ST Report: 27-Nov-92 #847

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 11/28/92-09:39:44 AM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 27-Nov-92 #847
Date: Sat Nov 28 09:39:44 1992

                  "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine"
                              STR Publishing 

 November 27, 1992                                                  No.8.47

                  STReport International Online Magazine
                          Post Office Box   6672
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                               R.F. Mariano
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 > 11/27/92 STR 847    "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!"
     - The Editor's Desk      - WHATIS 6.4 OUT!   - PGST (UK) PATCH
     - FONTVERTER REVIEW      - FONT # REFERENCE  - STR Confidential

                   -* EXCLUSIVE! -> INSIDE COMDEX'92 *-
                      -* DOUBLE CLICK SHUTS DOWN! *-
                           -* ATARI WINS ONE! *-

               The Original * Independent * Online Magazine
                          -* FEATURING WEEKLY *-
                "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information"
     Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information
             Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports
 STReport's BBS, The Bounty, invites BBS systems, worldwide, to participate
 in the  Fido/NEST/Atari F-Net  Mail Network.   You  may also  call our BBS
 direct at 904-786-4176, and enjoy the excitement of exchanging information
 relative to the Atari  and other  computers worldwide  through the  use of
 excellent International  Networking Systems.  SysOps, worldwide, are quite
 welcome to join the STReport International Conferences.  The Crossnet Code
 is #34813,  and the "Lead Node" is # 350.  All BBS systems are welcome and
 invited to actively participate.  Support Atari Computers;  Join Today!
              CIS ~ GENIE ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ FNET ~ NEST

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               WHAT'S NEW IN THE ATARI FORUMS (November 27)


 Download file GTHOR.LZH  from  LIBRARY  2  of  the  Atari  Arts  Forum (GO
 ATARIARTS) for GTHOR 2.0, an Othello program that is considered one of the
 four top Othello programs in the world.    If  you  think  you're  good at
 Othello, try this program!


 Download file  STKSTU.ZIP from  LIBRARY 2  of the Atari Productivity Forum
 (GO ATARIPRO) for "STalker Stuffr", a utility for  use with  STalker3 desk
 accessory.   Use with  CLI or  Hotwire to  automate Stalker  tasks.  Run a
 BackTALK script without opening  the Stalker  window.   Create HotWire LGR
 entries for STalker DA sessions.


 Version 2.21  of Midi  Music Maker  is now  available in  LIBRARY 5 of the
 Atari Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS) as file MMM221.LZH.  This program plays 16
 different types  of music  including SMF. It also will create SMF format 0
 or 1 from any of the types played.  New features  include ability  to play
 Dr. Ts  (Atari or  Amiga) and  Sound Blaster  CMF files,  full screen file
 display, user definable keys, selectable drum tracks when  transposing and
 several other new features and fixes.


 Version 6.4  of WHATIS is now available for download from LIBRARY 6 of the
 Atari Productivity Forum (GO  ATARIPRO) as  file WHATIS.ARC.  This version
 identifies  over  125  file  types  -  ARCs,  LHarcs,  PRGs,  pics,  ACCs,
 animations, etc... no more "what kind of file is this?"  problems! Runs as
 a PRG  or ACC  or a  TTP-like program  on any ST/TT in any rez. Short docs
 included in the ARC. All the  features  of  previous  versions,  plus adds
 PageStream 2.2 docs and LaserJet II soft fonts to the list.


 A  patch  to  convert  PageStream  2.1  (UK)  to  PageStream  2.2  (UK) is
 available for download as  file UKPATC.ARC  from LIBRARY  11 of  the Atari
 Vendors Forum  (GO ATARIVEN).  This is equivalent to the US version of the
 patch which creates PageStream 2.2 (US). The UK version of  PageStream has
 the word 'color' spelled as 'colour' in the Global menu.


 Download  XLOAD.ZIP  from  LIBRARY  2  of  the  Atari  Portfolio Forum (GO
 APORTFOLIO) for a small program and  batch  file  to  simplify  first time
 loading of  xterm2 onto  your Portfolio through the serial port. The batch
 file is run from your PC  and copies across  to your Portfolio. is then run from your Portfolio to copy xterm2 across. The batch
 file contains further instructions and the program has  a number  of error
 trapping routines.  NB. The zip file does not contain xterm2 itself - this
 can be downloaded separately from library 2.


 The ultimate Address Book for the PC! Reads and edits Portfolio compatible
 Address Book  files.   Advanced features!  Commercial Quality! Written and
 uploaded by Artisan Software. Even dials  the modem  for you...  just like
 the  Portfolio  dials  over  the  speaker!  Requires  DOS-PC. Save feature
 disabled until registered.

 Download file ADR_BK.ZIP from LIBRARY 6 of the  Atari Portfolio  Forum (GO

                          HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AN



 > From the Editor's Desk             "Saying it like it is!"

     Here we  are a  week or  so after Comdex and what do we find going on?
 People are still discussing the pros  and cons  of Atari's  performance at
 Comdex.   Odd... don't you think?  When all one need do is use one's eyes.
 After all, seeing is believing.  There is strange word, (believe) right in
 the middle  of the word is a (lie)!  More smoke and mirrors?  Maybe.  Back
 to the topic.  Atari's performance and Comdex is indicative  of the times.
 They've managed  to disappoint the users and dealers every year since 1987
 in regards to big Christmas Sales seasons.   Yet we  see no-one  trying to
 make excuses for this obvious marketing blunder.  Then why, in retrospect,
 do we find really decent people in the  Atari platform  try like  crazy to
 "explain  away"  the  rather  sedate  'action' at Atari's booth this year?
 Granted there may have  been a  few thousand  flyers and  brochures handed
 out,   but in  the busiest  of years this was never looked upon as a solid
 'rule of thumb' when gauging booth attendance.  Why all of a  sudden do we
 see all  sorts of  reaching going  on to justify the quiet booth.  Biggest
 question of all, why  are there  people ever  so busy  trying to  tell the
 userbase  that  what  was  seen  was  _not_  really  what they saw?  Sound
 ridiculous?  Sure it does but that's exactly what is going on!
     Of course, there will always be  the buck  passing... since  1987, its
 never been  Atari's fault or the fault of the decision makers at Atari for
 the dregs they've placed themselves in...   This year we are being told it
 was the  Interface Group's  fault (they  organize and  manage Comdex).  In
 particular, the dismal performance at the Atari booth  is being  blamed on
 the manner  in which  the Sands expo center was managed.  Right...  why is
 it through the years, its _never_ been acknowledged  it could've  been the
 fault  of  poor  management  decisions  etc..    Take a few of the glaring
 incidents in the past  for  example..  The  Federated  Fiasco, Federated's
 fault  -  The  ATW  failure,  "not  our design" etc.. - Upgraded Portfolio
 design, not our design etc.. - Notebook, Pen  and Stacy...  all accounting
 for huge  sums of money gone south.  Yet none of these things or incidents
 have ever been attributed to or even hinted at being the responsibility of
 Atari or  its management  or lack  of it.   Nope, in the broadest of terms
 everybody and  his brother  has been  blamed but  never once  was the real
 responsibility ever fixed where it really belongs.
     Now we  are told  that "Jack  is back".   To that I say I've been told
 that a number of times in the past and still....  no real  improvement.  A
 typical  strong  example  of  strange executive reaction was the statement
 made by Sam Tramiel about the Forbes Article.  A laugh?   A joke?   It was
 sad to see that article hit, even for me.  Atari has always had a dynamite
 machine design but alas, its management team well..  that's another story.
 Now that  Comdex is  behind us, let's see how long it takes for the damage
 control smoothies to get started in trying to convince all of us that what
 we saw really wasn't what we saw at all.

             Ralph @ STReport International Online Magazine


  STReport's Staff                      DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU!

                            Publisher - Editor
                             Ralph F. Mariano

          -----------         --------------           ------------
          Roger D. Stevens    Charles Hill             R. ALBRITTON

  STReport Staff Editors:
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          Lucien Oppler       Brad Martin              Judith Hamner
          John Szczepanik     Dan Stidham              Joseph Mirando
                    Steve Spivey        Doyle C. Helms

  Contributing Correspondents:
          Michael Lee         Richard Covert           John Deegan
          Brian Converse      Oliver Steinmeier        Tim Holt
          Andrew Learner      Norman Boucher           Harry Steele
          Ben Hamilton        Neil Bradley             Eric Jerue
          Ron Deal            Robert Dean              Ed Westhusing
          James Nolan         Vernon W. Smith          Bruno Puglia
                              Clemens Chin

                             IMPORTANT NOTICE
      Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc...
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                      STR'S "BELIEVE IT?  OR.. WHAT?"

                "There is no comparison!  The Atari Falcon
                   is far superior to the PC platform."

                                                  Sam Tramiel, 08/92

          "As I said before, all marketing announcements will be made at
          Duesseldorf.  I will not comment on future models of the Falcon.

                    WHICH WILL BE SHIPPING NEXT WEEK."

                                                  Sam Tramiel, 08/92

     "I've just returned from Asia, where I saw the first Atari Falcon
     production coming off the lines.  Let's hope this new offering will
     make it in North America.  I know that the specs are great."

                                                  Sam Tramiel, 08/92


 > ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!
                            PEOPLE... ARE TALKING
  On CompuServe
  compiled by Joe Mirando

 Well folks, Thanksgiving has been here and gone, the Christmas shopping
 season has now officially begun, and the echoes of COMDEX are slowly
 fading away.  While Atari's Falcon030 will be relegated to the "if only
 they were available now" department during the upcoming Christmas season,
 the questions, answers, and discussions regarding the ST/TT series of
 computers continue at a steady pace.  Reading these messages can be fun,
 informative, and interesting.  Sometimes you even get a "blast from the
 past"... a message that reminds you of a problem, question, of triumph
 you've had and long since forgotten about.  This doesn't always happen,
 but sometimes... Well, you know.

 From The Atari Productivity Forum

 Oscar Steele of Purple Mountain Computing (PMC) posts:

     "The $399 price on the Freedom Floptical Drives has been extended to
     December 15, 1992.  Also, we have exciting things in store for
     Gemulator, look for announcements soon.  Finally, we're moving our
     warehouse and we're having some incredible sales.  A lot of stuff has
     sold, but a lot more is available: 

     Cables 'n' Things...

     Function-Aid, function key template holder (fits next to Function Key
     spot on your ST) includes 5 double sided cards to write down the
     functions for different programs.  - $3

     Baseless Joystick - uses liquid inside so that it doesn't need a base.
     Move it in the air by moving it towards the direction you want to go!
     - $3

     3 Floppy Drive cables - $4 each

     3 TV Hookup things - screw to TV antenna - $1 each

     2 Computer hookup to TV Hookup thing - $1 each

     Video Cable for TT computer - $14 TT modem cable - $9 25 pin male
     centronics to 25 pin male centronics cable - $4 RS-232 cable - $6
     Power Cords - $3 each (plug in almost universally to all computer

     Gravis Mousestick - Awesome, joystick or a mouse, has LCD screen for
     displaying controls and information.  A steal at $39.

     1040 ST keyboard covers, simulated leather - $3 each

     External drive cover, simulated leather - $2"

 Well, remember that bit of nostalgia I was talking about?  The
 Function_Aid was produced by a friend of mine.  I had one of the first
 ones made.  I haven't used it in a long time, but reading that made me
 stop and think: "Hey!  I paid fifteen dollars for that darned thing!" 
 Hey, I didn't say that it was profound or anything, just that it brought
 back memories.

 Speaking of memories, Richard Gunter asks about John Townsend's TOS
 version doc:

     "A few weeks ago, someone (John Townsend?) uploaded a document file
     which summarized the TOS versions released for Atari ST line.  I let
     it go by when it appeared, and now can't find it.  Can you help?"

 Bill Aycock, Sysop extraordinare, points Richard in the right direction:

     "John Townsend's text file is included in the TOSPAT.LZH file in LIB
     6, if you don't mind downloading a little extra stuff... the LZH
     contains the text file plus the latest version of the patches
     mentioned in his note (plus a couple others that have been reported to
     work better than the official Atari patches)."

 While most of these "patches" are actually enhancements and not patches at
 all, a few of them are necessary to keep certain TOS versions from making
 your life harder.  Check them out when you can.

 While some of us are concerned with software, others are currently
 involved in weighing the virtues of certain types of hardware.  Shawn
 Laughlin tells us:

     "I'm thinking about purchasing a printer for my computer and need a
     little advice on them. My last printer was an Okidata model ( or
     whatever) and I don't want anything that even resembles it. It took
     about an hour to print a 30 page document and it wore out the head.

     Do most printers work with all types of computers? My brother has an
     IBM clone and purchased a Hewlett Packard Desk Jet 500  for about
     $400.  I like the printer but don't know if it will work with my 520

     Any advice on printers (and where I can purchase them ) in the $400
     price range would be appreciated. I want either an ink jet or laser
     printer capable of printing large documents(in length) without burning
     up <g>. Also exactly what I will need as far as hardware and software

 One of the leading luminaries in the Atari Forums, Albert Dayes of Atari
 Explorer Magazine, tells Shawn:

     "Provided you have the right cable and correct printer drive you
     should be able to hook up any printer to your computer.  The DeskJet
     is a popular and quite a few people use them on their Atari STs.  Also
     it appears that most major applications have drivers for the printer
     as well.  Probably gives you the best price/performance of most
     printers out there."

 Richard Gunter advises Shawn:

     "Most of the current line of printers that work on the PC clones will
     also work on an Atari, I believe with the same cable you'd use on an
     old AT-class PC.  The trick is to make sure you have printer drivers
     for the software and printer combination you choose.  That's critical.

     HP makes a well-regarded line of inkjet and laser printers, and the
     prices have come down a lot in recent years.  In a local store, I saw
     the HP 500C color inkjet advertised for $400 less than a week ago. 
     Their Laserjet line has several models, with the "P" (for personal)
     models costing rather less than the bigger ones.  Dunno if they'd be
     down in your price range, though.

     I have the impression that the inkjets are also kinda slow compared to
     the lasers, but you shouldn't burn up the animal in either case.  It's
     possible an inkjet would be fast enough for you, but I'll defer to
     those who have them.  Beware of "raw" pages/minute figures, though;
     the software will usually have a dramatic effect on the effective

     I have an Atari SLM804 that's given excellent service for about six
     years now (out of production), and have heard good reports on the
     SLM605. Neither is compatible with other platforms, though, and may
     still be a bit pricey in view of the falling prices around the

     Good luck, and don't forget the printer drivers!"

 Bill Gibson proves that the "Global Village" is here already.  Being able
 to communicate with someone so far away in so short a time is something
 that could only be dreamed of only a decade ago.  So was the idea of
 linking STs with PCs and Macs.  Well I guess if you've got to try to kill
 two birds with one stone, you had might as well try to link your ST to
 those poor PCs and Macs.  Bill posts:

     "Hello from Scotland. We have a rather complex computer setup here. An
     atari ST, a generic 386 PC, and a MAC Classic. Can anyone suggest how
     they could be networked/ ideally they would be able to share resources
     such the modem, plotter and printers? bye for now :-)"

 Again that informational dynamo, Albert Dayes from Atari Explorer Magazine
 helps out:

     "If you download the Znet in the Atari Arts forum they had some
     interesting networking information in it.  Products for hooking up to
     Novell networks and some other things.  The 11/21/1992 issue of Znet. 
     Sharing printers and a plotter can be done with printer sharing boxes
     that you can probably get just about anywhere.  The manual switch
     boxes is what I am thinking about.  You could probably do the same
     thing for the modem too since it just a serial connection."

 While we're on the subject of the "Global Village", let's take a look at
 Lance Lenehan's problem with an Atari Megafile 30 hard drive.  Lance

     "Hi, I hope someone might be able to help me. I have an Atari 1040STe
     and a Megafile 30 hard disk drive. I am having problems getting the
     1040 to recognize the hard disk. I boot with the hard disk utility
     disk, which runs the AHDI.PRG utility, but I get no drive C: icon
     appearing on the desktop. I have managed to get aversion 5.0 HD
     utilities, and the AHDI.PRG program reports that Unit 0 Identification
     is unavailable. If I use the HDX program to format the hard disk, it
     seems to go fine up till the point where it checks for bad sectors. It
     then reports every sector on the disk as bad, and at the end reports
     that the disk was formatted with an earlier version of HDX. I have
     followed the instructions regarding waiting for the hard disk to power
     up before turning on the computer. I was running the disk successfully
     prior to my current problems. I have a vague suspicions that I deleted
     the Hard Disk Icon for Drive C: at one stage, using the Options,
     Install Disk Drive ... menu and selecting remove button. I was
     intending to remove the drive B: icon, but was a bit careless."

 Jeff at Intersect Software tells Lance:

     "It sounds as if you have a problem with the Drive.  The MegaFile 30
     uses a 30 Meg Segate RLL drive.  Most of the problems I've encountered
     have been with the drive it'self.  Seagates (the 5 1/4 drives) drives
     suffer from problems that result in the platter not spinning up to

     Listen very carefully to the drive, do you hear the initialize sounds?

     If not then you can remove the case and lift up the drive, carefully
     spin the platter (there is a flywheel on the bottom), try it again, it
     will probably work.  Leave the screws off the case, you will probably
     need to jump start the drive again in the near future."

 Lance tells Tony:

     "I think I agree with you about the drive having problems. I have
     tried just about every utility I can get my hands on, and have had no
     success. Looks like I'll be taking the drive to Atari for service.
     Thanks for replying. Do you think its worth persevering with the
     megafile, or maybe purchasing another brand of drive. I am a PC
     programmer, ie IBM clones, and have allot of experience with the
     hardware/software scene as far as IBM compatibles go. As for the
     Atari, well I use that for recording in my home midi studio with
     Cubase Software. So i'm not as familiar with all the options available
     on the Atari as with the PC's. I live in Sydney, Australia. There dont
     appear to be many Atari specialists out here. I purchased my machine
     and drive from a large department store."

 Okay folks, here's the interesting part.  Tony Barker of Moving Pixels
 jumps in and says:

     "I live in Sydney and I'm an Atari specialist, I didn't realise you
     were so close. Give me a call on 555 7312 and I'll see what I can do
     to help you out. If all else fails, I can fix you up with a new hard

 Hmmm... Lance, who is from Sidney Australia, dials up CompuServe in
 Columbus Ohio in the the good ol' U.S. of A. and finds that someone there
 can help him and also happens to live in Sidney.  Sidney to Ohio to
 Sidney... hey was this info delivered by the postal service?  ;-)

 From the Atari ST Arts Forum

 Did Noah really have a ZOO in his ARC?  Did he build that ARC with a ZIP
 in his step?  Who cares?  Is a ZOO better than an ARC?  Well that's a
 tough question.  ARC has been the top method of compression for the ST
 series of computers for some time now, although LZH in the LH5 format is
 also a favorite.  Now along comes this new method; ZIP.  It archives some
 types of files smaller than LZH or ARC, some end up larger.  The current
 version of ZIP for the ST (2.00) provides a nice user interface which
 eliminates the need for "shell" programs to insulate you from all of the
 "command line nonsense".  To make matters worse, there is yet another
 option on the not-to distant horizon:  ZOO.  What do people think of these
 new methods?  Do you remember those Tropicana Twister commercials?  Bob
 Retelle, another top-notch Sysop, tells Bob Ledbetter:

     "One thing I often do when I find a program that's been compressed
     with some obscure compression method is to re-compress it with ARC
     before uploading it here, just to make it easier for everyone to get

     You might think about trying that if the sysop on the BBS decides the
     uncompressed version are taking up too much space or download time.. 
     almost everyone should have an unARC utility, and be familiar with its

     (The one recent exception was the 56001 DSP assembler I uploaded into
     the AtariPro Forum.. it was ZOOed, and I would have re-ARCed it except
     that it has multiply sub-folders in it, and ZOO handles that nicely..
     once you figure out how to do it..)"

 John Amsler jumps into the conversation and posts:

     "Even though it's not as "efficient" as LZH, I've found over the six
     years that I've had my 1040ST and MegaSTe, from TOS 1.02 (?) to 2.06,
     that ARC creates far, far fewer problems than anything else.  There 
     seems to be a much greater degree of cross-platform compatibility with
     ARC (Macintosh, Amiga, Atari, IBM, and whatever else)."

 Sysop Bob Retelle tells John:

     "You're absolutely right...!

     While some of those more "esoteric" compression methods might be able
     to squeeze a few more bytes out of an archive, I've always found good
     old ARC to be the easiest to use, and a lot less confusing for new
     users...  (There's some new compression for the PC from the
     Netherlands that's supposed to be even better than ZIP.. but totally
     incompatible with anything, of course..  I just hope it doesn't start
     catching on with isolated BBSs.. what a mess..!)"

 John Amsler replies:

 "<"...what a mess..!>

 Mess:  that's an underSTatement!  It's too bad there can't be juST one
        compression STandard.  Sometimes I think there's a conspiracy to
        deliberately keep the four main platforms (IBM, Apple, Commodore,
        Atari) segregated.  If anything, I would think the manufacturers
        would actually benefit from having cross-platform compatibility."

 From the Atari Vendors Forum

 Bob Ledbetter asks:

 "Is there any way to import files from SuperBase Personal 2 into CardFile

 Never at a loss for information, Albert Dayes tells Bob:

     "If you export files from SuperBase to ascii and then there should be
     a converter program that works with fixed length files (ascii) to
     import into CardFile."

 Of course, great minds think alike.  Bob Ledbetter posts:

     "Between the time I asked the question and read your answer I have
     been thinking along those lines.  However, I haven't had the chance to
     give it a go yet.  I'll try it today."

 One of the most interesting items available for the ST is the SpectreGCR;
 a Mac emulator... or should I say THE Mac emulator (?), from Gadgets by
 Small.  Richard Gordon asks:

     "What's the story on a new version that will support system 7.1, will
     there be an "STTalk", and what about CDROM support (hinted at ages

 Mark at Gadgets by Small answers:

     "The largest roadblock Dave has faced regarding the release of Spectre
     3.1 is implementing System 7.1 support.  It has been a bear but he is
     sounding more and more enthusiastic about finally getting up and
     running. However, my understanding is that the first Spectre 3.1
     release will not likely support System 7.  As I understand it, the
     probable "fixes" in the first release of Spectre 3.1 are:

                         TT SCSI support
                         TT memory support (more than 8 megs)
                         Bug fix for >4 meg machines with a
                         68000 accelerator (ie, AdSpeed)

     Support for System 7 will probably have to wait for Spectre 3.2?  3.3?
     I know of no plans for a "STTALK" type of board (I assume you mean a
     "MegaTalk" type of board that will fit ANY ST.)  I do not know the
     status of any CD-ROM support."

 Richard tells Mark:

     "I don't want to harp on this - but a long time ago Dave indicated in
     a newsletter, manual, or article (I don't remember which) that ST
     user's would not be left out in the cold. I guess we have been.  The
     Atari system's are undersupported by the ATARI and vendors. I do think
     that Dave has done a great job. The programing feat alone deserves our
     appreciation. I do appreciate the Mac interface on my ST and it does
     work well.  I would like sysem 7 support, but I know our ROM's our
     outdated. At one time Dave was considering 256 support, but if he
     doesn't we will be stuck w/ the 128K roms.  Anyway, I would like
     system 7.1 support and I would like a way to hook up a MAC CD rom,
     to my ST.  I am a big supporter of Dave's work - I have put my money
     into it - MagicSac and Spectre/GCR, I wish him well and hope that he
     does not forget the ST users out there that bought his product."

 Mark at Gadgets replies:

     "I will pass your comments and concerns along to Dave.  Thank you for
     taking the time to provide your thoughts."

 Dick Paddock jumps in and says:

     "Now that someone has confirmed that the 1.44MB upgrade to my MSTe is
     causing my difficulty in reading GCR diskettes (I'm glad it's not just
     ME!), is there a solution? Spectre 3.1, perhaps?"

 Mark tells Dick:

     "There is already a workaround for the high density drive
     incompatibility problem.  Before you boot into Mac mode, put a 800K
     SPECTRE format disk in the floppy drive. (Yes, even if you are booting
     into Mac mode from a hard drive).  This can be any SPECTRE format disk
     (800K) that does NOT contain any System files.  Once in Mac mode,
     mount the floppy (press F1) and then eject it.  You should then be
     able to read Mac format disks (800K ones).  Spectre does not yet
     support 1.4 meg floppies and I don't know the status of that at this

 Meanwhile, back at CodeHead central, Domingo Alvear tells Charles F.

     "I am glad to have Warp 9!  It is a great program.  (Especially since
     it is supported unlike Turbo ST!)  I also like E-O-S, but are there
     other modules available yet?  Or have people just not read the docs? 
     <grin> I would pay for a disk full of E-O-S modules..."

 Charles, being the kind of guy who likes feedback, tells Domingo:

     "Thanks for the compliments on Warp 9!  I know of at least one
     programmer who's working on a shareware package of screensaver
     modules.  Also, I believe that Michael Crisafulli has released a
     version of his 'Soft-Sci' screensaver that works as a Warp 9 module;
     I'll see if I can get a copy and upload it here."

 Well, friends and neighbors, this is the end of a very long Thanksgiving
 day for me.  I hope your Thanksgivings were good ones and that you have as
 much to be thankful for as I have.  Tune in again next week and listen to
 what they are saying when...

                            PEOPLE ARE TALKING


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                 DELPHI- It's getting better all the time!




 by John J. Amsler
     I've  been  coming to COMDEX since I moved to  Las  Vegas  in 1987. 
 As the memories of COMDEXes past, e.g.,

     1987 - the torrential rains, (when Atari was prominently 
            situated in the main Convention Center)

     1988 - the "Gold Room," Mick Fleetwood, and Falcon (the 
            F-16 flight simulation!)

 grow somewhat misty (if not altogether incorrect!),  this  year's 
 COMDEX was certainly the most eagerly anticipated.  

     This frenzy of anticipation,  of course, was due to the much-
 vaunted pre-COMDEX publicity that was generated by the  unveiling 
 of  the Falcon earlier in Europe and just recently at the  Boston 
 Computer Society.  It was interesting enough to read about it, to 
 hear  about  it,  to  even see it in magazines  (Atari  ST  User, 
 Sep 92,  page 9), but nothing could be as desirable as to see one 
 "live," "up close," in person.   I'm not a parent,  but I imagine 
 that  it's somewhat similar to having been a soldier in Korea  or 
 Vietnam who received many pictures of his baby born while he  was 
 away  --  nothing  could  compare  to  going  home  and   seeing, 
 especially holding,  the child.   I can't imagine any Atarian not 
 wanting to "cuddle" Atari's "newborn" computer!

                       Thursday, 19 November

     Once again, I found myself coming to COMDEX late in the week.  
 Every year since 1987 I've been telling myself that I would  come 
 no  later  than  Wednesday (the supposed  "peak"  of  the  week's 
 activity) and every year there's been SOMETHING that's  prevented 
 me from doing so.  Drats!

     Having  won  two free passes from McGraw-Hill  on  CompuServe 
 (THANKS, M-H!!), I invited a Raytheon contractor who's never been 
 to a COMDEX to accompany me.  We arrived at the registration tent 
 at  about 1230 and I only had a few hours to spare before I  have 
 to get back to Nellis Air Force Base.  

     I had logged onto the Las Vegas D.U.S.T. ("Dedicated Users of 
 the  ST," the local ST users' group) BBS  ("Wildlife,  (702)-645-
 7570)) the day before as well as onto CIS and saw messages saying 
 that Motorola had a Falcon in ITS area.   GRRRREAT!!   I told  my 
 friend,  "We'll  take  a quick look around the main hall  of  the 
 convention center, find the Motorola area, drool over the Falcon, 
 and then go to the Sands Convention Center and go straight to the 
 Atari area."

     I  didn't  look  at  the exhibit  map  in  the  daily  COMDEX 
 newspaper,  expecting  the Motorola area to be easy to find  even 
 if we just randomly wandered around.  That was a mistake; it took 
 us quite a bit of time to find the MOTOROLA sign,  but finally  I 
 saw it.

     As I approached the Motorola area,  I noticed the partitioned 
 area for "Digital Signal Processing" (or whatever it was the sign 
 said exactly).   From a relatively long distance I could make out 
 the  Falcon,  sitting there looking like a 1040ST with  too  much 
 melanin (a pigment responsible for dark skin color).

     As  I approached I noticed it was playing the  sound/graphics 
 demo  of the "Simply The Best" video by Tina Turner that,  as  it 
 was  told,  wowed everybody at the Boston Computer  Society  show 
 last  month.   I  had to strain against the  constant  background 
 cacophony  to  hear  the sound coming out of  the  speakers  that 
 Falcon  was  hooked up to,  but what I did  hear  was  beautiful:  
 sharp,  crisp, undistorted (to my tone-deaf ears <g>) sound, from 
 the "chopchopchop" of the helicopters shown to the melodies of 
 Tina  Turner's  band and the harmonies of  her  singing.   (Maybe 
 "harmonies" is an inappropriate word,  given her Rod-Stewart-like 
 trademark scratchy voice.)

     I was pretty much transfixed as I listened to the demo  cycle 
 through  a  couple times.   I thought to  myself,  "Whatever  the 
 Motorola  engineers  did  to devise  this  DSP  ["Digital  Signal 
 Processor"  --  the "sound brain" inside) chip and  whatever  Sam 
 Tramiel's  engineers did to merge it with the  Falcon's  internal 
 hardware and firmware (?), they certainly did it RIGHT!"  

                  Hats off to Motorola and Atari!

     While I was staring at the Falcon, basically motionless while 
 I  was trying to fathom the wonder and beauty of this "baby,"  my 
 friend  tapped  me on the left arm with a copy of the  Fall  1992 
 issue of "68K Connection:  68000  Family News and Information," a 
 Motorola  bulletin.   I  looked at the index and  saw  the  entry 
 "Atari's Falcon030."  I immediately turned to page 3 and read the 
 following article:

           68030 Powers Atari's New Multimedia Computer

     A   multimedia   computer  recently   introduced   by   Atari 
 Corporation is powered by Motorola's 68030  microprocessor.   The 
 new computer,  called Falcon030, is the industry's first personal 
 integrated  media system.   The Atari Falcon030 is  a  full-scale 
 computer  specifically  designed for  personal  integrated  media 
 functions including video,  audio, animation, telecommunications, 
 and  graphics.   Users  of the Atari Falcon030  can  create  home 
 videos complete with text and music,  can record lead vocals on a 
 favorite  musical recording,  and can execute many more  exciting 

     The  Atari  Falcon030  also  incorporates  Motorola's   56001 
 digital signal processor (DSP) to process and manipulate compact-
 disc-quality  digital audio and voice  signals,  which,  combined 
 with   the  68030's  processing  power  and  Atari's   integrated 
 software,   makes  the  Atari  Falcon  030  a  complete  personal 
 integrated media system.

     "The Atari Falcon030,  with the help of Motorola's 68030  and 
 56001  DSP,   is  bringing  production-level  quality   graphics, 
 professional-level recording and audio manipulation  capabilities 
 to the consumer," said Sam Tramiel, president and CEO of Atari.

     Motorola  68030 integrates advanced features into a full  32-
 bit microprocessor design,  optimized for low-cost,  memory-based 
 applications.  Its burst fill functionality provides an efficient 
 bus  and memory interface,  enabling the 68030  to  substantially 
 increase   overall  system  throughput.    This   capability   is 
 especially  well-suited for multimedia personal integrated  media 
 products, such as the Atari Falcon030, that require large amounts 
 of  information  to  be continuously  transmitted  from  external 
 memory  to the processor's dual internal caches.   The  efficient 
 memory interface results in cost and time savings,  allowing  the 
 Atari Falcon030 to achieve excellent price/performance ratios.

     As I read it, certain words and phrases jumped out and caught 
 my mind's eye ("virtual boldface" <g>):

                         industry's first

                        full-scale computer

                       specifically designed

                       exciting applications


                    production-quality graphics

        professional-level recording and audio manipulation

                         advanced features

                      optimized for low-cost

                           efficient bus

                    efficient memory interface

                       cost and time savings

                excellent price/performance ratios

     I  thought to myself,  "Wow!"  This is like being in  a  time 
 warp going back to 1984.   'Industry's first' -- where did I hear 
 THAT  said  about Atari before?!   It sounds like the  Falcon  is 
 picking  up where the ST left off,  i.e.,  breaking  new  ground, 
 boldly  going where makers of electronic tin cans  presumptuously 
 calling them 'computers' fear to tread!" 

     My  friend then handed me Atari's own Falcon  brochure,  also 
 available  in the Motorola area.   The cover was a VERY  colorful 
 picture of a Falcon,  shown from a top-down, front-oblique angle, 
 with its uniquely-colored nameplate:  

            {Fuji symbol}  ATARI FALCON  030


                             A - blue
                             T - light green
                             A - orange
                             R - red
                             I - white 

 The  Falcon  was  sitting  on what appeared  to  be  an  artist's 
 "canvas"  covered  with  bright  red,   blue,  and  yellow  paint 
 spillings.   Above the Falcon was Atari's SC1435 monitor, showing 
 a scene from some space-oriented game,  similar to the old  "Star 
 Raiders"  genre.   The  view  showed  a  spacecraft's  instrument 
 control  panel,  above which was the "windshield," through  which 
 could be seen a red hexagonal "mother ship" with  green  "spokes" 
 emanating  from  the  inside of each vertex and  joining  at  the 
 center.   Whoever designed the cover for this brochure created  a 
 very appealing, eye-catching display.  Good job!

     Opening  up  the  brochure to pages 2 and  3  showed  in  the 
 lower  left  corner  (page 3) a Falcon  inside  some  audio/video 
 laboratory,  hooked  up to a "harmonizer" (as well as some  other 
 sophisticated  electronic  equipment) with some  sort  of  audio-
 analysis  software display on the screen.   On the right side  of 
 the  brochure (page 3) a Falcon was shown standing on  its  right 
 side,  with  the  back  to the reader,  with  the  various  ports 
 indicated by text.  The upper body of a woman dancer was shown in 
 the  upper left corner (page 2),  twirling around in a pink  gown 
 against a backdrop of a brilliant pink light.   She seemed to  be 
 looking  at the centerfold,  which was a front-view of  a  Falcon 
 with  a  BEAUTIFUL multi (and I mean  MULTI!)-colored  ray-traced 
 picture on the monitor, with:

 -  a white Fuji symbol with a tilted black-and-blue  halo  around 
 it's "head," mirrored against the marble-like speckled surface on 
 which it rested

 -  a large semi-transparent sphere,  against which you could  see 
 part of the Fuji symbol reflected 

 - a mainly-red tetrahedron

 - two mainly-blue tetrahedrons, joined at their bases

 - a mainly-green dodecahedron (?)

 Each of the objects would separately have been a great graphic on 
 the old 520/1040 STs,  Mega STs, STes, or Mega STes.  The picture 
 of  the  monitor  did  a  GREAT  job  of  implying  the  graphics 
 capabilities  of the Falcon (yet anyone who knew  anything  about 
 the  Falcon  knew  that  one  picture  could  only  scratch   the 
 surface as far as graphics are concerned!).

     The back (page 4) of the brochure showed a Falcon screen shot 
 with  an open GEM window displaying the compact disk  icons  used 
 with the Falcon, a multi-colored two-dimensional CAD-like graphic 
 of  a  falcon,   and  a  long  list  of  the  Falcon's  technical 

     Again,  as I read Atari's brochure, certain words and phrases 
 jumped out:

                  Atari's world includes a vision

                        advanced technology

                     cost-effective production

                 Personal Integrated Media System

                          vibrant colors

                        crystal-clear sound

                       easily and affordably


                         animation studio

                   multimedia production center

                        unflagging helpmate

                          blazingly fast

         computers other companies sell for thousands more

                  state-of-the-art audio quality

                      power without the price

                       high-quality genlock

               titling and special effects a breeze

                        high-speed graphics

        the Atari Falcon030 already includes what you need

                     MS-DOS file compatibility

                         386-PC emulation

                 exciting new types of peripherals

         Atari made the first computer to offer a built-in
      MIDI interface, which for all other computers requires
                   an extra card or external box

                     the ultimate sound track

                       concert hall ambience

                    Professional-quality speech

       Atari Falcon030 handles 8 discrete tracks at a time,
         without add-on boards or issues of compatibility

       Atari Falcon030 provides the same--if not superior--
   functionality to digital recording systems costing literally
                    thousands of dollars more.

                        astounding vibrancy

           New vistas open up for the electronic artist.

                  Programs become more intuitive

                    sophisticated use of color

              never seen this kind of richness before

                    a virtual rainbow of color

                           stunning PIMS

           Atari Falcon030's groundbreaking capabilities

              the promise of a true PIMS for the home

                 adding surround-sound to your VCR

                       interactive education

                  running a home security system

     We don't charge more than we need to just because we can
                         get away with it.

     Our audience is not pinstripe clones or "blind lemmings"

             powerful, efficient, cost-effective tools

        the musical edge that the ST series has always had

                    incredible color and speed

 a platform that's ready for your most challenging creative tasks

                 color and sound blend seamlessly

     a system that can truly be any kind of personal, creative
                           tool you want

     There are two minor complaints I have with the brochure:

     1) "standard MS-DOS file compatibility"

        That may have been Atari's original INTENTION, but in
        reality it's not so.  In the Air Force, there were
        several IBM and clone systems that would not read an
        Atari TOS-formatted disk (TOS 1.02, TOS 1.04, and 
        TOS 2.06).  Some of the public domain IBM disk-compatible 
        formatters for the ST would work on some Air Force 
        systems, others would not.  The problem seemed to be 
        that while TOS created 711 disk sectors for a double-sided, 
        double-density 3.5" disk, MS-DOS needs 713.

     2) "Super VGA graphics"

        Sorry, Atari, but 640 x 480 is VGA, not Super VGA
        (which, by the way, is 1024 x 768).  You're not fooling
        anybody, least of all the IBM graphics and multimedia 
        people who we all hope will migrate from the klutzy, 
        overpriced IBM clones, Macintoshes, and Amigas with 
        their klutzy, horribly overpriced software to the Falcon.  
        More on my feelings on this topic at the end of 
        this review.

 Other than those two complaints--and I stress they are only MINOR 
 complaints--the  person or people who put this brochure  together 
 did  a FANTASTIC job!   I only hope that a lot of IBM  and  Apple 
 and  Amiga aficionados read it ...  as well as  Jerry  Pournelle, 
 Stewart Chaiffet (sp?) of "Computer Chronicles" fame,  the editor 
 of Computer Musician magazine,  the editor of Compute!  magazine, 

     Sitting  right  next  to the Falcon was  an  Apple  Macintosh 
 "Powerbook  170," running a 25 MHz 68030 (they  DO  exiST!  <g>).  
 The 68030 wasn't lonely in there;  it was accompanied by a  68882 
 (math  co-processor).    The  demo  that  was  running  was  some 
 medieval-age  game.   I was,  I'll admit,  very impressed by  the 
 sounds coming out of such a small laptop computer:   the metallic 
 sounds (of clashing swords and so forth) were unbelievably crisp.  
 Considering that it,  like the Falcon, was in the "Digital Signal 
 Processing" section of Motorola,  I "ASSume" that it,  too, had a 
 56001  inside.   In any case,  it was running  SOFTWARE  (gasp!).  
 While I was impressed by it, I, like any loyal Atarian, wanted to 
 pick  it up and heave it into the nearest wastebasket because  it 
 was implicitly stealing some of the Falcon's thunder.   Somehow I 
 was able to restrain myself.  (Sorry, Atari! <g>)

     On  the  other side of Motorola's Digital  Signal  Processing 
 area was an Amiga 4000,  running a no-audio stream of advertising 
 graphics  profiling the history of the machine,  from  the  Amiga 
 1000 to the current and long-awaited 4000.  The 4000 was running 
 a 25 MHz 68040 and had a 120 Mb IDE hard drive inside and claimed 
 to have the ability to display 256,000 colors on-screen out of  a 
 palette of 16.8 billion.   Nonetheless,  the graphics were, in my 
 underqualified opinion,  atrocious!  Heck, if they were trying to 
 DISSUADE people from buying the Amiga,  this was a good way to do 
 it!   I kept thinking to myself,  "How did THIS platform ever get 
 the reputation as 'the ultimate GRAPHICS machine' ?????"

                        Friday, 20 November

     My  original intention was to arrive at the Sands  Convention 
 Center at around 0730 so I could get a good parking space (In Las 
 Vegas during COMDEX?  Ha!  Surely, Amsler, you jest!)  However, I 
 had to take care of both some personal and Air Force business and 
 didn't  arrive at the Sands Convention Center until  around  1200 
 after a long walk down "The Strip" through chilly winds.

     I  went  to  the second floor  and  started  walking  around, 
 expecting  to  see  a prominent ATARI sign almost as  soon  as  I 
 entered the hall.   No such luck.  I walked around for quite some 
 time, taking a look at what other hardware and software companies 
 were offering.   I was greatly dismayed and even a little fearful 
 at what I saw.  (More on this at the end of this review.)

     Finally, I saw the heartwarming Fuji symbol.  As I approached 
 the Atari area (which was the second-largest at the  Sands,  next 
 to  Onward  Technology/Shanghai  Ascentex  Electronic),   it  was 
 apparent  that Atari had accented its  bread-and-butter:   music.  
 In  a  prominent  corner,  near a  high-traffic  area,  were  two 
 Falcons.   There  were  two musicians (one of which I  THINK  was 
 Jimmy Hotz),  one on a keyboard and the other on a guitar.   They 
 were  each plugged into a Falcon and were playing live music  and 
 Hotz,  if that was him, was singing.  They attracted a reasonably 
 large  crowd,  about 25 people,  who listened to them  and  their 
 Falcons with rapt attention and visible approval showing on their 
 faces.   I got closer myself and enjoyed the show as well.  I was 
 thinking to myself,  as I watched the other onlookers, "Pay close 
 attention, you IBM and Apple knuckleheads, and read what the sign 
 says:   A T A R I !"  The fact that Atari was located adjacent to 
 the  AdLib multimedia area probably was a good think inasmuch  as 
 many of the viewers of the Atari exhibits probably just meandered 
 over from AdLib.

     After they finished their musical demonstrations,  I  started 
 meandering around the various Atari exhibits.   The sections were 
 variously listed as: 

                         SOUND & AUDIO
                         SPEECH PRODUCTS

     Walking around,  some interesting things.   Lotsa Bytes  Hard 
 Disk  Systems had a TT030 hooked up to a PLI Infinity 3.5"  drive 
 and a PLI Infinity 40 Turbo removable 44 Mb hard drive.   On  the 
 screen was STraight FAX!,  USA Version 1.06,  from Joppa Software 
 Development.     I    didn't   "tinker"   with   any   of    this 
 hardware/software, so I can't say how well it actually worked.

     Next  to this display was Micro  Creations'  G.I.M.E.  (which 
 stands  for  "Graphics  Interface  Modem  Environment")  terminal 
 running  the  Phantom Background Transfer  Protocol.   It  looked 
 neat, but again I didn't actually use it.

     Another   set-up  was  Singular  Solutions's   A/D64x   Audio 
 Interface  ($1295 MSRP),  hooked up to a Falcon's DSP port and  a 
 Sony  207ESD CD player.   This company has been making an  A/D64x 
 for the NeXT computer for two years.   According to the company's 
 brochure, their newest variant 

    "extends  the  sound  processing  capabilities  of  the  Atari 
     Falcon030  to  provide  a high  quality  and  extremely  cost 
     effective  platform for professional digital audio  recording 
     ...  ideal  for all phases of music production  and  editing.  
     Resulting recordings exhibit a level of fidelity which cannot 
     be  improved  upon  by systems selling  for  many  times  the 

 The brochure went on to claim that 

    "The  Falcon030  sets new price-performance  standards  for  a 
     computer with extensive multi-media  capabilities.   Designed 
     from ground up for sound,  music, and video applications, the 
     Falcon030 is the ideal computer upon which to build a  state-
     of-the-art digital audio workstation.   Atari has again {Note 
     the  key word:   "again" - JJA}  redefined  affordable,  high 
     performance computing with the Falcon030."

 The president of Singular Solutions, Steve Klein, said

     The  Atari  Falcon030,  in its  basic  configuration,  is  an 
     incredible machine for digital audio work.   The inclusion of 
     the  Motorola  56001  DSP  definitely  puts  Atari  in  prime 
     position  to capture a major share of the  rapidly  expanding 
     digital  audio market.   The addition of our A/D64x  and  D2D 
     EDIT  results  in a truly professional quality  system  at  a 
     price that just can't be beat."

     Many people over the past few years have criticized Atari for 
 not being aggressive in trying to set up cooperative arrangements 
 with  third-party hardware and software developers  and  fumbling 
 the  few  that it did manage to set  up.   To  those  doomsayers, 
 consider the words of Paul Wiffen,  the Director of Marketing for 
 D2D Systems (which makes (1) D2D-EDIT ($299 MSRP), stereo direct-
 to-disk recording/editing software, (2) 4T/FX ($599 MSRP), multi-
 track  recording  software,  (3)  4I/4O  ($599  MSRP),  an  audio 
 hardware  "expander"  and  (4)  SPDIO  ($299  MSRP),   a  digital 
 interface for D2D-EDIT which allows the Falcon to sample input at 
 44.1 and 48 KHz, ideal for CD production):

    "Our  previous  experience in hard disk recording  has  always 
     required   us  to  produce  our  own  hardware.    With   the 
     cooperative effort,  we are able to concentrate on what we do 
     best, which is software, and let Atari and Singular Solutions 
     concentrate  on  the hardware.   I believe that  the  results 
     speak for themselves."

     This  is  EXACTLY the kind of advertising the  Falcon  needs, 
 addressing  the two key advantages it provides to music  industry 
 professionals as well as semi-pros:

     1) LOW-COST hardware/software combinations

     2) HIGH, PROFESSIONAL-LEVEL QUALITY of music output

 Their addresses are:

          Singular Solutions            D2D Systems
          Information Technologies      ST John's Innovation
          959 East Colorado Blvd          Center
          Pasadena, CA 91106            Cowley Road
                                        England CB4 4WS
          (818)-792-9567 voice
          (818)-792-0903 fax            Distributed By:
                                        Digital I/O
                                        2554 Lincoln Blvd #122
                                        Marina Del Rey, CA 90291

     A new company (let me qualify that:   "new" in the sense that 
 I had never heard of them before) called Digital Optical  Analog, 
 Inc.,  had "Black Mail" on display.  "Black Mail" is a voice mail 
 system for the Atari Falcon (and,  significantly,  the  Macintosh 
 and  NeXT computers).   It's nothing more than a tiny black  box, 
 only  about 5" by 3" by 1",  but one that is packed  with  power!  
 Their address is:

                         Digital Optical Analog, Inc.
                         P.O. Box 58413
                         Houston, TX 77258


     COMPO Software was in attendance.   Their brochure called the 
 Falcon  a  "super  computer" and  discussed  the  word  processor 
 "That's Write 2" (which is like calling a Ferrari F-40 a  "car").  
 It allows multiple fonts in one document (!),  multiple  columns, 
 automatic  generation  of tables of  contents  and  indices,  and 
 automatic paragraph numbering.  There's also a version of "That's 
 Write" that supports PostScript.

     Word Processing,  database management,  and spreadsheet  have 
 traditionally  been the "triumvirate" as far as bedrock  personal 
 computer  applications  are concerned.   No matter how  good  the 
 hardware is,  a computer almost will be guaranteed to fail in the 
 marketplace  if it doesn't have good software to make it  "sing."  
 Thanks,  COMPO,  for supporting the Falcon so quickly!   (Perhaps 
 before  I die I'll switch from First Word Plus 3.20 to  something 
 else.  Perhaps.)

     COMPO's brochure also showed,  among other things, MUSiCOM, a 
 sound manipulation software package.   According to COMPO,

    "Now   special   effects  previously  only   possible   in   a 
     professional music studio can now be achieved with the Falcon 

 One of these special effects is the harmonizer, which permits one 
 voice  to be manipulated to sound like a harmony,  i.e.,  two  or 
 more  voices singing simultaneously.   MUSiCOM has  a  10-channel 
 equalizer (!) and seems to be a thoroughly well-designed piece of 
 software (which maintains the earlier precedent set by the sundry 
 companies  which wrote for the original ST line).   According  to 
 the diagram shown, it can sample 8 bit mono or 8 or 16 bit stereo 
 at the following KHz rates:   8.2,  9.8,  12.3, 16.5, 28.8, 24.6, 
 33.9, and 49.2.  Their address is:
                         COMPO Software Corp.
                         104 Esplanade Avenue Suite 121
                         Pacifica, CA 94044

                         (415)-355-0862 voice
                         (415)-355-0869 fax

     A  brochure  that was available  provided  information  about 
 Goldleaf's  "DA's  Vektor"  ($199  MSRP),   a   three-dimensional 
 graphics package that,  if the brochure does it justice, is truly 
 amazing.   It's  produced  by the same  programming  team  that's 
 responsible  for the "Didot" line of products.   DA's Vektor  can 
 project  any vector graphic onto three-dimensional  surfaces  and 
 also  has  a "key frame" animation  utility.   According  to  the 

    "The  color  auto-tracing module lets you load  color  images, 
     pick colors from them,  and then automatically create freely-
     scalable  color vector graphic objects.   You can  even  uses 
     [sic] images as a fill pattern for vector objects."

 Goldleaf's address is

                         Goldleaf Publishing, Inc.
                         700 Larkspur Landing Circle
                         Larkspur, CA 94939


     HiSoft  had a very nice brochure on HiSoft BASIC  Version  2, 
 its 68000/68020/68030 compiler (Note:  compiler!) which it claims 
 typically  works on 3500 source lines per minute and contain  DMA 
 sound in its ST/STe/TT operating system libraries.   Perhaps  the 
 most  useful  feature--at least to  an  old  FORTRAN/BASIC/PASCAL 
 programmer  like  me--is the ability to  redimension  and  extend 
 dynamic arrays WITHOUT losing values.   When I was first learning 
 BASIC in 1980,  line numbers were the rule of the day, GOTOs were 
 not  unheard  of,  and  there were severe  restrictions  on  many 
 aspects  of  the language.   HiSoft's BASIC 2 has  no  limits  on 
 variable sizes (!), structured concepts such as:

                    SELECT ... CASE
                    WHILE ... WEND
                    DO loops
                    value and variable parameters
                    local variables
                    recursive subprograms and functions

 According  to  the brochure you can disable  reserved  words  for 
 "increased language compatibility" (!!) and also

    "a  profiler  is  included  which  analyses  the  program  and 
     indicates where speed improvements may be made."    

 Heck,  I  don't know why they continue to call it  "BASIC"  these 

     HiSoft had a second brochure entitled "The Falcon Flies."  It 
 was VERY impressive,  showing on the front page a tiny glimpse of 
 the Falcon's color-handling capability under TruePaint, the first 
 art package that takes advantage of it.   TruePaint works in  all 
 resolutions   INCLUDING  768  x  480  true  color  and   supports 
 animation,  FSM/Speedo GDOS, and IFF/TIFF/JPEG file formats.  The 
 brochure also profiled Wordflair 2, Diamond Edge (a GREAT product 
 which  I  bought  in September  and  HIGHLY  recommend!),  XBoot, 
 Superbase Professional,  and HiSoft's Devpac Version 3.  HiSoft's 
 address is:

                         The Old School
                         Bedford MK45 5DE UK

                         +44 (0) 525 718181 voice
                         +44 (0) 525 713716 fax

 (They  say  "We are still working on new  projects  for  existing 
 Atari machines and for the new Falcon030."  THANKS, HiSoft!)

     If there was one exhibit which caught most people by surprise 
 and,  once  caught,  impressed  them the most,  it  probably  was 
 Kodak's Photo CD running on.   I can't remember if it was running 
 on  a Falcon or a TT,  but it was running!   The people who  were 
 observing it were practically slobbering down the front of  their 
 shirts, their jaws hanging slack in amazement.  The Friday before 
 COMDEX Atari and Kodak signed an agreement for the development of 
 Photo CD for the Atari computer line.    What this does is  allow 
 you to take a roll of 35 mm film to a photoprocessor and have the 
 images transferred to a CD (in addition to the normal prints) ... 
 which  can then be displayed by a Falcon/CD combination or  shown 
 on a TV via a CD player.  According to Kodak's brochure

    "Virtually  all  the  visual  information  in  each   original 
     photograph  is  captured in an 18  megabyte  file,  which  is 
     compressed  to about 4.5 megabytes for storage on  the  disk.  
     Each picture is stored in one file at 5 different resolutions 
     (128 x 192,  256 x 384,  512 x 768,  1024 x 1536,  and 2048 x 
     3072),  so  you  can use the resolution that best  fits  your 

 For further information write or call

                         Eastman Kodak Company
                         Rochester, NY 14650

                         1-800-242-2424 ext 53

     There  was a fantastic set-up involving a TT being used as  a 
 real-time controller to drive a sewing machine creating caps with 
 "ATARI" stitched on the front.   Neat!  Hopefully, next year they 
 will  have this available to "proletarian" Atarians (for  a  fee, 
 of course) rather than just to developers and the media.

     Last,  but  not least,  Atari had a fantastic set-up  in  the 
 other high-traffic corner of its area,  with a Falcon running the 
 same  Moving Pixels Tina Turner "Simply The Best" video that  was 
 also  running  over  in  the Motorola  area  in  the  main  hall.  
 However,  this Falcon was hooked up to a Mitsubishi  XC-3715C,  a 
 giant among monitors.   It was visible from a long distance  away 
 and  was  orders  of magnitude easier to hear than  that  in  the 
 Motorola  area.   It was a great way to show off the  Falcon  and 
 attracted the attention of many people.


     OK,  COMDEX is over.   The non-Boston Computer Society  crowd 
 has now been shown the Falcon three times zones away.   Now what?  
 Where does Atari,  its developers, and its user community go from 

     My military personnel records have me listed as a  "Numerical 
 Methods in Electronic Data Processing" officer.  My undergraduate 
 degree is in math,  not marketing,  not advertising, not business 
 management.  I'm neither a musician nor a computer graphics/video 
 expert, so what I'm going to say may be completely wrong but I'll 
 say it anyway.

     There is absolutely nothing that I've seen on the IBM or  its 
 clowns,  er, clones, the Amiga, or the Macintosh that can compare 
 to TOS 2.06 running with Warp 9.  Nothing.  The Atari ST line and 
 TOS  have  always  been the  absolute  easiest  hardware/software 
 combination  to  use,  putting the least burden on the  user  and 
 making  him/her the most productive in the least amount of  time.  
 Whether it's word processing,  database management, spreadsheets, 
 graphics,  or music,  the Atari provides the  quickest,  easiest, 
 least expensive way to get a task done.   The most "bang for  the 
 buck" can be found under the Fuji symbol, not under a blizzard of 
 blue bombast or under a half-eaten fruit.   Obviously, the Falcon 
 continues to build on the strength of its predecessors.

     As discussed earlier,  the Falcon's strong point is its sound 
 processing  capabilities.   The remarks by Motorola and  Singular 
 Solutions and other third-party companies attest to  this.   It's 
 no accident that such luminaries as Mick  Fleetwood,  B.B.  King, 
 the Pointer Sisters,  and Dire Straits turned to the ST line  for 
 their  professional  applications.   Atari should  now  seriously 
 consider  a  high-profile advertising campaign  using  some  "big 
 names" in the professional music and entertainment industries  to 
 tout the Falcon.   At least to a certain extent,  people buy "Air 
 Jordan" basketball shoes because you-know-who endorses them; in a 
 similar  vein  I think it's self-evident  that  professional  and 
 semi-professional musicians will,  at least to a certain  extent, 
 buy Atari if they read in a music industry magazine or hear  Mick 
 Fleetwood or someone else say,  "The Falcon's the best there is."  
 This  should  be  especially true if they are  presented  with  a 
 direct,  no-holds-barred price/performance comparison between the 
 Falcon,  the IBM,  the Macintosh, and the "multimedia" Amiga 4000 
 ... because there really is no comparison.  The Falcon wins hands 

     In  the Feb/Mar 92 issue of Compute!,  writer  Lisa  Sarasohn 
 interviewed Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog Synthesizer:

      LS: What's  the  impact  of  PCs  on  electronic  music  and 
          composition?   Are  we  going  to  become  a  nation  of 

      RM: We  already  are.   Computer software  is  the  fastest-
          growing segment of the musical instrument business  now.  
          You  go into a rock shop--they used to have nothing  but 
          guitars and drums,  and now there's likely to be a whole 
          big section on music software.  

      LS: What effect will multimedia have on electronic music?

      RM: [It's]   possible  now  to  integrate   [high-resolution 
          computer  graphics  with music]--to have  both  of  them 
          under the control of one program.

          One   thing  you  can  already  do  with  today's   MIDI 
          sequencing packages is to synchronize any music you make 
          with something that's on film or video.   And if you can 
          carry  that one step further and put the visual part  of 
          it  under  the same program control as the  sound  part, 
          then it opens up a whole new world of how you can make a 
          work of art.

      LS: What changes in the computer industry are most  exciting 
          to you?

      RM: Most of the excitement is in the software.  The hardware 
          platform--IBM,  Amiga,  Macintosh--is getting to be more 
          and more a generic thing.   The best thing that you  can 
          say about any of them is that they work well--they don't 
          break.  But the real character, the real resource, is in 
          the software.

      LS: Will electronic music affect society in any new way?

      RM: [What]   word  processors  have  done  is   return   the 
          publication  of  newspapers and magazines to  the  grass 
          roots.  I think the same thing is happening with music.

          The Music Business--with a capital M and a capital B--is 
          getting more and more up into the stratosphere with  the 
          amount  of money it takes to start a group ...  and  the 
          amount of overhead that's involved.   And what comes out 
          of Columbia Records or Elektra or any of these companies 
          is  more and more common denominator and more  and  more 
          safe.   But  now we have thousands of creative  artists, 
          and  they're making CDs--making high-quality  music  for 
          peanuts and selling it over these ...  small networks of 
          customers they have.

     Hmmm  ...   now,   let's  see  ...   taking  all  that   into 
 consideration,  even  if you disagree with what Moog  said,  what 
 would  be  the computer best suited for this  paradigm  shift  in 
 music?   After  16  Nov  92,  I  think  the  answer  is  obvious.  
 Considering  the  axiomatic  nature  of  computers  in  education 
 ("Students  will buy the same computers they were exposed  to  in 
 school  ..."),  Atari should probably seriously  consider  giving 
 Falcons to Julliard and the rest of the top echelon music schools 
 in  the  country  (as  well as to  the  editors  of  the  various 
 computer/music  related magazines for review).   Music  is  where 
 Atari has scored (no pun intended) its biggest victories and  can 
 score even bigger ones now that the Falcon is flexing its wings.

     Two  weeks  before COMDEX,  we had our local (Las  Vegas)  ST 
 users' group meeting.  After the meeting adjourned, several of us 
 were standing around talking.   One member launched into a tirade 
 about the Falcon's 68030; he was highly irked about the fact that 
 it  "only" ran at 16 MHz.   (Another member tried to get  him  to 
 understand that it was a *68030* with a *32-bit data bus* that he 
 was  grousing about "only" running at 16 MHz.)  After seeing  the 
 Falcon in action,  I defy anyone to criticize Atari's choice of a 
 "mere" 16 MHz processor -- it handled everything that was  shoved 
 down it's throat without one single hiccup.   Witness the  border 
 around the central images on the Tina Turner demo:   quite a feat 
 for a processor "only" running at 16 MHz, eh?

     Video, however, is what almost made me cry.  Maybe there were 
 legitimate  economic  reasons for configuring the  Falcon  as  it 
 currently  stands,  but Atari has got to realize--and the  sooner 
 the better--that:

                 640 x 480 IS NOT GOING TO CUT IT

 When I was roaming around the main convention hall as well as the 
 Sands  before finding Atari,  I cringed at the sight of  so  MANY 
 other  companies  demonstrating their hardware  or  software  for 
 multimedia/video applications.   Granted,  compared to the Falcon 
 they  cost an arm and a leg (and in most cases the other arm  and 
 leg!)  and  have poorer sound  quality,  they  nevertheless  were 
 showing  video  images  at 1280 x 1024 in  some  cases.   It  was 
 beautiful  to behold such detail and crystal-clear image  quality 
 on  a  computer monitor.   Atari has got to make  the  Falcon  at 
 minimum--AT  MINIMUM!--1024  x 768 (preferably 1280 x  1024)  ... 
 even  if  it  means raising the price a little  or  reducing  its 
 profit  margins.   Regardless of the Falcon's  unsurpassed  sound 
 quality,   I   fear  that  many  people  were  repulsed  by   the 
 "blockiness"  of the 640 x 480 images of the Tina  Turner  video.  
 640 x 480 may be good enough for an Etch-A-Sketch,  but Atari  is 
 shooting itself in the foot if it sticks with that resolution.

     Another  aspect that will likely prove to be critical to  the 
 Falcon's   success  will  be  cooperation  with  other   computer 
 companies,  even  the "enemies."  Consider the following  extract 
 from the article "The Future of the PC" by Brenton  R.  Schlender 
 from the 26 Aug 91 issue of FORTUNE magazine:

          Apple could foresee that its lone-wolf strategy,  though 
          lucrative,  would  condemn  it  to  the  fringe  of  the 
          industry.   Sculley for years had prodded his  engineers 
          and  board  of directors to consider  jumping  into  the 
          fast-growing market for PC clones.   But only this year, 
          after  Apple  discovered that even  drastic  price  cuts 
          weren't  enough  to raise the Mac's  market  share  much 
          beyond its present level, did the company change course.  
          Says  Sculley:   "We  want  to be major  player  in  the 
          computer industry,  not a niche player.  The only way to 
          do that is to work with another major player.  We talked 
          to every company imaginable in the world.   The more  we 
          looked,  the more it became clear that IBM was the  only 


          Says  Stewart  Alsop,   editor  of  the  trade  magazine 
          INFOWORLD:   "It's a great combination.  Apple knows the 
          importance  of  making  a  computer  that  is  not  just 
          practical  but also pleasurable to use.   IBM has  never 
          understood that."

     Why  would a potential buyer who otherwise is impressed  with 
 the  Falcon's  features and even more impressed with  its  price, 
 decide NOT to buy it?  Typically, they would probably whine, "But 
 I  use an MS-DOS computer at work and I need  compatibility  with 
 that so I can do work at home ..."  As soon as someone releases a 
 486-DX 33/50 emulator board for the Falcon,  Atari needs to  jump 
 on  that  fact  and advertise the Falcon as  being  able  to  run 
 EVERYTHING  that  currently runs on MS-DOS.   A  good  commercial 
 would  have the Falcon showing off its  sound/video  capabilities 
 and  then running WordPerfect (gasp!) or Lotus (ugh!) or  Harvard 
 Graphics (yuk!) with the voice in the background saying something 
 like,   "For  the price of half an IBM,  you can have a full  IBM 
 AND a Falcon in one box ..."  (Again,  I'm not an advertising  or 
 marketing expert,  but how else to convince the legions of people 
 who have been brainwashed into believing that a "PC" means IBM to 
 buy anything else?)

     Perhaps there's no inclination for IBM to work with a  "gnat" 
 like  Atari as they've done with Apple.   Certainly Atari has  no 
 great  love  for crawling into bed with  a  multi-billion  dollar 
 company  that makes pieces of crap (maybe that's where  the  term 
 "PC"  originated?)  In that case,  perhaps Atari should  approach 
 NeXT or Sun for a joint-development project.   SOMETHING has  got 
 to  be done or else Atari will find itself dominant in the  music 
 industry ...  and on the fringe of everything else,  a bit player 
 in a drama in which they deservedly should be the lead.

     A  long-time  Atarian in Las  Vegas,  a  former  professional 
 musician   who's   now  a  programmer   for   Computer   Sciences 
 Corporation,  bemoaned  the fact that last year Atari had the  ST 
 Book at COMDEX and now none are available.   He wanted to buy one 
 and  was left high and dry.   He criticized  the  all-too-typical 
 lack  of  follow-up by Atari:   introducing a  product  and  then 
 dropping it like a hot potato.   (An Atari representative told me 
 that  it  was  because  the Germans didn't  like  the  ST  Book.)  
 Hopefully that was the last time Atari does that;  we should keep 
 our  fingers crossed that they've learned their lesson  and  will 
 stick  with  the  Falcon and grab their  rightful  share  of  the 
 marketplace.   To hell with the Germans and what they think!  Who 
 appointed  them to decide what would or would not be  marketable, 

     The  person in the above paragraph also complained about  the 
 lack of sophistication of the people working the Atari area.   He 
 went  to the "front desk" and asked if Soft-Logik was  there  and 
 the  girl didn't even know who they were(!)  This  certainly  did 
 not  create  a favorable impression;  hopefully  at  next  year's 
 COMDEX  Atari will make sure that the people who are working  the 
 exhibit  area are sufficiently knowledgeable about  the  computer 
 and  its software developers.    I also heard the complaint  that 
 people  weren't  sure whether they were allowed to go up  to  the 
 (unattended)  Falcons that were on display and use them  or  were 
 expected to just stand back and observe them.   Perhaps next year 
 there should be little signs placed saying "Please Do Not  Touch" 
 or something else to clear up this confusion.

     That  same  person  had great praise for  the  Falcon's  SCSI 
 ports.   His advice to Atari?  Stick with the industry standards!  
 He  noted  that this year's innovation (i.e.,  the use  of  Atari 
 computers)  was  much  better  than  last  year,   even  if   the 
 interaction with exhibitors was worse.  (He said it was difficult 
 to talk to people this year,  "... everybody was off in their own 
 little world ...")

     Maybe I'm imagining things (it's been known to happen before! 
 <g>),  but it seems to me that in COMDEXes past, there were many, 
 many more vendors present.   Where was Migraph?  Gribnif?  Double 
 Click?   The  Codeheads???   All  the rest?   (I know  where  Tom 
 Hudson is!  <g>)  Where were the European companies?   If  that's 
 NOT a misperception on my part,  and there were in fact far fewer 
 vendors  at COMDEX 92,  then I hope the reason is that they  were 
 huddled  at home,  hacking away on their  developer  Falcons.   I 

     Who  is Atari going to market the Falcon to,  outside of  the 
 music  industry?   Small advertising and marketing companies  who 
 can't  afford sophisticated minicomputers or  high-cost  graphics 
 workstations?   TV  and video producers who need an easy  way  to 
 produce commercials on videotape?   I don't know.   This isn't my 
 area  of  expertise.    Certainly  they  would  benefit  from  an 
 inexpensive  platform  like the Falcon  that  would  nevertheless 
 provide them with PROFESSIONAL-level quality.  Hopefully, Atari's 
 marketing  and advertising executives already have  this  planned 
 out for next year.  One thing is inarguable:  the Falcon provides 
 a no-excuses vehicle with which Atari can "save itself" from  the 
 brink  of financial disaster.   If they do go belly-up in  a  few 
 years--knock on wood--it won't be the Falcon's fault.

     Traditionally  Atarians  have been more passionate  in  their 
 love for their computer,  going back to the days of the Atari 400 
 and  800,  than Apple or Commodore users could ever hope  to  be.  
 And  for  good  reason:   Atari computer have  always  been  less 
 costly,  more useful,  and a greater joy to own and use.   The ST 
 line continued in that vein,  and the Falcon gives new meaning to 
 the hackneyed phrase "Power Without the Price."

     At  the Boston Computer Society meeting in  October,  a  NeXT 
 developer  is  alleged to have asked Sam Tramiel  for  a  Falcon, 
 saying,  "Atari will be able to sell more Falcons in a month than 
 NeXT  sells  in  a year!"  With the full  support  of  the  Atari 
 Corporation's   management,   software  developers,   the   music 
 industry, and Atari's biggest asset (even if it doesn't appear on 
 the balance sheet):   its loyal user base,  it appears that Atari 
 is  poised  to  return  to the same prominence  it  had  when  it 
 unleashed  the  ST  on an unsuspecting  computer  industry  eight 
 years ago!

     I fully expect the Falcon to fly high (and,  I hope,  deposit 
 many droppings on certain other computer makers <g>)!  

     Go Atari!!


 > TWENTY QUESTIONS! STR Feature      Some more ?s for Sam Tramiel..

                          LET'S PLAY 20 QUESTIONS!

 by Tim Holt 

     Okay, I admit it, I can't afford those services like GEnie and
 Compuserve, so I have to wait for information to get down the pike to me.
 Therefore, when I read something about Atari, it is at least 10 days old.
 So when I heard one of these services was taking questions to ask the
 bosses of Atari, like Sam Tramiel, I was unable to attend.  As I write
 this, the conference has already taken place, and I am sure it was pretty

 Don't they all look something like this? 
 [Fred@Boluxi] Thanks for being here... 
 [Terrybob] Sam, I want to know... 
 [BobBrodie@Atari]: One question at a time please..grin

 [Pattie@Aim]Sam, about marketing... 
 [Bill@Atari]: All marketing questions will be answered in Europe 
 [Sam@Atari]: Falcon good... 
 [Sysop Billy]: Thank you all for being here today. Thank you Sam,  
 Bill, Bob, Ringo, Paul and George, also thanks to Matthew, Mark,  
 Luke and John.  
 [Sam@Atari]: I hope this helped answer those nagging questions  
 Since this is my impressions of these types of activities, I have decided
 to make a list of my top 20 questions for the head pooh-bahs of Atari, so
 the next time one of these things happens, maybe one of you could ask them
 for me. 
 Question 20:  Sam, which one of the Trammiels are you?  Are you the  
               dad, the son, the cousin??  I get you guys all confused.  
 Question 19:  Have you ever heard of something called advertising? 
 Question 18:  Do you know of any user groups left that have more  
               than 25 members? 
 Question 17:  Exactly what does TOS mean? 
 Question 16:  Was I stupid to buy a Mega STE/4? 
 Question 15:  Does your company understand the concept of Christmas
 Question 14:  Is "Sunnyvale" a terrible name for a city with your company
               in it? 
 Question 13:  Should I get rid of my Federated credit card? 
 Question 12:  Is it just me, or did Bob Brodie go through a major change
               in personality when you guys changed his job title? 
 Question 11:  What ever happened to that cool old German guy that used to
               work for you? 
 Question 10:  Why does my broker laugh when I ask "How is Atari doing this
 Question 9:   Do you guys know what those things are called that are
               played during breaks in televison programs? 
 Question 8:   Really, should I sell my Atari now, before I won't be able
               to get diddly for it? 
 Question 7:   The government says any animal that has difficulty existing
               in the wild should be protected.  Would you consider the
               Falcon an endangered species? 
 Question 6:   Have you ever seen a page in a magazine that contains pretty
               pictures that is not part of the story?  Do you know what
               these types of pages are called? 
 Question 5:   Why should I buy an Atari when I can buy a Gemulator? 
 Question 4:   Since your company is always losing money, how can you
               afford to pay yourselves?  Do you need help financially?  I
               am sure we can all send you a dollar or so... 
 Question 3:   The school district in my city just bought 2000 Amiga 3000's
               for use in their schools.  Have you sold 2000 of anything? 
 Question 2:   Do you guys understand the idea that there actually has to
               be stores that have your product in them, ON THE SHELVES, in
               order for the the item to sell?  
 Question 1:   Do any women work for Atari? Maybe that is what you need, a
               smart Hillary Clinton-type.  I see lots of Bobs, Sams,
               Bills and such.  Why aren't there any Marys, Sallys, or
               Oprahs?  You could use a woman or two around there.  
            Could someone please ask these questions some day?



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 Atari  ST  Roundtable                 
            Real Time Conference Special Events Calendar               
   Nov. 27 - A Friday Night Special RTC with Bob Brodie. Join the       
   (FRI.)    Director of Communications for a closer look at COMDEX     
             and news about the Falcon 030.                             
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   (WED.)    will answer your questions concerning which games to buy   
             for Christmas. Come on in and get a few hints!             
           All Real Time Conferences begin at 10:00 p.m. EDT            

 New Darlah's Treat:
     MIDIBATL.LZH (ST/STE Color only) Great ST/STE  8 way  scrolling arcade
 game,  allows  2  machines  to  be  networked  through  MIDI. STE specific
 features, full screen scrolling and digital audio and both versions run at
 the full  frame rate.  Must have, 2 player option is great. SHAREWARE from
 Moving Pixels.  Darlah's Treat, MIDIBATL.LZH,  is available  at page 475;9
 and is a *Basic Service

  Last Week's Top Downloaded Programs/Utilities:

 26556 GVIEW201.LZH             X B.SCHULZE1   921117  378368    321  28
       Desc: View ANY picture, any rez
 26579 RAYOID.LZH               X O.OKTAL      921118   77568    201   8
       Desc: Incredible Asteroid like game ST/TT!
 26537 BIGCOOKY.LZH             X M.SLAGELL    921115    2560    122   2
       Desc: breathing room for cramped systems
 26632 GROCERY.LZH              X R.HOEKSTRA1  921122   30976    107  21
       Desc: Grocery/Shopping list creator
 26597 PIXEL_GB.LZH             X REALM        921120   30592    100  10
       Desc: Demo of advanced Screen Grabber ACC!
 26584 MMM221.LZH (LH5)         X DAVE-HENRY   921119   94464     99  29
       Desc: Midi Music Maker 2.21, music player
 26544 LTMF_119.LZH             X B.SCHULZE1   921115   55808     94   2
       Desc: Newest version of "flying dialogs"
     Regular Open Conference every Wednesday night, 10PM EDT, 7PM PDT
          DTP conference every Monday at 10PM eastern in room 3.

         GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric
            Information Services/GEnie, reprinted by permission


 > Comeau Online Conference STR Feature    GEnie's ST RT Comeau Conference

                   Wednesday Night Real Time Conference
                             November 25, 1992
                          Host - Brian H. Harvey

           Guest Speaker - Phil Comeau, Wintertree Software Inc

     On behalf of the Atari ST Roundtable, I welcome all of you to this
 WINTERTREE Real Time Conference featuring Phil Comeau. Phil will be
 talking about all of his products, in particular SPELLING SENTRY,

  Phil may not be well known to you but his products probably are:

      GRAMSLAM            GRAMMAR EXPERT      
      MIDIX32             MIDIMAGNET
      These are only a few of his programs. 

 Welcome Phil, I think you have some prepared remarks, so Phil you can go
 ahead first with your opening remarks. 

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Welcome, all. I'd be pleased to answer any questions 
 you might have on any of our products, the future, etc.

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Phil, what is new at WINTERTREE SOFTWARE INC (WSI)?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> We've just sent out a newsletter to our registered
 customers. This was the biggest mailing we've done to date, and I can tell
 you it was a lot of work! Anyone who registered for one or more of our
 products before October 31 should receive it in the next few days.  We've
 also just completed version 1.10 of Spelling Sentry.

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> What is the difference between GramSlam and Grammar

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Grammar Expert is a reference or tutor for the rules of
 English grammar, punctuation, and effective writing. You use Grammar
 Expert while you're writing to answer questions about the  writing
 process.  For example, you might be unsure about whether to use "who" or
 "whom" in a sentence, or whether to write "the crowd was" or "the crowd
 were." Grammar Expert answers questions like these. It isn't a grammar
 checker, though.  GramSlam, on the other hand, is a grammar checker. You
 use GramSlam when your writing is complete. It tells you about common
 grammar and  writing-style problems it finds in your document. 

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Thanks Phil. OK, your turn for a question Lyre.

 <LYRE> What is Spelling Sentry?  That is a new title that I've never heard
 of before.

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Spelling Sentry is a spell-checking desk accessory. It
 works in real time, catching spelling errors while you type. It also
 expands abbreviations in real time. It can also check files and the GEM

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> OK, Lou it's your turn for a question.

 <[Lou] ST.LOU> Phil, great product! Nice to see such a successful piece of
 work on your first try. Please tell me how SS works with Calamus SL?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Thanks Lou. Spelling Sentry works fine with Calamus SL,
 although a couple of users have reported some glitches with Calamus SL's
 built-in text editor. Ideally, you would use Spelling Sentry outside the
 editor. By the way: Spelling Sentry is our *third* major product <grin>.

 <[Lou] ST.LOU> OK, how do you use it outside the editor? Do you have to
 export an ASCII file to check?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> No, as I understand Calamus SL, you can type directly
 onto the page you're editing. That's how you would use Spelling Sentry
 with it. Maybe a real Calamus SL user could shed some light.

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Do you have another Lou?

 <[Lou] ST.LOU> Does that mean that Spelling Sentry reads the text in the
 text frame? I don't understand how that can be done.

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> No, it watches the keystrokes while you type. Say you're
 typing a headline into frame...Spelling Sentry watches while you type it
 and tells you if you make a spelling mistake. 

 <[Lou] ST.LOU> AHHHHH! That makes sense.  A live spellchecker...  not a
 post-checker! Right? How many words in the dictionary? Can you edit and

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> The dictionary has about 104,000 right now. There is
 also an editable user dictionary with an unlimited size.

 <[Lou] ST.LOU> Thanks Phil and Good LUCK!

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> By the way: you can use it as a post-checker too, but
 that works best with ASCII files or simple word processor documents.

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> OK, your turn for a question Anna.

 <[Anna @ AtaAd] A.MASON4> Hi Phil...Can you have more than one
 abbreviation list and load them as needed in SS?  Also, can you tell us
 the price?  Thanks!

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Anna, you can have as many abbreviation files as you
 like. Only one is loaded at a time. The price is $59.95 (US).

 [Anna @ AtaAd] A.MASON4> Are you limited to the number of abbreviations
 per file? 

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Yes. Currently, you're limited to 128 per file.  If that
 turns out to be practical problem for many users, we'll make it unlimited
 (i.e., limited by memory) in a future version.

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> By the way Spelling Sentry works great with
 Abbreviator ST! OK, your turn for a question Lyre!

 <LYRE> Phil, I am an unregistered user of Gram Slam. What is the current
 version number? Also, what is the upgrade policy?  (I have version 3 & all
 docs - just checked.)

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> The current version is 3.32. You should be receiving a
 newsletter from us that will explain the upgrade policy...ooops, you said
 you were unregistered. In that case, our standard policy is $5.00 + $3.00
 S/H for upgrades. 

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Go John.

 <[The King] JOHN.KING.T> Phil:  Does Spelling Sentry work with type ahead
 buffers in Aladdin or STalker?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> It sure does. I use it with both programs all the time. 

 <[The King] JOHN.KING.T> I must go and buy it First Thing on Friday. 

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Phil, how memory intensive is Spelling Sentry? What is
 the minimum memory setup?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Spelling Sentry is designed to adapt to the memory you
 have available. You control how much memory is allocated to it.  The more
 you assign, the faster it runs, because it can keep more of the dictionary
 in memory where it can be searched quickly. The base accessory needs about
 98K. Another 20K is needed for various internal purposes. A minimum of 35K
 is needed for the dictionary and its index, bringing the minimum total to
 153K.  With this allocation, Spelling Sentry is going to be hitting the
 disk pretty heavily -- especially noticeable if you use it with a floppy. 

 If you allocate 340K, Spelling Sentry will be able to keep the entire
 dictionary in memory, so it will run at top speed. I have Spelling Sentry
 set up to use 100K on my  machine.

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> OK, your turn for a question John too. 

 <[John too] J.G.H.> Spelling Sentry works with all term programs to date?
 And how is the speed (not that I am a 100 wpm typer)? 

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> It works with GEM programs and DAs. Term programs that
 are TOS or TTP won't work with Spelling Sentry. As far as speed goes, I
 find it's barely noticeable.  People who see it demo'd at shows comment on
 its speed. But again, speed is dependent on memory configuration.

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> OK, your turn for another question Lyre. Keep them
 coming people!

 <LYRE> Their were a few other products listed on the RTC Announcement. 
 These were Tree Saver, Beategger (besides the Midi ones that is).  Could
 you tell me more about these programs?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Sure. TreeSaver is a printing program that saves paper
 by using the space available on each page efficiently. It uses your
 printer's small fonts to print 2 full 80-column pages on each side of each
 sheet of paper. Beat Egger is an entry-level drum machine program.

 <LYRE> OK, going back to Grammar Expert, what is the price of the program?
 And Tree Saver? (Both of which I could use!) <LYRE>

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Grammar Expert is $59.95. TreeSaver is $24.95.

 <LYRE> Thanks Phil! I'm done.

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Thanks, Lyre. How does Spelling Sentry compare to
 THUNDER and similar products on the IBM/Mac?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Well, I'm not sure how it compares with spelling
 checkers on other platforms.  Let's say I'd be surprised if they had
 features Spelling Sentry lacks.

 THUNDER was a great program in its time, but I think Spelling Sentry is
 superior to THUNDER in just about every way.  Spelling Sentry has a larger
 dictionary, yet it's faster and doesn't bog down your system.  It also has
 an abbreviation feature  -- worth the price of Spelling Sentry alone --
 which THUNDER doesn't have.  But probably the most significant thing
 Spelling Sentry has over THUNDER is that Spelling Sentry is still
 supported.  Spelling Sentry works with Atari's new computers, new TOS
 versions, and new monitors. That's important for people who are
 considering upgrading their computers.  

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> So Spelling Sentry is a lot faster with the more
 memory you allot, right? What about version 1.10? Will there be any speed

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> No, version 1.10 won't be faster that 1.10. We worked on
 responding to user comments for this new version. But we are working on a
 way of making the dictionary both smaller and faster.  That will probably
 appear in an interim release...maybe 1.11 or 1.12. 

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> As a owner of Spelling Sentry, I would like to know
 what is changed in the new version of Spelling Sentry?

  <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Here's an overview of the new features:

      - Clicking on Spelling Sentry's entry in the Desk menu now makes
 Spelling Sentry's window active. If you use Spelling Sentry with a program
 that hogs the entire screen, or you just like to keep your open windows as
 large as possible, you can now easily bring Spelling Sentry's window to
 the front.

      - We've added several features to make the correct-word dialog easier
 to use. First, you can now replace the misspelled word with an alternate
 by double- clicking on the alternative word. Second, the Replace button is
 now the default. Once you've selected an alternative word, you can just
 tap the Return key to replace it. Third, double-clicking on the "Add to
 user dictionary" button now closes the correct-word dialog.  

      - Some new features make abbreviations more powerful. You can now
 turn off case sensitivity, so Spelling Sentry will recognize "WSI" and
  "wsi" as the same abbreviation.  You can also tell Spelling Sentry to
 capitalize the first letter of an expansion if the first letter of an
 abbreviation is capitalized -- Spelling Sentry would expand "btw" as "by
 the way" and "Btw" as "By the way". You can now easily make an 
 abbreviation possessive by adding 's to the end. For example, Spelling
 Sentry would expand  "WS's" as "Wintertree Software's." And finally, you
 can now print your abbreviation file from Spelling Sentry.

 The good news for Spelling Sentry owners is that this upgrade is free!
 We'll be uploading a patch to version 1.00 on GEnie. Anyone who doesn't
 have access to a modem can send their disk in to us and we'll do the
 upgrade for a $3.00 S/H charge.

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Do you know when the patch will be ready?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> We expect to upload a patch to GEnie this weekend. 
 We'll probably do the patch in "SuperZap" format.

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Thank Phil.  You are next for a question Lyre.

 <LYRE> Phil, I've been considering getting an SST or Turbo board, will
 these affect your programs adversely?  (I assume that they will of course
 speed them up.)

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Should be no problem. We tried Spelling Sentry on Jim
 Allen's board at the WAACE show in October.

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Do you have another, Lyre?

  <LYRE> This is a shot in the dark, but what about the Falcon?  Do they
 currently work with it or will that be in a future upgrade?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> That I honestly don't know. As soon as I get a chance, I
 plan to test. But like I said earlier...we are still supporting our
 products. If there's an incompatibility problem, we'll fix it! 

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> OK, your turn for a question Anna.

 <[Anna @ AtaAd] A.MASON4> Is SS compatible with MultiDesk Deluxe?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Yes, I use it with MultiDesk Deluxe personally, and I
 know many users do as well. You have to make Spelling Sentry a resident DA
 for it to work properly.

 <[Anna @ AtaAd] A.MASON4> Will have to ad it to my Xmas list!

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> It works great with MDD, for me!

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> I'll get one ready for Santa to pick up <grin>.

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Phil, how about doing the door prize for these anxious

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Okay. The first person to state the price of TreeSaver

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> We will be in frenzy mode, NOW!!!!

 <[Anna @ AtaAd] A.MASON4> 24.95

 <[Kevin] K.KOZORIZ> 2495

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Well, that was real close..However, Anna was just a
 second quicker. Sorry, Kevin. You almost made it.

 <[Anna @ AtaAd] A.MASON4> Thanks Phil....I never win anything!

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Kevin, you have a question?

 <[Kevin] K.KOZORIZ> What is the latest version of GramSlam? I have version
 3.00 and I am wondering what has changed in the new version.

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Kevin, GramSlam is now at 3.32. A lot has changed since

 <[Kevin] K.KOZORIZ> Any general specifics :) Speed, etc. How do I upgrade?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Here's a quote from the newsletter:

      Better document statistics; new overall-style score; progress
      thermometer shows what portion of your document has been checked;
      faster booting; faster checking; better tests for British vs. 
      American spelling; better handling of word-processor documents

 <[Kevin] K.KOZORIZ>How do I get the newsletter?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST>To upgrade, send your original disk and $8.00. To get the
 newsletter, just register! 

 <[Kevin] K.KOZORIZ> Thanks, that's all.

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Go again Lyre [grin].

 <LYRE> Phil, in a number of the RT's I frequent, unique words are
 utilized.  How will Spelling Sentry make me aware that these words are not
 a part of it's dictionary?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> When Spelling Sentry encounters a word that's not in its
 dictionary (i.e., is probably misspelled), it signals you by sounding a
 tone and flashing the screen. The signal is configurable, by the way. You
 can add these unusual words to Spelling Sentry's dictionary so it will
 know them next time.

 <LYRE> Configurable?  I can have either the beep or the flash?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> You can have the beep, flash, or both.  The pitch of the
 tone is configurable too.

 <Lyre> OK, maybe one more - if you don't mind? Is their a limit to the
 number of user entries in the dictionary?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> The only limit is memory, and memory is configurable.  I
 have 200-300 in mine with no problem.

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Since there isn't a rush for more questions, I will
 ask the last few!! Phil, you have been programming on the Atari for
 awhile.  What is your vision of the future of Atari ST(E)/ Falcon? Also,
 what is the future of WINTERTREE and the ATARI? In particular, what is
 coming up for WSI in '93?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> I think the future *is* the Falcon. I saw the demo at
 WAACE and came away very impressed. This is a world-class machine with an
 excellent price. But it takes more than technical superiority to make a
 machine successful -- it takes good marketing. Everyone is hoping Atari
 doesn't drop the ball on this one.

 We have upgrades planned for GramSlam and Grammar Expert.  I don't like to
 talk about new features until they're written and tested, but I think we 
 have a workable design for a change to GramSlam that would allow users to
 edit their documents.  People have been asking for this feature since
 GramSlam was released 2 1/2 years ago. For various reasons, document
 editing within GramSlam is extremely complex.  But like I said, so far,
 this exists only on paper!

 I've been doing all sorts of research to come up with new grammar
 information for both GramSlam and  Grammar Expert. The big problem is
 finding time to pound all this stuff into the keyboard. 

 Like many Atari developers, we are also trying to break into the Microsoft
 Windows market. We have a version of GramSlam for MS-DOS called WStyle;
 I'm working on porting that to Windows now. One day Grammar Expert and
 Spelling Sentry will follow. This doesn't mean we're giving up the Atari
 market, btw.

 People have asked us about developing a thesaurus accessory for the ST. 
 We've been looking into various synonym lists available for licencing.  If
 we find one that's suitable, a thesaurus DA might be a reality one day. 
 Maybe "Synonym Sentry" would be a good name!

  <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> We're drawing to a close for the formal portion of
 the  WINTERTREE RTC.  Before I put the room into Frenzy Mode, do you have
 any closing words, Phil?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Just thanks to everyone who attended, thanks to our
 customers, and especially Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends. 

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> I wish to thank you Phil Comeau for making it here
 tonight.  I also wish to thank all the attendees for their questions and
 patience.  In frenzy mode!
                               End of Formal RTC


 <LYRE> Phil, you probably answered this, but what is the price of Spelling

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Lyre: Spelling Sentry lists for $59.95.

 <M.HILL13> I just got my Wintertree news. The order form says $4.00
 shipping.  And the newsletter says $3 for upgrading Sentry. Which is it?

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> M.HILL13: We made an error, so we'll accept the lower

 <M.HILL13> Phil, $3 or $4 is fine with me.  I just wanted to check to be

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Brian, I have a question for you: why do you use the
 abbreviation feature in Spelling Sentry with Abbreviator ST? 

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> OK, this wasn't clear in the RTC. I use it so I can
 have large Abbreviations 

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Ahhhh.

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> without chaining. Also, only the new Spelling Sentry
 have the capital feature. But Phil, you know if it was a choice your
 product would have to be used!

 <[John] J.EIDSVOOG1> Phil, is there a hot-key for turning background
 checking on/off? 

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> John...yes. The default is Alt/B. It's configurable. 
 Brian: No sweat. I wish Spelling Sentry had longer abbrevs too.

 <[Phil] ST-GUEST> Brian...what happens if they both try to expand the same

 <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Phil, I do get the alarm when Abbreviator is expanded
 and the one time they both had the same abbreviation one overwrote the

 Be sure to stop by Friday 27 November for our next RTC with Bob Brodie
 for a closer look at COMDEX. Your host will be Lou Rocha See you then.

 -------------------------------------------------------------------- ----

   * GramSlam Grammar and Writing Style Checker
   * Grammar Expert -- an on-line reference and tutor for the rules of
     English grammar, punctuation, and effective writing
   * Spelling Sentry -- an on-line, real-time spelling checker

 MIDI-related tools --
   * MidiMagnet -- captures MIDI events from other programs and saves
     them in standard-MIDI file format
   * MIDIX32 -- Plays and converts standard MIDI files using the
     built-in sound chip
   * BeatEgger -- An entry-level drum machine

 And finally
   * TreeSaver -- A printing program for ASCII files that saves paper
     by efficiently using the space available on each page

 (C) 1992 by Atari Corporation, GEnie, and the Atari Roundtables.  May be
  reprinted only with this notice intact.  The Atari Roundtables on GEnie
 are *official* information services of Atari Corporation.  To sign up for
 GEnie service; Set your communications software to Half Duplex (or Local
 Echo) Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369  Upon connection, type HHH (RETURN)
    Wait for the U#= prompt.  Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN.

 > FONT NUMBERS STR InfoFile            Helpful Reference Numbers

                           FONT NUMBER REFERENCE

 by Bernie LaGrave
    [B.LAGRAVE1 on GEnie]

      Over the past several months several people have been converting font
 from Calamus to PageStream format. I would like to thank both the original
 creators of these fine fonts and the people who "Fontverted" them. After
 some "touching-up" these fonts have proved to be very useable.

      One of the potential problems with fonts that are put into Public
 Domain is the fact that many are not registered with SoftLogik. Although
 the numbers that were arbitrarly assigned to these converted fonts do not
 (to my knowledge) conflict with any current fonts, as SL assigns more
 numbers, it is only a matter of time before conflicts happen.

      Therefore, I have taken the liberty to ask for font numbers for the
 PD fonts listed below. Getting a registration number is very easy... just
 call SoftLogik at (314)894-0431 and ask for one to be assigned. Usually it
 will be assigned "on the spot".  You can also call SL's BBS (314)894-0057
 and leave E-mail for Cheryl (Tech Support), user #11.

           Font Name                PD No.    Reg No.
 ---------------------------------  -----     -----
 Advertising PD                     7111      7045
 Barnum PD                          8888      7055
 BurlOblique PD                     2223      7065
 Calligraphy2 PD                    3066      3005
 Celtic PD                          9600      7075
 Chancery PD                        7777      7085
 Chicago PD                         ????      7095
 Dingbats PD                        4444      7105
 Flash PD                           9876      3015
 Harlow PD                          1111      7115
 Olympia PD                         1074      1005
 Souvenier Medium PD                5075      5035
 Souvenier Medium Ital. PD          5076      5045
 Western PD                         7035      4005

      Some of the above are available in the SoftLogik RT; the rest are
 available in the Atari RT (goto Page 475/476). If you wish to avoid font
 conflicts, change the font numbers in your files.  It's a simple process. 
 You do need access to an Atari, however. Use the PD PageStream Font
 Editor, which is available on GEnie and "fine BBS' around the world". Load
 in the font you wish to renumber. Go to the drop-down "Set" menu. Select
 the correct file type. Click on the the font number entry. Begin typing.
 The old number will disappear and will be replaced with the new number.
 Click "OK" in the bottom left box. Be sure to "Save" your file. Also, be
 sure to renumber all three file types (bit-mapped .12H, metrics .FM and
 outline .DMF) and four files if you have created postscript (.PSF). You
 have to do this using the old font conversion utility which is also
 available in this RT.

      That's all there is to it. If you have questions, you can leave them
 in the SoftLogik RT message area, Category 1, Topic 3 (Fonts).


 > ATARI IS DEAD? STR FOCUS!          One user lets it all hang out!

                              ATARI IS DEAD?

 by Tim Holt

     Atari is dead.  To the surprise of very few, the Atari computer
 company, as a viable alternative to the Macintosh and IBM/MS-Dos died in
 it's sleep last night.  A few relatives were at the company's side the
 night it passed away, but many former friends were no where to be seen,
 when the venerable old man passed. Authorities say the cause of death
 appears to be "natural causes", but close friends have repeated stories of
 depression, dementia, and general failing of health in the last few years
 of life.  Atari is preceded in death by it's brother the Osborne, the
 Commodore Amiga, the Timex Sinclair, and a host of other "first of their
 kind" computers that captured the attention of the computing public for a
 short period of time, but were unable to generate interest outside a few
 die hard users.  Funeral services are pending, as no one has stepped
 forward to claim the company as their own. 1972-1992.  Rest in peace. 

 Those are hard words to write for me.  I have lived, breathed, and worked
 on Atari computers for most of my "computer life", but I think that it is
 time we as a computer group finally make the hard choice and proclaim the
 computer dead.  We must now get on with our computer lives.  We can always
 have a place in our hearts and memories for our "first love", but times
 change, the world changes, and, as Darwin pointed out, those that cannot
 adapt will eventually die.  Atari is dead.  For those that still doubt,
 what can I offer as evidence?  Here is the evidence that rigor has set-in
 on the body:  

 A   Who writes programs for your computer?  Does Microsoft write for
     Atari?  Does WordPerfect?  How many major applications on the
     Macintosh or MS DOS line actually make it to the Atari?  Very few. 
     Granted, the people that have stuck with the Atari line are VERY
     faithful, and the products they produce are very good, but having
     WordPerfect in your corner is like having Evander Holifield fight
     instead of Leon Spinks.  It's nice to have lot's of Leon's, and they
     are all very nice, but we have needed a real contender for a long
     time, and we simply do not have one.  No one writes for us. 
     WordPerfect said it best: "It doesn't sell, so why bother with it?" 
     No one of real power in the computer world takes us seriously.  Sure,
     you can import this text and that spreadsheet, to the Atari, but why
     did we always have to do that?  Because the programs that were written
     always were made to catch up to the rest of the computer world.  Atari
     started fast, but lost the race.  The computer is dead. 

 B   The Atari is still, after seven years, not taken seriously in the
     computing world and the business world.  When you buy a computer, you
     aren't just buying a bunch of hardware and software.  You are buying a
     way of doing something.  Buy a PC and learn how to use 1-2-3, and you
     now have a marketable job skill that many companies in the world will
     value.  Learn to use an ATARI spreadsheet, no matter how powerful and
     user friendly, and you have no skill that is accepted in the market. 
     You are no longer as experienced as those with Mac and PC experience,
     no matter how long you work on an Atari.  There is no MS WORD, no
     Pagemaker, no 1-2-3, no Excel for the Atari.  There is no Grolier's
     Encyclopedia, there is no Carmen San Diego, no MS Works.  Walk into B.
     Dalton Bookseller and see hundreds of Mac and MS Dos titles.  You will
     not find ONE Atari title.  NOT ONE.  Look for Atari in Computer
     Shopper, BYTE, or any other general computing magazine.  Atari is no
     where to be found.  B. Dalton and other computer publishers know that
     the Atari is dead.

 C   Adapt or Die.  Atari failed to adapt to it's niche role as a home
     computer.  Instead, through bumbling and fumbling, the computer went
     through a series of personality changes, from home computer, to
     business computer, to DTP computer, to Midi computer, and back to home
     computer, and now "multi-media" computer.  Like a lost dog that never
     could find it's way home, Atari wandered aimlessly for years.  Now, it
     has been picked up by the dog catcher, and gassed at the pound.  Who
     let the dog out in the first place?  Who cares.  Hind sight is 20-20. 
     The dog is dead.  Atari is dead.

 D   Failure to keep it's name in the public eye.  There is not one user
     out there, with the possible exception of a Bob Brodie, that will say
     that Atari has done a good job promoting it's product.  NOT ONE!  How
     many YEARS have we been screaming for advertising?  How many YEARS
     have we been pleading for this company to promote??  How many YEARS
     have we been saying "Well, next year will be the year of Atari?"  When
     I first read that statement in STReport, it was 1987.  FIVE years ago! 
     No ad campaign, no public relations worth a plug nickel (Oh, I forgot
     the PORTFOLIO was in a movie...oooooooh), and what little print ads
     there are have been placed in Atari magazines.  Atari could be selling
     alien technology out of Star Trek, but no one would pay attention,
     because no one knows Atari exists. Well, frankly, I have had enough. 
     I don't care if tomorrow is the start of the "Year of Atari".  It has
     become a bad joke.  There will be no "Year of Atari" because the Atari
     is dead.

 E   How does the computer performs on the stock market?  Atari stock has
     hovered right near 1 5/8 per share for the better part of three years. 
     It actually went up around 3 dollars a share about the time Atari
     introduced the TT, but when investors saw that the TT was actually
     just an ST with muscles, back it slipped.  Investors long ago have
     realized that the company and hence the computer was dead, it is time
     we do so as well.  Why haven't investors started buying Atari, now
     that the new "generation" has been introduced?  Because investors go
     by track record.  Atari has the track record of a company that is
     dead.  The stock of Atari's, when fully graphed out over a period of
     three years, looks very much like the straight line that a heart makes
     when it has stopped functioning.  "Flat line" is what they call it in
     the medical field.  It is time to take the patient off the artificial
     respirator.  Even the best doctors know when the patient has died. 
     Atari has died. 

     Now I realize that this article will make a few of you angry or even
 mad. And it should.  ATARI IS DEAD.  But please don't kill the messenger. 
 Can you really look at your computer, and say "This format will be alive
 and healthy in 5 years."  No, you cannot.  Not if you are being honest. 
 Now, can you look at the MS DOS format and say "This format will be alive
 and healthy in five years?"  Yes you can.  Same for Mac.  Perhaps not as
 robust as they are now, but they will be around.  Atari will not, because
 Atari is dead.  

     We will still use the darn things, and since we are so loyal (or just
 stupid?), we will use them until the circuits have been fried, and the
 monitors are out of focus.  But we should not expect anything exciting to
 come our way.  An occasional program, and an upgrade, but nothing worthy
 of note.  Sure, the Falcon will cause a ruckus for a few months, but it
 will fade, just like the STACY faded, just like the TT faded, just like
 MEGA faded, just like the MEGA STE faded.  They all faded because ATARI is

     Only Atari users will buy new Atari products.  And our numbers grow
 smaller and smaller each year.  (Try to find a user group with more than
 25 members.  There are not that many around anymore.  Five years ago,
 there were bunches.)  Atari Interface Magazine, a magazine MADE UP OF
 USERGROUPS, is on the hurting, because the number of subscribers, and
 advertisers has dwindled to almost nothing.  That does not happen to a
 computer group where the computers in use are a viable entity.  Our
 numbers continuously dwindle because ATARI IS ALL BUT DEAD. 

     Sorry to see you go old friend.  But I won't cry. I have been
 expecting it for too long, and actually suspected it years ago.  I guess I
 have just been going through denial.  But now I see that you are dead.  It
 is time to bury the corpse.  Rest in peace old friend.  Rest in peace.   




 23 Nov 92 LAW

 [Reprinted  without  permission, under the "reasonable use"
 interpretation of the 1976 Copyright Act. - John J. Amsler]

 by Paul M. Barrett, Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

     WASHINGTON -- Atari Corp. won a critical legal victory in its 
 long-running battle to obtain a copyright for its Breakout  video 

     The  U.S.  Court  of  Appeals for the  District  of  Columbia 
 Circuit  reversed a trial judge's ruling against Atari  and  said 
 the  Copyright Office had lacked a "rational basis" for  refusing 
 to  issue a copyright for the game to Atari,  which is  based  in 
 Sunnyvale,   Calif.    The   ruling  was  based  on   a   liberal 
 interpretation  of the federal copyright law that  could  benefit 
 other makers of video games and audio-visual products generally.

     Applying  a 1991 Supreme Court decision intended  to  clarify 
 copyright  standards,  the appellate court said that an  original 
 work  need only reflect a modest degree of creativity to  qualify 
 for  legal  protection.   "The requisite level of  creativity  is 
 extremely low; even a slight amount will suffice," the high court 
 said in the 1991 decision.  The owner of a copyright may prohibit 
 others  from imitating his work or may charge royalties for  such 

     Breakout is a relatively early and rudimentary video game  in 
 which the players move paddles on a screen to hit a ball  against 
 a  wall.   In its most recent refusal to register the  game,  the 
 Copyright  Office  described its elements  as  "simple  geometric 
 shapes and coloring" which "per se are not copyrightable."

     The  Appeals Court said that this rejection  trivialized  the 
 selection and arrangements of the elements.   The court  stressed 
 that the ball is in fact square,  the paddles shrink as the  game 
 progresses and that various sounds accompnay the ball's bounces.

     "It  is  not  the  [Copyright Office's]  task  to  shape  the 
 protection threshold or ratchet it up beyond the minimal creative 
 spark  required by the Copyright Act and the  Constitution,"  the 
 court  said.   Noting  that all video  games  aren't  necessarily 
 worthy of protection against imitation,  the court sent the Atari 
 matter back to the Copyright Office for further clarification.


 > FONTVERTER! STR Review                In-depth review of FONTVERTER


 Reviewed by Doyle Helms
 Software Editor @ STReport

      In today's DTP world there are many formats of pictures/clip art for
 inclusion into your work.  The Atari ST/e/TT is capable of using most if
 not all of them into the two major DTP applications, Calamus and
 PageSTream.  If by chance you encounter a clip art file that is not
 importable into your DTP program, then there is more than likely a program
 that will convert the format to allow it to be in a compatible format.

      The same could not always be said of the fonts for these two
 outstanding software packages.  If you used Calamus then you used a
 Calamus format font period. Conversion from another font format to Calamus
 format was not always possible and when it was so, it was quite difficult.
 With PageSTream 1.8 and up to the present version of 2.2, PGS allowed the
 use of not only its native (DMF,FM) font format but also the user is
 capable of using Postscript Type 1 fonts straight out the box.  The
 Postscript fonts are of high quality outline fonts that are as good as any
 of the native CFN(Calamus) and PGS fonts.  One drawback to using the Type
 1 fonts is that a majority of them do not have a screen bit mapped font
 included.  This screen bitmap font file allows for higher quality on
 screen rendition of the font.  The page/screen redraws are MUCH faster
 while in PGS if you have the bitmap font(ABF).  The same can be said about
 PageSTream and its native font format.  The user is not required to have
 the screen bitmap font file when using either Type 1 or PageSTream.
 Calamus does not use or really need screen fonts.

      Lets look at some of the benefits of converting fonts from 
 one format to another.

      I have found for the most part that total file size of a Type 1 font
 is greater than its PageSTream counterpart.  I do not know of a
 application for the ST/TT that will allow for the editing of a Postscript
 Type 1 font. So if you encounter a Type 1 font that the kerning is not
 quite right or some other cosmetic appearance is not quite to your liking
 you a stuck with it.  If you can convert the Type 1 font over to
 PageSTream then you are allowed easy manipulation of the font and its
 detail.  The same can be said of a Calamus font vice the Type 1.  If you
 are lucky enough to have both Calamus and PageSTream, then you can have
 identical fonts in both formats!  What?  Doesn't that increase disk space
 needed to hold these "duplicate" fonts?  Yes I'm afraid it does.  IF
 SoftLogik and DMC could compromise on a font format then the user would
 benefit greatly.  If Calamus could use Type 1 fonts then the user could
 convert all of his/her fonts to Type 1 for both programs.  No duplicity. 
 I realize I'm getting a little long winded in this but I promise it will
 lead up to a point shortly.

      The POINT.

      The point of the matter is that there is a program package available
 NOW that will allow the easy conversion from Type 1 to PageSTream or to
 Calamus.  From Calamus to PageSTream or PageSTream to Calamus.  This font
 conversion package of which I speak is produced by MEGATYPE Software. 
 This conversion application is not ALL-IN-ONE, but it comes in several
 smaller programs, each handling a different aspect of the conversion
 Quickie Run Through...

      Let's convert a Type 1 font over to Calamus and also to PageSTream.
 First of all the user will execute the Type 1 Converter program.  This
 brings up a Fileselector asking for the Type 1 PFB file name.  Once that
 is entered, the program then checks the font for it being either a IBM
 compatible type or Mac Type 1. If it is determined to be a Mac format
 then the user must exit Type 1 Converter and process the font file through
 the MAC to IBM program.  Now back to the Type 1 Converter, if the file
 checks out OK then the file is saved to an ECF format file.  The user is
 given the option of viewing the font as it is converted.  If you choose
 YES on the view conversion dialog you will see each character as it will
 appear.  The viewing option is great IF you have confidence in the font
 integrity.  Some fonts seem to be screwy with some character displays.  I
 have found this problem with only 5% of the fonts I have converted.  If
 you do choose the option of not to view the font conversion, the process
 is much faster.  After the file is saved, the user is queried as to
 whether to convert another Type 1 font. I convert 5-10 fonts on average in
 this manner before moving on to the next step. 

      The next step involves running a program that will read the AFM Type
 1 file (if the Type 1 font  has one, not all do) to gather information
 concerning the kerning pairs and character widths.  This program then
 includes the font data into the ECF file and is now ready for conversion.
 the user now executes the Fontverter program.  From within Fontverter the
 user can convert from ECF to DMF/FM(PageSTream) or to CFN(Calamus).  The
 user can also convert from Calamus to PageSTream and vice versa.

      Fontverter allows for "Batch" file conversions. the user can "tag" a
 file in the file window or select "TAG" from the choices and tag all in
 mass.  The user selects the file(s) to convert and selects the conversion
 button.  The process begins.  The file is displayed as it is converted and
 then saved upon completion in the format the user chose.  The "SHOW"
 conversion is also an option here, personally I like to watch for any
 garbage characters.  Lastly, the user is prompted for the style to save
 the file in such as Italic, Bold and etc.  Upon selection of this option
 the file in saved and almost ready for use.  The reason I say "almost", is
 that the PageSTream font really needs the screen bitmap font.  Remember it
 is not required, but highly recommended.  This last conversion process
 involves exiting Fontverter and executing a DMF to ??H program.  The ??H
 file is the screen bitmap font.  This file is normally rendered in 12,18
 and 24 heights.  These numbers represent the on screen POINT size.  Upon
 executing the DMF->??H program the user is presented with a dialog box
 asking for either Batch or Single conversion.  After selection of batch or
 single the user is again queried as to the point size of 12, 18 or user
 entered amount.  I personally use 12,18 and 24 sizes.  Once size is
 selected the program then processes the file(s) and produces the
 appropriate file to the user defined path.

      That about covers the Type 1 to PageSTream conversion.  The Type 1 to
 Calamus is similar to the PGS conversion up to the ECF file creation.
 After the ECF file is created, the user simply selects ECF in the "From"
 menu and CFN in the "To" menu in Fonverter.  The file is read in and a CFN
 Calamus format font file is produced ready for use.  If the user has some
 PageSTream fonts they wish to have in Calamus format, then Fonverter is
 used to convert them very quickly with only a couple of mouse clicks.


      I My Opinion the fonverter package is well executed and for the most
 part relatively free of any major obstacles.  The one "bug" I found is in
 batch processing of the DMF->??H files.  If I convert these files
 singularly there is no problem.  If I choose BATCH, the program seems to
 execute fine but the rendered ??H files are not representational of the
 original file.  I would also like to see ALL the feature of the various
 programs implemented into ONE program.  I would like to be able to convert
 from the Atari formats to the Type 1 format also.

 Closing Arguments--

      I will recommend this program package to anyone needing to convert
 font files from one program format to another.  Barring the BATCH process
 problem, the programs included here are solid and they render fonts
 indistinguishable from the original.  Included in this package is a
 program that will allow conversion of fonts to GDOS format.  I have not
 had the "pleasure" of trying out this program but I will present a look
 over at a later date if anyone is interested.  Be sure to check out the
 ISD font examples on GEnie (M475;3) and also the MANY Calamus and Type 1
 fonts available in the ST-RT on GEnie.  SoftLogik also has a RT on GEnie
 that will assist anyone with PageSTream fonts.  Contact DFTURNOCK on GEnie
 concerning the FontVerter package.   

                              FontVerter 2.10
                             MegaType Software
                               P.O. Box 645
                           Southbend, IN. 46624
                              (219) 288-7468
                             DFTURNOCK (GEnie)


 > STReport CONFIDENTIAL "Rumors Tidbits Predictions Observations Tips"

 - Sunnyvale, CA                  THE MIGHTY CRYSTAL BALL IS BACK!

     Seems the Crystal Ball is glowing white hot again... and in the middle
 of the rumor box in the ball are the words COMB LIQUIDATORS.  Seems there
 was a rumored surplus of Portfolios so....   well we all know what Comb
 does best...

 - Houston Tx                        DOUBLE CLICK TO CALL IT A DAY!

   From GEnie's ST RT

 Category 30,  Topic 9
 Message 29        Thu Nov 26, 1992
 L.MCCLURE                    at 16:51 EST
 So, how many folks out there have received their November 1992 issue of
 "Atari Advantage"? If you have, and you have not taken note of what  is on
 the left side of page 9, do so NOW.

 Here's a summary for those who don't subscribe: According to the sidebar,
 DC is shutting down. That's the bad news. The good news is that the
 programs will be released for free distribution. (Hey, I'll finally be
 able to get upgrade my DC Desktop)! <grin>

 I just wonder if the source code will be included. (That would seem to  be
 asking a bit much, though).

 BTW, Storm *will* be brought out by Advantage Software, on schedule. (This
 is noted both in the sidebar article, and more subtly in the ad  for Storm
 on page 25).

 I would say this is a nice thing Mike is doing...after all, he could  have
 either sold all the programs to another company, or simply  folded tent
 and disappeared. Releasing the programs for free is a nice  touch,
 especially for those of us who do not own all of them yet! <grin>

 Category 30,  Topic 9 
 Message 30        Fri Nov 27, 1992
 K.GERDES [TraceTech]         at 12:38 EST

 Looking out for myself, I just want to make a minor clarification to your
 post in regards to "the (DC) programs will be released for free
 distribution", and hopefully head off any misinterpretation.

 Data Diet v1 was originally distributed by Double Click but the DD
 distribution rights were transferred to me/Trace Technologies recently. 
 All programs in the Data Diet package (including Squish) will _NOT_ be
 part of DC's plans.....whatever they may turn out to be.

                                        - Keith [TraceTech]

     For the record, STReport was well aware of the foregoing information
 well over three weeks ago.  But... in accommodating Mr. Vederman's request
 that we wait for a formal release announcing the developments and plans,
 we withheld releasing the story until now as we see its already been done
 elsewhere.  Unfortunately, its sad to see such things happening but then
 it too, is a sign of the times.

 - Houston, TX                               NEW KID ON THE BLOCK!

     National Videotext Network (NVN) has recently added an Atari ST Forum
 to it's growing lists of available services.  The Atari ST Forum is going
 through its final "construction" phases and will be available to NVN
 members by mid-December 1992.

     U.S. Videotel, founded in 1986, is an electronic information and
 interactive services provider. The U.S. Videotel Network launched in March
 of 1989, and provided electronic information services to the Texas market.

     In the fall of 1991, the National Videotex Network Corp. (NVN) and
 U.S. Videotel Inc. (USV) announced the formation of an alliance, as a
 result of the purchase by USV's parent company of the majority of NVN
 stock. This venture allowed the nationwide launch of the National Videotex
 Network, which provides on-line data and information exchange services.
 The national launch for NVN began on May 1, 1992.

     The future of NVN will be one which continues to remain sensitive and
 responsive to market needs. Additional services and advances in electronic
 information will continue to be added, to provide unique and interesting
 services on an on-going basis.

     NVN service offerings can be broken into three categories:  Basic,
 Premium, and Premium Plus.

 Basic Services
     Most of the Basic services are available 24 hours a day with no
 connect time charges beyond the basic membership fee. However, a select
 group have functions for which transaction fees are charged. Basic
 services are accessible through a flat rate charge of $5.95 per month.

 Premium Services
     For Premium services, Members pay connect charges for the amount of
 time spent in a particular service. Premium services are accessible Monday
 through Friday for a connect time charge of $9.00/hour from 8 am to 6 pm,
 and $6.00/hour from 6 pm to 8 am; and on Saturday and Sunday for a connect
 time charge of $6.00 all day (6 pm Friday til 8 am Monday), central time

 Premium Plus Services
     Premium Plus services are subject to the same type of connect time
 charge as Premium services. However, a surcharge is also added to the
 connect time for these services.

     You can join NVN one of two ways.  By voice phone 1-800-336-9096
 (Client Services) or via modem phone 1-800-336-9092.  You will be issued
 an Account # (usually within 24 hours) and will be allowed to access
 National Videotex Network.

     The NVN Atari ST Forum will provide a meeting place for members with
 common interests to exchange ideas, ask questions and share information. 
 The Atari ST Forum is designed to accomodate person-to-person message
 interchange, uploading/downloading of data files, "live" talks with guest
 experts, and much more.  The Atari ST Forum is waiting for you!


     Today, 11/27/92, Ron Luks, contract holder for the Atari Areas on CIS,
 made the following announcement:  I'm pleased to announce that the job of
 MIDI/Music sysop has been filled by Brad Hill.  Brad will begin his duties
 immediately following this holiday weekend.  Until he starts using his new
 Sysop ID, you may reach him at 75720,540.  Please help the rest of the
 staff in welcoming Brad to our team.

                                                  Ron Luks
                                        Manager, CIS Atari Forums


     Rumor has it that Jenkins' Computer Store in El Paso Texas, one of the
 nation's ORIGINAL Atari computer dealer/service center is rumored to have
 decided to NOT be picking up the Falcon line of computers, and will be
 involved in closing out their remaining inventory of Atari hardware and
 software before the end of 1992.  Jenkins' reasons are, of course, money.
 With 95% of their sales now devoted to MS DOS clones, they apparently see
 no reason to continue stocking computers that in their words "simply don't
 sell".  The failure on Atari's part to supply Falcons for the Christmas
 Sales Holiday was reportedly cited as the "last straw".

 - New York City, NY                 SPORTSER & DUAL STANDARD 16.8

 According to our informed sources, your SPORTSTER can become a "USR
 Courier 16800 HST Dual Standard" modem!  The Dual's functions are disabled
 during the Sportster's normal use.  By changing two instructions in the
 modems register, it will switch over to the "dual standard mode" until you
 remove power from your modem.  Simply include the following instructions
 in your init string or enter it manually in terminal mode:
 ATGW03c6,22 - ATGW05cd,2f


 > STR Mail Call             "...a place for the readers to be heard"

                            STReport's MailBag

                    Messages * NOT EDITED * for content

 From GEnie's ST RT

 Category 1,  Topic 20
 Message 17        Tue Nov 24, 1992
 DOUG.W [ICD RT]              at 08:22 EST
 [from Jeff Williams]

 Frank Bell, J.BRENNER1, Wayne Watson, Tom McComb, Oscar Steele, Anna
 Mason, John Morales:  Thank you.  Be sure that I'll be back ... maybe
 sooner than you think.  <smile>


 Jim Ness:  Thanks for the great lead!  South Beloit is just a mile or two
 away from where I live.  It would be nice to find something so close to

 I called Stan Owens and dropped off my resume at his office.  We'll see if
 anything comes of it.

 Thanks again!  I really appreciate it.


 John Trautschold:  Thanks for the kind words.  I'm happy that I was able
 to help smooth out your early days on GEnie and that a local boy (Chicago
 area) has ended up being a popular Atari developer.  I can say I knew you
 before you were rich and famous.  <smile>


 Darlah:  "You were one of the best."  Thank you.  But to put that into the
 proper perspective, I consider all the Atari ST Roundtable sysops to be
 "The Best."  So I am proud to have been in such august company.


 John King Tarpinian:  I am very fond of the RTCs due largely to all the
 folks like you and so many other folks that I've come to know so well
 through them.  It's been great for me.  Good luck and best success with
 future shows and user group events.


 Brain Harvey:  Thanks.  I feel much more comfortable about taking a leave
 knowing you and the other sysops are doing such a great job here.  Keep up
 the good work.


 Jason Saffer:  Thanks for the suggestion of the 12-step programs. Every
 time I look through a book store, I check out the psychology, self help,
 and recovery books and I find the 12-step program is being applied to many
 areas.  I used to attend some ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) meetings
 and I still have some of those books that detail their 12-step program.  I
 haven't looked at them for some time, but with your suggestion I'll dig
 them up and give them another look.  Thank you.


 Joe Meehan:  Thanks.  I appreciate the thought.  I used to work for a
 large corporation that had similar hiring/promotion policies so I
 understand.  In general, I feel it's a good policy for any business to
 encourage promotion from within the company whenever possible. It's good
 for the business and good for the employees.


 Jonesy:  Please give my best to the Michelle and all the other great
 folks at MilAtari.  I'm sure I'll be up Milwaukee-way one of these days
 to say "hi" and to see what you guys are up to.



 In the time since I started this topic, I've had a couple interesting and
 promising interviews.  One in particular is very exciting and I hope to
 hear from that employer within a few days, hopefully with good news. And
 even if it doesn't end up being the news I would like to hear, there will
 be other employers who are dying to find someone like me.  It's just a
 matter of keeping my momentum going, researching the local job market (I'm
 getting good at this ... I spend a good deal of time in the library each
 week), following the papers and other sources for opportunity, working the
 phone, keeping my spirits up, and work, work, work.

 I genuinely feel better now than I have in quite some time, I'm relieved
 to say.  I'll be visiting my brother, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew
 during the Christmas holiday, unless I find a job first <smile>.  In
 either event, it will make for a happy holiday season.

 My thanks to Doug Wheeler who has been supplying me with all your kind and
 thoughtful messages in this topic and the GEmail that many of you have
 sent.  Be assured that I am receiving your messages and I will reply ...
 even if it may take several days before I get back to you (I've been busy
 ... honest!)

                    Happy Thanksgiving!  See you around!

                                   - Jeff Williams


 About the Falcon....

 Category 14,  Topic 20
 Message 179       Sat Nov 21, 1992
 M.POCHE [Mick]               at 21:36 EST
 I agree with Graham @ Quay. Sure, the Falcon could be better, like
 everything else in the world, but compared to the ST/STE, the Falcon is a
 _major_ leap forward. Having seen a Falcon, and a mere glimpse of what it
 can do, I'm totally impressed.

 The techo-babble and spec numbers are all interesting and everything, but
 really don't mean squat as long as the computer does what you want it to
 do, the way you want to do it. That is exactly why I intend on buying one
 as soon as they are available. I've seen the graphics that the Falcon is
 capable of producing, and I was blown away!

 It seems to me that the people who have actually seen/used a Falcon are
 the ones who are impressed, while the people who have been doing all of
 the belly-aching haven't yet been lucky enough to see how well those poor
 specs are put to use.

 Just my thoughts, not flaming against anyone.

 - Mick


 Category 14,  Topic 20
 Message 180       Sat Nov 21, 1992
 J.TRAUTSCHOL [jtrautschold]  at 22:59 EST
 Exactly!  That's where ST, or Sixteen-Thirty Two, came from - it's an
 external 16-bit/internal 32-bit system.  The TT is a Thirty Two-Thirty Two
 because it supports a true 32 bit system both externally and internally.


 Category 14,  Topic 20
 Message 181       Sat Nov 21, 1992
 C.KLIMUSHYN [-Chuck-]        at 23:22 EST
 Ben, My reply to your post is over in "atari vs. other systems" Cat.18
 topic #22.

 Mick, No flame taken.  My gripe is with the dis-information that Atari
 chose not to correct.  It scares me that things are the same-old,
 same-old, despite time and money running out for Atari.

 Best Regards, -Chuck-


 Category 14,  Topic 20
 Message 182       Sun Nov 22, 1992
 M.POCHE [Mick]               at 05:06 EST
 Chuck -

 True. While I may think that the Falcon is a great computer, Atari Corp.
 itself needs some serious work. I am one of the optimists most of the
 time, but just how optimistic can one be when things are promised and not
 delivered on a regular basis? Fool me once, shame on Atari. Fool me twice,
 shame on me.

 Atari has gone bungee jumping, and the Falcon is their cord. It will
 either snap them back from the bottom, or bust right in the middle while
 we all watch them go SPLAT!

 The ground is coming up fast......

 - Mick


 Category 14,  Topic 20
 Message 23        Tue Nov 24, 1992
 J.RICHTER [J.RICHTER]        at 01:28 EST

 I'm back... and YOUR RIGHT!!! I was at Comdex and for (2)days I touched..
 I felt... I saw and HEARD the Falcon... GREAT sound, and compared to other
 systems (some with CHEAP 24bit cards) only AVERAGE video, color and
 resolutions were easily bettered on any number of surrounding systems
 (Although the Falcon outdid everything there with the in-a-window movie

 Most new PC's are based on the 486 running at 11mips (Twice that of the
 Falcon030) and some FAST video 16/24 bit cards. These NEW "Low End"
 systems are all 32bit systems ... say it slowly.. Thirty-Two bit MEMORY
 operations with Local Bus video...

 Quotes from Atari Falcon030 Specifications:

 System Architecture:

 Thats "SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE" not 68030 architecture!!!


 "BUS: 32-bit data, 32-bit address."

 Now wait-a-minute John Townsend: "It's a 16bit data bus, once and for all"
 Don't get me wrong, its a nice system with sound that can't be matched!
 but here are the real kickers in my opinion:

 1. Mushy 1040 keyboard! WHY oh WHY on a NEW system?? that one REALLY
    hurts.. sheesh my friends couldn't stop gigling!!

 2. The LOOK of Yesterdays HOME systems.. why oh why?? why put a
    quad-cam 93' Pontiac engine in a 69' Bonneville???

 3. $1400 for a (one piece 4meg, without monitor) home system?? with only
    16bit expansion capabilities???

 4. Muti-TOS GOOD but still not quite finished (looks to be a few
    months away to me).

 5. After watching the "mini-plug" in action i.e. slip..pop.. fall
    out..this machine deserves the RCA option (I agree with the BIRD)

 6. After watching the "AT emulation" at work.. hmmmmm Black and white
    Windows 3.1 only!! Not gonna do it, needs more work!

 NOTE: In the beginning we we ALL very excited about the Falcon.. Wow for
 once a true 32bit Atari with Awsome "True Color" video and DSP
 capabilities!! I was very enthused and PROUD that Atari took the risk and
 went ALL-THE-WAY!!!

 Whats needed:

 1. At least 640X480X16bits  with a real VGA/SVGA monitor. I'm sorry
    320X480 with Multi-Sync can't cut it in todays market!

 2. At least replace the 1040 keyboard with the "Mega" units!! even if
    they Have To use the 1040 case!

 3. A Real 32bit data/"Expansion Bus"

 4. If Atari GOES with this unit.. lower the price and issue ONLY the
    4meg unit with/HD for under $1000.. and release the REAL 040
    system!.. by Summer 93' lesser versions of the 040 will be Apples
    "MID LEVEL" systems anyway.

 This is NOT meant to be negative! The Falcon can do some GREAT things! but
 the little guy must execute all functions of the computer game BETTER than
 the big guy... Just to succeed!!


 No the DSP does NOT compress and decompress on-the-fly .. you need the
 codec optional chip set for that!

 Soul Manager:

 Please... Most of these features including the Kodak CD thing will be
 available on other systems.. and at the SAME price break, and usually with
 MUCH larger total software bases.. with Expansion Slots and in higher
 video resolutions and in some cases MORE colors!!

 I want my REAL 32bit ATARI system!! the one Advocated and Mis-quoted by
 folks I thought I could trust.. (at this stage of the game!) I am sorry..
 stop trying to tell me less is OK.. I don't need almost as fast.. I
 thought the falcon030 was going to be a "Barn Burner" You know "Power
 without the Price"

 ... The 486SX High-Rez cheapies will make mince-meat outa this system
 before summer.. You can quote me on this one!! It's like introducing a
 16MHZ 386SX system in 1993!! gimmy-a-BREAK! and.. by-the-way... It really
 sounds like most folks in this area HAVE NOT seen the Dazzling NEW
 graphics available on some of the NEW 486SX systems! .... Gee.. Sigh... I
 hate DOS

 And PLEASE... don't tell me speed does'nt count.. just watch the NEW Atari
 Word Processer (With Gorgious Fonts I might add) as it scrolls slowly down
 your page!! The ST WAS the Fastest thing out there when we bought it! and
 we were DARN proud of it.. for just that reason.. Man, it would BLOW the
 doors of any 8088!! or 8086!!! If you can get TWICE the speed and overall
 performance out something 1/2 the cost, isn't this what it's all about!! I
 LOVE MY MEGA4 Keyboard.. sheesh gimi at least as good!!


 Category 4,  Topic 11
 Message 160       Thu Nov 26, 1992
 L.LOZO1                      at 18:17 EST
 Local Bus is not a industry standard there are i think 3 vendors may more
 by now if you have a local bus motherboard, you "cannot" just put any
 locan bus video/io card in it, and it all works. In Australia Less than 1%
 Pc's in use have local bus. Its a pitty that SCSI was not implemented a
 bit further Now you can Buy Hard disks, Laser printers, Scanners, Network
 adapters, Ram/Disk packs, Floppy drives all based on SCSI. I think it
 would have been great if they made Video Cards on Scsi with built in
 graphics co-pro What about DSP on SCSI? If this all happened System
 connectivity and products interchange would be far higher? The idea of a
 true Backplane/Motherboard as really been lost i remember when i was into
 the first S100 bus computers (good ol' Days) You had a motherboard with
 connectors and Power supply, nothing else. You also had the CPU on its own
 card, Ram on another You could also have a choice of processors. Intel
 8080, 8080A, Z80 Z80A, Z8000, Motorola 6800, 6802, Signetics 2650. Since
 IBM took the idea of a s100 type machine but put the processor on the
 motherboard, industry formed a conspiracy in the idea of the dissposable
 computer. The industry as a whole do not want us to upgrade our boxes,
 they make less money. They want us to throw them away. and expect us to
 buy new ones from them!!! Commodore and the biggest Culprit ATARI purely
 and simply make their bucks from that policy. Look at the falcon, wheres
 the expansion slot? And even if they put one in it, the next model atari
 machine would have a different slot any way! How many ST users have
 converted to the ibm platform? Forget about software availability for the
 PC but the PC has a much wider and cheaper upgradability. ATARI still has
 a lot to learn. Look at Apple you guys from Atari Inc. They have Nubus
 that still lives on in machines. Atari users over the years have
 contributed more $$$ to atari than just about any pc user as given to its
 vendor. And the Atari users knows this. Atari wonder why sales are falling
 dramatically??  Wake up Atari its 1992 System expandibility and Upgrade
 are the go.


                      STReport's "EDITORIAL CARTOON"

 > A "Quotable Quote"           ...Doomsayers??  Muckrakers?

                        IS WORTH ANYTHING AT ALL.."

                                                    Mark Twain


 > ABCO SPECIALS! STR InfoFile  * 1992 HOLIDAY Prices!  MORE Products! *
   """""""""""""""""""""""""""    ------------------------------------

                       **  EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! **

                 NOTICE:  ABCO will BEAT OR MATCH * ANY * 
           Advertised or Invoiced price *  WE WILL NOT BE UNDERSOLD!

                         ABCO COMPUTER CONSULTANTS
              P.O. Box 6672  Jacksonville, Florida 32236-6672
                                Est.  1985

                   Voice: 904-783-3319  10 AM - 4 PM EDT
                     BBS: 904-786-4176   12-24-96 HST
                    FAX: 904-783-3319  12 PM - 6 AM EDT
      All systems are complete and ready to use, included at NO EXTRA COST
                 are clock/calendar and cooling blower(s).
                    (you are NOT limited to two drives)
                      - Available for all Platforms -

                  WE PAY SHIPPING & INSURANCE!!!  >UPS!<
                       (Prepaid Orders - Cont. USA)


            DELUXE 2 bay Cabinet W/65w Auto PS & Blower $119.00
                    <<<Coming Soon! ABCO Mini-Tower>>>
       Case & ICD LINK or ADSCSI PLUS Host [Hard Disk Ready] $259.95

                          -STAND ALONE PRODUCTS-
                Model      Description    Autopark    Price
               SGN4951      51Mb            Y         329.00
               SQN1096      85mb            Y         359.00
               SQN2055     130mb            Y         399.00
               SQN1296     213mb            Y         569.00
               SQN4055     340mb            Y         689.00
             Standard "Shoebox Cabinet style is also available

             Call for pricing applicable to IBM - MAC - AMIGA
                             IDE - SCSI - ESDI

              MODERN TOWER CABINETS AVAILABLE Call for Info!
              PLEASE NOTE: The above is partial listing only!
                   Many other configurations available.
                               20mb - 3.5gb

                     NOTICE - NOTICE - NOTICE - NOTICE
         SPECIAL PURCHASE! * 83mb - 1345mb * Hard Disk Mechanisms
                Call for SUPER PRICING!! Limited Time Only!!
                   IDEAL FOR USE IN: IBM - MAC - AMIGA!

               ADD $35.00 for 4 BAY SUPER CABINET w/250+w PS
              EXOTIC TOWER CABINETS AVAILABLE Call for Info!
              PLEASE NOTE: The above is partial listing only!


                 >> ABCO proudly offers: ATARI PRODUCTS <<

              Call for ABCO's * HIGHLY COMPETITIVE PRICING! *
           If you don't see what you want listed here, call us.
            Odds are, we either have it or, can get it for you!
                         "WE SERVICE WHAT WE SELL"

                      ****** SPECIAL - SPECIAL ******

               * SYQUEST 44MB (#555) >> ABCOFILE "44" & "88" *
                        * REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVES *

         --->> LIMITED TIME SPECIAL! NOW ONLY 44MB $ 359.00 <<---
                                              88MB $ 489.00

                   WE PAY SHIPPING & INSURANCE!  >UPS!<
                                (Cont. USA)
                    Cart and Utility Software Included!

                         44mb CARTS:      $  69.50
                         88mb CARTS:      $ 109.50
                         44mb MECH ONLY:  $ 319.95
                         88mb MECH ONLY:  $ 419.95

                      ****** SPECIAL - SPECIAL ******

                     SPECIALLY PRICED ** $695.95.00 **
                       Includes: * TWO * cartridges!

         - Syquest 44 Model [555] and the following hard drives -

         ** 50mb SQG51S   $559.00     105mb SQG105S    $759.00 **
                  Or, YOUR choice of Hard Disk Mechanism!


           Listed above are a sampling of the systems available.
      Prices also reflect various cabinet/power supply configurations
    (over sixty configurations are available, flexibility is unlimited)


           LARGER units are available - (Custom Configurations)

           *** --> COMPLETE IBM CLONE SYSTEMS AVAILABLE! <-- ***
                        CUSTOM BUILT TO YOUR SPECS!
                      CALL FOR PRICING & AVAILABILITY
                       386/486 33Mhz - 50Mhz - 66Mhz

                    *>> NO REPACKS OR REFURBS USED! <<*

                Atari SLM 804, SLM 804PCV Laser Toner Kits 
                            Memorex 2108, 5287
         Oasys Laserpro 5287, 5308, Express 830, Express Series II
                       Silver Express, Gold Express
                      ** $41.95 shipping Included **

                      Atari SLM 605 Laser Toner Kits
        AT&T 593, CAF Laser, DSI Laser, DTP Systems, Epson EPL-6000
         Facit P6060, Fontx Syslaser, Harris3M 2006, M-Tally MT905
       Microtek Turbo PS, OAS Laserpro Executive, Packard Bell 9500
                     TEC LB 1305, Toshiba PageLaser 6
                      ** $41.95 shipping included **
                          (TWO Toner Carts Incl.)

                        Panasonic Laser Toner Kits
           Panasonic KX -P 400 series, Panafax UF-750 Facsimile
                      ** $41.95 shipping included **

                    -- ALL TONER KITS  * IN STOCK * --

                       * Toner Starter Kits-$62.95 *
                    * Replacement (804) Drums-$187.95 *

               ABCO is PROUD to announce the acquisition of
               the exclusive U.S.A. distribution rights for
               ** Bitblit Software's ///Turbo Board BBS. **
               This fine Atari ST BBS system software and
               user support is available through ABCO to all
               Turbo customers in the USA.  Call for current

                      ALL POWER SUPPLIES UL APPROVED

                               Now Available
                   BUSINESSES, - LEASE TO OWN WITH AT&T -

                       -* 12 month FULL Guarantee *-
                         (A FULL YEAR of COVERAGE)

                   WE PAY SHIPPING & INSURANCE!  >UPS!<
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                     DEALERS and DISTRIBUTORS WANTED!
                         please, call for details

                COD, Personal and Company Checks accepted.

                        ORDER YOUR NEW UNIT TODAY!

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 STR Online!           "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE"     November 27, 1992
 Since 1987      copyright (c) 1987-92 All Rights Reserved          No.8.47
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