ST Report : 01-Feb-91 #705

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/03/91-12:37:32 PM Z

From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report : 01-Feb-91 #705
Date: Sun Feb  3 12:37:32 1991

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

 February 01, 1991                                                  No.7.05

                         STReport Online Magazine?
                          Post Office Box   6672
                          Jacksonville,  Florida
                               32205 ~ 6672

                               R.F. Mariano
                            Publisher - Editor
                   Voice: 904-783-3319  10 AM - 4 PM EST
                 BBS:  904-786-4176  USR/HST DUAL STANDARD
                    FAX: 904-783-3319 12 AM - 6 AM EST

   **  Fnet Node 350 * FidoNet Node 1:112/35 * NeST Node 90:19/350.0  **
               STR'S privately owned & operated support BBS
              carries ALL issues of STReport Online Magazine
       carrying STReport Online Magazine for their user's enjoyment

 > 02/01/91: STReport? #7.05  The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine!
     - The Editor's Desk      - CPU REPORT        - Sublogic Snubs ST!
     - CBM Declines           - ReCycle Floppies! - Mega STe Overview
     - SLM Power Mod          - Informer Released - Menu Plus Debut
     - PORTFOLIO NEWS         - STALK the MARKET! - STR Confidential

                   * ATARI TO GO THROUGH DISTRIBUTORS! *
                      * PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS CLOSED! *
                          * NEODESK # 1 IN UK! *

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

 > The Editor's Podium?

     This week's online conference  was perhaps  one of  the most important
 for Atari  in quite some time.  Atari's President, Sam Tramiel, was trying
 desperately to get his message  across  to  the  users  but  the continued
 online difficulties  made the effort virtually insurmountable.  The expec-
 tancy of some "good news" by the userbase caused the session to  draw well
 over 150  callers.  The workload proved to be a bit much for the occasion.
 The next online conference scheduled for late Feb., in the  CIS Convention
 Center, promises  to be  a totally  different situation  as the Convention
 Center will handle 600+ callers.  In addition,  Greg Pratt  will particip-
 ate in  another online conference on GEnie during Feb. and Sam Tramiel may
 re-appear in March.  The bottom line is; Atari is engaged in a new, posit-
 ive and  extremely productive  endeavor that is expected surpass all prev-
 ious efforts at reaching  their goals.   The  price reductions  alone will
 prove to  be an  excellent catalyst  for increased market penetration this
 year.  Thus providing a modicum of good news for developers and of course,
 the userbase in general.

     Recently on  one of the online services, a dealer was busy making men-
 tion of his practice of "charging the installed price for  TOS 1.4 whether
 they installed  TOS 1.4  or, the  customer took  the chips and did it him-
 self".  How sweet of this dealer!  In a time when most folks  realize that
 accommodation and service can mean the difference between a sale and a sad
 song, this "professional" decides to  become "Joe too strict".  It is this
 very  attitude  and  practice  that  has caused the demise of many dealers
 across this great land.  There were, at one time, dealers who felt content
 and "correct"  in charging  'list price' (MSRP) plus shipping and handling
 for noraml, over the  counter sales.   Needless  to say,  thankfully these
 bandits are  no longer in business.  Atari has enough headaches of its own
 without the "Legion of the Golden Gouge" joining the ranks of its dealers.
 However, in  all fairness  it must be pointed out that the majority of the
 dealers left who support  Atari products  are fine,  upstanding members of
 the business  community.   When we  see or read of an isolated incident as
 represented above,  it usually  is generated  by a  week or  two of rather
 dismal business results.

     The future  is looking quite nice for Atari especially since they plan
 to announce the release of Unix in Germany  during the  show at Dusseldorf
 in March.  And of course, the new pricing and distribution structures will
 go a long, long way in getting the Atari Caravan back on track.

     Of special note, beginning next week STReport will  be running  a very
 special series  on monitors, from Multi-Sync to BIG-SCREEN and back again.
 All aimed at keeping the users informed.   This is  not a  series designed
 to generate  a 'war  of the monitors', its a fact finding series.  With of
 course, the usual spate of highly  informed opinions  from members  of the
 staff and volunteers.

                              Thank you for your strong support,




                          FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY


                              to the Readers of;

                         STREPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE?
                  "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine"

                         NEW USERS; SIGN UP TODAY!

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

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

                  WHAT'S NEW IN THE ATARI FORUMS (Feb. 1)

                        ATARI REGISTERED DEVELOPERS

     Please download  file CPXDOC.ARC  from LIBRARY  7 of the Atari Produc-
 tivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO) for the new control panel specification (XCont-
 rol) for  the ST/Mega/ STE/TT computers. Contains source code of examples,
 bindings, startup module, and header tool.

     Atari Developer Support has  uploaded NEWLAN.ARC  to LIBRARY  7 of the
 Atari Productivity  Forum (GO  ATARIPRO) for  Atari Registered Developers.
 This is a replacement for TTLANG.ARC.  Contains changes to  HINSTALL, HDX,
 and the way GENERAL.CPX will handle cache on the TT or Mega STE.

     Please note that Library 7 is only accessible to Atari Registered

 Developers.  To  gain  access,  please  send  a CompuServe Mail message to

                          PORTFOLIO PBASIC USERS

 All users of PBASIC:   Please  read and  respond to  message #8539  in the
 Atari Portfolio  Forum (GO  APORTFOLIO).  It's our turn to help the author
 by providing the needed replies.

 (Please note that John Feagans has a new User ID  number.   You should now
 address all messages to John at 75300,703.)

                        NEW IN ATARI VENDORS FORUM

 MAXWELL CPU  announces that  EXPOSE is  now shipping.  Please read the an-
 nouncement in file EXPOS1.ARC now available  in  LIBRARY  6  of  the Atari
 Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN).

 Another great utility from the prolific folks at DOUBLE CLICK SOFTWARE.

 Check out DC's CRC utility which helps check against file corruption.  Now
 available in LIBRARY 13 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO  ATARIVEN). A FREE-
 WARE program.

                        ATARI FILE FINDER REMINDER

 Don't forget  that the  Atari File  Finder is  ready and  able to help you
 locate ST files among the three CompuServe ST Forums.  Enter GO ATARIFF at
 any CompuServe service prompt to access the file finder.




   Issue #6

 Temporary Editor - Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr.


 - New York, New York                     COMMODORE REPORTS TRIPLE EARNINGS

 Commodore  International reported a tripled net income on sales  totaling
 $384.1  million  for the second quarter which  ended  December  31,  1990
 compared with sales of $310.1 million in the same quarter in the previous
 year.  While reported sales increases were 24%, net income went from $.35
 per  share  ($11.3 million) to $1.12 per share ($36.5  million),  in  the
 quarter ending December 31, 1990.

 For the first two quarters ending December 21, 1990, Commodore reported a
 nine-fold net income increase from $.15 per share  ($4.8 million) for the
 previous years first two quarters to $1.34 per share ($43.5 million)  for
 the first two quarters ending December 31,  1990.  Sales increased 23% to
 $584.4  million  which compared to $476 million in the  same  period  the
 previous year.

 According to Irving Gould, chairman and CEO, the December quarter was the
 2nd  largest sales quarter in Commodores history with most of  the  sales
 coming from their European operation.   The European operations accounted
 for 85% of the total sales for the quarter,  with some European countries
 experiencing sales growth of over 50%.

 The  sales growth in the 2nd quarter was mainly due to the Amiga  product
 line which had a unit growth of over 50%,  a strong PC product line, such
 as the C286-LT notebook computer, and the slim-line 386sx machine and the
 Commodore 64 continuing to sell strongly with sales equal to the previous

 However,  all is not roses for Commodore International.   Its US division
 reported  fiscal year 1990 earnings of $1.5 million,  down 97% from  last

 - New York, New York            NOVUS ADDS 2 NEW SIGS FOR PERSIAN GULF WAR

 Two  new Special Interest Groups (SIGS) have  been added to the Novus  on-
 line service.  The War Forum can be reached by typing "go gulf" from  any
 menu  prompt.   The War Forum will feature chat,  news and an  electronic
 mail  (E-Mail) service for those who wish to correspond with soldiers  in
 the Gulf.   This e-mail service will be called DesertMail and will be  at
 no charge.   The other new SIG will be The Israel Forem,  which will be a
 forum for Jewish-related discussions.

 The  Novus online service is available through SprintNet as well  as  the
 international  Minitel  network.  It costs $1.40 per  hour,  plus  packet
 charges,  and can be reached via modems set to 8 bit words,  1 stop  bit,
 and no parity at 212-721-1206.

 - Irvine, California                NEW HIGH-CAPACITY 3.5 INCH HARD DRIVES

 Optima  Technology has announced the release of three new Small  Computer
 Systems Interface (SCSI) hard disk subsystems.   Each will contain a  500
 megabyte  (MB)  drive mechanism,  the highest  capacity  drive  mechanism
 currently available in the 3.5 inch format.  These drives will have a  12
 millisecond average seek time,  transfer data at rates of 20-25  megabits
 per second while only using 11 watts per spindle.

 - Butler, New Jersey                                RECYCLED FLOPPY DISKS?

 Paul and Deborah Bader,  owners of Covenant Recycling Services,  a  home-
 based business,  are recycling thousands of floppy disks each month.  The
 Baders' say that they have processed as many as 30,000 disks in a  single

 The  recycled disks are purchased from over 40 sources,  mostly  software
 publishing firms such as Micrographics and Britannica Software,  for four
 cents  each for 5.25" and 12 cents each for 3.5" floppies.  According  to
 Deborah Bader,  the original manufacturer or company is indemnified  from
 any  kind  of liability.   The disks are then sorted and counted  in  the
 Baders home before being shipped to a Boston subcontractor where they are
 degaussed (demagnetized).  The then blank disks are sold as reconditioned
 with  a blank label.  Bader says that they are bought by several  buyers,
 such  as  liquidation companies who frequently resell  them  at  computer

 Proceeds  are  divided  equally between the source of  the  disks  and  a
 charity of their choice. The donation is made in the name of the company,
 and is a charitable tax-deductible donation for them.

 - New York, New York               AT&T DONATES $1 MILLION FOR FAMILY CARE

 The year old Family Care Development Fund,  a joint project of AT&T,  the
 Communications  Workers of America and the International  Brotherhood  of
 Electrical  Workers,  has  distributed the first $1 million  to  programs
 sponsored by its employees.

 The fund will distribute a total of $10 million over the next three years
 to  child  care and elder care facilities.   Child care  programs  in  50
 communities received grants of between $1,400 to $60,000. The money, AT&T
 said,  goes to expand and improve family care centers and create  before-
 and after-school programs.

 - Fort Worth, Texas                      TANDY COMPUTERS USED AT SUPERBOWL

 At  the request of the Professional Football Writers Association  (PFWA),
 the  press  room at Super Bowl XXV was equipped with  Tandy  Radio  Shack
 model 102 portables and dot matrix printers.   According to Don  Pearson,
 president  of the PFWA,  "It's been my experience that up to 90%  of  our
 writers  use  some form of Radio Shack product.   For as long  as  I  can
 remember,  it's  been  the  model of  choice  for  professional  football

 - Redmond, Washington                  MICROSOFT CONTINUES TO SUPPORT OS/2

 While  denying a report that appeared in The Wall Street Journal that  it
 plans  to  abandon OS/2,  Microsoft did offer a partial  confirmation  to
 rumors  that it plans to produce a version of OS/2 that will run  Windows
 3.0 applications.

 OS/2   has  not been as successful as Microsoft and IBM  had  anticipated.

 While  Windows 3.0 has sold more than 3 million copies since its  release
 last  May and has at least 1,000 applications available,  OS/2  has  sold
 only about 300,000 copies since it was announced 4 years ago and only has
 approximatly 100 applications available for it.

 According  to  Microsoft's official statement,  "Microsoft  and  IBM  are
 continuing the joint development of OS/2, with Microsoft adding to the 11
 OS/2  applications currently available from Microsoft."   Steve  Ballmer,
 Microsoft's  vice president of systems software,  was prompted to  shout:
 "OS/2 is not dead!" at the opening of a software conference at  Microsoft
 headquarters.   Bill Gates,  CEO of Microsoft,  was quoted as saying  "We
 will  continue  to enhance it [OS/2] in the future and enable it  to  run
 Windows applications."  It is suspected that Gates was talking about  the
 product  that  is already being referred to in the industry  as  Portable
 OS/2:  a  version  of  OS/2  that could run  any  DOS,  Windows  or  OS/2

 Microsoft  is  also said to be working on a 32-bit  version  of  Windows,
 which could take full advantage of the 386 or 486 processors.  Windows  3
 (except  when running in "real mode" for 8088 compatibility) is  actually
 written for 16-bit 286 systems.

 - Brisbane, Australia                        SOFTWARE MONITORS PHONE CALLS

 In an attempt to control "non-productive" (personal) phone calls, Softel,
 a  New  Zealand  company,  has developed  Calldata  Telephone  Accounting
 Software.  Calldata  runs  on any IBM/compatible PC or network  and  will
 automatically monitor call duration,  destinations and charges, collating
 the information on a personal computer or network. Calldata can handle up
 to  2,000 calls per hour (incoming and outgoing) and the program  can  be
 used on normal or PABX systems of up to 2,000 extensions.

 Besides  controlling  "non-productive"  calls,  it will  allow  the  easy
 costing  of  calls  to  clients  and  company  departments.    Once   the
 information is collected,  reports on usage can be calculated, including:
 usage by extension or person;  daily usage; international and toll calls;
 and departmental usage.

 It is said that response to Calldata has so far been "tremendous," and it
 is  hoped that Calldata will be installed in every large  corporation  in
 Australia by 1995.


                    :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!! <-


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

                    A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT

 by Michael Lee

 You'll  probably  be seeing quite a few hardware related posts  in  this
 column for a while.   With all of the new hardware coming out for the ST
 and  the new systems finally becoming available,  hardware is what  many
 folks are talking about.   I hope you non-hardware folks will still find
 something in the column that will interest you.

 One  thing that needs to be discussed again and that's hardware  modifi-
 cations.   We bring you the posts about modifications for general infor-
 mation only. We cannot advocate doing any of the modifications discussed
 in the posts on your systems.   If you perform any of the modifications,
 you do so at your own risk.


    From Mark Stace (Gadgets by Small R/T sysop)...

 With the release of Spectre 3.0,  Gadgets has gone one up on
 use  DOS Mounter on a Apple Macintosh you must own a Mac with  a  Super-
 Drive (1.4 meg) installed.  With Spectre 3.0, however, DOS Mounter works
 just fine with a standard double-sided drive and 720K MS-DOS disks.

 DOS Mounter is easy to use.  It works in the background...automatically.
 Simply place DOS Mounter in your System folder and reboot your  Spectre.
 That is all there is to it.  You can then freely insert a MS-DOS  format
 disk (true MS-DOS format...NOT ST format) and copy files directly to and
 from the disk!


    From Dennis (STARDATUM) on Genie (Note:  edited slightly to be easier
    to read)....

 I  modified the SLMC804 interface nearly a year ago to run off the  Mega
 power supply and have never had a single problem.  I can turn the  laser
 printer  on  or off at any time and it does not effect  normal  computer
 operation at all.

 The  modification is fairly simple if you have any electronics  know-how
 at all....
    You tap into the 5-volt output on the Mega's power supply....
    The run a shielded line between the SLMC804 and the Mega...
    (I made the shielded line by using standard Radio Shack 24 gauge
     microphone cable with shield 278-1277, coaxial power plug 274-1569,
     and jack 274-1563 to make it easy to unplug from the Mega  when
    Cutting a trace in the SLMC804 and soldering the hot wire (5 volt) to
    the circuit trace you cut...(on the circuit side of the cut...NOT the
    connector side of it).
    A ground connection isn't necessary since the DMA cable provides  the
    ground.  However  the shield and ground wire of the microphone  cable
    should be grounded in the Mega to prevent RF interference.

 Any  time  you power up the Mega the SLMC804 is powered and  the  Diablo
 emulator loads fine,  without even having the printer on.  If I decide I
 need  to print something,  I just flip the switch on  the  SLM804,  wait
 until the green light comes on,  and print.  When I finish  printing,  I
 just   shut  the  SLM804  off,   and  continue  computing  without   any
 interruption  at all.  In around eleven months I have not had  a  single
 problem and avoid unnecessary noise and power consumption.

 *NOTE* This WILL void all warranties on your computer and laser printer.
 Also  this  modification  is  at  your  own  risk,   and  I  accept   no
 responsibility  for  any damages caused by  your  efforts.  If  properly
 performed,  with good precautions it will work,  I have done it to three
 systems with no problem.


    From Rob Bergeski (RGB Computer Service) on Genie...

 Well,  I've put a MegaSTe through its paces during another jaunt through
 Canada.  After 4+ hours at the helm, I can verify that the MegaSTe specs
 out  the  same  as an AdSpeed equipped STe,  as far as  Quick  Index  is
 concerned.  The  values obtained are:  CPU  memory:164,  Register:  204,
 Division: 204, Shift:207.

 The PD program STATS yields the following info: TOS version: 2.5, GemDos
 version: .25.  The former is new, the latter is the same as the TT.  Get
 this!  The date read from the ROMS is 12/5/90!  It looks as if Atari  is
 MOVING  on  this one.   When I got my STe in June  '90,  the  ROMs  were
 already  almost a year old!  Maybe this heralds a change in protocol  in
 the future...

 The MegaSTe evaluated had 4 MB, an ST157N hard drive, and the new SC1445
 monitor.  Opening  the hard drive bay is simple - a few screws  and  the
 cover with the HD mech lifts out effortlessly.  The board is CLEAN!  The
 new  host adapter looks great.  RATEHD yielded  550K/s,  33ms  (slightly
 faster  than  that achieved with my ICD host adapter  running  the  same
 mech!)  This MegaSTe had an RF modulator onboard,  and  composite  video
 available on the standard 13 pin ST monitor connector.  Hopefully  Atari
 will  retain  these features in future production - don't  cripple  this
 machines video applications!

 Unfortunately, I was unable to continue with my testing, using the "real
 world" tests I had run previously (and posted in the TT topic) due to  a
 virus  munging  the root sector of the C:  partition  of  the  MegaSTe's
 drive!  I  plan  on  returning in a few  weeks,  and  will  complete  my
 performance testing at that time.  Running many commercial applications,
 as  well  as same of the most ill behaved (from  a  "legal"  programming
 standpoint) European demos,  leads me to believe the MegaSte is AT LEAST
 as compatible as the 1040STe.

 Now,  onto one of the most interesting tidbits overheard... Atari Canada
 supposedly told its dealers that by the end of this year,  all STe's (it
 was  not  clear  if that meant 1040STe and MegaSTe's or  just  the  1040
 version) would incorporate an AT Speed '286 PC emulator as standard.  It
 was  not  clear  if  this meant built onto  the  motherboard  or  simply
 installing the German produced boards at the Atari factories. Now THAT's
 something to ponder.


    From Mario (ISD) on Genie (slightly edited)...

 Calamus  1.09N  is  certainly  TT030 compatible  and  it  really  flies.
 Printing is approximately four times as fast as on a ST.  As far as '030
 boards  (3rd  party)  are  concerned,  you should  see  about  the  same
 improvements in speed as you would with the TT.   As we have yet to test
 one, we can only assume so.

 When  the S,  SL and SLC versions (of Calamus) get here,  they  will  be
 definitely faster,  as they will be compiled to run on the 030 with  its
 32  bit bus.   We have output documents on the TT and it seems that  the
 only  thing  really slowing us down at times is the 8  page  per  minute


    From Lauren (WordFlair) on Genie....

 Hi all.  Sorry to be late answering--was at Uniforum all last  week.  We
 have  fixed all the bugs on the list and are doing a final testing  now.
 Will go to duplication this week. Sorry about the delays, but we want to
 send you as bug free a product as possible.

 ....our offer (trading in your old word processor for the new WordFlair)
 is good through February 15th.


    Question about SIMMS for the STe's from Jonathan Budil on Genie...
 Where  can you buy SIMMS at $30?  Do they come with  installation  inst-
 ructions for my 1040 STE?

    Answer from Terry (OUTRIDER) on Genie...

 I  paid $38 apiece for my SIMMs from The Chip Merchant at  619/268-4774.
 They didn't come with instructions,  but then,  how hard is it to unplug
 four cards and replace them with four others?   Well,  you do have to be
 careful that you remove them right, else you might break off the locking
 tabs. You can find your SIMMs underneath the shield, between your floppy
 and power supply.

    Answer from Chet Walters (WizWorks) on Genie...
 The  SIMMs are locked in place with a little tab and you must first  pop
 the  tabs  off either end of the resident SIMMs and then pull  them  and
 insert  the new ones (pay attention to the direction of travel  since  I
 don't remember if it is indeed possible to plug them in the wrong way).


 Until next week....


 > Expose Released! STR InfoFile                 " artwork program.."

                          EXPOSE FOR THE ATARI ST

      Maxwell  Computer Products Unlimited is now shipping the  new  desk
 accessory program Expose for the Atari ST personal computer.

      Expos   offers  ST users two valuable functions:  a notepad  and  a
 graphics window from a desk accessory.  Expos  also offers quick display
 of the disk/partition free space, an editable date/time, quick access to
 the  file selector,  a screen snapshot function,  a diskette  formatting
 function,  access  to the extended ASCII character set and a display  of
 the free system RAM.

      With the Expose notepad,  the ST user can create, edit or load text
 files and then send portions of the notepad directly from Expose to  the
 main program being utilized (e.g.,  a word processor).  The notepad is a
 valuable  tool  for keeping notes and for inserting  stored  information
 into a developing document.

      The  Expose GEM graphics window will allow the ST user to load  and
 view graphics files. Load DEGAS, DEGAS compressed, Neochrome, Tiny, IMG,
 GEM and Macpaint file formats.  Low or medium ST pictures are  converted
 to high resolutions. Clip out areas of the image and save in IMG format.
 Use the configurable pen/eraser to edit your image before saving.

      The extended ASCII character set is accessible from Expose.  Select
 the special characters quickly,  create a phrase and have the option  to
 send  it directly into the main programs document or backward  into  the
 Expose notepad.

      You  will  find  Expos  functions  to  be  quickly  accessible.  Go
 directly  to  a  particular function by  depressing  a  control-alt  key
 combination  while selecting the desk accessory.  Expose offers a  mouse
 oriented  interface  that  presents pertinent information  on  the  main
 interface  and valuable functions that will round-out and  enhance  your
 Atari ST desktop.

                           Retail Price:  $39.95

 Available  Now.  Shipping  to dealers near  you  or  purchase
 directly from Maxwell C.P.U.:

                              Maxwell C.P.U.
                               P.O. BOX 576
                         Louisville, CO 80027-9998
                        9AM-5PM MST @ (303)666-7754


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

                         THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM

 On CompuServe

 by Walter Daniel  75066,164

     The help  file contest  winners were  announced (see  message 8368 for
 details).   The files  have been moved to library 17 with the keyword CON-
 TEST.  I'll review all entries in next week's column.  Do  you use PBASIC,
 the free  Portfolio BASIC  interpreter by BJ Gleason?  If so, please reply
 to message 8539 and let BJ know how  you use  it.   He is  also working on
 updating his Portfolio Turbo Pascal Unit for version 6.0.

     Atari is  preparing an  APB (Accessories and Peripherals Bulletin, but
 "Atari Portfolio Bulletin" sound better to me) that lists all the third-p-
 arty software  and peripherals  for the  Portfolio.  The APB also includes
 many answers to questions asked of the Atari customer support staff.  It's
 not yet  clear how  the APB  will be  distributed, so I'll forward details
 when I learn them.  Hyperlist, an outliner for the  Portfolio, is  in beta
 testing.  A restricted message section and library, much like the ones for
 the PowerBASIC, has been opened in the forum for the beta testers.

     A message from Scott Webster Wood indicated that there is a new Inter-
 net archive  for Atari  public domain and shareware programs.  Internet is
 the nationwide (if not worldwide) electronic mail and file transfer system
 that connects universities, NASA centers, government labs, and others.  If
 you're interested, read message 8454 or send messages to swood@vela.acs.o-

     There was  more disk drive activity to report this week.  John Feagans
 is working on a file manager so that a Portfolio can use a Tandy PDD2 por-
 table    floppy  drive connected  to a serial interface.  A couple of mes-
 sages alluded to Portfolio software drivers  for the  Pacific Rim parallel
 interface floppy  drive mentioned  in last week's column.  Another message
 (#8587) mentioned that a company in San Jose called Interloop is making an
 HPIL adapter  (whatever that is) for the Portfolio.  HPIL seems to be some
 sort of networking interface  that can  run printers  and disk  drives and
 uses inexpensive  cables (sure  sounds like AppleTalk to me).  It looks as
 if floppy drive interfaces for the Portfolio might happen, so stay tuned.

     Uploads this week:  ADEMO.ZIP contains several PGC  graphics files and
 a PBASIC 3.1 program to create an animation demonstration.  I couldn't try
 it because I ran out of RAM card space.  Don Messerli uploaded PGC Grabber
 for the  Mac (PGCG.SIT,  Mac file  that needs Stuffit for extraction) that
 takes a Portfolio screen-sized chunk of a MacPaint file and converts it to
 a PGC  file.  I found out that I could not transfer the resulting PGC file
 directly to my Portfolio using a serial interface because XMODEM file pads
 disrupt the file format.  I'll let you know what the eventual solution is.
 DOSEDI.COM is a DOS command  line  editor  that  works  on  the Portfolio.
 AG2POR.ZIP contains  Lotus Agenda ver 2 macros to export to Portfolio .adr
 and .dry files.

     Please send Portfolio news to me in the forum or email if  you wish to
 remain mysterious.  For example, if you're a third-party developer, let me
 know what you're working on so I can pass word to STReport readers.  Got a
 gripe?   Let me  know about it.  Have any interesting "I used my Portfolio
 for/at/during..." stories?  Share them with  me.   Remember, the  truth is
 often stranger than fiction!


 > DIAMOND BACK II STR FOCUS?                           Upgrade and Changes

                              DIAMOND BACK II

 Upgrade and Changes in Distribution

 By Bob Luneski

 I have canceled Data Innovations license to distribute Diamond Back  II.
 The effective date of cancellation is March 8, 1991. On this date, North
 American distribution and support of Diamond Back II will be made by  my
 company,  Oregon Research Associates,  and overseas distribution will be
 made by SofTrek (distributors of TurboST).

 The next version of Diamond Back II will remain in development (it  will
 give  me a chance to add even more new features to the upgrade than  are
 already there!) and be released for sale on March 8,  1991.  After March
 8, 1991 current owners of Diamond Back II may upgrade to Version 2.20 by
 sending your original disk and $7.50 ($5 if you purchased after  January
 1, 1991 and send your receipt) to:

                        Oregon Research Associates
                          16200 S.W. Pacific Hwy.
                                 Suite 162
                             Tigard, OR 97224

 There will be no patch program available for this upgrade, you must send
 in  your  original disk to Oregon Research to receive  the  upgrade  and
 obtain a Diamond Back II owners registration number.  Any upgrade orders
 received prior  to March 8,  1991 will be shipped on March 8, 1991 (I am
 not legally allowed to distribute it in North America before then).

 What you get for your upgrade fee:

    1) V2.20  of Diamond Back II including many new features and  updates
       to  the utility programs and the addition of several  new  utility
    2) A User Registration number
    3) A completely new Oregon Research Diamond Back Manual (done the way
       I  wanted   it  in the first place) and  Oregon  Research  license
    4) Product support from Oregon Research Associates.

 I have been advised to and am requiring that original disks be  returned
 to obtain the upgrade for the following reasons:

    1) From  a legal standpoint,  your current user license is from  Data
 Innovations and is slightly different from the standard recommended user
 license.   The only way for me to ensure that you have agreed to  Oregon
 Research's  license agreement(and therefore eligible for support) is  to
 distribute  upgrades  complete with new manuals and  disks  enclosed  in
 sealed envelopes with opening the envelope generating implied consent to
 the agreement. A lawyer made me do it.

    2) Having  a tightly controlled distribution of the first version  of
 Diamond Back II distributed by my company(V2.20) is the only way for  me
 to accurately develop a registered user data base.  I have no confidence
 in the accuracy of any user list Data Innovations may or may not provide
 me.   There  is reason to believe that such a list cannot be  accurately

    3) I am implementing a registered user/disk serialization program and
 will  be  implementing  new  program  support  procedures.   Your  owner
 registration  number  will  be  required  to  obtain  user  support,  no
 exceptions.  I  am  very sorry that it has come to this and  I  know  it
 doesn't relate to anyone participating in this forem, but I receive many
 more support requests than can be accounted for by program sales.  If  I
 am  to  continue to provide the level of program support  that  I  pride
 myself on giving(and that you have come to expect), then I must restrict
 that support to those who deserve to receive it.

 A  complete  description of the new support procedure will  be  included
 with the upgrade, however I will present a brief summary here.

    1) Oregon  Research Associates will only provide product support  for
 Diamond  Back II versions 2.20 and above and you must provide your  user
 registration number to obtain said support.  This implies that you  must
 upgrade  to V2.20 and receive a registration number to receive  support.
 No exceptions.  I am very sorry,  but from a liability standpoint I must
 have  legal  proof that you have agreed to the Oregon  Research  license
 agreement.  In addition,  the situation created by an unknown user  base
 leaves  me no alternative other than this to develop a  registered  user
 base  and  to ensure the continuation of the high level of  service  you

    2)  The  excellent product support that I have always given  will  be
 provided via phone, FAX, US Mail, or E-MAIL directly to me at B.LUNESKI1
 on  Genie  or boblu@tekgen.BV.TEK.COM on Usenet and your name  and  user
 registration  number will be required to receive said  support.  Diamond
 Back II product support will no longer be provided in an open forem.

    3) All general product questions will be answered directly via one of
 the  mechanisms  in 2) However,  if you have a more serious  problem  or
 believe  that  you  have found a bug,  there is  a  new  troubleshooting
 procedure  form that will walk you through a series of steps  that  will
 resolve  95%  of  the  problems and  provide  the  necessary  diagnostic
 information for me to solve the rest.

 I  continue my 100% commitment to providing the highest quality  product
 and product support available. I hope that the last two years of support
 and  product evolution (10 upgrades with all but the move from V1.04  to
 V2.00  free)  demonstrate  my  commitment.  I am not  trying  to  be  an
 unreasonable hard a*s,  but are taking these measures because I have  no
 other choice.  The combination of no verifiable list of legal owners and
 the  necessity  to  protect against legal  exposure  make  these  policy
 decisions  an absolute business necessity.  I am attempting to make  the
 transition  from  Data  Innovations to  Oregon  Research  Associates  as
 painless  as possible and am very sorry for any temporary  inconvenience
 that this may cause.

 On behalf of myself and Oregon Research Associates, I thank you for your
 patience and continued support,



 > STReport CONFIDENTIAL?                       "REAL ATARI NEWS FIRST!"

 - Upland, CA                 Soft-Aware Releases INFORMER II VERSION 2.03!

     Good news  for database  users and  enthusiasts! Soft-Aware, Unlimited
 continues to support and upgrade  it's  products  by  shipping  the latest
 version of  it's unique  and highly  versatile data/image  manager.  Image
 files  are  logically  connected  to  records  within  the   database  and
 accessed for  casual or  "slideshow" viewing.  Images are also used as the
 background for  personalized "form-on-the-screen"  input.   Columns on the
 list  screen  and  input  boxes  on  the  form  screen  can  all be easily
 manipulated with the mouse. And all of the  commands can  be accessed with
 either  the  mouse  or  keyboard.   INFORMER II utilizes concepts found in
 word  processors,  forms  managers,  report  writers,   and  spread-sheets
 without the burden of programming.

     The latest  version comes  on 3  double sided  disks with a completely
 new and revised manual in a 8x5 3 ring vinyl binder.   Version 2.03 offers
 the user  many new  and enhanced features. The number of data fields is up
 from 36 to 52. You can  now view  external image  or text  files, even HEX
 files.   Managing records  is even easier now that you can Delete or Clear
 a record from the FORM or the LIST.  You  can also  Move/Copy a  record to
 another Table in the database.  Most of the Change, Find and other options
  have been enhanced or expanded. This Latest version  of INFORMER  II also
 has   a fresh  look, since  the main  work screens  and many of the dialog
 boxes have  been worked over as well.

     Included with each package is a self running demo, a  version of which
 is available on GEnie and other information services.  This demo will give
 the user  a general  overview of  the program  and acquaint  them with the
 basic  features.    As  in  previous  versions,  INFORMER  II comes with a
 conversion program which converts many  data  formats  and  as  always the
 users  first  upgrade  is  FREE.   Available now through all dealers, this
 release also marks Soft-Awares  entry into  mainstream software distribut-

     INFORMER II  runs on  the Atari ST, STe, & TT series of computers with
 the PC version being avaiable soon.

 Contact your dealer or,

                           Soft-Aware, Unlimited
                         334 "B" N. Euclid Avenue
                            Upland,  CA  91786
                 Phone 714-982-8409   -   FAX 714-985-2348

 - Hadley, MA                                    NEODESK 3 # ONE IN THE UK!

     ST FORMAT magazine in THE UNITED KINGDOM has just released the results
 of a  reader survey they ran in which NeoDesk 3 was voted "Best Utility of
 1990".  Last year ST World UK another British magazine, completed a reader
 survey  that  voted  NeoDesk  2.0  (the version available at that time) as
 "Best Utility of 1989",  "Best  Overall  Program  of  1989"  and "Editor's
 Choice:  Best  Utility  of  1989".    Neodesk, once again for 1990, proves
 itself to be the "users choice" in the marketplace.  Congrats guys!!

 - Sunnyvale, CA                           ATARI ADVERTISE?  YES! BIG TIME!

     Advertising is  among the  number one  priorities at  Atari.  Although
 many thought  advertising was  brushed aside  during a  recent online con-
 ference, rest assured that this was simply a lack of effective communicat-

     The advertising  program that's  about to  begin is slated as the most
 ambitious and effective ever embarked upon  by Atari  for use  in building
 and strengthening  its computer  marketplace.   To begin with, the plan is
 aimed at building individual  market areas  for those  dealers already es-
 tablished. This  means the  dealer chooses the mode(s) of advertising felt
 best for the locale, either TV, newspaper etc.  The good news  is this not
 a co-op  advertising program,  its a "market builder" advertising program.
 This translates into the  facts that  the dealer  is not  required to pur-
 chased a minimum amount of product to become eligible to take advantage of
 this program's features and benefits.

 - Sunnyvale, CA                  "FLAGSHIP" DEALER PROGRAM SOUND FAMILIAR?

     "Flagship dealers" does this mean that  there are  dealers and then...
 there are DEALERS??  If this is the case, does this mean any one dealer is
 LESS the Atari source than another?   No,  of  course  not.    Every Atari
 computer product except the TT030 will be available through three national
 distributors.  They will, in turn, market the Atari product lines to their
 dealers.  This translates into aggressive and timely marketing by Atari in
 a very positive way to re-establish  the  Atari  computer  lines  to their
 rightful  place  in  the  US  market.   In other words, everything but the
 TT030 will  be available  through the  three distribution  networks.  This
 method of  marketing virtually  assures the userbase of full accessability
 to all of Atari's fine products at reasonable prices.

 - Champaign, Il                    HELP!!    SUBLOGIC MIGHT SNUB ATARI ST!

                           A.T.P from  SubLogic

     Many  of  you  are  probably  familiar  with  FLIGHT  SIMULATOR  II by
 SubLogic.  They have recently released a new simulator program.

     For  the  GOOD  news,  they  have  just  released A.T.P., a new flight
 simulation program.  Now for the  BAD  news,  its  only  released  for the
 I.B.M. - Messy DOS platform!

     A.T.P. stands  for AIRLINE  TRANSPORT PILOT.  This program enables you
 to fly a BOEING 737, 757, 767, A300 AIRBUS, and a SHORTS 360 Turboprop.

     Outstanding features include 26 major airport cities (hubs),  350 U.S.
 airports and  480 Nav-Aids.   Also  Flight-Plan briefing including weather
 reports and  aircraft load  specs.   Fully detailed  instrument panels for
 each aircraft including Auto-Takeoff/Land,Auto-Weather and Intelligent Air
 Traffic Control.  All existing scenery disks are completely compatible.

     SubLogic was contacted this past week  regarding this  program and the
 information received  was that  the ST conversion is under "discussion" at
 this time.  But.. they emphasized that nothing was final at this time.

     If you loved Flight Simulator II and want  to see  A.T.P. for  the ST.
 Help us help Atari and you.  Send in a Postcard today!

              Please Write: "I WANT A.T.P. FOR MY ATARI ST!"

          Send it to:
                              SubLogic Corp.
                        Attn: Chairman of the Board
                              501 Kenyon Road
                       Champaign, Il. 61820  U.S.A.

                   PLEASE, SEND YOUR POSTCARD TODAY!!!!

 - Tucson, Az                        PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS CEASES OPERATIONS!

 Ctsy: CIS

 : 25167 S17/Community Square
 : 31-Jan-91  22:21:55
 Sb: Farewell PS
 Fm: Practical Solutions 76004,2000
 To: All

 To the Atari community:

     I am  saddened to  report that,  as of the end of business today (1/3-
 1/91), Practical Solutions has ceased business.   From  what I understand,
 the phone  lines are now answered by an answering machine and will soon be

     A slow  summer and  fall season,  coupled with  diminishing returns on
 hardware products  and the  onset of  the recession, have conspired to sap
 Practical Solutions' revenues.  Practical Solutions' investors and bankers
 decided it was time to call it quits, despite protests from management and
 employees alike.  "Business in business," I guess.

     I, personally, was laid off three weeks ago.  I  have been maintaining
 the Practical  Solutions presence on CompuServe as a favor to the company,
 who are all good folks, and as a favor to  the Atari  community.   This is
 not a huge sacrifice, since I enjoy doing it anyway.

     Because  there  will  still  be  Practical  Solutions  products in the
 "pipeline" for a while, I hope to still maintain a  presence on-line  in a
 purely unofficial  capacity.   I have permission from the former Practical
 Solutions management to perform  this service,  providing it  is okay with
 the SysOps and CIS officials.

     From  now  on,  the  Practical  Solutions name associated with the PPN
 (76004,2000)-(Compuserve) will  be  changed  to  Richard  Whitsell/P.S. in
 order to emphasize the fact that the my presence is unofficial.

     Thank you one and all for supporting Practical Solutions over the past
 few years.

                                             Richard Whitsell
                                        Former Tech Support Rep

 - Vista, CA                               MENU PLUS RELEASED FOR ATARI ST!

 FROM: Rimik Enterprises
       Richard Betson, Owner

 RE: New Product Announcement -> Menu Plus

     Rimik Enterprises is proud to announce the release  of a revolutionary
 new software product called Menu Plus.  Menu plus is a full featured "Desk
 Top" enhancement that allows you to  quickly launch  (run) any  program on
 your hard  disk or  floppy disk.  Menu Plus uses a creative menuing system
 that allows you to set up a Main Menu with corresponding Sub-Menus.  Let's
 say you  set up a Main Menu selection called games.  You could then assign
 the Sub-Menu selections with the names and locations of your  games.  This
 type of  menu system  allows you  highly organize all the programs on your
 hard disk or floppy disk.  You also have the option of  launching programs
 directly from the Fileselector.  But Menu Plus is much more than a program
 launcher just read below.

     Menu Plus uses only 30k of  memory  when  running  as  an application.
 This means  users with  only 512k  will have  no problem  using Menu Plus.
 Quick access to over  160 of  your favorite  programs.   If you  need more
 selections simply  save your  present menu and start a new one.  Access to
 the Fileselector as well as the ability to  launch programs  directly from
 it.  You can view Degas, NEO and Spectrum 512 pictures.  You can also show
 or print a text file.  The show text feature uses the left and right mouse
 buttons for  scrolling text up and down the screen.  Menu Plus also allows
 you play and edit ST-Replay  sound  files.    A  special  AUTOPLAY feature
 allows you to play all the sound files in a directory.  Menu Plus supports
 the popular "SND" file format  for  sound  files.    System  settings like
 screen colors and key repeat rate can be changed directly from Menu Plus.

     An accessory  version of  the sound  player/editor, picture viewer and
 show/print text features is included.  This allows users with larger memo-
 ries  in  their  computers  to  have access to those features will running
 other programs.

 For further information concerning Menu Plus, please contact:

                            Rimik Enterprises
                              836 Osborne St.
                            Vista,  Ca.  92084
                              (619) 630-1217

 - Dallas, TX                  "STALK THE MARKET" VERSION 2.00 UPDATE INFO!

                  Status of Stalk the Market Version 2.00

     Last spring, ST Informer reported that Version 2.00  would be released
 in the  fall of  1990.  Well, that's exactly what we told them; but, alas,
 it's not ready yet.  We ran into some hardware  problems in  July which we
 JUST RECENTLY solved.  We're now working furiously on finishing up the new
 revision -- and getting close.

     For those of you considering buying STALK THE  MARKET; you  can buy it
 now (registered owners get Version 2.00 FREE), or you can wait (there will
 be NO price increase for Version 2.00).

 For example, here's some of the new stuff Version 2.00 will include:

    - Integrated downloading from CompuServe, Dow Jones News/Retrieval,
      and ... GEnie (yea!).

    - Portfolio capabilities (consolidated ledgers, performance reports,
      "batch" downloading, etc.)

    - Dividend and Capital Gain transactions.

    - Various convenience features: "Desktop" Save & Load, Save Window
      Size and Price-Time Range, Movable Dialog Boxes, and Auto-Desktop
      Load on Startup.

    - and much more...

 Again, we'll try and check in here at least once a week and try to respond
 to anything  that's come  up. If  your in a hurry, feel free to call us at
 (214)-243- 0663 (after 5PM CST).

                                             Quidnunc Software


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

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

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

                   Voice: 904-783-3319  10 AM - 4 PM EDT
                     BBS: 904-786-4176   12-24-96 HST
                    FAX: 904-783-3319  12 PM - 6 AM EDT


   All systems are complete and ready to use, included at NO EXTRA COST
                 are clock/calendar and cooling blower(s).

                 (you are NOT limited to two drives ONLY!)
                   (all cables and connectors installed)


                           Conventional Shoe Box
            Model        Description      Autopark       Price
            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 @ 16 - 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.

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                        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

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                     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"?

    "Please pray for the safe return of all our Folks in Desert Storm!"


                        STReport Online Magazine?
     Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide!
 STReport?           "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE"       February 01, 1991
 16/32bit Magazine           copyright = 1991                   No.7.05
 Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of
 the  editors,  staff,  STReport?  CPU/STR?  or  ST Report?.  Permission to
 reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted.   Each reprint
 must include  the name of the publication, date, issue #  and the author's
 name.  The entire publication and/or portions therein may not be edited in
 any way  without prior  written permission.   The contents, at the time of
 publication, are   believed  to  be  reasonably  accurate.    The editors,
 contributors and/or  staff are  not responsible  for either the use/misuse
 of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom.

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