Z*Net: 13-Nov-92 #9218

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 11/15/92-11:58:46 AM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: Z*Net: 13-Nov-92 #9218
Date: Sun Nov 15 11:58:46 1992

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                       Z*NET: ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE
    November 13, 1992          Issue #18          Volume 7, Number 18
             Copyright (c)1992, Syndicate Publishing Company

          ~ Publisher/Editor..........................Ron Kovacs
          ~ Assistant Editor...........................John Nagy
          ~ Contributing Editor........................Ed Krimen
          ~ Writer............................Michael R. Burkley
          ~ Writer.....................................Bob Smith
          ~ Z*Net News Service........................Jon Clarke
          $ GEnie Address..................................Z-NET
          $ CompuServe Address........................75300,1642
          $ Delphi Address..................................ZNET
          $ Internet/Usenet Address................status.gen.nz
          $ America Online Address......................ZNET1991
          $ AtariNet Address...........................51:1/13.0

      * Z*Net: News Service FNET 593  AtariNet 51:1/13 (908) 968-8148
      * Z*Net: Golden Gate  FNET 706  AtariNet 51:1/9  (510) 373-6792
           ###  The Editors Desk.....................Ron Kovacs
                Special Comdex coverage and more....
           ###  The Z*Net Newswire.............................
                Atari and Industry News
           ###  Atari ST RT News..................Press Release
                Sam Tramiel in Conference!
           ###  Z*Net Computer Calender........................
                Latest Update adds CO's!
           ###  Houston Atari Safari Report......Tom D'Ambrosio
                Show report
           ###  The Unabashed Atariophile....Michael R. Burkley
                New PD files available....
           ###  Perusing GEnie........................Ed Krimen
                GEnie ST RT messages...
           ###  GEMulator Update..................Press Release
                News from Branch Always Software
           ###  Telebit Modem Offer For BBS Sysops.............
                Order form
           ###  Perusing UseNet.......................Ed Krimen
                Internet/Usenet Messages
 ######  By Ron Kovacs
 ######  ---------------------------------------------------------------
 First!  Thanks for the nice comments in regards to the return of Z*Net.
 Let me once again emphasize that there are NO problems between the AEO
 and Z*Net staff and we WILL BE assisting where we can with future AEO
 releases.  That question, (AEO issues), has not be detailed to us at the
 present time.  The Atari staff is in flight to Comdex and will not be
 available for at least another 10 days, so be patient as I know AEO is
 going to continue.
 Look for special reports direct from Comdex Sunday and during the week
 ahead from Z*Net's John Nagy.  On Monday November 16th, Sam Tramiel will
 the a special guest on GEnie for a live online conference direct from
 To the subject of AtariNet.  If you are interested in joining AtariNet
 and DO NOT know how, simply send us email via GEnie or CompuServe for
 full details.  AtariNet is growing by 3-5 BBS systems around the world
 weekly.  Don't miss out on all the action.  All you need is an Express
 or FoReM BBS system, a FIDO compat network or contact your local FNET
 sysop.  Ask about AtariNet!  Look for a full AtariNet report in the next
 edition of Z*Net.

 ######  Compiled by The ZNS Staff
 ######  ---------------------------------------------------------------
 Gribnif Software has recently announced the release of XBoot III, a
 "faster, more compatible and more flexible than ever" version of their
 boot manager.  XBoot is an AUTO folder program used for defining custom
 boot configurations of desk accessories, other AUTO folder programs,
 and, in the new version, CPX modules for Atari's extended control panel.
 XBoot enables the user to effortlessly organize and select at boot time
 the huge number of programs, accessories, and CPX modules you have on
 your hard drive.  This allows you to simply define and use setups for
 different applications which may have varying requirements for memory,
 resident programs, and accessories.  One of the most unique things about
 XBoot is that you do all of this in a GEM-like environment, including
 alert boxes, popup menus, and even a mouse pointer.  The seperate
 configuration program has been done away with, and all of its features
 have been moved inside the main XBoot program.  Even XBoot's powerful
 file selector has been enhanced by the addition of a copy function.  The
 retail price of XBoot III is $39.95.  You can order it from Gribnif at
 800-284-4742 or 413-247-5620.  Their fax number is 413-247-5622 and
 their address is P.O. Box 779, Northampton, MA, 01061.  XBoot 2 owners
 can upgrade by sending Gribnif their original disk and $18.
 Joppa Software Development has recently announced the release of
 STraight FAX! Version 1.06, a maintenance upgrade from Version 1.05
 which was released at the WAACE AtariFest '92 on October 10, 1992.
 Version 1.06 enhancements include support for the Atari Falcon 030 and
 the new AES 3.30 (Application Environment Services) contained in the
 Atari Falcon 030's TOS 4.0x and Atari's Multi-TOS.  STraight FAX! is a
 send/receive FAX communication program for Atari TOS based computers and
 works with industry standard Class 2 send/receive FAX modems and Sierra
 based SendFAX Modems.  STraight FAX! allows sending of FAX documents
 composed of standard monochrome Image files, monochrome DEGAS/DEGAS
 Elite compressed files, ASCII Text files (full GEM character set
 supported), GEM Metafiles (requires GDOS) and it's own FAX file format.
 In addition, the STraight FAX! includes "Print to Disk" printer drivers
 for the following applications: Calamus 1.09x, Calamus S/SL, PageStream
 1.8x, PageStream 2.x, FSM/Font GDOS based applications such as WordFlair
 II and Original GDOS based applications such as Calligrapher.  These
 drivers are used from with in the application to print pages of a
 document to the Joppa FAX file format.  STraight FAX! can also
 automatically generate a Cover Page that is sent at the start of each
 FAX document.  The STraight FAX! is available from Joppa Software
 Development fora suggested list price of $89.95.  Joppa Software
 Development, P.O. Box 214, Dallastown, PA 17313-0214, Tech Support Line
 (717) 428-3231, FAX Line (717) 428-0424, GEnie: JOPPA-SOFT, Compuserve:
 Oregon Research Associates recently announced that they have begun
 supporting the HiSoft family of products for the North American market.
 The company is offering their entire line of high-quality software at
 special "celebration savings" of 30%-40% off retail which are good
 through December 31, 1992.  For more information contact Phone: (503)
 620-4919, FAX (503) 624-2940, or mail to:  Oregon Research Associates,
 16200 S.W. Pacific Hwy., Suite 162, Tigard, OR 97224.
 George Richardson of the Merlin Group, designer of Gadgets by Small's
 SST 68030 expansion board, has recently announced that he is assembling
 a mailing list of people interested in the Chromax color video card.
 Richardson is planning to develop separate boards for the Mega ST, VME
 card for the Mega STE and TT, Gadget's SST, and perhaps the Falcon.  He
 hasn't ruled out a version for the 520/1040 if there's some demand for
 it.  To get on the Chromax mailing list send e-mail via GEnie to
 (G.RICHARDSO1).  Please provide your name, address, and name of the
 systems you'd like to see a Chromax version for.  You may also include
 a fax number if you're in a hurry.  The projected release date for the
 Chromax card is January 1993 and the "pretty accurate" projected price
 is $500.
 November 14, beginning at midnight, California's 13th area code will go
 into service.  The new 909 area code will serve western and central
 Riverside and San Bernardino counties and eastern Los Angeles County.
 Area code 714 will continue to serve Orange County, a small portion of
 southwestern San Bernardino County and part of La Mirada in Los Angeles
 County.  The new area code's introduction will be followed by a nine-
 month period during which customers can dial either 714 or 909 to
 complete calls.  After Aug. 14, 1993, customers must dial the correct
 area code or they will hear a recording instructing them to re-dial,
 using the proper area code.  When the new area code boundaries go into
 effect Nov. 14, there will be 2.75 million telephone numbers in area
 code 909.  GTE California will serve 1.84 million.  Pacific Bell will
 serve 860,000.  Contel will serve 50,000.  Area code 714 will serve 3.8
 million telephone numbers.  Customers who receive the new area code will
 not have to change their existing seven-digit telephone numbers.
 WordPerfect announced that WordPerfect 5.2 for Windows will support
 Microsoft Video for Windows digital video software.  WordPerfect 5.2 for
 Windows, a new upgrade to WordPerfect 5.1 for Windows, is scheduled to
 ship in December.
 Compaq Computer unveiled the industry's first high-speed internal modem
 that connects directly to a cellular phone to send and receive both data
 and faxes.  The SpeedPAQ 144 has a Cellular Direct Connection feature -
 a simple cable interface for connecting the computer directly to
 Motorola MicroTAC, MicroTAC Lite and MicroTAC Ultra Lite cellular
 telephones and the NOKIA 121 cellular phone.  The Compaq SpeedPAQ 144
 has a suggested list price of $649. 
 U.S. Robotics recently announced the Shared Accesst Communication Server
 386 (CS386) for Ethernet, the most flexible, stand-alone, single port
 communication server that connects directly to the LAN.  Shared Access,
 U.S. Robotics' line of communication server devices for remote LAN
 access offers reliable, easy  remote access and modem sharing solutions
 for any size LAN.  The Communication Server 386 for Ethernet will ship
 January, 1993; the Token-Ring version will be available in the second
 quarter of 1993.  Its list price is $1995.
 US Robotics announced six new WorldPort portable modems; five high-speed
 portable modems and a modem for the Hewlett-Packard 95LX Palmtop Cradle.
 These modems make the WorldPort line the most complete portable modem
 line available, and expand U.S. Robotics' strong product offering in the
 rapidly-growing portable modem market.  The new products will all ship
 prior to December, 1992, and include V.32 bis 14,400 bps and V.32 9600
 bps modems with and without fax capabilities, a 2400 bps/V.42 bis modem
 for the Hewlett-Packard Palmtop Cradle and a V.32 bis 14,400 bps fax/
 data modem for the Apple PowerBook.  For more information contact U.S.
 Robotics, at 1-800-DIAL USR.
 Recently the EIA-592 Class 2 standard for Facsimile DCE Control received
 formal draft approval and will likely be in circulation as a finalized
 standard before the end of this year.  Several months before the draft
 approval of the EIA-592 Class 2 standard several members of the TR29.2
 committee began work to improve the current Class 1 standard (EIA-578).
 TR29.2 members from U.S. Robotics, Intel, and Rockwell instigated this
 new work, now an official project numbered PN-2987.  Shortly after the
 project work started several other vendors joined to work on the project
 including Hayes, Microsoft, AT&T, and DataRace.  The committee has held
 two formal editing meetings which produced a draft working document to
 be discussed at the TIA meeting in November 9-12, San Antonio, TX.  The
 result of the new Class 2 standard is likely that of the "Second-System
 Effect" found in the infamous book "The Mythical Man-month", Frederick
 P. Brooks.  This effect basically says that the first design is likely
 to be "spare and clean", the second "a big pile", "an over-design".  The
 Class 2 standard utilizes over 50 commands and responses as compared to
 less than 10 in the Class 1 standard.  Half of the capabilties in the
 Class 2 standard will likely go unused, while some of the new
 capabilties in fax technology will be limited from use by this standard.
 U.S. Robotics, Hayes, Intel, Rockwell, AT&T, and DataRace all produce
 Class 1 products today.  Many have introduced new products based on the
 Class 1 standard within the last 6 months and most do not produce a
 Class 2 type product.  This trend seems to be turning many heads in the
 industry to  question the value of Class 2.  While the Class 1 standard
 will likely rival as the best available facsimile standard, the work
 accomplished in TIA project PN-2987 will likely be the next best
 standard for facsimile modem control.
 Gadgets by Small RoundTable
 Category 1,  Topic 4
 Message 20        Thu Oct 01, 1992
 DAVESMALL [Dave Small]       at 00:44 EDT
 Gadgets is sort of going through communications overload.  If it isn't
 the mail or phone, it's the Fax From Hell, which generates literally a
 2" "splash box" of FAXes for us.  Sometimes the dog chases the cat
 around, which mixes everything up.
 Due to Eric's accident we pretty much closed down Gadgets during his
 surgery & hospital stay, and during his physical therapy, since the
 muscle spasms kept us all up at all hours.  Those really aren't fun; he
 tore the muscles up pretty bad when the bone let go.  (And it took his
 other leg longer to heal ... there were bruises there that took two
 months to disappear). He couldn't straighten his left leg for a long
 So the summer was pretty much shot -- we got Eric on his feet just in
 time for school, really ... and we have an enormous backlog of FAX's,
 calls, and so forth.
 (What amazes me are the people who say, I know you're shut down taking
 care of Eric, but could I ask just one quick question ... inevitably 20
 minutes long). People...
 As a temporary measure until we find a way to cope with all this I/O (I
 mean, you DO want me assembler hacking, not answering old FAXes, right?)
 we have a service that tackles the Gadgets phone when we don't, so you
 can at least leave a message.  They FAX it to us immediately.
 I personally believe that with this many customers and products, we are
 overloaded, but with the economy shaky and an election coming up, I'm
 not that willing to hire someone I might have to fire.  Layoffs are
 rampant in Denver and in our area right now (defense contractors
 mostly).  Still, it would be so much easier with someone else; Barb did
 an excellent job for us for years.
 GEnie is also backlogged, and I'm trying to clear the backlog on notes
 to me (like tonight's work).  In the meantime, there are other sysops
 here who I rely on to handle routine questions and to keep topics on-
 topic, all the good sysop people.  There is just so much happening (very
 little of which I can even talk about without setting USENET afire with
 speculation) that we have had to do the essential things first.
 So, how to get ahold of us?
 Best way is probably a FAX to 303-791-0253.  We see them all.  We may
 not have time to reply to them all; we can get 1/2" thick of FAXes in
 one day *easily*.  It's overwhelming.  We do try, though.
 I believe our telephone company clobbered the business #, 791-6098,
 since it was saying it was disconnected (yeah, right), then fast busy,
 then slow busy, then ringing.  I don't get it.  I know I read of a cable
 cut through near here in a development, and the phone was croaked for
 Essentially, my bottom line is I want Gadgets to survive.  I want Atari
 users to always have the alternative of getting intoMac software, which
 there is scads of.  In order to do so in such an uncertain time, we're
 holding expenses way down (we skipped Germany this year, for example)
 and making sure we are not spending money unwisely.  I know this has
 degraded service to some customers and I'm sorry; I can only ask you to
 look to the longer term.
 Gadgets is definitely doing fine, we're not leaving Atari, and we have
 new things under development. The SST accelerator has been shipping
 since February and MegaTalk has been shipping since Sept. 12 (Glendale
 show this year).  Spectre GCR 3.0 has an extensive facelift ongoing; we
 are going to announce details on that soon, as soon as we've decided
 what's really important in terms of features and bug fixes; we talk
 about that a lot.  I called in some outside help on that one, by the
 It's been a tough year in ways not relating to Gadgets, but it IS a
 business run by people in the same family, and when someone gets hurt,
 the business shuts down.  That's our priorities, and while I know not
 everyone shares them, at least you know where I'm coming from.
 By the way, if you receive no answer to a FAX, you may have been black-
 FAXed, where the machine kicks out a solid black sheet of paper.  I
 don't know why, either, and Toshiba is mystified.  I blame the cat.
 Probably a new machine or logic board on the way there.
 So, there's your answer.  Tech support is a full time job.  Being Dad or
 Mom is fulltime.  Software development for GCR 3.x and new neat things
 is a full time job.  You're getting the idea!  I have seen companies
 overhire, then die during a sudden lag in sales.  GCR sales are
 definitely 72 burst mode ... quiet one day, then someone will want a
 whole production run, which takes some effort.  To the extent we can,
 we have offloaded all the trivial stuff from Gadgets to contractors.
 But it means there will BE a Gadgets in the future instead of yet-
 Hope this explains it.
 Thank you for being patient with us through '92. Again, I would be happy
 to get a refund on the year.
 -- Dave / Gadgets
 ######  Sam Tramiel In Conference
 ######  ---------------------------------------------------------------
 Sam Tramiel Realtime Conference from COMDEX
 The Atari ST Roundtable on GEnie will hold a live conference with Sam
 Tramiel from COMDEX on November 16th at 10:00 p.m. EST, 7:00 p.m. Las
 Vegas Time.  While it is expected that Sam will be happy to speak on
 all matters related to the Atari line of products, it is certainly
 anticipated that most of the interest will focus on the status of the
 new Falcon computer as well as the products being shown at COMDEX.
 A number of questions have been collected during the past two weeks here
 on GEnie in the Feedback to Atari topic in Category 14.  Most of those
 questions focused on Falcon specs and delivery but there were also a few
 more general questions.  All of this information has been forwared to
 Bob Brodie in the hopes that informative answers can be prepared in
 Accompanying Sam Tramiel will be Bob Brodie and the rest of the Atari
 entourage.  User turnout is expected to be heavy and the formal
 conference will be held in accordance with regular RTC rules.
 To join the conference on Monday evening, log on to the RTC by typing
 M475;2 at any command prompt or type 2 from page 475.  If you can't make
 it, watch for the transcript in your favorite online magazine!

 ###### Schedule of Shows, Events and Online Conferences
 ###### ----------------------------------------------------------------
 ### November 16-20, 1992
 Fall COMDEX, the biggest computer trade show in the USA with 2 million
 square feet of show floor.  Atari will again have a major presence at
 the Las Vegas, Nevada show, and has been soliciting for up to 50 third-
 party developers to participate in the huge Atari area at the Sands
 Convention Center, and Atari will have the largest booth in the entire
 Sands complex (Booth #2824).  The Falcon line of computer is expected to
 dominate the Atari booth, with outstanding demonstrations for the dealer
 and distributor attendees to consider.  COMDEX is where dealers and
 distributors make their marketing decisions of what to carry in their
 stores for the coming year.  It's said that a glimpse of future Atari
 machines may be seen as well.  Contact Bob Brodie at Atari Corp for
 information on attendance or exhibiting at COMDEX, 408-745-2052.
 ### November 16, 1992
 GEnie's ST Roundtable will be hosting a live real time conference with
 Sam Tramiel, President of Atari Corporation, at 10pm eastern time, 7pm
 Las Vegas time, direct from Comdex.  The topic for this conference will
 discuss products being shown at Comdex and other matters related to the
 Atari line of computers.  To attend this event, type M475;2 at any GEnie
 prompt at 10pm.  For more information on this event, see the Z*Net
 Newswire for a full press release, detailing the conference.
 ### November 17-19, 1992
 Wescon at the Anahiem Convention Center, Anahiem California.  This event
 will have new applications on display including; FSR Technology, 
 PenPoint and others.  Look for new products to debut.
 ### November 18, 1992
 Keith Gerdes {TraceTech} will be the guest at the weekly Wednesday night
 GEnie ST RT Real Time Conference.  Gerdes latest projects include DATA
 DIET v2.0 and DATA RESCUE and he is the author of numerous programs such
 as, Squish, DC Formatter, and DCopy Shell.  If you are interested in
 attending this RTC, type M475;2 at 10pm eastern time.  This conference
 and all Wednesday evening GEnie RTC's begin promptly at 10pm eastern.
 ### November 29, 1992
 On Sunday, Nov. 29th, at 9:30 PM Eastern time, the Writers Ink RT will
 have a Real Time Conference (RTC) about electronic publishing.  The
 publishing of information purely in electronic form, is a rapidly
 growing industry that promises to provide many benefits to readers and
 writers.  The RTC will be hosted by a panel of experts from all aspects
 of the business, including: Ron Albright (founder of the Disktop
 Publishing Association - DPA), Ryan MacMichael (publisher of STANZA, a
 free on-line poetry magazine) and J. Neil Schulman (founder of SoftServ
 Publishing, the first company to distribute electronic editions of
 novels and nonfiction via modem).  If you are interested in attending
 this conference, type M440;2 at any GEnie prompt on November 29th.

 ### December 4-6, 1992
 The Computer Graphics Show 1992 at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center
 in New York City.  This is a CMC event.  For more information call;
 (203) 852-0500, extension 234.
 ### January 6-9, 1993
 MacWorld Expo in San Fransisco California, Sponsored by MacWorld
 Magazine.  Titled San Fransisco '93 at the Moscone Center.

 ### January 12-14, 1993
 Networld '93 in Boston, Massachusettes

 ### January 13-16, 1993
 The Winter Consumer Electronics Show comes to Las Vegas, Nevada.  CES is
 an electronic playground, with everything in the way of high tech toys
 for kids and adults.  Game consoles and hand-held entertainment items
 like the Atari Lynx are big here, and Atari will attend with a hotel
 suite showroom.  Contact Atari Corp for more information on seeing their
 display at 408-745-2000.
 ### January 15-18, 1993
 NAMM is the largest conclave of musicians each year.  Held in Los
 Angeles at the Anaheim Convention Center, the variety of sights at the
 National Association of Music Merchandisers is wilder than at
 Disneyland, just next door.  Atari was the first computer manufacturer
 to ever display at NAMM in 1987, and has become a standard at the shows.
 A trade show for music stores, distributors, and professionals of every
 strata, entertainers are seen everywhere at NAMM.  Contact James Grunke
 at Atari Corp for more information at 408-745-2000.

 ### February 2-4, 1993
 ComNet '93 in Washington, DC.
 ### March 1993
 CeBIT, the world's largest computer show with 5,000 exhibitors in 20
 halls, is held annually in Hannover, Germany.  Atari traditionally
 struts its newest wares there, usually before it's seen in the USA or
 anywhere else.  In '93, the Atari 040 machines should be premiering, and
 this is the likely venue.  Third party developers also use this show to
 introduce new hardware and software, so expect a wave of news from CeBIT
 every year.  Atari Corp and the IAAD coordinate cross-oceanic contacts
 to promote worldwide marketing of Atari products, and this show is an
 annual touchstone of that effort.  Contact Bill Rehbock at Atari Corp
 for information at 408-745-2000.
 ### March 13-14, 1993
 The Sacramento Atari Computer Exposition is to be sponsored by the
 Sacramento Atari ST Users Group (SST) at the Towe Ford Museum in
 Sacramento, California.  This show replaces the earlier scheduled, then
 cancelled Northern California Atari Fest for the Bay Area, to have been
 held in December 1992.  A major two day effort, the SAC show is being
 held in the special events area of the Towe Ford Museum, home of the
 worlds most complete antique Ford automobile collection.  As an added
 bonus, admission to the museum is free when you attend the Expo.  The
 museum is located at the intersection of Interstates 5 and 80, just 15
 minutes from the Sacramento Metropolitan Airport.  Contact Nick Langdon
 (Vendor Coordinator) C/O SST, P.O. Box 214892, Sacramento, CA 95821-
 0892, phone 916-723-6425, GEnie: M.WARNER8, ST-Keep BBS (SST) 916-729-

 ### March 21-24, 1993
 Interop Spring '93 in Washington DC.
 ### August 3-6, 1993
 MacWorld Expo at the Boston World Trade Center, Bayside Exposition
 Center and sponsored by MacWorld Magazine.  This event is titled Boston
 ### September 18-19, 1993
 The Glendale Show returns with the Southern California Atari Computer
 Faire, V.7.0, in suburban Los Angeles, California.  This has been the
 year's largest domestic Atari event, year after year.  Contact John King
 Tarpinian at the user group HACKS at 818-246-7286 for information.
 ### September 20-22, 1993
 The third MacWorld Expo, titled Canada '93 at the Metro Toronto
 Convention Centre, sponsored by MacWorld Magazine.

 ### September 21-23, 1993
 Unix Expo '93 in New York City, New York.

 If you have an event you would like to include on the Z*Net Calender,
 please send email vai GEnie to Z-NET, CompuServe 75300,1642, or via
 FNET to node 593 or AtariNet node 51:1/13.0

 ######  By Tom D'Ambrosio
 ######  ---------------------------------------------------------------
 Are those "Mouse Balls" In Your Pocket?
 (or are you just happy to see me?)
 Report on the Houston "Atari Safari"
 10/24/92: Sponsored by the HACE Users Group of Houston.
 by Tom D'Ambrosio and HASTE: Houston Atari ST Enthusiasts.
 The third annual Houston "Atari Safari" was, for all intents and
 purposes, a rousing success.  Though only a modest show with roughly
 under 200 attendees, the show was impressive none the less.
 Guests included Bob Brodie (showing off the new Falcon to eager crowds),
 Codehead Software with Calligrapher as well as all their other
 utilities, ICD with a full stock of new "The Link" DMA-to-SCSI adaptor
 (and assorted software), and Houston's own Double Click Software
 promoting the new, soon to be released "Storm" telecommunications
 (The newly relocated "Atari Advantage Magazine" was also there, but did
 not try to detract any spotlight from the new Falcon030 at the show.)
 First some background info.
 As a frequent caller on a local "Amiga" BBS, I should let you know what
 "they" are saying about "Commodore's" new machines.  There is no joy in
 Mudville.  The exact references I have to the A600 range from "over
 priced toy" to "already obsolete".  As for the 040 based A4000, the
 general consensus is "Nice, but too incompatible, and I couldn't afford
 it anyway."  No one over there is willing to trash their expensive
 hard/software investment for a less compatible machine.
 Also, numerous developers are looking for anything new and innovative in
 the computer marketplace, and have been knocking down Atari's door.
 They say the PC market is stagnant.  The surrounding technology is old,
 and all they do is update the CPU and the software.  Every other upgrade
 must be made to fit on a card.
 Bob Brodie explained this best as "they keep sticking a bigger and
 bigger engine into this Volkswagen chassis.  Putting a Porche engine in
 a Volkswagen Bug doesn't make it a sportscar.  While your doing 120mph,
 your girlfriend is choking on the fumes."
 Why am I telling you all this?  Because it makes the Falcon030 all that
 more of a triumph for Atari.  With a level of downward compatibility
 that guarantees a huge software library upon release, plus the new
 enhancements, make this a machine that won't be obsolete in just a
 decade, as some might say previous models do.
 The Good Stuff.
 Yes, I saw the Falcon030 first hand.  My first impression was (of all
 things) the case.  It would be extremely easy to mistake the Falcon for
 a plain-Jane 1040ST.  Bob Brodie assured me this was the final
 production case.
 The case is a pale MegaSTe grey.  A "dirty white".  The keys are a
 darker "newsprint grey".  In fact, if it weren't for the letters
 "ATARI" in five different colors, it would tough to distinguish a B&W
 photo from a Color photo of the case.  "What about that ugh-yellow
 keyboard I kept hearing about?" I asked Bob.  He informed me that often
 they use "color coding" with early production models (to represent
 different TOS versions and such). So don't worry, no "yellow" keyboard
 The F030 was set up with both a 1985 (JVC model) SC1224 and standard VGA
 monitors.  Bob was showing off an incredible digitized "slide show" demo
 in "true color" on the SC.  Geez!  The color and clarity!  Imagine the
 clearest brightest picture you've ever seen on TV, then double the
 sharpness and intensity.  I'd be hard pressed to find an actual
 photograph that looked better.  The SC1224 is outstanding here.
 The true color "slide show" was in "overscan" so that the picture filled
 the entire screen, running off all four sides like on a TV.  This does
 wonders for helping to forget your on a computer.
 After a little coaxing, we finally convinced Bob to show us the now
 famous "Simply the Best" Tina Turner demo.  I think the "coaxing" was
 because Bob didn't feel like digging out the stereo speakers, but being
 a sport, he did.
 I have yet to figure out why Atari "video" demos are always done in a
 miniature, 4"x3" window (on a 12" SC1224).  Pressing a few function keys
 quickly revealed the demo didn't _have_ to be small, but they do anyway.
 (Hmmmm.)  The action was not the "fluid 24 screens per second" video
 like you see in the movies.  Closer to fast "stop motion" (perhaps 8-10
 frames a second) rapidly clicking through scenes of a European "Rugby"
 game with shots of Tina performing.  All around the "window" the
 different shots rotated around the edge.  Of course, it was in (I
 believe) true color, so the detail was perfect.
 But more impressive was the audio.  The "Simply the Best" soundtrack
 came through the speakers with pure CD clarity.  This was probably the
 first time I've ever heard "digitized audio" that didn't "sound"
 digitized.  Sounded like your home hi-fi (neglecting the quality of the
 mini stereo speakers used).  Very impressive.
 I got a look at the new TOS-4.0.  Internally, TOS-4.0 is on a single
 4-meg rom, and this part alone (from what I gather) does not multitask.
 All the code required to multitask must be loaded in from the hard
 drive.  Bob did not bring (or install?) it, so we only got to see it
 "single task".  1-Meg machines sold with no built-in hard drive will 
 probably not support multitasking "out-of-box".
 TOS-4.0 looks so much better with all the extra colors.  It makes old 4-
 color TOS look antique.  At first, I was stunned that one or two icons 
 looked identical to the PD "Gemini" desktop, and are also seen in TOS-
 2.06.  The color makes up for it, as do the other new "unique" icons.
 Clicking the "floppy" icon makes the disk window slide.  The hard drive
 icons, in 256 colors, look like little CDs, and clicking them changes
 their color.  "Radio buttons" inside dialog boxes (Yes/No/Continue/etc)
 are now 3D via shadows.  Similar to the look of the FzT (the popular 
 shareware modem software) buttons, clicking them makes them appear to
 One surprise is that the VDI is only a pale shadow of it's former,
 cludgy, self.  With no "accelerators" or other "doo-dads" in memory,
 windows snap open, text flies, and updates are lightning quick.  A
 producer of screen accelerators would be hard pressed to improve
 First, we ran the infamous "Fractal Generator" we've heard so much
 about.  Though the program only displays in a small box, the results of
 a DSP-enhanced fractal took 10 seconds, which took the old 8-mHz ST 84-
 seconds, and the 32mHz TT almost 30-seconds, to do.  The DSP's praise
 seemed to be well deserved.
 Next, after having all those GIFs that claim "640x480x256", it was nice
 to finally see them as they were meant to be.  It is incredible when a
 GIF starts to look like an old Spectrum-512 picture.  Of course, we
 switched over to the VGA monitor for this.  The VGAs picture was tried
 and true.  Great color and detail, and (of course) no flicker.
 Next we listened to the famous "Direct to Disk" sampler that comes with
 every Falcon.  Very impressive.  Though I would eventually expect more
 professional "commercial" versions, the D2D software was no "hack" to be
 sure.  For those wondering, we did some MODs too, so old MOD files work
 fine, as does the 50Hz screen switching most MOD players use.
 Next we tested "compatibility". We dug up a copy of good ol' "Microsoft
 Flight Simulator".  It ran flawlessly, and the only hitch we
 encountered, I would attribute to "pilot error".  MFS finally ran at,
 what I would call a "respectable" speed.  Not "click-click-click" slow.
 Not "I can't keep up" fast, but "we're really flying" respectable.  The
 speed at which MFS looks like it was intended.
 Of course, I scanned the ports.  Nothing striking about them, laid out
 in logical "ST" order.  One "interesting" item was that the Falcon uses
 the same "busy light" for both the internal floppy and the internal
 "hard drive".  Both wouldn't be active at once, so it makes little 
 difference, you can tell "is it writing to floppy or HD?" because the 
 light "flickers" when accessing the HD as those lights typically do.
 I also noticed the new placement of the two joystick/mouse ports on the
 F030.  The ports have been relocated to the more accessible left "side"
 probably due to the internal hard drive and fan taking up the bulk room.
 The 1.44M floppy, still on the right, was slightly "recessed", probably
 because they are using a more standard mechanism.  No more mutilating
 the case should you replace the drive.
 Bob was more than happy to recommend transfer of the F030 to a "tower
 case" for more room.  Since, for many purposes, a 65-Meg hard drive
 won't be enough, a tower case would provide more room for a larger
 "internal" drive.  He did not mention if the Falcon's new design
 facilitated this in any way.
 We were not able to hear any DSP audio samples, though Bob said he would
 do the proper set up later for those willing to stick around after the
 show.  I asked about "DSP Modem Box" support.  Bob mentioned that a
 German developer is writing a term to support existing "boxes", but he
 made no mention of Atari's own "box" or "DSP modem software".
 Who are these other guys?
 I almost forgot about the other vendors.  Codehead Tech had a table,
 showing off their wares, as well as demoing "Calligrapher" on a TT with
 huge monochrome monitor.  It looked to be a fantastic product ready to
 give Pagestream and Calamus a run for their money.  Attendees kept them
 ICD was showing off their new "The Link" SCSI interface.  Looking kinda
 like an oversized adaptor plug (like the DB9 to DB25 converters on the
 PC), that housed all the electronics inside the plug.  A standard DMA
 cable connects it to your ST.  Unlike the earlier AdSCSI hosts, this
 needs no external power, drawing it directly from the scsi device.
 Reminds me of the old ICD "Printer Connection" cable I had on my 8-bit.
 Everything on one chip inside the plug, and required no external power
 New with "The Link" is software that supports the newer SCSI periferals
 (plug-n-play) like 21-Meg "floptical" drives and SCSI-2 hard drives.
 ICD also re-wrote the "MetaDOS" CD-ROM driver to support all SCSI CD-ROM
 drives.  ST users now have CD-ROM support with any "off the shelf"
 As an "AdSCSI" owner, my first question was "will you be having an
 upgrade policy for AdSCSI owners?"  You will be happy to know that you
 don't need to change a thing.  A complete upgrade can be done through
 software, which they promise to sell for under $50.  No need to replace
 that trusty host with a new one.
 Double Click Software was plugging their new MTOS compatible "Storm"
 telecommunications software.  The new term supports multiple capture/
 editor buffers, background "operations", X,Y,Z and B+ modem protocols,
 and a fully functional BASIC used as a script language, with special
 instructions for Storm/modem control.
 Interestingly enough, they did not have a demo running, or even a single
 copy for sale (at the show), though you could "pre-order" your copy for
 $49.95 ($74.95 retail).  "Contest" flyers for a free copy of Storm were
 distributed.  Winners T.B.A.  The scheduled release date for Storm is
 BTW, for those wondering, the DC BBS is permanently off-line, thanks to
 a nasty lightning storm that took out all their equipment.
 Time to talk Turkey... err, I mean Falcon.
 Finally, we were treated to the usual Q&A session with Bob Brodie, ready
 to get the "dish" on all the latest news.
 First on the Agenda, Bob discussed the Falcon030, and that it carried
 the "U.S." roms that would be in the final production versions.  The
 F030 is "much more STe compatible than the TT is", mostly because the
 F030 uses no incompatible "fast ram", and is wired to address only 24 of
 the 32 bits the 030 chips can handle.  While this reduces the maximum
 addressable memory to 16-megs (14-megs ram, 2-megs BIOS), it keeps ST
 software compatibility high.
 Bob then noted the "built-in DSP chip".  The Falcon is the only computer
 produced, under $1000, with a DSP.  The closest competitor is the NeXT,
 which typically runs at around $5000.  To add a DSP to the PC would cost
 them $900, so one could look at it like "buying a DSP, and getting a
 Falcon for free."
 Mentioned next was the new "PIM: Personal Integrated Media" platform for
 which the F030 is geared.  What this means is that a Falcon should be
 able to do what other electronics items do... CD quality audio, photo
 quality video, etc.
 Questions fielded from the audience revealed this information:
 16 channel, stereo sampling and playback. The stereo headphone jack (for
 Walkman-sized headphones) plug into the rear of the machine, as does the
 "mic in" and other ports on the F030.
 MultiTOS "will" (kinda-sorta) run on a 68000 machine, but no 68000
 specific version will be released, since Atari intends it for 030 based
 "memory protected" machines only.  MTOS on an 030 accelerated ST (like
 the SST board) will run flawlessly, we were told.
 As for multitasking numerous programs that run in different resolutions,
 you can't.  According to Bob "MultiTOS insists that everything be
 running in the same video mode."
 GENlock, done via a "GENlock box interface", is already possible on the
 F030.  JRI already has a working GENlock, as does one German hardware
 producer.  No price set as of yet, but Bob "guestimated" at "under
 Adaptors to connect both the SC1224 and standard VGA monitors to the
 Falcon are included with your purchase.  Both resemble no more than
 simple adaptor plugs, housing no circuitry or other wizardry (that I
 could see).
 Atari plans on being present at the next ComDex show in LasVegas.
 Scheduled to make its first appearance is a new "video phone" for the 
 Falcon that will allow you to communicate on your computer to another
 Falcon (other videophone compatibility?) while viewing them at the same
 On the new ISDN phone lines, DSP modem communications of 125Kbd were
 referred to as "trivial". Not only would this result in near instant
 file transfers, but support "live action video" through the proposed DSP
 video phone.
 Advertising, the bane of most Atari users, will cover the US again,
 through a joint effort between Atari, and it's retailers.  Some may use
 "print", some may use "TV", whatever works for them.  Atari seems likely
 to steer clear of mass merchandise retailers like "Sears", where they
 provide little or no "technical support".  In the past, Atari computers
 on display in these stores were ill received, due to unforeseen
 complications, such as children stealing the mouse balls out of the
 mouse controllers.  As a result, you'd have a number of salesmen walking
 around with "mouse balls" in their pockets (chuckles from the crowd) to
 prevent them from being stolen.
 As for Atari supporting CD-ROM compatible with the new "Kodak photo CD"
 technology, the reply was "We are negotiating with them _now_.  'Now',
 as in, the meeting just ended 20 minutes ago."  Surprisingly enough, Bob
 actually alluded to an 040 machine "under development".  From what I
 could "assume" (never trust assumptions though), the Falcon030 maintains
 a high degree of "ST" compatibility, while a Falcon040 would probably
 have a greater "TT" compatibility.  This is only a guess though.
 Why only a "16mHz" 68030 instead of a faster one? Price.  The slower
 16mHz really is that much cheaper, which keeps costs down.  You want
 blazing speed?  That is what the DSP is for.  Programmers who want 
 incredible speed will utilitize that.
 The Falcon will see limited release this month (November), with a
 complete rollout in January.  From what I gathered, pre-release Falcons
 "might" not be available from your dealer, but only direct from Atari
 (do not take my word for this.)
 With fewer "bugs" than earlier ST versions of TOS, TOS-4.0 has the
 corrected flow control (for modems), fast file access, fast VDI, etc.
 Who needs a "patch"?
 As for "MS-DOS/PC" emulation... one "German" 486 emulator developer
 seems to have decided to switch gears to a "286" emulator.  Why?  Bob
 says "their English suddenly faltered as I asked them that."  Their
 "486" version _may_ be shown at ComDex.  Two other developers are
 working on "486SX" emulators as well.
 Other details.
 MTOS will be available for TT and 030 accelerated ST owners from your
 local retailer.
 The Falcon was said to be capable of some 120+ video modes, and that
 John Townsend's listing was but "a brief sample".  Bob seemed to imply
 that higher resolution support should be easily possible on higher rez
 monitors with the proper hard/soft ware.
 Houston Atari Computer Enthusiasts. (HACE)
 PO Box 460212
 Houston, TX. 77056
 BBS: (713)458-9923


 ******  By Michael R. Burkley
 ******  ---------------------------------------------------------------
 I am an _unabashed_ Atariophile, a lover of things Atari.  Set me down
 in the midst of a group of people, and I'm off and running -- at the
 mouth, that is!  If there was a true Atariophile Word Association Test
 I'd be sure to pass it.  Mention the word "computer," and I say "ST!"
 (Someday I'll say TT, or Falcon, but not yet <sigh>.)  Say "Color" and I
 say "Monitor."  Mention "Dots" and "Polka" is far from my mind, "Per
 Inch" pops up instead.  Say "Modem" and I croon "Lots of Public Domain
 Actually, I am quite a restrained Atariophile.  For example, my wife had
 no difficulty in getting me to promise not to bring my ST, Monitor, Hard
 Drive _and_ Modem with us when we go on vacation.  I can manage that, I
 know that I can.  After all, it's only a week, and the place where we
 are going doesn't even have a phone.  Now all I have to do is figure out
 how to pack my ST, Monitor, and Hard Drive in the car without her
 Yes, I am an _unabashed_ Atariophile.  And so when I was asked to write
 this weekly column on Atari PD/SHAREWARE software I jumped at the
 chance.   Indeed, the difficult question is "Where do I begin?"  Usually
 I will focus on the new files I find each week in my travels around the
 BBS circuit, but occasionally, perhaps once a month, I will hone in on
 software that focuses on a particular topic, no matter it's age.  But
 this week I'm going to talk about a mix of both the old and the new.  I
 hope you'll like it!
 CALLFIX is v.1.00 of a "get this one!" program by Tom Nolan (dated July
 ------- 29, 1992).  I value this program because CallFix allows some old
 software to run under newer versions of TOS.  If you get a crash when
 you run an old program that used to work, and you have a new TOS,
 CallFix may be for you.  Just run it from the desktop or from your AUTO
 folder and then run your errant program.  It just might work again! In
 old versions of GEMDOS, some registers were preserved across calls.
 Some programmers relied on this, even though Atari said not to.  Now
 things have changed, and these programs crash.  CallFix preserves
 registers d0-d2/a0-a2 on the stack.  Color or mono.  Docs included.
 RobotFix by Tom Nolan (v.1.00 dated July 29, 1992) is a program that
 --------------------- will allow you to play the excellent PD game
 ROBOTZ under newer versions of TOS.  This fixes a different problem than
 CALLFIX above.  Just run it from the same directory as ROBOTZ and you're
 off!  Details as to why this happens and what the fix is (as well as
 some handy cheats for ROBOTZ) are included in the doc file.
 The Blitzschnell Hard Drive Defragmenter and Optimizer v.1.4U by Erin
 ---------------------------------------- Matthew Monaco (dated October
 27, 1992) is a program that will allow you to defragment your hard
 drives any way you wish!  By using your mouse and keyboard you can
 select from a windowed "map" of your hard drive those files you wish to
 consolidate and where you wish to place them on the physical structure
 of your Hard drive.  With a few simple clicks you can trace the
 structure of any file, however fragmented, and move it to any location
 you choose.  You can reserve any number of clusters so TOS doesn't use
 them, or you can free up any cluster for use.  A very nice disk
 information menu provides you with all sorts of information about your
 drive.  I've spoken with the author and he fully intends to keep
 improving this already excellent program (he's already produced a steady
 stream of updates).  100% assembly coded.  Color or mono.  TOS 1.0-1.62
 (at least) compatible.  SHAREWARE.
 The Ancient Art of ASCII v.1.0 by David Becker (dated July 24, 1992) is
 ------------------------ a program that will allow you to take any mono
 DEGAS picture and convert it into another picture created solely by
 placing small and large alphabet characters on the screen (or on paper).
 This is ASCII art, which is a "picture translated into text".  By
 placing small and large characters of the alphabet in spots
 corresponding to a pictures light and dark areas, you can trick the eye
 into still perceiving the original image, now converted entirely to
 text!  Toss the Polaroid camera, you can send printed ASCII pictures of
 the kids to Grandma!  You can also load a custom text file of your
 choosing to use (this doesn't work as well for faces, but works fine for
 geometric shapes.  Docs included.  Mono only.  This works well!  Sample
 pictures included.
 R/C Aerochopper is a demo of the hardware/software product, "The Radio
 --------------- Controlled Aircraft Simulator" by Ambrosia Microcomputer
 Products.  Have you ever wanted to fly those R/C planes and helicopters?
 Those things are expensive--and they crash!  With this demo you can see
 a way to fly and save.  R/C Aerochopper allows you to practice your R/C
 flying--in any weather condition.  Fly a helicopter, a jet, a bi-plane,
 a Piper Cub--even a glider, and learn how to do it well.  Then go out
 and fly without crashing (often!).  The full package consists of an
 actual R/C controller that hooks into your ST and the software that
 allows you to "fly" R/C simulations all about the screen.  This self-
 running demo consists of alternate airplane and helicopter flights which
 show the capabilities of the system.  The whole package lists for about
 $200, which is considerably cheaper than crashing your real R/C models!
 Color or mono.  ST/STe/TT compatible.
 There are a lot of normal Concentration-type game floating around.
 "Beepin' Concentration" by W. Deacon of BTAM Associates is the first one
 ----------------------- that sounds off to get your attention.  Instead
 of visual clues, you get "Beeps and Boops" as you depress the 56 board
 tiles.  If you're so skillful as to press two of them with the same
 tones a bit of a DEGAS .PI1 picture is revealed (you get to select the
 picture at the start of the game).  Get them all and see a full screen
 image.  At first I thought this game would be terribly difficult
 (remembering TONES no less!), but while challenging, I could do it, and
 it was fun.  This program was written in STOS 1.62 so it will run on TOS
 1.62 and earlier machines.  It's suggested shareware with a $5 donation.
 Color only.  Mouse controlled.
 I've found that any program by D.A. Brumleve is interesting, fun, and
 usually educational.  "Come Into My Parlor..." is no exception.  Another
 Concentration-type    ------------------------ game, but this time a
 spider is out to catch some insects to eat!  The spider has spun 18 webs
 to catch her prey of flying and crawling insects.  Click on the webs in
 pairs to reveal the insects caught.  Try to find all 9 matching insects.
 The insects included in the game are common to North America.  They
 include members of a variety of insect orders: stinkbug, leaf beetle,
 ladybird beetle, head louse, oriental cockroach, velvet ant, yellow-
 jacket, damselfly, and housefly.  You use the mouse (either button) to
 select the "webs."  Careware for the Leal Elementary School.  Color
 only.  All ST family, TT, and Falcon compatible.
 You wouldn't believe all of the EXCELLENT PD/SHAREWARE material
 constantly being produced and distributed on BBS's everywhere.  It's all
 out there for the asking, but how do you get it?  You need a modem and
 you need a telecommunications (TC) program.  I can't help you with the
 modem, but perhaps I can help with the program. There are many TC
 programs out there, and most recent of them to cross my screen is
 ShadowTerm II by Michel Forget (dated July 1, 1992).  This is a working
 ------------- demo of a very full-featured terminal program.  It allows
 you to chain dial numbers, view online text and re-size your text buffer
 at will, auto log-on, re-size your RS232 buffer at will, run up to 10
 external programs by one keypress, and do GEM based X,Y,Z, and YMG
 transfers.  It also allows for up to 30 macros.  One other (among many)
 function is that it allows you to do just about any disk/file function
 you wish with just the click of a button.  Color or mono.  Docs
 included.  This demo version is limited to 30 minutes running, then you
 need to register!  ST/STe/TT compatible.  SHAREWARE.
 And finally!  There are things that you can use your ST for other than
 running programs! You can use it to read books (or at least novellas)
 "The Doctor and the Enterprise" is a story written by Jean Airey (1982)
 ------------------------------- that presents a very good look at what
 might happen if "The Doctor" (from the "Doctor Who" universe) met up
 with the crew of the original "Star Trek" series.  I liked reading this,
 and recommend it to you if you like either Dr. Who or the original Star
 Trek (especially if you like both!).
 All of these files can be found on one or more of the following on-line
 services:  GEnie, Delphi, The CodeHead BBS (213-461-2095), Toad Hall
 (617-567-8642), and The Boston Computer Society's Atari BBS (617-396-
 It's time to fire up my modem and send this off!
 Until next week!

 Michael lives in Niagara Falls, NY.  He is a former Polyurethane
 Research  Chemist and is presently the pastor of the Niagara
 Presbyterian Church.
 ######  Compiled by Ed Krimen
 ######  ---------------------------------------------------------------
 Some messages may have been edited for correct spelling, grammar, and
 irrelevant material.
 -=> In the "Lynx - The Game Machine" category (36)
 -=> from the "General Lynx Info and Discussion" topic (5)
 Message 37        Sat Oct 31, 1992
 C.ROSE4 [Rage]               at 16:12 EST
 I just saw my first plug for the ATARI LYNX on television.  The sponsors
 for MTV's Halloween Dance Party was the ATARI LYNX.  About every 15
 minutes or so, they would have a contest and the winner would receive a
 Lynx.  They even had contestants battling each other on Lynx games.
 It's about time for some national televisual plugs.
 -=> In the "Atari Corporation Online" category (14)
 -=> from the "Atari Falcon 030 Computer" topic (20)
 Message 105       Sat Oct 10, 1992
 SAM-RAPP [<<Sam>>]           at 23:11 EDT
 Been reading up on DSP stuff, and this sounded kind of impressive...
 NeXT computers use the Motorola 56001 as a general-purpose, fixed-point
 array processor.  This state of the art microprocessor can execute up to
 12.5 million instructions per second and, with a SINGLE INSTRUCTION, can
 perform a 24- by 24-bit fixed point multiply, a 48-plus 56-bit addition,
 two 16-bit address updates, and three parallel memory moves.
 This is even more impressive when you take into account that the NeXT
 runs its DSP at 25Mhz and has  8k words of SRAM, while the Falcon runs
 its DSP at 32MHZ and has 32K words of SRAM.  Man, this sucker will
 Message 109       Sun Oct 11, 1992
 S.DANUSER [Soul Manager]     at 02:07 EDT
 As for complaints that the first Falcons will be the 4/65 model, this
 should be taken as a good sign.  It shows that Atari is not trying to
 market the machine solely to current ST owners (or else it would only be
 available in HD-less configurations).  Instead, Atari is trying to sell
 the machine to new users, who, if they had to search for a hard drive on
 their own, would probably think it too much trouble and simply buy a
 different computer.  Yes (sigh), it would be nice if Atari could release
 a whole line of Falcons that suited everyone's needs and made everyone
 happy.  But they can't; Atari is not Apple.  Thinking practically, the
 4/65 machine, even if pricey, is the way to begin.  And it's nice to see
 Atari thinking practically.
 Message 151       Tue Oct 13, 1992
 J.ALLEN27 [FAST TECH]        at 11:49 EDT
 The DSP used in the Falcon is an SMD mask rom version of the 56001, it's
 tiny and costs around $15, moving up the scale would be much too costly
 for a $799 computer.  BTW, the same DSP is used in Cincinati Microwave
 radar detectors...Escort/Passport.
 The Falcon is a putt putt, make no bones about it, even with a faster
 blitter, it's a low cost machine, targeted at a whole new market area.
 It is NOT a TT replacement, it's not a DTP/CAD workhorse, it _IS_ a
 video and sound wonder machine.  The only regret I have is that once
 again Atari has delibrately limited the expandability of the machine to
 fit what _they_ believe it should be used for, rather than allowing the
 _user_ to decide ultimately what the computer is used for.
 The Falcon does NOT have a PDS (Processor Direct Slot); it has a 68000-
 chip-compatible peripheral bus to make it easy to add an AT-SPEED type
 board, and other simple things.
 Why this was done, the "reasoning" behind it will only be known to us in
 the future, hopefully Atari will provide a DTP/CAD platform to the
 market eventually, that is more advanced than the TT.
 On the good side, the Falcon production models are VERY well built --
 real clean.  There won't ever again be a need for the "drop fix" on an
 Atari computer.  Almost total surface mounting, excellent use of space
 and modern technology.  All they had to do to bat 1000% was to use a
 real 32bit expansion connector with the 68030 signals on it....but
 But not to worry, waiting for me in the mail when I came back from WAACE
 was a catalog from a company that has built a QFP adapter, a connector
 that solders in place of the SMD 68030 chip and provides a bed of pins
 to allow connection of....a REAL full 030 expansion device. ;-)  So long
 as there are no "gotcha's" in the 68030 circuits (like the blitter not
 placing its address on the 030 bus during operation) an accelerator for
 the machine can be built, and the Falcon will indeed be useable for
 DTP/CAD applications in the future.  We'll see.
 I know a lot of other 3rd party folks, and I know of two ram boards in
 development for the Falcon, so just about any ram recipe you can imagine
 will be ready when the machines ship.
 Sam, I'm still waiting for an answer about how the blitter does its
 work, and whether the blitter can be "watched" by an external cache and
 coherency can be maintained.  Until that question is answered we won't
 know if an accelerator can be done for it; this impacts an 040 chips
 internal cache also.  The mechanical "barrier" has been bypassed by good
 old American ingenuity, so only an electrical barrier stands in the way.
 Message 130       Fri Oct 23, 1992
 Z-NET                        at 01:37 EDT
 Where is Atari, you ask?  Working late every night to get ready for
 COMDEX in less than a month.  Bob is also at the Houston Atari show this
 weekend, against the better judgement of some in the company who feel
 that COMDEX matters more.  If Bob (or others at Atari) find a way to get
 40 hours our of a single day, they'll have a few minutes left for their
 family... but probably still not enough left for being online.
 The 3-D screen stuff is only in the true color modes.  "Old" screen
 resolutions look the same as before.
 The Atari is NOT like a PC; you can't speed up the clock and slap a CPU
 that can handle it in and make the thing run faster.  Video is
 interlaced in with CPU instructions; speed up the CPU and the video (and
 other processes) won't operate at all.  That's why you need Jim or Dave
 to design a real accellerator... to sort things out, give the
 motherboard the attention it needs at the speeds it was designed to get
 it, and then do the blazing away on stuff meant only for the CPU.
 John Nagy
 -=> In the "Lynx - The Game Machine" category (36)
 -=> from the "Service?" topic (9)
 Message 154       Sat Oct 31, 1992
 A.B.SMITH [Barry]            at 05:07 EST
 Where does one get one of these machines repaired or replaced and how do
 we go about it?  Thanks. _ Barry
 Message 155       Sat Oct 31, 1992
 REALM [Joey]                 at 17:18 EST
 Atari is the only place I've seen anyone get one out of warranty fixed.
 I believe it was $50 for the exchange.  They just exchange it for a new
 one.  Took my friend about 2 weeks to get a new one.  I'll try and post
 the address later if no one else does.
 Message 156       Sat Oct 31, 1992
 A.STUDER1 [Andrew]           at 20:09 EST
 Lynx Repair Service:
 For $50 plus $5 shipping & handling (and your old Lynx), Atari will
 repair or replace your damaged Lynx.
 Mine has a problem whereby the joypad is stuck in a perpetual DOWN mode,
 thus allowing me to play very few games! :)  I think it happened one
 night while I was compiling the new version of my BBS and trying to
 figure out why it kept bombing, I must have taken my frustrations out on
 the poor Lynx.
 Send to:  Atari Computer Corporation
           390 Caribbean Drive
           Sunnyvale, CA 94088
 (MIDI/WorldMusic Roundtable)
 -=> In the "MIDI Software and Hardware - Atari (ST,STE,TT)" category (3)
 -=> from the "Big Bird Is Go! - The Falcon 030" topic (33)

 Message 81        Wed Oct 21, 1992
 BAREFOOT [Brad Cox]          at 13:38 EDT
 I went to the Music Technology show at Cogswell College this last
 weekend to demonstrate Barefoot Software's new SMPTETrack Platinum and
 as Atari was gracious enough to allow me to share their room.   I got a
 serious look at the latest stuff for the Falcon with an accent on audio
 They showed several video-and-audio demos highlighting the simultaneous
 use of full color video and 50 kHz sampled audio with no data
 compression of either.  Then, they demo'ed two audio processing programs
 that did stereo 10 band graphic EQ, echo, flanging, surround sound
 simulation, reverb and two voice harmonization with level control for
 the original signal and the two harmonies.  The pitches of the harmonies
 are MIDI controllable too.
 The direct to disk program was shown, and it allowed ranges of the
 recording to be defined and then used in a play list to allow non-
 destructive looping, editing and resequencing of the recording.  Then
 the file was played back through the audio processing software (Peter
 Gabriel sounds like heavy industrial grunge rock when tuned down an
 The most impressive demo to me though, was when Jay Patton setup an
 effect program, and then left it running while he went off and launched
 another program entirely!  This shows the reality of the Falcon's
 tremendous parallel processing capability and bodes well for
 simultaneous MIDI sequencing and direct to disk recording, or sequencing
 while the DSP runs a synthesizer or sample playback program.  Really
 In the shameless plug department, the specifications for Barefoot
 Software's soon to be released SMPTETrack and EditTrack Platinum are in
 the Barefoot Category 35, topic 4.  Bye for now!
 -=> In the "Atari Magazines" category (15)
 -=> from the "ATARI ADVANTAGE - Feedback" topic (5)
 Message 190       Sun Oct 25, 1992
 AT-ADVANTAGE                 at 16:39 EST
 Okay, to hopefully clear things up:
 There was no August or September issue printed.  We didn't get the
 magazine really until mid August, and it took us about a month and a
 half to get the company going and get an issue out.  Thus, the October
 When we received the subscriber list, there were several subscribers
 still listed as "BILL ME".  I inquired about this with the former owners
 and was told that the subscriber list is the truth.  Those people were
 NEVER billed for their subscription.  Some of them were what I would
 call charter subscribers, too.  So, we got organized and started billing
 people.  Unfortunately, the person who does the billing didn't realize
 the confusion that would ensue and neglected to put anything on the
 invoice like "This is for your CURRENT subscription; it is NOT a
 renewal.  You have XX issues remaining."
 I have gotten several calls and letters from people saying that they are
 "a paid subscriber!  What the HE$&#%*! is this bill??"  When I told them
 that they were never billed for their subscription, and that this bill
 is for their CURRENT subscription, and that if they have paid we would
 appreciate seeing a copy of a cancelled check or money order stub or
 something.  *EVERY ONE* of these people I have spoken with so far has,
 after some thinking and searching, realized that they never really did
 pay for that subscription, and have been getting a "free ride" all these
 Unfortunately, we cannot give the magazine away for free.  We aren't an
 advertising circular; we're a real feature article magazine.  A large
 portion of our income comes from subscription revenue.  So, if it is
 your belief that you are a PAID subscriber and have gotten an invoice 
 out of our error, please do two things:  One, either let us know here or
 via a phone call to 713-526- 6436 or email to AT-ADVANTAGE or a postal
 letter to P.O. Box 610121, Houston, Texas, 77208.  Two, search through
 your own records to verify that you really did pay for the subscription.
 I haven't found any errors in our subscription payment records so far.
 The only exception is that some of you may be billed for $22 (the full
 subscription rate) when in fact you should have gotten the $11/yr
 initial subscriber special offer.  Those are easy for us to verify and
 correct, so don't hesitate to contact us about it.
 I'm sorry for the confusion.  We should have anticipated more of this,
 but we didn't.
 - Neal Symms @ Atari Advantage

 ######  ---------------------------------------------------------------
 For more information on the Gemualtor, contact: Branch Always Software,
 14150 N.E.20th Street, Suite 302, Bellevue, WA  98007   U.S.A.
 Gemulator - Turns Your PC Into An Atari ST Clone!
 On September 12th, 1992, Branch Always Software began shipping
 Gemulator, software and hardware that turns your IBM PC compatible
 computer into an Atari ST clone.  The hardware board plugs into your PC,
 and then you run the emulation software.
 Gemulator allows you to run your favorite Atari ST applications on your
 386 or 486 DOS computer.  Imagine being able to run Calamus SL or
 Pagestream on your PC at home or at work.  Or writing programs in GFA
 Basic and running those programs on the PC.  Or being able to share
 files between your ST and DOS word processors and spreadsheets.  Your ST
 disks and PC disks become completely interchangeable.  Gemulator even
 allows you to take advantage of the PC's improved graphics and larger
 Gemulator 2.0 Upgrade Is Now Shipping
 The first major upgrade to the Gemulator Atari ST emulator is now
 available from Branch Always Software.  Version 2.0 offers a number of
 improvements over the original version 1.0, many of the features being
 added in response to our customers needs and requests.  In addition to
 fixing minor compatibility problems (such as with GFA Basic 3.6 and
 Wercs) there are 10 great improvements in version 2.0:
 1. Faster emulation
 The speed of 68000 emulation has been increased by roughly 10% on 386
 machines, and 20% on 486 machines.  This is a result of code
 optimizations in the software emulator.  This also results in smoother
 screen redraws and easier mouse clicking.
 33 Mhz and 40 Mhz 386 computers and 486SX computers run Atari ST
 software slightly slower than a real ST, 33 Mhz 486 computers run ST
 software slightly faster than an ST, while 50 Mhz and 66 Mhz 486
 computers run at about twice the speed of an ST.  These numbers are
 approximate as there are variations from computer to computer due to
 differences in the speeds of VGA cards, memory caches, and the speed of
 the RAM chips.
 2. Much smaller file size
 The GEMUL8R.EXE file has been shrunk from 2.9 megabytes to under 1.7
 megabytes in size.  This results in more hard disk space.  If you were
 discouraged by earlier reviews of Gemulator that talked about 4 megabyte
 files and 7 megabyte of memory consumption, you need not worry.
 Gemulator is much smaller now.
 3. Runs on 4 megabyte PCs without virtual memory
 The smaller file size is a result of the above code optimizations which
 means that Gemulator requires less memory to run in.  While Gemulator
 1.0 required 5.5 megabytes of available extended memory, 2.0 can run
 with less than 3 megabytes available.  That means that you can easily
 run Gemulator on a 4 megabyte PC without having to use virtual memory.
 4. Faster load time
 Using virtual memory on a 4 megabyte PC usually meant waiting 2 or 3
 minutes for Gemulator to load and boot up with the ST desktop.  Now,
 even on a slow 16 Mhz 386 machine, it takes under 20 seconds!
 5. Variable sized ST memory, from 512K to 8M
 You can now specify the amount of ST RAM to emulate, ranging from a
 minimum of 512K, to 1 megabyte, all the way up to 8 megabytes (in 1
 megabyte increments).  The more RAM in your PC, the larger an ST you can
 emulate.  A 4 megabyte PC can support 512K, while an 8 megabyte PC can
 emulate up to 5 megabytes of ST memory without having to use virtual
 6. Improved hard disk support
 Gemulator can now access both the C: and D: hard disk partitions.  Atari
 programs can be run from either partition, but data files can only be
 saved to partitions smaller than 32 megabytes.  Due to a bug in GEMDOS,
 MS-DOS hard disk partitions larger than 32 megabytes cannot be written
 to by GEMDOS.  Gemulator version 1.0 disabled all hard disk writes as a
 safety precaution.  Version 2.0 allows you to enable hard disk writes
 but use caution.  This 32 megabyte problem will be eliminated in our
 next software update with our custom hard disk driver that eliminates
 the bug in GEMDOS.
 7. VGA graphics support (TT medium resolution)
 A standard ST or STE has only 3 built-in graphics modes:
  - 320x200 16-color ST low resolution
  - 640x200 4-color ST medium resolution
  - 640x400 monochrome ST high resolution
 Gemulator 2.0 contains a patch program to allow GEM to use the full
 640x480 16-color resolution of the PC's VGA card.  Software which
 already takes advantage of TT medium resolution or the 1280x960 Moniterm
 resolution will run in this mode, as will most well-behaved GEM
 8. One keystroke resolution changes
 Changing screen resolutions has never been so easy! While a real ST
 requires you to use two monitors and unplug one and plug in the other
 when changing from color to monochrome (or vice versa), Gemulator 2.0
 does it in one keystroke, all on your one VGA monitor.
 9. Faster floppy disk loading
 The floppy disk handling has been improved so that 10-sector disks and
 high density 1.44 meg disks read up to 50% faster than before.  Load
 Pagestream or Calamus from floppy in under 30 seconds!
 10. GEMUL8R.INI file automatically configures Gemulator
 Last but not least! Tired of typing in SWAP or BOTH or MONO each time
 you run Gemulator?  Now Gemulator allows you to type those commands into
 a GEMUL8R.INI file and save yourself keystrokes!
 How to upgrade to Gemulator version 2.0

 If you already have the Gemulator board and simply need to update your
 Gemulator version 1.0 software to version 2.0, the upgrade costs $59.95
 in U.S. funds.  Send payment to Branch Always Software at the address
 above.  Personal checks, money orders, and VISA/MasterCard orders are
 accepted.  If you wish to upgrade by phone, call us at 206-885-5893 and
 leave your credit card number and expiry date information on our
 answering machine.
 Payment entitles you to receive the Gemulator 2.0 software disk as well
 another update disk containing our fix for the 32 megabyte bug in
 GEMDOS.  The second disk will be mailed automatically, but do contact us
 if your mailing address changes.
 Ordering Gemulator boards and ROMs

 If you do not yet have the Gemulator board or TOS 2.06 ROMs, go to your
 local Atari ST or IBM PC computer dealer and ask for the Gemulator ROM
 Reader Board.  We do not sell the boards ourselves (we are after all a
 software company!), but if your dealer doesn't carry them, call our
 distributor here in Bellevue:
  Purple Mountain Computers
  15600 NE 8th Street, Suite A3-412
  Bellevue, WA  98008  U.S.A.
  phone: 206-747-1519
 The board easily plugs into any 8-bit or 16-bit slot in your PC, and
 includes a set of TOS 2.06 ROMs containing the latest Atari ST GEM
 operating system.  The board has additional sockets for other versions
 of TOS ROMs that you may wish to use.  Version 1.0 of the emulation
 software is also included, and the upgrade to version 2.0 is still only
 Keep in mind that all upgrades to Gemulator are in the form of software,
 so once you plug in the board you will never have to send it back to us
 for modifications like some other emulator boards.
 Be Notified Of Future Upgrades
 Several times a year we publish a newsletter to announce updates and to
 talk in detail about upcoming products we're developing.  In past
 newsletters we've discussed the ST Xformer 8-bit emulator for the ST
 (when many "experts" said it couldn't be done), Quick ST 3 (the software
 accelerator that broke new speed records even when more "experts" said
 that our competitor Turbo ST had already hit the maximum speeds), and
 Gemulator (even more "experts" said that it would be impossible to
 emulate the complex 68000 chip simply in software).
 We are about to prove some more self proclaimed "experts" wrong by
 adding Macintosh and Atari 8-bit support to the same Gemulator boards
 that you already use!  For details, make sure you're on our mailing list
 for the newsletter.  If you've never received the "BraSoft News" before
 or have moved recently, then please send us your updated mailing address
 information and we'll put you on our mailing list!


 ######  Program Details
 ######  ---------------------------------------------------------------
 General:  Telebit Corporation recognizes the importance of supporting
 SYSOPs who are an important resource of marketing and product
 information in the data communications marketplace.  Thus, we are
 offering the SYSOP Modem Purchase Program which permits qualified SYSOPs
 to purchase modem products directly from Telebit at significantly
 reduced prices for usage on the bulletin board service.
 1.  This program is available to businesses which operate bona fide
 bulletin board services in the U.S. or abroad.  Your bulletin board must
 be publically advertised to qualify.  Please provide any of the
 following to validate and substantiate your service:
  - Your BBS listed/advertised in any newspaper, journal or periodical
  - Flyers/mailers advertising your BBS
  - Articles/press on your BBS
  - Computer club affiliation/credentials
 2.  SYSOPs agree to prominently publish on the bulletin board their use
 and support of Telebit modems to include:
  - Announcement on the bulletin board as part of a "news flash" for a
    minimum of 30 days following the purchase of the modems.
  - List the Telebit modems used and supported on the bulletin board's
    configuration file.
  - Permission for Telebit to upload and maintain a text file in the
    general news section of the bulletin board which will have
    information about Telebit's products.
 3.  The bulletin board service will provide a user ID and password to
 Telebit for unlimited access to the bulletin board at no charge for the
 purposes of verifying the use and support of purchased Telebit modems.
 4.  The bulletin board service agrees to use the purchased Telebit
 modems for a period of at least six (6) months from the date of
 5.  SYSOPs may purchase, directly from Telebit up to a maximum quantity
 of six (6) modems, at prices quoted on the attached order form.
 International customers may only purchase modems which have been
 approved for use in their respective countries.
 6.  Telebit reserves the unconditional right to determine the
 eligibility of SYSOPs who express an interest in purchasing modems under
 this program.  Telebit also reserves the right to deny any SYSOP the
 right to purchase modems should Telebit find the SYSOP unqualified
 pursuant to section 1 above.
 7.  Modems purchased from Telebit must be prepaid with a credit card
 (VISA or MasterCard only) or cash-in-advance prior to shipment.  Telebit
 does not offer COD or credit terms.
 8.  Freight terms are FOB factory.  For U.S. and Canada, freight charges
 and any applicable sales tax will be applied to all orders.  Freight
 will be charged according to the rates stated on the order form.
 International customers must provide the account number of their freight
 carrier in the U.S. so that appropriate expenses (freight, duties and
 taxes) will be paid collect.
 9.  Modems purchased can only be shipped to one destination.  Telebit
 will not ship your order to multiple destinations.
 10. Modems purchased under this program are not returnable for credit or
 refunds.  Exchanges for the same products are permitted for verified
 warranty reasons only.  Please contact Telebit's Technical Support
 Department at 1-800-TELEBIT who will verify the warranty reason of
 exchange and issue a Return Material Authorization (RMA) number.
 11. Telebit reserves the right to modify, amend, change or cancel this
 program without notice, and without liability at any time.
 General:  Please answer all questions completely and accurately. This
 information will assist Telebit in verifying your BBS.  Failure to do so
 will invalidate your order.  Submit your completed questionnaire and
 order form to:
     Telebit Corporation
     1315 Chesapeake Terrace
     Sunnyvale, CA 94089
     Telephone #: 1-800- TELEBIT or 408-734-4333
     FAX #: 408-734-3333
     Atten:  Telebit BBS SYSOP Program
     Customer Support M/S 6016
 1. Name of BBS:  ___________________________________________
 2. Number of Subscribers:  _________________________________
 3. BBS Theme or Focus:  ____________________________________
 4. Documentation submitted to substantiate BBS:
   i)   _______________________________________________________
   ii)  _______________________________________________________
 5. Name of SYSOP:  _________________________________________
 6. Day time voice telephone number:  _______________________
 7. Data BBS telephone number(s):  __________________________
        (include area code)
     Communication configuration:
   Data bits  ______ Stop bits  ______ Parity  ______ Speed  _______

 8. Hours of BBS operation:  ________________________________
 9. Is your BBS case sensitive?               ____ Yes     ____ No
 10. Assign to Telebit an ID#:  _______________________________
     and password (if applicable):  ____________________________

 NOTE:  We must be able to view all files and user log to validate your
 board status.  Please assign us the appropriate status.  You may also
 send us appropriate documentation such as press releases or editorials
 which describe your BBS.
 11. Please detail exact procedure to log on?
 The following questions will help us understand our SYSOPs and their
 needs.  Please answer the following questions as completely as possible.
 we appreciate your cooperation.
 12. For whom do you work?
   Company Name:       ______________________________
   Company Address:    ______________________________
   Work Phone #:       ______________________________
   Your Title:         ______________________________

 13. Does your company:
   Have a LAN installed?    ____ Yes     ____ No
   If yes, what LAN operating system?
   ____ SPX/IPX  ____ NetBIOS  ____ TCP/IP  other: _____
   If no, any plans to install a LAN? ____ Yes     ____ No

 14. What computer industry publications do you read?
 Order Form

 Ordering Information:
 Once Telebit's BBS SYSOP receives your completed order, it normally
 takes 4-6 weeks for you to get your modem(s).  This time is required to
 verify your BBS and process your order.  Telebit will not expedite
 Please be sure to complete this form clearly and accurately.  Failing to
 do so will only delay your order.
 READ and SIGN BELOW:  I have read, understand and agree to the terms of
 the Telebit SYSOP Modem Purchase Program rules.
 Accepted on: _________________ 19____
  (buyer)  ____________________________
             (please print your name)
  (buyer)  ____________________________
             (please sign your name)
  BBS      ____________________________
             (please print the name)
 The following Telebit products are available to qualified SYSOPs under
 the Telebit SYSOP Modem Purchase Program.
   US & Canada
   Modem Model         Suggested      SYSOP     Order     Extended
                       List Price     Price     Quantity  Price
   WorldBlazer         US$1,099       US$429    ________  ________
   WorldBlazer RM      US$1,049       US$399    ________  ________
   QBlazer             US$599         US$299    ________  ________
   T3000               US$949         US$399    ________  ________
   T3000RM             US$899         US$369    ________  ________
   TB+                 US$849         US$249    ________  ________
   TB+RM               US$749         US$219    ________  ________
   TRCH                US$1,099       US$599    ________  ________
   TMS 10              US$1,995       US$ 50    ________  ________
   TRCC                US$299         US$109    ________  ________

                                 Sub Total                $_______
                                 Sales Tax                $_______
                                 Order Total              $_______
 Freight charges are quoted below on a per modem basis.  In the US:
                           Charge/modem   # of Modems
                  UPS Surface       $15      ________     $_______
                  UPS Overnight     $25      ________     $_______
 In Canada:
 Freight collect.  Shipping terms are FOB Factory.
   Your carrier of choice:  _____________________________ and
   your account #:  _________________.  Freight will be charged
   directly to your account.

                          Charge/modem   # of Modems
                 Handling Fee      $25      ________      $_______

                                     Grand Total          $_______
   Method of
   Payment:      _____ VISA, _____ M/C,
                 _____ Cash-in-advance(check enclosed)
   Card Number ___________________________  Exp. ___________
   Card Holder Name ________________________________________
                       (as it appears on the card)
   Information:   First Name_______________ Last Name __________________
   Street Address _________________________________________
   City ___________________ State _____________ Zip _______
        (no P.O.Boxes, please)
 Pricing:  The following Telebit products are available to qualified
 SYSOPs under the Telebit SYSOP Modem Purchase Program.
 Modem Model         Suggested      SYSOP     Order     Extended
                     List Price     Price     Quantity  Price
 T2500               US$949         US$449    ________  ________
 TB+/T2000           US$849         US$299    ________  ________

                                   Order Total          $_______
                                   Other Charges        $_______
                                   Grand Total          $_______
 Method of Shipment:
 Freight charges are billed directly to your freight carrier account.
   Freight Company in the U.S.__________________________

   Method of
   Payment:      _____ VISA, _____ M/C,
                             _____ Cash-in-advance(check enclosed)
   Card Number ___________________________  Exp. __________
   Card Holder Name _______________________________________
                         (as it appears on the card)

   Information:   First Name_______________ Last Name_____________________
   Street Address _________________________________________
   City_____________________________ Postal Code___________
                     (no P.O.Boxes, please)

 ######  Compiled by Ed Krimen
 ######  ---------------------------------------------------------------
 Some messages may have been edited for correct spelling, grammar, and
 irrelevant material.
 -=> In comp.sys.atari.st
 -=> From: rogeraw@dhhalden.no (ROGER ALLAN WAHLGREN)
 -=> Date: 13 Oct 92 09:11:03 GMT
 The first 030 machines arrive Germany this week, but it is only about
 200.  As for England they will have about 2000 machines before
 Christmas, and Germany some more, but there will be no mass sale until
 early '93.
 It is not a "hurry" to get the machine in mass before Xmas since no
 software is released yet. It is for Atari's best that they have some
 software ready when the machine finally hits the market.  And hopefully
 it will be shipped with MultiTOS!
 Roger A. Wahlgren
 -=> In comp.sys.atari.st
 -=> From: dunham@devnull.mpd.tandem.com (Jerry Dunham)
 -=> Date: 7 Oct 92 14:48:32 GMT
 This morning I started out the day by sending a FAX to a friend at
 Motorola, and I couldn't help noticing the two FAXs already laying on
 the machine.  Both were from Atari Texas (in Dallas) and were resumes
 intended for our Personnel department.  The names involved are
 irrelevant, but one piece of information jumped out at me: both listed
 their most recent accomplishment as the develop- ment of the Falcon040!
 Jerry Dunham
 Tandem Computers, Inc.
 Austin, TX
 -=> In comp.sys.atari.st
 -=> From: hyc@hanauma.jpl.nasa.gov (Howard Chu)
 -=> Date: 25 Oct 92 13:00:16 GMT

 u894776@bruny.cc.utas.edu.au (James McCoull) writes:
 >Try comparing the speed of a Falcon in 640x480x256 [31kHz] mode versus
   the A1200 in the same mode.
 Well, since I had an extra hour tonight (Daylight savings and all that
 junk...) I decided to try a simple test.  I timed the execution of my
 ARC program in extracting a 95K file on a RAMdisk.  This test yielded
 100% repeatable results since using the RAMdisk eliminated disk timing
 issues.  After running the 640x480x256 mode, I got a little more
 curious.  So, here's the results for various "interesting" screen modes:
 Monitor Freq    Rez     Colors  Clock   % diff
                                 ticks   from best (1228)
 SM124   35khz   640x400 2       1265    3.0130
 SC1224  15khz   640x400 2       1231    0.2443  (interlaced)
                 640x200 4       1249    1.7101
                 320x200 16      1253    2.0358
                 640x240 2       1228    0
                         4       1250    1.7915
                         16      1296    5.5375
                         256     1398    13.8436
                         64K     1699    38.3550
                 640x480 2       1231    0.2443  (these 5 interlaced)
                         4       1255    2.1987
                         16      1306    6.3518
                         256     1447    17.8339
                         64K     1716    39.7394
                 320x240 64K     1424    15.9609
                 320x480 64K     1416    15.3094 (interlaced)
 VGA     31khz   640x400 2       1247    1.5472
                 640x200 4       1288    4.8860  (doubled lines)
                 320x200 16      1321    7.5733  (doubled lines)
                 640x240 2       1255    2.1987  (these 4 doubled lines)
                         4       1306    6.3518
                         16      1468    19.5440
                         256     1786    45.4397
                 640x480 2       1257    2.3616
                         4       1312    6.8404
                         16      1453    18.3225
                         256     1820    48.2085
                 320x240 64K     1780    44.9511 (doubled lines)
                 320x480 64K     1814    47.7199
 For comparison, here are the numbers for a Mega ST with 16 MHz 68000:
 SM124   35khz   640x400 2       2066    68.2410
 SC1224  15khz   640x200 4       2061    67.8339
                 320x200 16      2061    67.8339
 As expected, there's no difference between medium and low resolution on
 the Mega ST.  Taking the naive assumption that all else is equal, you
 can also see that the 16 MHz 68030 is about 1.7 times faster than the 16
 MHz 68000.  Looking over the rest of the numbers, you can see that in
 the worst case (VGA 640x480x256) the CPU is getting only 2/3s of the
 best case performance.
 Unfortunately, to get the real answer to the question (compare Falcon to
 A1200 hardware performance) using this data set is pretty much
 impossible since you can't factor out the difference in software
 PS: FYI, a clock tick is 5 milliseconds.
  -- Howard Chu @ Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
 -=> In comp.sys.atari.st
 -=> From: wmagro@uiuc.edu (William Magro)
 -=> Date: 16 Oct 92 09:04:09 GMT
 Well, I got my hands on a Falcon030 which I get to keep for two days, so
 I stayed up until 6am, and ran it through all the tests I could think
 of.  I set it up next to my ST and ran some 'real world' benchmarcks
 against the ST.  I tried all the software I could find (mostly PD and
 shareware and demoware, as I don't own much commercial stuff except
 games).  I was able to borrow a copy of Wordflair and Wordperfect from a
 friend, and I tried out our User Group's copy of PageStream.
 We first hooked it up to a SC1224 through the 'ST Monitor Adaptor
 Block.'  This plug converts the 19-pin monitor out (which is a non-
 standard pinout) to either an SM124 or SC1224 (or other ST monitors).
 We were able to do 640x4?0 or so interlaced (which is icky) in true
 color.  The machine has a nice slide show program which was displaying
 TARGA 24bit files (in 16 bits) in interesting ways.  Nice scrolling and
 unrolling and fade effects were used to move from picture to picture.  I
 think the machine was in 320x200 true color mode for these displays, but
 the picture was near photo quality.
 You can see the slowdown of the machine when running the desktop in
 640x4?0 true color, but the machine was still relatively quick.  We were
 able to do all the modes (color and ST 640x480 mono) on the SC1224.  The
 mono mode didn't look all that good, because of 'moiring' apparently due
 to the not-so-fine shadow mask on the SC1224.
 The sound was impressive as advertised.  There is a program called
 System Audio Manager (or SAM) which allows you to assign keys to all GEM
 events.  I put opening and closing file drawer sounds on my opening and
 closing windows.  The internal speaker is really LOUD!  I kept waking my
 wife up when the machine said 'Welcome to Atari Falcon oh-thirty' at
 startup.  Unfortunately, the Sound control panel didn't save my volume
 preference correctly, so the volume was always set to 14 after a reboot.
 The machine I am using is supposedly an 'engineering sample', with
 German keyboard and PAL RF modulator (so I couldn't use my TV).  It is
 loaded, with the 65meg internal hard drive and 14Meg of RAM.  I wanted
 to open it up to see how everything is laid out, but it isn't mine, so I
 didn't.  The machine has an internal fan and the hard drive is quite
 The external SCSI-II connector is a standard 50 pin mini 'Honda'
 connector, found on SUN and DEC and NeXT equipment.  So, neither your
 current SCSI cable nor a Mac SCSI cable will work.  Unfortunately these
 cables cost $250 from Sun and $80 from third party vendors.  I happened
 to have an extra DEC cable at work, so I borrowed it for the night.  I
 took an extra Seagate ST577N 65 meg drive I have and formatted it with
 ICD utilities on my ST.  I changed the address to SCSI 0 (the manual
 says your SCSI hard disks MUST be in order starting at zero), and booted
 the Falcon.  The memory test came up, the IDE driver recognized the
 internal drive and identified it as an ST9077A drive, the SCSI driver
 recognized my ST577N and printed its name, then said 'SCSI 1 not
 responding...' and booted the desktop.  The drive came up fine, and I
 was able to try out various programs.
 I first ran QuickIndex (which was on the internal drive) and got the
 following results:
 Test                      Machine compared to
                      STe           TT            ST
 CPU Memory           471%          66%           471%
     Register         402           49            402
     Divide           504           49            504
     Shifts          1737           49           1737
 DMA 64k Read        3533         6099           3996 <-this test looks
 Gemdos files        3575         3575           3575
 TOS Text             118           53            127
     String           145           69            153
     Scroll           158           59            210
 GEM Dialog           130           72            186

 I have never used QuickIndex before, so I don't know whether these
 numbers seem reasonable.  The DMA read certainly looks incorrect.
 Next, I wanted to check out the new keyboard controller that is supposed
 to be quick enough for 300dpi mice.  I plugged in my Golden Image 300dpi
 mouse and moved it quickly; the pointer still goes crazy on the screen.
 Evidently, this early machine does not have the new chip or the new chip
 still isn't fast enough for my mouse.
 Other notes of interest:  The machine was running the new TOS 4.01 with
 three dimensional buttons and 'animated' icons--icons change when you
 select them instead of inverting.  Often, when I rebooted after a crash
 using control-alt-delete the machine would get confused and make LOUD
 repeating key click noises until I hit a key.  The floppy activity light
 now lights when either the internal HD or the floppy is in use.  I had
 no trouble reading and writing floppies from my ST or from an IBM.  The
 case cutout for the 1.44 meg floppy is now rectangular, so drive
 swapouts should be easy.  The machine was labeled as a German Falcon,
 with German keyboard and 240 Volt input.  I plugged it into a 120V
 outlet, though, and it worked fine.  Either it has an autoswitching
 supply (like Macs) or someone replaced the power supply with a US model.
 Support for all international keyboard layouts was in ROM.  I was able
 to click on 'US' and have my keyboard mapped the QUERTY way instead of
 QUERTZ, which is how the keys were labeled.  I was disappointed that the
 keyboard is very similar to the original ST keyboard.  It is slightly
 improved over the ST's 'mushy' feel, but it is a long way from the feel
 of sun/next/mac keyboards, which I prefer.  The computer came with a
 220-page user manual, which was extremely well written, considering
 Atari's flyers for the ST Book and MegaSTe which contain spelling and
 grammatical errors as well as typos (VERY unprofessional).  It seems
 they hired a new, more careful technical writer.  The manual is fairly
 complete and includes pinouts for all the back side ports except the
 television port.  Surprisingly, there are no instructions for connecting
 a TV in the manual.
 I have a multisync, but the machine did not come with the required 'VGA
 adaptor block', so I couldn't plug it in.  I tried using my multisync
 ->ST cable, but it didn't work.  Some experimentation revealed that the
 problem was in the composite sync.  The problem is in my multisync, not
 the Falcon, I believe.
 I only have an SM124 at home (which the Falcon handled perfectly), so
 all the following information applies to a Falcon030 running from an
 ST577N (~570k/sec) drive on the SCSI-II bus (except where noted), on a
 mono monitor.  The other machine is a 1040STf TOS 1.4 with a slloooww
 maxtor mfm drive (~370k/sec).
 Here are programs that I tested that functioned correctly:
 Calamus 1.09 demo              AKS (a beer barrel warehouse game)
 Freeze Dried Terminal
 Invision Elite (demo)
   (cool startup screen went by so fast i couldn't see it)
 Mono 'Shifter demo'            Uniterm
 Sticker3 diskette label program
 Sudden View (demo)             1st word
 Infocom games                  CAD 3D
 PuzzlePuzzle puzzle game       Printmaster
 Psion Chess                    Megaroids (timing was still correct!)
 Pagestream 2.2 (still painfully slow at four times faster than an ST!)
 CSTeX                          WordFlair
 These programs failed (usually hanging the machine):
 Spectre 3.0 (didn't even make it to the main setup screen, handing after
              the 'Hard disks do not match saved info...' message.)
 Redacteur (demo) (half works then hangs the machine)
 Patience (solitaire cards)
 I did various timings on the kinds of operations I do frequently: file
 copying, TeX, and archiving/unarchiving.  I found some a few surprising
 results.  In general, the Falcon was much faster at graphics (such as
 screen redraws) and comparable or slower in disk operations.  The slow
 desktop copy time may be due to settings of the hard disk driver.  The
 Falcon030 was using Atari Hard Disk Driver 6.0.3.  I don't know whether
 a cache was enabled or not.  On my ST I use ICD software with fairly
 large read and write caches.  The slowness in the Falcon seemed to be
 due to FAT lookups on the nearly full 65 meg SCSI drive (one partition).
 Here are some tests and some timings:
 Test                            Time in US units (I don't know metric)
                                     Falcon030               ST TOS 1.4
 initex latexg.ini and dump           2:20                      2:05
 latexg.fmt file

 latex atari.tex document from        1:30                      1:55
 CSTeX distribution

 Copy CSTeX directory                30:00                      7:15
 (6.1 Meg in 714 files).
 Falcon had 'fast' ST577N, ST had
 'slow' mfm drive.

 Scroll Calamus demo document         1:03                      2:29
 (with space shuttle graphic) from
 top to bottom at 500% magnification.

 Scroll same document a screen at a   0:08                      0:19
 time (using scroll bar) at 999%.

 Both systems running MiNT:           0:45                      0:51
 zoo a paula.zoo paula/*

 Still under MiNT:
 zoo xp paula.zoo > /dev/null         0:07                      0:13

 Under MiNT, archive my whole MiNT   16:45                     24:02
 zoo a mint.zoo mint/*

 My overall impression of the machine is very positive.  The all-in-one
 case design was not so annoying since the hard drive was internal.  I
 would still prefer a separate keyboard with a better feel.  It is a
 shame the machine isn't black (but grey).  A friend of mine says that
 there is a law/rule in Germany against buying black computers with state
 funds.  It sounds pretty far-fetched that would be true, but if so, that
 might explain the abandoning of the black case.
 I am sure that the hard drive speed could be improved with the right
 software.  Overall the machine feels quite snappy.  I will have a hard
 time going back to my ST tomorrow.  The sound improvements are wonderful
 but of limited usefulness to the average user.  They will make games
 amazing though.  The biggest improvement is in the graphics modes and
 the new 3D buttons on the desktop.  Otherwise, it's just a quicker ST.
 I will happily buy one of these for $800.  I was hoping for something
 closer to a four times speed improvement instead of the two to three
 times improvement I observed.  But any extra speed and expanded memory
 are enough to please me.
 I hope my long long long post wasn't too much.  If the length bothered
 you please tell me in e-mail.  Any other questions are welcome, as well.
 -=> In comp.sys.atari.st
 -=> From: wallmann@backus.pu.informatik.th-darmstadt.de (Natuerlich!)
 -=> Date: 13 Oct 92 22:35:17 GMT
 About a week ago  I was mindlessly rambling along about the buswidth and
 video bandwidth of the Falcon.  Well, I just got hold again of an old
 C't' issue and it says: Max video pixelfrq == 32 Mhz on the Falcon.  If
 you figure that a pixel is max.  2 byte in the Falcon that would be 'ta
 da' 64MB/s (as predicted). But on the other hand, so what?  This could
 be all wrong too.
 On a more interesting note, the article also says that you can feed the
 video chip an external signal to double or even quadruble the pixel
 frequency, the internal hardware normally provides.  Which means that
 you can easily get higher resolution.
 Well it seems that this has already been done.  Something called the
 Screen Blaster does:
 880x608/61 Hz, 
 768x496/72 Hz 
 640x480/80 Hz
 I assume that these are 8bit modes (but this part is totally rumor, it
 could be mono, or even truecolor, I am just guessing).  The prize is
 said to be 149.- DM and the supplier is OverScan.  (nope no affiliation
 with these dudes) And said to be available NOW.
 I have no idea, what monitor you need for that.
 -=> In comp.sys.atari.st
 -=> From: csullogg@cc4.crl.aecl.ca
 -=> Date: 4 Nov 92 13:41:51 GMT
 The 92-16 edition of AEO stated that Atari hardware prices have had a
 sharp drop.  Would someone at Atari USA please explain why the Sept 92
 Canadian dealer price list has a 2 meg TT priced at $34 higher than I
 had been paying for a 4 meg TT from Atari Canada before it folded?  If
 there has been a major price drop in the US, it certainly has NOT been
 reflected in Canadian dealer pricing!  I FAXed several inquiries to
 Atari USA re: pricing and have, as yet, not received any reply other
 than from Barbara Benson who stated she does not set policy and that I
 should talk to someone else.
 Perhaps someone could pass this message to AEO for their next issue!
 -=> In comp.sys.atari.st
 -=> From: rcarter@nyx.cs.du.edu (Ron Carter)
 -=> Date: 14 Oct 92 05:04:06 GMT
 Saw a sneak of 'Consenting Adults' tonight (13 OCT 92) and in the
 background, they show a TT.  Kevin Kline's character is a music writer/
 composer who works on commercial `jingles'.
 Not a bad movie, either...  :-)
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