed computer industry?  I didn't  find Darek's  article offen-
 sive, but  I can  understand your  initial question.  I'm sure you'd agree
 that Darek can share his viewpoint, as you've shared yours.

                 Pattie Rayl (Atari Interface)

 : 24419 S14/ST REPORT
 10-Dec-90  22:22:59
 Sb: #24411-new article
 Fm: Pat Augustine 73670,2200
 To: Atari Interface 70007,4640

 Absolutely, Darek is more than entitled to share  his opinion,  and, to be
 honest, on  many points  I agree  with him. However, there are a dearth of
 IBM magazines on the market, and only a handful of  ST magazines.  None of
 those IBM magazines ever felt it was necessary to point out that (at least
 in the early days) Atari was  a viable  alternative to  the machines those
 magazines purported to support.

 Darek is  absolutely right that the price/performance ratio has changed in
 the 5 years since  the ST  was introduced  and that  now, clones  are more
 powerful,  have  better  graphics,  get  more  support and are priced more
 reasonably than they were then. I  don't think  any of  us are  unaware of
 that fact (although I could be wrong there).

 I guess I was thinking that in a limited support market (as the ST is in),
 an article that says, "MS DOS is an  alternative, the  market has changed,
 here is  a source  for good  information, if  you want  it", may have been
 better received (by me, anyway) than the majority of the issue being taken
 up with "Here's what you should buy, and it ain't Atari", which is how the
 article came across to me.  I  have  heard  several  people,  after seeing
 Darek's posts  on the  same subject  on the  national services, state that
 they are convinced Darek will be  leaving us  soon for  the more lucrative
 DOS market,  and that,  therefore, buying  any of  his software would be a
 foolish investment. Darek denies that is true, but  given the  tone of the
 posts, and  the article,  I am  sure you (and he) can see how people could
 come to that conclusion.

 Don't get me wrong. My JOB is computers, and I use DOS boxes, and adminis-
 ter UNIX  boxes for  a living.  I am fully aware of the revolution in com-
 puting going  on around  us. I  am also  aware of  the "down  side" of the
 "standard"  peripherals  mess  that  generates standard hardware that con-
 flicts with each other and causes  just  as  much  problem  as proprietary
 stuff, an aspect which tends to be glossed over when selling the market.

 What it boils down to, in my mind, is "Is this article helping, or simply
 adding  another  nail  to  the  coffin?".  I  think it falls in the latter

 To:     ST.REPORT
 Sub: Darek Mihoka Article

 Dear Ralph,

     Thanks for including Mr.  Mihoka's article  re: his  changing attitude
 with Atari  Corp.   I, too,  have given  up on Atari Corp.  I think the TT
 offers too little, too late for  WAY too  much.   If anything,  it'll only
 accelerate Atari's  death.   I wish  the best  for Atari,  but its time to
 wake up and smell the coffee.

     I'll probably  be buying  a 80386SX  clone this  X-mas due  in part to
 Atari's bungling  complacency, and due to the software dry-up in the Atari
 market.  I look forward to being able to go  to the  nearest mall  for the
 newest software, and to look no further than my copy of "Computer Shopper"
 for the latest hardware.  I'll know that my purchase won't be at the hands
 of a  few guys  who inherited  Daddy's business.  I think Jack Tramiel had
 the right ideas to make Atari succeed at one time.  I  think his  sons are
 surprisingly behind  the times.   And, although I'll regret the fetters of
 the 640K MS-DOS world, its only a matter of time before that  wall will be
 knocked  down...  and  when  that  time  comes,  I doubt even mighty Apple
 Corporation will find life easy.

     I'll hold onto my Mega ST2, at least for the next few months.  I still
 think its  a very  powerful, though  very dated  tool.  And I still have a
 Cyber animation in my  continuing TREK  series to  complete and  upload to
 GEnie.    I  hope  to  transfer  these to Autodesk Animator, too, someday.
 (Some already have been!)  I'll still continue  to download  ST-REPORT for
 as long as you put it together.

     As for  the Atari boys, its a shame that French fellow didn't stay and
 take over the reigns of power.  He could have learned the lesson that John
 Sculley of  Apple taught  the world:  move in, and fire the guys who don't
 deliver - yes, many thought it was sacrilegious to fire Steven Jobs, but I
 wonder if any would feel the same of the Tramiels?

                         Thanks for the reports, and keep them coming!

                                             Paul McCullough

 PS- Please  forward this to Darek Mihoka, thought he might like to hear at
     least some support for his position.


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

                          LIFE AFTER THE ATARI ST

 Part 2

 by Darek Mihocka,
 President, Branch Always Software

     This week, I will  switch my  focus from  hardware to  a discussion of
 operating systems, and I will explain briefly some of the internals of GEM
 and Windows. I have include some  comments I  received from  readers about
 last week's article.

     Everybody has  heard of  operating systems, but how many of you really
 know what an operating system is or does?  Understanding operating systems
 concepts (in  not too  gory detail)  is important to understanding GEM and
 Windows and important in  understanding  how  software  written  for these
 environments works.

     Software  is  probably  the  last  thing  most people think about when
 getting a computer system. Everyone seems to be interested in  MIPS, clock
 speed, and  megabytes of  memory. Many people will buy a computer and only
 then start to shop around for software. But hardware and  software go hand
 in hand.  Software is  shaped and molded by the capabilities of the hardw-
 are, and hardware is likewise being changed to meet the  needs of software
 as software demands faster and more powerful hardware.

     A  very  important  piece  of  software  in any computer system is the
 operating system. 10 years ago, the operating system had little importance
 in personal computers. For example, on the Atari 800, to run some software
 you simply plugged in a cartridge and turned on the computer. Most  of the
 games made very little use of the built-in operating system and simply did
 everything using the code on the cartridge.

     Software has radically changed since then. Gone are the days  when you
 plug in  one cartridge  to run  one piece  of software,  then turn off the
 computer and plug in another cartridge to run  another piece  of software.
 One of the reasons for this is that the operating systems of today are far
 more powerful.

     What exactly is an operating system? The operating  system (or  OS for
 short) was  originally designed to take care of input and output functions
 of the computer. For example, let's say you were writing a word processor.
 Rather than  write code  to read  keystrokes from the keyboard and code to
 output characters of text to the screen, the  OS provides  functions to do

     For those  of you who just got blown away by the last sentence, let me
 explain some terms. "Code" is another  word  for  a  computer  program, or
 parts of  a computer  program that contain instructions. For example, in a
 typical .PRG file you might run on your  ST, part  of that  .PRG file con-
 tains code  (the instructions  that the  68000 chip knows how to use), and
 the remainder contains "data" (the stuff that the  code manipulates). When
 you run, say, Quick Index, the code contains instructions for the 68000 to
 tell GEM put up a dialog box and perform some benchmarks. The data portion
 contains such  things as  the text  used in  the dialog box, the reference
 timings, and a resource tree that defines the dialog box. A microprocessor
 executes code, and code manipulates data.

     Data can  also be  generated when the program is running. For example,
 in a word processor, when you type in text, that adds to the data that the
 code has  to deal  with. When you cut or paste, you are merely rearranging
 the data.

     Getting back to operating systems, the "functions" that an OS provides
 are merely pieces of code that were written ahead of time and put into the
 computer so that every other piece of software  doesn't need  to duplicate
 this code.  Two of  the most  common functions  of the OS are to read keys
 from the keyboard and to print  characters  of  text  to  the  screen. The
 functions are usually burned in ROM and come built into the computer. This
 is known as the "built-in operating system" or BIOS for short.

     There is a major advantage to having a BIOS. What if the  screen chan-
 ges? For  example, using  a large  Moniterm monitor instead of the regular
 Atari monochrome monitor. One of many program that  will not  run properly
 on  the  Moniterm  is  Tempus,  because it was written to print characters
 directly to the screen without using  the  BIOS.  The  code  only supports
 640x400 pixel screens and nothing else.

     Programmers on  all computers  get burned one time or another, because
 they wrote code that by-passed the BIOS. Remember when Atari  800 software
 would not  run on  the 800XL?  Or when 520ST software would not run on the
 Mega ST? Or when Lotus 1-2-3 didn't run on some PC clones because they had
 different video  cards? All caused by programmers writing what in computer
 terms is called "illegal code"

     By today, most programmers have learned  to follow  the rules  and use
 the BIOS.  No one could predict back in 1985 that programs written for the
 520ST would one day be running on the  TT, a  machine with  very different
 hardware and a different microprocessor.

     There are  other components of an operating system. Computers that use
 floppy disks or hard disks need some way to manage the data  stored on the
 disks. In  one scenario,  we could  just force each programmer to put code
 into each piece of software to  manipulate the  disk directly.  That means
 that  a  disk  used  with,  say,  Atari BASIC would be unusable with Atari
 Writer. This makes transferring of data between different  pieces of soft-
 ware almost impossible.

     So what people did was to expand the operating system to include a new
 module called DOS, or  Disk Operating  System. There  is Atari  DOS on the
 8-bit, MS-DOS  on the  PC, GEMDOS  on the ST, and others. The DOS provides
 some functions, just like the BIOS, for reading and writing text and other
 data to  the disk  in a  standard way  so that  any piece  of software can
 access data on a given disk.

     CP/M was a popular operating system on Z80 based machines  way back in
 the dark  ages. Any computer with a Z80 microprocessor could run any piece
 of CP/M compatible software without modification. Later on,  MS-DOS became
 popular on  IBM PCs  and clones,  and software  that uses  MS-DOS and BIOS
 functions will run on any of them, whether a 1982 IBM PC or a  1990 Compaq

     The DOS  also allowed personal computers to take a major leap forward.
 Gone were the days of rebooting the computer to change  the software. Now,
 several pieces of software could be stored on one floppy disk and the user
 could run a different  piece of  software by  exiting the  current program
 (which takes  them back to DOS) and typing in the name of the new program.
 It also allowed the transfer of data (for example, text) between different
 pieces of  software such as word processor or telecommunications packages.
 Without an operating system to tie this all together, we'd  still be plug-
 ging cartridges in and out today.

     Another major  event in  operating system history was the introduction
 of the graphical user interface,  or  GUI.  In  the  6  years  between the
 release of  the Apple  Macintosh and the release of Windows 3.0, there has
 been a revolution going on. "User friendly" was  the buzzword  of the 80's
 (at least  in computer circles). Prior to the release of the Mac, the only
 way for a user to enter new information  into a  computer was  through the
 keyboard, and  usually using  a monitor  that displayed  only text. To use
 DOS, you needed to type on  the keyboard.  Joysticks provided  a bit  of a
 solution, but usually with paint programs.

     A GUI allowed users to see the information on the screen more like the
 actual information it represented. Word processors could now  show bold or
 italic text,  and spreadsheets  could now plot graphs of the data in their
 cells. Sure, some programs could already do that  with just  DOS, provided
 you had  a graphics  card, but as with my example above with disks, it was
 every program for itself.

     The reason GUIs weren't there from the beginning is that  in the early
 days memory  was not  cheap like  it is  today. The  original Apple II and
 Atari 800 used about 1000 bytes of memory  for displaying  the screen (one
 byte per  character in  text mode). Today, the Moniterm monitor or typical
 VGA cards require over 100,000 (and some even more than  500,000) bytes of
 memory  to  display  the  screen.  100K  was not an option 10 years ago. A
 related problem was that as the screen memory became larger, the micropro-
 cessor  (or  "CPU")  had  to  become  proportionally faster or else screen
 updates would be slower. But CPUs have not quite kept up the pace. That is
 why the  Apple II  can beat  almost any  computer when  it comes to screen
 scrolling or outputting text.

     Before screens could get  bigger, CPUs  would have  to get  faster. In
 1984,  Apple  released  the  Mac,  which  used a 68000 chip instead of the
 popular 6502 or 8088 chips. The 68000 is about 5  to 10  times faster than
 the  earlier  chips,  and  so  the Mac's screen was entirely graphic based
 instead of text based. To print  a character  to the  screen, you couldn't
 simply update one byte in screen memory. But now you had to update several
 bytes of memory because  one byte  of screen  memory now  only contained 8
 pixels of  the screen  instead of an entire character. A year later, Atari
 introduced the 520ST, also using the 68000, and  with an  even bigger scr-

     Instead of  using text,  programs now used the graphics screen and ran
 inside windows and used icons to represent in  pictures what  before could
 only be expressed in text.

     A related  breakthrough came  with the mouse. The mouse allowed people
 to point and click, instead of repeatedly typing in data. Although a mouse
 is usually associated with a GUI, that is not always the case. You can use
 GEM on the ST without a mouse, and Windows on  a PC  without a  mouse. And
 many text  based programs  support the  mouse. I won't spent too much time
 discussing the mouse, since it is only one of many input devices  (such as
 keyboards, light pens, joysticks, trackballs, etc) and may even shortly be
 made obsolete by newer input devices that now exist.

     What makes up a GUI? There are two  major parts.  One is  the graphics
 code itself  which is  what draws the lines, circles, rectangles, and text
 to the graphics screen. On GEM this is known as the VDI (or virtual device
 interface). On Windows, it is called GDI (Graphical Device Interface). The
 second part of a GUI is the window  manager. This  code also  manages menu
 bars and dialog boxes and icons and other "objects" on the screen. On GEM,
 this is known as the AES (Application Environment Services) and on Windows
 it is called the USER module. On the Atari ST, AES and VDI (and some other
 modules) together make up what is known as  GEM. On  the PC,  GDI and USER
 and another module called KERNEL make up what is known as Windows.

     To  draw  a  dialog  box,  a  program simply calls the AES function to
 display a dialog box  (which has  been previously  created using  a dialog
 editor). The  AES then  takes care of drawing the box, filling in the text
 and buttons (by calling VDI), and waiting for user input.  If the  AES and
 VDI did  not exist,  every programmer  would be forced to write his or her
 own equivalents of the AES and VDI.

     Another advantage of this is common look and  feel. If  everyone wrote
 their own  AES, then  everyone's dialog boxes would look different and act
 different. By looking and acting the same, a user can use different pieces
 of software  in a  similar manner,  which is the philosophy behind the Mac
 and Windows. For example, today almost all word processors have  a similar
 user interface.  There is  a menu bar at the top which contains all of the
 commands, there are one or more windows containing text (with  each window
 displaying a  portion of  a text  file) with slider bars on each window to
 scroll through the text, and buttons or icons along the  bottom to perform
 some  shortcuts.  Cursor  keys  navigate  through text. The mouse switches
 between different windows or selects menu items. This is not  like 5 years
 ago when  word processor  and text  editors had a different set of control
 key sequences to perform various functions.

     So what came next? Although it was around before GUIs, multitasking is
 something that  has become popular recently with GUIs. Multitasking simply
 means that you can run more than one program, or "task", at one time. This
 is useful for sharing data between different programs, or for simply doing
 two things at the same time. Many people are still completely clued out as
 to what  multitasking can do for them. It is one of the reasons that in my
 article last week I recommended that ST users purchase a 386 machine.

     Multitasking is something you can't appreciate  until you  try it, and
 then you  can't live  without it. Multitasking is to computers what stereo
 is to audio or color is to video. It is  something that  strictly speaking
 is not absolutely necessary, but it makes life a whole lot nicer.

     There are  various forms of multitasking. Most personal computers do a
 bit of multitasking. I tend to  think of  it in  4 categories: interrupts,
 task switching, non-pre-emptive multitasking and pre-emptive multitasking.

     An interrupt  is when the CPU suddenly drops everything it's doing and
 goes and executes a different piece of code and then  later comes  back to
 the original  code. For  example, when  the mouse  is moved  on the ST, an
 interrupt causes the 68000 chip to  stop doing  whatever it  is doing (for
 example, recalculating  a spreadsheet  or drawing  an icon)  and to go and
 process the mouse interrupt. This allows the ST to keep track of the mouse
 position at  all times  since the mouse only provides pixel-by-pixel move-
 ment information.

     Another common interrupt is the  vertical  blank  interrupt  (VBI). It
 happens a  fixed number  of times  per second,  usually 60, and is usually
 used to update a clock, redraw  the mouse,  change screen  colors or some-
 thing routine like that.

     Well, a few years ago, somebody figured out that they could run entire
 programs during an interrupt.  The popular  Sidekick program  from Borland
 did this.  Simply press  Alt and Control at the same time and up pops this
 little menu of various sub-programs. This  kind of  program is  knows as a
 TSR (Terminate  and Stay  Resident) because  it loads into memory and only
 executes when a special key is  pressed.  Pressing  keys  on  the keyboard
 generates interrupts, and so they can pop up like that.

     There are  many TSRs  in both  the PC  and ST worlds. TSRs are usually
 written to offer some feature  that  is  normally  not  available  in most
 software (such  as a notepad or telephone dialer). On the ST, we have tons
 of TSRs available which usually load from the AUTO folder.  Quick ST  is a
 TSR that  runs whenever  a VDI  function is called. Quick ST then executes
 its own fast drawing code and returns back  to the  program that  made the
 VDI call.  Another TSR is Universal Item Selector, which executes whenever
 a file selector is called (which is a function of AES) and  gives the user
 access to file copying functions.

     However, TSRs are not a good way to implement multitasking and are far
 from it. For one thing, they eat up memory. Too many TSRs at once will eat
 up all  your memory  leaving no room for real programs. Also, TSRs tend to
 conflict with each other a lot or with newer versions of the BIOS or DOS.

     Therefore, another method to  achieve multitasking  is what  is called
 task  switching.  Since  a  program  resides  in the computer's memory, by
 changing the memory you can change the program.  This is  sort of  a brute
 force approach,  but it  does work. The program Revolver by Intersect does
 exactly this on the  ST. If  you have  2 megabytes  of memory  in your ST,
 Revolver breaks that up into two chunks of about 1 megabyte each. When the
 computer boots up, it thinks that it only has 1 megabyte of memory instead
 of two.  When you  press a  certain key, it swaps the two blocks of memory
 and reboots a second time! Then each time  you press  the magic keystroke,
 the blocks are swapped, and it is like having two computers in one.

     Task switching  was even  available on  the Apple IIe in the form of a
 program called K-Switch by Beagle Brothers. Using a 128K Apple IIe, it was
 possible to  make it  act as  two 64K Apples. More advance task switchers,
 such as some DOSes on the PC, use disk space to swap  out tasks.  This way
 you can use all of your computer's memory for each task.

     The main  problems with  task switching are that it uses an incredible
 amount of memory, and that two tasks running  on the  same machine  do not
 know about each other and can't exchange data.

     So we come to non-pre-emptive multitasking. This is the category where
 GEM and Windows mainly fall into. This is a form of multitasking where the
 software  is  written  with  the  knowledge that it is sharing memory with
 other tasks. Programs written  for these  environments have  to be careful
 about what  they do  to make  sure that they do not accidentally or inten-
 tionally destroy  another task  in memory.  If there  is only  one task in
 memory and  it writes some bogus data to an unused portion of memory, then
 who cares, because there is nothing there to corrupt. But if that "unused"
 portion of  memory has   code or data from another task, then switching to
 that other task could crash the computer!

     GEM programs for example,  cannot use  any memory  unless they  make a
 GEMDOS call  to ask for some memory. GEMDOS then returns the location of a
 block of memory that  it can  use. Trying  to access  other memory usually
 results in two or more bombs on the screen or strange behavior.

     Another no-no in GEM is to output to the screen directly without going
 through AES  or VDI.  This is  because a  task only  owns the  part of the
 screen  associated  with  its  window.  Going outside of that window could
 write over some other window's display area.

     Non-pre-emptive tasks have to  voluntarily allow  themselves to switch
 to another  task. This  is done by using what is called "message passing".
 The task makes an OS call to read a message. The OS  then returns  a block
 of memory  containing data  for that  task (the  message). Every once in a
 while (several times a second is good) the task looks into this memory and
 sees what sort of messages it is getting.

     For example,  a message  might be  something simple,  like telling the
 task that a key was pressed or that the mouse  moved, or  something major,
 like a  window being  dragged or  redrawn. It is during this time that the
 task is checking its messages that  the  operating  system  can  decide to
 switch to  another task (for example, the user selected a desk accessory).
 If the  task never  checks its  messages, pre-emptive-multitasking doesn't
 work. A sloppily written program will do this.

     The operating  system can  be thought  of as  the glue  that keeps all
 these programs running together. For as long as all the programs co-opera-
 te, the  operating system can do its job of keeping windows and memory and
 the mouse in order. If some program screws up, BOOM!

     So, this need of software  to  behave  caused  another  improvement in
 hardware.  Intel  introduced  the  80286  microprocessor,  which was fully
 compatible with the earlier 8088 and 8086 chips,  but added  a new feature
 called "protect  mode". When running in protect mode, the 286 itself keeps
 track of what each task is allowed to do. This means keeping track of what
 memory blocks  belong to  each task.  When a  task tries  to, for example,
 write a byte to a memory block it  does not  own, the  286 stops  this and
 transfers  control  to  the  operating  system.  The operating system then
 deletes the task from  memory so  that other  tasks can  continue running.
 This  way,  no  damage  is  ever  done by buggy code. Windows 3.0 and OS/2
 support protect mode, and their tasks run in protect mode.

     Unfortunately, the 68000 chip has nothing like protect mode. It checks
 certain things,  like that the memory you are trying to access does exist,
 and a few other things, and the best it can do it put bombs  on the screen
 and exit back to the desktop.

     GEM also  doesn't really support multitasking like it should. There is
 really only one task running at  a time,  such as  the desktop,  or a word
 processor. Desk  accessories are  more like TSRs than real programs, since
 they are limited in what they  can do.  I'll explain  this more  next week
 when I discuss Windows in more detail.

     The final form of multitasking is pre-emptive multitasking, also known
 by other terms such as  "time  slicing".  This  means  that  the operating
 system switches tasks when it wants to, and not when the tasks decide they
 want to.  This kind  of multitasking  is usually  implemented using inter-
 rupts, and  it is  during the interrupts that the operating system decides
 which task will run  and for  how long.  The interrupts  occur frequently,
 say, 20  times a  second. The  time between interrupts is called the "time
 slice", which  is where  the term  time slicing  comes from.  Each task is
 given a slice of time to run in.

     Pre-emptive multitasking  is the  most powerful  form of multitasking.
 Any microprocessor that supports interrupts can support such multitasking,
 even the 6502. Operating systems such as OS/2 and UNIX and Windows 3.0 (in
 386 mode) are pre-emptive and are  thus  the  most  powerful  and popular.
 Pre-emptive multitasking  does not  require a  microprocessor with protect
 mode, but it does  mean that  a buggy  piece of  code can  crash the whole
 system if it is not protected.

     Well, that's  about all  the space I have for this week. I didn't have
 the room to start discussing Windows 3.0 in detail like I planned, so I'll
 leave that  for next  week. It  was important  to lay  the groundwork down
 about operating systems so  that readers  will not  get lost  when I start
 rambling on about Windows.

     I'd like  to thank  all the  people who  sent email  about last week's
 article. Surprisingly, not one person wrote  to disagree.  There were some
 mixed opinions,  but it  was mostly  in agreement.  I know  that there are
 people who disagree, and I'd like  to hear  from you  to better understand
 your position  and address  your concerns. To encourage you, here are 4 of
 my favorite ones received. Think about them


     I couldn't agree more with your article, but  I wonder  how many folks
 are in the same boat I am.  Alot of money tied up in a system and MAY like
 to think about an IBM/MAC/AMIGA platform, but would have a  difficult time
 (at best)  selling what  they have  in order  to get into one of the above
 mentioned systems.  At times I have been so frustrated  with what  you are
 describing (and  I'm not  even a developer!! ... I feel for you %^) ) I've
 been tempted to say the heck with it and turn my 65 megger into  100% Mac.
 Only problem is it's STILL an Atari machine.  The ST users truly depend on
 3rd party developers such  as yourself  and it  just seems  that there are
 literally a  handful left. Atari dealers and user groups? ? I used to have
 7 dealers in the state of Florida - now there are 2 and one is basically a
 music store  with a  couple of  1040's hooked  up to  synth's and maybe 50
 pieces of software.  Depressing to say the least.

     THANK YOU! At last someone had the b****, the _vision_, to reflect the
 current shared REALITY of ST owners! At one time "power without the price"
 was the cutting edge of the Atari computer experience, NOW  it seems, "you
 got what  you paid  for" is the operating principle. Please...don't misun-
 derstand me, I WANT Atari to be the computer that  everyone wants.  I have
 substantial investments  in hardware  & soft-  ware. I have a DTP business
 that supported me for 3 years. I know  that the  Atari CAN  work as  a fun
 _and_  practical  machine.  But.....I  think the best one-word description
 that fits Atari Corp. today is  STATIC!  That  is,  unchanging.  I  have a
 computer not only for the "normal" reasons (ie. a tool), but also I need a
 machine to take me into MY vision of the future.  The ST  did this  in '85
 but not  anymore. It  would seem  to me  that other  users like myself are
 techno-freaks and bought  their  400-800-xl-ST-STE  for  the technological
 "high"  that  the  various  models  gave them. Now, Atari has "decided" to
 "just say no". While you have opted for the IBM world, I find myself drawn
 to the  Apple domain....However prices being what they are, I could switch
 to your  way of  thinking quickly....  NO, you  have NOT  offended THIS ST
 user....just reconfirmed  the nagging  gut feeling that the limb I'm on is
 growing farther and farther from the  computing "tree".   Listen,  is that
 the sound of cracking wood?....

     Well, I  have mixed  thoughts, as  I'm sure  most people who read your
 article did...I work with both Macs and PCs  (Compaqs), and  I have strong
 feelings about  both....I place Windows 3 a strong third when comparing it
 to Mac or ST  (BTW, Mac  comes in  first). I  held off  buying a  STe just
 because I  didn't know what Atari was going to do....and why do I cling so
 strong to my ST..IT'S  FUN!!!....PCs are  NOT FUN!!!....  Macs used  to be
 that  way...but  they  are  now  in  the same boat as the PCs...a business
 solution....but there is hope...the MAC LC may bring  the hackers  back to for  my ST,  I will  still fight to keep it alive because it's
 FUN!!!...and thanks for keeping with it...we can't afford to lose any more


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

                         THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM

 On CompuServe

 by Walter Daniel  75066,164

     Another forum  contest is  under way.   While the previous contest was
 for programming, this one is for hints, tips, tricks, and help files.  For
 details, see  the text  file CONTES.TXT in library 1. An example of a help
 file is DOSCMD.ADR (library 1).  It is  actually a  Portfolio Address Book
 file, but it contains help for all the DOS commands.

     Most Portfolio  users bought  their machines for use when they travel.
 Some recent messages dealt with this topic:   taking your  Portfolio over-
 seas and  using CompuServe to move files.  If you are going to Europe, for
 example, you can purchase a set of adaptors and step-down  transformers at
 your local  electronics store that will enable you to use AC power in most
 countries.  If you want to get a file from your Portfolio to someone while
 you are  travelling, you  can send  it via CompuServe Electronic Mail.  If
 you are running short of space on your  RAM card,  you can  email files to
 yourself!   Not only  will those  files be waiting for you when you return
 from your trip, you can still access those files from your Portfolio where
 you are.  Files will remain in email for 90 days unless deleted; each user
 has something like 128k of personal storage space, but this shouldn't be a
 problem since Portfolio files are small.

     A recent  message thread  with a  lot of  activity has  to do with the
 Poqet PC, a palmtop computer like the Portfolio with much  more capability
 (larger screen,  more memory,  full MS-DOS),  but at  a higher price.  The
 Poqet has been discounted as deeply as $1400 while the Portfolio is as low
 as $250.

     Other  message  news:    a  new  developer  of  Portfolio software and
 peripherals, Xoterix, frequents the forum and  replies to  product inquir-
 ies.    The  support  manager  for Distributed Information Processing, the
 British firm that designed the Portfolio,  has joined  the forum  and will
 visit every few days.  BJ Gleason, programmer of PBASIC, may be adding a C
 library for Portfolio functions to his Pascal unit already in library 8.

     Two new uploads of  interest  (both  in  library  1):    QUICK.ZIP and
 SKETCH.ZIP.   The first  file is a Portfolio program that you use to track
 expenses, then import files containing those records to Quicken running on
 your desktop  machine.   The second is similar to an electronic Etch-A-Sk-
 etch that uses the cursor keys and the Portfolio screen.

     The Portfolio uses RAM memory cards for data storage.  While RAM cards
 are small  and lightweight, most users find them expensive:  at least $100
 for 64k and at least $150 for 128k versions.  Why are they so costly?  Ap-
 parently, the type of RAM cards used by the Portfolio are produced only by
 Mitsubishi Plastics.  In turn, Mitsubishi licenses the design from another
 company that  holds a  pertinent patent.   No  competition generally means
 higher prices.

     The computer industry recently developed a standard for  RAM cards for
 data storage,  but the  standard came  too late for Atari.  The design for
 the Portfolio was frozen for production before this  standard was approved
 and Portfolio  RAM cards do not use it.  Xoterix is introducing RAM cards,
 but they are probably made by the same  vendor that  Atari uses.   For the
 immediate future, it looks as if RAM card prices will not drop and storage
 capacities will not increase.

     I have read about some German RAM cards with higher capacity, but they
 use chips that cannot fit in the Portfolio slot.  These cards have a bulge
 outside the slot to hold the  memory chips,  meaning that  radio frequency
 interference (RFI)  could be a problem.  The FCC is relatively picky about
 these things since RFI affects more  than just  TVs and  radios:  computer
 networks, cellular  telephones, and  even individual satellite links could
 be disrupted by inadequately shielded  computer  gear.    Still,  if these
 products can  be developed and approved for sale in the U.S., I think many
 Portfolio users (myself included) will gladly purchase RAM cards with more


 > TransporT STR InfoFile?    data xfer: Portfolio <-> the ST, STE and MEGA

                                  to the
                            PORTFOLIO COMPUTER

     Artisan Software  has just  released a software system which unleashes
 the data transfer power between the Atari ST,  STE and  MEGA computers and
 the Atari  Portfolio computer.  Portfolio is the innovative palmtop MS-DOS
 command compatible computer.  The new package by Artisan Software entitled
 TransporT is compatible on color or monochrome systems and is specifically
 written to be fast, easy and efficient.

     The program offers two levels of interaction with the user.   The ini-
 tial   menu appears  on boot-up and permits efficient ASCII file transfers
 back and forth to the Portfolio WITHOUT SPECIAL SOFTWARE ON THE PORTFOLIO.
 The system  prompts the  user with  the few  exact entries required on the
 Portfolio to accomplish the transfer.  More advance users will  be able to
 enter two  extended menu systems which support Xmodem, non-ASCII character
 stripping, on-line help and file viewing and more.   A  separate text file
 is included  which offers constructive tips on using the Portfolio produc-
 tively.  A serial interface and null-modem serial cable is  required at an
 nominal charge from Atari computer dealers.

     TransporT is  Artisan Software's fifth software release.  Their titles
 include the Word Quest  series of  word search  and crossword  puzzle con-
 struction systems  and Graph  Maker.  TransporT retails for $24.95 and may
 be purchased from better  Atari computer  stores or  from Artisan Software
 directly.    Direct  orders  should  include  $1.50 shipping and handling.
 California, add 6.25% tax.

 For more information or to place an order, write:

                             ARTISAN SOFTWARE
                               P.O. Box 849
                            Manteca, CA  95336.


 > SLIME WORLD CODES STR InfoFile?                     Slime World Help....


 The codes found in this text file were  compiled by  Mr. Kale  Swindell of
 La Canada,  CA.   He indicates  that these codes will place your character
 (TODD) at one of the restart stations located  in the  game.   The further
 along the  code is  in the list, the further into the level your character
 will  be  restarted.  As  of  11/12/90,  Mr.  Swindell's  high  score  was
 15,176,400  points.    He  does  not  indicate  which level this score was
 obtained in, nor can  we guarantee  that this  list includes  all possible
 codes for the game.

 Adventure 1: EASY
 24CAA1  E8CA6C  EC8AA9  118AEA  6FCBE9  919073  E70926  A809E3  6B4B6C
 66CBE0  25CBA7  114928  12C9AA  550894  D7C956  19CB93  198AD2  9D0AD9
 45C9C5  5DC9DD  070946  CA090D  CCC94F  30C988  4F8B09  0B8BCD  098BC3
 078BC1  C28A87  870AC3  8A0ACE  8F0BC8

 Adventure 2: EXPLORATION
 269AF3  ED9ABE  ECDA78  ED9BBF  E4DB71  259BF7  EA193D  EF58F9  D199B9
 E79EB4  EDDE7D  EE9EBF  D29EBB  E79FB5  2F9CF2  6CDCE3  AC5CB2  139CFE
 159DF9  D01A24  559925  5A9E23  43DFE9  1E1969  1DDCA0  1899E0  1CD8AF
 0399EB  865591  465F57  4EDFDD  75DFD8  245947  085F11  4C5C52  070997
 4FDFDD  089ADD  70DCDF  75DCD8  F1181B  B51FDA  711B9B  8EDA1A  F1DA45
 745947  749807  F659C1  B85D87  BD1DC0  B79B40  3DDC80  B79B40  7E5D4D
 205F09  7F9E0C  60DEC9  20D988  205F09

 Adventure 3: ACTION
 9157B6  AB9277  2F1176  919073  198AD2  5DC9DD  15563D  569039  98D638
 1796FC  111671  5417B2  1DD7BB  1993FB  D052FC  1492F9  D91225  5CD1E4
 5CD6E5  011766  DC93A6  1E1262  43536C  42506C  47972D  0D97EB  77D1DF
 B816D8  7A575B  B610D8  72139C  0C1654  8916E9  4D9115  F150D3  CA9095
 0892D5  8F9350  B69358  391245  FF9086  BC12C0  BD11C4  3C5604  215601
 211746  67970D  EAD74B  6B910B  62920F  A610C8

 Adventure 4: SUSPENSE
 DD0114  DDC154  9D8154  5DC0D4  5C8114  5C4157  1C4117  DC0117  DCC157
 DF8197  9C01D7  9C4197  5D8014  9CC117  5C0097  5CC0D7  DCC0D7  C641D9
 C941D8  494158  C9C659  464159  474059  46C0D9  464058  884284  0B82C4
 0DC286  8C4280  8E4282  B0824C  34004E  C7071C  1A472B  1A076B  1DC7AB
 5DC7EB  5D872B  5D476A  5C07AA  9702EB  10C3A2  110362  114322  918362
 2E81E6  9146A1  9106E1  EEC666  114621  110661  11C6A6  2E0666  2E4626
 2E86E7  2EC6A7  2B413A  2B81FB  2BC1BB  28413B  2881F8  28C1B8  294138
 2981F9  29C1B9  24413F  2387F1  200771  E00731  A007F1  6006B1  210671
 E10631  A106F1  6101B1  3E0272  FEC171  BEC131  7EC0F1  3EC0B1  FFC071
 BF00F1  7F03B1  3C0371  FC0331  BC03F1  7C02B1  3D0271  7C4371  3A0276
 FA42F6  BA42B6  FAC276  BA8176  BD42B1  BD02F1  BDC231  A48278

 Adventure 5: LOGIC
 D9E275  9C26F4  9B62B7  02A2FF  9F63B0  C02032  C4E17F  C2A1B2  032770
 DF67F4  022470  05E7B3  47667F  4621BE  8522F9  06E3B8  8921F8  C966F9
 8C65BB  CDE665  71E1E1  4C21A4  0EE3A0  CAA3A5  8D62A1  8F22E3  7527A3
 336720  CEE565  F52520  39652C  3CA4EB  B7E42D  B2A662  BA64A8  F162ED
 77E3E9  796168  BBA66B  3BE0AA  FF61D6  60A417  236516  E02711  A12601
 652692  E8E55F  A6E61E  6A2798  AD25D8  27A1DF  A7A358  7CE251

 Adventure 6: ARCADE
 012D7C  016E39  016938  00EAA5  002A64


 > SAFEKEY STR InfoFile?        Practical Solutions, Inc. announces SAFEKEY

                       NEW SOFTWARE SECURITY DEVICE

 For Immediate Release

     December  1990-Tucson,  AZ.    Practical Solutions, Inc. announces the
 development and release of  Safekey(TM), an  exciting innovation  in copy-
 protection  technology.    Compatible  with all computers using a standard
 RS232 port, including the Atari ST/STE/TT,  Safekey is  the first software
 protection device  commercially available to implement an advanced command
 set, enabling more sophisticated encoding to  provide a  much higher level
 of security  than ever  previously available.  According to company presi-
 dent Mark Sloatman, "Safekey is truly the next  generation in copy-protec-
 tion, and is totally transparent to normal computer operations.  It can be
 plugged in and forgotten by the user."

     Each year, millions of  dollars in  potential software  sales are lost
 because  of  the  unauthorized  duplication  of  copyrighted applications.
 Copy-protection has long been attempted but  is often  unreliable for gen-
 eral use.   Other  hardware "keys"  can interfere  with the  port they are
 connected to or employ simple logic circuitry that can be easily defeated,
 while  disk-based  protection  is  generally  too  inconvenient for use by
 consumers.  Safekey provides the convenience of a hardware key in conjunc-
 tion with  the state-of-the-art  CMOS microprocessor that allows the adap-
 tability of  complex functions,  such as  math and  memory operations, and
 therein lies  the real  power. Essentially functioning as a microcomputer,
 Safekey can  be completely  customized by  Practical Solutions  for a par-
 ticular application.   This  gives software  developers the flexibility to
 adapt protection for either entire production runs or  for each individual
 package.  According to Sloatman, "Safekey's design makes it very difficult
 to defeat and provides a maximum level of protection."

     Because it connects to a standard RS232 port  and uses  standard RS232
 protocol in  its communications,  Safekey is compatible with any operating
 system driving an RS232 port.  In this way, all communications are handled
 by the  operating system  (eliminating the  need for specialized drivers),
 making hardware differences between  host  systems  inconsequential.   Its
 size is unobtrusive, being similar to a null-modem connector, and connects
 easily to  the serial  port of  the host  computer.   Safekey allows other
 serial devices  to connect  via its pass-through port, and will not inter-
 fere with the user's ability to make backups or a hard drive installation.

     Software developers can obtain any of three standard models of Safekey
 depending on  the level  of sophistication  required.  The copy-protection
 features can then be implemented by  designing an  application so  it will
 only execute  properly with  a Safekey connected.  A Safekey is then prov-
 ided with each authorized copy sold.  Information or a Developer's Kit may
 be  obtained  from  Practical  Solutions  at  the address and phone listed
 above.  Depending on  the model,  Safekey will  sell for  $29-$49.  Future
 versions are planned for Macintosh and NeXT computers.

                         Practical Solutions, Inc.
                            1135 N. Jones Blvd.
                             Tucson, AZ 85716
                          Phone:  (602) 322-6100
                           FAX:  (602) 322-9271


 > TURBOST 1.84 STR InfoFile?                        STocking STuffers.....

                                 Turbo ST
                         Copyright 1988-90 SofTrek
                      Version 1.84  December 11, 1990

     Many of  you have now been E-mailed version 1.84 of Turbo ST.  This is
 what will be shipped tomorrow, so if you find any problems, please give me
 a call at (407) 657-4611 "anytime" in the next 24 hours.  The problem that
 Lloyd Pulley reported in the 1.83 beta test version was  fixed (thanks for
 checking for it so promptly Lloyd!).

     For those of you that have already paid $5 to update to version 1.8 of
 Turbo ST, you can get the latest 1.84 maintenance update of Turbo  ST free
 of charge  by E-mail, provided you are a registered user. Simply send your
 request along with your Turbo ST  disk  serial  number  to  W.BUCKHOLDT on
 GEnie.  This offer will expire on December 20, 1990. the "readme" file for
 version 1.84 follows, so that you can decide  if it's  worth your  time to
 get it.


  1. Turbo  ST will  now run  on STs  equipped with  68010, 68020, or 68030

  2. The output of non-byte aligned text is now much faster in color and
     slightly faster in monochrome.

  3. To reduce memory requirements, the auto folder versions of Turbo ST
     now release the memory that is used by the installation code back
     to the system.


  1. The HiSoft editors that allow you to use the 8x8 or 6x6 fonts in
     monochrome will now scroll properly with Turbo ST installed.

  2. The "Thunder!" spelling checker is now completely compatible with
     Turbo ST.

  3. The code to speed up WordPerfect and Dyna Cadd, that was accidently
     left out of the version 1.82 monochrome desk accessory dated July 4,
     1990, has now been included.

  4. Other internal changes were made to improve maintainability and to
     reduce the possibility of any error.

                                                       Wayne at SofTrek


 > SALERNO RESIGNS! STR FOCUS?               The benevolent Revolving Door?

                         ANTONIO SALERNO RESIGNS!

 by R.F Mariano

     Antonio Salerno, the man who was to bring  Atari to  "new and exciting
 heights" has  resigned.   Salerno was  in charge  of developer support and
 had, at one time in the  past uttered  the now  famous quote  of the Atari
 Aircraft Carrier now being "ready to launch its planes and was now turning
 into the wind to commence the launch".   This was  made known  before Com-
 dex/fall  1989.    While  there  is absolutely 'no love lost' between this
 author and  Salerno, I  feel its  quite appropriate  to wish  him the very
 best in his future.  CHAO ANTONIO!


 > STReport CONFIDENTIAL?                        "ATARI LATE BREAKING NEWS"

 - New York City, N.Y.          THE TT030 & MEGA STE; YOU WANT 'EM WHEN??!!

     Amazingly, once  again, the  FCC takes  the heat for the problems that
 occur in Sunnyvale!   The FCC  process normally  takes 90-120  days.. When
 was the TT first announced?? (Fall 1989!) The TT and the Mega STe are both
 slated for an early 1991 release in the USA, (recently revised from "right
 after Comdex"),  but the  'smart money' on the "Street" is already betting
 we'd be real lucky if they are in full distribution by COMDEX/FALL'91.  As
 an aside,  it was  overheard that  the profit  line would definately be in
 upgrades and  enhancements.   The reason  given is  simple economics, "its
 less expensive  to repair,  upgrade and  enhance an existing piece of gear
 than to replace it."  Further,  "it  would  appear  that  the  service and
 upgrade market  is going to go straight through the roof over the next few
 months.  68030 upgrades will be very much in demand as they will be deliv-
 erable well before the TT."

 - Atlanta, GA                        ANOTHER NEW RECRUIT SLATED TO "LEAVE"

     The fine  line of  communications persists in spite of the toll checks
 and the mindless threats (part of  Salerno's  legacy).    It  seems  a new
 recruit to  Atari is not winning friends and influencing people throughout
 the USA and... as a result the wave of animosity  is becoming  a full Tsu-
 nami that  many observers  feel Atari  must by all means sidestep.  As out
 little birdies told us of the departure of the Aircraft Carrier Commander,
 thye have  also indicated  that this  person is  fast on his way out.  The
 major complaint is that  his position  and title  has "gone  to his head".
 Amazing, since this guy is not a wig at all.

 - Manchester, CT.                    C-MANSHIP COMPLETE by CLAYTON WALNUM!

     C-MANSHIP COMPLETE  sells for $19.95 plus $3 postage and handling from
 Taylor Ridge Books, P.O. Box 48, Manchester, CT 06040.  You may  also call
 (203) 643-9673 with a Visa or MasterCard.

     The book  is organized as a series of experiments, each of which shows
 you how to program something on the ST.  Almost every chapter has a sample
 program  (some  of  them  quite  lengthy)  that illustrates that chapter's
 topic.  The first 1/4 of  the book  deals with  basic C  programming.  The
 last 300  pages covers AES and VDI and the rest of GEM in detail.  All the
 programs listed in the book are available on two disks for an extra $10.


     CodeHead  Software  is  pleased  to  announce a special Holiday offer.
 Throughout the holiday season, you may now purchase  any products  or com-
 bination of products, in any quantities, directly from us at an incredible
 30% discount!  And as our gift to you, we'll pay the  shipping charges for
 any orders you place within the holiday season!

 Our holiday price list, which includes your special GEnie discount, is:

   PRODUCT                         RETAIL PRICE       GENIE PRICE

   HotWire                            $39.95            $27.97
   MaxiFile                           $34.95            $24.47
   HotWire Plus (includes Maxifile)   $59.95            $41.97
   LookIt! & PopIt!                   $39.95            $27.97
   G+plus                             $34.95            $24.47
   CodeHead Utilities  3              $34.95            $24.47
   MultiDesk                          $29.95            $20.97
   MidiMax                            $49.95            $34.97
   CodeKeys (NEW!)                    $39.95            $27.97
   CodeHead T-Shirt                   $10.00            $ 7.00

 If you'd  like to  examine any of our products before buying, we've posted
 demonstration versions  of almost  all of  them here  on GEnie.   The file
 numbers are:

              FILENAME      FILE #       DESCRIPTION
            GPLSDEMO.ARC    7861    Demo version of G+PLUS
            HOTDEMO2.ARC   15598    Demo version of HotWire 2.x
            LP_DEMO.ARC    15719    Demos of LookIt! & PopIt!
            MAXIDEMO.ARC   12965    Demo version of MaxiFile
            MIDIMAX.ARC    12594    Demo of CodeHead's MIDIMax
            MULTDEMO.ARC    8215    Demo of MultiDesk
            CKEYDEM2.ARC   17508    Demo of CodeKeys 1.2

 The  easiest  and  fastest  way  for  you to take advantage of our special
 offer is to leave  Email  with  your  order  to  J.EIDSVOOG1,  including a
 credit card  number and  expiration date,  your mailing  address and phone
 number.  Or you can call  us at  the numbers  listed below.   Act  now and
 have a CodeHead Christmas!

 May you and your families have a healthy, happy, and safe holiday season!


                            Charles F. Johnson
                               John Eidsvoog

                             CodeHead Software
                              P.O. Box 74090
                           Los Angeles, CA 90004

                            Tel: (213) 386-5735
                            Fax: (213) 386-5789


     Spectrum HoloByte and its sister company Mirrorsoft, located in the U.
 K. are joining forces  to introduce  an innovative  new line  of software.
 You won't  want to  miss the  sneak preview  of the  first three top-notch
 games to emerge from the synergy between the  two companies.   Also previ-
 ewed will be Spectrum HoloByte's premium Falcon 3.0 fighter simulation.

     Please save  the date,  January 12, for the launching which will be at
 the Dunes Hotel, Top of the Dunes room, from 6:00  to 9:00  p.m.   The un-
 veiling will  take place at 7:30 p.m. sharp.  If you are unable to attend,
 please visit  us on  the CES  show floor  during show  hours.   We will be
 located in the SPA's booth #12123 in Pavilion C.

     Come help  us celebrate  the launch  with plenty  of food, drink, good
 cheer and most importantly... superior computer  games.   You'll be recei-
 ving an  invitation in  the mail  soon.  Please call if you have any ques-


 > 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

  Atari Interface Magazine              Step Ahead Software Inc.
  3487 Braeburn Circle                  496-A Hudson Street Suite F39
  Ann Arbor, MI 48108                   New York City, N.Y.  10014
  (313) 973-8825                        (212) 627-5830
  Atari Magazine and Monthly Disk       Tracker ST mailing/tracking system

  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
  P. O. Box 20212                       640 Blossom Hill Road
  Columbus, OH 43220-0212               San Jose, CA 95123
  (614) 457-0802                        (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

  Dr. Bobware                           Wiz Works!
  180 N. Hazeltine Avenue               P.O. Box 45
  Campbell, OH.  44405-1024             Girard, OH.  44420
                                        (216) 539-5623
  MVG & Modules  Graphics               Image Cat - MugShot!

  GEnie Information Services            Taylor Ridge Books
  401 N. Washington Street              P.O. Box 48
  Rockville, MD 20850-1785              Manchester, Ct.  06040
  (800) 638-9636                        (203) 643-9673
  Online Services                       Cmanship Complete 'C' programming

  ICD Inc.                              Soft Logik
  1220 Rock St.                         11131F S. Towne Sq.
  Rockford, Il. 61101-1437              St Louis, MO  63123
  (815) 968-2228                        (314) 894-8608
  Hardware Peripherals                  PageStream DTP Software


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

                      NEW LOW PRICES! & MORE MODELS!!
                             HOLIDAY SPECIALS!
                         ** EFFECTIVE  -> NOW! **

                      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
            SGN3038      31Mb 28ms   3.5"    Y          419.00
            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__ <<---
                        EXTRA CARTS:      $  79.50
                        DRIVE MECH ONLY:  $ 439.95

                       ***** for $75.00 LESS! *****

                       SPECIALLY PRICED ** $1329.00 **

         - Syquest 44 Model [555] and the following hard drives -
          50mb SQG51   $ 939.00           30mb SQG38    $ 819.00
          65mb SQG09   $ 969.00           85mb SQG96    $1059.00

           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 $42.95 *
                          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"?

             Support your developers,,, And they'll support you!

                                           The "Ole Perfessor"

                        STReport Online Magazine?
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 STReport?           "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE"       December 14, 1990
 16/32bit Magazine           copyright = 1990                   No.6.50
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