ST Report: 18-Oct-91 #741From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 10/19/91-07:49:17 PM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 18-Oct-91 #741 Date: Sat Oct 19 19:49:17 1991 *---== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" October 18, 1991 No.7.41 ========================================================================== STReport International Online Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 ~ 6672 R.F. Mariano Publisher - Editor ----------------------------------------- Voice: 904-783-3319 10 AM - 4 PM EST BBS: 904-786-4176 USR/HST DUAL STANDARD FAX: 904-783-3319 12 AM - 6 AM EST ----------------------------------------- STR East: FNET 350 - The Bounty ST BBS <Home of STR> 1-904-786-4176 STR West: FNET 075 - Bloom County BBS 1-415-965-9347 STR Canada: FNET 018 - ///Turbo Board Support 1-416-274-1225 STR Europe: FNET 1031 - <<<INTERNET>>> 011-44-296-395-935 __________________________________________________________________ > 10/18/91: STReport #7.41 The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine! ------------------------- - The Editor's Desk - CPU REPORT - Backdoor Politics? - SL Font Offer! - The DARK Side - Revolving Door BACK! - Banquet Speech - MAIL CALL! - STR Confidential -* SPECIAL W.A.A.C.E. SHOW ISSUE *- -* WAACE.. -> A SUPER SUCCESS! *- -* SIX SUPER WAACE REPORTS!! *- ========================================================================== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE The _Number One_ Online Magazine -* FEATURING *- "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 BBS systems, worldwide, to participate in the Fido/F-Net Mail Network. Or, call Node 350 direct at 904-786-4176, and enjoy the excitement of exchanging information relative to the Atari ST computer arena through an excellent International ST Mail Network. All registered F-NET - Crossnet SysOps are welcome to join the STReport Crossnet Conference. The Crossnet Conference Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is # 350. All systems are welcome and invited to actively participate. Support Atari Computers; Join Today! ========================================================================== AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON: GENIE ~ CIS ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ F-NET ========================================================================== COMPUSERVE WILL PRESENT $15.00 WORTH OF COMPLIMENTARY ONLINE TIME to the Readers of; ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" NEW USERS; SIGN UP TODAY! CALL: 1-800-848-8199 .. Ask for operator 198 You will receive your complimentary time and be online in no time at all! LOCAL ACCESS IN MUNICH AND FRANKFURT CompuServe now supports faster and less expensive local access at 089-66 53 01 70 in Munich and 069-2 09 76 in Frankfurt. The lower com- munication surcharges are $8 per hour from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and $2.50 per hour from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. Central European Time. Datex-P users will benefit from a reduced rate of $10.50 per hour from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. Central European Time if they convert to the new Datex-P Network User Address: R 4569002330. Please upgrade CompuServe Information Manager software to support the new Datex-P log-on. A patch is available in the CIM Support Forum (GO CIMSUP- PORT) for users of Dos CIM (Versions 1.33-1.35). Members using Macintosh and earlier versions can upgrade to the new version of software (GO MCIM- SOFT) to benefit from the less expensive rates and to use new products, such as Travelshopper (CIM). To use the new Frankfurt or Munich nodes, select CompuServe as the net- work in the sessions settings window and enter the appropriate phone num- ber. Members using other communications software may be surprised to see a Host Name prompt. Enter CIS at this prompt to receive the User ID prompt. THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM ON COMPUSERVE HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AN OFFICIAL SUPPORT SITE BY ATARI CORPORATION "GO APORTFOLIO TO ACCESS THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM" *********************************************************************** > SIX EYEWITNESS W.A.A.C.E. SHOW REPORTS!!! STR SHOW NEWS ======================================================= THE PREMIER EAST COAST ATARI FESTIVAL ===================================== Report 1 -------- WAACE ATARI FEST 1991 ===================== by D. D. Martin Lake Placid, Fl. I find myself hard pressed to even know where to begin writing this review of the WAACE show held in Reston, Virginia over the weekend of Oc- tober 12-13. If you really want to know all the vendors and developers that were at the show and what they were showing I suggest you read the full thread on GEnie (CAT 11-Topic 6) where you will find a complete lis- ting of vendors and seminar speakers and a list of activities. This was my first WAACE show. I was impressed by the fantastic job of organization done by J.D. Barnes, Charles Smeton and Tom Stoddard (and I'm sure a host of other volunteers). The Sheraton Reston Hotel was a comfortable setting with excellent facilities. From the eyes of this "typical user" the general atmosphere of this show was enthusiastic. The attendees were really up on Atari. Developers were selling product like hot cakes. The general consensus was that this was their best show for their bottom line. In general, it showed me that Atari users are more than willing to spend their money on top grade hardware and software. Most folks I talked to said they didn't have an Atari dealer in their area and wanted to upgrade and expand their systems and programs. They were willing to travel many miles to see it all in one convenient location and spend big bucks in spite of a statement made at the "Atari Speaks" seminar that Atari users are "...notorious for being cheap". I know at least eight people attending the show were from Florida. WAACE is not just a NATIONAL SHOW, it has become an INTERNATIONAL SHOW. I met users from Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Australia and Canada. The last figures I heard were that six or seven out of every ten attendees were from out of town. When you consider the expense of travel, hotel and meals, those of us who traveled long distances paid higher prices for the goodies we bought than if we could walk into a local dealer and purchase the same products. This indicates to me that Atari users are not "cheap" and that the lack of available dealerships was a major contributing factor for such a frantic feeding frenzy. So, what did I see and how did I spend my hard earned money? CODEHEAD SOFTWARE: ------------------ The Codehead booth was one of the most popular at the show. There was a long waiting line for obtaining upgrades for MultiDesk Deluxe. Copies were sold out before the end of the first day and John Eidsvoog and Char- lie Johnson spent a long night duplicating more copies. It is often said that the CodeHead programs (MultiDesk, CodeKeys, MaxiFile, HotWire etc.) are among the most solid and reliable utilities available on the market. I stood in line for my upgrade ($20) and returned often to the booth to enjoy the congenial chatter. John was busy selling while Charles sat at a TT demonstrating Avant Vecktor on a moniterm monitor. Avant Vecktor is a new entry into the DTP and graphics realms and features the best auto tracing capability available on the ST. PHIL COMEAU SOFTWARE: --------------------- Programmers of Gram-Slam, a grammar checker for the Atari, Phil and his wife had probably the most "dignified" booth at the show. I was disappointed that they didn't have a computer up and running to demo this program, but that didn't prevent me from buying this $35.00 package. CURRENT NOTES: -------------- Joe Waters and family were busy selling CN's public domain disks. Joe reminded me of a jolly Santa in overalls. He really made this country girl feel at home. I purchased two disks of p/d utilities and ordered eight Spectre p/d disks. At $3.00 a disk it was like Christmas. The $30 receipt for ten disks more than saved me the down load time on GEnie. TOAD COMPUTERS: --------------- I hope you all got your Toad Computer catalogs that were mailed the week before the show. David Troy, 19 years of age, received the Current Notes Author Of The Year award at the banquet on Saturday night. This young man is delightful! I had the opportunity to spend some time with him at a cocktail party and was taken by his quick wit and vast knowledge. Keep your eye on this "kid", he's going to go places. His booth was literally crammed with Atari goodies. Hardware and software and all kinds of neat accessories. He has a gift for knowing what the users want and need and searches for the very best productivity tools. We picked up a Golden Image Mouse and Word Perfect from the "Toads". We also purchased an icon editor for the TOS desktop icons that runs as a CPX under the new XCONTROL.ACC. We dropped a cool $220.00 bucks on the "Toad Guys". GRIBNIF: -------- Rick Flashman and Dan Wilga (the coat and tie guys) had five computers demonstrating their five major products STeno, STalker 3, CardFile 3, Neo- Desk 3 and Arabesque Professional. I really liked what I saw in STeno/S- talker and plunked down my money. The STalker-3 manual is very well done and is over 200 pages. The scripting capability of this communications software is awesome, but Rick assured me that if I can make it through the tutorial I will be able master any scripting task. Another $63.00 on the Visa Card. HYPERLINK: ---------- George Geczy and David Thompson have given us the hottest data base program to hit the Atari market! Hyperlink is a DBMAN based object oriented program that is the Atari equivalent to HyperCard on the MAC. There is real power potential here. Their demo of its capability was impressive. They had a stack of cards on Canada. Click on the opening screen and you were presented with an outline map of Canada (the program uses scanned IMG files for artwork). Click on any of the providences in the map and a "linked" text file appears with geographical information about the providence. Key words in the text file were linked to other cards with more specific information. For instance, under the topic of animals the word BIRD brought up a card with an IMG picture of a loon. They plan to add other modules to the program for such things as sound so you can hear the call of the loon. The program retails at $149.00 but the show special price of $100 got my attention. George and David have announced many additions and upgrades to this program and I see it as being a "must" for Atari users in the months to come. There is a demo file on GEnie, but there have been several improvements to the program since the demo went up on the boards. Check it out! G.I.M.E.: --------- A great telecommunications package that features graphics. I purchased a $5.00 demo disk. AIM: (Atari Interface Magazine)-- Bill and Patty Rahyl are delightful folks who publish one of the best Atari magazines in the US. I put up $18.00 for a subscription. The disk of the month subscription runs $50, but since I have access to the p/d stuff on GEnie, I passed this option. Unicorn Publishing supports both 8 bit Atari and the ST/TT machines. ST INFORMER: ------------ Rod McDonald picked up $20.00 for my subscription. Lots of news and rumors in this publication. GADGETS BY SMALL: ----------------- David Small has to be the GRAND PHOOBAH of the Atari world. It's been my experience that most computer "nerds" are not people oriented. Of all the people I have ever met in the Atari community, this man has the most heart and soul of all. To open his first seminar (he gave three of them during the show) he expressed his gratitude to all for their support and encouragement over the years by passing out 100 Spectre 128s! Yes, free Spectres! He only asked that if you received one and already had one, then please "pass it on". David regaled us with stories of Hacker's Con, practical jokes he's played on fellow hackers, potty training techniques, a wild and crazy video demonstration of "burst mode" and so much more. He discovered he could make "thunder" by blowing into the microphone which made a baby in the audience cry. On hearing this, David presented his business card to the parents asking them to return the card with a note saying "You made my baby cry" to receive a free GCR. There is absolutely nothing phony about this man. At the banquet he lead his table in doing the "wave" (ala football stadiums) when kadoos and recognitions were made from the podium. I will long cherish the memory of his "Sweet Adeline" serenade to me. Dave is a true genius with a heart of gold. GENIE: ------ After 6 years of being a GEnie subscriber, I finally got to meet Dar- lah. She is a cracker jack sysop and the GEnie booth was one of the busi- est at the show. Upgrades for Aladdin (a fantastic GEnie navigation tool) were available for $1.00. I was so busy when I got home that I didn't have time to install the new version and this was a blessing. ***VIRUS ALERT*** Yes, the disks were infected with the "KEY VIRUS" (it installs itself into every executable program's boot sector and waits invisibly for instructions to "do it's thing") I don't know what havoc was intended, but my disk was infected. GEnie has tracked the source of the virus to the company that mass duplicated the disks. A fine example of why you should check EVERY disk you purchase for virus. ATARI CORP: ----------- This was probably the biggest disappointment at the WAACE show. Atari was well represented in body but not in spirit. Bob Brodie, Ken Badertscher, John Townsend, John Jainschigg (Atari Explore Magazine) and others luminaries from Atari were present, but Atari did not have a booth. I can certainly understand if the WAACE organizers feel snubbed. I know they appreciated the donation by Atari of a STacy that was given as the grand door prize, but Atari donated a TT for the Glendale show. If Glen- dale is the "premier" west coast show and WAACE is the "premier" east coast show they deserve equal treatment. To add insult to injury, the donated STacy was not even present. It will be shipped to the winner. I know that Bob Brodie, Atari's Director of Communications, has been on the road and deeply concerned about extensive medical tests his wife has been going through, but there were others there from Sunnyvale that could have picked up the slack and brought the STacy for presentation. At the Atari seminar it was explained that the current thrust of the Corporate Marketing Plan was toward high end users with the feeling that there will be a "trickle down" effect generating more products and service for the general usership. There was also discussion of the talks with General Electric (GE) to provide the service and warranty aspect for Atari. This left me with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Atari seems to be distancing themselves from the user base that has sup- ported their product through thick and thin. Here's a scary thought. Do I want my washing machine repairman servicing my computer? The EXPENSE list reads like the NATIONAL DEBT! Plane ticket $218.00 Hotel $177.00 Meals and miscellaneous $150.00 Purchases $512.00 -------------- Grand Total $1057.00 Who says Atari users are "CHEAP"? There was so much more to this show. There are many developers who attended that I didn't mention. (Dave Small will be glad I didn't mention the food fight). WAACE was fun! WAACE made a big dent in my pocketbook! WAACE was informative! WAACE was everything I expected and more. Will I go again? You bet! Dee Dee Martin GEnie: D.D.MARTIN Report 2 WAACE ATARIFEST '91 =================== by Scott Lapham Special CIS Reporter Well, here's another article about an Atari computer show. It seems like there is one almost every weekend these days. I'll be the last per- son, though, to complain about "too many" Atari shows. The more the mer- rier. I just wish more of them were closer to the east coast so I could attend instead of just reading about them. But if you are only going to be near enough to one, it might as well be the WAACE AtariFest here in Virginia because it's always been a good one. And this year is no excep- tion. As there was so much to see (and buy), I didn't do much "reporting" until my wallet was devoid of cash and I had "charged" as much as my wife had allocated that I could. This didn't leave much time for me to "report", get home to write this, then make it back to the Sheraton in time for the banquet. So this part will deal mostly in who was there, what they had to sell and a little about some of the seminars. Atari Interface Magazine ------------------------ They had a booth which sold their magazine and represented Branch Al- ways Software and QuickST. Bill and Patti were BUSY ALL the Time! CodeHead Software ----------------- Charles and John were (as usual) very busy at their booth. John was taking care of a very long line of people that had disk(s) in hand for upgrading to the latest version. Charles was sitting at a TT showing everyone how powerful Avant Vector was. And boy, was it powerful. If you haven't downloaded the demo, do it. You've got to see it to believe it. The only show special I remember was Avant Vector for $445.00. I was so impressed with this program that I forgot to write anything else down. This thing is awesome. Charles Johnson was running through things with the program so fast, doing spectacular work, you could hardly keep up. He didn't expect to sell too many, given its price, so only brought six copies along. Well, all six sold. And who knows how many more might have sold if he had had them! A demo is available and shouldn't be missed. Charles also said they sold 100 copies of MultiDesk Deluxe (although I don't know how many of those were upgrades). Overall, he said it might turn out to be the best show they've ever done! Phil Comeau Software -------------------- Phil had both GramSlam and Grammar Expert ready to go at his booth plus a few others. Tree Saver, a program that prints text files on both sides of paper and puts two pages on one side in two columns, also looked interesting. Show specials included Grammar Expert for $55.00 and GramSlam for $35.00. The big seller was GramSlam. Phil reported a good show, about the same as Glendale. He was very happy about it and will be back next year. Current Notes, Inc. ------------------- Joe was there with his excellent magazine. He was selling new subscriptions, renewing subscriptions, selling back issues and lots of PD disks. Joe Waters' show special included extra copies of his Current Notes magazine with subscriptions; 1 extra issue for 1 year and 2 extra issues with 2 years (I renewed mine there and got the extra issue). He reported selling a lot of subscriptions but not too many of his PD disks. Joe said it was generally slower than last year. D.A. Brumleve ------------- Dorthy had all of her outstanding kid's programs to sell. Her two computers always had a smiling child trying out one of them. Dorothy's show special was $10.00 off any purchase of 2 or more of her titles. She had Kid Publisher Professional at $35.00, Kid Painter at $35.00, Super Kidgrid at $25.00 and Telegram at $25.00. For her it was a great show with sales as good as last year. And by next year, she hopes to have a new program available for kids a little older. Can't wait to see it as my kids are always getting older too. Debonair Software ----------------- As what seems to be the normal arrangement, Debonair was right next door to Dorothy (a coincidence or because they both begin with the letter "b"?). J. Andrzej Wrotniak had El Cal running on a Stacy and Star Base on an ST. Both top notch programs. Double Click Software --------------------- The DC guys had DC Data Diet for sale and it looked like they were going fast. They were also updating software at the show. DC's show spe- cial was the premiere of Data Diet, their newest program. Its cost was $59.95 and almost sold out (of 70 copies brought). Data Diet compresses your files on your disk and uncompresses them when you run them, automatically. It's almost like doubling the size of your drive for sixty bucks. I know my brother will be buying it soon (30MB hard drive, 3 bytes unused). Of course they also had their other popular programs DC Utilities, Desktop, Shower and CPXtensions all at good prices. They reported this as being the best show of the year for them. I managed to squeeze DC Utilities into my fest- budget and look forward to using it. eSTeem Inc. ----------- They were selling their PILOT software language program. FAST Technology --------------- They had their excellent line of Super High Powered Accelerators. Including the new T-20s and the 68030. Their show specials included the Turbo 20 (20Mhz) for $300.00, the Turbo 20 (25Mhz) for $350.00, Turbo 030 with cache only for $999.00 and the Turbo 030 with 4MB of RAM for $1499.00. Jim said sales were good (about the same as last year) and that the 20Mhz Turbo 20 was his best seller. Gadgets By Small ---------------- Dave had the SST 68030 board up and running demos and lots of interested people looking on. I didn't get to talk with him today but hope to tomorrow. The board sure looked fast! Dave Small wasn't selling anything at the show but was taking advance or- ders for his SST. He took enough advance orders (and usually fully loaded versions!!) to sell through to the third production run of the board!! And the first production run hasn't shipped yet!!! Better get those or- ders in fast if you want one of these! Gribnif Software ---------------- All the Gribnif stuff was there plus some. NeoDesk, CardFile, STalker 3 and STeno were being sold and advance orders were being taken for Arabesque, their new graphics program. I didn't catch their show specials but they said they did real good in their 4th year at WAACE. STalker 3 almost sold out. Their new graphics program, Arabesque, generated a good number of advance orders. They were also taking programs to upgrade but will be sending them to their customers by mail after the show. They report WAACE was as good as the Glendale show. ICD --- They had all their hard drives, tape backup units, AdSpeed and AdSpeed STe for sale. Business looked brisk. ICD reported a very good show. AD Speed sold well. This was the first show they sold AD Speed STe and it sold very well. We'll be sure to see them again next year. ISD Marketing, Inc. ------------------- There were plenty of copies of Calamus, Outline Art and DynaCADD here. All the latest versions, too. ISD had some great show specials but asked that I not write about them as they were "too low to mention"! Believe me, they were low. I ended up buying Outline Art for only (garble...line hit) dollars!! This was the first show that they were actually selling the products (they usually just demo the programs) and did quite well. Hope to see them back next year. JMG Software International, Inc. -------------------------------- HyperLink was the main draw at this booth. Joppa Computer Products ----------------------- These guys had tons of stuff to sell. I think they brought their en- tire store with them. Good prices, too. Believe it or not, Joppa sold twenty (20) Atari STe's at this show (16 on Saturday and 4 on Sunday)! They also reported selling lots of software and lots of MiGraph hand scan- ners (at $225.00!). A sort of auction was held the last two hours on Sun- day at this booth to see how much they could sell at the last minute. Guess he didn't want to carry much home with him (to the benefit of all that remained this late). L&Y Electronics --------------- Suzy didn't have as much space as she usually does, but did pack a lot of products in what she did have. L&Y is my "local" Atari dealer, so it's always good to see them here. Suzy and John reported that business was not too bad. About the same as last year, although this years Saturday was not as good as last year and this years Sunday was better, so it equa- led out. MacDonald Associates -------------------- The publishers of ST Informer, Universal Item Selector and the new Universal NETWork were there. They had a long line of people at the booth, too. MacDonald Associates, The makers of ST Informer reported an excellent show. Better than last year. They sold out of Universal NET- work (which was awesome to see work between the two MEGA STe's they had connected together). Lots of UIS-III upgrades were sold and many ST In- former subscriptions. Megatype Software ----------------- If you needed fonts or graphics, this was one booth you shouldn't miss. Not only did they have their own FontDesigner, FontDesigner+, FontVerter and MegaType Fonts, but they were also representing MS Designs Fonts, Safari Fonts, Dennis Palombo (spelling?) Fonts and Electronic Spinster Graphics! All quality stuff. These guys had too many products to list them all. They said they did OK and the show was successful. Font Designer sold out and FontVerter was a big seller, too. There seemed to be more desktop publishing types at this show than at Glendale so had better sales. Michtron, Inc. -------------- Michtron was selling their entire line of computer products for Atari. Micro Creations --------------- They had their G.I.M.E. (Graphics Interface Modem Environment) program. I'll go in more detail tomorrow but basically it's a powerful terminal program with some unique features. One being a text editor that provides features traditionally seen only in word processors and another a graphics editor that adds pictures to any ASCII bbs message. They reported making a lot of contacts but not selling as much as they wanted (making the show not profitable yet). But since their product, G.I.M.E., is not well known yet, they hope to do better soon. I think they will. G.I.M.E. is a powerful terminal program. Some of the features include X, Y and Z modem protocols, C-like script language, full GEM environment, quick keys, unique dialer, scrolling type-ahead buffer, full- featured text editor, graphics editor (to create pictures for within ASCII bbs mes- sages), multiple buffers, 40 function keys, capture buffer stores VT52 colors and disk utilities provided. The show price was $35.00 (normally $49.95). Take a look at this one if you use terminal programs. It might make you switch. Musicode software ----------------- They had Blackjack+3 for sale and were having a blackjack contest every few hours with prizes. Rimik Enterprises ----------------- MultiGEM was the star of this booth. Show specials included DTPaint at $39.95, Menu Plus at an incredible $14.95, Multi-GEM at $79.95, Multi- -GEM+ at $99.95 and Multi-GEM Utilities at $24.95. Rimik reported doing really well at this show. Multi-GEM sold out early Sunday morning. They will be back for sure next year. SLICCTOP -------- These guys had a booth but it was empty the whole time I was there. Step Ahead Software, Inc. ------------------------- Nevin was busy selling Tracker/ST 3.0 and demoing ReTouch Professional and Didot Professional. And if that didn't keep him busy enough, he was also handling WordFlair II as a favor. And this version had FSM GDOS included!! Nevin Shalit's show special had Tracker ST/3 selling for $49.95. He reported lots of sales and upgrades. Better than last year. He was also selling Word Flair II with FSM GDOS included but didn't report any sales figures on it. I also saw him giving PageStream pointers on his demo machine a couple of times I passed his booth. Sudden Inc. ----------- What can I say about Sudden View. It would take a whole separate ar- ticle. If you edit a lot of text files or are a programmer, you need this program. I'll go into more detail tomorrow but will say this; you won't believe this program until you see it. Download the demo. Rod Coleman had one product; Sudden View. But what a product. I told Joe Waters (Current Notes) to go see it because he wouldn't believe it unless he did. He went, he saw, he bought. It is simply an amazing program. You would think a text editor couldn't be very exciting. This one is. It has things like "Instant Access" (allows you to be at any point in any size file instantly), "Dynamic Scrolling" (allows you to directly position the text anywhere in the window simply by dragging the mouse with the left button down...the text moves as your hand moves!!), "Implied Editing Ac- tion" (no insert or replace mode...its editing action is implied by cursor position...if the cursor is over a space immediately to the left of any text, it inserts, otherwise it replaces), just to name a few. A demo version was available for $9.95 or the full program could be had for $59.95. I got a "press package" demo version but am pretty sure I'll be upgrading to the full program soon! See this one if you can. Demo is available on-line, too. Rod said that sales were very good, even better than Glendale, and hopes to be back next year. Toad Computers -------------- Another "sort of local" dealer with lots to sell. "Author of the Year" Dave Troy had lots of products at good prices. Too many specials to mention here. Business was pretty good, as expected. He reported that two days at the WAACE AtariFest equals about three weeks of business back at the store. No wonder he doesn't mind closing the place for the weekend! WizWorks! --------- Chet and Dr. Bob were busy as usual at their booth. Besides ImageCat, MugShot, MVG and all its modules, they had lots of good clip art disks. I particularly liked the "car art" and "aircraft art" disks (bought both). A steal at 20 bucks for both (close to 1000 clips). Show special included Mug Shot for $35.00, Image CAT 2.0 for $35.00 and MVG 2.0 for $40.00. They were also giving special deals for MVG modules, Mug Shot data disks and puzzle disks and had lots of clip art disks for a very good price. Chet Walters said that sales were brisk with Mug Shot selling very well and MVG almost selling out. He believes it was a better show for him than last year. WuzTECH/OMNIMON Peripherals, OPI -------------------------------- This booth generated a lot of interest. Besides the nice multisync monitors, there was a 1.44 meg floppy drive (internal). Hmmmm. Sure would cut down on the amount of disks I use to back up my 105 meg hard drive!! Show specials included their Rainbow monitor at $499.95. It was a good enough price to sell all the units they had. They say the show was very good and will be back next year. They said there were less people at this show than Glendale but more spenders here. They also took a lot of advance orders for their 1.44MB floppy drive. I'm looking seriously at that one myself. Zubair Interfaces, Inc. ----------------------- They had all their great add-ons to increase your memory (like the one inside my 4 meg 1040ST). Their show specials included the STe/ST/MEGA Z-Keys for $69.95, Z-Keys with keyboard for $119.95, STe Z-SIMMS 1MB SIMM for $51.95, Z-Ram 2.5 for $69.95, Z-Ram 2.5 with 2MB RAM for $169.95, Z-Ram 3-D/4 Meg for $89.95, $189.95 and $279.95 (empty, 2MB RAM and 4MB RAM), and the ST/STe Time Clock Calendar for $44.95. They said it was a good show and that they met a lot of new people. And in the first quarter of '92 we may be seeing a 32MB TT upgrade from Zubair! Watch for it. At 12:00 Atari Corporation held their "Tech Talk" seminar with "Ken" and "John" from the Software Engineering division. These are the guys that know TOS inside and out. They announced that the latest TOS versions were just released about a week ago: TOS 3.06 and 2.06 for the TT and STe respectively. These are completely "patch free" versions. And also have support for 1.44 meg floppies built-in. Lots of other little improvements, too. TOS 2.06 should be available as an upgrade for ANY ST, STe or Mega in the near future, although the normal ST would require a small board to plug in the new (larger) chips. A multi-tasking TOS was also said to ex- ist. The biggest problem with it, though, is its speed; it's real slow. And it only runs on a TT (or 68030 upgraded ST). UNIX (System 5 version/release 4) is shipping to developers now and will use x-windows. Although over $2,000.00 for the package, it is quite competitive with other platforms (and includes a 200+ meg hard drive). FSM GDOS is ready but only available with WordFlair II for now. Stand alone package to be available soon. Also good news for laser users. Atari is working on a SCSI laser printer. And it will still use the memory in your computer. HP and Epson emulation is being worked on for it, too. It was admitted that two new computers will be coming out of Atari soon, but not a word about them would be uttered (lest they lose their heads!). Something to look forward to, though. At 1:00, Dave Small had a "seminar". He basically talked about numerous things for an hour and had everyone in the room riveted. It was funny, serious and informative. Hope to hear him speak again soon. Oh yeah, at the beginning on his hour, he opened a box that he had his wife fed ex to him FULL of Spectre 128's and GAVE THEM ALL AWAY TO THE CROWD!! No, ROM's were not installed, but hey, free is free! He ended his hour thanking everyone for supporting him for the last 6 years and received a long (and partially standing) ovation. Well deserved. Had a real good time at the banquet. Even was lucky enough to have been sitting at the table of the new "Author of the Year", Dave Troy of Toad Computers. As this was not previously announced, Dave was quite surprised to hear that he had won. I found out later that Dave was going to go out and eat fast food for dinner instead of going to the banquet! But his parents (also there) were told he was going to be the recipient and asked to make sure he makes it to the banquet so he could receive his award. I also found out that Dave has been involved in Toad Computers for five years and is only 19 years old now!! Talk about starting young. It was also announced at the banquet that Saturday's attendance was approximately 1200. Not quite as much as last year but the fewer people seemed to be spending more. Later in this article I'll tell what each of the vendors I talked to said about sales. Guest speaker Nathan Potechin (President of ISD Marketing, Inc.) gave a humorous speech comparing people at Atari Corp and the Atari field in general, to characters from "The Lord of the Rings". It was to be given with the help of visual aids but his artist had injured herself and was unable to come through. He said the project may still be completed and made available to the public at a later date. Keep an eye out for it. There was an unscheduled seminar (announced over the hotel speaker system) at about 10:15 Sunday morning with Ken Badertscher and John Townsend coming back as they thought Saturday's hour didn't answer all the questions. Nothing new to report from this one. They talked more about the two new TOS' (3.06 and 2.06) and FSM GDOS mostly. Both look like they are going to be "must haves" when they are available. Bob Brodie did add one interesting comment about FSM GDOS. Seems when he first used it he loaded it with 155 fonts! He found out this was a bad idea after he went to lunch, came back and the computer was still loading!! There is a lesson here somewhere. The scheduled 11:00 a.m. seminar was on 68000 accelerators and was given by Dave Small of Gadgets by Small and Jim Allen of FAST Technology. In case you think this might have been a bad situation, Dave made it clear at the start of his talk that although he and Jim are competitors, they do not hate each other. He admitted they both had a different philosophy about how to build a 68030 board, but that that was OK and gave us, the customers, a choice instead of being tied to one product. He said that if you decide not to buy his board, you should then buy Jim's because it too, is a very good board. I don't think you can lose with either product. Jim Allen talked about his product at the beginning of the seminar and started with his 68000 boards for use in 520, 1040, MEGA ST and 1040STe computers; the Turbo 16, Turbo 20 (20Mhz) and Turbo 20 (25Mhz). Good, fast products for people not looking to go to the 68030 for even more blazing speed. He even mentioned that a 32Mhz version was being tested! Not bad for a chip that is only "rated" at 16Mhz! The Turbo 030, special- ly designed for MEGA ST computers, was the biggie though, with a 68030 processor running at 40Mhz! You can really zip along with this one and it comes in two versions; with cache only for $1199.00 or with 4MB of RAM for $1999.00. This may sound like a lot of money, but you'll be even faster than a TT with this upgrade. A discount is available for owners of other FAST Technology accelerator products. Options include a 68882 math co-processor (running at up to 60Mhz) and virtual memory software, for up to 128 Meg!! Dave Small talked after Jim about Gadgets SST 68030 board. It too, is very, very fast. And available in more than one version. Dave sells a bare bones board for $600.00 and lets you add the components as you can afford them, including the processor chip and up to 8 megs of memory. The upgrades can be added as: A) a 16Mhz 68030 for $200.00, B) a 16Mhz 68030 and 4 1Meg SIMMs (80ns) for $460.00, C) a 33Mhz 68030, 68882, and 4 1Meg SIMMs (80ns) for $800.00 and D) 4 additional 1Meg SIMMs (80ns) for B or C for $260.00. Daves advises that either A, B or C is required for the bare bones board to operate. A head-to-head speed test has not yet been con- ducted between Dave and Jim's boards, but for now, let's just say they are both faster than you could believe without actually seeing them in action. At the end of the accelerator seminar, Dave proposed, and Jim agreed, to provide more information to the user base on their products specifical- ly and accelerators in general, so they would have a better informed public. Look on-line and maybe in some magazine in the near future for this info. Also, in what might have been a first, Leonard Tramiel received an ovation when Dave mentioned that Leonard, against heavy protest from others at Atari, licenced TOS 2.05 to Gadgets and FAST Tech for use on their boards. No, it didn't snow inside the room, too. There was so much going on at this show that I'm afraid I missed a lot. I didn't get into many of the specialty rooms to see what was going on there (productivity and desktop publishing, games, midi, swap room, emulations, education). I missed all the users group displays (NOVATARI, WACO, MOCC, AURA, ASTMUM). And I didn't even get to talk to all of the vendors. But it was still a fun show to attend and I hope I provided some useful information to some people who weren't able to come. And I apologize in advance to anyone if I didn't include some information you would have liked to see appear in this article. After all, I'm not a professional writer (this is only the second time I've written an article for anything) and will miss things until I get more of the hang of this kind of work. But again, it was fun and I hope I get a chance to do it again next year. And hope the show is even bigger and better (and my wal- let fatter)! Cheers. Report 3 REFLECTIONS -- WAACE/FALL'91 ============================ by Harry Steele Boston, Ma. WAACE AtariFest '91 was billed as "The Premier East Coast AtariFest" At the last minute, I changed my mind about going to my 3rd WAACE show and boy, am I glad I did attend. I'll tell you right now, it was a BlockBuster, WAACE '91 was GREAT! WAACE '91 was a First Class AtariFest Over 2,000 Atari enthusiasts attended and had a wonderful time. Most everybody was on a buying spree, like kids in a candy store, for the latest software and peripherals. Vendors were very busy doing upgrades for their latest software releases and demoing new products to sell. Many of the vendors told me that this was the best WAACE show that they have ever attended. Support from the Atari community was just great. I must tell you that it was a joy to meet and to talk to all of the vendors. A lot of them I have met before at the other two WAACE shows that I have attended and also the New England AtariFest '90 in which I helped to or- ganize last year in Boston. I only managed to attend a few of the seminars. From what I heard, most of the seminars were well attended. Bob Brodie, Director of Communications for the Atari Corp, was his usual self in talking about Atari. ALL Atari products now have FCC Class B (home use) certification. No more "Real Soon Now" excuses. Bob was available to those who wanted to talk to him to answer any and all ques- tions concerning Atari Corp. The only disappointment was that Atari did not show any new products. Dave Small of Gadgets by Small at his seminar did something that I thought was a stroke of marketing genius. Dave gave away for Free: Spectre 128 cartridges to be passed out to his seminar attendees as a Thank You for the support given to him over the years. We were instructed by Dave to buy the Apple ROMs, borrow and copy, with his permission, the needed software and manuals from a friend. The 'genius' part, I believe, is that after people get to like using Spectre 128 for a while, that they will want to upgrade and go out and buy Dave's Spectre GCR cartridge. Having just bought my own Spectre GCR cartridge last month, I gave my Spectre 128 cartridge to my friend Dana Jacobson. Dana Jacobson, STReport Editor, gave a short talk on his opinion of Atari's future. Dana's real concern was that Atari is putting a lot of effort into the high end Desk Top Publishing and MIDI market and not too much effort into the home and educational market. Joe Mirando, STReport correspondent, gave reasons to the *No More* RSN (Real Soon Now) badges that were handed out to the seminar attendees just prior to Ralph Mariano's seminar. As luck would have it, Bob Brodie was one of the last to see and receive a *No More* RSN badge. Some of the ex- tra badges were given to Bob Brodie to take back to Sunnyvale with him to give to friends back home as a reminder of *No More* RSN ! Ralph Mariano, Publisher/Editor of STReport International OnLine Magazine also talked about how he saw the future for Atari. As in the past, he relied on the question period of the seminar to present his various views. WAACE AtariFest Banquet, guest speaker: Nathan Potechin, President of ISD Marketing gave his rendition of "Atari in the Middle Earth", a light-hearted look at the world of Atari computing, which brought many a laugh from the contented diners. An election was held prior to the banquet and Nevin Shalit was elected to be the new President of the International Association of Atari Developers (IAAD). CONGRATULATIONS NEVMAN!! Report 4 WAACE AtariFest '91 =================== by Dana P. Jacobson Boston, Ma. I attended my first WAACE show, last year. Actually, it was my first AtariFest of any kind. It was an exciting experience. It was there that I knew, really knew what it was like to be a member of the Atari community. This year's show was even more of an educational experience. Not only was I there as an avid Atari user, but I was part of the experience as a representative of STReport. I was treated to another side of the WAACE show that the "average" attendee didn't witness. This made the show doubly enjoyable. After an 11-hour drive down from Boston (and a rainstorm and wrong turn later), we arrived at the Sheraton Reston early Friday evening. We dumped our luggage in our room and met Ralph and John "J.D." Barnes for dinner. We relaxed with talks about the show, Atari, and whatever else came up to relax. We then met a few other folks and joined the festivities of the Vendor party. It was here that everyone could relax after setting up for the show and meet the other show participants. It was an interesting time. I met quite a few new people and was reacquainted with many others. It was here that I also met a number of people who have been supporting ST Report, but only knew as "names" on the online services. It was here that I got to meet D.D. "Swampy" Martin and received my "battle gear" and "first-aid kit" of bandaids!! Thanks, D.D.!! Glad we had no need and I have a souvenir! Surprisingly, we didn't leave this party until after 'last call'; and would you believe that a bunch of us hit the lounge for a nightcap or three??!! Finally, we were fortunate to get a couple of hours sleep before the show started! My wake-up call came all too quickly, but I did manage to crawl out of bed and grab a bite for breakfast. We made ourselves available to catch the registration desk early to see all of the people lining up to get into the show. People were lined up almost an hour before the show started, and the line was growing. I had all of my disks that needed upgrading, so I figured to get in early and get that taken care of so I could roam around and meet and talk with as many people as possible. Knowing the CodeHead booth was going to get busy quickly, I planted myself in that line first. I walked in at 10:05 and the line was already 6-7 deep!! While I was waiting, I bided my time by alternately "threatening" John Eidsvoog with a few infamous Delphi "pastry missiles" and watching Charles Johnson demonstrating Avant Vector. What an incredible program! I only wish that I had the need to justify buying it. It is an expensive, but versatile piece of software. Talking with John later Saturday, he told me that they brought 5 copies to sell. They ex- pected to sell maybe 1 or two, but had sold 7 (and eventually a few more) and had to make up some more disks! It goes to show you that Atari users _are_ willing to purchase expensive software if it has a valuable use! I managed to get my upgrade to MultiDesk Deluxe and a few minor upgrades to a few various other CodeHead products, so I had a successful upgrade day. I resumed my trail of upgrades... Dorothy Brumleve was busy showing a young user her various kidprgs software. That young girl had a grin from ear to ear!! Debonair Software was next door to Dorothy with Andrzej Wrotniak showcasing El Cal and Star Base. You may also recognize Andrzej's name as a regular columnist for Current Notes magazine. It was next door that I had to visit next! Here were the wild guys from WizWorks: Chet Walters, Dr. Bob, and Dave Rudie. These guys were demoing/selling IMG Cat, MugShot, MVG, and various incredible clip art and other add-ons. They were also selling MugShot mugs filled with goodies (they were also trying to pass out 5-year old "Ho-Ho's"!). Darnit, I for- got to get another mug to add to my collection. Hey Chet, have any left? Send me a couple in the mail and I'll treat your son to a fish dinner at his choice of pizza joint!! Roaming along....Next was Zubair showing their various upgrade boards and other products. I next saw the folks of Gribnif Software. Rick Flashman and Tricia Metcalf (and friends) were busy showing off the new STalker/STeno upgrade, along with another new addition to their catalog - Arabesque Professional. STalker is their newly-acquired complete telecom- munications software while STeno is terrific text editor. Arabesque is a vector drawing program that is very powerful, and affordable. They were also showing NeoDesk and CardFile. MacDonald Associates was next, with ST Informer and U.I.S. My subscription to ST Informer was recently renewed, but I needed to upgrade my U.I.S. A few lines later, and a brief power outage near their booth, I finally managed to get the upgrade and an I.O.U.!! It seemed that everyone was running out of change very early (but I got it later!). Jim Allen was busy showing off Turbo20, Turbo030, and "Tiny" Turbo. If you need speed, Fast Technology is the place to go!! Some of the demos that Jim was showing reflected incredible increases in speed!! It's al- most time to break into my piggybank! Next to Jim was ISD Marketing, home of the Calamus family of DTP products. Nathan Potechin (for once and all, it's pronounced Po-tetch'-in!) and company was showing off some incredible output, and had some beautiful color samples. Dave Troy and others were manning the Toad Computers tables, packed with all kinds of stuff. Even with my affection for Toads, I had to restrain myself from getting too close as I probably would have been caught drooling over all of the various hardware being sold! L & Y Electronics and Joppa Computer Products took the rest of the front wall alongside Toad. All three were having a good weekend with sales. Joe Waters and various staff from Current Notes were busy selling/renewing subscriptions and PD software. Joe was also selling ear- ly copies of the magazine, and I regret not having picked up a few of the early issues. It would have been enjoyable to see the early days of Cur- rent Notes, although I've been an avid reader/subscriber since 1988. On Sunday, I "forced" Nevin Shalit, of Step Ahead Software, to give me a tutorial of Tracker/ST. I had always been interested in Tracker/ST, but had never really seriously looked at it. With a new version available _and_ a great show price, I wanted to see it, finally. Nevin took the time to go through just about every feature, and I was sold - I grabbed a copy! Next to Nevin was Sudden Inc. I had never heard of them before, but the program they were demoing caught my eye. The program was called Sudden View, a text editor unlike any other that I have seen before. It was incredible, and I got a thorough tour of it. It was like a paint program that used text instead of colors. Cut and paste was no longer a chore with this program; and the features were extensive. I was impressed and bought a copy. Unfortunately, the full-working version wasn't available so I had to bring home the beta version only and wait a few days for the full program. It will be worth the wait. I finally managed to get close to the Unicorn Publications booth and meet Bill and Patti Rayl of Atari Interface Magazine. I had read AIM in their early days, but had never subscribed. I finally decided to do so at the show. Next to them was Omnimon Peripherals Inc. (formerly WuzTek). I already own their Rainbow multisync monitor, but I had to meet Paul Wu, finally. OPI was showing a few incredible demos on the Rainbow, so I con- vinced Paul to copy a few of them for me so I can show 'em off at home. Paul also showed me the prototype of the OmniChrome board, allowing more colors for any model ST, impressive. OPI was also selling 1.44 meg floppy drives, and they were affordable! ICD was there with their full complement of hardware and software. Chuck Leazott was doing his best to get me to buy everything in sight, but I could only be persuaded to upgrade Clean-Up and the ICD hard drive utilities. He didn't have the tape drive software upgrade, but I did manage to get a couple of tapes. He was so busy running around, but I noticed that he took my advice late Saturday and he decided to put sneakers on for Sunday. It looked a little odd with his suit, but he was finally smiling knowing his feet were comfortable!! Gadget's Dave Small was at the back of the hall showing off his latest hardware. As usual, he was his typical zany self. Those demos were really flying!! I know that I missed naming a lot of the other vendors and developers that were in attendance, no slight intended I assure you. There was just so much going on in the vendor area that I could go on forever! I'm sure other reports will include those that I didn't include here. Out in the hall were the WAACE user group tables showing off various demos and selling PD software. It was nice to see these folks in a more visible area this year. Darlah Pine, of GEnie, was busy showing off various areas of the ST RoundTable, while using ST Aladdin. Also in the hall was John Jainschigg of Atari Explorer magazine, Atari's in-house publication. I used to read AE before "The Editorial" came out and the magazine floundered for a bit. I hadn't picked up a copy since. But, after talking with John over a couple of drinks in the lounge, I decided to grab a couple of sample issues and subscribe. We talked for a bit, and I discovered that John wasn't the person I had expected him to be. I had expected an older person who was all business. I had expected a real hard-liner who was completely opposite of his predecessors, but John turned out to be a serious but enjoyable person. I enjoyed talking with him and will continue to correspond with him in the future. I will also look forward to reading Atari Explorer again. Perhaps I'll even submit an article or two!! Probably the busiest spot to be outside of the showroom was the Swap Room. That room was so busy the entire weekend that they were eventually keeping people _out_ because it was so crowded. Many people were selling used software and hardware; and I kept hearing and seeing that sales were going very well. Most of the items available were 8-bit, but there was also a lot of ST stuff, at great prices. The Education Room was filled by a group of young students. It was really heartening to see these kids enjoying the Atari machines. The Games Room was filled, as usual, with everyone getting a feel of the Lynx. I never found out if the Turbo Sub contest was held; I couldn't get anywhere near the machines!! The other rooms were equally as busy. The seminars were something that I really enjoyed last year. Regret- tably, I knew that I wasn't going to have much time this year to see as many. I did get a chance to listen to Bob Brodie, Director of Communica- tions at Atari. I always try to hear him speak whenever I can. Bob related Atari's progress this past year and he included a few humorous anecdotes. He briefly described the new AEGEIS dealer network and how it operated. He mentioned a few things about their niche market plans and how well it went with such shows as CEBIT, showcasing high-end DTP and amazing everybody. I left as the question-answer session began. I was surprised when Ralph asked me to be part of the ST Report semi- nar. He wanted to do something different this year; and he wanted the readers to be able to meet other ST Report editors. It was different, and I was "honored" to be a part of a WAACE seminar. Before the ST Report seminar began, we passed out a hard-copy "mini-issue" of ST Report, along with an ST Report button and a "No More RSN Atari" button. Ironically, Bob Brodie was one of the last to get the buttons, and he had a very curious look on his face trying to figure out what we were passing out. He did manage to get a few extras to take back to Sunnyvale <G>. My short speech related to my impressions of the future of the Atari market, and where _I_ thought it should aim. The crux of my comments was that I feel, and Nathan Potechin will still disagree with me <g> about this) that Atari should not stress the niche markets such as MIDI and DTP and give the impression that they're abandoning the general user. Nathan will argue with me saying that Atari needs to stress Atari's strong points, but I still feel that the Atari line of computers best selling point is its strength as an all-purpose computer. Stress some of its finer uses, but don't ignore the general use. Once I was finished with my role in the seminar, Ralph introduced Joe Mirando, one of our writers, who explained the "background" to his "No RSN" buttons. Since all of the new machines are all Class-B, there's no reason for Atari to have to use the phrase "Real Soon Now" when asked about availability. We hope that the phrase will never be uttered again. Joe was also responsible for the "guest" editorial in the hard-copy ver- sion of STR, an enjoyable insight to read. Ralph then related some of his feelings, unusually positive, and predicted a solid future for Atari if they played their cards right. He then followed up with what he considers the best part of any seminar, the question and answer period. I was later involved with another seminar, which was a "Meet the Press" event. Along with Ralph and myself, Joe Waters of Current Notes, John Jainschigg of Atari Explorer, and Bill & Patti Rayl of Atari Inter- face were on the panel. Each of us gave a little background of the magazine we each put out; and then answered some interesting questions. I believe that this was the first time at any Atari show where a seminar of this type has been held. It was an interesting concept which I hope catches on for future shows. This year's banquet was my first, and I wasn't disappointed. The meal was good. Joe Waters spoke, and awarded Current Notes' Author of the Year to Dave Troy, of Toad Computers. Dave, as Joe described, wrote many interesting articles and deserved a lot of credit. Congratulations, Dave!! Nathan Potechin was the Fest's guest speaker this year. Nathan based his speech around an unique analogy to J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hob- bitt" and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. He substituted many of Tolkien's characters with people from the Atari community. It was an in- teresting speech, but I'm dying to know who he characterized Gollum as!! If you want to read the speech, it's available on the onlines and worth the read. As an aside, I was glad to learn that I wasn't the only nervous speaker at the show - thanks, Nathan! Nathan also announced that the IAAD held an election for a new president of the IAAD. Unanimously, Nevin Shalit was elected. Congratulations, Nevin!! Overall, everyone had a great time at this year's show. The atten- dance figures, for those who cared, were high. This show will go down in the annals of AtariFests as one of the best. I was proud to be a participant in more ways than one. See you all next year... Report 5 WAACE ATARIFEST '91 REPORT! =========================== by S. Plotch New York City, N.Y. This year, I had the pleasure, honor, good fortune etc. to attend my first ever Atari show; the WAACE Atarifest! Boy was it great! Vendors, dealers, developers and Atari geeks from all over were in attendance sel- ling, trading and demonstrating. Let me get to the details! This year's Fest was held for the second straight year at the Sheraton Reston Hotel, appropriately set in Reston, VA. The place was PACKED! I had to convince my father for us to go, but he didn't think there would be many people, after all, how many people use Ataris? WRONG! When we got there, the line was so long that it actually led all the way outside! Not to worry though, the registration is quick and easy and once you get through it you are swarmed with a world of Atari. Every time I saw some- body carrying a piece of software, I glanced over to see what system it was for. I was not used to being surrounded by 2,000+ Atari freaks! The setting was the lobby, and the Fest took up every room they had. One was for smoking, another for concessions and one for headquarters but the actual display rooms were: a seminar room, a games room, a Portfolio and Emulations room, a productivity room, a MIDI room, an education room, a swap room and a room for all the dealers/developers/discount houses un- der the sun! I'll start with the hottest news, that coming from the seminar room. Rick Flashman from Gribnif software (makers of Neodesk, Cardfile 3 etc.) demonstrating the great stuff they have. The lecture was geared towards a beginner audience, as he was explaining exactly what Neodesk does, what's a desktop etc. Unfortunately, that didn't appear to be the way to go; the audience was at MOST 15-20 people. At most. It's a shame, it was actual- ly interesting. I'll say more when I get to the vendor room, because there you could actually "play" with the software. Dave Small (maker of the revolutionary Spectre series) was HILARIOUS! While he didn't really get around to hardware and software that much (other than the fact that Gadgets got Mac CDs to work on the CDAR504 days before it's discontinuation), he did crack up the entire audience on numerous occasions, talking about everything from why he married his wife to using Minoxidil. He described how on his 386 when he wants to copy files he has to type "Copy, File, D:\ C:\" etc. while on his Atari, he just has to point, click and drag. "That is, if it doesn't crash!" His appearance with his shirt being half tucked in and half out and his hair up on one side really helped his comedy. He also said he had discovered things with the 68000/68030 that Motorola didn't even know. I don't think anyone was surprised, the man is brilliant and everybody loves him. He was loved even more though by the end of the seminar, as he brought out a whole box of Spectre 128 cartridges and GAVE them out to the crowd. We're talking about 150-200 Macs given away FREE! (Well not exactly, the ROMs weren't included but it was still great.) Dave said to the Atari Corp. people in attendance that "this is what Atari should do." Well done Mr. Small, well done. The best part of the day was when the Atari people showed up. I didn't really like Bob Brodie, he seemed to avoid questions and not give enough detail, but I guess if he did he probably wouldn't be back next year with an Atari Corporation badge on him! (Mr. Brodie, if you read this, I was the kid wearing the Yankee cap in the back.) One interesting note that he did point out was that yes, Atari has finally FIRED THEIR FCC TESTING LAB! That got a big standing o from the whole crowd. His excuse for not doing this earlier was that the FCC had always mentioned the previous lab as the one to use, but whenever they told Atari "yes, we've tested it. Give it to the FCC it'll pass Class B with no problem" the FCC not only didn't pass it, but they also put the lab out of business and made Atari lose some excruciating amount of money. Doesn't make sense when the FCC recommended that lab does it? Oh well, it may just be an excuse. The point of the matter is that Atari's new head of testing's name is "Sparky" so all should be in good hands. This guy got the TT motherboard and in two weeks (or two days?) rearranged it and it passed Class B. Looks like the days of "available soon" are behind us. (Footnote: Are you tired of getting junk mail? Looks like in case our beloved company goes out of business you're gonna keep getting it. Mr. Brodie explained that Atari computers are responsible for maintaining the computers that produce the junk mail for TWO AND A HALF MILLION PEOPLE!) The highlight of the Atari people though was not Bob Brodie; it was two other people who work in software development for Atari, who helped on TOS. Many things were hinted towards both before and after the lecture. I'll start with the new hardware coming up: ST Book or Maxi (they changed the name to STBook, I don't have to explain why)-Portable, notebook, power computer said to retail for about $1200. The final touches are being placed on it, but we should see it within the next couple of months, per- haps even November! It will have 1 or 4 megs of RAM, a mouse pad and a hard drive port. At first I was excited, but when I found out that it is only 8 Mhz, no socket for external mouse, no internal floppy, no backlighting and no sound, I was a little skeptical. My advice is wait until they make an STe Book, as this one seems to fall short in too many categories, even though at the Dusseldorf show people loved it. The size and weight are great, but it just doesn't have enough specifications wise. STylus or ST Pad-Small and sleek! This portable doesn't have a keyboard. "What then?" you ask. It has a LIGHT PEN which you write on A PAD. Magnavox is coming out with one of those for retail: $4,995. STylus: $1800. Not only that, but STylus (they changed the name from ST pad) will understand CURSIVE handwriting. IBM has announced that such technology is about 4 or 5 years down the road. STylus has a release date of about March or April '92, but don't hold your breath, this is Atari time, not real time. Still, this machine sounds like a winner. TT/040-Could it be? A 68040 TT? That doesn't seem to have a release date in '92, (HHmmph! If Apple is doing it next month, why can't Atari??) however there were some hints towards it. Don't worry if you have a TT already though, it will still be fully supported even if/when the 68040 comes out. If any of you read in the September (?) issue of Current Notes that the TT will be "shelved before it reaches the shelves" it is not to be concerned about; in the words of the two Atari guys (I forgot their names unfortunately) "the TT will be supported for a very long time." New ST- What you say? A new ST? Details about this are scarce, but they did say after the seminar that a new ST with better graphics and sound may be in the works. Jaguar is my personal favorite, this is the one that is gonna take the video game market by storm! If Atari can market this product right (look! Pigs are flying outside my window!) you can kiss Nintendo, Sega, NEC, (Turbo Grafx) and SNK goodbye. Have you heard of the Panther? That was the 16 or 32 bit system that Atari was going to market for '91, and a 64 BIT JAGUAR was scheduled for release a couple years down the road. The Panther turned out to be too hard to make and the Jaguar easier than expected (figure that one out) so they scratched the Panther idea. When someone mentioned Jaguar at the seminar the speakers wondered why the conversation had suddenly switched to British cars. Of course, they were kidding, but they said they couldn't give any information. AtariUser said that Jaguar would be run on multiple 68000 chips and retail for about $200!!! That's a great price and it's slated for release in mid '92. Although none of these extraordinary items were actually viewable, the speakers said they had kicked, shoved and begged for ST Books but were unable to receive them. For the first time, Atari wasn't at WAACE in full swing because, according to Bob Brodie they had "priorities with Comdex" which took place the same weekend as opposed to the usual third week in November schedule. Just as well I guess, these guys did fine. Other things that they noted is that MULTITASKING TOS IS CURRENTLY IN ATARI'S LABORATORY! Unfortunately, this won't be available from Atari for a long time because it is slow and buggy and could cause the system to crash frequently. In Sam Tramiel's words "that would be a bad thing." Just buy Multigem or some other third party multitasking software. What there is however is TOS 3.06 and 2.06 that fix various bugs. 3.06 is for the TT and it has an Atari logo at bootup, so you would no if you have it, as well as other minor improvements. Current TT owners CAN upgrade. The 2.0.x series is for ALL ST/Mega/STe/Mega STe series. It'll plug right in to the Mega or Mega STe, but for the ST/STe cases you have to buy a separate hardware card to plug it into. Fortunately, it is available. Yet another good thing coming are 1.44M drives built into TTs. It's about time, but all the class B TTs will have them. They should be available any day now, as the TTs passed class B about 3 weeks ago. Don't despair current TTers, if you open up your TT, you will see that the floppy chip is SOCKETED, not soldered, so all you have to do is take out the chip and put in the new one. Simple enough. For STers who want one or for TT people who want a second, a 1.44 drive from PowerDrive has been available for about a year. The last thing said was that Tom Hudson, maker of Degas and Degas Elite and frantic Atari user made special effects for Terminator 2 and other things. Interesting huh? Well enough about the seminars. Moving right along brought me to the swap room. This place was great! Bargains everywhere, hardware, software, magazines everything! One guy was giving out free back issues of Current Notes! Everything from 400s to Mega STes were being sold, all at discount prices. For used Atari related items, this was the place. Next came the education room. Maybe I missed something. There were just a bunch of kids playing with programs that looked primitive and boring. I was confused by this place. Just an empty room with parents and kids and a couple of computers. After this was the emulations room. Again, maybe I missed something. I saw a Portfolio on one side of the room (with a Stacy) and some strange program that was surrounded by a million people on the other. Nowhere did I see Spectres or Superchargers. Strange. The next place was the MIDI room. WOW is all I can say. Even though I don't know the first thing about MIDI except when I hook up my Casio to play Sierra games, I do know that the ST has long been considered the ideal music machine with it's built in ports. NEVER was I expecting anything like this. I walked by the MIDI room and stopped. I turned back. "What the heck is that?" I thought. Did they bring Guns N Roses to an Atari convention? I walked in, and to my astonishment I saw 4 STs playing music with better sound quality than CDs!! The music was unbelievable and it brought a big crowd. What made it even more spectacular was that it was a PD sequencer from Current Notes playing tremendous music! Imagine what TCB Tracker could do....You truly had to hear to believe. Then came the biggest disappointment; the games room. In Milwaukee back in August, they had a computer/video game show, to which Atari donated 60 (!) computers and many more Lynxes. Being an avid gamer I was anxious to get to this room. To my dismay, I found just 2 STs, one STf and a couple of 8 bits running PITIFUL primitive games with horrible graphics and sound. Come on Atari! If there is ONE thing that Atari can win in the market it is games, after all, what is Atari known for? What word is Atari synonymous with? What do your friends think of when you say the word Atari? GAMES! (Actually, Atari means "check" as in chess in Japanese) They should have had STes with stereo speakers playing games from the Space Ace/Dragons Lair series or something else that has such a caliber of graphics and sound, not 800XLs playing Miner 2049er. It probably would have resulted in more purchase since I saw Ace being sold for $10 in the swap room. The only good part about this room was that it had 4 Lynxes, with 2 playing the latest games and the other 2 playing Tur- bo Sub. Everybody had one shot to play, and whoever had the high score at the end of the day won a Lynx 2, Chips Challenge and Blue Lightning. The last room before the vending room was Productivity and Desktop Publishing. It didn't look too snazzy so I didn't go it. They were giving a few talks though, probably about Calamus S/L and the like. Then came the vending room, full of dealers, developers and vendors from all over the place. The three metro Washington discount places; Jop- pa, Toad and L & Y were there in full swing, with Toad bringing their EN- TIRE inventory. Joppa had a great deal. A 520 STe with one Meg, PD software and your choice of either 3 free games or word processing or DTP software for only $349! These were flying like hotcakes. Unfortunately, nothing else was offered at special 'Fest prices for anything, but I guess that's okay because these places are dirt cheap anyway. It probably would have boosted sales because all three booths were swarmed by people at all time. There wasn't good security on it though, I saw a couple people in- dulging in the "five fingered discount". The developers were trying to compete too, dropping their prices by about $10 on each item off retail, but the dealers did better; Joppa sold out of STalker 3.0 in about 2 hours. My hats off to all the magazine com- panies there except Atari Interface; every mag was giving away free trial issues except AIM who did nothing but chop the price off by 95c (big deal) off the cover price. There were also many TTs there, I played with the Toad TT for about 1 hour, just the desktop! These things fly! All programs load in less than a second, except Pagestream 2.1 which took a "whole" 3-4 seconds. (Perish the thought) One developer had a TT hooked up to the $1000 19" TTM195 mono monitor. The thing is huge, sharp, and great. ICD and Gadgets were demonstrating their 68030 boards which ain't that shabby either. Did you know you can get a 25 Mhz board for $360? It's worth looking into if you don't have the money or need for a TT. Below is my holiday wish list of the best things to buy that I saw at the show: 25 Mhz board-$360 can't go wrong! GramSlam-Phil Comeau software were showing their GramSlam grammar checker. If you do extensive word processing, BUY THIS! STalker 3.0-New from Gribnif software. The ULTIMATE in telecommunications for the ST/TT. It runs in the background, supports VT52, VT100, PC ANSI, has XYZmodem built in, the works. An alternative to this if you don't need VT100 emulation is the G.I.M.E. terminal. Neodesk-Also from Gribnif. I don't see how any human being can live without it. The ultimate accessory for the Atari ST/TT, the replacement desktop. Behind the vending room was an area for various local user groups and GEnie. They had some nice MIDI demos but basically they were looking for users and selling PD disks. There was but one thing I didn't understand about the show. BlackJack 3 Plus was selling for $49.95. $49.95 for a game of Blackjack? If anyone can explain this to me, I'd be much obliged. Regrettably, due to emergency family medical situations, I was forced to rush back home to New York and I didn't stay for day two. S. Plotch; a 13 year old Atari enthusiast. Report 6 WAACE '91 - An Overview ======================= by Joe Mirando Bridgeport, Cn. On October 12th and 13th the Washington Area Atari Computer Enthusiasts (WAACE) put on their annual users group show. The show was held at the Sheraton-Reston Convention Center in Reston Virginia. The Sheraton made rooms available to show goers at a special group rate that made it hard to pass up. And since I've never passed up a good price on anything to do with computers, I made a point of going to the show again this year. By all accounts WAACE '91 was a resounding success: Dealers and developers did a brisk business, users got to see and buy every type of software and hardware imaginable, and everybody went home happy. By most accounts, attendance was down just a bit from last year although it was still a large and active crowd. As an interesting side-- note, some vendors that I talked to said that, although the crowd may have been a bit smaller this year, show- goers participated in a veritable buying frenzy that surpassed previous years. Many of the developers I spoke with had sold out of key products well before the end of the show. Codehead Software, for example, left the show with no leftovers in their MultiDesk Deluxe or Avant Vector baskets. Douglas Mackall of Michtron told me after the show that although they also go to IBM and Amiga shows, the Atari shows are the ones they look forward to the most. "The people are just so much nicer" said Mackall. The Swap Room, set aside for users who wished to sell or trade software and hardware, was full to overflowing. This does not mean, however, that sales in this area were sluggish. The merchandise in the Swap Room was bought up at a healthy rate and was, just as quickly, replaced by other merchandise. While in the Swap Room, I happened to see a woman going from table to table until she found an Atari 800. She seemed happy with her find and gladly paid the seller. As she turned to leave, someone looked at the 800 in her arms and asked "What will you do with an 800 ?" The woman just smiled and countered with her own question: "What can't I do with it?" She went on to say that she already owned an 800, but since Atari has discontinued the 8 bit line she wanted to have a backup machine in case her original machine broke down. The Atari community never ceases to amaze me. The look on the woman's face screamed one thing loud and clear: 'I LOVE my machine!' The Seminar room was in use throughout both days. Seminars ranged from talks on Desktop Publishing to Macintosh emulation and were generally well attended. Although I usually avoid seminars, I did find the question and answer session in the "Meet the Press" seminar not only informative, but entertaining. Perhaps the highlight of the show for me was getting to meet John Townsend and Ken Badertscher of Atari. This was one of my major goals last year but every time I went to the Atari table and asked for them I was told "Oh, Ken is still up in the suite showing the new machines to developers" or "Hmm, John just went over to see..." At this point, I'd like to make it clear that I'm not implying that either of them were "hiding" or "goofing off". They really were, by all reports, running their heads off. This year I got lucky right off the bat. As I walked into the main vendor area, I spied John and Ken talking to a user. I waited until they were finished (Far be it for me to be rude) and then introduced myself. I have spoken with both of them over online services through E-mail or in open chat-line type online discussions and had seen a digitized picture of them, but had never met them face to face. Even though user group shows must be getting tiresome to them they were very pleasant and more than willing to talk. More importantly, they were wil- ling to listen. My only embarrassing moment came as I walked up to them and glanced at their name tags. For some reason, I had gotten the names and faces confused and it took a moment to recover from the uncertainty. I found both of them to be personable and of good humor and I look forward to seeing them again. Also at the show on behalf of Atari was Bob Brodie, Atari's director of communications. I have met Bob on several occasions and am always pleased to see him at any users group show. With representatives like these, the fact that Atari did not bring computers to the show in no way diminished their presence or the success of the show. As I've said before, and will, no doubt, will say again, above and beyond the fact that Atari computers are the best machines for the money, the thing that makes the Atari market so special is the user base. Atari users are not usually content to just take whatever the manufacturer gives them. We have learned to take our machines above and beyond their original specifications. I agree with Doug Mackall of Michtron about the Atari users. They are a great group of people. Atari users tend to stick together and to help one another. I hope that this function of Atari life continues well into the future. I met several people at WAACE that I've talked to online and several more that have attained near-mythic stature in the Atari community. People such as Jim Allen of Fastech, Dan Wilga of Gribnif, Mike Vederman of Double Click, and Charles F. Johnson and John Eidsvoog of Codehead, the crew from Atari, and all of the people like me as well, made my visit to the Washington area something to remember. A show the size of WAACE can only be successful if it is a team effort. Judging by the results, WAACE and their volunteers are one hell of a team. Thank you, WAACE for a great experience. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" 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 off the standard membership price!), you will receive a lifetime subscrip- tion to DELPHI, a copy of the 500-page DELPHI: THE OFFICIAL GUIDE and over $14 worth of free time. NOTE: Special offers can be found in your favorite Atari magazines: START CURRENT NOTES ST INFORMER ATARI INTERFACE MAGAZINE SIGNING UP WITH DELPHI ====================== Using a personal computer and modem, members worldwide access DELPHI services via a local phone call JOIN -- DELPHI -------------- 1. Dial 617-576-0862 with any terminal or PC and modem (at 2400 bps, dial 576-2981). 2. At the Username prompt, type JOINDELPHI. 3. At the Password prompt enter STREPORT. For more information call: DELPHI Member Services at 1-800-544-4005 or at 617-491-3393 from within Massachusetts or from outside the U.S. DELPHI is a service of General Videotex Corporation of Cambridge, Mass. SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT -------------------- The 20/20 Advantage Plan IS FANTASTIC! And it features 20 hours online for just $20 a month! The $20 is a monthly fee that covers your first 20 hours online via direct dial into one of DELPHI's two direct-access lines, or via a special Tymnet 20/20 Access code. It also gets you additional hours at just $1.20 per hour. And you get free access to several services on DELPHI as part of the Advantage Perks. Other telecom services may have additional charges. Canadian Tymnet users have an additional telecom charge. Office Time access (7 a.m. to 7 p.m., weekdays) may have an additional charge. And of course, other restric- tions may apply. But this is still an amazing deal! IMPORTANT NOTICE! ================= As a reader of STReport International Online Magazine, you are entitled to take advantage of a special DELPHI membership offer. DELPHI has waived the sign-up fee! For a limited time, you can join the World's Premier Online Service for FREE! Members can access DELPHI worldwide through hundreds of local access lines. For more information please contact: DELPHI at 1-800-544-4005 and ask for Member Services. DELPHI- It's getting better all the time! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > The Flip Side STR Feature "... from a different viewpoint" ========================= A Little of This, A Little of That ================================== by Michael Lee Further comments by Drew Kerr (Captain Midnight's Game Room) about Railroad Tycoon - Cat. 9, Topic 10, Msg. 6 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... Forget it, folks...If you are over 2 megs and you own this game, it is completely UNUSABLE!! Even avoiding the Return and Mouse until after copy protection does not do anything! Do not purchase this game until you hear that the bugs are fixed. If you do own the game and you have more than 2 megs, return it immediately and address a note e-mail to MICROPROSE here on GEnie, saying you are very interest in this game and will purchase it again when it works properly. EVEN if you planned on buying it, send a note to MICROPROSE saying you are interested in Railroad Tycoon when it is properly fixed. They must know that Atari ST users purchase their games, but they must be usable! I have already posted a notice in the Games RT and Quentin of Microprose is giving a copy of it the the VP of product development in the US and faxing to Microprose UK. As soon as I hear from him, I will post his reply. He may post it himself. A serious blow for Atari game lovers. ---------------- Some comments about The ULTIMATE RIPPER from G.RICHARD5 (R.GUYS) - Cat. 4, Topic 41, Msg. 9 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... Having owned the Ultimate Ripper for approx. 3 weeks now I can also attest to it being the Ultimate Rippoff!. I went so far as to FAX a message to the parent company pointing out that it did not do anything that it was advertised to do. The doc file is anything but complete, and is a very poor trans- lation, it addresses items that are not even part of the software, and leads you through totally fictitious examples of ST programing, Totally BOGUS!. I received a FAX reply all the way from France, apparently my FAX message was explicit enough to get their attention. The program manager in France stated "while there are shortcomings to the doc file due to translation to english from it's original state, the cartridge will perform as advertised. He also stated that his company had hired someone english to document taking the cartridge to it's full potential. I had also mentioned my distrust in the statement that it would be supported through software upgrades (there was no registration card or anything else in the box). He stated that there was no need for regist. card as POWER COMPUTING would keep track of all sales and addresses. I then called POWER COMPUTING and inquired as to what record they kept on a Ultimate Ripper sale, they had no idea what I was talking about, nor did they have a record. I could go on and on, but in my opinion, this is not a product I would even recommend to people I don't like!. P.S> I have read a DISK DIRECTORY sucessfully, but at what a price! ---------------- What will a SST (Gadget's '30 accelerator) really cost you? Well, it all depends. Mark Booth (Gadgets by Small) sets the record straight - Cat. 4, Topic 44, Msg. 34 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... In my many telephone conversations with Gadgets products owners, as well at shows such as Glendale, I've had more than one person comment that they would love to purchase the SST but just can't swing the $1400 it would cost. Now, granted...if you buy a SST with a 33mhz 68030/68882 and 4 megs of 80ns fastram DIRECTLY from Gadgets then the retail price *is* $1400. Problem is, you don't have to go that route! You can buy the board alone (complete with everything EXCEPT CPU, Math Chip and SIMMs) for $599. You can then add options as you see fit at MUCH lower prices! That is the nice thing about SST...you can expand WHAT you want WHEN you want. I contacted the folks at HI TECH (805-966-5454 ask for GENE) and got the following prices on 030 and 882 parts: 20mhz 68030...........$75 33mhz 68030...........$175 20mhz 68882...........$55 33mhz 68882...........$140 50mhz 68030...........$225 50mhz 68882...........$154 Currently, THE CHIP MERCHANT (619-268-4774) is selling 80ns 1meg SIMMs for $34 each. Using these sources one could put together the following killer combos: 20mhz SST with 68030 and 4 meg fastram: $810 20mhz SST, 68030, 68882, 4 meg fastram: $865 33mhz SST with 68030 and 4 meg fastram: $910 33mhz SST, 68030, 68882, 4 meg fastram: $1040 As you can see, buying and installing the parts yourself can save you big bucks! If you want, you start off with just the SST board and a 20mhz 68030 and 4 meg fastram. You can upgrade to a 33mhz 030 at a later date. As for the math chip....unless you use DynaCADD or want the speed advantage of the math chip in Mac mode...don't bother. If you don't use DynaCADD or Spectre...the math chip is just sitting there doing nothing. ---------------- Some interesting comments by George Richardson (Merlin Group) - Cat. 4, Topic 44, Msg. 39 & 44 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... Plugging a 68030 into a system designed for a 68000 is not a simple matter. Throw in the peculiarities of the ST system and it gets even worse. We've spent quite a bit of time & money perfecting the interface. When compared to the price of an SST, you'll find it's just not worth it. At the least you'll need: PC board design & prototype capability PLD programming capability A *thorough* knowledge of both 68000 & 68030 bus functionality Documentation on the chips in the STe or failing that, a good logic analyzer so you can watch how they fail. Since we don't even have documentation on the chips in the ST series, you'd better have that logic analyzer. After you get done, you'll have duplicated a large part of our work, and spent a large amount of time & money. It was interesting even though I'm not sure I would have done it if I'd have known what I was going to end up going through. Unfortunately, no-one will be able to give you details on this, since most companies consider details of the interface to be proprietary. ...Also, for the moment Spectre will only run from ST ram. If you need to run Spectre with the 68030 you will either have to wait for a new version of Spectre, or get more ST memory. If you're planning on putting an SST into a 520, you will have to put into a larger case anyway. You'll then have room for a memory expansion if you want it. ---------------- Question by John Brubaker - Cat. 4, Topic 44, Msg. 42 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... Stace - In your opinion, how much normal ST ram is it necessary to have if you have 4 meg. of fast ram? The reason I ask is that I just picked up a 2nd ST (520 STFM) just for the purpose of sometime adding a 68030 board. Since it only has 520K in it, I'm wondering if I will also need an ST memory expansion in addition to the fast ram on the 68030 board? After using the SST for a while, how often do you need to run in regular ram? Answer by Mark Booth (Gadgets by Small)... Mostly it is paint type programs (CyberPaint..etc.) that must be run from ST ram. That and games. Otherwise, the vast majority of programs run fine from fastram. So, to answer your question...I don't know. It depends on which programs you use. If you have games or paint programs that require more than 512K then you will need a memory upgrade. ---------------- A little bit of "horse-sense" from Matt Chandler - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... Thought I'd relay a bit of "horse-sense" for people having troubles with their hard-disks. I had trouble with my hard-disk for a -very long time-. Sense code errors, errors nobody even heard of, sudden refusal to write captured data and (mainly) bad cold boots. Just a general unreliablity for a couple of years. Not enough to bring it in for repair, although I had been close to ripping the drive out by it's roots and bashing through the window! Very frustrating. After many accesories were replaced, the drive still was malfunc- tioning every so often, and still no solution. After -2 years-, it finally struck me that it might be electrical interference! I'd read (quite a few times) that floppy drives could sometimes malfunction because of electrical interference from monitors. And I'd read that some people were using aluminum foil to protect componants from interference. I don't know the exact term of the interference, but it seemed to make sense that if these types of componants could have problems, maybe my hard-disk could too. Looking at my hard-disk, I realized that (although encased), my host adaptor was no more than 3" from the left side of my color monitor. An older monitor. Hmmm... The big FIX: All I did was turn my hard-disk around 180 degrees, and that made the host adaptor at least 15" from my monitor. Since I did this, I've had -no- hard-disk errors! Not one! And cold boots are working -perfectly-. It's been working fine for 5 days now, and I'm fairly convinced that maybe this time I've really found the problem. I may be wrong, but it's the first time that cold boots have -ever- worked properly. If you've ever have weird hard-disk errors, and occasional malfunctions, it might be worth it to shift your componants around a bit, and see if it helps. Thanks to GEnie, and all the brilliant people who post. I may have never figured it out otherwise. ---------------- Until next week..... ___________________________________________________________ > NEW FONTS OFFER! STR InfoFile NEW additions Soft-Logik Typeface Library ============================= SOFT-LOGIK TYPEFACE LIBRARY =========================== PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Soft-Logik Publishing: 1-800-829-8608 Sales Oct. 1991: Soft-Logik Publishing Corp., developers of PageStream, the premier desktop publishing program for the Atari ST/STe/TT and Commodore Amiga computers, is proud to announce the Soft-Logik Typeface Library. Soft-Logik has licensed professional quality fonts and clip art from IMage Club, a leading Macintosh developer. With this agreement, Soft-Logik is now the foremost publisher of PostScript fonts and graphics for the Amiga and Atari. The 600 fonts are in PostScript Type 1 format, suitable for use with PageStream 2 and any PostScript font compatible application. With PageStream 2 dot matrix, ink jet and non-PostScript laser owners can use these fonts. Amiga and Atari owners can also enjoy the font collection that once was a Macintosh and MS-DOS exclusive. The Soft-Logik Typeface Library contains four bundles: Newsletter Fonts, Starter Fonts, Classic Fonts and Designer Fonts. The Newsletter and Starter Fonts packages each contain eight PostScript fonts and will retail for $99.95. The Classic Fonts and Designer Fonts packages each contain 16 PostScript fonts and will retail for $199.95. Soft-Logik Publishing will mail a poster to each registered owner, which will demonstrate all 600 fonts and illustrate examples of the clip art volumes. This poster will be mailed with the next issue of DTP World, Soft-Logik's free newsletter for registered owners. Full ordering information on these four bundles and the other fonts will be included. Users wishing to purchase any of the above font packages should contact their local dealer, or Soft-Logik Sales at 1-800-829-8608. The Soft-Logik Typeface Library is available now. Watch for another press release in the new future for the upcoming Soft-Logik Graphics Library. ______________________________________________________________ > NEW TONER! STR InfoFile SUPERIOR replacement Toner Cartridges ======================= ABCO's Replacement Toner Advantages =================================== by Ron Deal A Few Pointers about the NEW and SUPERIOR replacement Toner Cartridges for the SLM 804 and SLM 605 Laser printers. Quality ------- o Better density than OEM Toner under all testing conditions. (AVG 1.40-1.50) o Formulation completely compatible with the OEM initial toner and supply toner. This replacement Toner may be added to the Laser Printer along with OEM initial toner or supply toner. o The NEW replacement initial toner will maintain a high level of quality "much longer" using the replacement toner. o Much smaller drop in density is realized when printing in the continuous mode. Test Pattern: 10 graphic pages 1000 text pages (3 alternating pages) Time Schedule: 330 prints continuously 1 hour pause, 3-4 times a day normally 1000 copies a day maximum 1400 copies a day OEM ABCO'S NEW STANDARD --- ------------------- Density 1.30 - 1.40 1.40 - 1.50 Yield 92.1 g/1000 copies 95.3 g/1000 copies Waste toner 20.3 g/1000 copies 14.3 g/1000 copies Transfer Rate 78% 85% More for less!! That's what you get when you get a SLM804 Toner replacement from ABCO computers. This toner supply kit for use in: Tec LB-1301, Atari Slm 804, Slm804pcv, Memorex 2108, 5287, Oasys Laserpro 5287, 5308,Express, Express Model 830, Express Series II, Silver Express, Gold Express. Contents: 1 Toner Cartridge 1 Waste Toner Bottle 1 Cleaning Wand 1 Cotten Swab Ingredients: Magnetite, Styrene Acrylopolymer, Polypropylene, Nigrosine, Carbon Black. Made IN U.S.A. After many many long distance phone calls all over the United States tring to find a low cost toner replacement I have finally found a low cost alturnitive With ABCO computers SLM804 toner replacement kit. I had been looking for toner in bulk to maybe shave a few bucks off the normal price of the Atari Toner replacement kit, But I couldn't find any. This replacment Toner from ABCO is less expensive than most mail order suppliers in the U.S.. But the value is equal if not better, since it has a better density than the original toner an avg. of about 1.40 to 1.50 under all testing conditions. The formulation is completely compatible with the original initial toner and regular toner. The original initial toner will maintain high quality "MUCH LONGER" using the ABCO replacement toner!! A much smaller drop in density if you print continuously! (recovers after pause) What this means to the average Atari SLM804 user is a savings in ini- tial cost as well as better output and Qualitiy! More Toner stays on the paper for darker more uniform coveredge less waste!! Thanks to Abco Computers for getting a top manufacturing company to supply them with this replacement Toner all Atari SLM804 users will save money in the long haul!! *********************************************************************** :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT: _________________________________ To sign up for GEnie service: Set your communications software to Half Duplex (or Local Echo) Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. GEnie costs only $4.95 a month for unlimited evening and weekend access to more than 100 services including electronic mail, online encyclopedia, shopping, news, entertainment, single-player games, and bulletin boards on leisure and professional subjects. With many other services, including the biggest collection of files to download and the best online games, for only $6 per hour. MONEY BACK GUARANTEE! Any time during your first month of membership if you are not completely satisfied, just ask for your $4.95 back. GEnie Announcements 1. IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR GENIE USERS IN CANADA...............*BILL 2. NOW is the time to apply for COLLEGE FINANCIAL AID $$.....CASHE 3. SWEATSHIRTS Only 70 pcs. left............................*ORDER 4. New & Updated IBM Frontend for............................ORBWARS 5. Meet Global Softworks Prest/CEO and learn about GeoClips..GEOWORKS 6. WIN GENIE TIME... Help design our "Front Door"............MAINFRAME 7. Don't Miss the Boat ... ALL CRUISE TRAVEL Contest in......OAG 8. Don't be afraid to venture into...........................GEMSTONE 9. TAKE ADVANTAGE of the After Hours/Flat Fee Plan...........DOWJONES 10. Disney World Super RTC Trivia Contest October 27 in >>>...FLORIDA 11. Patricia Kennealy, 9:30 Eastern, Live in the..............SFRT 12. Macintosh RoundTable Members have more FUN. Come Visit....MAC 13. SALE! Modems, Disks, Ribbons & Software at................DIRECTMICRO 14. Test drive your favorite Computing RT in November............. 15. Better Than Ever: The NEW IBM 386SX PS1..................SEARS The ST RT Take the time to check out the LATEST Genielamp issue. You will find NUME- ROUS hints, tips and the latest info contained on GEnie but you will also get "highlights" of the WAACE show. See file# 21273 (LMP_234.LZH) TX2 for- mat or #21263 (GELM234.ARC) Ascii format GEnieLamp is also available un- compressed with option 5 on this page. Check it out TODAY!!! We are now accepting LH5 compressed files. Please use the latest QUESTOR LZH utility to extract. Latest at this time is #21260 LZH201G.LZH If you bought a disk from the GEnie booth at WAACE, you may have a virus on it. Please use VIRUS KIller to erradicate it. Do not worry. It is of the harmles persuasion. GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric Information Services/GEnie, reprinted by permission *********************************************************************** > "THE SPEECH!" STR Feature The infamous "Middle Earth Speech" ========================= by N. Potechin First of all, allow me to thank the WAACE committee for giving me the op- portunity and honor to speak here today. I've never done this before, speaking in front of a large group of people, at least not without a copy of Calamus in front of me. Before I forget, I'd also like to thank WAACE, on behalf of myself and my fellow Developers, for presenting yet another excellent show. I gave a great deal of thought to a subject this evening and basically arrived at the decision that fantasy best suit my mood. I came to WAACE to enjoy myself, meet some of my customers, meet some of GEnie's customers, meet many of my friends, all of whom share a common interest, and relax. All those that haven't read Tolkiens excellent works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy are about to begin wondering what I'm talking about, for which I apologize. It cannot be helped. I decided to go off on a tangent and I've got the mike. I used Tolkiens stuff because his Middle Earth became the model for my generation of fantasy Readers. My original concept was to provide a small scenario in which leading members of the Atari community each played some part. Our setting is Middle Earth, our title, aptly enough, would have been... "Atari in Middle Earth." Sounds about right. However, a few months back when I initially started thinking along these lines I immediately encountered a problem; which well-known member of the Atari community plays which part. The end result of giving my imagination free rein, is that I had so much fun and literally enjoyed myself so much figuring out who would be whom, that I've dropped the scenario part altogether and have instead decided to present to you this evening, for the first time anywhere, Nathan's Guide to Atari in Middle Earth, a glossary. ( Beta version C ) At this point I must add that this was intended to be a joint presentation. Most of you know my better half Darlah Pine of GEnie fame. What many of you do not know is that Darlah happens to be a very credible artist. It was our intention that I would provide descriptions, as I am about to do, and Darlah would render them in living color. The end result should have had us all falling off our chairs, at least this was my sincere hope. Unfortunately, Darlah managed to burn two of her fingers bad enough doing the mundane task of ironing and pressing clothes that she was unable to create the drawings that would have made this a truly memorable event. So, if what is about to follow appeals to you, perhaps we can ask Darlah, once her fingers have healed, to draw and scan in the results one way or another and put them on GEnie. (Please post your thoughts on this issue in the new topic I am about to start in Category 12, topic 3.) When I mentioned to Sam Tramiel last weekend what I had intended, he promised to read Lord of the Rings at once, something that he had not previously done. I'd rarely met anyone before that hadn't read Lord of the Rings. How many here have read The Hobbit or the Trilogy? (Editor's note: almost every single hand in the entire banquet room went up at this question.) Anyway, Sam then asked, with a smile, if he got to be the Lord. Now I could have responded in many ways to that little gift from Sam but I refused to take advantage of his lack of knowledge, advised him to read Tolkien's works and promised him that he'd get to be the leading character. He seemed satisfied with that. I mention that little anecdote so that you begin to understand the quandary in which I had placed myself. Who got to be whom. Who, in fact, was the central character, the hero. The answer is that works such as "Lord of the Rings" provide lots of heroes; from Frodo and Bilbo to Sam, Pippin and Merry, to Gandalf the White who starts out grey and gets better. Classic adventure characters such as Gimli the Dwarf and Legolas the Elf meet as opposites with artificial prejudices that vanish when faced with the reality of each other as they actually are. Aragorn, son of Arathorn is certainly another hero as are the hundreds of bit players like the Rangers that did their best to protect the innocent with or without their knowledge. Let's not forget warriors such as valiant Boromir that failed what was perhaps his greatest challenge after surviving so many before. The Eagles played their part, as did the elves and the dwarves and even man stood up to be counted in that time in Middle Earth right beside the glorious Ents, those living trees out of legend. Villians played their part as well, from the slimy Gollum who was once Smeagol but became less, to the 9 Ringwraiths and Lord Sauron himself in Mordor. Saruman the Wizard clearly demonstrated the danger of allowing arrogance and ego to affect ones judgement. (Editors note: some of the crowd got nervous here, wondering if I was about to lecture.) So, my glossary, blatantly abusing Tolkiens excellent work as my guide. The Ring centers our glosssary. Lets abuse that first. Engraved on my ring in blazing words of fire 9 feet high (or they would be 9 feet if the ring were substantially larger) are the immortal words "MARKET SHARE" written in a language only those with MBA's or at least Doctorates in Nuclear Physics can decipher, on a mostly blue background. So now we have our OBJECT and our first picture #1. Next comes our adventurers. Our Wizard, in long flowing robes of silvery grey and a tall conical cap, must be a serious practioner and believer in MAGIC! Our wizard has the task of creating an infrastructure upon the foundation left to him by his many, many, many, many, many, many. many, many (7 soto voice) many, many etc. predecessors in the US, a flimsy structure indeed. Serious Magic will be required. Hence Greg Pratt will now be known as our our wizard, the mighty GREG in Picture #2. I like Hobbits. Any Middle Earth of which I am a part, must have its Hobbits. Frodo Baggins is Tolkiens hero. Ok, some of my heroes will also be Hobbits. I picture Hobbits as roundish cherubic and hairy types, of small but stout stature and solid bare feet entirely covered by hair. Picture, if you will, a hero that manages to arrive at his goal in spite of insurmountable odds. In fact, his leadership is often confusing to us lessor mortals and mere humans. So who do I know that would appreciate the extra hair, besides Dave Flory, Sam Tramiel of course. So Sam is one of our heroes, named SAM. Picture #3. Every hero needs a most loyal friend and follower, Frodo had Sam. Our Sam needs someone that will stick by him through thick and thin, someone to interpret to us common folk. This follower must be a salt of the earth type, with the respect of the Atari Developers and end-users alike. If our loyal person also happens to be tall, then he would have no choice but to remain stooped over, as he must be a Hobbit. So picture, if you will, Bob Brodie, stooped over, cherubic and hairy. We'll call this big Hobbit BOBBIT. (Editors Note: if you like what you read, help me make these nicknames stick.) Picture #4. We need another Hobbit companion such as Merry, another loyal member of the Atari's own family. In this case, we will create one new Hobbit character out of two very real people. Our newest Hobbit is not afraid to try anything, no limits please, even things everyone thought impossible to achieve. Everyone was right of course but that never slowed this Hobbit down one little bit. And he does get better with age and experience. Visualize a split face, cherubic, hairy, half Ken Badertscher and John Townsend. Don't ask me how a Hobbit has half a brush cut, I leave that to Darlah's imagination in her picture # 5. The characters name, KTOWN of course. Our fourth Hobbit companion nust be an advisor type, necessary for any adventure in Middle Earth. Brought along for both his loyalty and technical expertise, of which his knowledge is substantial, this Hobbit branched out to advise everyone on every subject, even in areas where he had absolutely no previous knowledge or experience, making him a fit companion for our little group. In honour of Tolkiens Pippin, we'll call Bill Rehbock BIPPIN. His stature naturally makes him another obvious Hobbit, albeit a well-fed one in our picture # 6. Tolkiens original but now aged hero Bilbo can only have his counterpart in Jack, sitting in front of a fire with a blanket over his legs, nodding off. He's done his thing. It's the childrens turn. Jack, and we will call him exactly that, JACK, wakes up occassionally shouting "Business is War" before falling asleep again. He is of course, another well fed Hobbit in our picture #7.. All good adventures need a dwarf. Tolkien's Gimli set an excellent role model; a stout, solid companion, shorter than human but very broad, wit as sharp as the axe commonly found somewhere upon her person. Likes dark places or dressing in black. Our Gimli will teach by example. Hmmm, teach, education, educational, prefers black, yup, Dorothy as Gimli. I'm no chauvanist, equal opportunity I say. Gimli of course will remain with the name GIMLI because who ever heard of a dwarf called Dorothy. This is our picture #8. Now we need an elf like Legolas; tall, willowy, greenish tinge, light on his feet, capable of moving soundlessly through the woods, springing gracefully and fast in any direction. He is a factor in our community, striving to push the Atari envelope to its limit. This can only be Jim Allen under his new name JEGOLIS to be found in picture #9. Time for some fierce human warrior types, must have courage and strength. Our blond barbarian, with long, flowing locks, heavy muscular development and twins, gets off on a tangent every now and then, daring to get successfully involved in other markets but is always there, valiantly striving to save the indestructible ring MARKET SHARE for Atari, sounds like Tom Harker to me, now named TOMRAH. Picture #10. We need more warriors, lets see, someone that is a little bit different than the rest of us, someone that is a player in our community even if it is no longer recognizable as an Atari community. Key words here, off on a tangent or out in left field coupled with no longer recognizable can only be Dave Small in his role as SMALLROMIR. Make a note that SMALLROMIR does an excellent imitation of Neil Young in serious pain, especially when concentrating on code. Picture #11 is left entirely to Darlah's imagination. I have only begun on my glossary. Frankly I ran out of time as my office nearly burned down the other day but you get the idea. Wait, I forgot, an Ent, I like Ents. Now who could best fill our percep- tion of a living tree. Someone that seemed oblivious to the rest of the world around him. Someone that was quite intelligent but a bit slow in delivery. Someone that came out with product after excellent product years after the demand existed, appearing to move and react a bit slower than the rest of us. The answer is starting to become clear to a few; Leonard plays my Ent. We'll call my Ent, Lent the Ent and depict him in Picture #12. As for me, perhaps I'll also be an Ent, a living tree. Sometimes misunderstood, always striving to make that inndestructible ring named MARKET SHARE less blue. It's a slow process, leaving me open for attack by strange warriors within and without. Death looks calmly over my shoulder while I try valiantly to pervail. Please stop by ISD's booth tomorrow and check out the one picture that Darlah already did. I will be happy to show it to you. (Editors note: I'll wear the shirt again in Chicago.) Fill in your own bad guys, for that matter there are still many good guys left in our community. A Gollum or Smeagol type character seemed perfectly obvious to so many that I decided it was best to leave well enough alone. This is all meant to be fun after all. I thank you all for laughing with me or at me, as was my intent or hope, especially the characters that I actually used and named, in fun. I invite any and all of you to create your own middle earth glossary on known Atari personalities, whether in your local group like J.D. or Charles or any of our international community. I fully intend to upload my glosssary onto GEnie and look forward to seeing extensions, substitutions and additions from all comers. Dorothy, consider that a challenge. To conclude, our Atari community may not be a large one, but look around you, it happens to be a great one!! Thank you Nathan Potechin President @ ISD October 12, 1991 ______________________________________________________ > CPU STATUS REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS ================= Issue #41 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. -- Gates Donates $12 Million to School of Medicine Microsoft Corporation Chairman Bill Gates, according to Forbes magazine the 2nd wealthiest American with an estimated net worth of $4.8 billion, reportedly has made a personal donation of $12 million to the University of Washington School of Medicine, with the money earmarked to create a new Department of Molecular Biotechnology. The new department, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, will develop tools to study DNA and proteins, the building blocks of human genetics. The studies could lead to prevention or cure of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and diabetes. -- 'Pentop' Computer Unveiled The Momenta, supposedly the first 'pentop' computer, was introduced this week. The Momenta combines the keyboard of a laptop with the handwriting recognition capabilities of a new pen-based models and allows users to scribble notes on its screen in situations where typing would be inap- propriate, such as meetings. -- IBM Expands PS-1 Line IBM Corp. expanded its PS-1 line of home computers with two higher- powered models. The new machines are powered by Intel Corp.'s 386sx processor. The original PS-1 models contain Intel's less-powerful 286 processor. The new models which are priced from $1,699 to $2,199 are available immediately through computer stores, selected department stores and other retailers. -- More Apple Joint Ventures? 2 weeks ago CPU Report reported about how Apple and IBM, traditional com- petitors, were going to cooperate in several ventures. This week it's reported that Apple Computer and Sony Corp. are considering a joint venture that would merge Apple's user friendly software with Sony's electronics hardware. Apple is supposed to launch its new Macintosh notebook computers, one of which was made by Sony, in just two weeks. The prospective alliance with Sony is said to have developed as a result of the cooperation between the companies in developing the new notebook. -- Hewlett-Packard Changing Marketing Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) announced it will start selling its popular computer workstations through computer retailers. HP currently sells the workstations only through its sales force and computer resellers that add special software to the machine. -- Phylon Announces New Chip Set Phylon announced an enhanced version of its new V.32bis or 14,400 bits per second (bps) modem universal chipset that Phylon says is the first to include all the Comit Consultatif Internationale de Tlgraphique et Tlphonique (CCITT) and Bell modem modulation and fax standards in the same compact three-chip set at no additional cost. The new features added since the introduction of the Universal Modem Engine a month ago are ADPCM voice compression and decompression, dual tone multi-frequency (DTMF) receiver, caller identification (ID) receiver and a voice/data/fax switch, Phylon said. Phylon says the Universal Modem Engine consists of two read-only memory coded digital signal processors (PHY-10 and PHY-11) and a mixed analog front end, the PHY-02. Earlier versions of this chipset have been used by Hayes in its modems, Phylon representatives said. Phylon is offering the chips to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for $50 in volume quantities, Phylon said. __________________________________________________________ > STReport's Editorial Page "SAYIN' IT LIKE IT IS!" ========================= > From the Editor's Desk ====================== Its truly is a wonderfully exhilarating experience to have users walk up to you and say "thank you for STReport...for what you do, and how you do it... it really makes it all worth while. Especially after being told by certain of Atari's "luminaries" that our readership was dwindling. (Somebody should've informed them about the whole Atari market dwindling!) At almost every turn, during the highly successful WAACE Show, folks would walk up out of the clear blue introducing themselves and expressing thanks for the frankness and honesty of STReport's reporting. To all of those fine people, STR, in turn, must express its sincere thanks for the ongoing support. Once again WAACE has proven that great shows are made successful by people, the ordinary users. And this past weekend was an exciting, ever so loud example of just that. Congratulations to one and all who made WAACE the resounding success it was. No doubt, a few 'whigs' were surprised. A button appeared at the show with the Fuji symbol and the words; "Responsible Reporting is a Moral Obligation". I couldn't possibly agree more with the expression. In fact that's exactly the premise we have followed from the very beginning. The main point to remember is our obligation is to the readers and users. A 'dark side'... could there have possibly been a dark side to the Fantastic WAACE Show? Next Week, an in-depth report detailing the "highlights" of the show most folks almost never see. It is an expose` you will not soon forget. Thanks for the support! Ralph.... """""""""" > GUEST STReport EDITORIAL ======================== This editorial appeared in our SPECIAL "WAACE HARD COPY RELEASE." A "celebration of Atari" at the nation's capitol. HIGH EXPECTATIONS ================= W.A.A.C.E. Delivers! by Joe Mirando This is going be a great show! We on the east coast have been blessed yet again with a good turnout in both the User and Developer, dealer departments for this show. As I'm writing this, the weather forecast is promising and it looks like the government will see fit to keep the monuments and other attrac- tions open to the public (unlike last year when budget problems forced them closed on the weekends). As I think back to the User Group shows that I've attended in the past, it occurs to me that we Atarians are a very special breed. In what other computer arena would you find users of the caliber that we have in the ST world? If the market for any of those 'other' brands had reached a... shall we call it a lull(?)... as the ST's market has, would there be anything left of their userbase? I think not. I grant you, the ST is an outstanding machine! But no matter how good a machine is, if momentum is lost, the userbase will, in short order, vanish. That leaves me wondering why there are still as many active ST'ers as there are. I think that it's mostly because of the "Grass Roots" following that the ST has, and indeed always has had. We are people who were, for the most part, attracted by the "Power without the Price" philosophy of Atari and found that our ST could do anything we wanted it to do. So we hang on despite the current state of affairs. In fact, we may hang on because of and not despite our "situation". You see, as the ST lost prestige in the computer world, the users that did not jump ship and turn to MS-DOS tended to cling together and support one another. I know this sounds sappy but sometimes it leaves me with the image of a bunch of forgotten campers huddled together telling scary stories and singing songs around a campfire. Oh, of course there are a few who would rather skulk around in the shadows and jeer at those who sing off-key or sing a different song all together but by and large, we are content to help and be helped. If you don't believe me, just look at the faces of the people at the show. You will see people hel- ping others in every way possible. So if you need advise, information, or any other kind of help, feel free to ask. Support is one of the things that we Atarians have gotten real good at. Speaking of support, Atari has promised to send us such luminaries as Bob Brodie, John Townsend and Ken Badertscher. All three of these individuals represent key parts of Atari, and we are glad to have them with us on the east coast for a while. Since the TT, STbook and Mega STe are now all certified as FCC class B (for home use), it looks like we can finally say good bye to the phrase "Real Soon Now" (abbreviated as "RSN"). I know that I've said this before, but, this is going to be a GREAT show! The wares brought by the exhibitors will be a sight for sore eyes. It's a shame that Atari may not be supplying computers to WAACE, but I'm sure that the dealers and developers will be glad to show you the virtues of Atari's new machines (what better way to show off their own wares). What? You haven't seen a TT yet? Well now is your chance to take a good look. I was absolutely ecstatic when I was told that Atari would possibly be bringing an STBook (Atari's new "4 pound, ten hours on a battery" notebook sized computer). Even though I was told, and I'm paraphrasing here, that it isn't Atari's policy to introduce new products at User Group shows. But since, according to both of the excellent on-line magazine Show Reports, there was an STBook at the Glendale show four weeks ago, I hope that this represents a change in Atari's product introduction process. Like myself, I am sure you want to see this puppy as much as I do. I was told to look for it at or near the GEnie booth. The developers that I mentioned are, without a doubt, the best there are. These developers put out some of the best products available for any computer at any price. Thanks to them for the products that they give us. We all hope that these developers do well this weekend. They really do deserve it. After all, their support is as important to the life of the ST as our very special userbase is. Enjoy the show! Joe Mirando (The JAMmer) """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > STR Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard" ============= STReport's MailBag ================== Conf : STReport Online Msg# : 15908/15936 Lines: Extended Read: 3 Sent : Oct 07, 1991 at 10:25 AM Recv : Oct 09, 1991 To : Ralph Mariano From : Electron Beam at Bloom County 75 Silicon Valley Subj : Apologists and Cheerleaders... Ralph, this is a verbatim type in of an article from the 9-8-91 San Francisco Examiner. It is John C. Dvorak's column containing a letter from an IBM/Mac Apologist and his response. I think you'll find similarities between this and the attacks STR has suffered from a different type of Cheerleader: Q: I am writing to express some thoughts and feelings I have in response to your printing of information "leaks" concerning new products under development by IBM, Apple and others. Over the past few years there have been several articles that have described, in detail, specific features of soon-to-be- released systems. I admit that I find them interesting to read. But I question whether you are doing yourself, your readers or the computer industry a favor writing that type of article. I have worked for two of the companies and on some of the projects you have written about. We read your column. Sometimes your statements are accurate and complete, other times not. That, however, is not the point. I believe your opinions are valued by thousands of readers. But I don't believe the tabloid tone of your information leaks add to your credibility or help the industry. We must wield our pen responsibly. Premature release of product specs can be suicidal. As a journalist, you may find it offensive to suggest that discretion is honorable. But I submit to you that it is preferable to poverty. I will remain discretely anonymous. But be assured I write with sincerity and speak from experience. --Anonymous, San Francisco. A: First of all, this note exhibits a terrible misunderstanding of the role and responsibility of the press, which is to serve the public (the ones who pay for the paper) and not to shield companies from examination. Many out there would prefer it if all technology writers were merely rah-rah boosters of everything Apple or IBM did (or whoever). It won't happen. Furthermore, to say that discussing public-domain gossip in an open forum somehow hurts sales is pure malarkey. Corporate buyers aren't going to freeze their purchases because of what I say, that's for sure. In fact, much of this material is discussed secretly to big volume buyers by the manufacturers who show them the future products to whet their appetites. Insiders and mavens soon find out about these new products from the rumor mill, so none of the information is new when I get it. The general public is left out of this loop, and they're the ones who get stuck buying the old equipment the day before the announcement of the new product. This is the crowd I serve by discussing the rumors. I think they should be let in on what's going on, don't you? (Of course, this is all academic anyway. I discourage the purchase of new products and technologies until the bugs are ironed out. Wait one year is my motto.) While it's true that the press can cause a run on a bank or the panic sale of a stock, open discussion of mere gossip concerning new products hurts only one thing: the pre-engineered and carefully planned orchestration of a public relations new-product blitz designed to bamboozle the public. --John C. Dvorak Conf : STReport Online Msg# : 15880/15932 Lines: 14 Read: 2 Sent : Oct 05, 1991 at 10:37 AM To : WHITE DRAGON From : Wolverine at -= Bit Heaven =- Subj : Re: <15763> Atari Management Don't mean to just "jump in" if I'm not welcome...haven't posted here in a while. Anyway, you won't have to worry about Atari Management bad job much longer...in fact, you can stop now. The guy that runs British Atari, Inc. has been transferred over to America. In the past two months, the TT has become a reality IN THE STORES of America, a 50MHz chip was brought out for the ST (with a replacement MMU chip that can handle the speed), a WORKING 16MHz chip was brought out for the ST (I know, just picked one up and it's EXCELLENT!!), a tower case will be coming out next month, TOS has gone from 1.4 to 2.0 (on order now), etc. All of these things have been coming off the drawing board where they have been sitting for years. This new management guy is really cracking the whip! You'll see a turn around and a bounce back to AT LEAST Amiga standard very shortly... (((olverine Conf : STReport Online Msg# : 15881/15932 Lines: 11 Read: 2 Sent : Oct 05, 1991 at 10:43 AM To : Kurt Kinzer From : Wolverine at -= Bit Heaven =- Subj : Re: <15809> TT030 In reply to: - I've heard the rumor that one of the TT models might be sold for around - $1400. I"m assuming that would be mail order. I read also that thats - really likely. Ah, 32 mhz would be nice. Actually, Toad Computers is offering it for $1499 base, and then the 19" monitor is $599 extra. I think there's also a lower standard monitor for less. I saw it running and was REALLY impressed...16 colors in med rez and the processing was awesome. 32 MHz is niiiiicsh!! (((olverine From GEnie Category 14, Topic 31 Message 186 Sun Oct 06, 1991 S.WINICK at 09:04 EDT J.KYLE3 (and an open letter to Atari Computer Corp.): Thanks for your post. The feelings you expressed pretty much sum up the ones given by most Atarians who choose to leave for "clone-land". Fortunately you expressed your feelings in a logical manner instead of the usual "flaming" we're more accustomed to seeing. Hopefully the folks back at Sunnyvale will take note! The lack of dealerships, local service, selection and support is one of the prime reasons for most who choose to abandon the platform. The antiquated CGA color graphics is another. Even the cheapest of IBM-clones is now coming with at least VGA. And all offer expansion capabilities to easily customize the system to each owners desires. Since we're on the subject of suggestions for improving the platform and becoming more competitive, let me throw out a few of my own. How about: * Fewer variations of each model (currently 4 STe's, 3 Mega STe's, and the TT030). Why not simply an STe, a Mega STe, and a TT030? And stop producing the same plastic in different colors for different machines. That just makes stocking and production more complicated. * Drop the custom taylored plastic cases with limited expansion capabilities (and in the case of the STe all the metal internal RF shielding) in favor of the more flexible metal tower cases which offer tremendous advantages in terms of accessibility and expandability. How about a mini tower case for the STe, a medium tower case for the Mega STe, and a full tower for the TT030? All with a decent size power supply and cooling fan, capable of handling additional floppy drives, hard drives, etc. And all could use the same external keyboard! (I realize the Mega STe/TT030 keyboard costs more than the STe, but when you increase production and eliminate the need to make and stock both kinds, your cost per unit should drop). * A "standard" tower case would also allow use of industy standard drives -- save the cost of the Custom drive faceplates now required, as well as the separate cases, power supplies and cabling for additional floppy or hard drives. That would also make servicing easier, faster and less expensive (I'm sure GE Service and all your service centers and customers would appreciate that). The extra space available inside the tower cases would also encourage our excellent developers to come up with all sorts of expansion ideas (Just think what people like Jim Allen and Dave Small could do if they really had space inside the case and a decent size power supply to work with -- the "normal" mini tower case 200W or 250W power supply and fan doesn't cost any more than Atari's current marginal one!!). * Ship all models with a minimum of RAM -- or none at all. SIMMs are really easy for any dealer to install. Opening up a tower case is a breeze for anyone. Without all that internal metal shielding to contend with, any dealer could be quickly trained to install SIMMs properly. * Bring graphics up to current standards -- at least Super VGA quality. Make that your "standard", build it in and the cost shouldn't be all that much. And while on the subject of standardization, why not standardize the video connection to allow use of "standard" monitors. You've got separate sound jacks anyway for the stereo out on the new machines, so the sound pin on the video port is redundant. And if you make super VGA standard, I would think the video shifter chip and monochrome detect pin would also become redundant. Adopt a "standard" VGA pinout and allow use of "standard" off the shelf monitors (select the one you want to attach your name on and make it the "Atari" monitor just like you're doing now -- only you wouldn't have to custom configure the cable connection any more). That would also allow customers "upgrading" from a clone to an Atari to use their existing monitors to reduce the cost of the "upgrade". * Decide just what market you really want to pursue. Does Atari management want to market the Atari as a high end name-brand system to compete with IBM and Macintosh, or do they want to be yet another no-name low-cost computer competing on price alone? It should be obvious from posts such as Mr. Kyle's and others who have abandoned the Atari platform that the current situation has failed for those Atarians. Until those basic marketing decisions are made and implemented, it will continue to be difficult to recruit new dealerships and new users. I realize the above hardware ideas would require a redesign of the PCB, but that's something that needs to be done periodically anyway. Why no do it right the next time? And while on the subject of doing things right -- Atari has obviously been able to consistantly produce excellent products at competitive prices, and garner the support of loyal developers and users. And they have been able to do what most in the computer industry in the 70's and 80's couldn't -- survive!! But now its time to move beyond mere survival, and set forth policies that will ensure major growth. This is the decade of the 90's. We all saw the huge advances made in the computer industry during the last decade. Just imagine the possibilities this time for the companies smart enough and with enough foresight to take advantage of it!! Sheldon Winick (IADA/Computer STudio - Asheville, NC) Electronic Mail Sent : Oct 07, 1991 at 10:58 PM To : Ralph Mariano From : Philip Hanze at Phil's Hangout ~ ///Turbo Subj : My ST Ralph, I'm really not sure how I want to say this, so I put it off till now. For any company not to return phone calls, it is not good. For any company to lose track of a computer, it is not good. I believe Atari has several situations that are not good. I believe one situation is their repair/replacement division. Although I cannot know the reasons to how they could have lost a file about my computer even after they sent me a letter, I don't believe it would alleviate any of the responsibility of the people answering the phones from returning a call they said they would return even if all they were going to say is we don't have any record of your "order". I must however, thank my mother for cutting through red tape. She called Atari for me and when they said they would have someone call us back she told them that they already said that and didn't. She got names. The one lady said she would call back and when she didn't call in the allotted time, my mom called back again. (Remember each time, they love to put you on hold!) This time they said that Gregg Pratt would call us back and they said that he does return calls. It almost sounds funny that they were insisting that someone actually does return calls when no one up till that point did. But, this past friday night as I was preparing to go to the game, I got a call from Greg Pratt. I almost fainted when he said who he was. I thought I was going to have to go a different route to get my computer back. I talked to him and answered any questions he asked the best I could so he could find my file or computer. Within 30 mins (probably a lot less) he was able to find it and called me back and notified me that they would send me a new MegaSTe2. I had sent them a Mega ST2, but they no longer make those. I am glad to be getting my computer back. I'm even happier that I'll be getting a better machine back. I'm not trying to bash Atari, nor am I trying to "praise" Atari. I am just making it known how they handled my situation. I may not be happy about some of the way it was handled, but I am happy with the end. I consider myself fortunate. It seems that all companies anymore have bad customer service. I am an EE student at Pitt. I took out a loan for this fall term and boy was I surprised to get a notice that I was to start paying back that loan December 10 of this year! The term wouldn't even be over. Please note, this is a GSL loan. I am happy to say that that is taken care of. I had knee surgery this summer. I had my Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstructed using the graft of the Pattella tendon. It takes about 6 months of therapy. I was not happy when my insurance company would only allow two months. Needless to say I have since changed insurance companies. And that wasn't the only reason. I would list the others, but Ralph would have to devote all of ST-Report to this! All I'm saying is that ALL companies can be a pain sometimes, some all the time. The best thing to do is be courteous and be persistent. To any who have to deal with Atari, Good luck and I hope the end result is to your satisfaction. To Gregg Pratt: Thanks for taking the time and taking care of this. Electronic Mail Sent : Oct 16, 1991 at 6:07 PM To : Ralph Mariano From : Philip Hanze at Phil's Hangout ~ ///Turbo Subj : my Mega WOW! I FINALLY got my computer! I think I like the new Mega STe series. CPX seems great. Well, I've got two important midterms tomorrow. One in Digital Logic(should be easy) and one in Semiconductor Device Theory (this may be VERY hard!) Ralph, thanks for the help. 13-OCT 01:53 General Information MAIL ORDER COMPANIES From: JCANNON To: ALL Computibility is now IBM and Amiga only. Microtyme is dropping Atari and only has a small amount of software left... I'm sure there are more. I would appreciate a list and some phone numbers of GOOD mail order outfits. I was told about a couple awhile ago, but no longer have the message. If I remember right, one was called Joppa...(?). In case anyone besides me is in need of trading in an old, defunct 1040 ST to Atari for a NEW STe, Atari Customer Relations has given me this info...yes, they actually returned a call!!... Send a note requesting a new STe with a check or money order for $300 (got cheaper!), by UPS, to: Atari Computers 390 Carribean Ave. Sunnyvale, CA 94809 Attn: Customer Relations The woman I spoke with was named Barbara and she said that the old computer did NOT have to be insured and the box it came in was sufficient for shipping. She said to allow 3-4 weeks for the new unit to arrive. Mine is about to head out. I will let you know how well this goes and how many phone calls it take to find out who got my money and where my new STe is...... :\ Jim <this sounds too easy to me> Cannon ________________________________________________________ > STReport CONFIDENTIAL "Reporting ABOUT Atari NOT for them!" ===================== - Sunnyvale, CA. Dianna Goralcznyk FIRED! -------------- Our ever vigilant 'inside' source has bestowed another "gem" upon us this week. A thirteen veteran, Dianna has served as head of the customer relations department and helped many Atari users over these years. She has smoothed many rough edges and solved countless problems for the users. At the same time it appears that Don Thomas assume her duties. Oh well, she is, undoubtedly in very good company. Just ask anyone else whose been in the "Revolving Door". - San Francisco, CA. Z*NET HAS 2cnd WEST COAST SUPPORT BBS! ------------------ Circulated internationally, the latest FNET Listing shows the BBS to be named "The Z*NET GOLDEN GATE"... THE OWNER & SYSOP IS ATARI'S OWN BOB BRODIE. 706 Bob Brodie Z*Net Golden Gate 510-373-6792 Sunnyvale, CA, USA 2400 CASJO Y Y ST Congratulations are in order! Welcome to the FNET! ___________________________________________________ > POLITICS? NAH! STR Spotlight "...a huge success despite Atari.." ============================= ATARI IN POLITICS? ================== by Dana P. Jacobson The '91 WAACE show, as you've already heard, or will shortly, was a big success. But, that's not to say that there weren't any disappointments either. Even though we're all accustomed to equating WAACE with the term AtariFest, somehow the term AtariFest didn't fit in well this year, or in recent WAACE shows for that matter. This year, for all intents and purposes, Atari Corporation was a "non-presence" at the show. Yes, Bob Brodie was there, as was John Townsend and Ken Badertscher. But, that was it. I heard it quite a number of times: where was Atari? Where's the ST Book? Where are the new machines? How come Atari didn't bring some TTs to look at and touch? Where was the Atari booth? Were there any Atari Brochures? None of these things were available, and it didn't make sense to many. This was an Atari show, but the only machines you could see were in the developer and vendor booths. In Bob Brodie's seminar, knowing that the question was going to be eventually asked, explained (and apologized) that the lack of presence of Atari personnel and machines was due to the fact that the dates of this year's COMDEX show was changed to an earlier date. He went on to state that with such a short period between WAACE and COMDEX, many of Atari's staff was gearing up for COMDEX and were unavailable for WAACE. Say what?! Last year's WAACE show was better with regard to Atari staff attending; and there was "some" equipment to be seen, albeit little. This year was the 8th WAACE show, although it was only the 3rd "national" one. The folks at WAACE have proved themselves to be a first-class operation, and frankly, should be insulted at the lack of major commitment by Atari. Just because WAACE is held within close proximity to Washington, D.C. is no reason for politics. There's no excuse for the continued snubbing of the WAACE show by Atari because they don't "conform" to the standards that Atari might feel are warranted. I don't intend to denigrate the folks at Glendale because they put on one helluva show, BUT, compare Atari's presence at Glendale to that of WAACE. I'll grant you that Glendale is in Atari's backyard, but that's not really relevant. I honestly believe that our Atari shows should be treated equally by Atari, _especially_ those shows who have proven track records. At Glendale they were able to see the new machines and there were plenty of machines to "touch". Atari was the center of attraction, and I believe that I heard their booth(s) were onstage. That was certainly not the case at WAACE. Why? Atari has known about WAACE's schedule since shortly after last year's show. They should have committed and stuck to that commitment right from the beginning. How long did they string along the WAACE organizers without defining their participation? It was unfair to WAACE's organizers that they were puppets to Atari politics. Over and over again WAACE has proved to everyone but apparently Atari that they are THE east coast Atari show. But what help did Atari offer? With the almost non-existent presence, the answer should be obvious. Where are the politics, or as George Bush likes to call it, "favored-nation" status? Atari offered one of the grand prizes for the show, as they rightfully should. But, what was that prize? A Stacy2. Now, I can guarantee that the guy that won that Stacy was thrilled, who wouldn't be? But, let's look at this for a second. The Stacy is a discontinued product (being replaced by the ST Book)! Wouldn't it have made more sense to offer a current machine? Why an abandoned orphan that was an utter disappointment to the Atari line of machines? It's not even a Class-B machine! Can the winner legally use it in his home?? "Things that make you go, hmmmmm!" Did you know that Atari is offering the upcoming Chicago show a TT030 as a grand prize? Hmmmm. More politics. Was the guy that won the Stacy happy when he was handed his new machine? Er, hard to say. You see, the Stacy wasn't at the show. What? The "prize" was to send a letter to wherever in order to get the Stacy (I presume) mailed to him! Why wasn't the Stacy at the show? Every other prize awarded was available at the show. Was the Stacy too big to carry? Well, the fellow that won a complete computer system was happy to carry it out. The person who walked out with a complete Calamus set had his hands full. The person who won Abco's 105 MB hard drive walked out with a heavy prize. And so on. No Stacy. The guy will be happy sooner or later, but I'm willing to bet that he was disappointed to learn that he had to wait. I'd love to learn when he actually receives the Stacy. But probably the most disappointing news that came out of this year's show was learned after the show was all over and a few of us had the opportunity to talk with some of the show organizers. Rumors were flying all over the place throughout the weekend, but until this final get-together, I didn't pay any attention to them. It was then that I was told that there might not be a WAACE '92. I was shocked. It had nothing to do with finances, as WAACE had the money. It had nothing to do with the location, the Sheraton Reston was ideal. It had nothing to do with declining attendance, attendance was great. It had nothing to do with poor sales by the vendors, sales were incredibly high. So, what was the major disappointment? Atari politics. These folks at WAACE worked hard for over 11 months to plan this show, as they have in the past. Throughout all of the planning Atari kept being a frustrating factor. These people earned more respect than Atari was willing to give them; they deserved better treatment. Sounds typical of how most Atari users feel in general, doesn't it? Most of the WAACE organizers have been doing these shows for a number of years, they're tired. They'd like to pass on the "baton" to newer and younger people to continue, but there aren't any who can carry the burden of dealing with all of the frustrations from Sunnyvale. To see how these last few shows have been, it's difficult to imagine that there were any major problems and frustrations; but to talk with these fine people you knew that those problems existed. There is no final decision on next year, yet. The organizers will be meeting in a couple of weeks to discuss the possibilities, and then decide. I hope to learn that they decide to continue their fine string of shows. It would be a major catastrophe to users on the east coast to lose this show. I'd recommend to everyone who has ever been to a WAACE show to send a letter to Atari and WAACE to show your support. To all of those people at WAACE, I personally want to thank you for a great show. To meet and talk with people like Charles Smeton, John Barnes, Steve Rudolph, and all of the others was a treat. We here at ST Report hope that we will be part of WAACE for a long time to come; and that we will be reporting news of the show in the future. Gentlemen and ladies, a fine show indeed! _________________________________________________________ STReport's Staff The regulars and this week's contributors! ---------------- Publisher - Editor ------------------ Ralph F. Mariano PC DIVISION AMIGA DIVISION MAC DIVISION ----------- -------------- ------------ Robert Retelle Charles Hill R. ALBRITTON STReport Staff Editors: ----------------------- Michael Arthur Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. Dana P. Jacobson Lucien Oppler Brad Martin Judith Hamner John Szczepanik Dan Stidham Contributing Correspondents: ---------------------------- Michael Lee Richard Covert Roger Stevens Brian Converse Oliver Steinmeier Tim Holt Andrew Learner Norman Boucher Ben Hamilton Neil Bradley Eric Jerue Ron Deal Robert Dean Ed Westhusing James Nolan Joe Mirando Vernon W. Smith IMPORTANT NOTICE ================ Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc... via E-Mail to: Compuserve.................... 70007,4454 GEnie......................... ST.REPORT Delphi........................ RMARIANO BIX........................... RMARIANO FIDONET....................... 112/35 FNET.......................... NODE 350 NEST.......................... 90:19/350.0 ____________________________________________________________ > A "Quotable Quote" ================== "If ever they require such things... 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