ST Report: 31-May-91 #722

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 06/13/91-09:40:39 PM Z

From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 31-May-91 #722
Date: Thu Jun 13 21:40:39 1991

                  "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine"
                            STR Publishing Inc.

 May 31, 1991                                                       No.7.22

                  STReport International Online Magazine?
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                               R.F. Mariano
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 > 05/31/91: STReport  #7.22  The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine!
     - The Editor's Desk      - CPU REPORT        - MAC REPORT
     - GADGETS UPDATE         - MSTE BenchMarks   - JRI Upgrade Review
     - GramSlam 3.20          - Sources Revealed? - ST is STILL #1!
     - HIGHSPEED PASCAL       - UserGroups pIII   - SOFT-LOGIK RTC

                    -* MAILORDER MSTE IS LOWBALLED! *-
                         -* ATARI SALES BRISK! *-
                       -* PAGESTREAM VER. 2 HOT! *-

                     The _Number One_ Online Magazine
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                     "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 infor-
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 > The Editor's Podium

 In the last 4.5 months, we have been witness to a "new" Atari, an Atari
 that is alleged to be more "progressive", a gentler, kinder, Atari...

 Here's the Gig,

     Do you see it that way?   Do you think Atari is doing the right
 things in the USA?  Let's get a REAL discussion going here, you never
 know who may reading/forwarding these messages.

     The US  market for  Atari, in  general, seems  to be  on the neglected
 side.   WHY??   Anybody know?   Could  it be Atari is headed toward a high
 priced niche market with a very slim future  for anything  else as  far as
 support and  development?   Seems PageStream  and Calamus are the ONLY HOT
 areas to be found in the Atari community.  The Pond is  apparently getting
 smaller and the BIG fish seem to be eating each other.

     Will Atari  go down  in history  as the  only company  that managed to
 snatch FAILURE from the JAWS of success?   Let's hear from you!   Of cour-
 se, none  of this  is meant as a jab at Atari but rather a catalyst toward
 encouraging constructive  user/reader  input.    STReport  is  looking for
 solid, substantive  suggestions, observations and opinions that could pos-
 sibly be of real value in helping Atari build toward the future.   We will
 present  the  best  of  the  suggestions  here in STReport and all letters
 received will be forwarded to Atari.

     STReport its staffers and  editors have  always maintained  that Atari
 hardware is  among the  very best  available for the dollar.  That opinion
 has never changed and most likely never will.   Recently  however, certain
 occurances have  raised our  eyebrows, like the headlines in Israel that a
 certain deadline was apparently missed.   And of  course, news  of certain
 offshore facilities  having been  sold.  This morning, after approximately
 25 phone calls from serious Atari  supporters complaining  about the "low-
 ball" listing  of the MegaSTe4/50 in the NEW J&R catalog, I decided it was
 time to ask WHY?

     There is nothing wrong with mail order, its simply the  lowballers and
 the full  strokers that make this situation almost impossible.  There must
 be a median plateau  for pricing  in the  mailorder world.   Mailorder is,
 after all,  the fastest method attainable for Atari to increase its market
 penetration.  What would  YOU suggest  that would  work for  ATARI and its
 FUTURE?    Developers,  Dealers  and  of  course,  the  users are urged to
 participate.  After all, its YOUR computer too!

     What about the story of the 520STe computers in the  warehouse?  Those
 that were  supposed to  be "bundled".  Why not sell them through the cable
 sales networks?  INSTANT National TV coverage at no cost to Atari  and the
 basic value  in the  machines comes back to Atari as cash.  Not bad.  This
 particular suggestion has been rolling  about  in  the  hallowed  halls of
 Sunnyvale for  almost three  months with  NO DECISION!  WHY?  Come on Guys
 this is also an excellent way  to minimize  the summer  slump and increase
 the basic  size of the userbase in this country.  Your dealers, developers
 and users NEED this infusion of "fresh blood".

     Ok fellow Atarians and readers, lets hear from you!   Believe it, your
 opinion counts  and will  be presented to the powers that be in Sunnyvale.
 If the response in puny... we will tell it that  way too.   So  get on the
 stick and  lets make sure Atari knows we are still out here, ready to keep
 on keeping on.

     On another note, the MSTE and 1040STe sales have been brisk, most dea-
 lers exclaim that they can sell all they can get.  Trouble is the pipeline
 is sending only a trickle.  The MSTE4/50  is a  very powerful  package and
 one well  worth the  money.  If you are considering purchasing an STe, get
 the MegaSTe4/50 package its super good.

                 We want to hear from you!  Thanks for your support!


                           TODAY'S NEWS ..TODAY!


 > STReport's Staff              The regulars and this week's contributors!

                            Publisher - Editor
                             Ralph F. Mariano

 Staff Editors:
          Michael Arthur      Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr.     Dana P. Jacobson
          Lucien Oppler       Brad Martin              Walter Daniel
          Oscar Steele        Robert Allbritton        John Szczepanik
                              Dan Stidham

 Contributing Correspondants:
          Michael Lee         Richard Covert           Roger Stevens
          Brian Converse      Oliver Steinmeier        Ed Krimen
          Tim Holt            Andrew Learner           Norman Boucher

                             IMPORTANT NOTICE
      Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc...
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                  WHAT'S NEW IN THE ATARI FORUMS (May 31)

                           ST WRITER ELITE 4.1!

     Version 4.1 of ST  WRITER ELITE  is now  available in  LIBRARY 1 ("New
 Uploads") of the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO).  This new version
 contains one bug fix  and one  added feature  over version  4.0.  Download

   STWEL4.ARC - ST Writer Elite 4.1 English Version.
   STWELG.ARC - ST Writer Elite 4.1 Word Processor German/Spanish.

                            REAL TIME MAGNIFIER

 DC Real-time Magnifier, available in LIBRARY 13 of the Atari Vendors

 Forum (GO ATARIVEN) as DCRMAG.ARC, will give you an 8X blow-up of the scr-
 een!  Move the mouse, and  the magnified  screen moves  with it!   Another
 program of the week from Double Click!


 The latest  prices, version  numbers, and update information for all Code-
 Head Software products is now available in LIBRARY 16 of the Atari Vendors


 Jim Straus  has uploaded  a demo version of an outliner program he is wor-
 king on.  He would like to get your feedback  before proceeding  with fur-
 ther development.  Download OUTLIN.COM from LIBRARY 1 of the Atari Portfo-
 lio Forum (GO APORTFOLIO) and send your comments to Jim at CompuServe User
 ID number 70116,667.


 BJ Gleason  has uploaded  a new  version of  his BASIC interpreter, PBASIC
 v4.5, now available in LIBRARY 1 of the Atari Portfolio Forum (GO APORTFO-

 Additionally, the  following files  are also available in LIBRARY 1 of the
 Atari Portfolio Forum (GO APORTFOLIO) courtesy of BJ Gleason:

 STOPW.ZIP  - A multidisplay stopwatch/event counter.
                          Up to 10 timers/event.

 CLOCK.EXE  - Turn your Portfolio into a BIG clock!

 BM2.ZIP    - Battery Monitor Version 2; smaller than the old version.

 ADDRES.EXE - Address Viewer for the PC, Version 1.0

 BATTST.ZIP - Battery Test for the Portfolio, version 1

                            HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AN


 Of special Note:
     Compuserve has attained over 800,000 ACTIVE  users worldwide.   Active
     accounts are those that have activity within a 60 day period.



       Issue #23

 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr.

 - Toronto, Ontario                  DYNACADD AVAILABLE FOR DOS, AMIGA

 Ditek  International  has  begun  shipping  versions  of  its   DynaCADD
 computer-aided design software for IBM PCs and compatibles,  as well  as
 for the Commodore Amiga.  DynaCADD was previously only available on  the
 Atari ST line of computers.

 DynaCADD   is  a  general  purpose  design  and  drafting  program   for
 electrical,  mechanical,  architectural,  and civil applications,  Ditek
 said.  It handles both two- and three-dimensional drawings.  The  Amiga,
 Atari,  and DOS versions are able to exchange files,  the company  said.
 All three versions retail for US $995.

 A  Windows version of DynaCADD and one for the Apple Macintosh are  also
 being developed, Ditek said.

 - White Plains, New York           IBM HAS SPEECH RECOGNITION SOFTWARE

 VoiceType,  a  speech recognition system meant to allow users avoid  the
 keyboard and based on technology from Dragon Systems,  has been added to
 the  IBM  Independence Series of products for  disable  computer  users.
 VoiceType  is mainly meant for people with disabilities that  keep  them
 from typing, but is not limited to these users.

 VoiceType  requires IBM's Multimedia Attachment  Playback  Adapter.  The
 software  also  needs a computer with at least an Intel  80386SX  micro-
 processor, 6 megabytes of RAM and a hard disk.

 The software keeps a vocabulary of about 7,000 words in memory, 2,000 of
 which the user can choose.  When it cannot match spoken input to one  of
 those words,  it asks the user to spell the word and turns to an 80,000-
 word dictionary on disk.  When a new word is recognized, it replaces the
 least-used  word  in the memory-resident dictionary.  The  software  can
 adjust  to  each user's accent and pronunciation.  It also  has  on-line
 documentation which is accessible through voice commands.

 - San Francisco, California       YOU WANT FAST?  LIGNTENING WILL GIVE
   -------------------------        YOU FAST WITH ITS NEW 50MHZ 486 PC

 Lightening  Computers  has announced shipment of a 50 MHz  Intel  80486-
 based speedster that offers CPU speed of 22 MIPS (million  instructions-
 per-second),  and,  what the company claims, is a 50 percent performance
 increase over 33MHz 486-based machines.

 According to the company,  the performance increase has been achieved by
 integrating  a  solid-state  cooling module that  lowers  operating  CPU
 temperatures to between zero and four degrees Celsius.  This allows  the
 33 MHz 80486 chip to run at 50 MHz with no loss of reliability.

 Additionally,  the  Lightning 486/50 uses three separate  processors  to
 speed up graphics, numeric and disk-intensive operations. Disk-intensive
 tasks  are accelerated by a four to 16 megabyte RAM cache and  a  16-bit
 Z280 CPU that offloads I/O from the 80486 and handles,  reads and writes
 in the background.

 Retail prices for complete systems range from $8955 to $30,000. Standard
 warranty  terms  are one year for parts and labor with  on-site  service
 available as an option.

 - Canberra, Australia                      10% TAX LEVIED ON SOFTWARE

 A recent Australian Taxation Office (ATO) draft ruling may see the Aust-
 ralian software industry contribute AUS$50M to the Government's coffers.
 The tax involves a 10 percent levy on invoiced amounts of royalties  for
 software master copies usage by local computer companies.

 The  Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has objected  to
 the ruling,  and claims if other countries introduce similar levies,  it
 will have a detrimental effect on Australian software exports.  The AIIA
 has  been  lobbying  the ATO,  Treasury,  and  Department  of  Industry,
 Technology and Commerce (DITAC) to have the ruling rescinded. The tax is
 not  being applied retrospectively,  as it was generally thought it  did
 not apply to shrink-wrap software.


 According to the Wall Street Journal,  Apple is considering selling  its
 low-end  microcomputers through computer superstores like computer  dis-
 count chaing CompUSA.   Apple Spokesperson,  Lisa Burns wouldn't comment
 on  this  report but did confirm that "Apple is looking  towards  super-
 stores as a distribution outlet for high volume products."

 If  confirmed,  the move would mark another milestone in  the  company's
 change  in strategy that began really with the introduction of the  low-
 end Macintosh Classic and color Macintosh LC late last year in an effort
 to increase market share in the face of heavier competition from IBM and
 compatible  DOS-based machines,  especially those employing  Microsoft's
 Windows 3.0 graphical user interface.

 - Beijing, China                        DEMOCRACY VIRUS HITS CHINA PCs

 With  the approach of the second anniversary of the Beijing massacre  in
 which democracy campaigners were brutally attacked by army tanks on  4th
 June  1989,  there are reports of widespread contamination  of  personal
 computers with a virus that displays a pro-democracy message on the PC's

 The  virus is believed to have infected computers in government  offices
 as well as in businesses and educational establishments.

 The  Hong  Kong Standard newspaper quotes sources as  saying  that  many
 official establishments have been ordered to switch off their computers
 and not use them again until after the anniversary has passed. It is be-
 lieved  the  virus  will cause little if any  damage  beyond  disrupting
 screen displays.

 There have already been numerous reports of student protests at  univer-
 sities in the lead-up to 4th June.


                             IMPORTANT NOTICE!

 As a reader of STReport International Online Magazine, you are entitled to
 take advantage of a special DELPHI membership offer.  For only $29.95 ($20
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 Other telecom services may have additional charges.  Canadian Tymnet users
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                 DELPHI- It's getting better all the time!


 > The Flip Side STR Feature        "...a different viewpoint..."

                    A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT

 by Michael Lee

 My readers might notice a difference in the way that I handle posts from
 the different networks.  There's a good reason for it,  each network has
 their own "flavor and personality".

 On  Genie,  when a question is asked,  the replies are  fairly  straight
 forward  and  the sysops make sure that the topic stays on  the  subject
 (thread).  On Delphi and CIS,  the threads have a habit of 'fraying' and
 splitting into sub-topics,  all under the same, original topic.  Someone
 might ask a question about a particular hard drive,  someone else  might
 reply to that question but then add something about a host adaptor, then
 someone  else will reply about the host adaptor and add something  about
 the new 2.88 meg floppy drives.  Pretty soon what's being discussed  has
 nothing to do with the original topic. And Delphi is even more casual in
 the way it handles threads.

 None  of  this makes any of the networks any bettor or  worse  than  the
 other (all have pluses and minuses),  it just makes them different.  And
 it makes how I have to handle their posts different.


 From Bob Brodie (Atari),  cat.  14,  topic 14, message 209 - from the ST
 Roundtable on Genie...
    ...the Mega STE is indeed a Class B machine.


 Comments   about   the  new  Calamus  upgrade   from   Nathan   Potechin
 (ISDMARKETING) on Delphi...
    For  those that own Calamus 1.09N the upgrade charge to Calamus S  is
    US $69.95.  Calamus S contains every feature 1.09N has plus dozens of
    new  features  and it is totally modular.  That means  you  can  then
    choose to purchase whatever additional modules you might require  ie;
    the new vector line art module for use within Calamus and you are not
    locked  into  buying all the capabilities at once.  For  your  infor-
    mation,  I  anticipate no less than 2 dozen new modules  for  Calamus
    before the end of this year.

 Comments  about DynaCADD from Nathan Potechin (ISD),  cat 28,  topic  6,
 message 15 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie...
    DynaCADD  will  be  released the end of this week for  the  TT  [Late
    breaking information,  the TT version of DynaCADD will be held up for
    one  more  month].  Yes,  a re-compiled TT version  that  takes  full
    advantage  of the TT's capabilities.  While 16 million colors  aren't
    that relevant in CADD,  we will run with every configuration from VGA
    on up.  We WILL USE the built-in math coprocessor.  And we have added
    quite a few new features finally, now that 68030 is here.

    A few examples include:  Hidden Line Removal,  Bi-directional 3D DXF,
    3D  Faces  etc  etc..   We  are  also  in  the  process  of  insuring
    compatibility  with  Ray  Tracing and  Rendering  packages  on  other
    platforms with DynaCADD.  I'm wondering out loud if we should do  the
    same on the ST with any existing Rendering software????

    [Addendum:  In addition to the long list of features already added to
    the not yet released new TT version of DynaCADD,  we have decided  to
    go  even  further.  Now  being  added  are:  A  Compiled  Programming
    Language,  a  fully integrated  multi-document  editor,  configurable
    command  line  interpreter,   a  script  language  and  non-graphical
    properties.  We had initially thought to add these features later but
    finally decided to do it all now.  It will be worth the wait, of that
    I can assure you.]

    By the way, TMS Cranach Studio, which will be released about the same
    time  as SL,  is an amazing 16 million color electronic scanning  and
    editing  program with an incredible array of features And of  course,
    Calamus SL will be compatible with all the 16 million color cards.

    And of yes, a Canadian firm located a few minutes from us, Cybercube,
    will be releasing such a card in the near future.


 More on the Cybercube graphics board that Nathan was referring to - from
 Ken Brooks - from the ST Roundtable on Genie...  the  following  for an astounding bit of info  on  a  new
    graphics board coming out for the Mega, MegaSTe and TT030:

                          CYBERCUBE RESEARCH LTD.
                          126 Grenadier Crescent
                        Thornhill, Ontario, CANADA
                                  L4J 7V7
            Phone: 416-882-0294              FAX: 416-886-3261

                       Maximum Display - 1280 x 1024
                      Refresh  Rate  - 60 frames/sec
                   non interlaced with PAL/NTSC support
    Video RAM - 2Mb standard of Fast Video RAM-up to 262 screen buffers
                       Bit/Pixel - 24, 8, 4, 2, or 1
                 plus optional 8bit depth buffer in 24bit
                          Colors - 16,777,216 max
                  Processor - 32 bit RISC with FPU 20mips
                        plus 3 - 20 MBit LAN ports
 VDI - driver software or ROM allows any VDI application to use the board

    The company has received hundreds and hundreds of calls from all over
    the  place about this board.  No pricing announced yet but we are  in
    line for that info as soon as available.  This sounds too good to  be
    true and I hope the old saw isn't true on that count!


 From Nevin Shalit (Sysop) on the Soft Logik RT on Genie...
    According  to the folks at SoftLogik the upgrade time frame  WILL  BE
    EXTENDED.  They did not say for how long,  they just said it  depends
    when the program actually begins shipping.  So have no fear, you will
    have time to upgrade..!


 About Flash 2.0 from Lee (Lexicor Software) on CIS...
    Flash 2.0 is finished.  Charles Cherry has dropped off the manual for
    consideration at ANTIC.  If they don't pick up the new version I  can
    assure you that it will get published.  [Since this post, it has been
    reported  that ANTIC has declined to market Flash 2.0.]...What  I  do
    know  is  that  if  ANTIC does turn  it  down...Flash  V2.0  will  be
    published. I personally like it very much...:-) hint.


 From Dave Hudspeth on CIS...
    I  have a NEC 3D multisync monitor and an Atari 520  ST-FM.  Somebody
    told  me that there's a box or cable I can buy to connect the  ST  to
    the  monitor's  analog input...Any info you could give  me  would  be
    greatly appreciated.

 Answer from Richard Whitsell on CIS...
    You  CAN connect your ST to a multisync monitor (and the NEC 3D is  a
    good  one!) using a box or a cable set-up.  If you just want  to  use
    your ST in color mode ONLY (or mono ONLY) then you can get away  with
    just a cable. If you want to be able to switch between color and mono
    you will need some sort of switchbox, either bought or made at home.

 Dave Hudspeth did a direct cable connection...
    ...I finally figured it out. I got a cable for $18 that has a 9-pin D
    shell connector at one end (Atari on the other,  of course),  and the
    NEC included a 15-pin to 9-pin adapter. Went to Radio Shack and got a
    9-pin female plug ($1.49),  cut the 9-pin male off the NEC connector,
    and resoldered the wires for straight VGA signal...The low and medium
    resolutions  are fantastic on the NEC--really good  color  saturation
    and  resolution compared to the Atari color  monitor.  Haven't  tried
    resoldering  for monochrome,  but would bet it looks pretty  good  as

 Response from Brian Converse on CIS...
    ...I  bought a Talon Omniswitch to run my NEC Multisync...It gives  a
    1040ST  owner composite video out to drive a VCR  or  TV,  color/mono
    switching,  multiple floppy switching,  RCA audio out jack,  etc.  It
    also has a couple of jacks:  15 pin mini and 9 pin D's like EGAs  and
    VGAs use.

    If  you don't have cables,  make sure and price them.  Atari  monitor
    cables (you'll need one) aren't cheap,  about $25.  The Talon is  $80
    itself,  when you add all the cables to fit out all the disk &  video
    features (2 Atari monitors,  2 disk drives),  it's $$$! My Omniswitch
    works fine, but looks truly disgusting and cheap.


 There have been some  rumors circulating recently about Electronic  Arts
 dropping support for the ST.  Here is a post that I hope will squash the
 rumor.  From Bob Brodie (Atari Corp),  Cat.  14, Topic 31, Message 111 &
 115 -from the ST Roundtable on Genie...
    The statement concerning Electronic Arts dropping support for the  ST
    line is incorrect.  I have already spoken with Electronic Arts and ST
    Informer about this.

    What has happened is that Electronic Arts has realigned their company
    to  handle  certain  products in various  offices.  In  the  area  of
    entertainment  software,  EA has decided to handle all of the  MS-DOS
    software  out  of their US office.  All of the 68000  based  machines
    (Apple, Atari, Amiga) will be handled via EA's United Kingdom office.
    The MS-DOS products will be exported to Europe,  while the  ST,  Mac,
    and Amiga products will all be imported here.

    EA has dropped their affiliated labels program.  They used to publish
    a number of other titles under the EA name, among them Lucasfilm. Not
    any more!  All of the companies are on their own now,  for all of the
    platforms, not just the ST.

    The  only  product  line  that  they  told  me  they  were  going  to
    discontinue support for was the entire Apple II line,  including  the
    II GS. They feel there is no further market for the II GS.

    Hope this clears up any confusion about EA's support for the ST!


 Some comments about the correct way to clean edge connectors - from  Cat
 4, Topic 2 from the ST Roundtable on Genie...
 From Dave Small (Gadgets by Small), message 90...
    ...a  NEAT  way  to clean edge connector contacts is  with  a  simple
    pencil  eraser.  It  works like you wouldn't  believe.  All  the  old
    experienced mainframe repairman out on a service call would whip  out
    a "big chief" red eraser and "erase" the edge contacts;  it takes the
    oxide off like nothing you would believe.  That'll handle the 34  and
    20 pin connectors on an ST 506 type drive.

 From Todd Johnson (Cherry Fonts), message 91....
    ...try CRAMOLIN spray. It's the ONLY contact cleaner that works. It's
    REAL expensive though. On every concert tour, there'll be a road case
    containing at least 2 cans of it hanging around somewhere.

 From Leo Taylor (H-P), message 96...
    An  eraser is OK,  but a dollar bill is more handy (usually found  in
    your  back pocket).  Honest,  the bills seem to have just  the  right
    abrasiveness...My  company (H-P) advises against this kind of  stuff.
    In  the last decade manufacturers have economised by plating  a  VERY
    thin  layer  of gold on contacts.  A few passes with an  eraser  will
    expose  the shiny under layer which will tarnish soon after  you  put
    the unit back together.

 From Bill Pike, message 103...
    I would like to suggest the method that I use on edge  contacts.  You
    will  need a CLEAN sheet of at least 20 lb or higher rag  paper,  not
    glossy  also  some NO RESIDUE contact cleaner.  Cut a strip  about  2
    inches wide and 8 inches long,  fold it length ways in half. Saturate
    one end of the strip with the cleaner leaving the other end dry.  Rub
    the  paper,  with  moderate pressure over the contacts  so  that  the
    cleaner  then the dry areas rub over every contact,  repeat this  for
    the  contacts  on  the  other side of  the  board.  Don't  scrub  the
    contacts,  moderate pressure is all that is needed.  This will  clean
    the contacts without removing the gold plating.  I have had very good
    results with this method.  BTW you will need to change the paper when
    you  see  residue on the paper.  A set of contacts may  need  several
    cleanings before it is OK.

 From John Stanley, message 110...
    On  cleaning edge connectors.  The standard pink erasers do have  the
    potential (under some conditions) for removing the gold layer on edge
    connectors,  that's  why  I started carrying an artists  (soft  white
    plastic material) eraser.  Less abrasive and it gives better  control
    while cleaning contacts.  It also does a better job (cleaner results)
    and is much much less likely to smudge (almost impossible to  smudge)
    when erasing lead pencil marks from paper.


 About Just Another War from John Thornburgh on CIS...
    ...I wouldn't call this a boardgame. It is more like Red Storm Rising
    (submarine  simulator)  if  you've played that.  It  is  a  real-time
    starship simulator.  It only runs in med-res.  And yes, it is fun. It
    has  a  great  feeling  of  depth  and  realism,  many  options,  and
    challenging play.  Although the manual is long,  it's really not that
    hard  to  get the hang of,  although developing good  strategy  isn't
    easy.  I got slaughtered in my first "real" battle (I did fine in the
    initial tutorial before that.) But now I'm doing better.  (BTW, there
    are no artistic graphics.  This is a purely functional game,  if that


 From  Gerry Scott Moore on using Band in a Box (BIB) with  various  midi
 equipment. From the ST RT on Genie...
    BIB  generates really hip piano accompaniment,  bass,  and  drums.  I
    figure  you  could use the MT32 for drums  AND  keyboard,  since  the
    keyboard only uses 4 or 5 voices. I would then assign the bass to the
    CZ101,  but if possible I would cram it into an available MT32  slot.
    The  bass  is the best part of the program-  -very  realistic  player
    emulation.  Part of this is its velocity.  Sometimes the bassist will
    pop  the  heck  out of the bass and it  really  FEELS  right.  So  if
    possible I would shift it there.

    In the end though,  it is the perfect accompaniment machine,  or comp
    generator. If you play a "real" non-midi instrument and you know some
    tunes you can really have a ball with this.

    I  was a professional musician for many years and I play through  bop
    and  jazz  tunes with this thing.  I supply the  guitar  or  keyboard
    melody,  and  then a few trillion verses of solo.  It's the  greatest
    with a glass of wine.

    Additionally this is a BLATANT port from a PC environment.  It's kind
    of non-ST-ish,  and a little cumbersome. Nevertheless what it does it
    does VERY well.  I have just upgraded and I love the newest  version.
    If you are a player, it is highly recommended.


 Questions about the GCR/Roms from Christopher J. Kaufman on CIS...
    What  exactly  is required to make my 1040 ST able to emulate  a  MAC
    with Spectre GCR?   Where can I get roms?  Atari of San Jose just got
    some Mac ROMs in. The price is now $250!

 Answer from Bob Retelle (Sysop) on CIS...
    ...all  you need is the Spectre GCR cartridge and the  software  that
    comes with the cartridge.  You simply plug the Spectre cartridge into
    your  ST,  run the Spectre software,  and your ST thinks it's a  Mac!
    It's  best if you have a monochrome monitor,  but it'll also work  on
    the color Atari monitor too...

    The  Spectre cartridge also needs a set of 128K Macintosh  ROM  chips
    installed in it, as Gadgets by Small doesn't sell the cartridges with
    the  ROMs...obtaining  128K Mac ROMs has become a problem  since  the
    Hayes case, and also since Apple has tightened up the supply...


 Comments about the SLM-605,  toner and other laser printer stuff -  from
 the ST Roundtable on Genie...
 From Bob Brodie, cat. 14, topic 11, message 86...
    The toner that is in the 605 is exactly the same as the toner that is
    used  with  the Epson EPL-6000 laser printer.  The SLM 605  is  close
    cousins to a number of other laser printers,  like a Mannsmann Tally,
    a Packard Bell, a Toshiba, the Epson, etc. The main difference in our
    unit  is that we have place the high speed DMA port on the system  to
    allow  for the fastest printing possible,  while the other units  all
    still have serial interfaces.  Some also come with a small amount  of
    RAM onboard.

 From Bob Beauchea, cat. 14, topic 11, message 87...
    I use toner carts for the Epson EPL-6000 (about $20).  The  internals
    of the two printers are identical but not manufactured by Epson.


 Information  on  the new Syquest 88mb drives - Compiled from  2-3  posts
 from the folks at ICD - from the ST Roundtable on Genie...
    The  new 88mb Syquest drives will only read 44mb carts,  they  cannot
    write to them...The biggest problem now,  is the price.  I can get  3
    44MB  SyQuest  drives with 1 cartridge each for the price of  just  1
    88MB drive with 1 cartridge.


 Until next week.....


                    :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!! <-

     GEnie's ST Round Tables will be sponsoring an RTC on June 3rd  at 10pm
     eastern that  will discuss  DTP.  This will be a weekly event with Ron
     Grant being the RTC leader.

     During the RTC, 10 FREE hours of online time will be awarded in 2 hour
     increments. This  means 5  winners.   The prizes are for the 1st night

         GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric
            Information Services/GEnie, reprinted by permission


 > GADGETS UPDATE STR Feature       MegaTalk board and SST ('030) board


 by Michael Lee

 Recently there has been some questions on the major on-line services  as
 to  when Gadgets MegaTalk board and SST ('030) board will be  available,
 also  if Apples new System 7.0 will work with the GCR.  So I decided  to
 let the Gadgets people tell you themselves exactly what is going  on.  I
 kept Dave Small's replies verbatim (except for the last post where I cut
 out  the part that was duplicated in the previous post) because I  enjoy
 his writing style and think you will too. All posts are from the Gadgets
 by Small RoundTable on Genie...


 Question about the Gadgets MegaTalk board from Rob (J.ALLBRITTO2)...
   Does anyone know exactly why MegaTalk is taking so long to ship?

 Answer  from  STACE (Sysop) - from the Gadgets by  Small  Roundtable  on
   The  biggest  chunk of delay was the addition of the  SCSI  port.  The
   board Gadgets showed about 1 year ago did not have the SCSI port. More
   recently,  the  boards were delayed due to a bad batch from the  board


 When will Gadgets SST ('030 board) ship? From Dave Small,  Cat. 9, Topic
 2, Message 103...
   About the Eternal WhenZit Shipping Dave Question:

   Gosh and golly,  folks,  I wish I knew.  That's being honest. I really
   *hate*  to set dates because so many things can happen.  Those of  you
   who  endured through Raving Idiot Chip Supply know how bad it can  get
   manufacturing stuff; it makes software look easy.

   You're  at  the end of a long chain of events that ALL must  come  out
   perfectly.  Any  one  of the chain can break,  and  everything  stops.
   Furthermore,  it's  a  dynamic process.  Say we set up  an  outfit  to
   assemble  and shrinkwrap final units,  and then Raving Idiot cuts  off
   our AS02 chips.  That outfit has nothing to shrinkwrap and gets mad at
   us. So we tend to be cautious.

   Since SST is new,  we are also being VERY careful not to release  some
   disaster on the public.  Spectre 3.0 was delayed while we went through
   *18*  Beta releases and *3* Gamma releases,  adding things and  fixing
   bugs the whole way.  We were terrified that there were still bugs when
   we  shipped it to the duplicators!  And I must tell you,  one  of  the
   Gamma releases fixed Hypercard 2.0,  a program I would certainly  call
   "vital" to have had broken somewhere in the Beta releases
   and we had to do some fixing to get it back working.  That scares  me,
   because  changing ANYTHING in Spectre is like tugging on a  spiderweb;
   things can fail.  I remember once a Microsoft product...Word?...failed
   because it broke the rules,  did a zero read that pointed to my  code,
   read random data ...  and in the last version,  that random data  hap-
   pened to not cause trouble.  In the new version, the program had moved
   around some, and the data DID cause trouble. Stuff like this makes you
   paranoid and gives grey hairs.

   So,  SST is going into Beta test,  and we're going to be bloody *sure*
   it works on ST's out there.  So you know, we have *already* tested all
   the well-publicized "problems" that accelerators are supposed to have,
   and ... well, they just don't happen to us. We don't know why! But the
   IMP  chipset works just fine,  "weak" blitters fly right  along,  even
   horrid  SGS373's and weak power supplies are working  out  great.  I'm
   actually looking forward to getting SST's to Beta testers.

   Right now,  the SST design is purty much done. George may have a final
   tuning  thing  he wants to do (he always wants another  50%  on  Quick
   Index),  and  the  board  is singing right along.  One  ran  six  days
   straight  in my Mega maxxed-out,  running Boink!  until I'm  sure  the
   68030 never wanted to move a ball around again!  Considering that's 33
   million cycles per second and 3600 seconds per hour,  and,  and,  and,
   that's a LOT of working RAM and CPU cycles.

   We  got  some disinformation that screwed up the board design  from  a
   chip maker. Until we set that straight, George was getting "flakies" -
   - non repeatable errors that crashed things.  Finally,  we got to talk
   to  someone  that  knew  what  they  were  doing  at  the  plant,  and
   straightened  it  out;   the  documentation,  to  be  charitable,  was
   "unclear".  (I will not say "wrong". I will not say "wrong".) That set
   us back a bit.

   Anyway, from here, the present boards, which have a couple patch wires
   on  them  for  what  I call "honest mistakes"  (grin)  will  head  for
   BetaVille,  and  we'll  let them stew while we finish stocking  up  on
   parts  and  get the new boards through production;  it  takes  a  fair
   amount of time to build just the circuit board with no parts. Then, we
   go  to  a place that stuffs the board with parts,  runs it  through  a
   soldering machine,  and sends it back to us.  We test.  (A lot of work
   for  two  words!)  Then we send it to a place that  packages  it  with
   manual and stuff,  and shrinkwraps it, and they send it to us. Then we
   send it to you.

   If it sounds long and involved,  well, it is. But that's the nature of
   the beast!

   Early  this  year,  Raving Idiot Board Supply (a  division  of  Raving
   Idiot,  WorldWide)  stopped supplying GCR boards;  their gold  plating
   machine died.  We had to bitch and moan to get them to ship the boards
   to Santa Clara,  my old hangout, to be plated, and shipped back. THEN,
   one  part became UNAVAILABLE -- a single  source  part,  dammit.  BUT,
   because  of  the delay in getting boards,  the part  became  available
   again. (Murphy's Law Twice cancels out? I dunno.) But that's where the
   "unavailable GCR's" were. They are all shipped now, and the next batch
   is being cooked.

   Raving  Idiot Board Supply also managed to get us a batch of  MegaTalk
   boards with "feedthroughs" -- the little holes that go through a board
   -- that were not plated. Feedthroughs get electricity from one side of
   the  board  to  the  other  THROUGH  this  plating!   No  plating,  no
   electricity.  And no board.  MegaTalk boards now on second  try.  (The
   nice  thing about a place that screws up is they feel guilty  and  try
   harder. And every place screws up. Look for the guilt-ridden ones.)

   Anywho,  if  you think the whole process sounds like  a  year,  please
   apply Sandy and Barb to it.  They have this amazing way of overlapping
   tasks and feeding me caffeine that compresses days into  hours,  weeks
   into  days...  they did it with GCR,  which came out in  record  time,
   despite unreal delays. (Remember the mold machine that broke the guy's
   hand?). We'll ship and soon.

   But, if I give you a date, Murphy will make sure I miss it. And I hate
   that a WHOLE BUNCH!

   My primary tasks are a manual (fun!  for me;  I loved writing the  GCR
   manual),  and software (double fun!,  because the SST can do things  I
   always  wished  for).  For instance,  I've had to come up  with  three
   different  ways  to  handle  severe  compatibility  problems  with  ST
   software,  which other 68030 boards will simply roll over and die with
   ...  but we WILL run.  (They run now in the experimental  mode).  It's
   basically  a lot of testing and time intensive,  which is why  I  have
   been absent from GEnie too much;  I want my software done by the  time
   the SST is out of Beta and ready to rock.  My feeling is, if you buy a
   68030 board, and LOTS of stuff dies with it, you're going to be hacked
   at me;  and that's going to happen to some 030 boards. (no names.) But
   if it works,  and faster than you will believe,  you'll be happy.  The
   RAM and burst mode and George Video are other neat things no one  else
   has to my knowledge.

   I guess my not being here more often has made it look like not  enough
   is  happening.  It's  1:26 AM here,  and usually I'm  hacking  on  the
   software,  but tonight it was GEnie time.  I'll try not to get so  far

  -- thanks, Dave /  Gadgets

   p.s. We think, 1-2 months at worst.


 Comments  about the GCR and Apple's new System 7.0  software...
 From Larry Rymal...

   System  7.0  definitely does not work with 3.0.  I spent  a  full  day
   massaging my setup,  trying various methods to get it to work. It just
   won't work.

 From Dave Small, Cat. 1, Topic 20, Message 1...
   FINALLY,  System 7 showed up in Denver.  A distributor problem  caused
   our  regular  dealers  to not get System 7.0 on the  glorious  May  13
   release. In fact, they still don't have it.

   I finally managed to find *ONE* dealer, here in the "Silicon Mountain"
   (quote  from R.  Reagan),  the Denver Area,  who stocked System  7.  I
   hustled down there a few days ago,  got in ten minutes before closing,
   and  got  the Official System 7 package.  (I wanted  the  manuals,  if
   nothing else).

   Paid $99, like everyone else ...

   The  salesman  commented that they had had 150 System  7  packages  in
   stock that morning and had 15 left; if I'd showed up the next day, I'd
   be S.O.L. (no translation is offered).

   Right  now,  as of this moment,  System 7 doesn't appear to work  with
   Spectre 3.0, after some time spent on some serious hacking with it.

   *  Installer  does not fully boot.  It stops with an "out  of  memory"
   error in what appears to be a System Error dialog, with a "Bomb" icon.
   It  also  says to hold down the shift key to reduce  memory  needs.  I
   tried that, it also fails, to the same page.

   During this,  I was monitoring bus faults (zerostores are the wine and
   cheese of this sort of software),  and none happened,  which makes the
   tracing  a tad harder.  I'll be moving some equipment around to  chase
   Sys 7 (printer, another ST to capture output from the debugger, etc --
   thank  heavens Atari replaced the stolen Stacy!!) and  I'll  backtrace
   from the A9C9 SysError trap that sets this off.

   * I next installed a Mac Plus System onto a Syqeust cart using a IIfx.
   Install went fine.  I brought the cart over to the ST,  booted it, and
   got the above message again.  How creative. Interestingly, the message
   is  formatted  incorrectly;  the sentence is sort of cut  off  in  the

   I tried a few weird and arcane things, but it looks like the standard-
   old-same-thing-beat-on-it-until-it-works stuff.

   This is nothing new.  We had to make a special fix for a table bug  in
   6.0.5;  we had to fix the Mac Plus mode (SysEnvirons) in 6.0.3, and so
   forth.  I look forward to new Apple System cuts with the  anticipation
   of a visit from the mother in law.

   However,  again,  as  with the many other Systems that required  minor
   tweaks to bring up,  we'll do what's necessary to make it  work.  It's
   easier for me when there's a bus error or address error;  that  points
   me at the problem.  However,  disk message and line-A message  tracing
   are equally effective in cases like that,  and folks,  I've done  this
   practically in my sleep.

   The planning *as of this moment* (this is not a commitment,  just  our
   thinking) is to release an interim Spectre.  This Spectre will fix the
   annoying cache bug in the Mega-STE and ICD Adspeed accelerator,  where
   machines  with  less  than  4 megs of RAM fail  unless  the  cache  is
   dropped,  and  will  also fix up System 7.   Since most  of  you  have
   upgraded  to  3.0,  we're considering the possibility of  putting  the
   interim upgrade online for you to download, here in the scenic Gadgets
   RT.  Again,  this is NOT our final,  we're-gonna-do-it plan, just some
   thinking on how we can get fixes out to many, many customers.

   Finally,  let me draw your attention to the Sys 7 compatibility  list,
   included with the package.  Briefly,  if I reduced Spectre's  compati-
   bility  to that level,  I would expect to be hung from a lynch mob  of
   Spectre users.  *sigh*. Were I you, I would not expect a LOT of things
   to work for awhile as people "settle in" to Sys 7.


   This  is an *ultimate* application for a dual-boot partition.  Set  up
   partitions boot6,boot7,  and main on your hard disk.  When you want to
   run System 6.0.x (say, 6.0.4 or 5) then select boot6 to boot from, and
   use the stuff in "main". When you want to run Sys 7 and take your life
   in  your hands,  boot from boot7.  I regularly keep about 5  different
   boot partitions on the hard disk, each about 2 mb long, just enough to
   hold the System Folder and so forth.

   No guarentees on the timeframe,  folks.  I'm also doing SST, which has
   high priority,  and Kids,  which have,  well, you know. They insist on
   it.  However,  I've chased worse bugs, like the thing in Hard Disk 20,
   and have developed some real time-saving tools which I hope will  help
   me on this one.

   So, hang in there; we're working on it.

   Note:  I own two IIfx machines and two Mac Pluses in Gadgets...  well,
   Sandy might say she owns them (grin!!).

   -- thanks for being patient, Dave / Gadgets

 More from Dave Small in Cat. 6, Topic 11, Message 41...
   ...Believe  me,  folks,  I have tried == everything == to get 7.0  up,
   even weird ways, and it's just not going to happen with 3.0.

   However,  the  *good*  news is we've been wanting to fix the  ICD  and
   Mega-STE cache bug for awhile, so we can zap them both at once.

   So, I'll keep after it, and keep you posted. Right now I'm tasked with
   SST  software,  which  is a short and intense  project,  and  the  7.0
   bugfix,  which is,  well (be honest) tedium tracking down a  bug.  SST
   stuff is about whacked;  I know how to make it work,  and it's  simple
   ASM, no snags left in the implementation logic, so I just have to pour
   it into the computer. MegaTalk is flat finished.

   Anywho,  that's the word. Sit back, let OTHER people beta-test, if you
   will,  System  7 for a little while,  and I'll get this  puppy  fixed.
   Seems  like  every system since Finder 1.1g (a favorite of  mine)  has
   required  something new in Spectre ...  and System 0.97 had stuff  too
   weird to believe!

   Thanks  for  being patient.  I wish I could have gotten  a  final  7.0
   before release so it could have worked,  but I'm not in a position  to
   do  that.  A couple Beta 7.0's worked!  So,  it's some addition  since

   Again,  not to worry -- we've done this before.  And I feel a  certain
   precognizance  that  we'll  be  doing it again  with  the  7.x  bugfix


 > PGST RTC! STR InfoFile        Tuesday, June 4th, will be "Font Night"


     This coming Tuesday, June 4th, will be "Font  Night" in  the SoftLogik
 RoundTable. We'll be having our first monthly PageStream Real Time Confer-
 ence and the theme  will be  "Fonts for  Atari and  Amiga PageStream." All
 PageStream users  (and other  interested parties)  are invited to join our
 panel of Font Masters to ask  questions about  the fonts  they create. The
 font makers  will discuss the various disks they offer, what programs they
 use to create their fonts, where they get their inspiration for fonts, and
 much much  more. Learn  what "hinting" is, how to get the most out of your
 PostScript and Non-Postscript printer (as concerns  fonts), and  more!  Of
 course,  when  the  formal  conference  ends  we'll be happy to answer ANY
 PageStream or non PageStream desktop publishing  question, even  if it has
 nothing to do with fonts.

     Each of  the font  creators has donated a high-quality PageStream font
 disk for this event, and we'll  be  randomly  selecting  winners  of these
 disks throughout  the evening.  In addition, one lucky winner will receive
 every Adobe Type 1  font in  the SoftLogik  RT by  US Mail--no downloading
 time or  expense! These  Adobe fonts  can be  printed using PageStream 2.1
 which is currently available for the Commodore Amiga and will be available
 very shortly for the Atari ST.

     Tuesday, June 4th, from 9:45 to 10:45pm Eastern Time.

     The SoftLogik  Real Time  Conference Room  on GEnie.  Type "M385;2" or
 "SOFTLOGIK" (without the quotes) at any GEnie prompt.

     In addition to the team of SoftLogik Sysops, we'll be joined by Safari
 Fonts President  Jay Pierstorff, Cherry Fonts President Todd Johnson, font
 creators Dennis Palumbo, Bernie Lagrave and others..!

                              YOU'RE INVITED
     We hope to see many of you at  the conference.  There will  be lots of
 door prizes  and lots  of excitement. See you on Tuesday, June 4th, during
 Font Night in the SoftLogik RoundTable!


 > MSTE TESTS STR InfoFile           Benchmarks for the Mega STe

                      Mega STe Quick Index Benchmarks

               |  8MHz - no cache  | 16MHz - no cache  |  16MHz - cache  |
 |CPU Memory   |        100        |         100       |       165       |
 |CPU Register |        100        |         100       |       204       |
 |CPU Divide   |        100        |         182       |       204       |
 |CPU Shifts   |        100        |         179       |       208       |

 Results for disk tests were the same regardless of CPU mode of operation.

 Results in Medium Resolution

               |  8MHz - no cache  |  16MHz - no cache |  16MHz - cache  |
               | Blit On  Blit Off | Blit On  Blit Off |Blit On  Blit Off|
 |TOS Text     |   105      98     |   110       104   |   167     117   |
 |TOS String   |   103      99     |   107       103   |   161     121   |
 |TOS Scroll   |   128     100     |   129       100   |   130     130   |
 |GEM Dialogue |   138     105     |   142       110   |   172     166   |

 Results in Low Resolution

               |  8MHz - no cache  |  16MHz - no cache |  16MHz - cache  |
               | Blit On  Blit Off | Blit On  Blit Off |Blit On  Blit Off|
 |TOS Text     |   111      98     |   117       106   |   167     128   |
 |TOS String   |   107      98     |   112       104   |   160     127   |
 |TOS Scroll   |   126      99     |   127        99   |   128     111   |
 |GEM Dialogue |   114      83     |   117        86   |   140     137   |

 Quick Index reported the machine as having TOS 2.5.  The above are results
 compared against TOS 1.4.

 The results  were obtained  by using  Quick Index v2.1 run on a Mega STe 1
 with 2Mb RAM.  The Mega STe 1  was running  ICDBoot v5.2.0,  and XCONTROL.
 ACC. No other AUTO programs or accessories were present.

 Further Benchmarks obtained using "BENCHMARK" a new program by Jim Ness

         Test Mode          M4/8mhz  M4/16mhz  MSTE4/8mhz  MSTE4/16mhz
         """""""""          """""""  """"""""  """"""""""  """""""""""
 MATH TEST (cache)........:  17.79    10.67      17.99        09.54
 MATH TEST (no cache).....:  17.79    10.66      17.98        09.52
 MEMORY FETCH/STORE.......:  16.46    12.05      16.65        11.57
 DISK DRIVE READ/WRITE....:  06.71    04.95      06.69        04.73
 GEM DIALOG DRAW..........:  23.37    10.85      13.07        10.73
 TOS VERSION ID...........:   0104     0104       0205         0205

 All tests ran with ICD Booter 5.2.0 in a fully medium rez booted system.
 In the  tos 1.4  machines, poolfix  and tosfix  were booted.  Overall, the
 MegaSTe is a first rate performer.

 The benchmarks using Jim Ness' program were done  by R.  Mariano the other
 benchmarks were  performed by  a friend  from Canada.   And they were very
 well done.... I might add.  :-)


 > GramSlam STR InfoFile         "The GramSlam Grammar and Style Checker"

                         P R E S S   R E L E A S E
                         Release Date: 1 June 1991

     Phil Comeau Software, of Ontario Canada, announces the release of Ver-
 sion 3.20 of "The GramSlam Grammar and Style Checker" for the Atari family
 of 16- and 32- bit computers. GramSlam is the first  and only  grammar and
 writing style checker for the Atari computer line.  GramSlam helps improve
 the quality of written documents prepared using word processors or desktop
 publishing programs.   GramSlam  checks for  over 1200  common grammar and
 writing style problems, and reports any problems found in easy to underst-
 and terms,  along with  a suggested  correction.  GramSlam can be run as a
 desk  accessory  or  from  the  desktop.  Version  3.20  adds  several new
 features that make GramSlam easier to use.

 1)  Accessory suspending: GramSlam users can suspend the GramSlam desk ac-
     cessory at the point where a grammar or writing-style problem is dete-
     cted, return  to their  word processors  to correct  the problem, then
     reopen GramSlam. GramSlam will resume checking  the document  from the
     point where it was suspended. This new feature makes interactive docu-
     ment checking and correction possible.

 2)  Improved problem  reporting:  GramSlam  now  shows  problem  words and
     phrases in context in bold letters (red on color monitors).  Also, the
     problem word or phrase is shown near the middle of the context.

 3)  Selective problem-report saving: GramSlam users can select which gram-
     mar or  writing-style problem  reports are  printed or  saved to disk.
     Problem reports are saved or printed only if the user decides they are

 4)   TT support:  GramSlam works with the new screen resolutions available
     on Atari's TT computer.

 5)   Other improvements:  Several minor  improvements and  fixes have been
     made,  including:  faster  loading,  more  accurate readability grade,
     fewer "noise" problems, and  improved compatibility  with word proces-

     GramSlam 3.20 will debut at the Pacific Northwest Atarifest in Vancou-
 ver, on June 15-16 1991. The price of GramSlam remains at $39.95 US. Gram-
 Slam can be purchased from Atari dealers or directly from Phil Comeau Sof-
 tware (Atari dealers can purchase GramSlam through their usual distributo-
 rs). Registered users can upgrade to Version 3.20 for $5.00 US. Registered
 users will be contacted by Phil Comeau Software via mail in early  June 1-
 991. For further information, contact:

                           Phil Comeau Software
                               43 Rueter St.
                          Nepean, Ontario Canada
                                  K2J 3Z9
                              (613) 825-6271


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

                         THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM

 On CompuServe

 by Judith Hamner  72257,271

     There were  two interesting  uploads to the forum this week.  Jim Str-
 auss posted a demo version of an outliner that he is developing.  It looks
 like we  may soon  have a choice between two Portfolio specific outliners.
 Jim is requesting comments or suggestions.

 HARDDR.ZIP is a device driver for the Flashdrive  hard disk.   The Flashd-
 rive is connected through the parallel port.

     Our Prolific Portfolio Programmer, B.J. Gleason, is on vacation in the

     Discussion of the use  of external  drives continued  this week. There
 are several  alternatives being  considered.   David Stewart is continuing
 development of a 60 column terminal program.  Forum members are welcome to
 offer suggestions for desired features.



   Issue #011

 by Robert Allbritton

 MacReport***     Will It Ever End?

     Seems  as  though  the  Apple  vs.  Microsoft lawsuit has gone back to
 square one.  Now Apple wants to  claim  that  they  were  strong  armed by
 Microsoft  back  in  1985  into  signing  the  original  windows licensing
 agreement from Apple.   Apple is  claiming that  Microsoft used  "lies and
 threats" claiming that if Apple did not license key features of the Macin-
 tosh to Microsoft, then Microsoft would  stop development  of applications
 that  Apple  needed  to  insure  the  success of the new micro.  Meanwhile
 Microsoft claims that these are  the  efforts  of  a  "desperate" company.
 Never the  less, it seems at this point as though Judge Walker is agreeing
 with the Apple line.   Interesting  how  times  have  changed.    Now that
 Microsoft is  in political hot water with implications of monopoly, no one
 seems to trust them as much as before.   That's  too bad,  because bias is
 wrong, under any circumstance.

 ***     Classic to Get '030 Power

     This is  a rumor, but Apple dealers have been told to expect the SE/30
 (the 68030 version of the now  discontinued Macintosh  SE) to  be in short
 supply starting  in July.   This usually means that Apple is getting ready
 to change production lines.   In  combination with  this are  rumors of an
 '030 version  of the Macintosh Classic. Inside sources report that it will
 be in the same form as the current  Classic and  will sport  a 16Mhz 68030
 with  no  math  co-processor  and  no  expansion slot.  Estimated price is
 $2,000. While the price is better  than the  current SE/30,  the value may
 not be.  The SE/30 comes with a math co-processor, and is capable of color
 display through its expansion slot.  It is also perfect as a  server as it
 is quick, and the expansion slot can be fitted with an Ethernet board that
 delivers performance on par with the top of the line Macintosh IIfx.

 ***     Where is MegaTalk?

     Production delays are being blamed for the late  arrival of  the Mega-
 Talk board.   It is still not shipping as of yet and no firm ship date has
 been set either.  The MegaTalk was originally slated to  arrive in October
 of 1990.   This  was pushed back to January 1991 for the addition of a Mac
 SCSI port, and again  to  April  1991  because  of  FCC  testing.   "Sound


 > JRI UPGRADE STR Review     "...I talked with John Russell himself.."

                       INSTALLING THE JRI RAM+ BOARD

 by Ben Hamilton

 Sysop; Virtual Reality BBS
 Copperas Cove, TX

     SIMM module  memory upgrades  are rapidly  becoming the new "standard"
 for memory upgrades to  computers, and  JRI (John  Russell Innovations) of
 California have brought the SIMM upgrades to the 520ST and 1040ST with the
 introduction of their RAM+ Board.

     Many computer supply companies,  including ABCO  Computers, are recom-
 mending JRI's  upgrade, so  I took advantage of the recommendation and or-
 dered JRI's "Type C" board.  The Type  C is  designed for  many ST models,
 including the 520/1040ST with RAM chips under the keyboard, the 520/1040ST
 with RAM chips under  the power  supply, and  the old-style  520ST without
 internal floppy  drive.   I assume  that they also provide other models of
 the board for each type of ST.  A quick call to JRI (the  number is listed
 at the end of this article) should answer any questions you might have.

     When I  called JRI, I talked with John Russell himself, who knew which
 type of board I needed, and  he recommended  that he  do the installation,
 which costs  an extra  $50.  If you feel uncomfortable opening your ST and
 if you have little or no experience with  a soldering  iron, then  this is
 indeed best left up to a qualified electronics technician.  I used to work
 for an electronics repair shop, and although I  don't have  any "official"
 training, I  felt that I was qualified to do the installation.  I couldn't
 do without my ST, as it runs my  BBS, so  I was  really "forced"  to do it
 myself anyway.

     After a  little thought,  I also  decided not  to try to find a better
 price, but to go ahead and order the SIMMs directly from JRI.  One meg x 8
 SIMMs are  $50 each  from JRI,  which is a quite reasonable price.  I have
 heard that they sell for as  little as  $38, but  I was  worried that they
 would be  somehow incompatible  with the upgrade board.  JRI's docs to the
 board mention that low-profile, 120ns or faster chips are required.

     John suggested that he send the board and modules by  UPS Blue,  and I
 received them  in UPS's  usual timely  fashion.  The board sells for $125,
 and each SIMM (you need two for 2.0  or 2.5  meg and  four for  4 meg) was
 $50.  Shipping and COD was an extra $10 total.

     After I  received the  board, I read the included instructions several
 times to familiarize myself with the procedure.   Of course,  I hadn't had
 my  ST  apart  yet,  so  I  didn't  know  which type of motherboard I had.
 PC-board artwork is included in  the  instructions  for  each  type  of ST

     The installation  procedure is  fairly simple, once you do it and rea-
 lize what you've done!  Everything  is included  in the  installation kit,
 right down  to the  wires, the  solder, and  the cable ties.  Installation
 involves removal of the ST Shifter chip, which is moved into a  new board.
 At this point, a second chip can be installed which allows your ST to sup-
 port a 4,096 color palette.  A floppy  disk is  included in  the kit which
 has several  demos for  the new color support.  I did not elect to get the
 extra chip from JRI (which costs $25) because  this computer  is dedicated
 to my  BBS, and  I have no need for the extra colors there.  But installa-
 tion and support of the chip  is easily  done by  just popping  in the new
 chip to the board socket.

     Next the boards (the one that holds the Shifter and the one that holds
 the SIMMs) must be secured by a supplied heavy gauge stranded wire.   Con-
 venient grounding points are provided on each board.  I felt uncomfortable
 securing the RAM board only with the grounding wires, so I placed  a piece
 of cardboard  (the same  cardboard that earlier supported the boards under
 shrink-wrap during shipping!) between the RAM board and  the ST  main cir-
 cuit board.   I didn't want to take the chance that any of the contacts on
 the underside of the RAM board might touch  any of  the motherboard conta-

     After the  boards are  mounted, a  few wires  must be run from the RAM
 board to the motherboard,  and each  connection is  well-documented in the
 instructions. Some  of the  connections require that various resistors are
 removed, and wires are run from the pads where the  resistors used  to be.
 This is perhaps the most unnerving part of the installation--once you clip
 those resistors, you have the feeling that there's no turning  back.  Ano-
 ther of  the connections  goes directly to the MMU, which I believe is the
 ST's memory management chip. This is also documented, although the instru-
 ctions fail to even casually mention that two of the chips in the ST rese-
 mble each other, the MMU and the other chip, and  since I'm  a novice, I'm
 unfamiliar with  the other  one.   But fortunately,  the instructions also
 include the possible Atari part numbers  of each  chip, so  I was  able to
 determine which one was the MMU by its number.

     After installation  was complete, I put it all back together and fired
 it up. Viola!  About one hour's work,  and I  now have  a 1040ST  with 2.5
 megabytes of  RAM!   And I  can upgrade  to 4 meg with the addition of two
 more SIMMs and a few more changes to  the installation.   Instructions for
 changing to 2.0, 2.5, and 4 meg are included in the documentation.  Upgra-
 ding to 2.0 or 4 meg requires the  disabling of  all of  the internal RAM,
 and these instructions are also included.  The floppy disk contains a mem-
 ory tester TOS program, and the  remainder of  the programs  deal with the
 4,096 color option.

     If you're living with your ST with only 512K or one meg of RAM, I hope
 you decide to upgrade soon, and I give you my  personal recommendation for
 the RAM+ Board from JRI.

                            Ben Hamilton, Sysop
                            Virtual Reality BBS
                             Copperas Cove, TX
                         1200/2400/9600/14.4K bps
                     HST-DS v.32bis/v.32/v.42/v.42bis
                        Fnet #422, Fido-Net 1:395/6

                      JRI (John Russell Innovations)
                              P. O. Box 5277
                            Pittsburg, CA 94565



                      STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH

 Issue #1

 By Lloyd Pulley

 In the past, ST Report has been criticized (sometimes fairly, sometimes
 unfairly) about using information without providing the names of the
 persons who supplied the information.  Most of the time there is a good
 reason for this, usually someone wants the information to get out but
 doesn't want to be known as the one who leaked it.  Almost all publica-
 tions have some "Deep Throat" type of sources.

 The problem with this type of information is that it isn't always veri-
 fiable. Many times people use this as a way to 'test the water', to try
 out a new idea (politicians do this all the time).  Other times, things
 change and the information becomes invalid (but the informant does not
 always inform ST Report).  So there have been times when ST Report was
 "left hanging".

 This column isn't to debate whether this type of information should be,
 or should not be used, that is Ralph Mariano's (the publisher) decision
 to make.  What this column will attempt to do is provide a forum for
 quotes "straight from the horses mouth". Quotes that can be attributed.

 Sometimes these quotes might disagree with something that Ralph says in
 one of his editorials (the same thing happens in 'real' newspapers all
 of the time).  There's nothing I can do about that, I don't attempt to
 edit Ralph and he knows better than to attempt to edit me _grin_.  The
 only thing that I can promise is that the quotes supplied WILL be used
 in context. (I am human, if I do misquote someone, all they have to do
 is let me know and I will give them space in this column to correct my

 Just how this column will finally evolve, I can't tell you.  Maybe it
 will be weekly, maybe monthly or maybe it'll fade into 'nothingness'.
 It could become a forum for people to say what they think, respond to
 Ralph, correct misinformation...who knows (I don't really want it to
 become a 'Letters to the Editor' column although it was a comment about
 that by John Townsend - Atari on-line rep - that gave me the idea for
 the column).

 Since none of the columnists (I believe that Ralph gives us the fancy
 title of "ST Report Editor's" _grin_) make any money for writing these
 columns, it is cost prohibitive to attempt to call everyone to get
 quotes.  And I'm not egotistical enough to fancy myself, or this column,
 important enough to warrant everyone calling me with information to
 include (it would be nice though _grin_), so if you have anything that
 you feel should be included in this column, drop me an e-mail on one of
 the three major networks:

    Genie  - LEPULLEY
    Delphi - MADMODIFIER (an old handle, don't ask _grin_)
    CIS    - Lloyd Pulley, 72637,745

 I just got the idea to write this column late Thursday evening, so I do
 not have a lot of quotes to use to start with.  Let's hope that this
 situation improves with time.

 From Mark White (Supra Corp):
 "Supra's major source of income is from our modems.  We are currently
 selling a 2400, a 2400+ and our new SupraModem 9600.  The SupraModem
 9600 is a v.32/v.42bis modem that can handle speeds up to 38,400 bps.
 It retails for $699, but we have a sysop special where sysops can order
 1-4 modems for their BBSes for only $440 each and over 4 for only $420
 each. It only takes us 1-2 days to verify the BBS and ship the modems."
 [For more information, contact Supra Corp., 1-800-727-8722.]

 From Bob Brodie (Atari User Group co-ordinator) about the 'Panther Pro-
 ject' [as reported in last week's ZNet]:
 "The Panther project has been cancelled. To the best of my knowledge
 there is no other project in the works to replace it."

 From Tom Harker (ICD) concerning unprotecting ICD's hard drive software
 and selling it separately:
 "Twenty dollars is about the most we could charge for the hard drive
 software since that is what Supra charges.  It's possible we might get
 some software sales but not enough."  "At the current time we have no
 plans to unprotect our hard drive software."

 From Mark White (Supra Corp):
 "While the US ST market only accounts for less than 2% of our companies
 gross sales, we are getting ready to move into the European ST market.
 We expect our total ST sales to increase dramatically once we get
 established in Europe."

 From Tom Harker (ICD) concerning a special MegaSTe or TT version of
 their hard drive software:
 "At the current time we have no plans for a special MegaSTe or TT ver-
 sion of our software."

 From Bob Brodie (Atari User Group co-ordinator):
 "The STacy has been cancelled and the ST Notebook will replace it."

 I asked when the ST Notebook could be expected to be released, if it
 was one of Atari's Real Soon Now's (RSN). Bob said, "Oh no, much sooner
 than that, probably within the next 6 months."  "Much sooner is the
 new, improved Atari RSN."


 > HS Pascal STR Review                     THE NEWEST PASCAL FOR THE ST

                             HIGHSPEED PASCAL

 by David B. Chiquelin

     The newest  Pascal for the ST was recently released here in the US and
 it is  HighSpeed Pascal from D-House I Aps.  I received my copy from Gold-
 leaf Publishers,  the US  distributor, a  couple of  days ago.  My initial
 impressions follow.

     HighSpeed Pascal is touted as Turbo  Pascal 4.5  compatible.   That is
 pretty much  true, although everything in Turbo Pascal is not in HighSpeed
 Pascal, (called HSP from now on)  the major  components are.   So  far the
 only things  missing I  have found  are the Peek/Poke type functions (Mem,
 MemW and MemL), but I have  not looked  for everything  yet of  course.  I
 will be  trying the  same Peek and Poke functions that had to be used with
 the early Personal Pascal compilers to see if they work.  I sure hope they
 do, as I need those to convert the FoReM net mailer program.

     HSP's managing  software engineer is Christen Fihl, who before working
 on HSP was on the Turbo Pascal team for six years.   His knowledge  of how
 Turbo does  things seems  to have greatly benefited the ST world.  A quick
 comparison of a program I converted to HSP today from Personal Pascal 2.02
 shows the following:

                                Personal Pascal        HSP
 Time to compile & link             37 secs             8 secs
 Program size                    42068 bytes        36824 bytes
 Run time of program                32 secs            25 secs

     This was  for a  program containing approximately 1900 lines of source
 code in about 54 Kbytes. (Approx, since the sizes differed  slightly after
 making the  changes required  for HSP.)  The program was not optimized for
 HSP, only the changes  that *had*  to be  made to  get it  to compile were
 made.   It is  a program without user input other than input files, so the
 run times are not impacted by user interaction.   Both  compilers were set
 to no  error checking  in order to obtain the smallest program size possi-
 ble.  Even with range, stack and IO checking the  HSP program  was smaller
 than the Personal Pascal version with no error checking.

     Now that  you know HSP is a capable compiler, let me tell you a little
 about the package.  HSP comes  in a  binder so  it will  lay flat  on your
 desk.   The program  (and documentation  it would  appear) were written in
 Denmark and translated into English.  As with most translated texts, it is
 sometimes difficult to read and contains some grammatical errors.  A minor
 error example is the use of "their" and "there" -  the usage  is reversed.
 A nice  feature of the manual is the comprehensive index - a real must for
 a language reference. A note of warning though, don't expect to learn Pas-
 cal from  this manual.  In fact, don't expect to be able to use all of the
 features of the language from this manual!  If it has a  drawback, outside
 of the  translation errors,  it is that it the manual is too small.  Where
 Turbo Pascal comes with four books now that stack up to about  3.5 inches,
 HSP comes  with the  one manual  about an inch thick.  The different units
 that come with the compiler have very little explained.  In fact, the BIOS
 unit, which you use to access the BIOS and XBIOS calls, simply  states the
 functions it contains without specifying the calling format.  ie., it doe-
 sn't show  what parameters  are required or returned by the call, only the
 function name.  So you will definitely need to do some outside research to
 use these calls.

     I just  looked to  see if there was any file documentation on the dif-
 ferent units, and found a utility  unit source  code that  said "you might
 find these  handy", or  something like that.  Indeed I did!  Included is a
 routine to read the ST's 200 hz timer counter.  To do that you  need to do
 a Long  Integer Peek  in other Pascals.  In HSP you can use inline assemb-
 ler.  Yes, just as Turbo Pascal has inline assembly  coding, so  does HSP.
 With the included "peek" assembly coding I can modify it as required to do
 any peeks I need.  That  will come  in handy  and will  probably be faster
 than what  I had  been using  before.  (Actually, that routine code is not
 inline assembler as in Turbo Pascal, where you have to provide the machine
 instruction code  itself -  which is  still allowed  - but *real* assembly
 language code using the full 68000 instruction set.)

     I must say that this is a very nice implementation  of Pascal  for the
 ST.   Make no mistake about it, my impression so far is it is the best one
 available.  I have used Personal Pascal extensively, and have owned Prosp-
 ero Pascal for over a year (but have hardly used it at all due to the slow
 editor).  Prospero is close in the features available, it  might even have
 more, and has better documentation.  Prospero though does not create tigh-
 ter code than Personal Pascal like HSP, and is not as fast  as HSP either.
 The real reason I don't use Prospero though is I just can not stand a com-
 piler that won't let me use Tempus!  Which brings me to  the what  I don't
 like about HSP.

     HSP is  designed primarily  as another integrated development environ-
 ment, where the editor, help features and compiler/linker  are all  in one
 file.  This makes using the compiler easy but restricts the use of outside
 editors.  HSP though, is thoughtful enough to have included a command line
 driven compiler  *and* a HighSpeed Pascal Help desk accessory.  So you can
 still obtain the same context sensitive help even when using your own edi-
 tor.  Nice.

     The built-in editor is capable enough, but is no Tempus.  It is fairly
 fast but does have a few bugs.  The main bug is sometimes when  you try to
 close a  window it refuses to do anything except highlight the top line of
 text in the window.  Strange.  This is a know bug though, and  they advise
 you to  switch windows  and come  back and try it, which has worked for me
 each time it happened.

     Another problem I noticed with the editor is if you hold down the del-
 ete key  to delete  some text,  the deletion is slow and the key buffer is
 active meaning when you release the delete key  things continue  to disap-
 pear!   Don't be  too alarmed  if this happens to you though, pressing the
 Undo key brings back everything that was just deleted.  I don't even reme-
 mber that  feature being  in the  manual, (which  I have not read all of I
 must admit) but I tried it and it worked.

     If you are not used to Tempus you will probably not find  the built-in
 editor bad.   It loads source code fast and doesn't do a bad job of moving
 you around.  So far the only way I have found to  mark a  block to delete,
 move or copy though is through use of the mouse.  I wish it had block sta-
 rt/end key codes.

     Another thing I didn't like about the compiler  is that  they give you
 access to  the BIOS  and XBIOS calls but not the GEMDOS calls that have to
 do with file manipulation.  This means you must use the Pascal file handl-
 ing routines.   It  is not  a big drawback though as they run very fast in
 this implementation.  (The reason I started using GEMDOS file manipulation
 was due  to the  slow speed of Personal Pascal when reading a file or wri-
 ting a file.  Now, I have to rewrite my code to use Pascal conventions).

     Enough of my first impressions, I need to  get to  work converting the
 FoReM Net  mailer program.   In closing I'd like to include some text from
 the Introduction of the manual.

     "The first version of HighSpeed Pascal is available herewith.  We will
 continually improve our HighSpeed Pascal with enhancements and new featur-
 es. So if you ask "Is there a new version of HighSpeed Pascal on it's way-
 ?", the answer will always be "Yes, we are working on it!".

     "To  make  this  work  as  good  as possible we will need your help so
 please report any bug you identify as well  as proposals  for enhancements

   [address of D-House Aps provided but I'm not typing it in... <grin>]

     "For usable  proposals we  promise to  send a gift (Free upgrade, free
 add-ins etc.)"

     The commitment to continued development on  the  ST  is  nice  to see.
 Support these guys.  If you use HSP, *buy* HSP.

                            David B. Chiquelin
                               May 25, 1991

 P.S.   Goldleaf Publishing is having a sale on their new products from now
 until July 15th.  HighSpeed Pascal is $143.95  (regularly $179.95)   Their
 phone number is (415) 461-4552 and the address is:

                         Goldleaf Publishing, Inc.
                     700 Larkspur Landing Circle, #199
                            Larkspur, CA  94939

 Or, order  it through  your local Atari dealer (I did).  They should offer
 the same discounted price until July 15th also.


 > ATARI IS #1! STR Feature    "..he got rid of his Mac for an Atari ST!"

                      DOING WHAT THE OTHERS COULDN'T!

 by Dana Jacobsen

      This seems to be an appropriate time to  try something  different for
 a change.   I'm  really getting  tired of  writing and  reading about what
 Atari is and is not doing  these days.   It's  like an  endless cycle that
 doesn't seem  to want to quit.  The cycle has to end, and begin anew, som-
 ewhere.  When, is anybody's guess.  These last few months have  been noth-
 ing much more than hearing about how people have been abandoning the Atari
 line and  moving  on  to  what  they  consider  to  be  bigger  and better
 platforms.   I view  these moves, for the most part, as downward mobility.
 These people didn't realize  just  how  fortunate  they  were  while using
 their Atari  computers.  Now, with their Macs and PCs, they're finding out
 that everything is _not_ the bed of roses that they were expecting.

      I've been reading with great interest  some of  the recent   stories,
 articles, and  interviews in some of the Atari magazines.  In them I found
 pieces about one Atari user who did just  the opposite  of those mentioned
 above: he got rid of his Mac and stuck with his 520 ST.  You may be saying
 to yourself, so what?  What's so unusual about one person getting rid of a
 Mac to use an ST?  There's usually one exception to every rule.

      Possibly, but I don't think so.  There are more people who have deci-
 ded to stick with the ST than you realize.  The problem  is that  we never
 hear of  these people; we only hear from the chronic complainers.  The bad
 side of everything always seems to travel a lot faster than the  good.  It
 must be  our nature.   Let  me be  one of  the exceptions to that rule, as

      Rick Keene, a "local" boy from suburban Boston, was interviewed by ST
 Informer about  his work  with the  ST.  Current Notes recently carried an
 article by Rick.  What makes this something more than "just another inter-
 view  and  article"  is  that  Rick  discovered  something that the "Atari
 jumpers" wouldn't accept: the ST  did  what  the  Mac  wouldn't,  pure and
 simple.   Rick is, simply put, an artist.  He does his work on the ST.  He
 does animations, cartoons, graphics, and desktop publishing.  He does
 most of it on a souped-up 520 ST.

      Having read the ST Informer interview, I decided  to ask  Rick to at-
 tend a  SSAG meeting  and talk  a little more about his work.  I've always
 been a fan of computer graphics, and the  interview piqued  my interest to
 hear and  see more.   I contacted Rick via GEnie, made the request, and he
 accepted readily.  He was at our April meeting.  I, and all those  who at-
 tended, were  impressed with his talk.  Although he had "stage fright", he
 handled the meeting very well.  He did bring with him many examples of his
 work.  These included some animations, end-result desktop publishing, car-
 toon drawings, game graphics, and other  artwork.   Personally, I  want to
 see and learn more about his work.  With all of the available platforms to
 choose from, he stuck with the ST because it did what he needed it to do -
 the others fell short.  To me, this is an example of intelligent thinking.
 You don't have to buy more expensive and bigger to get the job done.  Big-
 ger and costlier doesn't equate with better, no matter what the marketing
 folks might have you believe otherwise.

      This article  is just  the preface  to what  I hope is to be a series
 that I have started for ST Report and my own  user group  newsletter mess-
 ages focusing  on Rick  and some  of his work.  Samples of his work can be
 found on Delphi in the ST Advantage area.  I recommend that you check them
 out.  Current Notes has also stated that they will be doing some follow-up
 stories of Rick; and that he will be doing another article or two for the
 magazine.  I applaud this idea as Current  Notes has  also solicited other
 people to  write about  people who  do unique  things with their ST.  It's
 about time we started to hear some of the positive  sides to  using the ST
 line of computers!

      My favorite part of Rick's interview in ST Informer and his presenta-
 tion to the group was his cartoon character Willy Weasely.   Willy reminds
 me of  a 'seedy'  character that I equate with the days of the underground
 comics from the early '70s.  Anyone remember  Fritz the  Cat, Mr. Natural,
 The Fabulous  Furry Freak  Brothers, Zippy,  and all  of the rest?  I wish
 that I still had those comic books; I remember them  fondly.   Well, Willy
 Weasely struck me as a current character from that long-gone era.  From
 what I  understand, Rick  does Willy  in black and white, but he wanted to
 see what the characters would look like in color.   Well, he  also decided
 to put some of the frames together in comic book format, as well.  He used
 the program Talespin (which I know nothing about)  and created  his color-
 ized comic  book, including  dialog "balloons"  and a sound effect or two.
 The two we saw were short, but _very_ well done.

      According to Rick, Willy was developed during one  of his experiences
 "in life."   As  we all  have, and ironically, artists portray them, there
 are down times in our lifetimes.  Willy Weasely is  a character  that many
 of us  can (somehow)  relate to  at one  time or  another, and humorously!
 Willy seems to be a great  way to  express himself,  and draw  at the same

      I'm looking  forward to  learning more about Rick and his work.  It's
 refreshing to see work of this caliber and also see  it rewarded.   I hope
 that you will also enjoy hearing more in these next few weeks in STReport.
 I think you'll be hearing much more about Rick Keene  in the  near future.
 For now,  I'll just  let you  think about  it, enjoy the artwork currently
 available for you to view from Delphi, and  get fidgety  with anticipation
 to see and learn more...

                            Until next time...


 > Start A Usergroup STR Feature           Keeping the NEW in the idea!

                    SO YOU WANT TO START A USER GROUP?

 Part III

                           A primer for starting
                            your own user group

 by Tim Holt
 ACCEPT of El Paso

 How to Keep it Fresh!

     Last time,  we looked  at how you go about getting and keeping members
 in your group.   Remember, getting  members is  easy, KEEPING  them is the
 hard part.  Okay, so  you got  a group  of people, some you know, some you
 don't. What do you DO with them?  This time, we will look at  ways to make
 the actual  meeting an interesting and educational opportunity for you and
 your members.

     First of all, you hopefully have chosen a  meeting place  that can ac-
 commodate  a  few  computers.    Ask members to bring their systems (thats
 right the entire system), to the meeting.  I know,  it is  a real  pain in
 the tush  to rip  out your system and bring it to a meeting.  (This is one
 area where Macintosh has us beat.)  However,  the more  computers you have
 at a  meeting, the better it will be for everyone.  Trust me.  Think about
 a meeting of 25 people.  Now, think about those same 25  people all trying
 to look  at your  ONE 13  inch monitor.   Get the idea?  Now imagine those
 same 25 spread out over 7 or 8 monitors and computers.   Believe me, Billy
 Joe  in  the  back  row  is  gonna  get  bored REAL fast trying to see ONE
 computer way at the front.

     Okay, you have a bunch of computers, and they are all humming  away at
 the meeting.   Now what? Well, most members expect a demonstration of some
 kind. What kind of demonstration?  (Remember how  I said  most people plop
 down the  membership fee  and expect a song and dance?  Well, get out your
 tap shoes...  This is where you can  let your  imagination run  wild.  You
 can demo ANYTHING. Games, utilities, accessories, hardware, software, mod-
 ems, you name it, you can demo it.  Chances are, there  is a  game on your
 shelf collecting dust that NO ONE in the group has ever seen before.  (Can
 you say Harmony by Accolade?  Sure, I  knew you  could...)   Make a demon-
 stration of  it!   At ACCEPT, we like to make a meeting have a THEME, like
 "Word Processors".  If you chose to do this, invite several folks to bring
 the word  processor they are most familiar with, set the computers up side
 by side, and demo away!  Here are  a few  examples of  THEMES that  we can
 have had  at our  meetings.   (Feel free  to steal, as we stole these from
 other groups...)

                          Word Processing
     Compare several programs, such as WordPerfect, WordWriter, WordUp, and
 ST Writer  Elite,etc.   Actually, you  could probably  give a demo each on
 each one of these,so that is 5 meetings worth of demos..

     Everyone has a favorite game, or as the Messy-Dos people call them:
 Entertainment Software.  You could even break this  down into  a sub-theme
 such as  Arcade, or  Fantasy, or Role Playing.  Again, several demos going
 at once is better than one at a time, so folks can stroll behind the users
 and get a nice view of what is going on.

                         Desktop Publishing
     Timeworks,  Calamus,  Pagestream  all  could  easily take up an entire
 afternoon or evening's meeting.  However, running  them side  by side, and
 showing the  output of each is a tremendous selling point, and these demos
 are essentially someone trying to convince someone else  that this program
 or that  hard drive  is so  good that  they just cannot live without them.
 Again, if you just have one computer per meeting, you  have three meetings
 worth of demos in just this one theme.

     Compare all  the different  modem programs,  and if the club has a BBS
 you can get the  Sysop  to  demo  how  to  use  the  system  to  it's best
 advantage.   (Don't try  this in a room without a phone jack.  The results
 are pretty sad...)

                       Best of Public Domain
     This is where the club librarian comes to  do his  or her  thing.  Let
 the librarian  show the club a small selection of the finest things in the
 club's library. Here the choices are  unlimited.   Don't think  there is a
 lot of  PD stuff  out there? Before American Express started wanting me to
 actually PAY  them for  using Genie,  I counted  over 17,000  files in the
 Atari ST  area alone.   Who  knows what  it's up  to now...Many  of the PD
 programs can be used with the other themes  as well,  such as  Vanterm for
 the Telecommunications theme.

     How do all those art programs work? Drag out your old copy of NeoChro-
 me, and boot it up against Spectrum, Prism  Paint etc.   See  what happens
 when you load up a nice picture of Christie Brinkley and start drawing a 5
 o'clock shadow on her...  Give her some chest hair,  and make  her bald at
 the same time.  This is always a crowd pleaser.

     Are you  getting the idea yet that the area of demonstrations for club
 meetings is virtually unlimited. Want some more?  Okay, twist my arm...

                        Macintosh Emulation
     Someone in the club has to  have a  Spectre Cartridge  from Gadgets by
 Small.    These  little  beauties  are  the  most fun you can have without
 laughing.  Invite your hardened "Mac friends" to  your Mac  meeting, watch
 their faces  as they  watch seven  or eight Atari ST game machines boot up
 with a Mac logo, and have it say "Welcome to Macintosh".  I almost guaran-
 tee that at least one club member will run out and but a Spectre GCR after
 coming to this meeting.

                          MS DOS emulation
     PC Ditto, Ditto II, PC Speed, they all work well, and all work on your
 ST. Demonstrate how someone that works on the IBM at work can come home at
 night and crank up the old ST.  Have speed  comparisons, have  games.  Any
 of the  themes that  you used for the ST can now be used as sub-themes for
 the Macintosh and IBM emulators.   Actually compare  prices, and  show the
 members what is the best buy.

     Midi music, Accessories, Utilities, all are fair game for demos.  Just
 remember, ANYTHING in a computer store can be demonstrated.  Okay, you now
 have  before  you,  about  a  year's  worth  of  meetings planned.  Pretty
 easy,eh? Well,  it  is  to  a  point.    You  do  not  want  to  get  on a
 teacher/pupil relationship  with your members.  They probably know just as
 much as you do,  they just  don't speak  in public.   This  is a condition
 called "Groupus  Interruptus", and  is common  in all  user groups.  Don't
 expect each meeting to be perfect.  Sometimes, you will have ten people in
 front of you, and  the demos go just as you planned.  At other times, fif-
 ty people will be  watching as  your hard  drive refuses  to boot,  or you
 can't get  the paper into your printer.  Hey, it happens to all of us, and
 it isn't any big deal. If your demo screws up,  it screws  up.   If anyone
 complains(Which they  won't), tell  THEM to  get in front and make a demo.
 This usually shuts them up pretty fast.

     The key to successful demonstrations is finding out who in  your group
 knows what.   Is  that quiet  kid in the back able to destroy every living
 thing in the known and unknown  galaxy?    Well,  he  would  make  a great
 demonstrator of  any new  game.  And usually, people don't mind demonstra-
 ting something they know.  Don't ask Billy, who has never seen  the actual
 keyboard, to  demo a  word processor.   On  the other hand, don't ask Rev.
 Smith the minister to do a demo on converting GIF porno pictures to the ST
 format. KNOW your group.

     And please,  don't limit  yourselves to just ST related shows.  Have a
 demo of  basic computer  repair.   Any computer  user can  relate to that.
 Have a  meeting where  the police come in and give a talk about anti theft
 devices used in the home to prevent theft of computers.   Don't  be afraid
 to ask  non club members in to give demonstrations.  It gets kind of stale
 after a while if just one guy is doing all the talking.  Have you conside-
 red getting a musician to give a talk about midi?  He doesn't have to give
 a talk about ATARI midi.  Just midi.  See how it goes?  You could probably
 think of  all sorts of new and exciting demonstrations that I haven't even

     This time,  we talked  about how  to give  a successful demonstration.
 Next time,  we will  talk about special interest sigs, and common problems
 faced by user groups.


 > Hard Disks STR InfoFile       ***** ABCO PRICE CHANGES! *****

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                    FAX: 904-783-3319  12 PM - 6 AM EDT


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               ADD $35.00 for 4 BAY Super Cabinet w/250w PS
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 > A "Quotable Quotable"

                  "...To Criticize the Competition is....
                     to COMPLIMENT their ORIGINALITY!"

                                                  ...Ziggy Zircon

                  STReport International Online Magazine?
     Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide!
 STReport?           "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE"            May 31, 1991
 16/32bit Magazine        copyright = 1987-91                    No.7.22
 Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of
 the editors,  staff, STReport?  CPU/MAC/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  entire 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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