Atari Explorer Online: 11-Jul-92 #9207

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/18/92-02:01:22 PM Z

From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: Atari Explorer Online: 11-Jul-92 #9207
Date: Sat Jul 18 14:01:22 1992

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         July 11, 1992      Volume 1, Number 7      Issue #92-07

        Published and Copyright (c)1992, Atari Computer Corporation
                     1972-1992 (20 Years Of Service)

    ~ Editor In-Chief......................................Ron Kovacs
    ~ Contributing Editor...................................Ed Krimen
    ~ Contributing Writer...................................Bob Smith
    ~ Contributing Writer..............................Ron Berinstein
    ~ Contributing Writer.................................Stan Lowell
    ~ AtariUser Magazine Editor.............................John Nagy
    ~ Atari Corporation....................................Bob Brodie

                     | | |  TABLE OF CONTENTS  | | |

         ||| The Editors Desk.........................Ron Kovacs
             New faces this week!

         ||| The Z*Net Newswire.................................
             Atari and Industry News Update

         ||| Dragonware Conference Highlights..............GEnie
             GEnie Real-Time CO Transcript

         ||| MIST Atarifest Update..............................
             Latest details on the July User Group Show!

         ||| AtariUser Reviews..................................
             Three great reviews from the June issue!

         ||| Growing Up With Atari - Part 1............Bob Smith
             Debut article!

         ||| Letter To PC Laptop Magazine..........Donald Thomas
             Reprint of Letter To The Editor!

         ||| Portfolio Programming....................BJ Gleason
             Atari Explorer Magazine Reprint

         ||| The Software Shelf...................Ron Berinstein
             Latest PD/Shareware Files and Commentary

 | | |  By Ron Kovacs
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------

 First let me apologize for a few spelling and grammatical errors in the
 last issue.  No explanation?!?!

 I want to welcome Stan Lowell to the AEO staff this week.  Stan, a long-
 time friend and writer for Z*Magazine will be assisting here with Atari
 8-bit and Portfolio coverage.

 Bob Smith, another new member of the staff, has completed his first AEO
 column which appears in this edition.

 | | |  Atari and Industry News
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------

 A series of computer animations in full colour of cellular and molecular
 processes is available for use on the ST computers.  The series consists
 of 34 animations developed for an introductory cell biology/molecular
 genetics course at the University of Western Ontario, London, ONT Canada
 by Drs Alan Day and Robert Dean.  Each animation is a complete mini-
 lesson and provides 15-20 min of study time.  A number of animations
 also present important biotechnological techniques such as PCR, DNA
 sequencing, and cloning.  Response has been good according to press
 release information.  This tutorial series is available at a reasonable
 cost and further information is available by contacting Dr. Alan Day,
 Dept. of Plant Sciences, University of Western Ontario, Canada. N6A 5B7.
 Phone (519) 433-7145 or Fax (519) 661-3292.  Please specify the Atari

 Gribnif Software has moved to new offices.  The following address and
 telephone numbers are effective immediately: Gribnif Software, P.O. Box
 779, Northampton, MA 01061.  Main line (including technical support):
 (413) 247-5620.  Fax line (24 hours): (413) 247-5622.

 Are you ready for the next Southern California Computer Faire?  Yes,
 Version 6.0 will soon be upon us.  We anticipate that this year's
 Glendale Show will be the largest ever.  We also expect that there might
 possibly be a new machine on display.  Hint. Hint.  There will be over
 fifty developers, retailers, user groups and ATARI personnel on hand to
 make this event a must.  The show will be held Saturday and Sunday,
 September 12-13, 1992 at the Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1041 N. Verdugo
 Road, Glendale, CA.  Hours are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday and 10:00
 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday.

 General Admission is $6.00 per person with a two day pass costing only
 $10.00.  If you plan on attending and you live outside of Southern
 California you may get FREE admission by sending a self-address-stamped
 -#10 envelope to H.A.C.K.S., 249 N. Brand Bl. #321, Glendale, CA 91203
 and get a one day pass for two.

 For those of you who will be needing lodging we have made arrangements
 with the Burbank Hilton.  Regular rates are $119.00 per night but if you
 mention ATARI you will get a room for $65.00 per night, single or double
 occupancy.  Executive suites are also available for a per night charge
 of $95.00.  Reservations may be made by calling the Hilton at 800-643-
 7400 (in California), 800-468-3576 (inside the USA) or at 818-843-600
 (outside the USA).  The guaranteed reservation cut-off date is August
 20th.  If you are quoted another rate ask for Roy Butler, Sales Manger.

 This year The Glendale Show will be holding Desk Top Publishing Classes.
 This has been a very popular addition at other shows.  There will be a
 $25.00(US) fee for these hands-on classes.  ISD Marketing will be
 holding Beginners and Advanced classes for owners and prospective owners
 of Calamus SL.  Classes will be held on Saturday and Sunday.  Classroom
 size is limited.  Make your reservations by sending a check for $25.00
 (US) payable to H.A.C.K.S., 249 Brand Bl. #321, Glendale, CA 91203.  Be
 sure to state the preference of day and class level.  A confirmation
 will be sent, about two weeks prior to the show, by return mail stating
 which class you will be enrolled in.  Enrollment in the classroom will
 also entitle you to admission to the rest of the show for the day of
 your class.

 Look for our full-page advertisements in upcoming issues of AtariUser
 and Atari Explorer magazines.  If you have any questions send mail to
 H.A.C.K.S., 249 N. Brand Bl. #321, Glendale, CA 91203 or leave GEmail to
 John.King.T or call John King Tarpinian at 818-246-7276.


 Yes that is correct, if you come to either the July 23rd or August 20th,
 1992 meeting of The Hooked on ATARI Computer Keyboard Society
 (H.A.C.K.S.) you will get a free, one year, membership to one of the
 most influential club's in the USA.  Our membership includes ATARI
 developers and magazine writers.  Learn and share in a pleasant and
 casual atmosphere.  We can offer support for the novice and the advanced
 user.  H.A.C.K.S. is also the sponsoring club for the Southern
 California ATARI Computer Faire, Version 6.0, AKA The Glendale Show.

 We meet at 1605 W. Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale, CA at 7:00 p.m.  If you
 have additional questions please give a call to John King Tarpinian at

 UniStor has announced the new EasyStor Portable Data Module for IBM PC
 and compatibles.  Battery-powered EasyStor PDMs provide up to three
 hours of operation on a single charge and range in capacity from 40
 megabytes to 180 MB.  EasyStor PDMs attach directly to any standard
 parallel port via a parallel to IDE interface.  An optional parallel
 port multiplexer cable is available to allow connection of a printer or
 other parallel devices.  The unit measures 3.4 inches by 1.3 inches by
 6.9 inches and weighs less than one pound.  Initial capacities include
 40 MB, 60 MB, 80 MB, 120 MB and 180 MB with recommended list prices of
 $599, $699, $799, $999 and $1,199, respectively and backed by a one-year

 Citizen Watch announced late last week that it has developed the world's
 thinnest 3.5 inch floppy disk drive for use in portable computers,
 palmtop electronic organizers, and other lightweight computer products.
 The disk drive will be able to handle floppy disks of 1 megabyte, 1.6
 megabytes, and 2 megabytes.  Citizen will display the new device at an
 electronics show in Osaka, Japan, in October, and sample shipments will
 begin in the first half of 1993.

 Quorum Software announced it has settled its federal lawsuit against
 Apple Computer in response to Apple's claims that Quorum was violating
 its patents.  Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, beyond Quorum
 saying it will be allowed to develop and market its products without
 threat of legal action from Apple.

 Lewis Galoob Toys announced this week that it has been awarded a $15
 million judgment against Nintendo.  The award represents compensation to
 Galoob for profits it lost for the period from June 1990, through July
 1991, when Galoob was enjoined from selling its Game Genie Video Game
 Enhancer for the Nintendo Entertainment System due to an infringement
 lawsuit brought by Nintendo.  The judgment awarded by U.S. Ninth
 District Court Judge Fern M. Smith follows her July 1991, ruling that
 Galoob had been wrongfully enjoined from selling Game Genie for the
 NES, and the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit Court's unanimous
 decision in May 1992, affirming Judge Smith's ruling.

 | | |  GEnie Real-Time Conferences - July 8, 1992
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------

 (C) 1992 by Atari Corporation, GEnie, and the Atari Roundtables.  May be
 reprinted only with this notice intact.  The Atari Roundtables on GEnie
 are *official* information services of Atari Corporation.

 <[Sysop] JEFF.W>  On behalf of the Atari ST Roundtable, I welcome all of
 you to the Dragonware RealTime Conference featuring Chris Roberts and
 Chris Latham.

 Chris and Chris -- Thank you for being with us this evening.  Before we
 start shooting questions at you, perhaps you can each tell us a bit
 about yourselves and about Dragonware and about the Dragonware product

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> DragonWare Software Inc. originally was a
 ShareWare company making Atari 8 BIT software.  In September of 1991
 DragonWare introduced it's first commercial software release for the
 Atari TOS based computers: "THE G_MAN 2.0".

 Nearly a year later, DragonWare has released version 3.0 of the G_MAN,
 new hardware products like The Dragon Battery for the STacy, and many
 new software products.

 The G_MAN 3.0: GDOS/FONTGDOS utility.  Creates ASSIGN.SYS files and
 EXTEND.SYS files.  Finds errors in the original GDOS file name layout.
 The G_MAN 3.0 is the only commercial GDOS ASSIGN.SYS and EXTEND.SYS
 AUTOMATIC INSTALLER that is program independent. (including FontGDOS and
 files; 5 disks in total) $44.95

 SmokeArt Volumes one and two: $19.95 each: Over 200 IMG drawings in each
 collection of clip art.

 The Satellite Locator ST:  $19.95.  Give this program a longitude and
 latitude and it will tell you where to aim your home satellite dish to
 find any geo-syncronus satellite in orbit.

 Now the NEW STUFF!  On June 16th Chris Latham agreed to join DragonWare
 Software.  As an immediate result there will be three new products
 released in the next 3 months.

 PowerNet 1.5: Universally compatible Local Area Network (LAN).  Share
 Hard Disks, Printers programs files in 3 ways: MIDI, TT/STE LAN ports,
 LanTec cartridge ports.  Available NOW  $99.95 for two nodes.

 FLEXOR:  The FLEXible item selectOR. available in the 4th quarter.

 AtariTalk2  AppleTalk compatible LAN.  Available September 1992 (we

 FontKit Plus 3.5  $74.95 shipping Aug 15.

     *              SPECIAL ON-LINE COUPON        *
     *          $10.00 OFF on any DragonWare      *
     *          Product! when ordering direct.    *
     *                                            *
     * 0419                 Expires August 1 1992 *
     *                                            *
     *        Phone 406-265-9609                  *

 Print out this coupon to save on our products!

 <B.HARVEY7> What will be the difference between UIS III and FLexor?
 Better right? [grin]

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> Infinitely scale item selector.  It will scale
 to fit any screen size and expand the file listing as well.  It will
 also be much more friendly with no hidden functions.

 <B.HARVEY7> Obviously a more mature product?

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> Yes, even the scroll bar arrows are at the top
 so those with large screen monitors will not have to move their mouse
 everywhere to scroll files.

 <[Dave] D.SMITH200> Will Ataritalk support Gadget's Megatalk Board, for
 those of us without Mega STE/TT's?

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> Presently what we are talking about is a Spectre
 level INIT to access the TT/Mega STE systems...  However, we plan to
 release a DMA/SCSI device for standard STs, 1040STEs, etc.  Oh one more
 thing.  The Gadgets boards possibly in the future.

 <[Dave] D.SMITH200> Sounds good.  Would this INIT allow a real mac to
 access Atari on a Net?

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> I'd like to support megatalk boards, but I'd need one,
 and a mega to plug it into.

 <[Dave] D.SMITH200> You can borrow mine.  Dave says the'll ship in about
 two days.  I'll be glad to loan it if it helps development.  The board,
 that is.  You're on your own for the Mega...

 <[Sysop] JEFF.W> Nevin Shalit asked me to ask this question....  Will
 your LAN setup let you hook into an existing Novell system to print

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> no

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> YES!!!!!

 <[Sysop] JEFF.W> Hmmmm.  <grin>

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> AtariTalk2 will if you are using a Novell Server.

 <[Sysop] JEFF.W> Rebuttal, Chris L.?

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> Chris, I think he asked if the current LAN would work
 with a Novell server.

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> Not the current PowerNet.  Sorry.

 <[Sysop] JEFF.W> Current or future, whichever product that it might work
 on.  So the answer is that AtariTalk2 will be able to do this, correct?

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> Chris?

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> The future product will be AppleTalk compatible, which
 means you could get into a Novell server that supports AppleTalk

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> Saved.

 <[Rob] R.GLOVER3> Hi Chris... my question is twofold, and you partially
 answered the first part earlier, but here goes anyway:  Will your
 network allow someone to use the LAN port on their MSTE and go to a
 standard ST, say, through the cart port?

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> No.

 <[Rob] R.GLOVER3> What I want to do is network my MSTE to my BBS
 machine, a 520ST.  Secondly, what kind of transfer speeds does it

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> It will be a DMA device on SCSI 7 for the older
 machines.  The current LAN in your case will require MIDI.

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> We are looking into Whatever the underlying hardware

 <[Rob] R.GLOVER3> DMA would be good, since it would probably be faster.
 Good idea. ;)

 <[Sysop] JEFF.W> What about the transfer speeds?

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> Chris?

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> It depends on the hardware... For LocalTalk, the
 transfer speed is around 18-20k per second.  For Lantech carts (for
 those who have them), figure about 22k per second.  MIDI ports we won't
 discuss :^)

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> It is faster than copying a floppy and carrying
 it to the other machine.

 <[Dr. Bob] W.PARKS3> This one's for Chris.  No, not that one.  The
 _other_ Chris.  Yeah, you :-)  I was wondering, as I'm sure others are,
 where on GEnie is your support topic.  With all this interest in LAN, I
 expect you'll have a lively one.  And I'd like to know where I can lurk

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> Category 4, Topic 18.

 <[OakSprings] K.CAVAGHAN2> Just wondering what changes have been made to
 PowerNet as opposed to Universal Net?  Also, if Powernet & Ataritalk
 could be used on the same system? (ie: from a MSTE->520->a newer


 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> PowerNet and Universal Net are incompatible.  Yes,
 PowerNet and AtariTalk will work on the same system.

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> We have yet to hear any questions on G_Man.

 <[Sysop] JEFF.W>  I'm a intrigued by the networking possibilities, but
 slow on all the details...  What is Powernet compared to AtariTalk2?
 How are they similar and how are they different?

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> PowerNet is a proprietary network, it's good for
 connecting ST to ST, but not to other platforms or networks.  This is
 plenty for many people in the Atari community who don't need
 connectivity with other platforms.  AtariTalk 2 is a gateway for ST/TT
 users to link into other platforms in businesses that already have
 existing LANs or network capable laser printers

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> PowerNet is great if you want to share printers
 and disk files between machines and is highly recommended for ST only

 <[Rob] R.GLOVER3> What kind of background access will Powernet provide
 on ST's?  Will the user notice much of a slowdown?

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> It depends on the hardware.  Lantechs are known for
 taking up lots of CPU time.  Local Talk on TTs is great because it is
 driven by DMA.  However with MegaSTEs, you will notice a slow down.

 <[Rob] R.GLOVER3> What if I used the DMA version on both machines?
 Would that help?

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> Yes.  That would remove the burden from the CPU.

 <[Rob] R.GLOVER3> Also, how will a remote system access another
 computer's hard drive?  Will it be a MiNT-style disk drive (i.e. U:)
 with folders for each of the remote machines partitions?

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> You get a drive letter that represents the network.
 Within that drive, other nodes appear as folders.  Within those folders,
 are the machine's available resources (disk drives, printers, and other
 CON type devices).  With AtariTalk, you will have a Mac like chooser
 where you can mount partitions  and assign them to drive letters of your
 choice.  Printer access will be as on the Mac, you would use Chooser to
 pick a printer to print to.

 <[Rob] R.GLOVER3> How many machines will PowerTalk support?  I missed
 the opening banner...what is the price on the DMA setup?

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> Go ahead Roberts

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> We haven't set a price on the DMA device yet.  We
 are hoping to come in under $100.00

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> And we are hoping real fast.

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> PowerNet will support lots of nodes.  Chris
 could tell you the upper limit.

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> AppleTalk LANs by their nature are basically unlimited
 in number of nodes.  LocalTalk has a recommended (by Apple) limit of 32
 nodes.  Anymore than that and you should use a router.

 <[Sysop] JEFF.W> A quick question...when will the public get to see
 these LAN products in action?  Will you be demonstrating them at an
 upcoming Atari show?

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> Yes, we will be demonstrating PowerNet at the
 Glendale and hopefully an AtariTalk2, hooked to a Mac.  PowerNet is
 available now.

 <J.D.BARNES> Chris`s, how much acceptance has PowerNet had?  As a very
 satisfied Universal Network User I would like to know why I should

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> Since it is a new product, we are just getting it out
 on the market.  UniversalNet is an old product, and I don't believe that
 it is being supported, but I can't be sure.

 <J.D.BARNES> Do you need Beta Testers for AtariTalk? <g>

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> Roberts?

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> Uh...Well, those who have Mac, appleTalk LAN
 access and IBM (Novell) access, send us GE-mail to DragonWare.  We'll

 <J.D.BARNES> From your description it sounds like PowerNet uses much of
 the same methodology as Universal.

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> Since I designed both UNet and PowerNet, of course they
 are similar, but that's where the similarity ends. :-)

 <J.D.BARNES> I'm afraid that that doesn't tell me very much.

 <[CSL] C.LATHAM> Give me a call.  And I can answer anyone's specific
 questions easier than we can on here.

 <[Sysop] JEFF.W> A G_Man question.  Let's say I am awestruck by GDOS and
 ASSIGN.SYS and EXTEND.SYS files.  I've got a couple different GDOS
 setups spread across my hard disks.  Will G_MAN combine all these for me
 and create a single cohesive 'order' on my system instead of the mess I
 currently have?  It will save a lot of disk space too!

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> The nature of G_Man is to be a universal Font
 installer.  It requires the user to place all his GDOS fonts and drivers
 in one single folder.  Then, the program allows you to create ASSIGN.SYS
 files based on what you have in this folder.  One of the common problems
 is getting fonts that have the same internal ID number.  If installed
 without correcting this it could make for major trouble with GDOS.  The
 G_Man automatically corrects this as it creates the ASSIGN file.

 <[Sysop] JEFF.W> Cool!  So I would take all my fonts and drivers, shove
 them into the same folder, and let G_Man do the rest?

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> Correct.  You would create a separate folder for
 your GDOS FSM fonts (if you have any).  These folders can reside
 anywhere.  I keep mine inside a folder called FONTS inside my auto

 <[Sysop] JEFF.W> Is there any provision for working with G+Plus and
 creating specific .SYS files for specific applications?

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> Yes.  G_Man will let you name your assign file
 anything you wish and even split them so that one file is used for
 printer drivers and fonts and the other for screen fonts only to save
 memory.  There are provisions for disabling entire font faces or certain
 point sizes to help you customize your assign file.

 <J.D.BARNES> I take it that G-Man supports FONTGDOS.  The modern method
 is with a CPX gadget.  Does g-man work this way also?

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> Yes.  It will create extend files required by FSM
 GDOS and FONTGDOS.  Not at present.  The problem is with the restricted
 size in the CPX format.  G_Man has a lot going on on the screen that
 helps reduce confusion by the user.  We do however provide FONTGDOS with
 Atari's CPXs and accessories with the 3.0 revision.

 <J.D.BARNES> Chris, I notice that you are offering a Stacy battery.
 How do you feel about the STacy?

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> WE think the STacy and the ST Book both have
 places in the Atari market.

 <J.D.BARNES> Do you think the new Falcon will be more portable in some

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> In what way portable??

 <J.D.BARNES> The Book seems a bit slow in arriving.  It doesn't weigh
 a lot.  (the Falcon, that is).

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> Not for us to say.  We aren't Atari.

 <[Chris R] DRAGONWARE> We just want to say thanks to anyone who
 attended.  We're new and this I hope will help us continue to produce
 products for the TOS platforms.  Thanks again.

 <[Sysop] JEFF.W> Thank you, Chris Roberts and Chris Latham, for being
 with us and answering our questions about Dragonware products.  Best of
 luck to you!  And many thanks for all who our friends who attended.

 | | |  User Group Show News
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------

 All systems are go for MIST Atari Fest IV in Indianapolis on July 25th,
 1992!  Vendor response has been fantastic and more may yet attend.  The
 following list represents ALL CONFIRMED vendors who will be attending
 MIST Atari Fest IV.

 Bob Brodie (Atari Corp.)          Branch Always Software (GEMulator)
 Clear Thinking (EdHak)            Codehead Technologies
 D.A. Brumleve (Kid Progs)         Electronic Spinster Graphics (clipart)
 ICD (power peripherals)           INAGM (Atari sales and service)
 Mars Merchandising  (Software)    Maxwell CPU (Silhouette)
 Megatype (fonts)                  Missionware Software (Flash II)
 MP Graphics Systems (consulting)  MS Designs (fonts and clip art)
 Rising Star (software)

 User Groups:

 ASCII    BLAST    Cintari    CUSTUG    LCACE    STAR

 MIST Atari Fest IV promises to be another success, with some new,
 special twists to make your visit to Indianapolis more fun, enjoyable,
 and profitable.

 The first 250 individuals through the doors will receive a free 3.5"
 Maxell SSDD diskette containing text, data, and picture files promoting
 the Atari community in central Indiana.  A special priced "MIST User
 Group Membership" will be offered to all individuals.  Lynx and MIDI
 Tournaments will be offered with prizes to the top players.  Several
 styles of "unique" limited edition T-shirts will be for sale (there's
 one we really think you'll like).  And as usual, a spectacular
 assortment of raffle prizes will be given away throughout the day.

 MIST has also contracted with the Quality Inn Castleton Suites to
 provide single and double rooms at a reduced rate ($55 a night) for the
 those attending the show.  They can be reached at (317) 841-9700.  Make
 sure to mention MIST Atari Fest IV to get the special rate.

 Please check other messages for directions to MIST Atari Fest IV and a
 complete listing of all prizes being given away.  You can request that
 directions be sent to you by leaving a message to Dan Ward on GEnie
 (D.WARD10) or by calling (317) 254-0031.  If you have any other
 questions or concerns feel free to contact Dan about those as well.

 MIST looks forward to seeing you!!!

 MIST Atari Fest IV Saturday, July 25, 1992 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Castleway
 Conference Center 6385 Castleplace Drive Indianapolis, Indiana

 The following is a list of door prizes being given away at MIST
 AtariFest IV in Indianapolis, Indiana on July 25th, 1992.


 Atari Corp.                   To Be Announced
 Branch Always Software        To Be Announced
 Clear Thinking                Ed Hak 2.3, Metapsychology Primer
 CodeHead Technologies         Multidesk Deluxe
 DA Brumleve                   Multiplay
 Ditek International           DynaCADD 2.0
 Electronic Spinster Graphics  To Be Announced
 Fair Dinkum Technologies      To Be Announced
 ICD                           Personal Pascal, SCSII Plus, PRC, Clean Up
 ISD                           Calamus 1.09N, Outline Art, Font Editor
 It's Not A Game Machine       Spectrum 512, Base Two Database, Hard
                               Drive Accelerator, Cardfile 3, Flash 1.6,
                               4 Maxell 3.5" Disk Packs, Atari Rainbow
                               T-shirt, Harley Davidson: The Road to
                               Sturgis, Hardball, Star Wars
 Mars Merchandising            To Be Announced
 Maxwell CPU                   Silhouette, Fractal Fantasy, Expose,
                               Keyboard Extenders
 MegaType                      Bit Maker, Mega Kern
 Missionware Software          Flash II
 MS Designs                    "Crops" Clipart Collection
 Rising Star Computers         100 3.5" diskettes
 Scott Sanders                 Newdesk Icon CPX
 Soft Logik                    PageStream 2.2 ST, Image Clip Newsletter
                               Font Pack, Clipart Volume 1


 ASCII                         5 ASCII Memberships
                               3 MIST Atari Fest IV T-shirts
                               2 Complete ASCII PD Libraries
 CRAG                          To Be Announced
 EAUG                          Atari lapel Pins
 CUSTUG                        To Be Announced
 LCACE                         To Be Announced
 Cintari                       10 PD Disks
 STAR                          To Be Announced

 MIST Atari Fest IV promises to be a great "little show".  Doors open at
 10:00 am and will close at 5:00 pm.  Admission is just $3.00 for the
 entire day and entitles you to one chance at a door prize.  Look at
 other messages for directions to MIST Atari Fest IV or drop Dan Ward a
 message at (317) 254-0031 or on GEnie at D.WARD10.

 We hope to see you on July 25th!

 Directions to MIST Atari Fest IV

 From Chicago, Illinois:

 I-65 South to I-465 East I-465 East to the Castleton/82nd Street Exit
 East on 82nd Street to Knue Road South on Knue Road to Castleplace Drive
 East on Castleplace Drive to the Castleway Conference Center

 From St. Louis, Missouri:

 I-70 East to I-465 North I-465 North to I-465 East I-465 East to the
 Castleton/82nd Street Exit East on 82nd Street to Knue Road South on
 Knue Road to Castleplace Drive East on Castleplace Drive to the
 Castleway Conference Center

 From Louisville, Kentucky:

 I-65 North to I-465 East I-465 East to I-465 North I-465 North to I-465
 West I-465 West to the Castleton/82nd Street Exit East on 82nd Street to
 Knue Road South on Knue Road to Castleplace Drive East on Castleplace
 Drive to the Castleway Conference Center

 From Cincinnati, Ohio:

 I-74 West to I-465 North I-465 North to I-465 West I-465 West to the
 Castleton/82nd Street Exit East on 82nd Street to Knue Road South on
 Knue Road to Castleplace Drive East on Castleplace Drive to the
 Castleway Conference Center

 From Dayton, Ohio:

 I-70 West to I-465 North I-465 North to I-465 West I-465 West to the
 Castleton/82nd Street Exit East on 82nd Street to Knue Road South on
 Knue Road to Castleplace Drive East on Castleplace Drive to the
 Castleway Conference Center

 From Ft. Wayne, Indiana:

 I-69 South to the Castleton/82nd Street Exit West on 82nd Street to Knue
 Road South on Knue Road to Castleplace Drive East on Castleplace Drive
 to the Castleway Conference Center

 From Champaign, Illinois

 I-74 East to I-465 North I-465 North to I-465 East I-465 East to the
 Castleton/82nd Street Exit East on 82nd Street to Knue Road South on
 Knue Road to Castleplace Drive East on Castleplace Drive to the
 Castleway Conference Center

 | | |  From the June 1992 Edition
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------

 The following article is reprinted in Atari Explorer Online by
 permission of AtariUser magazine.  It MAY NOT be further reprinted
 without specific permission of AtariUser.  AtariUser is a monthly Atari
 magazine, available by subscription by calling (818) 332-0372.

 Knights Of The Sky (ST, STe, TT)

 Up until last month, there wasn't any really good WWI air combat game
 for the ST.  Now, KNIGHTS OF THE SKY has changed that.

 An intro that looks like an old silent movie leads to identifying the
 squadron insignia (copy protection) and the main menu.  You can practice
 flying, get into a dog fight, or play the WWI Campaign game.  The manual
 mentions a fourth choice, the head-to-head mode (modem or cable), but
 only the Amiga and MS-DOS versions have it.  (Why?  It's not like it's
 particularly difficult to code.)  Flight Training lets you fly both
 Allied and German planes, but since you can only fly Allied planes in
 the main game, don't waste much time on the German ones.  You can also
 do some sightseeing and learn to recognize buildings.  This will come in
 very handy for future bombing missions.

 The theatre of war is a region known as Flanders, the North of France
 and most of Belgium, and you can choose to be British or French.  It was
 a special thrill for me to see my hometown of Lille (France) on the map
 included in the game.  Too bad it's in German territory.  You will fly
 all your missions in that area, and you will be kept up to date via
 newspapers and intelligence reports.  Dog fight Encounters lets you
 choose a plane and a German Ace to go against.  The WWI campaign is the
 main game with 5 levels of difficulty.  You start out in May 1916 and
 you must survive the next 30 months of the war, which is no easy task.
 New planes become available as the War grinds on, German Aces start
 noticing you (if you've managed to survive long enough) and try to take
 you out.  But the enemy planes appear literally out of nowhere, and
 usually behind you too!  It would have been nice to see them take off
 from their aerodromes, but they just "beam up" instead.

 If you make it to Captain, you can move your squadron to a different
 aerodrome.  The graphics are nicely done in 3D polygons with plenty of
 ground details (buildings, trees, roads, trenches, trucks, and more).
 All the usual viewpoints are there: slot, chase, tactical, reverse
 tactical, even an instant replay mode.  Frame update is very decent,
 even with all details on.  The sound is really well done!  In addition
 to the changing engine noise, you hear enemy fire, flak, explosions, and
 even bullets whizzing by your head!  Your engine even sputters and
 smokes when you near stalling speed.

 Knights of the Sky is a high-quality piece of software, and my pick for
 the HotteST Game of the Month.  One meg RAM required, comes on 2
 unprotected double-sided disks, will run from a hard drive, but a copy
 of Disk 2 must stay in the floppy drive record game progress.  $69.95
 from Microprose UK.  -- Eric Bitton

 Megapaint II Professional (ST, STe, TT) - CodeHead Technologies, $199.99
 Reviewed by Steve Blackburn

 Megapaint is a monochrome graphics program that creates, edits, scans
 and imports graphics files for use in Desktop Publishing projects on
 your ST/TT.  It requires at least 900kb of free memory.  If you want to
 use it with an Atari laser printer, you need a minimum of two megabytes
 of RAM.  A double sided floppy disk drive is mandatory and a hard disk
 is recommended.  Both bitmap and vector files can be created and edited.
 Bitmapped images can be copied to the vector part to be traced, and
 vector images can be copied to the bitmapped area for conversion to bit
 images.  In the bitmap area, pictures can be imported, created, and
 scanned into the work area.  The vector part offers a wide range of
 potential uses both for art design and technical drawings.

 Megapaint is imported by CODEHEAD TECHNOLOGIES from Germany's Tommy
 Software.  The manual is complete (and adequately translated by someone
 who uses English as a second language), but I wish it went into the
 'whys' of things.  The three-ring binder-in-box is a classy presentation
 befitting Megapaint's premium price.

 The first thing I noticed about this program is its speed.  Block
 manipulations of images happen in real time, and scrolling around a
 graphic happens NOW.  I'm using Megapaint on a stock Mega 4, hard drive,
 and SLM605.  Calamus, Pagestream and other graphics orientated programs
 can sometimes frustrate me with the delays in calculations, disk access
 and especially screen re-draws.  If a select few other programs could
 perform like Megapaint, I could probably put off that TT for awhile.
 The speed pays dividends once you understand how to effectively use the
 many functions.  You can do things quickly, before the energy of the
 moment eludes you.  And everything works like it's supposed to and the
 program doesn't crash.  Megapaint is at version 4.0--it'd been around
 the block a few times before it came stateside.

 Megapaint creates and imports both bit-mapped and vector graphics, some
 with the aid of external modules.  In the raster part of the program you
 can load Megapaint's default .BLD files, .IMG, .PCX, Degas (PI3 and
 PC3), .TNY and STAD (PAC) formats while saving in .BLD, .IMG, .PCX, PI3
 and .PAC.  In Vector mode, formats for importing are the default .VEK
 plus .CVG and saved Calamus pages using an external module.

 Those external modules make a big impact on the versatility of
 Megapaint.  They are external programs that expand the program and
 provide avenues for a variety of different graphic formats in the
 future.  Seven modules have been released so far (with more to come),
 all at no charge to registered users.  Most are import modules, but
 other modules available at this time include Scanlite (allows direct
 scanning into Megapaint using Doctor Bob's Wizworks Scan-Lite program)
 and Menu-Mania (allows you access to desk accessories).  Through the
 external module for importing Calamus fonts (.CFN) you can also import
 Calamus fonts which can be resized and altered for use in the vector
 section and/or transferred to the raster section for use in your bit-
 mapped pictures.  EPS and GEM3 graphics modules should be available in
 the near future.

 Entering text in this program is not a simple process.  Options for
 using fonts, symbols, and objects seem designed for those who have the
 need for only limited text in technical illustrations.  Customized
 Signum fonts are used in the program (available through Codehead).  A
 font converter is included that will allow you to convert regular Signum
 fonts for use with the program.

 A variety of options are available for printing your masterpiece, and
 there is an ability to edit the printer drivers to suit your needs.

 The screen is divided into three different sections.  At the top is the
 menu bar with it's vast array of tools, in the middle is the work area,
 and at the bottom are boxes that contain fill patterns, tools, and a box
 that shows you the area directly beneath the mouse pointer.  Menus can
 also be changed and a variety of different screens can be customized to
 your needs.

 Pictures loaded into the raster portion of Megapaint can be merged into
 the vector part, where you can use the many tools to create some really
 outstanding graphics.  You could scan logos, merge them into the vector
 area and use the outline function to hand trace the image, where it then
 can be altered with the other functions in the vector area.

 Megapaint has a picture buffer for its bitmap section that lets you clip
 portions of the image into it or load files from disk.  From there you
 can manipulate the pictures and merge them into your main screen.

 Vector images can be imported into the raster part via the object menu
 to convert the vector graphic into a raster object.  It can then be
 manipulated and saved as a raster graphic in any of the formats

 There are enough tools in both parts of Megapaint to do just about
 anything you could want to do, but it takes getting used to.  It's a
 program for people that are serious and demanding when manipulating the
 images they want to use in their technical and publishing projects, and
 it requires work.  I had trouble allocating the proper amount of memory
 in the programs buffers (via the CHANGE SETTINGS menu) in order to
 properly use fonts, object and picture files.  Separate buffers in the
 raster and vector parts can be altered to meet the needs for different
 types of graphics.  It can be confusing, as the buffer in the Vector
 section is initially pre-set too low for some of the sample files
 provided, giving me error messages.  It was just a matter of increasing
 the size of the buffer (in the Vector-Change Settings menu), saving the
 settings, and exiting.  From then on, there will be enough of a buffer
 to load and use whatever vector graphic file I need.

 Megapaint, because of its cost and complexity, is not for everyone--it's
 a very serious graphics program.  But if you're serious about creating
 precision graphics for your page layout programs, you should give it
 try.  There is a demo available on most telecommunication services, and
 if you're serious about Megapaint, you might check it out before you

 [Next month, Steve Blackburn looks at ARABESQUE from Gribnif Software.]

 UTIL - A FORTH Programming System (Portfolio)

 FORTH, a computer language created by Charles Moore in the 1970's, is a
 high level, stack oriented programming language.  Since it's stack
 oriented, it takes a bit of getting used to, kind of like a Reverse
 Polish Notation (RPN) calculator.  The FORTH system actually includes
 the editor, the language, an operating system and a debugger.

 UTIL from Essex Marketing is a faithful implementation of the FORTH
 system on the Portfolio.  It's tiny (the kernel is only 8K), and follows
 most of the FORTH 83 standard.  The major difference is that UTIL works
 with files instead of memory buffers and blocks.

 This is one nifty little package.  It can be used interactively or to
 create programs in the Portfolio's Editor to load and execute.  It is
 well suited to the Portfolio environment, being both small in size, and
 being an interpreter.  This last feature makes it perfect for
 programming on the go.

 One of the nicest features of this package is that it is available for
 the Portfolio, the PC, and the HP95LX, offering compatibility across
 platforms.  The PC version can be used for program development and
 debugging, and then the program can be transferred to the smaller

 UTIL is a complete professional package for FORTH development on the
 Portfolio.  The manual is extensive, but it's not a tutorial on the
 FORTH language.  While there are some versions of FORTH available in the
 public domain, none are as easy to install or as usable on the

 UTIL is available for $95.00 on disk from Essex Marketing Services Inc,
 272 Old Farms Road, Simsbury, CT  06070.  Contact Essex for prices on
 other versions or other media.  -BJ Gleason

 | | |  By Bob Smith
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------

 I have read many articles and magazines on computers, everything from
 building a mainframe to programing your cat's feeding time.  Seldom have
 I read how someone has progressed through the ranks from pure novice to
 actual productive use.  Hopefully, I'll convey some of that here.

 About six or seven years ago, we were having Thanksgiving dinner with my
 wife's family.  The usual topics were discussed and as the dinner wound
 down, my brother-in-law, who is heavily involved with computers as his
 vocation, started to discuss a home computer that he had just bought for
 about $800.  My father-in-law was captivated by this conversation and I
 just sat there, drinking my coffee, wondering how I was going to
 gracefully leave the table so I could get back to the major professional
 football game on TV.  The two of them were throwing around terms such as
 ROM, RAM, disk drive, etc., etc., and I was at a complete loss.

 Well, my wife, not to be outdone purchased the same type of computer
 that my brother-in-law had purchased previously.  That was my Christmas
 present that year, the very first time that I had an up close and
 personal visit with a home computer.  Oh, I didn't mention that these
 fine pieces of equipment, which could not do much in my eyes at that
 time were Atari 800's.

 On Christmas morning, I looked at this monster and wondered what in the
 blazes I was going to use it for.  Little did I know, years later that I
 would be so addicted to these wonderful machines that I would not only
 have a house full of them, but that I would use these Atari computers in
 one form or another in my business.

 As my father-in-law started to learn to use his, I couldn't help but be
 a little curious about what he was doing and I started to read.  I
 learned what those silly terms of ROM and RAM meant, learned how to
 change the cartridge in my trusty 800 and what basic and machine
 language meant.  Now please don't misunderstand me, I am in no way any
 type of genius but the ways of computing were starting to make some
 sense to me.

 To this I give full credit to that wonderful gentleman, my dad-in-law.
 Why?  Well, he just kept having me do all of the grunt work, like
 turning on the computer, looking stuff up in the various owner's manuals
 and programming books that we had.

 I want to jump ahead a few years now to when I starting to do basic
 programing and word processing.  My professional business is consulting
 and employee benefits, which entails a lot of proposals and
 presentations.  At the time, all of this was being done on the old
 typewriter and very slowly at that.  I started to wonder, why not try
 the old 800 in a business setting.  I took stock of the available
 programs available and settled on AtariWriter and several public domain
 database programs.  This was going to be a one machine experiment in the
 office for one week.  We had a particularly difficult proposal to do and
 what better way than to try the computer in this situation.

 I spent approximately 4 hours doing various formats for this proposal
 and then discarding them.  The major drawback was the 40 column screen,
 but with a little practice, that drawback was overcome.  Finally after
 several attempts a proposal format was designed and used with great
 success.  The young lady that was working with me at the time bluntly
 said that using the computer was the only way to go and she would never
 again use the old  typewriter.  To this day, that poor typewriter sits
 in a closet covered and holding up a pile of old forms.

 From that one week experiment, which has never ended, we have progressed
 to using multiple 8 Bit computers in our office.  We now use 130XE's
 with a variety of disk drives and printers.  One question I'm frequently
 asked is why not upgrade.......the answer that is given, is that a
 business must watch its expenses and if the current equipment is doing
 the job, why change.  We have offices in other states and the same
 philosophy is true there as well.  We do almost all of our operations
 from accounting to proposal preparation on these wonderful 8 bit
 machines.  Oh yes, we did get the client that we did that very first
 proposal for.

 As I started to use the computers in business, several events occurred
 almost simultaneously.  I became involved with the Mid-Florida Atari
 Computer Club and was given a 520 ST.  More next week.....

 | | |  Written by Donald Thomas
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------

 July 8, 1992

 Mr. Michael Goldstein
 PC LAPTOP Computers Magazine
 9171 Wilshire Boulevard, #300
 Beverly Hills, CA  90210

 Dear Mr. Goldstein,

 A copy of your July issue was delivered to me this afternoon.  In it was
 an article written by Mr. Arthur Leyenberger.  I am in a position to
 believe that the article may have contained some errors.  The
 information may not have been up-to-date concerning the Atari Portfolio
 computer.  Please allow me to cover some of the ones I noticed.

 Ref: "The DOS-compatible Atari Portfolio is a Personal Information

 Ans: The Portfolio is a DOS-compatible programmable COMPUTER with built-
      in software including PIM applications.

 Ref: "Although most DOS software won't run on the Portfolio..."

 Ans: Most software is written to accommodate color monitors.  The author
      makes it sound as if a MDA compatible screen is a defect.

 Ref: "...write short memos"

 Ans: A 50 page memo is not short.  A 200 page memo is not short.  A
      10,000 page memo is not short.  Although multiple files may be
      needed for a memo larger than 50 pages, the maximum storage
      capacity is limited only by how many diskettes (Memory Cards) the
      user carries with him/her.

 Ref: "memory can be increased to 640K by adding modules... doing so
      doubles the size and weight..."

 Ans: The internal memory can be expanded INTERNALLY to 512K adding no
      additional bulk or weight (or decreased battery life).  The article
      also indicates that a serial or parallel port doubles weight or
      volume of the Portfolio.  The interface for the serial or parallel
      weigh less than 4.5 ounces each.  Each interface occupies hardly
      any more space than a pack of cigarettes.  Neither interface comes
      close to doubling the weight or volume of the "hefty" one pound

 Ref: "Although Atari promised third-party software for their Portfolio,

 Ans: According to the second volume number one issue of A.P.B.; Atari's
      official catalog of Atari software and peripherals there are well
      over 80 applications and peripherals are available specifically for
      or to be used with the Portfolio.  Over 60 are listed as available
      in the United States.  Many more have been designed for specific
      industry applications.  For instance, there is a Portfolio in every
      paint department of every Home Depot store to assist sales people
      in selecting paint formulas for their customers.  For the end user,
      the Portfolio has alpha-numeric paging, radiation monitor, business
      contact software, file transfers, check writing, chess, adventures,
      medical applications, finance, FORTH, PowerBasic, flight planning,
      hard drives, databases, spell checkers, industrial machine
      controllers, investment tracking, data acquisition, fuel industry
      management, communications, time-billing software and much more.
      The Portfolio is used in the industries of security, financial,
      medical, aviation, trucking, education, journalism, military,
      navigation (plane and boat), cinema, logging and many more.  The
      Portfolio is supported by two upscale newsletters and by a
      dedicated forum on CompuServe that boasts of over 800 downloads for
      the Portfolio.  I hope you can see why I may differ with calling
      the Portfolio nothing more than a PIM.

 In addition to the errors I discovered within just three paragraphs of
 text, there is no description of the strongest features of the Portfolio
 while the competitors are described.  The Portfolio offers a favored
 QWERTY keyboard.  Many users brag of how they can touch type using it.
 The screen is easy to read for most users since the characters are large
 and well defined.  The case is durable and we receive many letters of
 how the machine survived drops off cars, balconies and even logs (by
 loggers).  For novice users, every Portfolio sold in the U.S. includes a
 File Manager application which permits users to access DOS commands with
 easy-to-use menus.

 There may be advantages and disadvantages to all the palmtop choices
 consumers may select.  The Portfolio may be the lowest priced, but it is
 also often the most desirable.  In the arena of Palmtops, I may be one
 of the most seasoned.  The Portfolio was the first of its kind
 introduced in September 1989 and I was with it almost all that time.  I
 am keenly aware of the marketplace, the trends and the most popular
 applications.  I wish someone from your magazine contacted me to obtain
 information before going to press.  Please do not hesitate to contact me
 if I may be of assistance in the future.


 Donald A. Thomas, Jr.
 Portfolio Marketing Manager
 CompuServe: 75300,1267

 cc: Mr. Arthur Leyenberger
     Members of APORTFOLIO forum of CompuServe

 | | |  By BJ Gleason
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------

 Batch-File Menus and File Selectors

 So you want to create custom applications for the Portfolio but don't
 know how to program?  Well, if you know how to write a simple batch
 file, these tricks will let you produce applications that look so good,
 users will think they came built right into the machine!

 Batch files are text files that contain a sequence of MS/DOS commands.
 When you run a batch file, DOS executes these commands one after
 another, just as if you typed them in at the keyboard.  Taken at face
 value, the Portfolio's batch-file capability is a handy tool for
 automating backup, file transfer, and other simple "housekeeping"
 operations.  But there's hidden power in the Portfolio's batch-file
 command language: power that can make your batch files look and work
 very much like application programs.  And with the right set of
 utilities, you can extend this power even further.

 In this article, I'll present two new programs for the Portfolio that
 will allow you to embed menus and file selectors into your batch files
 -- giving your home brew efforts a real Portfolio look and feel.


 Menu invokes the Portfolio's built-in menuing capability to put custom
 multiple-choice menus in your batch files.  The program listing itself,
 written in Turbo Pascal 6.0, can be downloaded in executable form from
 CompuServe's Portfolio Forum (see note at end of article).

 MENU is a very simple program.  It reads the menu choices as parameters
 from the command line into a zero-terminated string with an ASCII zero
 between each menu choice.  While this is being done, the program also
 calculates what the longest string is so that it can determine where to
 place the menu on the screen.  The string is then scanned to convert any
 underscore characters to spaces.  The parameters are then placed into
 registers and the Portfolio's built-in menu command is called.  Finally,
 the menu choice is returned to DOS.

 Turbo Pascal programmers might wish to enhance MENU by removing the code
 used to center the menu, and adding additional parameters that would
 allow placing the menu anywhere on the screen.  If you are interested in
 even more advanced programming in Pascal for the Portfolio, see the file
 TPU6.ZIP, also available on CompuServe.  TPU6 is a Turbo Pascal 6.0 unit
 that will let you add menus, boxes, and more to your Portfolio programs.
 Additional reference material on Portfolio ROM routines and other
 technical details can be found in the Technical Reference Guide,
 available from Atari.

 Using Menu

 To use MENU, place the file MENU.PRG in your SYSTEM directory, and add
 the following line to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file:


 The PATH expression defines a "search path" -- a list of directories
 that DOS will search if commanded to execute a program not found in the
 current directory.  By storing MENU.PRG "on the search path," therefore,
 you insure that your batch files can access the program from anywhere on
 the system.

 To access the program, put the following command line in your batch:

 MENU title choice1 choice2 choice3 ...

 ... where "title" is the title you wish to appear on your menu, and
 choice1, 2, 3, etc., are the choices you wish to offer your user.
 Titles and choices may be more than one word long, but because the space
 character is reserved to separate arguments, words in a multi-word
 argument should be separated using the underscore ('_') character.  The
 program will automatically replace these underscores with spaces, so the
 appearance of your menu will not suffer.

 Your menu can contain an unlimited number of choices.  Though only six
 can be displayed at once, the arrow keys can be used to scroll the menu
 and reveal additional items.  To select, just scroll the cursor to an
 item and press Return, or press a corresponding letter key.  (If more
 than one menu item begins with the same letter, the cursor will jump
 from one to the next each time the appropriate key is pressed -- you'll
 have to press Return to select the one you want.)  Pressing Esc will
 exit the menu without making a selection.

 MENU returns the number of the selected item (or 0 if the Esc key was
 pressed) by setting the value of the ERRORLEVEL system variable.  This
 value can then be accessed by your batch file to determine what kind of
 subsequent action must be taken.  Note the order in which the ERRORLEVEL
 values are evaluated, following menu presentation: from greatest (last
 menu item) to least (the 0 value, returned when the user presses Esc).
 This order is necessitated because the batch-file conditional expression
 "IF variable=value ..." is considered true if 'variable' is greater than
 or equal to 'value.'  Thus were we to consider possible return values in
 ascending order, the first action (in this case, terminating execution
 as if Esc had been pressed) would always be performed by the batch file.

 Menu will not automatically clear the screen, so you might want to
 insert a CLS statement before or after the MENU statement to keep the
 screen neat.  On the other hand, if you leave the CLS statement out, you
 can have overlapping windows, which look very professional.


 While I was working on the MENU program, I called Don Messerli, author
 of the PGX Animation package, and asked him to contribute a program to
 this column.  He wrote a special version of MENU that lets you present
 your user with a menu of filenames for selection.  Like MENU, GETFILE
 can be downloaded from CompuServe's Portfolio Forum.  The executable
 program should be placed in your \SYSTEM directory, and your PATH
 specification amended.

 GETFILE only needs one parameter: a pathname that identifies the
 directory whose contents you wish GEFILE to display.  The pathname can
 be terminated with '*.*', causing all files in the target directory to
 be displayed, or with another file mask expression.  For example, to
 tell GETFILE to display a menu of all .BAS files in the directory
 C:\PROGRAMS, you would call getfile as follows:


 GETFILE's file-selection menu works just like MENU's, allowing the user
 to review filenames by scrolling, prior to selecting with Return, or to
 select a file in one pass by pressing an appropriate letter key.  When
 the user has made his selection, GETFILE creates and sets the
 environment variable %FILENAME% to reflect his choice.  GETFILE also
 sets the ERRORLEVEL variable to one of four values, depending on

 Internal Apps

 A batch file can invoke any or all of the Portfolio's built-in
 applications.  The command APP, used by itself, invokes the internal
 application menu.  Individual applications can be accessed by appending
 a slash to the command APP, followed by an appropriate letter: 'W' for
 the Worksheet, 'E' for the Editor, 'A' for the Address Book, 'S' for
 Setup, 'D' for Diary, or 'C' for the Calculator.  Thus, to call up the
 Worksheet, you would use the command:


 This is a powerful feature, giving you the ability to write batch files
 that transparently exploit the power inherent in the Portfolio's system

 With just a little work, and learning a few new DOS commands, you can
 create batch files that look and feel as if they were built into the
 Portfolio's ROM!  And using the Turbo Pascal Unit, you can add these
 features to your own Pascal programs.

 Contest Time!

 Now that you have had some experience creating snappy batch files for
 the Portfolio, why not share them with me and the rest of the world?
 The Atari Portfolio Forum on Compuserve is running a "Portfolio Internal
 Application Contest" in August.  You are invited to enter a batch file,
 worksheet, address file, or text file that you created that makes the
 Portfolio more productive for you.  Stop by the Forum for complete
 details and list of prizes.  I hope to see some really impressive batch
 files!  (Thanks to Don Messerli of the Software Vinyard for writing the
 GETFILE program used in this article.)

 About the Author

 BJ Gleason is an Instructor of Computer Science at The American
 University in Washington DC.  He is the author of PBASIC 4.9.  He can be
 reached on Compuserve [75300,2517] or on the Internet at

 Note: Programs presented in this series are available for download from
 CompuServe's Atari Portfolio Forum (GO APORTFOLIO at any CompuServe
 system prompt) -- an official Portfolio support site.  For more
 information about joining CompuServe, call (800) 848-8199 and ask for
 Operator 198.


 Our last column identified Don Thomas, of Artisan Software, as sole
 author of the shareware program PGF_MAKR.PRG, which manipulates and
 displays Portfolio .PGF files on the Atari ST, and allows sections of ST
 monochrome images to be translated to .PGF format.  This is incorrect.
 Though Thomas wrote sections of PGF_MAKR in its current revision, the
 body of the code was composed by Bruce Coleman.

 Listing 1.

 Turbo Pascal 6.0 source code for MENU.PRG, a program that lets batch
 files access the Portfolio's sophisticated, built-in menuing functions.

 program menu;
       this program is invoked from the command line:

             menu title item1 item2 .... itemN

        You can then choose one of the items.  The program will
        set the DOS variable ERRORLEVEL, so that you can then
        perform an action in a BATCH file with the statement:

             IF ERRORLEVEL=2 GOTO :PROG2

        returns 0 if escape is pressed, otherwise the item number

        the menu will be automatically centered on the screen.

        Written by BJ Gleason
        Copyright 1992, BJ Gleason


uses dos;

   menus : string;
   l,x,y : integer;
   regs : registers;

     { read the parameters from the command line }
     { add them to the menu string }

     menus := '';
     l := 0;
     for x:=1 to paramcount do
         menus := menus + paramstr(x) + chr(0);
         if length(paramstr(x))>l then l:=length(paramstr(x));
     menus := menus + chr(0);

     { convert the _ to spaces }

     for x:=1 to length(menus) do
       if menus[x]='_' then menus[x] := ' ';

     { now call the internal ROM BIOS Menu functions }

     regs.ah := $0f; := 65; := 0; := 0;

     { center the menu on the screen, based on the longest
       menu item, and the number of choices.  }

     if l<36 then x:=(40-(l+4)) div 2 else x:=0;
     if paramcount<6 then y:=(8-(paramcount+1)) div 2 else y:=0;

     regs.dh := y;
     regs.dl := x;
     regs.ds := seg(menus); := ofs(menus)+1;
     regs.di := $0ffff;
     { call the Portfolio's Internal ROM }
     intr($60, regs);
     halt( and $0ff);

 Listing 2.

 Segment of a batch-file, demonstrating how to use MENU.  Note that an
 underscore ('_') character is used to separate words in the argument
 defining the menu title.

MENU Program_Choice PBASIC Dir Applications
        if errorlevel=3 goto :cApp
        if errorlevel=2 goto :cDir
        if errorlevel=1 goto :cPBASIC
        if errorlevel=0 goto :finished

 Table 4.

 ERRORLEVEL values set by GETFILE, on exit.

ERRORLEVEL =    3               Error Setting Environment Variable
                        2               Esc Pressed
                        1               No Matching File Found
                        0               Okay: %FILENAME% contains filename

 Listing 5.

 Segment of batch file that uses GETFILE to display a menu of available
 .BAS files, then passes a selected file to the PBASIC interpreter for

        GETFILE *.BAS
        if errorlevel=1 goto :fileerr
        pbasic %FILENAME%
        goto :done

 Listing 7.

 A batch file that creates a customized front end for Portfolio
 applications.  This example uses MENU, GETFILE, and the internal
 application "hooks," as well as the public-domain program, VOICE, which
 gives the Portfolio speech capability.  VOICE is available on
 CompuServe's Portfolio Forum.

     @echo off
     REM the main menu
     menu Program_Choice PBASIC Dir Chkdsk Apps Voice_Demo Off
     if errorlevel=6 goto :choice6
     if errorlevel=5 goto :choice5
     if errorlevel=4 goto :choice4
     if errorlevel=3 goto :choice3
     if errorlevel=2 goto :choice2
     if errorlevel=1 goto :choice1
     if errorlevel=0 goto :finished
     goto :done
     REM PBASIC - use GETFILE to select the program
     getfile *.BAS
     if errorlevel=1 goto :done
     pbasic %FILENAME%
     REM goto :done at the end of each choice
     goto :done

     REM display the Directory listing
     dir /p
     goto :done

     REM display the results of CHKDSK
     echo on
     @echo off
     goto :done

     REM call the internal applications menu
     goto :done

     REM the portfolio speaks to you!
     goto :done

     REM turn the Portfolio off until a key press
     goto :done

     REM jump back up to the beginning again
     goto :again

     REM use the menu to see if the user really
     REM meant to press the <ESC> key.
     menu Exit? Yes No
     if errorlevel=2 goto :again
     if errorlevel=1 goto :bye
     goto :again
     REM I guess they meant it....

 | | |  By Ron Berinstein
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------

 Should the lifeguard have to choose which person to save?  Faced with
 three people in need to the north, two to the east, and one to the west.
 Is it alright to pursue the northerly three and let the others drown?

 I suggest that life is too important and that society must make plans so
 that a crisis can be avoided, and challenges handled effectively.  In
 this simple example the answer might be more staff, or perhaps better
 signage to warn of the pending natural disasters, etc.

 When the possibility is present that those who are in need of help are
 all related to you, let us say for arquments sake, your sons and
 daughters, the above situation might take on greater significance.
 Letting some of your children die in favor of others is not a pretty
 prospect.  In the Atari software world we don't have a huge family, but
 we have a significant one.  Public efforts recently expressed, though
 they may be well motivated, are not acceptable if they result in our
 family being divided, our children forced to fight for the attention of
 their parents, and our offspring suffering because options to further
 their Atari oriented goals have become more limited.  Though the current
 proposal expressed may seem at first economical, my position is that the
 government involved must find a better answer to serve it's
 constituency.  I question what good comes from streamlining the
 process, producing the arrow faster and for less money, if it results in
 an arrow that when shot by a skilled bowman, misses the target.

 I clearly can remember my instructor saying it now...  he spoke softly
 with a low tone and the wisdom of a sage... "When faced by many
 opponents choose the one you wish to overcome, and position yourself
 with him in front of the rest."  This rule is continually reinforced
 each time a fighter spars multiple partners.  If one wishes to conquer,
 there is no better rule to remember, and if you don't remember, a black
 eye is more likely to be your result.

 Let us not choose to overcome our sparring partners who on a 24 hour
 daily basis, are there to assist us in our software guest.  Rather let's
 garner support for the services that are our life lines, the online
 services that continually provide a forum of support, each in their own
 individual and important way, for a computer platform that is best
 served by the merit and mutual success of all it's family members.

 The following is just some of the recently released great available
 software force that can be with you, by turning your attention to your
 favorite BBS or Online Service.

 Compression formulas seem to always top most download lists.  And this
 version will be no different.  The changes are minor fixes, and of
 course, further speed optimization.   This latest version of LZH
 compression is about 5 times as fast as the original Quester LZH version
 written for the Atari platform.  This new 2.01L compression is about 30%
 faster than the original LHARC.  With this 2.01L version of LZH201 all
 LZH formats are fully supported EASILY when used with Charles F.
 Johnson's ARCSHELL v 3.01.

 This ARC contains a Superzap ZAP file to translate an unpacked copy of
 the latest Questor 2.01L LHarc program to English (mostly :-).  Also
 contains a ZAP file to restore the original file.

 The other category of top download interest is? ..........(The envelope
 please...)  Yes, that's right, Virus Killers!

 Here is a DEMO of the Ultimate Virus Killer NOW marketed and supported
 by STeve's Software.  Download this DEMO for the Press Release and DEMO
 for your enjoyment.  Just one of many new programs that they will be
 supporting.  NOTE: Remove any installed ramdisk before running this

 So GNU, what else is good?  <--- a little Yiddish Humor (smile)

 This is v3.1 of a graphical version of GNU Chess for the Atari.  Unlike
 the original ASCII text version of GNU Chess, this has a pretty slick
 graphical interface.  Looks very good, although I haven't really tested
 how well it plays (as if I'm qualified to judge that anyway!  <grin>).
 You can play the computer or watch the computer compete against itself.
 Also allows saving and loading games any many other features the
 commercial chess games have.  Future versions may support over-the-modem
 and 2-human-player features (there are buttons for it here, but they are
 disabled).  Source code available separately.  COLOR ONLY. *.CA1 files
 must be folder named PIC to run!

 So, you're not going to write home about my jokes, but, you do want to
 use your word processor, DTP program &/or printer...

 This archive contains the patch utility and file necessary to create
 PageStream 2.2b Atari from PageStream 2.1 Atari.  Archive also includes
 FONTSS.v2 and FONTEQIV.v2.  Full readme files for 2.2 included.  You
 should also download MODULES.ARC (import/export modules) and
 PRINTERS.ARC (printer drivers) to get full use of 2.2.  PSCRIPT.ARC
 contains the 2.2.11 Atari PostScript driver which is also in the
 PRINTERS.ARC file.  This archive will not patch 2.1 UK to 2.2b.
 Copyright 1992 Soft-Logik Publishing

 Version 2 of Border Bundles.  The decorative border maker that now has
 the capability of generating crop and register marks built in.  50
 border designs are defined in the included library of which the first 6
 are fully useable.  The other 44 designs are available now.

 This program patches your copy of Calligrapher 2.27 to fix a small bug
 that prevented importing text files from drive P:.  Another free update
 from CodeHead Technologies!

 This is Image Printer Program Version 5.03 for HP Deskjet and LaserJet
 owners.  It can import Tiny, Degas or .IMG files (normal or compressed)
 and can display, print, scale, dither (for color Degas or Tiny file) and
 support two paper sizes (Letter or Legal).  DEMO program, but can be
 upgraded to full version by entering paid-fee password.

 Latest version (V5b) of 2Column program.  If you liked earlier versions
 you will love this.

 A label maker for 3.5" disks. Requires an Epson 9 or 24 pin compatible
 printer.  On screen, what you see is a what you get type of display.
 Tested on a TT in all ST resolutions.

 Step right up, read all about it (with these!)

 DIARY 2.4Beta This is the all assembly language version of the Diary
 text editor ACC/PRG.  It is only about 12K and with its 4K edit buffer
 it takes a total of about 18K of RAM.  Fully resize/moveable window,
 any resolution, built-in menu and Help.  It lacks any find or block (and
 many other) functions, but it may fill your needs when low on free RAM.
 It does save, append, print, open files.

 This is a patch that will modify Tempus II to use normal file selector
 calls.  It also creates a new file so won't hurt your original.  But as
 always run it on a backup anyway!

 The F10 address book was written as part of the TIME SHEET point of
 Sales program and because the author couldn't find one that worked the
 way he wanted.  Features include: categorize entries, phone dial, print
 envelopes, multiple directories and search.  TT Compatible, but best in
 ST High Resolution

 Book DataBase One version 3.  Keep track of up to 2000 titles with this
 all-Gem, easy-to-use freeware program.  Changes from version 2: second
 comment field added, nasty bug in sort routine fixed, and data structure
 expanded for future changes.  Desktop icon included.  TT OK.

 Data-Lope [v1.1] combines an addressing database with a VERY flexible
 envelope printing program.  Data-Lope uses the internal fonts and font
 characteristics of the DeskJet to define EACH and EVERY line of your
 return and mailing address individually.  Data-Lope can import your
 existing CardFile .DAT files so you won't have to retype all your
 existing addresses if you have this program.  Data-Lope has been tested
 using ST Med, ST High, TT Med and TT High, untested with large screen
 monitors and overscan but should work on these as well.  Extensive
 online help screens plus docs.  If you don't have a DeskJet printer you
 don't need this program.

 For those with WARP DRIVE

 This is Todd Johnson's monochrome screen replacement font for use with
 Warp 9, the Software Accelerator from CodeHead Technologies.  This font
 has been altered to include Bob, the famous pipe-smoking Atarian.

 Moving Pictures allows you to have WARP 9 random background pictures for
 all three ST resolutions and all three TT resolutions!  In addition,
 Moving Pictures will give Desk Manager users a random startup picture
 for both color and monochrome systems!  V1.1 drops support of Degas
 Elite (.PC?) pics in favor of the smaller Tiny (.TN?) format.  If you're
 currently using v1.0 and have no wish to use Tiny pics, there's no
 reason for you to download this version.

 And continuing on in the picture motif...

 This is a library of functions for manipulating GIF images, it is
 written in C.  All functions are entirely in C, with NO assembly (inline
 or otherwise) and should be useable with most compilers with little or
 no work.  There are sparse comments in the source code itself but all
 routines are fully documented in separate .doc files.  Also included are
 PC executables.

 This program will allow TT owners to view IFF and ham pictures in there
 256 colour mode!  Will view 16 colour iffs on an ST.  Will also view 256
 color LBM files (DPaint IBM)

 Super Separator 2.1 separates all the colors in a DEGAS or NEOpic.  The
 colors are separated instantly for printing with a dot-matrix printer.
 A bug has been fixed in S.T.O.S. to allow use with the new TOS & STE.
 The docs have been edited to be readable, & the palette routines
 re-written.  Will not run in monochrome.

 Updated SPX (Spectrum Extended) viewer.  Use this to view the latest
 .SPX files that have been recently uploaded.  Color only.  Will not run
 on a TT. But no matter, if the pictures I tried (the ones described as
 "Kinky," are any indication, you ain't missin' much!)

 An SPX drawing of a couple of "fantasy-worthy Arabian women ready for
 battle."  I just had to mention this picture though, because of that
 description.. :)  Rated PG-13.  This is six screens long.  Use SPX
 Viewer 1.8 or later to view.   File is not archived due to built-in
 compression of SPX pictures.

 Hmm.. "fantasy-worthy Arabian women ready for battle."  I wonder if I
 should check that file out with  WHATIS?  Perhaps it could tell me
 exactly what kind of women the uploader is talking about here? <smile>

 Another version!  WHATIS 6.2 identifies over 125 file types - ARCs,
 LHarcs, PRGs, pics, ACCs, animations, etc... no more "what kind of file
 is this?" problems!  Runs as a PRG or ACC or a TTP-like program on any
 ST/TT in any rez.  Short docs included.  All the features of previous
 versions, plus adds STDCAT, Pack-Ice, some Calligrapher, and more .FNT
 files to the list, allows a default TTP pause mode, and displays current
 path, default path and pause mode, and server msgs.

 I think I'd rather make music rather than war (even if fantasy-women
 were involved!)

 ROBO BOP is a graphic MIDI rhythm editor that works with any drum
 machine or synth.  Features includ: Randomize, 250 step sequencer, user
 assignment of MIDI notes and channels, MIDIfile save, tap write,
 cut/copy/paste, variable pattern length, MIDI sync and lots more!  New
 for V 1.9: Grids reflect their volume with different fill patterns.
 Loop play and program 2 patterns.  Load and save single patterns.  Icons
 in Mono.

 This archive contains source code for:  THRU.ACC: An accessory that
 gives you a MIDI-thru when active.  MTHRU.PRG: An /auto/folder version
 (tsr) that is always active.  By Hendrik Jan Veenstra, Department of
 Philosophy, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands <>
 Executable versions available separately (MIDITHRB.ZOO).

 THRU.ACC: An accessory that gives you a MIDI-thru when active.
 MTHRU.PRG: An /auto/ folder version (tsr) that is always active.  By
 Hendrik Jan Veenstra, Department of Philosophy, University of Utrecht,
 The Netherlands <> Source code available separately

 For those of you that have used Forem BBS systems you know that
 networking is an important feature/option.  Michtron v. 3 has been
 without this possibility until now!

 MichTron BBS now has networking capabilities.  Included in this archive
 are all of the files needed to configure your MBBS board to use the
 MNET.  Just edit and compile the 2 CONFER.M files and add the other
 files appropriately as defined in the docs; and you're all set!!

 Odds and Ends...

 BPB-37.TOS by Domenico De Vitto <>  BPB tells you the
 MS-DOS boot sector details of a drive and gets the similar information
 from TOS, in case you need to compare.  Source code is available
 separately (BPB37S.ZOO).

 Shortcuts for Alertboxes, etc., Flying Alertboxes and Dialogs, LH5,
 Shareware from Germany

 The above files have been compiled from those offered on GEnie, Delphi,
 &/or Compuserve Online Services and/or CodeHead Quarters BBS.  Comments
 and or programs that you desire to have reviewed may be sent to Ron
 Berinstein [s] at CodeHead Quarters BBS (213)461-2095, or R.BERINSTEIN
 on GEnie, CLUBOWNER on Delphi, &/or 76645,1766 on Compuserve.

 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
 A special limited time offer  is available for subscribers to AtariUser
 Magazine.  The regular $19.95 subscription price is now just $15.00 for
 a  full  year  or  $25.00  a  year  for  first class mailing.  For more
 information contact AtariUser at (818) 332-0372. Credit card or billing
 is available.
 Editorial material, including article submissions, press releases,  and
 products  for  evaluation,  should  be  sent  to the Z*Net News Service
 Post   Office   Box   59,   Middlesex,  New  Jersey,  08846.
 You can subscribe to the bi-monthly hard copy  Atari  Explorer Magazine
 for $14.95 for 6 issues, $39.95 for  18 issues.   Canadian  subscribers
 should add $5.00 per 6 issues,foreign subscribers should add $10.00 per
 6 issues.  Checks must be drawn in US funds on a US bank.  Send  orders
 to Atari Explorer, Post Office Box 6488, Duluth,  MN  55806.  VISA  and
 MasterCard orders, call (218) 723-9202.
 Atari Explorer Online Magazine is  a weekly  publication  covering  the
 Atari computer  community.  Material published in  this edition may  be
 reprinted in non-commercial publications unless otherwise noted  at the
 top of  the  article.  Opinions  presented  herein  are  those  of  the
 individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those  of  the staff.
 Atari Explorer Online Magazine  is  Copyright (c)1992,  Atari  Computer
 Corporation.   Z*Net and the Z*Net Newswire are copyright(c)1992, Z*Net
 News Service/Ron Kovacs.
                      Atari Explorer Online Magazine
                   "The Official Atari Online Journal"
               Copyright (c)1992, Atari Computer Corporation

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