Z*Net: 17-Apr-92 #9216From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 04/20/92-05:44:41 PM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: Z*Net: 17-Apr-92 #9216 Date: Mon Apr 20 17:44:41 1992 ==((((((((( == Z*NET INTERNATIONAL ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE ========(( === ------------------------------------------ ======(( ===== April 17, 1992 Issue #92-16 ====(( ======= ------------------------------------------ ==((((((((( == Copyright (c)1992, Rovac Industries, Inc. <*> Z*Net Newswire............................................. Latest Atari New and Industry update... <*> TAF Atari Convention..............................Ron Grant Final report and commentary on the recent computer show... <*> FSM/GDOS - A New Standard?.....................David Pischke Software review... <*> Transplanting A Hard Drive.......................Ken Wickert Upgrade and replace your hard drive... <*> MOS Disk Utilities V1.0..........................Jerry Cross Software review... <*> Pure C.........................................Press Release Gribnif Software announcement... <*> Perusing GEnie.....................................Ed Krimen Overview and capture of latest discussions on GEnie... <*> Perusing CompuServe............................Mike Mortilla Overview and capture of latest discussions on CompuServe... <*> Basic AT Commands.......................................... Final Installment of a three part series... ====================================================================== * Z*NET NEWSWIRE ====================================================================== ATARI RESULTS DELAYED Atari Corporation delayed the release of their 1991 fourth quarter financial reports for several days past the March 31 deadline imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, then announced a poor quarter performance with a $4.4 million loss. Atari reported $1.6 million earnings on $49.2 million in revenues in its third 1991 quarter. Comparisons with 1991 and 1990 quarters are difficult due to a long series of credits, write-offs, repurchase of debentures, etc. For the full 1991 year, sales dropped to $258 million from 1990's $411.5 million. Net income for the year was $25.6 million, compared with $14.9 million for 1990. But the 1991 figure includes a gain of $40.9 million on the sale of the company's manufacturing plant in Taiwan, and the 1990 profit included $35.7 million in extraordinary gains. The operating loss for 1991 was $18.7 million, compared with a loss of $25.2 million in 1990. Atari President Sam Tramiel said, "The company has restructured its overhead and is focusing on the improvement of its balance sheet and the development of new products." STE AND HAM RADIO HAM Radio meets the STE with a new product of KAWA Productions and Records. A sing-along of sorts, Phillip Kawa's morse-code learning cassette was produced using the MIDI capabilities of the ST and a Roland U-220 sound module. "The Rhythm of the Code" is $5.95 from Kawa, P.O. Box 319, Weymouth, MA 02188. ATARI AND KLF Bizarre but big, the U.K. techno-pop-dance band "KLF" has a hit with a major music video "Justified and Ancient." It features a jungle island motif, throbbing beats and repeating samples, the band itself as satin- clad monks with rhinoceros-like horns instead of faces, and of all people for a guest lead singer, country superstar Tammy Wynette. Far more understandable is the only computer listed in the credits on the CD sleeve: Atari. SHOW CONTROL EQUIPMENT FOR THE ATARI LONE WOLF introduced a line of professional stage lighting and audio control system including MicroTap (which gives communications network capability of MediaLink), MidiTap and FiberLink (for show control equipment that do not integrate MediaLink), and the Virtual Stage (software/hardware to put all serial and MIDI control in a graphic window on Atari, MAC, or PC computers. Prices begin at $1595 for MidiTap, and custom engineering is available. Lone Wolf, 310-379-2036. KAZMAIER HINTS AT NEW MODULE Despite being unwilling to cripple current product sales by announcing an impending software update, Deron Kazmaier of SoftLogik hinted widely at the coming of such an upgrade plus new modules for PageStream. The powerful DTP system is at version 2 on the Atari, and users have been hoping for a round of bug fixes that should clean up the program. At an online conference on GEnie in early April, Deron discussed Calamus import modules for PageStream, plus Arabesque bitmaps, GEM3, and more, all expected "within the month." He also discussed "HotLinks" for the Amiga, a product designed to create interactive and automatic data linkage between applications. What this means is that if you edit your text in a text editor, the changes will update in your DTP program without loss of formatting applied in either program. Same goes true for any kind of data, pictures, graphs, musical notes, video clips. HotLinks acts as a kind of data traffic cop, sending new copies of data to applications "subscribing" to the data "edition" even if the applications were not loaded when the changes occurred. Since it is presently only available on the Amiga, SoftLogik was quick to add that an Atari version was being considered and would be possible if/when a standard multitasking system for the Atari was released. Deron went so far as to indicate that HotLinks for the ST could even be part of the ROMS. For more info on programming for HotLinks, call SoftLogik, 800-829-8608. ACCOLADE ORDERED TO CEASE Accolade has announced that a preliminary injunction which was requested by Japanese owned Sega Enterprises and issued by the US District Court in San Francisco, has gone into effect. The injunction bars Accolade from further development, manufacture or sale of any Sega compatible products. Accolade has filed a request for a stay of the effect of the injunction, and will appeal the court's decision in order to be in a position to resume its Sega business as soon as possible. The court informed Accolade and Sega that it will rule on Accolade's request for a stay by April 21. If the court declines to grant the requested stay, Accolade will immediately request a stay from the court of appeals. POLICE CRACK COMPUTER NETWORK Police in San Diego, Calif. have cracked a nationwide electronic network of young computer criminals who have made fraudulent credit card purchases and broken into confidential credit rating files. The investigation has led to two arrests in Ohio and seizures of computers and related material in New York City, the Philadelphia area and Seattle. APPLE AND MICROSOFT SUIT DISMISSED A federal judge has dismissed most of Apple's $5.5 billion lawsuit accusing Microsoft and Hewlett Packard of illegally copying computer- screen symbols used by Apple's Macintosh. US District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled this week that most of Apple's symbols are not protected by copyright law. The symbols at issue include such things as a tiny picture of a folder to represent a computer file. Walker, in the latest pre-trial hearing to narrow the scope of the suit, granted several motions dismissing many Apple allegations on specific features of its graphics displays. Walker dismissed disputed graphics features stemming from all of Microsoft's Windows 2.03 and most of the features found in its 3.0 version of the software. Another hearing is set for May 12, at which the judge is to review the remaining claims. MAC TO ST FILE TRANSFER SOFTWARE MacRead lets you read data files from a Macintosh formatted HFS hard disk or a Spectre formatted HFS floppy disk - a unique capability - and store them on an ST disk. HFS is Apple's current disk format, much faster and more flexible than the older MFS format. MacRead lets you work with both Macintosh and ST/TT computers. Use your Macintosh (or Spectre emulator) for its special features, then copy your files to your ST/TT for its unique qualities. Images, illustrations, text, data, PostScript files, and more can easily be read from a Mac disk for loading into an ST/TT software program. Say goodbye to compatibility problems and MFS disks! MacRead is available now for $49.95 from Goldleaf Publishing, Inc., 700 Larkspur Landing Circle Suite 199, Larkspur, CA, 94939, 415/257-3515 ====================================================================== * TAF ATARI COMPUTER EXPOSITION by Ron Grant ====================================================================== On Saturday and Sunday, April 4th & 5th, I attended the Atari Computer Exposition held by the Toronto Atari Federation at the Skyline Hotel, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Actually, the Skyline's in some place called 'Etobicoke' but hey; my flight ticket said Toronto... On entering the show on Saturday, and mounting the stairs, I was greeted by a long showcase of MIDI developers, dealers, and distributors, as well as a sound stage for demos and 'The Talent Show', a truly unique concept in Atari Fair-going. I missed the Talent Show, actually. That's what I get for staying up late the night before with a table of developers at dinner. Fortunately, the winners weren't announced until the Saturday evening Developer Banquet (to which I was invited, being an Atari Dealer). We got to see the two best Music entrants, and the three best Graphics entrants. I'll be honest; MIDI and me don't get along - I'll have to leave it to some other reporter to tell who won the prize. The Graphics contest, however, was extremely good, with James Duffin taking 2nd runner-up prize for 26 truly incredible Degas Lo-res hand drawn pictures that actually made me realize that you really can create good art with 16 colours; Clive Probert with his raytraced "Boink" taking 1st runner-up for his animation, and Norm Pickthall taking first prize for his four Cyber sequences that were a pleasure to behold, and must have been an awesome undertaking to create. The most humorous episode of the whole weekend had to be the sound effects for Clive's animation; since the sound system on the computer demonstrating his sequence to the assembled developers, dealers, and dignitaries was on the fritz, he asked us to supply the sound effects. The animation was a series of stainless steel balls rolling out of a tube and bouncing off the floor. Imagine the sight of a hundred of the top names in the Atari ST marketplace yelling "Boink! Boink! Boink!" in concert......! As for the show itself; it truly made me a believer all over again; much like John Nagy's article in Computer Shopper years ago. Atari Canada themselves had an incredible booth; it looked like it belonged in Germany - not because of the language, but because of what was being displayed: The ST Book, TT UNIX, MultiTOS, Portfolios managed by none other than Don Thomas, a DTP station setup by ISD Marketing and manned by luminaries such as Mario Georgiou and Rolf Berger (two peas in a pod if ever I saw them...) and Alex David running DynaCADD 2.0 (and was that a sneak preview of 3.0 I saw?) not to mention Bill Rehbock, Bob Brodie, Shirley Taylor, and of course the crowd from Atari Canada: Geoffrey Earle, Murray Brown, Mark, Jennifer, Kathy, Randy, Errol, etc. and more...Who was running Atari Canada? The janitor???? The air of optimism was infectious; I'd love to be able to report on OTHER things that were said or shown behind the scenes, but since they were revealed while I was wearing my 'dealer hat', under non- disclosure, I can't. One thing I can say: Atari is back. And as for all those rumours of new machines and things - all I can say is that the end user is the lucky one; when he first sees these products, they're going to be displayed on top of a stack of shipping units.... I don't have time to list each and every booth, and what they were showing; I'll wind up apologizing for missing someone anyway, so I'll have to just tell you about the things that really impressed me (and came to mind first....:-) Hardware Developers I spent the most time with the hardware people, being a latent hacker myself. Some amazing equipment was in Toronto last weekend; here's a look at what's hot: CYBERCUBE RESEARCH I spoke to Ralf Doewich, President of Cybercube Research, Ltd., about the CyReL Sunrise M16-1280 video/LAN board. Quite frankly, in the hardware category this may be the hit of the show; Cybercube Research has been a ray of hope for video purists for well over a year now, and they're just about ready to ship their first product. These fellows are an impressive bunch; they're professional custom software & hardware engineers whose primary income is not derived from the Atari platform. This gives them the leeway to create a 'work of art' rather than bending to market pressure and releasing the cheapest product faster than the competitors. The Sunrise video board was seen at Cybercube's own booth, and at the Atari booth running Calamus SL. Cybercube's own workstation consisted of a TT connected to an Ikegama 20" colour monitor that was capable of 1280x1024 colour. Since the Sunrise is completely configurable by the enduser, some 'examples' of resolutions were given rather than specifications: Examples for 1,2,4 and 8 bits per pixel: (up to 256 colours on screen) 640x480 220 Hz 1024x768 100 Hz 1024x1024 76 Hz 1280x1024 64 Hz Examples for 24 or 32 bits per pixel: (up to 16.7mil colours on screen) 512x512 104 Hz 640x480 92 Hz 800x600 65 Hz 1024x512 60 Hz All resolutions are non-interlaced. So, is it fast? You bet. True, the TT with FastRAM helps, but the 2MB VRAM cards themselves were considerably faster even at the higher resolutions than fancy cards I've seen attached to Mac IIfx's. Connected to the PTC1426 at the Atari booth, the Sunrise did an impressive 800x512; with that much colour, it was a wonderful sight for these tired eyes. (Incidentally, Cybercube came to the show prepared to use their own demo programs and pictures to show off the quality of their product; they were pleasantly surprised to find that Calamus SL ran on the board, and took such good advantage of it.) Cybercube claims they will be shipping in 'six weeks or so', but indicated that if one had the funds, a unit might be forthcoming considerably quicker (i.e. when are you leaving Toronto?). Price was... ah... discussed :-) but rest assured that this board is directly aimed at the Professional user rather than the casual; if your needs extend to high resolution true colour for DTP, CAD or DTV purposes, and can justify a video subsystem in the mid-four figures (with a monitor that would do the Sunrise justice) that includes a LAN system that's twice as fast as EtherNet (20Mbits/sec!), then by all means call CyberCube Research, Ltd., and speak to Ralf. Their number is (416)882-0294. Ralf hinted at the probability that a lower-end card would be forthcoming, with neat gadgets like NTSC/PAL and sound input/output, and minus the LAN ports. I'll be watching for it. Need any beta testers, guys? BRANCH ALWAYS SOFTWARE Darek Mihocka was kept steadily busy showing the GEMulator, his much- discussed Atari ST Emulator for IBM Compatibles. Darek says that his main reason for being at the show was to prove to the public that the product exists, and works. I can attest that this is so. It does need work yet, (and boy, you better have a KILLER Intel system ready...) but due to Darek's intimate knowledge of Windows programming, he is able to put a TOS window into Windows which mimics a real ST quite well. I don't think this product will replace the ST on your desk, but for those of you who have to work with DOS machines, this is worth thinking about. Since the emulation is done entirely in software, GEMulator will be dependent on the speed of your machine (the new Intel DX2 chips should provide enough power to run GEMulator as fast as a MegaSTE, I think), and will require you to have a set of TOS ROMs. If you have more than one set, you can install up to three pairs, and switch between them in software. FAST TECHNOLOGY / GADGETS BY SMALL ACE would not have been a 'real' Atari fair without Jim Allen and Dave Small. The two 'Sultans of Speed' were at it again, showing their wares to a power-hungry public. Since there exists a world of controversy, debate, benchmarks, and rhetoric about the features and benefits of FAST Tech's Turbo 030 and Gadgets' SST 030 system accelerators, I am not about to put my head in the pillory to venture opinions or even comments about either of them, save to say that both of them work, both of them exist, both of them are FAAAAST and both these fellows are outstanding members of the Atari community who make good targets at a dinner-roll tossing competition. Jim Allen was also displaying his T20/25 upgrades, unquestionably the best 68K accelerators available for Atari. He also had a Leonardo True- Colour video board from Lexicor for display. I was not able to get a real good look at it, but the colours on the TT were outstanding. The Leonardo is primarily aimed at video production users, though it would be a great add-on for a DTP artist, as well. GOLDLEAF PUBLISHING I cannot do justice to Goldleaf Publishing's _quadruple_ booth in one short article. John Fox and crew pulled out all the stops, demonstrating the full 'Turnkey Publishing System' being shown at the 'big' trade shows, including Seybold and CEPS. New products included the Polaroid CI-5000 Digital Palette Colour Film Recorder for Atari ST and NeXT computers, and the 36-bit, 2000 dpi ScanMate drum scanner for ST, NeXT and Mac. The fabled Imagespeeder was there, as well. Frankly, the only thing they didn't bring was the Bridget imagesetter and developer. What surprised me was not their presence, but their presence in such strength. That, and the fact that they were actually doing business; I overheard several very serious discussions about the system with interested buyers, certainly something that makes the average Atari user's heart warm, like mine! A more complete review of Goldleaf's booth (as well as highlights of the rest of the show) will appear in The Computer Paper, Canada's largest monthly newsprint computer magazine, in May. GRIBNIF SOFTWARE Gribnif Software were showing their usual wares, NeoDesk, STalker, Cardfile, and the like, along with their latest line of DTP tools such as Arabesque, and Convector, a new auto-tracer (I'm going to have to check out the demo in the libraries since I didn't have time for a demonstration). The hardware they were showing was the Crazy Dots video card, another import from Europe much like the Matrix card. One of the neatest things about the Crazy Dots was the setup menu; very easy to use, running from the Auto folder. Software Developers CODEHEAD TECHNOLOGIES 'Da CodeHeads' are extremely nice people to talk to; Charles F. Johnson and John Eidsvoog. Mind you, I only know this from personal conversations; there's no way I could get through the crowd to talk to them at the show. Charles let slip that ACE may have been their best show ever; one of the reasons they could do such a thing in l'il ol' Toronto was the release of WARP 9, their revamped version of Quick ST. All 150 copies shipped to Toronto were sold! That's a fair amount of invoice writing, guys! Todd Johnson of Cherry Fonts (now a Codehead product) was in the booth helping out and bore the brunt of the WARP onslaught while Charles and John were rendered speechless by the non- stop demonstrations of Avant Vector, MegaPaint Professional, and the other Codehead standards; Hotwire, Maxifile, MultiDesk Deluxe, etc., and the never ending questions about the TEC board which they answered patiently and repeatedly. STEP AHEAD SOFTWARE Nevin Shalit of Step Ahead Software was demoing his mailing manager program, Tracker ST; that is, when he wasn't being cajoled into demoing Avant Vector for the Codeheads, whose booth he was sharing. He didn't have to demo Tracker too much, though, because many of the other developers and dealers were using his software and/or his demo to show off their systems, or take down names and addresses of showgoers. Tracker is a 'must-have' for those of us who have to pretend that we remember everything about everybody we meet! D.A.BRUMLEVE Dorothy Brumleve (gee, I wonder where she got her company name...) was tackling standees by the Codehead booth and dragging them over to her booth next door to show them her complete line of KIDPRGS, full-fledged applications for the chronologically disadvantaged. In other words, children's programs! Actually, it only seemed like she was doing the tackling; the mingling of people around the three booths of the Codeheads, Dorothy, and WizWorks made it difficult to tell if anyone fell over. In actual fact, many of the crowd were lined up to talk to the fabled D.A.Brumleve, many of them with offspring in tow. It was "Meet the nice lady who made Super KidGrid" day; giving Dorothy a chance to show off her new program, Multiplay. Your reporter, the bachelor, unfortunately feels unqualified to comment on the software itself, but I can say that Dorothy's own self-effacing reports of leaving all the work to her assistant were patently untrue; she was in her booth every time I saw her! JOPPA SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT The only purchase I made at the show (besides the hotdogs and this cool Calamus SL T-shirt) was an upgrade to STraight FAX, the new software only Send/Receive FAX application from Joppa Software Development. Joppa has shed the modem that was once tied to their software, allowing the enduser to choose their own brand of Class 2 Send/Receive modem. STraight FAX supports Zoom and Supra modems, all the way to 14,400 baud. Joppa was kept as busy as their demo fax machine could go, showing how the user can send and receive faxes created in various ST applications or sent in through a standard FAX machine. Did I miss anybody? Yes, probably three-quarters of the people displaying at the show, and I'm going to get taken out back and shot by Nathan Potechin if I don't mention that ISD Marketing was there with Calamus SL and their other products (I finally met Sean!); Rod Coleman will be lynching me for not mentioning Sudden View; Hutch will be throwing boomerangs for missing Fair Dinkum Software, W. "Dr. Bob" Parks will never bring me another box of Ho-Ho's for not telling you about WizWorks' booth, and Darlah Potechin and John Jainschigg will never speak to me again for not mentioning the GEnie or Atari Explorer booths! Hmmm, maybe I'll have to finish this off next week! I want to live, folks! ====================================================================== * FSM/GDOS: A NEW STANDARD? David Pischke ====================================================================== This article originally appeared in Issue #79 of Phoenix, the official newsletter of the Toronto Atari Federation and is reprinted with the permission of TAF. For more information, contact the Toronto Atari Federation at TAF, 5334 Yonge Street, Suite 1527, Willowdale, Ontario, M2N 6M2, phone the TAF Info Line at (416) 425-5357 or call the TAF BBS at (416) 235-0318. When the Macintosh was released in 1984, it included in its operating system a then innovative feature: support for different typefaces. Until then, terms like "fonts", "points", and "typeface" had been something known only to typesetters. Soon after that, other systems started including font support. Now, almost every graphical operating system has support for multiple typefaces. In 1987, Atari released GDOS. It was supposed to finally bring multi- font, high-quality output to the ST. Unfortunately, it had some limitations, and it was widely criticised. It was inadequate for many high-end uses, such as DTP, and therefore never established itself as a standard. Even when GDOS would have been adequate, some programmers simply didn't use it. All of that is about to change with the release of FSM/GDOS -- GDOS's successor. DRIVERS ED What exactly is GDOS? GDOS is an extension to the GEM operating system which loads off disk. Under GDOS graphic primitives, such as circles and squares, graphic images such as those in .IMG and .GEM files, and fonts, can all be output to different peripherals with the Operating System, without programmers having to write their own routines for doing the same. The GDOS concept includes drivers -- which are simply special programs -- that "drive" the output device and perform the actual output. To change to a better (or simply different) printer, simply change the driver, and every program that uses GDOS will still print, but at the highest resolution of the new printer. The idea is that under GDOS, fonts and drivers become system resources that are shared by every program. Actually, FSM/GDOS and GDOS both perform the mostly the same functions and have the same goals. The differences between the two lie in how they go about achieving these goals. SO WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? So what is the difference between regular GDOS and FSM/GDOS? There are several. FSM/GDOS will work with old GDOS fonts, but it also uses a different type of font, scalable outline fonts. Simply put, that means that instead of representing each character as a collection of pixels on a rectangular grid as the old GDOS did, each character is represented as a series of lines, arcs and circles. The significance is that because each character is represented by graphic primitives, the same character will appear equally good at every resolution. Do you want to double the size of the letter "a"? FSM/GDOS simply draws the lines, arcs and circles that make the letter up at twice the size. The result is a character that looks just as good at both sizes. In contrast, the old GDOS would draw each pixel twice as big, resulting in a very crude looking character. The old GDOS could only double character sizes; FSM/GDOS can draw characters at any size. What's more, FSM/GDOS can even rotate characters up to 360 degrees in increments of one tenth of a degree; the old GDOS could only rotate characters in increments of 90 degrees. The most significant thing about the fact that FSM/GDOS uses scaled fonts is that because both screen and printer fonts are drawn using exactly the same rules, the screen size as compared to the printer size for every character is always constant. Thus, FSM/GDOS offers 100% WYSIWYG. Because FSM/GDOS uses scalable outline fonts, the way it is set up is different from regular GDOS. For starters, FSM/GDOS requires only one set of files (two files totalling around 50K) for each font, as opposed to GDOS, which requires different files for each size and each device. Why? The old GDOS can't create new sizes and representations for each font, but FSM/GDOS can create a character for a different device simply by scaling it to a different size. In addition, because fonts can be scaled to any size, the user is not locked in to predefined point sizes, as with the old GDOS. Because FSM/GDOS fonts don't come in any particular size, what are called default point sizes are required. (Font height is measured in "points"; there are 72 points in one inch.) Basically, FSM/GDOS lets the user install point sizes for all the fonts; these are the sizes that programs using GDOS will see when they boot up. This doesn't stop programs from scaling fonts to any size, however. GIVE ME YOUR CACHE What other differences are there? The way FSM/GDOS manages its fonts is another major difference. Since FSM/GDOS essentially has to create a character by mathematically scaling it to the proper size then drawing it every time it occurs, one might think that screen updates would be slow. FSM/GDOS solves this by using font caching. Whenever a character is drawn, FSM/GDOS stores the image of the character in memory. The next time it is drawn, FSM/GDOS uses the image stored in memory to draw the character instead of creating the character again. When FSM/GDOS runs out of font cache space, it gets rid of one of the fonts in the cache to make room for the new one. The result of font caching is very fast screen updates; they are faster than the old GDOS, which actually slowed down the entire system. FSM/GDOS even caches old GDOS-style fonts! Font caching is only used for screen fonts. Another difference: under the old GDOS, all fonts for all devices were loaded into memory and kept there when a GDOS program was run. The font caching system allows more fonts to be used while taking up less memory. There's another difference that probably isn't as significant, but should be mentioned as well. Included in the ST's character set are Hebrew and symbol characters. Under the old GDOS, unless the font you were using had these characters included in them and at every size, you were limited in when you could use them -- only at the sizes provided. Since these fonts don't vary in style, FSM/GDOS provides two fonts -- one for symbols and the other for the Hebrew characters, and these separate fonts are used whenever a symbol or a Hebrew character is required. It saves memory, because these characters don't have to be included in every font, and ensures that they always can be used and won't be unavailable just because a font doesn't include those characters. IT'S A SETUP! Finally, FSM/GDOS is much more user-friendly than the old GDOS. The old GDOS came with a very awkward install program which configured GDOS for an Atari SMM804 printer then returned to the desktop. Not so with FSM/GDOS. A very user-friendly installation program is included. It asks questions about what printer you have and what drivers and fonts you want to install, the directory where fonts will go, and it explains each option thoroughly. Once the old GDOS was installed, it was extremely difficult to change; the setup was contained in a text file called ASSIGN.SYS, and adding fonts or changing printer drivers meant editing the ASSIGN.SYS file by hand with a text editor. FSM/GDOS uses the ASSIGN.SYS file, and another one called EXTEND.SYS, but FSM/GDOS provides a user-friendly escape. Three CPX modules are provided to alter the setup of FSM/GDOS. (.ACCs versions are included for those who don't have the Extensible Control Panel) And any changes made to the setup take effect the next time a program using FSM/GDOS is loaded, not when the computer is reset as with the old GDOS. The first one, FSMPRINT, allows the modification of printer drivers -- options such as page size, print quality (draft/final) and other options can be changed. The other, FONTGDOS, allows the installation and activation/ deactivation of new drivers and old GDOS fonts, and the allows the change of the directory for old-style bitmapped fonts. The biggest one is FSM, which controls the new features of FSM GDOS. The font cache can be resized, cleared, loaded, and saved. The font cache currently in memory can even be merged with one on disk. The directory for FSM fonts can be changed, and fonts can be activated and deactivated. It is from this accessory that default point sizes are installed, and the Symbol and Hebrew fonts can be changed, installed, activated, or deactivated. IMPRESSIONS FSM/GDOS has been a long time coming, and it's definitely worth the effort. Finally, there's a flexible font standard for the ST. The quality of the output is exceptional. Unfortunately, though, power comes with a price: the print speed of FSM/GDOS is relatively slow, because FSM/GDOS has to draw the entire page in memory before it sends it out to the printer. By comparison, the old GDOS simply "rubber- stamped" the bitmapped copies of the fonts in memory, then sent it out to the printer. A fast printer would definitely speeding up printing, but FSM/GDOS is definitely not as fast as "draft mode" on a dot-matrix printer, unless one has a laser printer or a fast dot-matrix printer. Also, FSM/GDOS requires at least 1Mb of memory. If you're low on memory, there is a different version called FontGDOS included, which can be used on low-memory systems. FontGDOS operates similarly to the old GDOS from a user's point of view and only uses bitmapped fonts, but does implement some of FSM/GDOS' new features, such as font caching. I tried FSM/GDOS with several programs that used the old GDOS, and experienced no compatibility problems. Although the older programs worked with FSM/GDOS, they weren't able to take advantage of FSM/GDOS' scaling abilities. Also, some programs, such as Hyperpaint and Timeworks DTP, only have a limited number of "slots" in their menus for fonts and point sizes, a problem that will no doubt be solved as FSM/GDOS comes into wider use. One program that already takes advan tage of FSM/GDOS' scaling ability is Wordflair II. FSM/GDOS also has many fonts available for it; over 100 are available right now, from the Ultrascript PC library. In fact, lack of available fonts was one of the major criticisms against the old GDOS. Now no one can complain. The actual FSM/GDOS package is much bigger than the old GDOS package; it is four double-sided disks as opposed to three single-sided disks. The disks contain the installation program, the standard bitmapped "Swiss" and "Dutch" fonts, and the entire 13-font Lucida family. What's more, printer drivers for twelve printers and their compatibles are included, including the Atari SMM804, Atari Lasers, Canon Bubble Jet, Epson FX-80, HP Deskjet 500, Laserjet and Paintjet, the NEC P- series, Okimate 20, Star NB24-15 and compatibles, and the Star NX-1000 and compatibles. FSM/GDOS was supposed to be widely available by now, and was supposed to carry a suggested retail price of $49.95US. (The price is $49.95 because Atari had to pay a licensing fee to Imagen for the use of their font scaling technology, and no doubt wants to recoup their costs.) Unfortunately, FSM/GDOS is still not in release, and no reason is being given by Atari. This is unacceptable, in my opinion, and Atari must get FSM/GDOS out to the general public now. Wordflair II buyers can get FSM/GDOS when they buy Wordflair II. So what's the verdict? If you have programs that work with GDOS and you want high-quality output, then get FSM/GDOS as soon as it becomes available. You won't be sorry. FSM/GDOS is compatible, powerful, and easy to use. ====================================================================== * TRANSPLANTING A HARD DRIVE by Ken Wickert ====================================================================== ACE of Syracuse President Is your Atari SH204 20 Megabyte Hard Drive just too small to meet your needs anymore? If so, then this article is just what you may need to get you a substantial amount of storage space for the least amount of money. Atari Corporation recently released AHDI5 which is new software for Atari's own Host Adapters. It boasted compatibility with most of the newer SCSI drives on the market today. This gave me added confidence to upgrade using the existing Host Adapter. As I opened the case of the SH204 to browse its interior I found quite a bit of usable space inside. I quickly realized that a newer SCSI drive mechanism could be installed with little modification. I started shopping for a SCSI Hard Drive Mechanism in magazines like Computer Monthly and Computer Shopper. I found this to be the most difficult part of my project. Both of these magazines are quite large and all the advertisements of all the different vendors are laid out differently. I took careful notes on pricing. I found my price range to be the size of a 65 to 85 megabyte unit. Because there are so many brands of Hard Drives on the market it was difficult to choose which manufacturer might offer the best support or warranty. A fellow club member mentioned to me that Seagate Technologies operates a BBS from their corporate headquarters in California. I called the number (408-438-8771) and found that they have a library with text files on all the drives they manufacture. From my list of possible choices I picked two models; the ST1096N and the ST296N. I downloaded the text files for these drives. I printed both files and found quite a bit of the information I was looking for. Each included full drive specifications including pin configurations for the power supply connector and power requirements. Also supplied were the SCSI ID numbers, which would come in handy later. I called back and left a question on their BBS regarding what "Parity Check Enable" was. It was a term used in their specification document that was unfamiliar to me. The following day I received a personal call at home from one of Seagate's technical representatives, who explained that this particular item was to be disabled with Atari systems. Good service always influences my buying decisions and I was now convinced that I should buy a Seagate because of the excellent customer support. Other Hard Drive manufacturers may offer the same type of support but I can't verify this. From the notes I had compiled earlier, I was able to quickly choose a vendor from Computer Shopper magazine who offered a very competitive price on a Seagate ST296N 5.25 inch Half Height Drive. This company had once sold Atari Products and I had dealt with them before. It was a comfortable purchase and it arrived in less than one week. Since I started my project in the dead of a Central New York winter, and my new Hard Drive was in transport outside in the cold for the better part of a week, I knew I needed to let it sit unopened in my warm home until the next day to minimize the effects of condensation. Now the fun was to begin. I opened the case and found the need to cut the wires from the controller board to the drive access light in the cases top cover. I cut the wires very close to the controller and left the longest end on the case cover to reconnect to the new mechanism. Then I unplugged the power supply connector from my existing Tandon MFM mechanism, and the power supply connector from the controller board mounted on top of the drive mechanism. Next, I unplugged the SCSI cable from the Atari Host Adapter that went to the controller board. Now it was a simple matter to remove the four screws holding the old mechanism in place. I set the new mechanism in place with the circuit board facing the floor of the case and penciled a mark by each one of the four mounting spots on frame of the mechanism. The small manual supplied with the drive gave me the exact measurements for the hole spacing, so I now could measure my pencil marks and adjust to a closer tolerance for drilling. I found I needed to remove the new mechanism's faceplate. This required removing two #15 Torx fasteners. These can be discarded. I choose an 11/64 inch drill bit to drill the four new mounting holes. This would allow some side to side movement so I wouldn't pull or twist the case of the mechanism while tightening the mounting screws. I took care to wrap the power supply and host adapter in plastic wrap and secured it with several rubber bands so as not to get any metal fragments from the drilling into the electronics. I drilled the holes with a 600 RPM drill to gain maximum control and used a piece of scrap wood under the case floor for drill support. I also added a small amount of white grease to the drill bit to keep flying fragments to a minimum. A small ream was used to remove any burrs. I now cleaned out the case of the SH-204 with compressed air. I keep a can of compressed air on hand at all times for projects such as this. These cans can be purchased at any camera store for a few dollars and you will find many uses for them. Please use eye protection in this step. Upon Aligning the mechanism to the holes I had just made I realized the need to elevate it slightly to allow for proper air flow. Air is drawn in from under the drive and exits from the fan opening in the back. In my project box I located some aluminum spacers available from Radio Shack. (Part #64-3024) I selected four round 3/4-inch aluminum hollow spacers and four 1-inch #6 machine screws with eight #6 flat washers (available at any Hardware Store) to be fitted on both sides of the floor of the SH-204 case. I then attached the 50-pin connector of the SCSI ribbon cable to the mechanism. The cable I had was "keyed" so it couldn't be installed backwards. Some SCSI cables are not. You will need to look for pin #1 on both the Hard Drive mechanism and the Host Adapter and align the stripe on one end of the ribbon cable with pin #1. I reviewed my reference papers, found the parity enable jumper, and removed it. Then I located the SCSI ID pins and found the sequence for setting the drive up as unit number 0. My final step was to connect the power supply cable to the mechanism. These do fit quite tightly and care must be exercised to support the circuit board when connecting. The second power supply connector will not be needed and I used a small plastic tie wrap to secure it out of the way. If you want the small red drive access mounted in the original SH204 case to operate with your new drive you will need to possess a steady hand for soldering as you must connect the two wires from the top of the SH204 case to the light in your new mechanism. If you are unsure of this step just leave it disconnected. It's not a necessity. Use a small piece of Duct Tape to secure the wires to the top of the case if your not connecting it. I have a small, well-equipped workshop and am an Auto Technician by trade. This is not a difficult upgrade for anyone possessing basic hand tools and knowledge. I found the new AHDI5 software from Atari very user friendly and had the drive formatted and partioned in a short time. No problems at all to report. Care to try the "Transplanted Drive" out? You can! It Operates the ACE of Syracuse BackStairs BBS at 315-458-0118 24hrs. a day 3/12/24. You can download a copy of AHDI5 for yourself. It's in ST Utilities Library 5 called ATARIHD5.ARC. A Thought! There could be value in your old 20-meg mechanism and controller board. I had little trouble in selling the original working mechanism from the SH-204. This made the upgrade an even better deal! Please Take Note! This upgrade will void your warranty from Atari. The Author of the article or media you read this article in takes no responsibility for any problems you may encounter in attempting this upgrade. I hope you find this article useful in gaining added space for the least amount of money. ====================================================================== * MOS DISK UTILITIES V1.0 Reviewed for Z*Net by Jerry Cross ====================================================================== One of the worst nightmares a computer user can have is a hard drive crash. Once your drive dies it's nearly impossible to recover data. Those who have lost a hard drive before have learned their lesson and started to do regular backups of their data. It is possible to sometimes recover data after a crash. But it's even better to do everything you can to prevent a crash from happening. That is where Maximum Output Software (MOS) Disk Utilities comes in. MOS Utilities is a collection of programs that will help restore your hard drive to it's optimum working order. These programs can also be used on your regular floppy disks too. I tested all of these programs on several different systems. I wanted to give these programs a tough test, so I started out with an Atari Mega-4 with a Megafile-44 disk drive. I figured that if any problems would turn up it would be with a cartridge type drive. My drive is configured into three partitions of about 14 meg each. I also ran these tests on a Supra FD-10 10-Meg Floppy drive, (I'm a glutton for punishment), and a more reasonable and reliable 60-Meg hard drive connected to an ICD Host Adapter. Test were also done using a 1040ST equipped with an AdSpeed accelerator chip, TOS 1.4, and 2.5 Megs. In all cases, speeds were greatly increased using this machine. So I guess I have just about everyone covered. It takes a brave soul to trust his hard drive to an untested program that could wipe everything away in the blink of an eye. But I was a trusting person. So, after backing up my cartridge to a tape backup unit (I'm brave but not stupid...) I was ready to go. The first test was to search for bad sectors with the BadMap program. There are several options to choose. You can request to have the program attempt to recover data on sectors which were found to be bad, and have it check sectors marked as bad on previous formats. You can also set the severity of the tests, ranging from 1 to 6. Setting it to the higher level will take much longer. Running level 1 while attempting to recover data took 1:40 minutes for a 14 Meg partition, and at level 6 about 20 minutes. Neither test detected any bad sectors. I was not so lucky with my FD-10 drive. Halfway through I ran into countless bad clusters and the program choked. I would have to work on this problem some more. Following instructions in the manual, I ran the Fix-A-Disk program. After looking the disk over I was informed that there was a problem with the FAT table, and I was told to run the next two programs, Fix-A-Fat and Fix-A-File. These programs will examine and repair the FAT and directory tables on the drive. After running these tests, I was informed how to cure my problem (crosslinked files). I then started over again and everything ran smoothly. Tests on the FD-10 were very slow, which is understandable due to the type of drive it is. I won't bother reporting on these. It should also be noted that Clean-Up (a similar program from ICD) failed to fix this drive on previous occasions. I'm not sure why. Not finding any problems with my ICD drive, it was now time to do preventative maintenance. There are two programs in this package called ReFormat and ReWrite. In theory, these programs will read in the data from each sector and then write it again to the disk. The idea is to strengthen the magnetic field that holds the data. ReFormat will reformat each sector first, and is designed for use with floppy disks. ReWrite is designed for hard drive use since you can't conveniently format individual sectors of a hard drive. On a double sided diskette it took 2:10 minutes to rewrite the data, and 4:10 to reformat the disk. I don't think many people will want to spend this sort of time protecting their diskettes. However, my Mega-File 44 only took 2:31 minutes to rewrite a full 14 meg partition, well worth the time spent. Finally it was time to run Skwoosh. This is a defragmenting program that does the bulk of the work in restoring your drive to it's most efficient working order. When you save data on your hard drive, the drive tries to keep all of the data together. Over a period of time, you start erasing and saving new files. Eventually your files become fragmented, and parts of these files are scattered all over your hard drive as the system searches for vacant sectors to store them on. This slows down your system while the drive searches for your data. When you defragment your drive, you will notice a huge improvement in performance. Skwoosh does it's thing a bit differently then other defragmenting programs. It does not need empty space on a disk it's working on (like Tune-Up from Michtron), Skwoosh shuffles the data on the disk so no data can be lost in the event of a system crash, or so the theory goes. I had this happen before with other programs, and I found this approach interesting. Skwoosh also converts your disk to "SpeedAccess Storage" which is a new technique for storing information developed by the folks at Maximum Output. It is supposed to improve your disk access by 75%. I chose this option to see how much improvement I would get. The entire defragmenting time took an average of 13 minutes per 14 Meg partition. Progress is displayed on the screen. A bar is drawn across the screen that looks similar to the bar code on merchandise you buy at the store. Each of the lines represents a sector filled with data. As the program progresses, the data is shuffled around and eventually you get a solid bar running to the end of the screen, with a blank space at the beginning showing the empty sectors. Time left until completion is displayed on the screen also. I tested the drive out expecting all sorts of improvements in speed from the new SpeedAccess technique, but I really didn't notice that much improvement. Loading in PageStream or Touch Up only increased by about 1 second, far from the 75% improvement promised in the documentation. Saving files improved slightly, but that is due to the now defragmented drive, so improvements would be expected. The same improvement was achieved on the ICD and FD-10 drives. Now that the drives are tuned up and speeding along, more preventative work is needed. By placing a program called AutoSaver in your AUTO folder, a backup of your FAT and directory sectors will be created each time you boot your computer. You can also set it to save these backups on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly schedule, or every other boot-up. It's very flexible. The time needed to save these files is only a few seconds and will not interfere with the bootup. It does, however, create a rather large file for each of your partitions (mine averaged about 70k in size). I'm not sure that many will want to tie up this much space trying to protect their drives. But it's up to the individual. The other programs on this disk are of questionable value. DiskEdit is a sector editor program which will only be of use to very experienced users. I have seen several other programs that are better suited for this purpose in the public domain. Folder Sorter is a program that will organize your folders without having to copy/delete/recopy the files. This is especially valuable in modifying your Auto folder. HD Check and HD Speed are designed to do some hardware testing, and are of little value unless you are technically oriented. These programs are used to check disk drive speeds, and general performance. Once again, there are several other programs more suitable then these. SaferZero and UnZero are two strange little programs. In theory, these programs allow you to zero (ie wipe out without actually reformatting) a partition. Before zeroing the drive, SaferZero will read FAT and Directory sectors and then write this information to a file after the partition has been zeroed. If you wish to restore this partition you simply run Unzero. The programs do work ok, but I wonder why anyone would want to zero a partition with the intent of restoring it later? Sure, accidents happen, but I don't think this program will do much to prevent this sort of mistake. And it's still useless to restore a partition once it's been written to after being zeroed. Wipe-It will permanently erase any data you wish to have erased without any hope of restoring it. This is a great way to cover up sensitive data that may fall into the wrong hands. It works with files, folders, disks, or unused space on a drive. The only other alternative to safely erase a single partition would be to format the entire drive. One other file in this package, MultiFinder, was not included and could not be checked. This program will search a drive for a string inside of the file, not just in their filenames alone. To get this program you must send in the registration card. In return, you get a disk with the program, plus a complete update to all of the other files in this package. I don't care for this technique of getting users to register their programs. To make matters worse, my package did not come with a registration card. The only program I was unhappy with was the shell program, MOSUTIL. I found it hard to read, and simply a waste of time. It was much easier to just load in the file directly, and I saw no real use for the shell. The documentation to this program was great. It's written in such a way that the non-technical user can understand what is happening, and there is even a short chapter on how the disk drives store their data. The directions on using the program were clear and easy to understand. There are several other disk drive utility packages on the market. One of the best is Clean-Up, sold by ICD. However, Clean-Up will only work if you are using an ICD host adapter, so Atari and Supra users are out of luck. This package of utilities should make those hard drive owners very happy. Maximum Output Software 5510 Spanish Oak Houston, TX 77066 Price: $59.95 Unprotected, works on color or mono, and works with all Atari ST/STE computers. ====================================================================== * PURE C Press Release ====================================================================== Gribnif Software is proud to announce the availability of Application Systems Heidelberg's Pure C in the North American Atari market. This is the newest version of Turbo C Professional, previously from Borland Germany. While the package remains in its original German form, the entire program's interface is in English. The system includes an editor, compiler, linker, and a debugger. It works on all Atari ST & TT computers, fully supporting high resolution and extended color displays. The Pure C environment includes a complete context sensitive help system which can provide information on any selected function. The sample code and information from the help system can be even pasted directly into the editor. The Project Manager makes it easy to handle all your C sources, assembly sources, and object files. Only those files which have been modified are re-compiled or assembled. The ANSI standard Compiler supports type checking and function prototyping. When an error is found during compiling, simply double- clicking on the error message places the cursor directly on the offending source code line. Libraries are included for the TT's math co-processor, FSM-GDOS support, and the Borland BGI Graphics Library for compatibility with PC programs. The Assembler is five times faster than before, and supports local labels and longer symbol names. It can also generate code for all 680x0 processors, up to the 68040. It also generates code for the 68881 and 68882 FPUs. The Debugger is a full source level debugger with its own graphical environment. It allows any number of windows to be open at once. Windows can include source code, variables, assembly, CPU/FPU registers, memory dumps, watched expressions, and the system stack. Breakpoints can be configured for a variety of specialized situations. There's even a special "animation" mode, where you can watch the program execute one line at a time. Feature List o Fully Integrated Development Environment o Fast GEM-based Editor o Integrated Compiler and Linker o Easy Project Management o File Cache for Include and Object files o Quick Turnaround Time o Context-sensitive Help System for C definitions and user-defined functions o Compiler is ANSI standard o Lightning fast compiling, at about 9000 lines/minute o Generates code for 68000, 68010, 68020, 68030, 68040, 68881, and 68882 o Amazingly fast assembler with macros, modules, and long symbol names o Linker supports DRI and Pure C object files o Simple library creation o Pure Debugger for Pure C and external programs o Debugger has its own graphical windowing system o Debugger displays processor and FPU registers, plus all variables within the program o Resource construction set included o Help System compiler lets you to create your own context-sensitive help o PC-HELP accessory for accessing help outside of the developer environment o 3 manuals, 650 pages total Requirements: o Any Atari ST, STE, TT or compatible computer o At least 1 megabyte of memory o Any resolution (80 columns or greater), including high resolution and extended color display Pricing: $275 U.S. (plus shipping and handling) Turbo C Upgrades: $175 (must include original Turbo C master disks) Shipping and handling: $7 within the US, $10 to Canada Gribnif Software P.O. Box 350, Hadley, MA 01035 Tel: (413) 584-7887 Fax: (413) 584-2565 ====================================================================== * PERUSING GENIE by Ed Krimen ====================================================================== -=> In the "Atari Corporation Online" category (14) -=> from the "Atari Advertising and Marketing" topic (3) Message 31 Thu Apr 09, 1992 EXPLORER [John J.] at 17:02 EDT Mike: WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! "Flashy advertising sells!" ... not true. Musicians are notoriously immune to flashy endorsements, because 1) they don't make a lotta-lotta money to spend on stuff that Paula Abdul likes, and 2) They're smart enough to know that what's going to grab an A&R person's interest is musical quality -- NOT "what kinda system I own." In other words, this guy's future is wrapped up in PERFORMANCE SPECS and PRICE. NOT "Elton John uses my system." This was confirmed, five minutes ago, when I got off the phone with Alan Garvey, manager of PMC ("Dangerous on the Dance Floor" -- #1 RAP single NYC Jan/Feb '92), who says to me: "John, we need to do business. The boyz are *sick* of these Macs. I'll send you a report on PMC and my other new acts, and let's talk." Nice guy, Alan Garvey. Smart guy. Making money. In music. Shortly with Atari systems, I'm forced to assume. I mean, if the sale walks in the door, and holds out the money, I should refuse? (Grin) As far as advertising goes, my ex-from-France-girlfriend told him to call me. As far as I know, Atari didn't have to pay her anything. (grin) John To SM [Music<>MIDI]: The point is, we're NOT starstruck. Frankly, anybody who thinks Mick Fleetwood is still a star ought to listen to the radio more. We're NOT that impressed with triple-plat (I mean, Madonna uses Atari systems, okay?), because triple-plat is only 20 systems, worldwide. What we're impressed with is the idea that there are FIVE music markets, out there, from largest to smallest: 1) People who want to learn to play an instrument. By pushing MIDI- based Atari ST music solutions on these people, we're saving them megabucks and giving them the BEST training tools on the market. 2) Serious working musicians. I'm talking weddings and Bar Mitzvah's, here. VERY price-performance sensitive. You make $20,000/year working six nights a week, you ain't into digital on a Macintosh platform. You're into "the ST plays the accordion parts, and I play the keyboard parts." 3) People about to break. See above. Money is still a problem, but we're talking image, now, so the PERFORMANCE aspect of Atari systems is still attractive. Let's face it ... Apple doesn't HAVE a reliable, cheap, four-track digital system for under $5,000. Warner A&R *will* notice. 4) Stars. These people only care if their lives are made easier. Atari systems make their lives easier. They make better MUSIC. Currently, Atari's marketing plans for the music market depend on advertising to attract groups one and two, and personal contacts to attract groups three and four. It's WORKING. PMC's manager JUST CALLED ME. My advice is: wait until the stats are in, but don't bet the farm on Apple. If you aren't Billy Joel, you can't afford it. To OUTRIDER: The thing is, Atari can GET endorsements. You think Peabo Bryson ("Beauty and the Beast," #1-selling album on Billboard's R&B charts, October '91 "Can you Stop the Rain") was PAID to tell me what he told me in the February issue of Explorer? Bryson's people call me every two weeks to ask WHAT THEY CAN DO FOR ATARI! We're talking "brand loyalty," here. Okay, Peabo wants a four-meg ST Book, but still. Don't YOU? *I* sure do. (grin) """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" -=> In the "Atari Corporation Online" category (14) -=> from the "SM147 14" Flat Screen Mono Monitor (21) Message 73 Fri Apr 10, 1992 S.JOHNSON10 [Steve] at 00:14 EDT I just saw the SM147 monitor again, but it WASN'T in an Atari dealer! It was at a Goodyear service station?! Okay, it wasn't actually an SM147 (it didn't say Atari on it), but it WAS the EXACT SAME monitor. They had some kind of "system" in the shop (I'm not sure now, but I think the name was VIEWDATA or something like that) that was composed of the monitor, a big dark-grey metal box with _only_ a CD-ROM (caddy- type) 'opening' in the front, and a mouse. Speaking of the mouse, is the standard Atari mouse design by Atari or was the shape of it designed by a different company? I was wondering because the mouse attached to this system was 100% identical to the Atari mouse (minus the Fuji symbol, although it could have been covered up) and it was a 9-pin mouse port. Anyway, I didn't really see anything on the screen other than a screen saver mode of some sort which just flashed the system name (VIEWDATA or whatever), but was the same color and same shape with the same ugly yellow power switch (yellow and grey don't exactly go together! <grin>). --------- Message 74 Fri Apr 10, 1992 R.GRANT11 [Ron @ GXRSYS] at 02:28 EDT Steve, that monitor is fairly common in the mainframe world. What you probably saw was a UNIX system terminal. CD-ROM's are a common way to distribute databases and new programs on UNIX systems. The Goodyear station probably uses the system to keep up on a rather large parts database. I've seen the same monitors in a local library, except they were terminals (the base contains just enough brains to communicate with the server). Running the standard 640x400 screen, the SM147 is an adequate replacement for the SM124, mainly because of a tilt-swivel stand, and controls for display position. I have those in my SM125 (a far superior monitor, IMHO <grin>). Where the benefit of the SM147 starts is when you start to think about overscan, or higher-resolution mono boards; I saw a Reflex board running 800x600 (or was it higher?) on the SM147, and it looked GREAT! Ron Grant ---------- """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" -=> In the "Data Base and Business Programs" category (6) -=> from the "LDW Power" topic (2) Message 128 Sat Apr 04, 1992 K.ANTKOWIAK at 10:42 EST I called LDW last week to ask about upgrading to version 2.0 and was told that they no longer provided support for LDW Power and had sold the rights to the program to Atari Corp. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" -=> In the "Atari Corporation Online" category (14) -=> from the "Feedback to Atari" topic (31) Message 158 Fri Apr 10, 1992 S.JOHNSON10 [Steve] at 00:15 EDT If anyone at Atari can answer the following question, please do. Thank you. Would it be realistic for Atari Corp. to switch production from Taiwan- based to the U.S.-based? By this, I mean to ask if it's possible for Atari to manufacture products in the US for the same cost (aside from the cost of MOVING production), or at least 'around' the same cost? I was wondering because I remember Atari looking into this prospect before and think that, in today's world, it would be of great benefit to Atari if they could pull it off. I don't mean this to turn into any kind of debate, but just wanted to know what Atari's response is to this (which is why I posted it here rather than in category 18). ---------- Message 159 Fri Apr 10, 1992 TOWNS [John@Atari] at 13:37 EDT Atari is currently using Subcontractors in Taiwan (and other locations) throughout the world to handle it's production needs. Since we really don't have anyone here online who is an expert in how Atari computers are manufactured and the costs involved, I doubt that any of us could answer your question. Sorry! -- John Townsend, Atari Corp. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" -=> In the "Hardware" category (4) -=> from the "Multisync Monitors for the ST" topic (34) Message 91 Wed Apr 08, 1992 D.WALTER7 [Doug Walter] at 21:06 EDT Fellow lurkers, For those of you still looking for multisyncs, there are at least 3 companies listed in the April Computer Shopper that are offering used or factory refurbished & warrantied NEC 3Ds. And JDR Microdevices (among others) has an add that still lists new 3DSs. Might be worth a call to see if they really do have them? pg. 834 - TREDEX (CA.), 1-800-338-0939 3D/$399, 4D/$599, 5D/$1299 pg. 728 - IME (MA.), 1-800-999-1911 3D/$399, 5D/$1499 pg. 725 - Vision Remarketers (MA.), 1-800-242-5224 pg. 858 - JDR (CA.), 1-800-538-5000 3DS/$589, 4DS/$1195 (both new) pgs. 480 & 588 have "call for price" adds (new units) BTW, I recently attended a Northgate Computers factory warehouse sale and they were offering refurbished 3DS models for $325 (S= reduced emissions). At the end of the sale there were some left. Perhaps they would sell them. Northgate Computers (MN.) 1-800-345-4633. -Doug """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" -=> In "The Software Library and Other Utilities" category (2) -=> from the "Beckemeyer Development ST Software" topic (34) Message 75 Sun Mar 29, 1992 D.BECKEMEYER [David @ BDT] at 23:09 EST I guess the cat's getting out of the bag on this a little bit, so I'll mention it here. I'm considering putting together a "do it yourself" SCSI tape backup kit. This would include generic SCSI tape drivers that allow you to connect nearly any SCSI tape drive to your Atari full-SCSI capable host adapter. GEM based application software would be provided for tape backup and restore. The kit might not include any hardware; it might be simply the software and instructions, along with a list of sources to obtain the required hardware. Comments? ---------- Message 76 Mon Mar 30, 1992 G.NORTON [G.NORTON] at 00:01 EST I'd definately be interested...a 105Mb Hd is a real pain to back up using 800K disks. Also I have a number of customers that are interested in just such a device...although, at a lower price than what the ICD unit is currently running at. Graham Norton Wizard Computer Systems ---------- Message 78 Mon Mar 30, 1992 R.STUTZMAN2 [RUSS] at 19:59 EST David, I think this is an ideal way to go, it allows users to get the necessary software and the best deal possible on SCSI tape drive's. You've certainly got my attention, just make sure it's TT compatible although I'm sure you would anyway. Russ """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ====================================================================== * PERUSING COMPUSERVE by Michael D. Mortilla ====================================================================== "It is better to hide ignorance, but it is hard to do this when we relax over wine." Heraclitus c.540-c.480 B.C. We've been talking about backing up your hard drive for the last few weeks and the topic is still getting lots of attention in the Ataripro forum. The "hot" topic seems to be the Fast Tape unit from ICD. The "noise on the street" tells us that we might expect to pay up to $800 for this convenience. While that's more than some of us paid for our computers, it's important to realize that it's not the computer you're backing up, it's the *data* and if your data is more valuable than your computer, the extra cost of backing up with a high priced unit may be for you. Charles Johnson, at Codehead makes the following comments on ICDs and economics: "It's not the price of your computer you should be concerned about when you consider a backup system -- it's the value of your data, and the value of your time. The software and data files on my hard drive are worth _vastly_ more than the machine that uses them -- and I value my time too highly to sit around swapping an endless succession of floppy disks for an hour or two every couple of days. Before I purchased the ICD Fast Tape unit, I had the interesting experience of a head crash on one of my hard drives that wiped out some very important stuff -- and the backups I had done to floppy disk turned out to be corrupt. Believe me, THAT sure ended up costing me a lot more than my computer did. With the tape unit, I just start a tape going every night, and walk away from the computer -- secure in the knowledge that my data will be safely and reliably backed up. By the way, you have your economics a bit mixed up -- the factor that causes prices to fall is increased _demand_. When a market shrinks, you're far more likely to see prices increase than decrease, especially in hardware, because the prices of parts and supplies increase when you have to order them in small lots. I can't speak for ICD, but I'd consider it extremely unlikely that they'll be lowering their prices in the face of a shrinking ST market." In a later message, Charles tells us that you don't have to buy tapes from ICD,and that TEACs part #CT-600N will do the job quite nicely. Since the ICD unit may be a little "pricey" for your dealer (you remember dealers, don't you?) to stock, you may have to order one without actually seeing a demo. Risky business, but we haven't seen any complaints about ICDs on CIS (at least recently) and they have apparently fixed previous problems, including the 40 folder problem. Last we heard, the ICD unit was for Atari use only, so no need to worry that you friends will want to borrow it for their Macs <g>. But they may want to borrow *both* your ICD *and* your Atari! A brief foray into the world in Internet and UNIX was had this week in the forum. There was a somewhat lengthy discussion involving access to Internet, but this sort of thing might better be avoided by the feign of heart! There *is* the Atari archive at the University of Michigan, but getting there "from here" is easier fantasized than done! We understand from messages in other forums that access to the Internet *is* possible from CIS *if* you have access to an Internet account. That can run about $250/month and a sign on fee of a similar figure! So while we're interested in the U of Mich, we'll trust that someone will see fit to preserve those files and upload the good PD one's to CIS for us. The basic misconception potential users of the Internet have seems to be that it's a "free" CIS type service which can access many machines. This is not the case. But it's nice to know that we on CIS *can* send messages to those on the Internet! And what better way to segue into a networking item posted by Bob Retelle... "...here's another message from UseNet.. this one seems to offer a bit more hope than that last one.. --------------------------- Gateways/Usenet/comp/sys/atari/st/general/Networking software for ST 1073.3.19306.2 Re: Networking software for ST 3/31/92 14:14 82/3579 firstname.lastname@example.org (Johann Haider) Lines 1 to 14 of 82 (17%) ----- In <email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org(Peter Mayer)writes: >Hello, >some time ago we purchased a "Riebl-Card plus" ethernet card from >Atari to connect our Mega-ST to our LAN. Hallo, Some of the readers of the previous article didn't even know that an Atari ethernet board existed. For all who requested more information, here are some details about it. This article covers the Atari hardware and the software implementation. An article about our TCP/IP implementation will follow soon. Hans About Atari ethernet support Atari Germany markets ethernet boards for the Atari Mega ST series and Mega STE/TT computers. They were introduced at the Atari fair Dusseldorf 1990 and we got our board soon afterwards. At least the first series were manufactured by Riebl Computertechnik GmbH, Germany and were named "Riebl Card Plus". The Cards are built with an AMD 7990 compatible Ethernet controller (LANCE) and 64 KB shared memory. The Mega-ST cards fit into the internal slot, the STE/TT boards use the VME slot. The board is bundled with ANS Software (Atari Network Services), based on TCP/UDP and features file sharing, printer spooling and redirection. The software doesn't support heterogeneous networking with the well known services (telnet, ftp to name the most important 8-)) The software is implemented as GEMDOS extension. The programming interface is documented in the manual and cover: ANS... miscellaneous network functions IPC... interprocess communication UDP... UDP protocol functions TCP... TCP protocol functions AFS... Atari File System functions and network aware replacements of the original GEMDOS file I/O functions. There are multitasking features to allow the implementation of the mentioned servers. In Austria the retail price (board+software) is about 10000 ATS (including 20 % VAT) (The exchange rate currently is 1 US$ to 11.5 ATS) If you know about prices or availability in other countries let me know, I'll post a summary. IMHO I don't think the Riebl Card Plus is available outside continental Europe. If you live on the other side of the pond you could pester Atari in Sunnyvale, Alwin Stumpf should know what he ssold in Germany 8-) At present there is no unbundled board available from neither Atari nor the manufacturer. We have to pay for the hardware and the license for the software which we don't use. Although it should be possible for an experienced EE student to build a functional equivalent, there is a one time licence fee of US$ 1000 for a ethernet hardware manufacturer due to IEEE. (I don't know if the Atari board is licensed, they were not on the list I recently read on the net.) I think that some third party manufacturers of affordable ethernet boards could increase the market volume and lower the price. We would like to see some Taiwanese/Corean clone manufacturers swamping us with their boards. If you own a ST 1040 or equivalent you are out of luck with the Atari adapter. In Germany there are several companies which sell ACSI based ethernet adapters, I know PAM Network and BIOnet. As I know little to nothing about them, please post a question about them if you are interested. Maybe someone is listening who has experience with them. (Hi Peter!) Disclaimer: This is no April 1 joke (yes it is April 1 already) -- Johann Haider Rehabilitation Engineering Group Institute for Electronics Technical University Vienna, Austria Email: email@example.com phone: +431 58801 3967" Admittedly, much of that went over my head, but to those involved in networking, it apparently means something <g>. But what? Well, let's peek into a little exchange and see what we can find out: John Barnes will lead us off: "The kind of information that we would like to see is price, product name and availability, and a description of its functionality. Simon Jones' posting was informative, but I must admit that I still came away with only a hazy idea of the cost and an impression that the products would not serve my needs, which are to connect to a local area network running TCP/IP with a mixed bag of servers. I hope someone will correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that the European products target specialized LAN applications rather than generalized inter-networking. Based on the lack of ready availability of these products on these shores I would have to deduce that dealers do not view them as attractive to American users. This would seem to create an opening for American developers to come up with products that are more in keeping with the practices that are evolving in this country. If effective use can be made of 1992 chip technology it might even be possible to find reasonably priced products." Ron Luks replies: "I got the same impression about the European LAN equipment for the Atari. More designed toward specific uses, rather than general network ability. I'm just not interested in any network solution that uses the Localtalk port on the new machines or the serial port. Sounds like it will be too slow for my uses." John: "Ron, Don't sell those solutions too short. They are certainly adequate for print serving, as millions of Macintosh owners who use them to drive Laserwriters can attest. I also think that the speed would not be too bad for incremental backups if we had the right software. How many Megabytes of files do you add to your system each day? With the advent of MUltiTOS we may finally see an Atari operating system that can support real networking. I fervently hope so. There has also been a strange silence on the availability of VME entheret cards in the proper format for use with ST's. All of the ones that I have seem from US manufacturers are in the wrong form factor. There has also been a dreadful silence on the matter of the "EtherCart", but I suspect that the developer is wise to keep his silence until he has a real product." Ron: "I don't need the printer sharing as much as I want to share a big HD. (and I don't want to use the big HD for storage. I want to launch programs off of it.) I'll hold off a bit waiting for Atari to finish MultiTOS. Perhaps that with a faster processor will do the trick." Now that made some sense! Networking is apparently a very deep topic and one we will have no choice but to keep our eyes on. Well, never let it be said that non-Atari users are unwelcomed in the forums here on CIS! Bill Hanna posted this extensive, and albeit, innocent, question: "I picked up an Atari Explorer Magazine at the local newstand and began to read and the more I read the more I liked. I have a few questions for all of you on AtariNet. Let me preface this by telling you my intentions; I am looking for a machine that supports color graphics, sound, and MIDI and will not burn a hole in my pocket. Narrowing my choice down to the Atari ST520, 1040, 520e, and 1040e; (I have received information on the 1040STe from Atari) I have a few questions to ask: 1) What version of TOS for the ST is the most current? 2) Is a machine running an older version of TOS a mistake? 3) How much memory is needed to run current application software? 4) Does the Blitter Chip greatly improve graphics performance? 5) What are the differences between the ST520 & ST1040? 6) Does the FM designation (ST520FM) indicate stereo sound? 7) Is the combination of an RF Modulator and a TV a good monitor choice or will I need glasses after a few weeks of use? 8) What is the resolution & color palette on the ST520 & 1040? 9) Does it make more sense to buy a new machine or upgrade an old ST with the current TOS and memory? 10) I have not read much about Development tools for the ST? 11) Do most users have 2 or more floppy drives or a hard disk? Thank you for all the advice and information you can give me." Now there is no easy answer, but the replies which follow give us a brief history of upgrades to the ST line. Some of the information was new to us. SYSOP Bob Retelle, once again, is there to help and is the "first one in the water": "Hi Bill... Welcome to the Atari Forums..! Wow... lotsa questions..! I'll do my best to answer most of them, and I'm sure a lot of people will jump in and get the rest that I miss... Like most situations of this nature, what you plan to do with the computer should determine the actual machine you get, but there are a few general guidelines. With memory prices pretty low right now, it makes sense to get the most memory you can. With the ST, that's 4 Megabytes. Because of design limitations built into the computer, you can't (easily) go any higher. Actually, that should be plenty for most applications, and my personal ST has 2.5 Megs right now, and it seems fine for what I do with it. The ONLY differences among STs are rather minor, mostly cosmetic changes. A 520 has 1/2 a Meg of memory, a 1040 has a full Megabyte. The "FM" in a model name indicates that the computer has a "F"loppy disk drive built-in, and has an RF "M"odulator to connect to a TV set. (Although some very early 520s had modulators without having the "M" in the model name, like my vintage ST) The Mega ST was essentially the same computer repackaged into a "pizza box" case with a detached keyboard, and your choice of 2 or 4 Megabytes of memory. It also added the blitter chip, a built-in clock and a relatively useless expansion connector. The "E" model is again the same computer with a few new features added, most notably easier memory expansion. Most of the STe models come with socketed SIMM memory, so they can be very easily and relatively inexpensively upgraded. They also add an extended color palette (more choices of colors, NOT more colors on the screen) and a digital stereo sound chip. Early STes also had analog joystick inputs which were never used and have been dropped in later models. Probably the most significant change is the newest ST model, the MegaSTe. It comes in the "wedding cake" case of the TT, has a detached keyboard, and provision for having an internal hard disk drive. Because it's also the current model, it would be the most expensive. The MegaSTe also has a faster clock speed, selectable between 16 Mhz and the standard ST speed of 8 Mhz. The blitter chip turned out to be not such a big deal as it had been hyped up to be. With some applications you may notice a definite difference with one, but in most cases it's not so dramatic. I wouldn't let that be a very large factor in a buying decision. Most newer models come with one anyway, and there are software speedup programs that can be used both with and without a blitter that will improve screen speeds. Don't expect to be able to do much with just a TV set instead of a monitor. Low resolution is OK, but Medium Res, which most application programs use is VERY hard to read. My system came with just a monochrome monitor, which was fine for all the telecommunications I do, but the only color programs I could use on my TV were games... and not all of them, either! If you don't have a hard drive, you NEED two floppy drives. Otherwise you'll spend a large part of your life swapping disks in and out. With many applications though, a hard drive is almost essential, so I'd recommend going that way. Now that I have a hard drive, I still find myself using both floppies too. The question of TOS versions is a sticky one. TOS has gone through some changes, which has resulted in many programs which are incompatible with some of the versions. If you plan to run anything very specific, it would be a good idea to keep that in mind when you choose a machine with a particular version of TOS in it. The good news is that CodeHead Software has just come out with a hardware upgrade that installs the newest version of TOS (which is a GREAT improvement over older ones) in older STs. It also allows switching back to the original TOS, whichever came in the machine, in case there are any problems with particular programs. My 1986 ST still has TOS 1.0 in it, and I plan to get the upgrade Real Soon Now... Whew.. I better let someone else continue on..." And we didn't have to twist Boris Moloydi's arm, either: "Bill, I guess, I could add something to what Bob had said. Current version of TOS in basic STe is 1.62 (I think), and it can be upgraded, quite easy, for 2.06 which is much better. All Ste's come with three built-in resolutions, 320*200 in 16 colors (out of 4096), 640*200 in 4 colors and 640*400 in 2 colors. There are some add-on graphic boards, both color and mono, if you really need them. All ST/TT's have MIDI in/out ports built in and some of the best MIDI software to go with them. STe's and TT's also have stereo sound. As for development tools, there are some quite nice programming packages available. Without knowing what exactly you want to do with your computer. Well, if all you want is to compute 10*10 spreadsheet once a month and play a couple of games, 8-bit Atari or PC clone would be more then enough :-) For MIDI, and some home applications, I think 4-megged STe would be OK. If you want more number crunching power, 16MHz MegaSTe with it's VME bus, high speed serial and LAN ports etc. is good. For professional DTP, CAD and BIG number crunching I'd recommend TT (that's what I'm using; it does not mean that I'm so professional, tho :-) PageStream 2.1 looks _very_ nice, and I'm waiting for Calamus SL to come. TT has many improvements over the original ST's (like price, hehe): Motorola's 68030 processor running at 32MHz, memory up to 32Meg and more, better graphics, more ports, math co-processor etc." And from Robert Aries: "I have an old 520st (expanded to 2.5 megs) running Dr. T midi software and am generally pretty happy. I have the original chip TOS (1.0) and no hard drive, which is an inconvenience, but not insurmountable. If you're on a limited budget, a setup like mine WILL work, and work well, although of course the various improvements of newer TOS's and hard drives are nice. I have two floppys, but one of them is single-sided and I rarely use it. A single-floppy system IS do-able for me only because the expanded memory allows using a ram disk, and most of the applications I use don't need to access the disk much (if at all) while running. (I would suspect this to be true of most midi applications). If you wind up looking to get a used 520 or 1040st and expand the memory (if it isn't already), there are two things you need to look out for: The computer should not be one of the _earliest_ ST's that required you to load TOS from a disk (there's not much of a chance of running into one of these but I thought I'd mention it). Secondly, there were/are many varieties of memory expansion boards for the 520/ 1040 ST's (I'm not talking about ST_e_'s, which use SIMM chips). I have the AERCO board and it uses a "push-in" connector to the MMU chip socket, which is not as reliable as a soldered-in board. Every few months the connections get flaky, leading to errors when booting. I have to open up the case and re-seat the connector from the memory board to the MMU chip socket. If I had it to do over again I would get a different memory expansion board (one that is soldered in). I would second the advice here NOT to use a TV set as a monitor. It so happens that the monitor of choice for most midi software is the mono monitor, which is around half the price (or more) of the color, and MUCH easier on the eyes (IMHO). I believe that Notator (or one of the other big midi s/w packages) _requires_ a mono monitor. Dr. T's TIGER program is almost unusable on a color monitor (again, IMO) and the Copyist is also easier to use with mono. I have 'em both, and the color is sitting on a shelf here." Not to mention the expert support you'll get in the Atari forums on CIS (even before you get the machine)! Our WordPerfect file runneth over. Till next week... ====================================================================== * BASIC AT COMMANDS -=- Part 3 of 3 ====================================================================== This article discusses configuration registers and result codes and contains a comprehensive list of basic AT commands, as well as the extended AT command lists for those modems equipped with MNP5 and V.42/ 42bis. In addition, for your convenience, modem default lists have been included. * (\Y) Switch to Reliable Mode: Causes the modem to attempt to establish an MNP Reliable link when connected in the Normal or Direct mode. This command is only effective in the "escape" state. If a Reliable link is already in progress, the modem simply returns online. If the modem originated the call, the modem will attempt to initiate the link; if the modem answered the call, the modem will attempt to accept a link request. If the modem fails to establish a Reliable link, the modem returns to a Normal connection. * (\Z) Switch to Normal Mode: Causes the local and remote modem to switch from a Reliable link to a Normal connection. This command is only effective in the "escape" state. Any data in the buffers will be lost. * (%A) Set Auto-Reliable Fallback Character: %An n = 0 to 127 When \C2 is in effect, if the ASCII code "n" is received before a Reliable link is negotiated, the modem will make a Normal connection. * (%C) Set Data Compression: %C0 Data Compression disabled. %C1 Data Compression enabled (default). * (%En) Auto-Retrain: The %E command (n=0 or 1) will cause the modem to try to re-establish a broken connection. %E0 Disables auto-retrain %E1 Enables auto-retrain 3) V.42/42bis Commands In addition to all of the commands listed above, V.42/42bis employs the following commands: * (Wn) Negotiation Responses: The Wn command (n = 0, 1, or 2) allows you to specify whether or not the modem sends negotiation responses. The Megahertz modem employs the latest Microcom standards for link negotiation progress reporting. These include Carrier 2400 (carrier rate), LAP-M (protocol), V.42bis (compression) and Connect 4800 (port rate). If your software package is not compatible with these negotiation messages, include the W0 command in the initialization string. W0 Do not send negotiation responses. Use DTE speed connect message. W1 Send negotiation responses. W2 Do not send negotiation responses. Use DCE speed connect messages. * (&Kn) Flow Control: The flow control command allows you to control the flow of data between the host computer and the host computer modem. &K0 Local flow control disabled. &K3 RTS/CTS signal bidirectional hardware flow control. &K4 XON/XOFF bidirectional software flow control. &K5 Unidirectional XON/XOFF software flow control. * (&Qn) Data Connection Type: &Q5 Instructs the modem to make a data connection using error control specified by Registers S36, S46, and S48. &Q6 Instructs the modem to make a data connection using the buffered mode. RESULT CODES Long-form results are preceded and terminated with both carriage return and line feed characters. Short-form codes are terminated with only a carriage return. Result codes returned by modem. Meaning Short Form Long Form Command Line executed 0 OK without errors. Connected at 300 bps 1 CONNECT Local Telephone line 2 RING ringing. Carrier lost, or never 3 NO CARRIER received. Error in Command line. 4 ERROR Invalid command line. Command line exceeds command buffer. Invalid character format. Connected at 1200 bps 5 CONNECT 1200 data rate. No dial tone received 6 NO DIAL TONE within time-out period. Called line busy. 7 BUSY Called line not answered, 8 NO ANSWER within time-out period. Connection established at 10 CONNECT 2400 2400 bps. Connection established at 11 CONNECT 4800 4800 bps. Connection established at 12 CONNECT 9600 9600 bps. Additional MNP Result Codes Returned by Modem Meaning Short Form Long Form Reliable MNP connection 25 CONNECT 9600/REL established at 2400 bps. Reliable MNP connection 24 CONNECT 4800/REL established at 1200 bps. Reliable MNP connection 23 CONNECT 2400/REL established at 2400 bps. Reliable MNP connection 22 CONNECT 1200/REL established at 1200 bps. Additional V.42 Result codes Returned by Modem Meaning Short Form Long Form Reliable MNP connection 20 CONNECT 9600/REL established at 2400 bps. Reliable MNP connection 19 CONNECT 4800/REL established at 1200 bps. Reliable MNP connection 18 CONNECT 2400/REL established at 2400 bps. Reliable MNP connection 17 CONNECT 1200/REL established at 1200 bps. Modem has made a buffered 70 PROTOCOL: NONE data connection and is entering Data Mode. Modem has made a V.42 77 PROTOCOL: LAP-M LAP-M data connection and is entering Data Mode. Alternate protocol. Modem 80 PROTOCOL: ALT has made an MNP connection and is entering Data Mode. Modem is entering Data 69 COMPRESSION: NONE Mode and no compression has been negotiated. Modem is entering Data Mode 66 COMPRESSION: CLASS 5 and MNP-5 compression has been negotiated. Modem is entering Data Mode 67 COMPRESSION: V.42BIS and V.42bis compression has been negotiated. CONFIGURATION REGISTERS The following section contains the commands that allow you to change the configuration registers. Each command must be preceded by AT and followed by a carriage return. The registers can be read by "Sr=?" and written by "Sr=n", where n is the ASCII value of the character or digit to be written, and r is the register number to read or write. EXAMPLE: ATS0=1 Writes a one to S Register zero ATS0? Will display the value stored in S Register 0. The following registers store configuration information in nonvolatile memory using the &W command. Powering up the modem or using the Z command will automatically restore registers S0,S14, S18, S21, S22, S23, S25, S26 and S27 from the nonvolatile RAM. Several of these registers are bit-mapped. This means that each bit of the value stored in a register represents a different setting. Bit- mapped registers often duplicate AT commands. For an intelligent DTE running under program control, it may be more convenient to directly write the desired data into these registers, rather than go through the process of stepping through each list of AT commands. Bit-mapped registers include S13 through S16, S21 through S23 and S27. * (S0) Ring To Answer: The contents of this register determine the number of rings that must occur before the modem will automatically answer a call. Allowable S0 range is 0 to 255. Setting S0 to 0 disables the auto-answer mode. A setting of S0=1 will cause modem to answer on the first ring. Default : n = 0 disabled auto-answer mode. * (S1) Ring Count (read only, Range 0-255) S1 is increased by one each time the modem detects a ring signal. S1 is cleared if no rings occur over any eight second period. Default: n = 0 * (S2) Escape Code Character: This register holds the ASCII value of the escape code character. S2 can be set to any value from 0 to 255, but values greater than 127, with no ASCII equivalents, will completely disable the escape command. If the &D1, &D2, or &D3 option is in effect, the modem will return to the command state on an ON-to-OFF transition of DTR. Default: n = 43, representing an ASCII "+" * (S3) Carriage Return Character: This register holds the ASCII value of the Carriage return or end-of- line character. This character terminates both command lines and result codes. This pertains to asynchronous operation only. Allowable S3 range is 0 to 127. The Z command will set S3=13. Default: n = 13, representing a carriage return. * (S4) Line Feed Character: This register contains the ASCII value of the line feed character The modem sends the line feed character after sending a carriage-return character. This register pertains to asynchronous operation only. The allowable S4 range is 0 to 127. This register is not saved in the nonvolatile memory. The Z command sets S4=10. Default: n = 10, representing "CTRL J" or the Line Feed Character * (S5) Back Space Character: This register holds the Backspace character. When this command is issued, the modem blanks the last character on the screen, moves the cursor back one character, and deletes the last character in the command buffer. It should be noted that the "T" of the "AT" command can not be backspaced over. The backspace character should not be set between 33 and 126, which is the range of printable ASCII characters. The backspace character is processed as follows: The modem echoes the backspace character back to the terminal and follows it with an ASCII space character and a second backspace (three characters in all). One consequence is that the repeat key command (A/) may not work properly on backspaces. S5 is not saved in the nonvolatile memory. Allowable S5 value is 0 to 32 and 127. The command Z sets S5=8. Pertains to asynchronous operation only. Default: n = 8, representing "CTRL H" * (S6) Wait For Dial Tone: This is the maximum amount of time the modem waits after "off-hook" before dialing. In all cases, the modem waits for a minimum of 2 seconds even if S6 is set to a smaller number. Allowable S6 value is 0 to 255 seconds. The "wait for dial tone" call progress monitoring feature will override the value in S6 and dial the first digit upon detection of a dial tone on the telephone line. Default: n = 2 seconds. * (S7) Wait For Carrier After Dial: Extended result code options X3 or X4 allow S7 to establish the time that the originating modem waits for a carrier. If leased-line operation is selected, S7 has no effect and the modem will wait indefinitely for a carrier. Default: n = 30 seconds. * (S8) Pause Time for the Comma Dial Modifier: This is the pause time for "," in the dialing string. Allowable values for S8 are 0 to 255 seconds. Default: n = 2 seconds. * (S9) Carrier Detect Response Time: This register indicates the amount of time the carrier must be present before the modem will set DCD ON. Allowable value for S9 is 0 to 255, in tenths of seconds. As S9 is increased, the chance of a false carrier being detected is lowered. Default: n = 6 (.6 seconds) * (S10) Lost Carrier to Hang Up Delay: This register defines the duration of time the carrier should be dropped before the modem will initiate a disconnect sequence (if it is configured for loss of carrier disconnection). The unit of time is in 100s of milliseconds. If S10 is set to 255, the modem will ignore carrier detect status and assume that the carrier is always present. The allowable S10 value range is from 1 to 255. Any loss of carrier will result in a disconnect if Register S10 is smaller in value than Register S9. The actual length of loss carrier is the delta between S10 and S9. Default: n = 14 (1.4 seconds) * (S11) DTMF Duration and Spacing Register: S11 allows for adjustable Dial Tone Modulation Frequency (DTMF) duration and spacing. S11 can be set to any value from 50 to 255 ms, which represents the duration and space between the DTMF tones generated during tone dialing. S11 is NOT saved in NVRAM with the &W command. Default: n = 100 ms * (S12) Escape Code Guard Time: This register controls the escape code guard time. The guard time provides the delay required so that the modem doesn't misread the escape characters as data. The guard time is in units of 20mS, and has a maximum value of 5.1 seconds (255 * 20 milliseconds = 5.1 seconds). In order to use the escape code, the guard time must be less than the time it takes to transmit one character at the current transmission speed. The allowable value for S12 is 20 to 255. If the guard time is defined as 0, timing will not be a factor at all. The three escape characters should still occur consecutively. Default: n = 50, representing 50 * 20 milliseconds = 1 second guard time. * (S13) Reserved * (S14) Bit-Mapped Option Register: Bit 0 Undefined Bit 1 0 Local echo disabled 1 Local echo enabled (default) Bit 2 0 Result codes enabled (default) 1 Result codes disabled Bit 3 0 Result codes sent as digits 1 Result codes sent as words (default) Bit 4 0 Enable command recognition (default) 1 Disable command recognition Bit 5 0 Touch tone dialing 1 Pulse dialing (default Bit 6 Undefined Bit 7 0 Answer mode 1 Originate mode (default) * (S15) Reserved * (S16) Bit Mapped Modem Test Options: Bit 0 0 Local analog Loop disabled (default) 1 Local analog Loop enabled (See &T1 command) Bit 1 Not Used Bit 2 0 Local digital loopback disabled (default) 1 Local digital loopback enabled (See &T3 command) Bit 3 0 Loopback off 1 Loopback on (remotely initiated) (See &T4 and &T5) Bit 4 0 Disable remote digital loopback (default) 1 initiate remote digital loopback (See &T6 command) Bit 5 0 Disable expanded remote digital loopback with self test (default) 1 initiate expanded remote digital loopback with self test (See &T7 command) Bit 6 0 Disable local analog loopback with self test (default) 1 Enable local analog loopback with self test (See &T8 command) Bit 7 Not Used * (S17) Reserved * (S18) Test Timer: This register sets a maximum time for diagnostic tests. The values can range from 1 to 255 seconds; the default setting of zero disables the test timer. A test can be stopped at any time with the &T0 command. A test is ended after this period times-out. Default: n = 0 disables test timer and allows &T0 to end the test * (S19) Reserved * (S20) Reserved * (S21) Bit Mapped Options: Bit 0 Not Used Bit 1 Not Used Bit 2 Not Used Bit 3 Bit 4 (See &D command) 0 0 Modem ignores DTR (default) 1 0 Command state On to Off DTR transition 0 1 Hangs up on On to Off DTR transition 1 1 Initialize on On to Off DTR transition Bit 5 0 DCD always on (default) 1 DCD indicates valid carrier (See &C command) Bit 6 0 DSR always on (default) 1 Modem off hook in data mode Bit 7 0 Disable long space disconnect (default) 1 Enable long space disconnect (See Y command) S22 Bit Mapped Options Bit 0 Bit 1 (See L command) 0 0 Undefined 1 0 Low speaker volume 0 1 Med speaker volume (default) 1 1 High speaker volume Bit 2 Bit 3 (See M command) 0 0 Speaker disabled 1 0 Speaker on until carrier (default) 0 1 Speaker always on 1 1 Speaker off during dial Bit 4 Bit 5 Bit 6 (See X command) 0 0 0 2400 result codes, blind dial 1 0 0 not defined 0 1 0 not defined 1 1 0 not defined 0 0 1 full codes, blind dial 1 0 1 full codes, dial tone wait 0 1 1 full, blind, busy detect 1 1 1 full, waits, busy detect Bit 7 0 39/61 Make/Break Ratio U.S. (default) 1 33/67 Make/Break Ratio UK/Hong Kong (See &P command) * (S23) Bit Mapped Options: Bit 0 0 Ignore remote loopback request 1 accept remote loopback request (default) (See &T4, &T5 commands) Bit 1 Bit 2 0 0 300 Bps 1 0 600 Bps 0 1 1200 Bps 1 1 2400 Bps (default) Bit 3 Not Used Bit 4 Bit 5 (See AT command) 0 0 Even Parity (Default) 1 0 Space Parity 0 1 Odd Parity 1 1 Mark/No Parity Bit 6 Bit 7 (See &G command) 0 0 No guard tones (default) 1 0 550 Hz guard tone 0 1 1800 Hz guard tone 1 1 Not Used * (S24) Reserved * (S25) Delay to DTR: A change in the state of DTR from ON to OFF will be ignored if it is less than the value specified in S25 (0 to 2.55 seconds). Default: n = 5 (.05 seconds) * (S26) RTS to CTS Delay Interval: When the &R0 option is in effect (default), the S26 register specifies the delay after an OFF-to-ON transition of Request-To-Send before Clear-To-Send is asserted. The range of values will be from 0 to 2.55 seconds with a 10 millisecond resolution. S26 values are 0 to 255. 255 * 10mS=2.55 seconds. Default: n = 1 MNP COMMANDS * (S36) Negotiation Fallback: When the initial attempt to connect in error-control mode fails, S36 specifies what should occur next. The allowable values are 0, 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7: 0 Hang up 1 Attempt a standard asynchronous connection (&Q0) 3 Attempt an asynchronous connection using automatic speed buffering (&Q6). 4 Attempt an MNP connection; if negotiation fails, hang up. 5 Attempt an MNP connection; if negotiation fails, attempt a standard asynchronous connection. 7 Attempt an MNP connection; if negotiation fails, attempt an asynchronous connection using automatic speed buffering. * (S37) Auto-Reliable Fallback Character: When \C2 is in effect, if the ASCII code "n" (n = 0-126 and 128) is received before a Reliable link is negotiated, the modem will make a Normal connection. V.42 COMMANDS * (S36) Negotiation Fallback: When the initial attempt to connect in error-control mode fails, S36 specifies what should occur next. The allowable values are 0, 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7: 0 Hang up 1 Attempt a standard asynchronous connection (&Q0) 3 Attempt an asynchronous connection using automatic speed buffering (&Q6). 4 Attempt a CCITT V.42 Alternative Protocol connection (MNP compatible); if negotiation fails, hang up. 5 Attempt a CCITT V.42 Alternative Protocol connection (MNP compatible); if negotiation fails, attempt a standard asynchronous connection. 7 Attempt a CCITT V.42 Alternative Protocol connection (MNP compatible); if negotiation fails, attempt an asynchronous connection using automatic speed buffering. NOTE: The selected fallback option can be initiated immediately with S48. For example, a connection attempt using the Alternate Protocol can be forced by setting S48 = 128 and S36 = 5 or 7. * (S46) Error-Control Protocol Selection: S46 specifies the error-control method used for subsequent connections. Allowable settings include: 136 LAPM only. 138 LAPM with data compression (V.42bis). Default n = 138. * (S48) Feature Negotiation Action: S48 selects how feature negotiation is used when making connections with the remote system. The negotiation process can be tailored to suit a connection, or bypassed altogether. For example, when the capabilities of the remote modem are known, negotiation is unnecessary. Allowable settings include: 7 Negotiation enabled. 128 Negotiation disabled; f orces immediate fallback options specified in S36. Default n = 7. * (S82) Break Handling Method: S82 selects a method of break signal handling for CCITT V.42 communications: in sequence, expedited and destructive. Break signals provide a way for you to get the attention of the remote host. The break type used depends on the application. Allowable settings include: 3 Uses expedited signaling regardless of sequence in transmitted and received data; data integrity maintained. 7 Uses destructive signaling regardless of sequence of transmitted and received data; data in process at time is destroyed. 128 Uses in sequence signaling as data is transmitted and received; data integrity maintained ahead of and after break. Default: n = 128 PROGRAMMABLE OPTIONS NOT SAVED IN NVRAM OPTION FACTORY DEFAULT VALUE Ring count.....................................................00 Escape code character..........................................43 Carriage return character......................................13 Line feed character............................................10 Back space character...........................................08 Duration of wait dial tone...............................02 Sec. Duration of wait for carrier after dialing...............30 Sec. Duration of dial pause for the comma...........................40 Carrier detect response time.............................0.6 Sec. Lost carrier to hang-up delay............................1.4 Sec. DTMF duration and spacing..................................100 ms Escape code guard time....................................1 Sec. PROGRAMMABLE OPTIONS SAVED IN NVRAM Baud rate (300, 600, 1200 and 2400) Asynchronous parity option (odd, even, mark, space, none) Number of ring to answer on (1 to 255) Automatic answer (Enabled/Disabled) Command echo (Enabled/Disabled) Result Codes (Enabled/Disabled) Result Codes (Short/Long word) Dialing (Pulse or tone) Test Timer Timeout (0 to 255) RTS/CTS option RTS/CTS delay time DTR circuit option DCD circuit option DSR circuit option Long space disconnect (Enabled/Disabled) Speaker Volume ( L1. L2 or L3) Pulse dial make/break ratio Grant or Deny Remote Digital Loop Guard tone selection (550 Hz, 1800 Hz or none) Minimum DTR pulse width Dialup or leased line Bell/V.24 compatibility at 1200 bps All MNP commands except for \S may be saved to NVRAM ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To sign up for DELPHI service, call (with modem) (800) 695-4002. Upon connection, hit <return> once or twice. At Password: type ZNET and hit <return>. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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 XTX99436,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 kit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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 the top of each article reprinted. Reprint permission granted, unless otherwise noted, to registered Atari user groups and not for profit publications. Opinions present herein are those of the individual authors and does not necessarily reflect those of the staff. This publication is not affiliated with the Atari Corporation. Z*Net, Z*Net News Service, Z*Net International, Rovac, Z*Net Atari Online and Z*Net Publishing are copyright (c)1985-1992, Syndicate Publishing, Rovac Industries Incorporated, Post Office Box 59, Middlesex, New Jersey, 08846-0059, Voice: (908) 968-2024, BBS: (908) 968-8148, (510) 373-6792. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*NET: Atari ST Online Magazine Copyright (c)1992, Rovac Industries, Inc... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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