ST Report: 23-Apr-93 #917

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 04/24/93-05:01:08 PM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 23-Apr-93 #917
Date: Sat Apr 24 17:01:08 1993

            *---== STReport International Online Magazine ==---*
                   "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine"
                              STR Publishing 

 April 23, 1993                                                     No.9.17

                   STReport International Online Magazine
                           Post Office Box   6672
                           Jacksonville,  Florida
                                32205 ~ 6672
                                R.F. Mariano
                             Publisher - Editor
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> 04/23/93 STR 917    "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!"
     - The Editor's Desk      - CPU Report        - PORTFOLIO NEWS
     - EDITOR LETTERS         - MAIL CALL         - DC SHAREWARE
     - AOL CUTS RATES         - PRODIGY MORE $$   - STR Confidential

                       -* JAGUAR TO TAKE PRIORITY? *-
                          -*NO TT030'S EITHER? *-
                   -* "FALCONWAIT" The USERBASE WAITS! *-

                   STReport International Online Magazine
                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 phone The Bounty
BBS direct @ 904-786-4176, and enjoy the  wonder & excitement of exchanging
information relative to 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
participate.  Support your favorite computer!  Teleconference Today!
           CIS ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ NVN ~ GENIE ~ FIDO ~ FNET ~ NEST

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                 WHAT'S NEW IN THE ATARI FORUMS (April 23)


Download file  SPOFLT.LZH from  LIBRARY  14 of  the  Atari Arts  Forum  (GO
ATARIARTS) for a new  Speed-of-Light .GIF file viewer.   Shows all  colors,
squash the  picture to fit  the screen or  just scroll it,  adjust flicker,
color quality/levels, etc.


Download PrintAll  Version 1.1 (file PRTALL.LZH  in LIBRARY 9 of  the Atari
Productivity Forum  -- GO ATARIPRO).   A Printer driver program  for the HP
Deskjet   500  and  500C.  Prints   multiple  file  formats   in  color  or
black-and-white in multiple  sizes and orientations.   Latest version  adds
Prism  Paint  PNT  support,  Tiny   low  and    medium-res  .TNY   and  Sun
Microsystems'  "Rasterfile"  .RAS support.    Also  numerous bug-fixes  and
speedups, ability to  cancel without quitting  and cancel long  operations.
This  version supercedes PrintAll 1.0.  New "CMYK" output options simulates
Deskjet 550C output on 500C printers!


Double Click Software has  decided to release DC Xtract Plus  as SHAREWARE!
Included in the LZH file are DC Xtract Plus 2.1v and a doc file.   Download
file XTRPLS.LZH from LIBRARY 13 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN).

Double Click Software has also decided to release DC SEA as SHAREWARE! Make
ARC/LZH/ZIP/ZOO  into a self-extracting file.  Download file DCSEA.LZH from
LIBRARY 13 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN).


Lots of new files in the Libraries of the Atari Productivity Forum (GO
ATARIPRO).  Type BRO LIB:ALL to check out the most recently entries!!


SoftLogik  has made  the following  two files  available for  download from
LIBRARY 11 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN):

PS2299.ARC  -   PostScript  printer  driver  for   ImageSetters  and  Color
PostScript  printers version 2.2.99.  This is a temporary driver that fixes
problems with v2.2.11 printing to Linos and Color PS printers.

PS2211.ARC  - Newest PostScript printer driver  version 2.2.11. This driver
is good   for users  printing to  PostScript lasers. For  users needing  to
print  to Color PS  and high-rez imagesetters,  you should use  the v2.2.99

                           HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AN



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

     Here we all are.... still waiting for the elusive bird of paradise...
the Falcon.  The User's attitudes and courtesy or, the lack of it whichever
comes first, is evidencing itself throughout the Atari platform.  One must
ask one's self to try and understand the frustration levels that pervade
the Atari platform before responding to the outbursts and hateful comments. 
Atari  is apparently making some very BIG internal changes of direction and
as a result, this activity or, lack of it, appears outrageous to most
folks.  In fact its not only mystifying its downright confusing.  The
Userbase is receiving mixed messages.  The Atari harpers are very busy
crying that the "status quo" is just that while other "zealots" either in
the direct or indirect employ of Atari are extremely busy constructing a
monster of smoke and mirrors.  One which will soon become too large to
easily explain away.  I have no explanation as to why they are doing so. 
In my opinion, its dumb.  If Atari would only come forward and tell the
users the truth, no doubt they'd be acclaimed as forecasting geniuses in
the consumer electronics industry.  Like giving a reasonable explanation of
why the far east warehouses are dumping the parts inventory.  does it mean
no further production of the machines the parts are for?  Or, does it
simply mean there is a surplus of parts and they must be sold off?  These
are the things that give rise to speculation and rumor.  While the company
is not going under by any means, it will never be the company we've grown
accustomed to... ever again.  

               Ralph @ STReport International Online Magazine


 STReport's Staff                      DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU!

                             Publisher - Editor
                              Ralph F. Mariano

          -----------         --------------           ------------
          Roger D. Stevens    Robert Glover            R. ALBRITTON

 STReport Staff Editors:
          Dana P. Jacobson    Michael Arthur           John Deegan
          Lucien Oppler       Brad Martin              Judith Hamner
          John Szczepanik     Dan Stidham              Joseph Mirando
                    Steve Spivey        Doyle C. Helms

                      Lloyd E. Pulley, Editor Emeritus

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

                              IMPORTANT NOTICE
      Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc...
                               via E-Mail to:

                    Compuserve.................... 70007,4454
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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

About the scathing Forbes Magazine Critique of Atari;

     "My new office, which  has a better  view than my old  one, is so  far
     quite satisfactory.   And  Richard Miller  is in my  old office.   The
     Forbes article was a  mish-mash and misconstrued article full  of half
     truths.  We are anxiously awaiting the release of the  Atari Falcon to
     bring us back to the forefront.  The article has given us some 
laughs, but otherwise has not affected us."

                                                  Sam Tramiel, 08/92

About marketing plans and the future....

     "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

A fantastic observation, considering the date it was made...

     "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

Again, the dates of the statement conflict with the facts now known....

     "We have not  yet even given the machine to the  FCC.  And we are only
     applying for Class B approval.  According to our "experts", it  should
     pass Class B."

                                                  Sam Tramiel, 08/92

             "......  We are not working for Wall Street but to
         make money for our shareholders and only think long term."

                                                  Sam Tramiel, 11/92

              FYI.... The Shareholder's equity is fine.... NOT!

                    The Stock is hovering around $0.81 

                     CHRISTMAS '92 has COME and GONE...

                       JANUARY 1993, FEBRUARY 1993...

                           FALCONS    ....anyone?

                  By the Way.... Does the Falcon work well
            any... of the SLM Laser Printers??  NOPE!  NOT YET!

                         Wanna bet there won't be any?  

Better yet... 

             Which _MAJOR_ US Software Developers & Publishers
                producing NEW Software for Atari's FALCON???

               Besides, who _needs_ a CARTRIDGE PORT anyhow!



                 Computer Products Update - CPU Report
                 ------------------------   ----------
                Weekly Happenings in the Computer World
                               Issue #17
                            By: John Deegan

                         AMERICA ONLINE CUTS RATES

     Effective May first, subscribers will pay $9.95 to access all of AOL's
on-line services for up to five hours per month.  AOL says the rate cuts,
associated with a previously announced price increase by Prodigy makes it
capable of becoming the nation's leading on-line service.  Under the new
schedules, the monthly fee is cut by more than half.  AOL is also offering
Prodigy users a free trial, available by calling AOL's toll free number. 
The Package includes free America Online software and 10 hours of free
on-line time.

                        ALDUS MAKES GRANTS AVAILABLE

In what can only be seen as a move that'll bring a inundation of updates,
additions and upgrades for Aldus Pagemaker software, its been announced a
well funded grant program where developers are eligible for a portion of
$150,000 in grant money set aside to encourage additions development.

Aldus stated the program is designed to emphasize Additions that are aimed
at the advertising and workgroup publishing markets, especially magazine
and newspaper publishers.  Aldus publishes Pagemaker, a high-end DTP
solution suitable for preparing camera-ready professional level
publications.  Aldus says the average grant for an Addition ranges from
$30,000 to

                      COREL SHIPS SCSI, RAID SOFTWARE

Corel has launched two new software products.  The first is an extended
version of its CorelSCSI software to drive SCSI (Small Computer Systems
Interface) peripherals.  The second is software for redundant arrays of
inexpensive disks (RAID) storage systems.  Both packages were unveiled
during the (AIIM) show and conference in Chicago.  Corel said the new
CorelSCSI Pro software far exceeds the benefits of the existing package.
Features included are; extended support for compact disk read-only memory
(CD-ROM) drives, including being able to run them on Novell NetWare file
servers and to write data to write capable CD-ROM drives.  Additional
support for scanners and the Sytos tape format has been added too. Device
drivers now automatically determine which devices are attached and
reconfigure themselves accordingly.  Also, there's a new backup program.

                 Apple Develops Macintosh-like GUI For PCs!

A recent report in the San Francisco Chronicle states the company has been
using the software on Intel 486-based PCs for several months.  The product
could possibly represent a threat to Microsoft's Windows GUI (graphical
user interface).  Windows made the PC interface a pleasure when version
3.0, and subsequently 3.1, was introduced.  The Windows products make the
PC easier to use by offering a screen filed with icons - images that
represent computer applications - and easily understood pull-down menus.

The Mac interface is generally considered easier to use than Windows, it
offers folders for files and file management, instead of the CLI type line
eight-character file names and sub-directories.  Further, according to the
report, Apple' execs are reportedly considering when it would be most
advantageous to release the new, highly competitive GUI product.

                  Mayo Clinic Family Health Book On CD-ROM

Interactive Ventures Inc. has announced the "Mayo Clinic Family Health
Book".  Its on a CD-ROM disk designed to run on the Mac platform.  The
program was originally released on CD-ROM for Windows last November.
Additionally, Interactive Ventures, joined with Sony Electronic Publishing
to produce and distribute the CD-ROM disk. 


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

     Hidi ho good neighbors!  Busy, busy, busy.  That's what I've been for
the past week!  My boss, in his infinite wisdom, decided to move from our
trusty STs to DOS machines and...

     Guess who has been "elected" to "make them work"?  You guessed it.  I
can tell you right now, the next guy who tells me "Everything is easier in
the DOS world" is going to get a fist in the mouth!  Even my boss wishes
WinDoze was as easy to use as GEM/TOS.

     Well, anyway, on to other things:  I heard a great line on one of
those campy, high school-type, "new network" shows (you know, the one with
all those cool sound effects).  The line that hit me was "Writers hate
writing... but love having written".

     That got me to thinking about the people here on Compuserve.  Let's
change the quote to "Techies hate having problems... but love having solved

     I know that it fits me pretty well.  My next thought was "...and it's
even better when it was someone else's problem.  That way, no matter what
the outcome, your "stuff" is safe".  Well, I admit that it's not the stuff
of Socrates, but I think that it does ring pretty true.

     So let's enjoy some of the problem-solving people for a while...

>From the Atari Productivity Forum

Ron Spear tells us:

     "I have tried to download 4 different progs relating to ham radio and
     frequency scanners. All of them have crc errors on extraction. Is
     there something wrong with the atari forum. I checked out my arc and
     lzh progs and they're working fine. I have already wasted 2 hrs on
     dload time, and its getting expensive. What is the problem ?"

Sysop Bob Retelle tells Ron Spear:

     "There's probably nothing wrong with the files you downloaded so I
     hope you haven't deleted them from your disks yet...

     The problem is that your LZH extraction utility must be an older
     version than the one used to create the files.  (If you look at them,
     they'll probably all be  .LZHs)

     The newer versions create smaller files, but unfortunately they're
     also incompatible with older extraction utilities.  The clue here is
     that when that happens, you get  CRC  errors.

     If you download  LHARC.TTP  from the Library 4, you shouldn't have any
     more problems..."

Mark Savage asks about inter-platform connectivity:

     "My wife uses Word Perfect 5.1 on a PC compatible when she is at
     work.At home she uses an Atari 1040 stfm and would like to know if any
     version of Word Perfect is available for the Atari.If so,how much is
     it,and is it relatively "bug free".(and,of course,where do we order a
     copy in the U.K.?)."

Again, Bob Retelle jumps in to save the day:

     "Mark, Word Perfect does have a version of their WP that will run on
     an Atari ST, but they stopped developing it at something like Version
     4.1 or 4.2

     Your wife could use it with her PC version 5.1 as long as she doesn't
     use any of the more advanced 5.1 features..

     As to where to get a copy, hopefully one of our UK members will have
     the numbers for a store or two you could check out.

     (If you can find a copy of any of the UK Atari magazines, there ought
     to be advertisements from dealers who might have it too.)"

James Port joins in the fun and tells Bob and Mark:

     "I recently sent some reviews to Atari Explorer that I wrote on my 386
     with WP5.1.  To play it safe, I sent them the document file, and a
     straight ascii disk file of the document.  They told me they were real
     happy I included the ascii file as they couldn't load the document
     file into the version of WP they were using on their ST."

Peter Joseph adds:

     "Right.  As far as straight .WP format compatibility, ST 4.1 is only
     compatible up to PC 4.2 if I remember correctly.  However, if you save
     as ASCII files, they all ought to be compatible.  That's the safest
     way, 'cause who has PC 4.2 anymore? :)"

Our own dear. sweet, Editor-in-Chief, Ralph Mariano, tells Peter:

     "Actually, compatibility is complete up to and including WPerfect 5.2
     for Windows and Dos.  The compatibility is far greater than it was in
     the past.  Word Perfect accepts many more formats than ever before."

Dick Paddock tells James:

     "If you save the document file as a WordPerfect 4.2 file, the ST
     version will be able to read it. It will lose any graphics, etc. you
     may have included, but all the italics, indents, etc., are preserved.

     And vice-versa. If you save an ST file, and import it to WP 5.1, it
     will tell you it's not a 4.2 file, but it can convert and use it. Even
     the Mac version can handle it (at least Mac version 1.0 can.)"

James Port tells all:

     "I didn't realize I could make 5.1 save as though it were only 4.2. 
     That's very good information to have."

The head-honcho of Sysopdom, Ron Luks, posts:

     "Recently, while talking to someone familiar with the Atari line of
     computers, and especially the new Falcon, a statement was made that
     there was nothing revolutionary hardware-wise about the new machine. 
     That in fact, much of the basic design was detailed in a published
     design application note series released to developers by Motorola to
     give people ideas on how best to use Motorola components like the
     680x0 CPU's and DSP chips.  I asked if this meant it would be easy to
     make a Falcon clone and his response was that rather than think in
     terms of a Falcon clone, with its inherent strengths and weaknesses
     because it is currently a one-model design, a more interesting thought
     was "how difficult would it be to make a computer that was
     sufficiently hardware compatible to allow it to run the current
     universe of Atari software as well as any new software developed for
     the Falcon or the TT030?"

     He said "imagine a computer that ran your Atari software but allowed
     you the ability to specify your choice of a Motorola CPU (a 68030 or
     040 at various available speeds), that allowed you to choose a DSP
     model, the amount of system RAM you liked, that let you specify the
     presence and NUMBER of MIDI In/Out ports, etc...."  This would allow
     you to pick your own price points and purchase a system that gave you
     EXACTLY the features you want/need rather than the path Atari was

     He felt, and I had to agree, that in deciding on the Falcon specs,
     Atari had to make some compromises in order to try to please the
     majority of potential customers and that therein lies a basic design
     flaw.  I then recalled the endless discussions that have taken place
     on the forums here where we basically asked for almost a half dozen
     models (detached keyboard, attached keyboard, various numbers of MIDI
     ports, etc.)

     The main reason any company settles on a single design is to reach
     certain economies of scale in production, but since the Atari
     marketplace has shrunk to its current size, it is questionable if such
     numbers of any  specific model would ever be sold.  The question then
     becomes one of "Why even try to design a single perfect model?  Why
     not let the end customer pick and choose and work on a design spec
     that would bring about modular economies of scale?"

     After thinking about this for days, I've come to the conclusion that
     there would be room in the Atari marketplace for another manufacturer
     of Atari-compatible computers;  especially if it would bring to market
     a unit that would run our existing software, allow us expandability
     along industry standard lines, and would give those people unsatisfied
     with the decisions and path of Atari Corp. itself.  Obviously, many
     details would still need to be worked out, including design and
     manufacturing costs but I've been told that much of these are already
     being looked at, including the issue of purchasing or even
     reverse-engineering TOS and a multi-tasking version of TOS if it
     cannot be licensed.

     Even if the overall Atari marketplace is smaller than in years past, I
     still think there is enough interest, especially in niche areas, to
     make this venture not only possible, but profitable.  There is always
     the debate about whether or not Atari Corp can "bring back" former
     Atari owners and developers to a new machine, but no one has publicly
     addressed the issue of whether someone else besides the Tramiels would
     be more or less successful in this task.

     I do not know if this will ever come to pass, but I am sure it is
     being ACTIVELY considered by some folks in the Atari community with
     credentials that merit respect.  I've promised to open up a discussion
     that will surely generate some feedback from the Atari community and I
     encourage you ask your friends including ex-Atari owners about their
     interest in this idea.  Would you (they) have any interest in an
     "Atari-compatible" computer from a source other than the current Atari
     Corp.?  What sort of interest?"

Oscar Steele of Purple Mountain Computers tells Ron:

     "As long as the ST compatible computer marketplace grew bigger as a
     result it's a good idea.  Kind of like what's being done with
     Gemulator, with software we can emulate TT medium resolution,
     something that needs expensive hardware, etc. to do on a standard
     ST....  I've been thinking that if the Tramiels sold Atari that
     someone could bring the company back up to being a profitable and
     successful corporation."

Sysop Bob Retelle tells Ron:

     "While we're "blue skying", ask your developer friend what he thinks
     about the feasibility of adding some kind of ISA bus compatibility to
     the design.

     I know there would be a great deal of problems to overcome, as the ISA
     bus is specifically oriented toward Intel devices, while a Falcon
     clone would obviously be a Motorola design, but it would open up
     endless possibilities like $69 Sound boards, $99 Ethernet cards,

     Not for primary expansion of the computer, but as an "auxiliary" set
     of slots.

     As for the idea of an Atari clone, I've *always* thought that the very
     best thing that could ever happen to Atari computer owners and users
     all over the world would be for someone to clone the system.  Even
     Atari Corp could stand to benefit from it..."

Greg Wageman jumps in and posts:

     "I've gotta second that.  With the rapidly declining prices in the
     PClone market, Atari should leverage on that wherever possible.

     To their benefit, they've already done it by supporting IDE hard
     drives (which are $100-$200 cheaper than the equivalent embedded-SCSI
     drive on the street) and by supporting standard SVGA connectors and
     monitors.  I'd like to see this trend continue with RAM expansion at
     least, if not with buss support for add-on cards.  The
     little-indian/big-indian thing isn't a big deal, not with today's ASIC

Bob Retelle replies to Greg's reply:

     "Speaking of ASIC technology and "economy of scale", the PC system I
     just built has all of its I/O built around one expansion card that
     does High Density floppy disk I/O, IDE hard drive I/O, parallel port,
     2 serial ports and a game device interface...   all for  $17

     I really wish there was some way we could utilize that kind of

C. J. Mitchell adds his thoughts:

     "I suggested to Bob Brodie months ago that Atari incorporate IEEE bus
     connectors in their machines. To provide a low cost alternative to the
     Hp workstations we have to use now.  You see i work for a company that
     uses IEEE bus workstations to control off the shelf, and custom built
     test sets.  We are constantly looking for low cost alternatives to the
     Hp I basically got the brush off, and some part line spiel about how
     many boards Atari sell to OEM manufacturers."

Ron Luks tells C. J.:

     "This sort of feedback is very important to the folks who are
     considering producing an Atari-compatible computer. One of the aspects
     they have stressed to me is their desire to support as many industry
     standard interfaces (IEEE. PCMCIA, SCSI2, IDE, etc) as is possible. 
     Stay tuned to this thread and thx for the feedback,"

Bob Retelle adds:

     "That kind of expandability would be great in a truly general purpose

     At least providing some kind of fully implemented industry standard
     interface would open up much wider markets...  who knows..?   Maybe
     they WOULD sell lots of boards to OEM manufacturers then..!"

Thomas Stilhoff jumps in and posts:

     there is a german oem?manufacturer building "ieee-buses" around
     atari-boards into 19"-RackCases. They are called Rhotron."

The Dazzz-Man himself, Dazzz Smith, posts:

     "Yes I agree that the Falcon is/was a product of a committee based
     system i.e. Its full of compromises and that putting out a keyboard
     attached to shell with the option of adding a large range of system
     options is the ideal computer, don't you think somebody would have
     done it, if it was feasible?

     PC's do it to an extent but are limited by their OS, Atari's would I
     guess have an even more difficult time with their OS!

     The basic problem is that to accommodate all this you need a more
     expensive base machine and convincing people to lay out more money on
     an easily expandable system may be hard to do.

     You've really opened up a can of worms here Ron :-) I wont say
     anything further because I have to be at work in ten hours, and to
     reply in full would take that long, so i'm just gonna jump in on other
     peoples points."

CodeHead Charles (Charles F. Johnson) tells Ron:

     "There are tons of potential stumbling blocks in the way of someone
     who tries to build a Falcon clone, as I'm sure you know - and of
     course, there's no guarantee a clone maker would do any better than
     Atari has.  But if someone could actually pull this off, I'm sure
     they'd be able to count on support from CodeHead."

Ron tells Charles:

     "Thx, Charles.  I know they are watching for comments exactly like
     yours to gauge what kind of support they can expect if they come to
     the marketplace with this unit.

     Personally, I think having the Codehead products available to them
     would be the biggest sort of endorsement they could get."

John Zangrando posts:

     "I agree.  Warp 9, Multidesk Deluxe, Hotwire, Maxifile, Codekeys and
     Midimax have helped make my MSTE a viable machine in a world of much
     faster hardware.  Having the Codeheads work with an 040 would keep it
     from becoming "obsolete" in a world of 060 's .  This is important to
     people when they lay down there hard earned dollars.  Eight months
     after I bought my MegaSTE Atari dropped it like a hot potato.  There
     is not much software available to us anymore, but there is some GOOD

                     " IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME"

Pattie Rayl, sysop and Editor of Atari Interface and Connect Magazines,
tells Ron:

     "One of the biggest problems that's been in the Atari market is the
     fact that not many systems were produced.  If that changes, ie if
     someone really can make lots of machines, that really will help all
     the Atari community."

Now that would be something to see, wouldn't it?  Imagine an
Atari-Compatible computer.  But, other than ease of use, what would be the

In a discussion about the Gemulator, the ST emulator for DOS machines, Bob
Retelle says:

     "I don't have one myself, but I've been following Darek's
     announcements on UseNet as he continues to improve the product."

Tim Myers tells Bob Retelle:

     "Interesting!  Do you have a rough speed equivalent ie a 25mhz 386 to
     get 8mhz Atari.

     I still don't see the point of it myself. People who want to run Atari
     software usually already have an Atari ! Would you sell yours to buy a
     Gemulator if you had a PC."

Not me.

Bob Retelle tells Tim:

     "I agree that the market for the GEMulator is rather small.. maybe
     another group that would buy it are those who just don't have room for
     two complete computer systems, and for whatever reason, need to have a
     fully functional PC compatible.

     I don't remember the exact figures, but I think you still need a fast
     '386, preferably a '486 to get full ST speed under the emulator.. it's
     much better than it was at first, but you still need a fast PC."

>From the Atari ST Arts Forum

Bill Perry asks:

     "Is there a way to convert files with extensions .spc, mge or  to gif

     I've tried Leadshow, Alchemy and Lha programs with no luck."

Bob Retelle tells Bill:

     "Bill, there are some programs that will convert various graphics
     files to GIF format, but they need to be run on an Atari ST computer.

     I don't know of any PC programs that will convert Atari specific files
     to GIF format.

     There IS at least one viewer that will let you view DEGAS files (
     .PI1, .PI2, and .PI3 files), then you can use a screen capture program
     to save the screen and convert it to GIF, but I don't know of anything
     that will work with SPECTRUM  ( .SPC or .SPU) files."

Greg Wageman posts:

     "I uploaded source code for a Spectrum reader/unpacker.  I think it is
     in the Ataripro library.

     Alex's suggestion re the Pic Formats doc is an excellent one.  I use
     it as my Atari format "bible"."

Philippe Cairic posts:

     "Actually there are quite a few files around the place describing
     Spectrum format (and they are often contradictory).

     I will let you know when I am through. (though it might take some time
     since I'm working on it after hours...)"

Tony at GST Software Products tells all:

     "Ages ago I did a converter which took the SPU (uncompressed files)
     and converted them to a PCX format on the PC. I'll try and find my
     notes and the source code and if you have any problems I see if I can
     help you on it."

Continuing a conversation about some of the software bundled with the
Falcon030 and whether perceived shortcomings were due to the machine or the
software, Jaime Sacadura posts:

     "Actually i would prefer if it was a problem with Breakout, instead of
     the Falcon TOS.

     I was not very happy, to know that a machine bought a few weeks ago,
     with TOS 4.01 inside, is really an "old" machine with a TOS filled
     with bugs.  And see the surprise of a friend of mine, when i told him,
     that is Falcon 030, bought last week in England, with TOS 4.02 inside,
     isn't the latest and hottest machine on earth, but an old version that
     needs to be upgraded.  I can just say that he wasn't amused and i'm
     sort of responsible for his purchase.

     It's really, really, very disappointing.  We are talking about a ROM
     based Operating System!!!!

     Atari just can't sell machines and afterwards say to the customers: -
     I'm sorry , your machine has an "old" TOS version and some software
     isn't going to work. (Incidently, i have just bought TRUE PAINT, and
     you are right, as some True Color functions like Fill don't work with
     4.01 or 4.02 versions of TOS, and are not going to work, according to
     the manual, even with a disk based TOS)

     With the Macintosh, for example, Apple would say: - I'm sorry, the
     7.01 version of the OS we gave you with the machine, has bugs, here
     you have new disks with the fixed version.

     Not that simple with a ROM based OS, so ATARI should know better!!

     Are we going to get new ROM's?. NO!! We are going to pay for them!!
     When and if they became available!

     In the mean time, we are left with new and already crippled hardware
     and software, and that old feeling, of someone who knows ATARI for six
     years and shouldn't be surprised with these sort of things.

     That aside, i have two questions:

     1- Which is the latest TOS version? (hopefully with fewer bugs)

     2- A disk based TOS or some sort of TOSfix is not going to solve these
     problems? (it doesn't seem to, at least according to Hisoft)

     Answers anyone?"

Pattie Rayl tells Jaime:

     "I know this won't make you feel any better, but this has always been
     the case with new Atari hardware.  The first batch out get
     "beta-tested" by the over-eager Atari enthusiasts.  I personally got
     lucky with the Mega/STe we got, since most of the chips were socketed
     rather than soldered in to their holes, but we didn't get the latest
     version of TOS in that system either."

>From the Atari Vendors Forum

Lee Hoffner tells Mark at Gadgets by Small:

     "Some of the problems _I'm_ having with System 6.0.5 under Spectre
     2.65 may be (now that you've got me thinking about it) due to the fact
     that my System files are copied, not installed. This is due to the
     fact that since I didn't buy a Mac, I never got system disks.

     Is there anyway to get System disks (not 7.0 since that's out of the
     question with Spectre) without buying a Mac?"

Mark gives Lee some advise:

     "First of all, you are probably taking a gamble by using System 6.0.5
     with Spectre version 2.65 in the first place.  Support for System 6
     wasn't really very solid under 2.65 when compared to the current
     version, Spectre 3.0.

     But, you do have a >very< good point.  Just copying a set of System
     files is not the proper way to go.  They need to be installed for the
     particular system that you are running (in this case, Spectre is a Mac
     Plus clone). All Apple dealers and most Macintosh user groups should
     be able to supply you with the proper system installation disks."

Lee adds:

     "I just bought Generic CADD for the Mac, a program which I have been
     running on my 386SX for 2 years now. The Mac version is wonderful;
     truly an amazing program . . . until I have it redraw the screen. Now
     THERE'S an opportunity to get a sandwich, write checks for your
     monthly bills, etc.

     The problem is this: CADD needs a math co-processor to run fast. And I
     think that Spectre probably needs to be tooled up, too. My questions:

     1) Are there math co-processors for the ST (I run a Mega 2 upgraded to
     4 meg RAM) and will Spectre (and subsequently the Mac System software)
     recognize them as being present in Macintosh mode?

     2) What kind of accelerators are there available to make my 16Mhz Mega
     run faster? (I seem to remember reading in a Gadgets newsletter that
     Gadgets had made an internal board of some kind. What does it do and
     which machines does it support?"

Mark tells Lee:

     "Gadget's accelerator board is called SST.  It fits in the Mega ST's
     (not Mega STE) expansion slot.  It sports a 68030 cpu and slots for up
     to 8 megs of super-fast RAM.  It also has a socket for a 68882 math

     Unfortunately, at this time the support under Mac mode (Spectre) for
     the math chip is spotty.  Some applications seem to "see" it and
     others don't. Also, Spectre currently does not support the fast RAM on
     the SST. Without these two important features, the speedup you would
     receive wouldn't be significant enough to justify the expense (IMHO).

     However....Dave is working feverishly away at Spectre 3.1!!  These
     features are on his list of fixes and improvements for Spectre. 
     Whether or not they will find there way into the very next version of
     Spectre is not know at this time.  Dave hasn't really given me a
     concrete run-down on the fixes and improvements.

     Other developers may or may not have accelerators that will be of
     help. I quite honestly do not know of the shipping status of any other
     accelerator manufacturer."

>From the Atari Portfolio Forum

Ira Adams asks Sysop BJ Gleason about another palmtop computer:

     "How does typing on the Zeos keyboard compare with typing on the
     PF?  I've just about decided that I need something a little more
     than my PF, and even though I really want a Powerbook, the Zeos
     seems like a more reasonably-priced alternative.  I've always
     found the PF keyboard to be remarkably easy to do rapid typing
     on (with a little practice), and don't want anything that would
     be a step downward in that respect."

BJ Gleason answers:

     "pacing on the Port, it is almost impossible to hit two keys at the
     same time...  not so on the zeos.  They are chicklet like keys, and
     run right next to each other...

     If you want a cheap zeos from zeos, call their outlet store: 612

     They sell units returned within 30 days for half price... about 300

Ira tells BJ:

     "Chicklet-type keys doesn't sound very promising, but maybe it's worth
     a try (but I REALLY want a PowerBook!!!)."

Reed Early asks about the 1/2 meg memory cards available from Optrol:

     "You say the Optro 524 K card works - but how.
     Is it a Ram card acting as drive A:?  Does it retain memory
     on a Portfolio system crash?  I am a novice to these machines
     and I want to know the way it functions.
     Why do they call it a Flash Ram Card if it doesn't act as RAM
     but as storage memory?

     What is the cost and where can I get one?"

Larry Land tells Reed:

     "The Optrol card has 3 user areas.  The first 64K is a boot disk and
     can only be loaded all at once and can't be written to file by file. 
     The next 450K is a large D: drive.  There is also a 128K RAM disk that
     is only active when the Port is on.  The provided utilities allow for
     complete management of the card.  The projected life of the card is 10
     years.  Hope this helps."

Brian Johnson posts:

     "I don't know about 1Meg cards, but the 524K cards also have 128K of
     standard RAM.  This is used during the CLEAN process.  The program
     copies the data from the chip to be cleaned to the RAM, flashes the
     chip (erasing it), and then puts the data back.

     Since the FlashCard programs only use this data during the clean
     process, the programmers thought it would be cool if we could use it
     as a RAM disk the rest of the time, so they included a driver to do
     just that.  The caveat is that if you remove the card or your Port
     shuts off (manually or automatically) the data in the 128K RAM area is
     lost.  This makes it handy for quick use but not recommended for
     serious storage.  (The manual does contain a warning to this effect.)"

Egon Rinderer posts:

     "I am curious.  I have a port, and I would love to be able to take it
     on trips with me when I don't necessarily need my laptop, so that I
     can check my email.  I know this is possible, but I need some
     specifics.  First, what is the best pocket modem to get.  All that I
     want is a straight 2400 Bd that I battery powered.  I have heard that
     line powered modems can cause problems, if this is untrue, then please
     correct me.  Secondly, I need to know what is the best comm program to
     run my modem with.  Thirdly, I need to get a memory card.  What size
     should I get and where do I get them for the best price.  Finally, I
     know there is a way to set up your compuserve account with multiple
     login configs. How is this done?  From what I remember, when you
     login, you add a key to the end of your user ID or something.  If
     anyone knows what I am talking about, please let me know."

Andy Rathbone tells Egon:

     "I've been using a Practical Peripherals 2400 bps pocket modem for a
     year or so with the Portfolio, and it works great. It's line-powered,
     so I don't need to worry about batteries.

     Called the PPI modem, I believe, it's been more dependable than my
     wife's fancier 14,400 bps Worldport portable modem, which rips through

     I use ACOM, available in the libraries here. When I log on, I upload a
     small text file that says:

     SET WIDTH 40
     SET LINES 16

     That sets CompuServe's parameters to match the Portfolio, more or
     less.  Hopefully somebody else can chip in with answers to your other

Well, that's about it for this week folks.  Tune in again next week and
listen to what they are saying when...

                             PEOPLE ARE TALKING


                             IMPORTANT NOTICE!

     STReport International Online  Magazine is available every week in the
ST Advantage  on DELPHI.  STReport  readers are invited to  join DELPHI and
become a part of the friendly community of Atari enthusiasts there.

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baud rate.  The $5.95 monthly fee includes your first hour online.

    For more information, call: DELPHI Member Services at 1-800-544-4005

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                         Try DELPHI for $1 an hour!

     For  a limited  time, you  can become  a trial  member of  DELPHI, and
receive 5  hours of evening and  weekend access during this  month for only
$5.  If you're  not satisfied, simply cancel your account before the end of
the calendar  month with no further  obligation.  If you  keep your account
active, you will  automatically be  enrolled in DELPHI's  10/4 Basic  Plan,
where you can use up  to 4 weekend and evening hours a month  for a minimum
$10 monthly charge, with additional hours  available at $3.96.  But  hurry,
this  special trial  offer will  expire soon!   To  take advantage  of this
limited offer, use your modem to dial 1-800-365-4636.  Press  <RET> once or
twice.  When you get the Password: prompt, type IP26 and press <RET> again.
Then, just  answer the questions and within a day or two, you'll officially
be a member of DELPHI!  
                         TOP TEN DOWNLOADS (4/21/93)                        
                        (1) MSA V. 2.2                                    
                        (2) STREPORT 9.16                                
                        (3) LITTLE GREEN SELECTOR                         
                        (4) DC XTRACT PLUS 2.1                            
                        (5) SILKMOUSE 3.1                                 
                        (6) SPOFLT21.LZH                                  
                        (7) AEO: VOLUME 2 - ISSUE 8                       
                        (8) LHA 2.01                                      
                        (9) REHBOCK.ARC                                   
                        (10) GEM-VIEW VERSION 2.20                        
All of the above files  can be found in the RECENT ARRIVALS database for at
least  one week after  the posting of this  list.  Please  Note that in the
case of  online magazines, only the  most current issue in  the database at
the time of  this compilation is considered for the Top 10 list.  Also, for
all files, a submission is eligible for the Top 10 list for only four weeks
after its original uploading.          
            A demo of Missionware's FLASH 2 is in Recent Arrivals.

                 DELPHI- It's getting better all the time!


> CT FEST'93 STR SHOW NEWS               The Summertime Atari Event!

                           THE CT ATARIFEST '93!

                  JUNE 12 & 13, AT THE WINDSOR COURT HOTEL
                     WINDSOR, CT. (JUST ABOVE HARTFORD)

     Free Parking!
          Low Room Rates!
               More Vendors!
                    More Floor Space!


HARTFORD, Conn. (April 12)

     More than 1,000  Atari computer enthusiasts  are expected to  converge
here June 12 and 13 at Connecticut AtariFest '93, and are certain to debate
whether  the star  of the show  -- THE  LONG-AWAITED FALCON030  COMPUTER --
lives up to its advance billing.

     Yep,  that ACT Atari Group is running another major NorthEast computer
event.    Last year's  successful  CT Fest  had over  700  attendees, which
merited a larger  location, so we've moved  a mile away  (exit 42 on  I-91)
into bigger  and better quarters.   We're  just as convenient  to reach  as
ever,  and only  two  hours from  Boston or  New  York! The  new hotel  has
excellent  room rates ($35.00 per  room), free and  plentiful parking, easy
access from  Interstate 91, I-95, I-90, I-84, I-80, an in house Sports Bar,
a  bigger ballroom and  is located just  1 mile  from Bradley International
Airport (free shuttle service for hotel guests).

     The Falcon030 is  a perfect low cost tool for the professional artist,
with 8 track, 16 bit musical capabilities, truecolor graphics  and a 32 bit
DSP  chip.    The Falcon  will  be  bundled  with  several music  programs,

including a 4 track 'Direct to Disk' editing and recording program, a sound
sampler and an all purpose productivity package called AtariWorks.

     The  Hartford show  will likely  be one  of the  first encounters  the
general public has with the new machine and software leading designers have
produced for  it.  Atari was performing quality control tests on the latest
production models shipped to the Sunnyvale headquarters in mid-April.

     The  two-day event  will feature  more than  40 exhibitors,  including
several of the top names in  music software development and MIDI equipment.
Tentative  music  exhibitors  include  Barefoot Software  (formerly  Hybrid
Arts), Digital F/X, Steinberg/Jones, Pro Musica, Compo Software and others.
The show, sponsored by ACT  Atari Group, will be held at  the Windsor Court
Hotel, just off Interstate 91 at exit 42.

     Connecticut  AtariFest'93 promises  to  showcase  the work  of  several
musicians and will include some live music sessions.

     Other vendors will demonstrate  new equipment and software that will be
of interest to  musicians whether they're  on or off the  job.   Among them,
organizers have  received tentative nods  from A&D  Software, ABC Solutions,
Baggetaware, Barefoot  Software,  Compo  Software, Computer  Studio,  Derric
Electronics,  East Hartford  Computer Repair,  Gribnif Software,  ICD  Inc.,
MegaType Software, Soft-Logik  Publishing, Toad Computers, Wizztronics. Last
year  14 user groups  participated, and  that number is  expected to grow by

     A  Home Business  and Entertainment Expo  that will  focus on high-tech
gadgetry designed  for home use  is also  planned.  Central  activities will
include a New  England Lynx Tournament  for the  gamester in  the family,  a
Portfolio  corner  for  the  on-the-go  palmtop  computer  user,  and  other
technology such  as VCRs, lap/palmtops,  voice messaging systems,  satellite
receivers,  CD-ROM,  fax-modems,  large  screen  TV,  printers,  audio-video
components,  cellular phones, office  supplies, video  games or add-on units
and accessories.

     We'll  have  our annual  New  England Lynx  Competition, with  multiple
Comlynxed competitions  underway at  all times.   Last  year's winners  took
home prizes  ranging from  games to  accessories to  complete Lynx  Systems!
Bring your best player and join the fun.

     We'll have  the  Portfolio Corner,  staffed with  industry pundits  and
filled  with every imaginable  palmtop peripheral!   Last year  we had a few
Portfolios disassembled  at the  booth, a  real insight  into surface  mount

     For those  of you  with an  eye towards  seminars, we'll  have them  in
abundance, last  year's question  and answer  session with  Bob Brodie  drew
standing  only crowds! In addition,  we had John Eidsvoog's walk through the
Codehead  graphic tools,  Jeff  Naideau  of Barefoot  Software  showing  off
EdiTrack Platinum, Dave  Troy of (Guess[ribbet]) Computers, STReport's  Dana
Jacobson and Joe Mirando and many, many others.

     And to  top things off,  come out  and see the  Falcon 030  in all  its
glory.  By then we expect  to see some rad new programs out and some  really
excitement!  All in all, we  hope to have  the best Northeast show yet,  and
we look  forward to your participation.   Make your  plans now for the  most
exciting Atari Weekend this spring!

     For further  information, call  Brian Gockley  at 203-332-1721 or  Doug
Finch at 203-637-1034.  We can  also be found on GEnie in Category 11 or  on
Compuserve in  the Atari  Forums.  E-mail  can be directed  to B.GOCKLEY  or
D.FINCH7 on GEnie or to 75300,2514 or 76337,1067 on CIS.


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

                             Editor's MailBag

                    Messages * NOT EDITED * for content

About last week's presentation of the brochure commentary obtained from the
Atari areas..

53094 17-APR 03:27 General Information

I was unpleasantly surprized to see my Falcon Brochure message plastered in
STR as if I had written it for you. This was a message written for the
Delphi forum and it should have at least been presented as such. I am not
a writer for STR.

I'm afraid you have allowed you sense of vengeance to cloud your
journalistic professionalism. STR has become a place for you to vent your
anger at Atari at the expense of those who believe in your journalistic
integrity. I'd like to think that there are two types of readers: those
who have already left this platform, and those who know how to interpret
what they see in STR, but I know that there will be more people affected
by the relentless Atari-bashing. Your inclusion of a letter by Bill
Halvorsen demonstrates all to well your intent to demoralize the user base.

Since Atari can do nothing right in the eyes of STR, I beg of you to
turn your talents to other platforms that make the grade and stop trying
to destroy a platform in need of recovery. Your magazine is obviously not
interested in trying to part of the solution, but rather the resounding
amplifier of the problems. You and I both know that there is more to this
story than just "bad-management" and that the Falcon complications were
neither intentional or anticipated, but you sit judge and jury over Atari
and show readers a picture baised by a personal dislike for the company
you allegedly support. As you expand into other platforms, I hope you
find a place where management makes no mistakes, and product difficulties
do not exist so you can let this "dying, disillusioned" platform be.

     Mr. Edwards, don't be surprised, please re-examine where the item in
question appeared in STReport.  It appeared exactly where it belonged; in
the area of STReport we reserve for the special presentation of
particularly interesting items found on Delphi.  Its sad to see such
recriminations emanating forth when in fact, you presented an eloquent
observation of the Falcon brochure.  Indeed you should be complimented for
your commentary.

     As for STR enjoying some sort of clouded journalistic posture, I'm
afraid that's an opinion and it too, you are entitled to.  As for STR being
part of any solution, that can always happen if Atari's top brass ever
decides to pay attention to the information coming form the users.  As for
the remainder of your accusations they need no attention as they are as
emotional and inaccurate as those you credit STR with.  Neither myself,
STR, its staff or any of our contributors have ever "played judge and jury"
over Atari that is totally untrue and pure fabrication. All we have ever
done is present the facts and give our readers the opportunity to see both
sides of the coin.  Thus, enabling our readers to make well informed

     Finally, to the matters about the old, well worn out "love it or leave
it" diatribe, please understand I too, enjoy using my Atari computers and
find little or no fault with the hardware at all.  My complaint is the
manner in which the management team does things.  Or, should I say doesn't
do things.  

>From CIS' Atari Fora...

#: 38922 S17/Community Square
    18-Apr-93  19:30:40
Sb: #38802-ST Report
Fm: Tim Myers 100025,2627
To: STReport - Ralph 70007,4454

I really am at a loss to understand the inability to sort out the serial
bugs.  If I was a cynic I'd say they don't care but I'm not (yet!) so I
won't <g>.

You do have quite a reputation for being a figure of controversy Ralph and
it does precede you! I look at it like this. Everybody has the right to
voice their opinions. I read those opinions and any facts presented with or
I can find relating to the arguments. I might learn something that changes
or re-enforces my viewpoint. If I read something that doesn't stack up with
what I know then I assess and re-evaluate. I might end up dismissing the
new info and stick to my previous opinion. I might change my opinion.  But
if people don't write stuff that's controversial or they consider
news-worthy I wont be in the position of being able to make an informed
decision.  That's what free press is all about isn't it? When people
condemn from a position of ignorance you get witch hunts like S. Rushdie
where most of the people doing the condemning hadn't even read the book!

I love my Stacy but have doubts about the company that produced it. They
may yet pull round or they may flounder on the rocks only time will tell. 
But complacency is the enemy of progress IMO and somebody needs to keep
prodding them and being a devils advocate. That's you Ralph ! Thankfully
your output is rarely censored <g>, unlike a certain on line echo I USED to
read from the US where good solid biting criticism was rewarded by having
the moderator threaten to remove your node. Sad IMO. There's nothing wrong
with criticism so long as it's constructive. You say it as you find it. I
may not agree with your view all the time but I like to be able to read it.

"I would love nothing more than to have the opportunity to praise Atari to
the high heavens.... When they provide the reasons for such, you can rest
assured it'll happen."

             Ralph @ STReport International Online Magazine

   Tim Myers
   United Kingdom    CIS ID: 100025,2627

     How timely and appropriate your letter is Tim.  On another service,
I've been accused of everything but the Salem witch hunts.  It never ceases
to amaze me about the emotional level we are continually faced with in the
Atari platform.  The truth is, truth can hurt and hurt plenty but it must
be presented for the benefit of others so they too, may enjoy the ability
of making informed decisions.  STR is continually accused of being biased,
playing judge and jury, grinding an axe, etc..  When in actuality, all we
are doing is presenting, like Sgt. Joe Friday says; "Just the facts". As
many of our readers will attest to, that's the most absurd litany of
accusations yet to manifest itself for one reason.  We have always praised
the hardware Atari produces, even with its minor faults, our criticism has
always been directed solely towards its management, both high and low
level. Thank you again for the level headed, honest appraisal of the
current situation and especially for reading STReport along with the other
sources of Atari related information.


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> BLUE RIDGE ATARIFEST'93 STR SHOW NEWS    "The Summertime Atari Event!"

                         1993 Blue Ridge ATARIFEST


The Blue  Ridge  Atari  Computer  Enthusiasts (BRACE)  and  Computer  Studio
invite  you to  participate  in the  Fourth Annual  Blue Ridge  AtariFest in
beautiful Asheville, North Carolina.  Show dates and times are:

                     Saturday July 24, 1993  10am - 6pm
                     Sunday   July 25, 1993  Noon - 5pm

Just as in previous years, we have arranged  for FREE Booth space for  Atari
developers!!  (We're only requesting the donation of a door prize).

We can  promise both  developers and  show-goers an  energetic and  exciting
show with as enthusiastic a crowd of Atarians as you'll  find anywhere, plus
the support of Computer Studio in the mall.

We're once  again taking  over the  Courtyard Shop (mall)  area at  Westgate
Shopping Center for the show (location  of Computer Studio), plus the use of
vacant store  spaces for  seminar  sessions.   Seminar sessions  will be  45
minutes in length, and developers are welcome to conduct a  seminar on their
product  line  or approved  topic  of  their  choice  (seminar sessions  are
limited, so first come, first served).

This year's  show dates  also coincide  with Asheville's  annual Bele  Chere
street festival, when downtown  Asheville is closed to vehicular traffic and
becomes  what must  be  one of  the largest  street  fairs in  the  country.
Westgate  Shopping  Center  is  one  of the  primary  Park-and-Ride  shuttle
centers for transporting people to and from downtown, and  we've arranged to
have the shuttle service pick up at the front entrance of the  mall and drop
off at the rear entrance, so  everyone taking the service from Westgate WILL
walk through  the AtariFest exhibition area  sometime during the  day.  This
will be  a great opportunity  to showcase Atari  and Atari  related software
and  peripherals, and  introduce  them to  people  who aren't  already Atari
owners.  Bringing in NEW blood  is the key  to the growth of this  platform,
and  this will  be our  opportunity to  begin that  process  with a  captive

Additional  discussions  of the  show,  as  well  as  confirmations of  your
participation, are welcome in GEnieMail and in the Blue Ridge
AtariFest topic 13 in Category 11 here on GEnie.

                         HAPPY ATARI COMPUTING.
                                   IT'S HAPPENING IN ASHEVILLE!

Where: Westgate Shopping Center - Asheville, N.C.

Take any  major highway into  Asheville (US  19-23, US  26 or  I-40) to  the
I-240  loop,  then  take  the  "Westgate/Hilton  Inn  Drive  exit"  into the
Westgate Shopping Center parking lot.

                            When: 24-25, July 1993
                          Time: 10:am to 6:pm SAT
                               12 Noon 'til 5pm SUN

Points of contact:

                  Come for a day or come for the weekend,
                      but do come and enjoy yourself.

Great Smokies Hilton Resort  Hilton Inn Drive        (704)254-3211
                 Toll-free reservation phone number 1-800-733-3211

Radisson                    One Thomas Wolf Plaza    (704)252-8211
                 Rate: $62.00 per room (1-4 people)

          ====== Additional Hotel / Motel Information ===========

Days Inn                       I-26 and Airport Road     (704)684-2281
                               I-40 Exit 55              (704)298-5140

Econo Lodge                    US 70 East, I-40 Exit 55  (704)298-5519

Holiday Inn                    275 Smoky Park Hwy        (704)667-4501
                   Toll-free reservation phone number    1-800-HOLIDAY

Red Roof Inn                   I-40 and US 19-23 Exit 44 (704)667-9803
                   Toll-free reservation phone number   1-800-843-7663

Budget Motel                    I-40 Exit 44 (Enka-Chandler)
                                  West Asheville Exit    (704)665-2100 Best
Western Asheville Central  22 Woodfin St                 (704)253-1851

       ========= Local Bed & Breakfast lodging Information =========

Aberdeen Inn                64 Linden Ave                (704)254-9336
Albemarle Inn               86 Edgemont Road             (704)255-0027
Applewood Manor             62 Cumberland Circle         (704)254-2244
The Bridle Path Inn        Lockout Road                  (704)252-0035
Cairn Brae B & B           217 Patton Mountain Rd        (704)252-9219
Carolina B & B             177 Cumberland Ave            (704)254-3608
Cedar Crest Victorian Inn  674 Biltmore Ave              (704)252-1289
Corner Oak Manor            53 St. Dunstan               (704)253-3525
Cornerstone Inn            230 Pearson Dr                (704)253-5644
Flint Street Inn           100 & 116 Flint Street        (704)253-6723
The Lion and The Rose      276 Montford Ave              (704)255-7673
The Ray House B & B         83 Hillside St               (704)252-0106
Reed House                 119 Dodge St                  (704)274-1604
The Wright Inn             235 Pearson Drive             (704)251-0789]

A more complete listing of Bed & Breakfasts can be obtained through the
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Reservations should be made immediately, as July is the height of our
tourist season.

                 ===========  CAMP GROUNDS ================

           (reservations are a must during this time of season):

Mount Pisgah:
     About  20 miles  southwest of Asheville  on the  Blue Ridge  Parkway at
mile post 408.6 (National Park Service). 690 acres. Elevation  5000'. One of
the  nicest  campgrounds in  Western North  Carolina. 67  tent sites,  70 RV
sites. For reservations: P.O.Box 749,  Watnesville, N.C. 28786;  phone (704)
235-9109. No  showers. Groceries  and restaurant.  Nature program.   14  day
stay limit.

Lake Powhatan:
     4  miles south  of Asheville on  State road 191,  3.5 miles  west on SR
806.  30  acres.  98  tent/rv  sites.  Reservation  available   thru  Mistix
1-800-283-CAMP. Disposal station. No  showers. Swimming; lifeguard; fishing;
nature trails; bicycles. 14-day stay limit.

     While  in the  area, you might  want to consider  a little sightseeing,
and include  a visit to  the Biltmore House here  in Asheville (the  largest
single family residence ever built in  the U.S.--its a "castle"). A visit to
the Biltmore  can be  a full-day's  activity as  you will want  to view  the
house, visit the winery, and walk some of the grounds and gardens.


          The House 9 am to 6pm         The Gardens 9am to 7pm
                         Conservatory 9am to 5:30pm 
          The Winery Monday-Saturday   11am to 7pm Sunday 1pm to 7pm

     Other  areas of interest include; the Thomas Wolf home (adjacent to the
Raddison), the Blue Ridge  Parkway and Folk Art Center. A drive up  the Blue
ridge  Parkway to enjoy  the higher elevations  and incredible  views of our
mountains.  Perhaps  a  hike  up  to  Mount Pisgah  and  look  back  down to
Asheville(you can see Mt. Pisgah from most anywhere in Asheville).   A short
drive  from Mt.  Pisgah will  take you  to  Sliding Rock  (for those  of you
travelling with kids who  are still kids  at heart), the Cradle  of Forestry
(first forest school in the country),  waterfalls, trout hatchery, etc.  For
the  adventurous, white  water rafting   on the  Natahala River  near Bryson
City (approx one and a half hours from here).

     There's  obviously  loads more  to  see  and  do  around Asheville  (in
addition  to the Blue Ridge AtariFest and a visit to Computer Studio :-). If
any  of y'all would  like maps  and additional  tourist info  of the  area I
might suggest contacting the Chamber of Commerce:

                     Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
                             151 Haywood Street
                               P.O. Box 1010
                            Asheville, NC 28802
                      704-258-6111 FAX: (704)251-0926


> A Little Humor STR FOCUS!        A breath of Fresh Air!

>From the Pournelle RT on GEnie
       "Good Stuff"
Category 4,  Topic 24
Message 128       Tue Apr 20, 1993
T.BARRINGER [The Troll]      at 23:00 EDT

Not specifically computer-related, but quite applicable to many IS depts:

                                   THE PLAN
                       In the beginning was the Plan.
                  And the Plan contained the Assumptions.
                   And the Assumptions were without form.
                    And the Plan was without substance.
                And darkness was on the face of the Workers.
                  And they spoke among themselves, saying,
         "It is a pail of dung, and none may abide the odor thereof."
           And the Supervisors went unto their Managers, saying,
           "It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong,
                       such that none may abide by it."
            And the Managers went unto their Directors, saying,
       "It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength."
      And the Directors spoke among themselves, saying to one another,
      "It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong."
   And the Directors then went unto the Vice Presidents, saying unto them,
                "It promotes growth, and it is very powerful."
     And the Vice Presidents went unto the President, saying unto him,
          "This new plan will actively promote the growth and vigor
                   of the company, with powerful effects."
     And the President looked upon the Plan, and saw that it was good.
                        And the Plan became Policy.
                         This is how Sh*t Happens.


> NVN WANTS YOU! STR InfoFile       Another Network Supports Atari!

                      NVN - THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK!

     The  Atari computer  platforms has  support on  yet another  top notch
     telecommunications service!  National Videotex Network (NVN) maintains
     an area just for our favorite computers.  Type GO ATARI

     Order  an extended NVN  Membership of 6  or 12  months, pay for  it in
     advance and receive a  bonus in connect time at  no additional charge.
     Choose from two subscription plans:

                             6-Month Membership

     Pay just  $30 for a 6-month Membership and receive a usage credit that
     entitles you to $15  of connect-time in the  Premium services of  your
     choice. Your total savings using this plan would be over $20!*

                            12 Month Membership

     Pay  $50 for  a full  year's Membership  and get  even more  free time
     on-line.   We'll give you  a $25 usage credit to  use in your favorite
     premium services or try out new ones. You could save as much as $45.*

     NVN  now offers  Electronic Funds Transfer  (EFT). For a  $2 per month
     service  charge,   customers  may   have  their  NVN   online  charges
     automatically debited  from their personal checking  accounts.  Please
     contact Client Services for this new feature!

             For more information about either of these plans..
                         Please, give us a call at;

                          *** 9600 BAUD USERS! ***
            *** $6/hour non-prime time - $9/hour prime time ***

                    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.

                               NVN Highlights

 1. For the newcomers....
 3. Get your copy of DOS 6.0 Upgrade - FREE -!
 4. HALF PRICE SALE for Training files for all of April. No fooling...
 5. TV Buffs! Win a free hour online in the Television Forum during April!
 6. The Fishing Forum needs anglers to test new fishing lures...FREE!!!
 7. Check out the new Technology & Quality Management Forum...
 8. Win free connect time and other prizes playing Fantasy Baseball!
 9. Connect with other Teens - Wednesday nights at 9:00 pm (EDT)...
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11. Expand your knowledge of law from the comfort of your home...
12. Refer to NVN for all of your reference needs...
13. Enjoy NVN services while saving time and money!


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

                             STReport's MailBag

                    Messages * NOT EDITED * for content

>From CIS Atari Fora
"Broken Hearts and Dreams".....

#: 38936 S9/News/Product Info
    19-Apr-93  09:09:34
Sb: Atari Loss of $21.9M
Fm: SYSOP*Mike Schoenbach 76703,4363
To: All


  (April 19)
Atari Corp. reports it is posting a net loss of $21.9 million for the
fourth quarter compared with a $4.4 million net loss for the same period a
year earlier.

In a statement from Sunnyvale, Calif., Atari said net sales for the quarter
were $25.5 million compared with $96.1 million for 1991.  "As part of the
company's restructuring program," said the statement, "the company recorded
$7.4 million in restructuring charges and $14.1 million in inventory
write-downs. These charges were partially offset by a reversal of $9.0
million of previously estimated loss for discontinued operations."  Atari
said it also incurred a loss on exchange of $5.3 million as compared with a
$4.1 million gain in 1991.  For the year, Atari's net sales were $127.3
million compared with $258 million in 1991. The company net loss for the
year was $73.6 million, compared with net income of $25.6 million for 1991.

  "In the year 1992, the company took inventory write-downs of $37.6
million, and as part of its restructuring program, made provisions
totalling $17.1 million," Atari added.

  --Charles Bowen

More grief over the non-arrival of the Falcon...

#: 38969 S17/Community Square
    20-Apr-93  11:09:04
Sb: #38816-platforms
Fm: Clive Parker 100012,2571
To: Sysop*Brad Hill 71333,2165 (X)

Apparently the other two glossy UK mags do not yet have a Falcon (ST USER
and ST REVIEW) and I hear that the editor of ST Review wrote to Atari UK
demanding "his" Falcon at once. Atari told him where to stick it
(allegedly) and the mag was all set to close down with issue 12, which
included a long caustic editorial blaming Atari for non-coo [(sorry) for
non cooperation meaning that they had to close down. ST Review have been
"rescued" by the publishers of ST User and will continue to appear.

ST User previously rescued ST World, changed to a quarterly for 3 issues,
then changed it to a free supplement with User for 2 issues. Then it

BTW, I refer to the UK Atari User, not the US Mag.

Anyway, Falcon software is starting to arrive for review. Full reviews of
TruePaint and MusiCom will be in issue 47 (June) of ST FORMAT.

Clive Parker, ST FORMAT

#: 38970 S17/Community Square
    20-Apr-93  11:17:32
Sb: #38939-platforms
Fm: Clive Parker 100012,2571
To: MacDonald Associates 75300,2514

We never received a TT either, and our publisher declined the option of
buying one. Perhaps the reason the TT never took hold in the UK was that it
was never reviewed.

We bought a MegeSTE and reviewed it, retailers reported a massive upsurge
in sales and enquiries for about six weeks after the review was printed.

BTW, Atari do not advertise very much in the UK. They have not placed any
ads in ST FORMAT for the Falcon as yet, although they have advertised in ST
User. This was a special case 'though for reasons I cannot discuss.

The TT was only ever advertised (briefly) in Atari specific magazines in
the UK.

It's sad.

Clive Parker, ST FORMAT

#: 38732 S8/Hot Topics
    12-Apr-93  01:45:50
Sb: #38207-#Falcon Programs Test
Fm: Mike Fulton 75300,1141
To: JAIME SACADURA 100010,2150 (X)

Actually, the problem with Breakout in true color mode that you are seeing
is due to a bug in GEM VDI, not Breakout.

Breakout works correctly in True Color mode, but there is a bug in GEM VDI
with user-defined fill patterns in some of the earlier versions of
Falcon030 TOS (v4.01 & maybe v4.02).

This problem has been fixed in current versions of TOS.  At some point down
the road I would expect that you'll be able to get a TOS upgrade that will
solve that problem.

It has been noted by several people that Breakout and Landmines don't
really show off the capabilities of the machine.  I would agree with that
to some degree, but keep in mind that these programs will also work on
older ST, STE, and TT030 machines.  If you want to see something that
really takes full advantage of the machine, we've got games like LlamaZap
coming out that will only work on a Falcon030, and they definitely show off
the machine's capabilities.

Mike Fulton
#: 39000 S8/Hot Topics
    20-Apr-93  18:07:45
Sb: #38732-#Falcon Programs Test
Fm: JAIME SACADURA 100010,2150
To: Mike Fulton 75300,1141

Thanks for your reply, Mike.
Actually i would prefer if it was a problem with Breakout, instead of the
Falcon TOS.

I was not very happy, to know that a machine bought a few weeks ago, with
TOS 4.01 inside, is really an "old" machine with a TOS filled with bugs.
And see the surprise of a friend of mine, when i told him, that is Falcon
030, bought last week in England, with TOS 4.02 inside, isn't the latest
and hottest machine on earth, but an old version that needs to be upgraded.
I can just say that he wasn't amused and i'm sort of responsible for his

It's really, really, very disappointing.  We are talking about a ROM based
Operating System!!!!

Atari just can't sell machines and afterwards say to the customers: - I'm
sorry , your machine has an "old" TOS version and some software isn't going
to work. (Incidently, i have just bought TRUE PAINT, and you are right, as
some True Color functions like Fill don't work with 4.01 or 4.02 versions
of TOS, and are not going to work, according to the manual, even with a
disk based TOS)

With the Macintosh, for example, Apple would say: - I'm sorry, the 7.01
version of the OS we gave you with the machine, has bugs, here you have new
disks with the fixed version.

Not that simple with a ROM based OS, so ATARI should know better!!

Are we going to get new ROM's?. NO!! We are going to pay for them!!
When and if they became available!

In the mean time, we are left with new and already crippled hardware and
software, and that old feeling, of someone who knows ATARI for six years
and shouldn't be surprised with these sort of things.

That aside, I have two questions:

1- Which is the latest TOS version? (hopefully with fewer bugs)

2- A disk based TOS or some sort of TOSfix is not going to solve these
problems? (it doesn't seem to, at least according to Hisoft)

Answers anyone?

Jaime Sacadura

#: 39058 S8/Hot Topics
    23-Apr-93  06:07:14
Sb: #39000-Falcon Programs Test
Fm: Mike Fulton 75300,1141
To: JAIME SACADURA 100010,2150

The problem with fill patterns has absolutely nothing to do with the
Falcon030 hardware, and the fact that the machine may have an older version
of TOS in ROM doesn't mean that it's an old machine.  It most likely means
that it was made just before v4.04 went into production.  In fact, since
all machines older than about 3 months were intended for developers, you
most likely have a machine that has been build since the start of the year.

The current version of TOS still has a few problems with fill patterns, so
in that respect, yes, a disk-based version won't help.  Not now, anyway,
but that doesn't mean a disk-based version a month from now wouldn't do the

The current version of TOS for the Falcon030 is v4.04, but that has _just_
started to be produced at the factory (as opposed to eprom chips burned for
developer machines, which is much more expensive).

Would you rather not have the machine, because there are still a few bugs
in the OS that need to be ironed out?  I'm sure you could find somebody to
take it off your hands.  Then when we have a perfect OS with no bugs, then
you can get your machine.  I know that sounds sarcastic, but to be
realistic, there are always going to be some bugs in any software.  You do
the best you can, but some things slip by you.

I don't know what the mechanism for getting a TOS upgrade would be,
especially since you are in the U.K., but I'm sure it will be possible at
some point down the road.

There are actually very few differences between TOS v4.01 and v4.04.  It's
mostly small bug fixes.  The fill pattern problem is probably one of the
most serious bugs that still hasn't been fixed.


>From GEnie...
The questions keep coming but answers are few and far between...

Category 4,  Topic 36
Message 127       Tue Apr 20, 1993
SLP                          at 19:45 EDT

 DD, I actually think that sound and graphics (read games, home video
editing, and playing with music) are a much bigger market than serious DTP
work, especially with a home computer.  I do think that Atari just doesn't
realize how important CD ROM will be in the very near future (now?), and I
hope they don't miss the boat on that.

 I also think that it would be a mistake to buy a TT over a Falcon. The
bird will have much more third party support, and will be a more powerful
computer as well with the addition of hardware.  Why saddle yourself with
old technology.

Category 4,  Topic 36
Message 128       Wed Apr 21, 1993
STEVE-J [Steve @ NLS]        at 02:17 EDT

SLP - Atari DOES realize how important CD-ROM will be.  They've stated
since last Fall that they don't expect CD-ROM to REALLY get big until late
'93, though.  The CD-ROM driver for MultiTOS will read ALL (and
auto-detect) major CD-ROM formats, including Photo-CD.  The only question I
have about it is: What about non-MultiTOS Atari users???  They've released
the latest (and supposedly LAST) version of the MetaDOS CD-ROM driver for
ST's and compatibles, but it only handles High Sierra and ISO9660 (or
whatever) formats AND is apparently buggy.  Atari NEEDS to see to it that a
non-MultiTOS CD-ROM driver for all TOS-based machines is also made

Anyway, there is a RUMOR that Atari is working on a CD-ROM drive that will
interface with the DSP port, will be as fast as current CD-ROM drives, and
will cost only around $200 (to be available late Fall or early Winter '93).
Since a CD-ROM drive will be expected for the new Jaguar game console, this
doesn't seem too unbelievable.

Category 4,  Topic 36
Message 129       Wed Apr 21, 1993
D.D.MARTIN [Swampy]          at 19:57 EDT


Well said...  But don't worry, I'll have up to date technology when I
purchase my Centris 610.  %^)

Funny you should mention DTPing and the current market.  I had a friend ask
me today for recommendations for buying a computer.  I first asked him what 
he wanted to do with it.  'Oh, write letters, keep track of bills, play
some games, and put together the little theater programs so they are camera
ready'.  (He does plan to get an HP Laser Jet for the printer since he has
one in the office and knows the difference between LJ output and
dotmatrix).  He also said that he and his wife would like to write a book
on "how to start a community theater and do things like a nice Christmas
newsletter in lieu of Christmas cards next year (data base/mail merge).

Maybe, after buying his computer and getting comfortable with the software
and o/s he will start to look around at other things his computer can do..
ie. multi-media.  This guy is, to me, a typical late 20's yuppie who does a
little word processing for his job at the bank.

A Mercedes is a wonderful automobile with lots of bells and whistles and
high speed and luxurious appointments.  Like the Falcon, it has a niche
market based on economics and status.  It is still and must always be a
method of transportation that gets you from point A to point B. 
Pragmatists like myself aren't drawn to the bells and whistles and fine
leather interior.  I need to get from point A to point B in an economical
and safe manner.  Haul the kids, take the dog to the vet, pick up
groceries, run errands, get to work.  Those are _basic_ transportation
needs for most families and it doesn't require a Mercedes to do it.  If my
Pontiac or Chevy has a couple amenities like a good tape deck, power
windows etc. I'm happy.

BTW..speaking of CD-ROMs...  Atari showed the very first CD-ROM at Comdex
way back in 83-84-85 (?).  It was up and running on an ST with Grolliers
encyclopedia on the disk.  They could have lead the world, but as usual,
they put it on the back burner and never proceeded with it.  :(



Apparently Atarians are not alone... An Amigian goes PC

Category 4,  Topic 33
Message 246       Tue Apr 20, 1993
T.KIM4 [Tae Kim]             at 18:13 EDT

Ok dudes, I finally did it.  Tae Kim became a clonehead last night.

This is what I ordered:

GATEWAY 2000 486DX2/66 TOWER VESA local bus 2 32-bit slots Pentium
upgradable (ZIF socket) 8 ISA 16-bit slots ATI Ultra Pro w/ 1 meg 1280X1024
available 8 megs ram 256k cache 340 meg IDE hd 3.5 and 5.25 disk drives 15"
Crystal Scan flat-screen monitor by Mag (PC Mag editor's choice) Phillips
CD-ROM 375 ms and 150k transfer rate Microsoft Mouse, MS DOS 6, MICROSOFT
WORD/BOOKSHELF CD, WINDOZ 3.1 Anykey Keyboard for $3250 shipped to my door
also ordered a Pro Audio Spectrum 16 sound card (CD quality) and 2 CD

This machine should SCREAM.  Reasons for getting it: 
1. AmiPro 3.0 (superior wordprocessing) 
2. Games Games Games (It's sad that I say this now, two or three years ago
I'd kill myself if I thought this would happen. Alas, Strike Commander, 7th
Guest, Aces of Pacific, SVGA Links386 Pro; Titles like this change people)
3. Consultant work.  (How can I grub money in the Amiga market?

When I can get tons of money by teaching people how to install cards, IRQs,
set up databases, etc. etc.  Even though the PC is a pain, it has its

advantages. hehe ;) 4. Computer for college!  Of course I still have the
5oo.  The amiga will always have a special place in my heart, but Commodore
just couldn't compete with the clones.  It's just sad to say. The support
AIN't There here in the states.

I'll be around in the Amiga RT.  But just a few topics, like this one and
the Amiga Resource topic.  Oh well.


>From the ever popular and highly informative FNET...

Conf : Atari 16/32 Bit
Msg# : 3025/3036  Lines: Extended  Read: 1
Sent : Apr 20, 1993  at 7:24 PM
Recv : Apr 22, 1993
To   : Ralph Mariano
>From : Roadkill at Fnet Node 652, >Pengoland BBS<
Subj : Re: <3016> THOUGHTS?

 Previously Ralph Mariano wrote:

 >      Believe it or not, that's a very smart decision on your part.  You
 > know there's 60 million put aside to advertise and promote the game
 > machines... LYNX, Jaguar etc..  The Jag is gonna be quite the machine.
 > They do need devs for the Jaguar and are taking on programmers left and
 > right.  They just hired seventeen people for the game machine end of the
 > business whilst they laid-off 22 some odd people in the computer end.  I
 > also rumored they may discontinue all but the Falcon at the end of this

  Electronic Gaming Monthly said (approximately): Atari is planning to do
the same (as 3DO) with their Jaguar 64bit RISC based Mega system with
add-ons for hard drives, keyboards and VR goggles to draw the computer
heads....  (hmmmm Sound like a whole computer to me. Maybe with atari
emulation???  Don't know, so don't take my word for it!)

  Game pro said:  Atari told us recently that they wouldn't be at the
summer CES and would instead be showcasing their Jag at a private
conference some time after June. They said that the Jag would be VERY
expandable and that there would be available a AV for playing LYNX games
over the TV. Seeing is believing.

Hmm.....  I want to see this thing!! By the time they release the
developers info, I'll have enough money save for either a Jag dev kit or a
PC dev kit.


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