Z*Net: 1-Nov-91 #9146

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 11/05/91-10:13:39 PM Z

From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: Z*Net: 1-Nov-91 #9146
Date: Tue Nov  5 22:13:39 1991

 | (((((((( |         Z*Net International Atari Online Magazine
 |      ((  |         -----------------------------------------
 |    ((    |         November 1, 1991             Issue #91-46
 |  ((      |         -----------------------------------------
 | (((((((( |         Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries, Inc.
 |          |         Post Office Box 59,  Middlesex,  NJ 08846
 |    ((    |
 |  ((((((  |                        CONTENTS
 |    ((    |
 |          |  * The Editors Desk............................Ron Kovacs
 | (((   (( |  * Z*Net Newswire........................................
 | ((((  (( |  * Migraph In Conference............................GEnie
 | (( (( (( |  * IAAD Update..............................Press Release
 | ((  (((( |  * Codehead Software Update.................Press Release
 | ((   ((( |  * Z*Net/Z*Magazine Archives.................January 1988
 |          |  * Chicago ComputerFest By Atari............Press Release
 | (((((((  |  * Inside The STE - Part 1...................A. Greenwood
 | ((       |  * AtariUser Mini-Reviews................................
 | (((((    |  * Zen-ST....................................October 1991
 | ((       |
 | (((((((  |  ~ Publisher/Editor............................Ron Kovacs
 |          |  ~ Editor.......................................John Nagy
 | (((((((( |  ~ New Zealand Bureau..........................Jon Clarke
 |    ((    |  ~ Assistant Editor........................Bruce Hansford
 |    ((    |  ~ PD Software Reviewer....................Ron Berinstein
 |    ((    |  ~ Reporter................................Dr. Paul Keith
 |    ((    |  ~ Reporter....................................Mike Brown
 * EDITORS DESK                                            by Ron Kovacs
 I just finished reading the October 1991 edition of ST-Connection and
 just wanted to pass along some compliments to Stan Swanson for the
 obvious effort he has been doing.  I have been getting complimentary
 issues since the start and have watched the growth and continued support
 for shareware authors month after month.
 Last month the issue caught my eye with new cover art and he did it
 again with another decent cover.  There is plenty of information, 
 shareware updates and reviews.  I suggest that everyone get a copy 
 today.  For more information please contact Computer Publications at
 See you next week!
 PC Week announced the launch of its third demographic edition - The PC
 Week Application Development Edition.  The first edition was published
 on Oct. 14, 1991 and is distributed to 62,208 subscribers.  Subscribers
 who qualify to receive the PC Week Application Development Edition are
 all volume buyers who have purchasing responsibility for Relational
 Database Managers, Program Developers/Generator Tools, Compilers and
 Programming Languages.  PC Week is the weekly newspaper of corporate
 computing, reaching 88,942 business units with a circulation base of
 over 205,000.
 MicroTouch recently introduced a pen computing digitizer that makes
 possible a new generation of pen computers that are lighter, thinner,
 more energy efficient and, for the first time, can work with both finger
 or stylus.  The MicroTouch digitizer, called TouchPen, was announced as
 part of NEC's UltraLite SL/20P Series notebook computer introduction.
 The UltraLite SL/20P Series notebook computers are the first machines to
 incorporate the new technology.
 Computer Peripherals announced JetType IIP, its new scalable font
 cartridge for the Hewlett Packard LaserJet IIP printers.  This JetWare
 font cartridge provides 13 scalable TrueType typefaces in a single font
 cartridge for the HP LaserJet IIP, plus additional spreadsheet fonts.
 JetType IIP's 13 TrueType typefaces, at $249.00 retail, contains
 equivalents to the eight scalable typefaces found on the LaserJet IIIs,
 Times New Roman (CG Times) and Arial (Univers) in medium, bold, italic
 and bold italic.  For more information, contact Computer Peripherals at
 667 Rancho Conejo Blvd., Newbury Park, Calif. 91320; telephone: 805-499-
 CompuServe announced the PACESETTER program for new customers of
 CompuServe's public frame relay service, FRAME-Net.  PACESETTER will
 allow new customers to economically begin using FRAME-Net, which was
 made available in early October.  CompuServe will make the PACESETTER
 implementation pricing available to the first 20 customers to sign up
 for the service by Jan. 31, 1992.  For more information about the
 PACESETTER program, contact CompuServe Network Services at 1-800-433-

 * MIGRAPH IN CONFERENCE                                      From GEnie
 (C)1991 by Atari Corporation, GEnie, and the Atari Roundtables.  May be
 reprinted only with this notice intact.  The Atari Roundtables on GEnie
 are *official* information services of Atari Corporation.  To sign up
 for GEnie service, call (with modem) 800-638-8369.  Upon connection type
 HHH (RETURN after that).  Wait for the U#= prompt.  Type XJM11877,GEnie
 and hit RETURN.  The system will prompt you for your information.
 (Due to major technical difficulties, Migraph's responses this evening
 were chopped up by the lines.  At one point, Kevin Mitchell was forced
 to type in all caps in order to get anything through to GEnie.  Your
 editor has received permission to edit this transcript to better convey
 the intent of the answers.)
 <[Ron] R.GRANT11>  Good Evening, Desktop Publishers, and welcome to the
 Monday Night DTP RTC!  Tonight we are pleased to present the MIGRAPH
 Real Time Conference!  We're here to talk about ***New Products*** for
 the Atari ST, with Kevin & Liz Mitchell and Brien Warder from Migraph,
 the TOUCH-UP and EASY-DRAW folks!
 Kevin, do you have any opening remarks you'd like to make?
 <[Kevin] MIGRAPH-TECH>  Hello Everyone!  Thank you all for taking the
 time tonite to discuss with us, some of Migraph's new products for the
 ST.  (Of course like Touch-Up, they run on the STe, MEGA and TT also.)
 There are several of us here from Migraph.  Between us (Kevin, Liz &
 Brien), we should be able to answer your questions.
 Those of you who are registered Migraph owners already know some of the
 news, since we just had our last newsletter in Aug/Sep.  For everyone
 else, here is a short summary:
 1)  Merge-It & Scanning Tray (Also Scan & Save)  This combination of
     software and precision molded tray and scanner head cradle enables
     owners of the Migraph Hand Scanner to easily have accurate full page
 2)  Migraph OCR - One of the first "Intelligent" OCR systems for
     personal computers.  This product is being jointly developed between
     Migraph engineers and a leading OCR UNIX developer.  Migraph will
     have the exclusive rights to the OCR engine for both the Atari and
     follow-up Amiga version of the product.
 We'll upload press releases later this week.  Now however let's spend
 some time answering any questions you have regarding these new products,
 as well as other questions for Migraph.
 <[Ron] R.GRANT11> First up is D.HADLAND....
 <D.HADLAND> I was wondering if I missed any thing on repair for the hand
 scanner and How Long will one last?
 <[Kevin] MIGRAPH-TECH> Your scanner should last as long as your ST.  The
 warranty in the box covers interface and scanner.
 <NEVIN-S> Kevin, it is nice to see you on line again!  I'm excited to
 see a company like Migraph come out with an OCR product.
 <[Kevin] MIGRAPH-TECH> Thanks.  We will have full press releases up
 later this week.
 <NEVIN-S> Can you tell us a bit about it??  Is it a low end type, like
 the ones which need to be "trained" to read different typefaces, or is
 it the type that can read text in different font sizes?  Also, any idea
 of pricing?
 <[Kevin] MIGRAPH-TECH> It is very HIGH-END (but not cost).  It has a
 List price of $299.  It uses the Omnifont Engine.
 <NEVIN-S> That price sounds great.  May I follow up?   Thanks. Kevin,
 although you have not left the ST marketplace by any means, it has been
 a while since you released a brand new product.  Is there a reason
 you've "come back?"  Do you see any hopeful signs or is it just that you
 have the rights, so what the hell?
 <[Kevin] MIGRAPH-TECH> We never left the Atari market.  All of our
 products are now on three platforms.  All new products now appear on the
 ST first.  An example is Merge-It and the Scanning tray last month for
 the ST.  Now they are out for the Amiga, and PC next month.
 <NEVIN-S> Thanks, and I am looking forward to your press release.  The
 Atari needs a first rate OCR program.  That's it, and thanks.
 <MIKE-FULTON> Any news on an update to Easy-Tools?  Or better yet, how
 about an new version of Easy-Draw with that stuff built-in?
 <[Kevin] MIGRAPH-TECH> That's not currently planned.  Easy-Draw is
 always in dev here in-house.
 <MIKE-FULTON> Here's an idea:  how about documenting the desk accessory
 communications pipeline that Easy-Tools uses, so that enterprising
 programmer's can write their own add-on products?  You know, ala the
 CAD 3D Developer's disk?  I'd buy something like that in a second!
 <[Kevin] MIGRAPH-TECH> Sounds interesting.  Please have any interested
 programmers contact us.
 <MIKE-FULTON> Will do.  That's all for now, thanks.

 <D.SMITH200> I have tos 1.2... so no grayscale in TU 1.65.  Question is,
 will I gain grayscale capability with tos 2.o ROMs I'll be getting with
 the SST board?
 <[Kevin] MIGRAPH-TECH> Does anyone here own Merge-It?  You get all of
 the grayscale conversion on TOS 1.2.  You'll get all 16/31, and see 16.
 I mean see 8.
 <D.SMITH200> I just don't see any grayscale icon in 1.65
 <[Kevin] MIGRAPH-TECH> The icon is bottom middle of scan mode.
 <[Ron] R.GRANT11> OK, Folks, due to technical problems, Kevin is going
 to shout at us. <grin> I won't be the one to tell you what terminal is
 in use somewhere...:-)  OK, on to the next questioneer...
 <HAINES> Two part question.  Will the OCR be a combination program or
 will you use touchup to scan and then OCR it.
 <HAINES> What will be the lower limit on DPI for the OCR, and Characters
 per Second.
 <[Brian] B.SCHANTZ1> My first question's been answered, so here's no.2:
 Do you have anything in the works as far as hardware?  i.e. flatbed or
 color scanners?
 TASK  {Editor's note: Kevin is referring to the OCR}.  This will be one
 of the first "intelligent" OCR packages on a PC.  PC meaning personal
 computer, not that other one.
 <[Roy] R.C.GOSEWEHR> Sometime ago in your newsletter, it was stated that
 Easy-Draw was being reworked for consistency across all platforms, Is
 this still the plan?  If so, what changes will we be seeing?
 <[Roy] R.C.GOSEWEHR> What changes would be in the new version?
 <[Roy] R.C.GOSEWEHR> When you say TU Interface, does that mean we will
 be able to run TU from within E.D.?
 <[Roy] R.C.GOSEWEHR> I have been requested to ask the cost of the ED
 <[CodeHead GT] C.F.JOHNSON> Hi Kevin.  Nice to see you here!  I wanted
 to ask if you plan to support the GEM 3 format in an upgrade to Easy
 <[CodeHead GT] C.F.JOHNSON> So that means that you do plan to support
 GEM 3, I take it?
 <MIKE-FULTON> Any thoughts on supporting other scanners?  We have plenty
 of Migraph scanners around here, but we also have a few Epson flatbed
 scanners.  It would be nice to be able to use them too (with Touch-Up
 as well, of course).  They can connect either through the Parallel port
 or through the SCSI port of the TT030.
 <MIKE-FULTON> Also, if I'm not mistaken, the addition of Bezier Curves
 is the main diifference in GEM/3, as far anything regarding metafiles is
 concerned.  I'd like to use the Epson with Touch-Up, especially.
 <S.NOAH> Hi, I arrived late, so I apologize if this has already been
 asked, but do you have any plans to support FSM-GDOS or third party
 video adapters ?

 <S.EAKINS> Kevin, this may seem stupid, but what is the most practical
 software for someone just getting into dtp to buy?
 <HAINES> Will the OCR correctly pass over graphics on a page, or will
 we have to blank them out before procressing the page?
 <[Ron] R.GRANT11> OK, Thanks all of you for logging on tonight!  We're
 sorry about the technical problems; sometimes these things can't be
 <[Kevin] MIGRAPH-TECH> Our thanks to all who attended tonite.  We look
 forward to talking with you again real soon.  We know that you will be
 as pleased with our new ST products as we are in developing them for the
 Atari.  As more detailed information is available, we will post it over
 in the Desktop Publishing CAT.  Until next time.

 * IAAD UPDATE                                             Press Release
 Nevin Shalit of Step Ahead Software, Inc., was elected President of the
 Independent Association of Atari Developers (IAAD), at a meeting of the
 IAAD during the WAACE Atarifest.  Shalit replaces Nathan Potechin of ISD
 Marketing, who stepped down after serving as President for the first two
 years of the IAAD's existence.
 The IAAD is a group of registered Atari developers who work together in
 various marketing, instructional, and educational areas.  Currently more
 than 50 developers make up the IAAD, which includes representatives from
 Canada and Europe as well as a full complement of US developers.
 "I look forward to building on Nathan's excellent work in the coming
 year, by increasing our membership, and having IAAD members work
 together on specific projects which will benefit developers, dealers,
 end users, and Atari itself," says Shalit.
 IAAD business is conducted mostly on GEnie, the national on-line
 service.  Developers interested in joining the group should send e-mail
 to PERMIT$.

 * CODEHEAD SOFTWARE UPDATE                                Press Release
 For immediate release
 Friday, November 1, 1991

 MegaPaint Professional is Available NOW from CodeHead Software
 Surprise!  CodeHead Software has the graphics drawing program _you've_
 been waiting for...and we have it NOW!  MegaPaint Professional is a full
 -featured bit-map and vector graphics tool for Atari ST and TT
 computers.  We're proud to include it in our new line of "CodeHead GT"
 Graphic Tools -- along with Avant Vector, Repro Studio, and Genus (which
 we'll tell you about later).
 To call MegaPaint Professional 4.0 "full-featured" is a vast
 understatement!  Here's a partial list of its features (and this list
 barely scratches the surface):
 o Virtually any drawing function imaginable is available, making a
   complete listing impractical here.  Besides the normal tools, there
   are such obscure features as rhomboid, equilateral polygons with 3 to
   32 sides, circular or elliptical ringsectors, dropping perpendicular
   lines, or parallel lines...all available in either bit-map or vector
 o Text support is extensive, including bit-mapped and vector fonts, as
   well as support for the vast Signum font library.  You can also easily
   create your own fonts or symbol tables from any graphics block.
 o Vector graphics can be projected into a bit-map picture and bit-map
   graphics can be faded into a vector picture giving you unique
   flexibility when working with any type of graphics.
 o Whether working with bit-map graphics, vector graphics, or text, the
   user interface and features are tuned to give you the power and ease
   of use you're accustomed to with CodeHead Software.
 o Coordinate systems and even screen aspect ratios can be adjusted.
 o FAST block and lasso functions.
 o Editable fill patterns and line styles.
 o Up to four planes of color separation may be manipulated, overlayed,
   viewed with varied intensities, and printed to a color printer.
 o There are 197 dropdown menu selections and 377 submenu dropdown
 o Unique overlapping pop-up menus give you 120 selectable icons.
 o Choices in the pop-up menus may be assigned to any of the available
   functions in the dropdown menus.  Icons in the pop-up menus can be
   selected from over 240 predesigned icons or redesigned to the users
   specification, even changed to text.
 o MegaPaint can be used with virtually all printers.  Supplied printer
   drivers can be easily edited to adapt to any printer.
 o Pictures can be loaded in MegaPaint's .BLD format, standard .IMG
   format, MS-DOS .PCX format, Degas, straight 32K format, or STAD format
   (.PAC).  Vector graphics can be exported in CVG format.
 o MegaPaint can call external modules, allowing infinite expandability
   for new functions.  Import and export modules are already in the works
   (from CodeHead) for several other picture and vector formats.
 o Runs on any ST/TT with a monochrome monitor from 640x400 up to 8192 x
 o Virtual page size may be as large as 7680x7680.  Pictures may be
   loaded into any area of the virtual page.
 o MegaPaint has network support.
 o MegaPaint is available for MS-DOS machines, supporting the same file
 o Scanner support currently includes interfaces for 3 different
   scanners.  External module support allows the future interfacing of
   any other scanner.
 And best of all -- MegaPaint is unbelievably FAST!!!  We've never seen
 a drawing program anywhere, on any platform, released or not, that even
 comes close to the speed of MegaPaint.  That's why MegaPaint fits so
 well into the CodeHead line of products.
 If you've ever seen Tempus work with text, you'll remember your first
 reaction to its incredible text-scrolling speed, even without a screen
 accelerator.  MegaPaint is the Tempus of graphics processors!  It's so
 fast that the windows actually update the display AS YOU DRAG THE
 SLIDER!  And you simply won't believe how quickly MegaPaint loads IMG
 pictures and rotates blocks or entire images.
 We'll be releasing a demo version of MegaPaint Professional soon so you
 can see for yourself just how amazing this program is.  Meanwhile we're
 gearing up our shipping department because once you get a taste of
 MegaPaint, you'll want it immediately and won't want to wait.
 MegaPaint is available NOW, and retails for $175.  For more information,
 contact your local dealer, or CodeHead Software, PO Box 74090, Los
 Angeles, CA 90004; voice (213) 386-5735, fax (213) 386-5789.

 * Z*NET/Z*MAGAZINE ARCHIVES                                January 1988
 In the wake of a Christmas season in which Atari Corp.'s video game
 sales were more than twice those of the same period last year, Atari
 plans to keep the ball rolling by launching a major first-quarter
 national television advertising campaign featuring six new commercials,
 according to Michael Katz, president of Atari's electronics division.
 The commercials will be aired in the top 30 markets in children's and
 prime-time viewing hours and will include syndicated and cable

 Katz said that first-quarter spending will be comparable to what Atari
 spent in the fourth quarter of 1987 when the company sold out of two of
 its three game systems, the new XE Game System and the older 7800.
 The new Atari 2600 commercial, like the previous one, uses rap music
 while heavily promoting the new games available for the 2600.  The new
 XE commercials include a testimonial/endorsement commercial presented by
 the presidents of four computer game companies; a commercial comparing
 Atari's baseball game with Nintendo's; and three more promoting the
 range of new games for the XE.
 Atari also announced new playable, self-running point-of-sale display
 units for the 7800 and XE systems, available at no charge to retailers.
 ATARI PC:  MYTH OR FICTION? January 6, 1988 --

 "I'm sure that I will never see" "Atari's duplicate PC..." That song's
 been sung for months.
 There's been little evidence of the IBM clone Atari started showing a
 year ago.  But according to a classified advertisement in the San Jose
 Mercury News, Atari is seeking a "Production Development/Sustaining
 Engineer for our growing line of PS2/PCAT/PCXT systems."
 So keep on your toes -- it may not be far away after all.


 Agents of the U.S.  Customs and U.S.  Marshals Services seized 2,000
 counterfeits of Atari's 2600 video game system at Terminal Island in the
 Port of Los Angeles on December 17.  The imitations were manufactured by
 Fund International Co., Ltd., of Taiwan, and distributed in the United
 States by P.S.D.  Inc.  of Canoga Park, California.


 Virtusonics Corp., creators of the Desktop Performance Studio, has
 entered a development and licensing agreement with 2nd Mate Systems, a
 marine navigation software systems company, to adapt and interface its
 Virtuoso software technology with 2nd Mate's computerized marine
 navigational systems.

 Boaters will now be able to plot their courses and positions on
 computerized charts using computers (such as an 8-bit Atari) and a
 monitor or television.


 A U.S. District Court Judge denied the request of Nintendo of America to
 halt Atari Corp.'s television commercials that said that more games
 could be played on the Atari XE Game System than on the Nintendo,
 according to Reuters.

 Nintendo had contended that the ads were false and misleading, but Atari
 was "confident of the outcome," according to Michael Katz, Atari's
 president of entertainment electronics.  "The commercial was hard-
 hitting but truthful, and we proved it," he said.

 The XE Game System runs all cartridge-based Atari games, and a disk
 drive can be added to run all disk-based Atari games.

 The following will bring you up to date with the many things that have
 been happening since our last press announcement.  Our list of Chicago
 ComputerFest by Atari exhibitors has been growing rapidly.  Plans for
 the banquet have been finalized.  The MIDI exhibition has been expanded
 to include presentations, workshops, and major manufacturers.  There
 will be a flea market for used equipment and software run by our local
 user groups.  The Mini-GenCon gaming area and Hands-on instructional
 sessions are still planned for both days.  In addition to this, there
 are many other things being planned for the two days not quite yet
 BANQUET:  Gala Chicago ComputerFest by Atari Banquet 
 7:00 PM, November 23rd, 1991
 Ramada Hotel O'Hare - Plaza Dining Room 
 Capacity- approximately 300

 Tentative Program:
 Bob Brodie and Greg Pratt of Atari Corp present the Midwest Atari
 Regional Council (MARC) Excellence Awards.  Atari Lombard Lynx game
 programmer Steve Ryno will speak about future game systems from Atari.
 Dinner Choices: 
 Roast Sirloin of Beef, Marchand de Vin 
 Tender Slices of Midwestern Beef with a Rich Red Wine Sauce
 Roast Loin of Pork Calvados
 Roasted Pork Loin Topped with an Apple Cream Sauce
 Chicken Kiev
 A buttered breast of chicken stuffed with herb butter and cheese sauce.
 Grilled Halibut Steak, Sauce Choron
 A Center Cut Halibut Steak accompanied with a buttery herb sauce
 infused with tomato.

 Each of the above include Soup of the day, Gardner's basket salad, a 
 seasonal selection of vegetable and potatoes, and Chicago style
 Cheesecake with your selection of Strawberry, Pineapple and Mandarin
 toppings.  Coffee and Tea included - cash bar will be available with
 choice of Beer, Wine and Cocktails.
 All of this $25.00 per person (tax and gratuity included).  Send your
 banquet ticket order NOW to:
  Chicago ComputerFest by Atari
  c/o LCACE
  P.O. Box 8788
  Waukegan, IL  60079-8788.

 Atari Corp. announces that they have negotiated special air fares to the
 Chicago ComputerFest.
 To get the special rate via American Airlines, you must book your flight
 through Atari's travel agent - UniGlobe Travel.  They can be contacted
 at 408-248-8800 (voice- ask for Barb), or 408-248-8891 (fax).  Average
 discounts are 40% off full fares, and 5% off promotional or discounted
 EXHIBITORS (as of October 20th):
 Apple Annie                       Mars Merchandising
 ASTMUM                            MaxWell C.P.U.
 Atari Interface Magazine          MegaType
 Brasoft                           Michtron
 Best Electronics                  Micro Creations
 Clear Thinking                    Migraph, Inc.
 Codehead Software                 Missionware
 CompuSeller West                  M-S Designs
 CSA Ltd.                          Motorola, Inc.
 D.A. Brumleve                     Newell Industries
 DataQue Products                  Oregon Research Associates
 Double Click Software             Pallette Imaging
 Electonic Spinster Graphics       Rimik Enterprises
 Gribnif Software                  Roland Corporation
 ICD, Inc.                         Soft-Logik Publishing
 ISD Marketing                     Step Ahead Software
 Goldleaf Publishing               Sudden, Inc.
 Guitar Plus                       Toad Computers
 Guitar Center                     WizWorks!
 Innovative Concepts               Wuztek/OPI 

  Eastside Atari User Group (EAUG)
  Greater Chicago Atari Computer Enthusiasts (GCACE)
  Lake County Area Computer Enthusiasts (LCACE)
  MilAtari Ltd (MA)
  Milwaukee Area ST User Group (MAST)
  Rockford Atari Computer Club (RACC)
  Suburban Chicago Atarians (SCAT)
  The User Group (TUG)
  The Rest of Us (Macintosh)

 Credit Card Payment is available for banquet and general admission
 tickets!  Call the show hotline at 708-566-0682 to order.  Be sure to
 Your Name as it appears on the credit card
 Address where to send tickets 
 Your Credit Card Type (Visa or Master Card)
 Card Number and Expiration Date 
 Your phone number (in case there are questions)
 What tickets and the number you are ordering. 
 Your Choice of Entrees (banquet only). 
 We will add a $1 service charge for each credit card order, all banquet
 orders must be received by November 8th; advance show tickets by
 November 15th.
 If paying by personal check or money order, please make checks payable
 to "Lake County Area Computer Enthusiasts".
 Each general admission ticket entitles the holder to a chance at the
 TT030/8 Color system donated by Atari Corp.  Many other valuable prizes
 will be given away during the course of the show.  You need not be
 present to win the TT030!
 Developers - there are a _few_ main floor booths available- please call
 the hotline as soon as possible if you wish to attend.  If you are not
 able to personally join us, please consider sending product information
 flyers and/or product donataions for the door prize raffle.

 * INSIDE THE STE - PART 1               Copyright (C)1991, A. Greenwood
 Introducing The STE
 There is little doubt that Atari's STE is a significant improvement to
 the successful ST range, but many people are still unsure as to what
 this relatively new machine has to offer.  As an introduction to a
 series of articles on programming the STE, this article explains just
 what Atari has added.  Further articles will explain the tricks and
 techniques needed to program these extra features, with documented 68000
 source code, for example programs and STE utilities.
 Overall, Atari made improvements in seven main areas on the STE:
 1.  A new version of TOS, version 1.6 or 1.62
 2.  The addition of the Blitter chip previously found on Mega STs
 3.  A new DMA sound chip with volume and tone control
 4.  An improved video shifter chip.
 5.  A Cookie Jar to allow programmers to identify the machine.
 6.  Two new ports supporting four extra joysticks plus paddles.
 7.  Use of SIMM cards for easier memory expansion.
 TOS 1.6 (and 1.62)
 This version of TOS includes all the features of TOS 1.4, the latest
 version of TOS for the ST, but is slightly different internally to allow
 for the new hardware.  The main difference from a user's point of view
 is the inclusion of a menu item to allow use of the blitter chip to be
 selected from the desktop, and the resulting improvements in speed when
 the blitter is on.  Other enhancements, such as the new file selector
 and the MS-DOS compatible disc format, are the same as for TOS 1.4, and
 are explained in the STE addendum sheet supplied with the machine.  TOS
 1.62 is just TOS 1.6 with the bugs which were present in the original
 STEs corrected.
 On the programming side, this version of TOS can be treated exactly as
 TOS 1.4, with the same additions to the GEM libraries.  The changes made
 to accomodate new hardware are transparent to the programmer, ie they do
 not affect the way the operating system appears compared to TOS 1.4.
 For most commercial programming languages, for instance Devpac 2 and
 Lattice C, updated libraries and macros for using the new GEM calls are
 included in versions released after the new TOS.
 Blitter Chip
 All STEs have Atari's Blitter chip as standard, where previously it was
 only found on the Mega STs.  The Blitter chip is a direct memory access
 (DMA) device which uses the STs bus to transfer data directly from one
 part of memory to another - more quickly than is possible using the
 68000 processor.  It does this by using the DMA controller to take
 control of the 68000's bus, either in bursts interleaved with the CPU or
 until it has finished.  In this way the Blitter chip can be used instead
 of the processor for fast movement of data.
 The Blitter chip can also manipulate the data in several ways as it is
 transferred.  Since data transfer is bit oriented, the source data can
 be shifted to produce the destination data, previously one of the
 hardest parts of bit-mapped graphics programming.  The Blitter also
 applies one of 16 different combinations of logical operations to the
 source data (including straight copy, of course), and can also combine
 the source data with 16 word length half-tone RAM registers for special
 When copying data the Blitter chip can skip a specified number of bytes
 (only even numbers allowed, ie word boundary) after both source and
 destination words, which is useful when copying a single bit plane in
 low or medium resolution.  The Blitter transfers data in lines, and can
 also skip a set number of words at the end of each line - again, this
 applies to both source and destination.  The Blitter chip also allows
 the source and destination data to overlap, so if necessary a section of
 memory can be read, manipulated and written back to the same area of
 When it is enabled, the Blitter is used by both GEM and some of the A-
 line routines, though not by the sprite routines.  Use of the Blitter in
 this way can be selected either from the desktop by using the Blitter
 menu item or from within a program by using Xbios call 64, the blitmode
 call as found previously on the Mega ST.  The Blitter can also be used
 directly, for example for custom graphics or sprite routines, which
 although complex at first can produce fast graphics with less code.
 DMA Sound
 The new DMA sound chip on the STE is in addition to, and not instead of,
 the original Yamaha PSG chip.  The new hardware uses a digital to analog
 converter (DAC) to play 8-bit sound samples at one of four different
 frequencies, from 6.25 to 50 kHz, in either stereo or mono.  By
 comparison, CD players work at 47 kHz, but with 16-bit samples - this
 gives some idea of the quality of the sound produced.
 The sound chip is another DMA device, fetching samples directly from
 memory for output.  This means that less processor time is needed for
 sample playing, which is quicker and of better quality than with the
 original sound chip.
 Playing a sample is achieved by loading the sound chip's address
 registers with the start and end address of the sample and then setting
 the enable register to either play the sample once or repeat it.  The
 DMA sound chip is connected to Timer A, and this can be used in a
 similar way to the hblank interrupt to play a sample a specified number
 of times, and to link samples together to produce continous sound.  The
 address registers on the sound chip are buffered, allowing the address
 of the next sample to be set while a sample is playing,  thus allowing
 samples to be joined seamlessly.
 Comprehensive volume/tone control is also provided using the new
 microwire interface connected to a volume/tone  chip.  This allows
 master volume, left and right volume, and bass and treble to be set
 through software.  The sound output is via stereo RCA jacks on the back
 of the machine, ideal for connecting to a hi-fi.
 So far, the sound chip has been the best used feature of the STE, with
 many samplers already compatible and more and more software appearing
 with DMA sound as an option.  Hopefully this feature of the STE will
 also be used in conjunction with MIDI and computer music, where the ST
 is almost standard.
 Improved Video Shifter Chip
 The STE's video shifter chip is an enhancement of the old chip,
 providing access to a greater range of colors, vertical and horizontal
 hardware scrolling, and accepting an external sync.
 The color range has been increased from 512 to 4096 by using four bits
 instead of three to represent the red, green and blue components of each
 color.  To maintain combatibility with old machines, the least
 significant bit of the new 4-bit color component is actually the most
 significant bit in the color nibble - if this were not so all 3-bit
 colour values from old STs would appear at half intensity as the maximum
 intensity was 7 and is now 15.  This feature is useful for graphics
 applications, particularly scanning and video digitizing where a full 16
 shade grey scale can be obtained (see 'User cover disc 56).
 Vertical scrolling is achieved by allowing the screen base to take any
 address, rather than being on a 512 byte boundary as before.  This is
 done using an extra register for the low byte of the screen address,
 which does not affect the screen until the next vertical blank.  This
 means the screen address can simply be changed to point to the next
 screen line, giving smooth vertical scrolling.
 Horizontal scrolling is achieved through two new registers.  The first
 sets the length of a screen line past the edge of the screen, allowing
 a screen in memory to be larger than the actual displayed screen.  This
 means screen data can be scrolled on from the sides of the screen.  The
 second register indicates which bit of the first screen word should be
 used as the first pixel on screen.  This allows the screen to be bit
 scrolled horizontally up to 16 pixels, at which point the base address
 can be changed to continue scrolling.
 Using vertical and horizontal scrolling together to produce four-way
 scrolling requires careful combination of both methods, due to the
 different way the registers are used.  The horizontal scrolling
 registers take effect immediately, while the low byte of the screen
 address is not used until the next vertical blank.
 Using the hardware scrolling on the STE, smooth full color full screen
 scrolling is possible with very little code, and using only a small
 amount of processor time.  However, this method usually requires more
 The external sync input provided via the monitor port allows the STE's
 video shifter to synchronise with another device.  This is particularly
 useful in video genlocking, as the screen display can be synchronised
 with video equipment, and has already been used on at least one such
 device.  Without this feature the video shifter chip often has to be
 prised out and a circuit board added to allow the genlock to synchronise
 the computer with the video device.
 The Cookie Jar
 The cookie jar is a welcome addition to the STs system variables which
 provides a list of 'cookies', each of which gives some information about
 the features available on a particular machine.  This information
 includes which CPU the computer has (68000 - 68040), whether a Blitter
 chip is present, whether the machine has DMA sound and which model the
 machine is.  This allows applications to selectively use these features
 if they are present, and should help with integrating STE features into
 ST software.  Presumably the cookie jar has already been used in
 software which is STE compatible.
 Another feature of the cookie jar is the provision for applications to
 add their own cookies.  This means that other devices added to the ST
 can use the cookie jar to inform programs that they are present.
 Controller Ports
 The STE provides two new ports on the side of the machine which can be
 used in a variety of ways.  The intended uses are either four standard
 joysticks (two per port), two paddles or a light pen or light gun.
 These ports are connected directly to the the 68000's bus, instead of
 adding extra controller chips, and can be written as well as read.  The
 provision of four 8-bit Analog to Digital Converters (ADCs) for the
 paddles, and the fact that the outputs are driven when the registers are
 written to will no doubt give rise to other uses for these ports.
 Since the two ports both use 15-pin sockets adaptors will be needed to
 connect most controllers.  How well used these ports become depends
 largely on games designers and programmers (for joystick, paddle or
 light gun use) and applications programmers (for light pen use) but the
 possibilities include up to six player games, analog joysticks for
 flight simulators and light gun games.  Another possibility is the use
 of enhanced joysticks, perhaps with more than one fire button.
 RAM on the STE is on up to four Single Inline Memory Modules (SIMMs),
 which can hold either 1/4 megabyte or 1 megabyte each.  These are easy
 to remove and install, and are cheaper than other ST memory upgrades.
 This allows the computer to be upgraded to 1 megabyte using 1/4 megabyte
 SIMMs or 4 megabytes using all 1 megabyte SIMMs.  Mixing the two sizes
 of SIMM is possible, but requires extra software to ensure the computer
 knows how much memory it has.  SIMMs are easy to fit by simply removing
 the STE's lid and carefully clipping the SIMMs into place.
 It is often possible to get cheap 1/4 megabyte SIMMs, as anyone
 upgrading over 1 magabyte will have the old SIMMS left.  This can make
 upgrading a 520 STE to one megabyte cheaper than buying a 1040, and may
 result in more software making use of extra memory, particularly with
 the memory overheads associated with sample playing and hardware
 Programming the STE
 The rest of this series of articles will concentrate on programming the
 STE, covering hardware scrolling, color, the Blitter chip, joystick
 ports, the cookie jar and GEM, and starting next month with DMA sound
 and volume/tone control.

 The following article is reprinted in Z*Net by permission of AtariUser
 magazine and Quill Publishing.  It MAY NOT be further reprinted without
 specific permission of Quill.  AtariUser is a monthly Atari magazine,
 available by subscription for $18 a year.  For more information on
 AtariUser, call 800-333-3567.

                    LDW POWER VERSION 2.0 (ST, STe, TT)
 A superlative spreadsheet application, LDW Power 2.00 is to the ATARI
 World what Lotus 123 is to the rest of the world.  In fact, LDW Power
 version 2, released last spring, is now virtually 100% command and file
 compatible with Lotus 123 Release 2.2.  LDW Power requires only 512K,
 can run from a floppy, and uses either color or monochrome.  As with
 other productivity software, the more memory the better and a hard drive
 is almost a must.  LDW Power can be run under a GEM environment with
 full point and click mouse operation, or in a command mode with all the
 same commands as Lotus 123.

 A spreadsheet is an electronic grid of rows and columns.  Each cell,
 where a row and a column intersect, can be given a definition of a
 number, text, or a formula that relates to other cells.  You can do
 "what if" statements where one part of the equation is changed and the
 rest of the equation is recalculated for you.  With this power you could
 create something as complex as a tax return preparation program
 ("template") or a checkbook balancing program.
 LDW Power 2.0 allows the simultaneous use of up to four windows at one
 time with condensed display allowing up to twenty-eight rows in a
 window.  Every cell can have a non-computational note.  There are close
 to 300 commands with more than 80 mathematical functions with strings,
 too.  Five different types of graphs can be generated from your data,
 XY, line, bar, stacked-bar and pie charts.  There is automatic and
 manual scaling with optional grid, average and standard deviation lines.
 Sideways printing is also an option.  Import/export of Lotus files, LDW
 specific and ASCII files are available.   LDW Power has a Lotus 123
 compatible Macro language with the number of macros limited only by
 While the newest version of LDW Power did not update the printer
 drivers, an update is due out shortly after Atari's FSM GDOS becomes
 available.  Until then at least, there are no laser printer drivers.  To
 get around this you can print the file to disk and then load it into
 either your word processor or DTP program.  A graph can be saved as a
 PI2 or PI3 format and then loaded into NeoChrome or your DTP program and
 then printed.
 LDW Power is a powerful program, and its greatest asset is its
 compatibility with the rest of the computing world.  $179, from Logical
 Design Works, 130 Knowles Drive, Los Gatos, CA  95030, 408-378-0340.
 - John King Tarpinian

                         SALES-PRO (ST, STe, TT)
 Hi-Tech Advisers offers SALES-PRO as a complete point-of-sale and
 inventory control system for the Atari ST, STe, and TT computers.
 Written in DBASE III, it runs via DBMAN which in turn allows it to run
 DBASE III program and data files on the Atari.  Ten program modules
 allow you to customize Sales-Pro to meet your needs.  Other accessory
 modules that allow bar code export, UPS COD label printing and more.
 You'll need 1 meg of memory to run Sales-Pro and a hard drive is
 STRONGLY recommended.  Sales-Pro runs well with A&D's Universal Network,
 although slowly if using MIDI.
 Sales-Pro is very capable handling point-of-sale transactions such as
 invoicing, layaways, purchase orders, vouchers, returns and all cash
 register functions, including running a power cash drawer.  Customer
 data can used to create an invoice or to print mailing labels.
 Inventory control uses standard inventory control methods, and an
 exploded inventory module will allow kits to be made from the current
 Reporting ability is good, with user-adjustable reports available from
 within most modules.  Reports are available on inventory, sales,
 customer activity and more.  Reports on Profit & Loss and Financial
 Statement information can be accessed through the General Ledger module.
 A General Ledger module is available for accounting.  I found the
 General ledger module to be a little complex.  Both accounts payable and
 accounts receivable can be automatically posted to the general ledger.
 Sales-Pro can also handle checking/savings account journals.
 I have used two MS-DOS based point-of-sale systems that cost five times
 as much, but they have no more features or power than Sales-Pro.
 (Sales-Pro is, however, also available for MS-DOS based machines with
 enhanced networking power.)  Hi-Tech Advisers has just released Version
 6 of Sales-Pro which fixes all know bugs and adds some new features.
 Version 6 retails from $99.00 to $599.00, depending on how many modules
 you need.  Hi-Tech Advisers, P.O. Box 7524, Winter Haven, FL, 33883-
 7524, 813-294-1885.

 - Richard Betson

                 Midwinter 2: Flames of Freedom (ST, STe)
 Midwinter was a highly rated 3-d strategy simulation which pitted your
 group of freedom-minded rebels against mercenaries who wanted control of
 the snow covered isle of Midwinter.  The sequel ss Midwinter 2: Flames
 of Freedom, set decades after the battle of Midwinter.  Due to rising
 temperatures, your people of Midwinter have moved to a new island off
 the coast of Africa.  A new empire has seized control of the other
 islands and is now threatening you.
 You must liberate those islands through acts of espionage,
 assassination, sabotage, rescuing opposition leaders and more.  If you
 can complete your missions on any island, it will be liberated and join
 you.  By taking out key islands and cutting supply routes from the
 Saharans, other island will be liberated in a chain reaction.
 Each island is a big 3-D environment which you will travel through using
 22 different kinds of transportation.  Trucks, jeeps, buses, biplanes,
 zeppelins, helicopters, speedboats, submarines, hovercrafts, flying
 subs, and rocket packs are just some of the ways you'll be getting
 around.  You'll meet different people who can provide you with help,
 info, or may even be a traitor will turn you over to the secret police.
 Midwinter 2 is a quantum leap over the original.  The graphics are
 smooth, and controlling all the different vehicles is a lot of fun.  The
 most impressive 3-D effect has to be the way the bodies of water
 actually move.  When you're in a boat or swimming you'll find yourself
 bobbing up and down and watching the waves rolling in on the shore.
 You'll hear crickets chirping and the waves crashing in.  There are also
 some good sounding songs throughout the game.
 Unfortunately, Midwinter 2 will not run from a hard drive.  Between copy
 protection schemes and lots of data to load, it takes a very long time
 to start a campaign.  But if you like in-depth games that make you feel
 like you're there, Midwinter 2 is the game for you.  By Rainbird,
 - Clinton Smith
                           STENO (ST, STe, TT)
 A text editor in a desk accessory?  Yes, it's been done, but STeno
 offers a LOT.  Cut and paste, search-and-replace, autowrapping, "live"
 and manual reformatting of text, printer control including pagination
 and page headers, and more.  Screen font size is selectable, allowing
 screenfuls of super-tiny text, a 9-point size that allows 40 lines on
 the screen (my favorite in monochrome), normal, and large sizes that may
 be suitable for sight-impaired users.  STeno has its own GEM-like drop
 menus WITHIN its window.  Online help for the advanced functions is also
 available from the menu bar.
 The formatting functions to be particularly useful.  As in WordWriter,
 Function 10 reformats a paragraph--but in STeno, it will follow the
 indentation of the SECOND line in the paragraph, making varying the
 margins virtually thought-free.  And since STeno works in "pure ASCII",
 formatted ASCII documents (with hard returns on every line) will obey
 the reformat command just as though they were return-free.  (If you
 understood what that meant, you probably need the function and are
 ordering STeno now.
 If not, read this again next year.)
 Gribnif Software (the NeoDesk folks) have picked up distribution and
 development of several previously available programs, including
 CardFile, STalker, and STeno.  The last two were products of Strata
 Software, programmed by Eric Rosenquist of Canada.  Gribnif has worked
 to update the programs, and has released STeno as a stand-alone desk
 accessory.  It used to come bundled with STalker, a desk accessory
 terminal program.  STeno can communicate with STalker to swap text
 blocks, etc., as well as to become a capture buffer and/or type ahead
 With the exception of a spell checker, STeno is nearly a complete word
 processor.  You can even install several copies of STeno as additional
 desk accessories and operate on several documents at once.  STeno will
 also work as a normal program rather than an accessory if you like.
 Buffer size is adjustable from 32K up to a full MEG!
 Use of STeno is easy, fast, and very rational.  I use it every day.  Get
 it.  $29.95, Gribnif Software, P.O. Box 350, Hadley, MA 01035, phone 800

 - John Nagy

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            A monthly guide to new and upcoming Atari ST games
                            Edited by Zenobot
                         A CyberSysTek Publication
                Our motto: "Pumpkin and drivin' don't mix."
                           October 1991 Edition
 Top Twenty ST Games in the UK, September '91:
 1  (20) Midwinter II: Flames Of Freedom (Rainbird/Maelstrom).
 2  (2)  Lemmings (Psygnosis/DMA Design).
 3  (5)  Gods (Renegade/Bitmap Brothers).
 4  (1)  Hero Quest (Gremlin/221b).
 5  (*)  Rainbow Collection (Ocean).
 6  (*)  Robin Smith's Cricket (Challenge Software/Astros).
 7  (33) Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (Imageworks/Probe).
 8  (4)  Armour Geddon (Psygnosis).
 9  (*)  F-15 Strike Eagle II (Microprose).
 10 (34) Super Monaco Grand Prix (US Gold/Probe).
 11 (12) Secret Of Monkey Island (US Gold/Lucasfilm).
 12 (8)  Life And Death (Mindscape).
 13 (3)  Pro Tennis Tour 2 (UBI Soft/Blue Byte).
 14 (19) Super Cars II (Gremlin/Magnetic Fields).
 15 (*)  Virtual Reality Volume 1 (Elite).
 16 (14) Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe (Imageworks/Bitmap Brothers).
 17 (18) Simcity/Populous (Infogrames).
 18 (13) Kick Off 2 (Anco).
 19 (RE) Wonderland (Virgin/Magnetic Scrolls).
 20 (29) Viz (Virgin Games).

 [ (*) = new item, (RE) = re-entry, (#) = last month's position.]

 Get Out And Vote!
 If you want to see an ST version of Rules Of Engagement (Mindcraft/
 Omnitrend), you better fire up your word processor or grab your
 telephone!  Mindcraft's PR told me that if enough people write or call
 in, they would do an ST conversion.  So, here's their address and phone
 number: Mindcraft, 2341 205th Street, Suite 102, Torrance, CA, 90501,
 (213) 320-5215.  Mindcraft distributes all Omnitrend products, and is in
 turn distributed by Electronic Arts (who won't distribute ST software).
 ST Thrown Out Of The Arena!
 Spectrum Holobyte's new division, Arena Entertainment, will not carry
 any ST titles after all.  Arena will be releasing US versions of various
 Mirrorsoft products, including Cadaver (Bitmap Brothers), Reach For The
 Skies (Rowan Software), and Red Phoenix (based on the Larry Bond novel).

 Cadaver already came and went, and a scenario disk was recently released
 by Renegade (the Bitmap Brothers' new hangout).
 Reach For The Skies also goes under the name of Battle Of Britain
 Jubilee and has not been released anywhere as of yet.  With Flight Of
 The Intruder taking so long, Rowan's other projects were bound to be 
 affected.  No release date yet.

 As for Red Phoenix, it's way too early to tell.

 Looks like it's back to the import rack...

 The SSI Position:
 SSI US will not be designing anything for the ST.  They will simply
 distribute US Gold creations in the US, like the upcoming Shadow

 Licensing Hit List:
 Ocean snaps up yet another movie license. This time, it's the upcoming
 Hook.  It's a sort of big budget remake of Peter Pan with Dustin Hoffman
 as Captain Hook and Robin Williams is in there somewhere.  The toy line
 is already at your friendly neighborhood Toys'R'Mine...

 To  sign up for GEnie service call (with modem)  (800)  638-8369.   Upon 
 connection type HHH and hit <return>.   Wait for the U#= prompt and type 
 XJM11877,GEnie and hit <return>.
 To sign up for CompuServe service call (with phone) (800) 848-8199.  Ask 
 for operator #198.   You will be promptly sent a $15.00 free  membership 
 Z*Net  International  Atari  Online Magazine  is  a  weekly  publication 
 covering the Atari and related computer community.   Material  published 
 in  this edition may be reprinted under the following terms  only.   All 
 articles must remain unedited and include the issue number and author at 
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                Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries, Inc...

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