Atari Explorer Online: 26-Jun-93 #0211

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/02/93-10:29:47 PM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: Atari Explorer Online: 26-Jun-93 #0211
Date: Fri Jul  2 22:29:47 1993

 ::  Volume 2 - Issue 11     ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE         26 June 1993  ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::  ATARI .............. News, reviews, & solutions ............ ATARI  ::
 ::    EXPLORER ............ for the online Atari .......... EXPLORER    ::
 ::       ONLINE ................. Community .............. ONLINE       ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::        Published and Copyright = 1993 by Subspace Publishers         ::
 ::         """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""          ::
 ::  Publisher ........................ Michael W. Lindsay   EXPLORER    ::
 ::   Editor .................................. Travis Guy   AEO.MAG     ::
 ::    News and Features Editor ............... Ron Kovacs   Z-NET       ::
 ::     Assistant Editor GEnie............... Ron Robinson   EXPLORER.1  ::
 ::      Assistant Editor CompuServe......... Albert Dayes   AEO.1       ::
 ::       Assistant Editor Delphi........ Andreas Barbiero   AEO.2       ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::                              Contributors                            ::
 ::                              """"""""""""                            ::
 ::          Gregg Anderson     Michael Burkley      Terry May           ::
 ::          Michael Mortilla   Rob Schilling        Bill Scull          ::
 ::          Don Wilhelm        Erik Williams        Tim Wilson          ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::                      Telecommunicated to you via:                    ::
 ::                      """"""""""""""""""""""""""""                    ::
 ::                             GEnie: AEO.MAG                           ::
 ::                         CompuServe: 70007,3615                       ::
 ::                             Delphi: AEO_MAG                          ::
 ::                      Fnet: AEO Conference, Node 706                  ::
 ::                  AtariNet: AEO Conference, Node 51:1/10              ::
 ::                                                                      ::

                              Table of Contents

 * From the Editors .......... "The Sons of Soong Have Joined Together...."

 * Z*NET Newswire ...................... Atari shareholders met this week;
                                             IBM to build Atari's Jaguar???
                                               More computer industry news.

 * Atari Asylym ..................... Benchmarks and compatibility testing
                                                    on the Atari Falcon030.

 * Adventures of an Hardware Hacker - Part III ............ Z-RAM problems.

 * AEO Calendar of Events ................ Events, happenings in the World
                                                      Atari, and elsewhere.

 * Twenty Questions to Atari Corp. .......... The first CIS "20 questions"

 * AtariNet Overview ......................... Getting started on AtariNet.

 * MiGraph's OCR Jr. .......................... Rob Schilling reviews this
                                                          lite OCR package.

 * Commentary .......................... Mike Mortilla looks at reprinting
                                                  messages for the onlines.

 * The Unabashed Atariophile ............... Trek files and more await you.

 * News from Usenet .............. Tim's news and tidbits off the Internet.

 * GEnie News .......................... New files & happenings on Atari's
                                                  Official Online Resource.

 * Developing News .................................. ICD Pro SCSI Software
                                                           View II from DMJ
                                                       Purple Mountain Tour
                                                       Blue Ridge AtariFest

 * Shutdown ........................................... Movers and Shakers.


 |||  From the Editors ....... Atari Explorer Online: The Next Generation
 |||  Bob Brodie and Ron Kovacs
/ | \ -------------------------------------------------------------------

   By: Bob Brodie

Welcome to another issue of Atari Explorer Online Magazine!

We've been away too long, and we've been going through some changes.
Let's fill you in on some of the things that are going on. Mike
Lindsay is now publisher of Atari Explorer Online, with Travis Guy
staying on as Editor, and handling the layout of the magazine. Mike
will be overseeing the direction of the magazine, and managing his
writers. It will have a bit more independent slant, but still the best
source of Atari news and information, because of Mike's close
relationship at Atari Corp. Many of you will recall that the inaugural
editions of Atari Explorer Online were produced by Ron Kovacs of Z*Net
News Service. Ron had rejoined our staff as our News and Features
Editor. We will also be taking on the rest of the Z*Net staff as part
of Atari Explorer Online Magazine.

It seems that there is just tons of people that want to read an online
magazine, but not as many people interested in helping produce an
online magazine anymore. Both Z*Net and Atari Explorer Online were
experiencing some problems getting productive staff members to put out
what we'd consider an acceptable size issue. At Atari, we've long
admired Ron Kovacs and Z*Net; truth be known I was a writer for Z*Net
before I was an employee for Atari! Over the years, Ron and I have
developed a close, personal relationship that transcends things Atari.
We've always gotten along well, and had a healthy respect for each
others work, opinions, and the person. Mike Lindsay and I share a
similar relationship based on his work with Explorer, and he and Ron
work well together. When we began discussing ways to try and shore up
both publications, it just made sense to merge them again. So you will
see the familiar Z*Net Newswire here in Atari Explorer Online on a
bi-weekly basis, along with many of the familiar Z*Net staffers as
well. We'll be uploading our issues to the major networks, GEnie,
Delphi, CompuServe plus in the AEO/Z*Net Conference available in the
F-Net, AtariNet, and TurboNet.

As in the past, Atari Explorer Online will focus mostly on Atari based
news and information. Because of the close relationship our staff has
with Atari, we're in a position to give you the very latest in facts
on what's happening in the Atari Community, not just rumors or
speculation. Atari will take pains to see that our staff has access to
the latest technologies from our company. As always, we look forward
to your suggestions as to how we can improve our publication. In the
past, we've done things like incorporated picture files to give you a
glimpse of what's coming with things like MultiTOS, SpeedoGDOS, and
Atari Works. We plan on continuing with that, as well as incorporating
game coverage for our Lynx owners! We'll also be taking a look at the
exciting Atari Jaguar as it is readied for the marketplace.

It's going to be an interesting summer.

  By Ron Kovacs

Well, as you are VERY WELL AWARE OF NOW, Z*Net Atari Online Magazine
has been disbanded. There will no longer be a Z*Net issue covering
the Atari community. The reasons for this are listed below...

The Atari version of Z*Net Online was retired for a number of reasons.
I do not want to get into the details for all of them, however, I do
want to pass along my personal feelings on this with our loyal

The first and biggest reason is the amount of work necessary to
produce weekly releases. Anyone who has written or compiled any type
of material will understand the time needed to put things together.
While this has been a very enjoyable task, personal problems and
life-style changes have taken much of my free time away from editing.

Another reason is simply that I am tired. I am retiring from regular
publishing/editing duties to spend more time on my other publication
and projects, more time with my children, and more time to simply
relax and do nothing. However, I am not just going to stop
participating, hence my new job in Atari Explorer Online.

As the News and Features Editor, I will be responsible for putting
together the Z*Net Newswire and feature articles for this publication.
The current team assembled to publish AEO will move online magazine
reporting to a new level. There will be NEW faces, new ideas and
topics to cover in future editions. Some of the "old" *might* remain,
but you will see more information *useful* to the home computer user.

With this change, I will be able to keep the "burn-out" syndrome out
of my life and enjoy using my Atari system to its full capacity. The
Z*Net BBS will remain active as well as our participation in AtariNet
and the online services. Z*Net PC will return to regular release and
be available soon.

So, the Z*Net era is now over and Atari Explorer Online Magazine, an
INDEPENDENT publication will take its place. I hope you will support
this publication as you have Z*Net in the past.


 |||    Z*NET Newswire
 |||    Compiled and Edited by Ron Kovacs
/ | \   GEnie: Z-NET      CIS: 75300,1642      Delphi: ZNET

 #####(((((((((( ###
 ############(( ####
 #########(( #######
 ######(( ##########  This column contains the latest Atari News
 #####(((((((((( ###  with an update of the Computing Industry.

Atari Corporation hosted their annual shareholders meeting on Friday,
June 25th at the corporate headquarters in Sunnyvale. The routine
business of the corporation was handled in a perfunctory fashion, with
the board of directors being re-elected for another term. A proposal
that the board of directors had recommended to do a 10:1 reverse stock
split was rebuffed. The board reversed their position on the issue,
due to the increases in the price of the stock over the last few
weeks. There was a limited amount of discussion by the shareholders
about the reversal of position by the board. Clearly, there was no
dissension during the discussion. The meeting was run by Atari Corp.
CEO Sam Tramiel, with the entire board of directors present, including
Jack Tramiel.

On display for the shareholders were a number of Lynx machines in a
tower style Lynx kiosk, two Atari Falcon030s, and a Jaguar Development
system! After the formal portions of the meeting, Atari conducted an
informal discussion time of questions and answers hosted by Sam
Tramiel. Sam showed the shareholders the futuristic style Jaguar case
housing, and discussed the system in detail with the shareholders.
John Skrutch provided demonstrations of game titles under development,
including Side Shooter, Space Pirates and Cybermorph. The titles were
loaded off of various media, including CD-ROM from Jaguar develop
systems that included a TT030, 386DX II PC machine, and a Jaguar
development system. The Jaguar's 24 bit color, real time morphing, and
full shading effects were stunning!!

During the question and answer session, Sam Tramiel declined to name
sales projections for the Jaguar, preferring to only re-iterate that
the machine will be sold in New York and San Francisco beginning this
October. Atari plans to support the machine heavily with television
advertising, and expects all major retailers to place orders for the
Jaguar. Plans call for Atari to have five titles ready to ship with
the Jaguar, plus third party development titles. Sam projected that
the fourth quarter would be "a wash" for shareholders. Although Atari
expects terrific sales for the Jaguar, the heavy promotional costs
will offset those profits. However, Atari expects the Jaguar to power
a terrific 1994!

Sam was asked about plans for the Lynx, and he indicated that most
sales in the home entertainment market are for the console based
units. As the Jaguar commercials start to run, Atari plans on
including Lynx promotional information along with the Jaguar, in much
the same fashion as Sega promotes the Genesis and then tags Game Gear
at the end of the commercial. When asked about the Atari Falcon030,
Sam indicated that the computer business is still very tough,
dominated by MS-DOS clones. The on-going price wars in the computer
business make it difficult to be profitable in that business. Atari is
committed to the computer business though, and Sam clearly indicated
that there would be successors to the Atari Falcon030.

The Jaguar comes with two megabytes of RAM, a 64 bit custom RISC
processor, and a full 64 bit bus. The DSP chip is not a Motorola DSP
as in the Falcon030, but rather a Atari custom DSP chip that is a
subset of the RISC processor. There is a cartridge slot on top of the
Jaguar case, which will also serve as a connection point for the
Jaguar CD ROM unit, which will in turn have a cartridge port for
"piggy backing" cartridges into it. Several shareholders commented on
the capabilities of the Jaguar that appear to exceed what many
computers have, and Sam stated that consideration was being given to
creating a Jaguar PC card as well as using Jaguar technology in future
Atari Computers like the Falcon.

A shareholder asked about the "made in America" statement in the
Jaguar press release. Since Atari doesn't own its own manufacturing
facilities, who will be making the Jaguar for them? Sam replied that
there would be an announcement made next week as to the manufacturer
of the Jaguar. After the meeting the one manufacturer that was heard
mentioned was IBM!!!

At the conclusion of the informal time, Sam invited shareholders to
remain to take a look at the Jaguar, Falcon030, and Lynx products.
Shareholders were also able to chat with important Atari staffers like
Richard Miller, John Skrutch, Leonard Tramiel and others about the
Jaguar. Many shareholders took the opportunity to put the Jaguar
through its paces on various game titles under the watchful eye of
Atari staff.

Charles Johnson recently posted on GEnie that the Falcon030 version of
Warp 9 is nearly complete. A few last minute bugs and loose ends need
addressing and it will be a few weeks before it is released. The first
release of the Falcon030 version will not support screen acceleration
in 16-bit color modes (the modes Atari calls "true color"); it will
automatically sense when you switch to such a mode and turn
acceleration off. Most of the other features of Warp 9 do work in
16-bit color modes, though, including Extend-O-Save. The other
Codehead EOS modules have been revised to work with the Falcon030 in
all modes.

Paul Mace Software has released a new version of its popular animation
and authoring program Grasp (Graphic Animation System for
Professionals). Multimedia Grasp is the highest-end tool in the Grasp
family. It will include a rapid prototyping tool, as well as a toolbox
of new and revised multimedia authoring programs and utilities
including the Grasp engine, a full-feature paint program, file
conversion tools featuring sound, picture and animation support for
importing modules from other programs, a font editor and a code
library to support "C" programmers. According to Mace, Multimedia
Grasp has a suggested retail price of $1,195, which is competitive
with the only other two professional multimedia authoring tools in the
marketplace. Grasp displays up to 32,765 colors (with HiColor) and
supports all popular graphics display standards including: CGA, EGA,
VGA, SVGA, TGA and Hercules with resolutions up to 1280 x 1024 panels.
Image file formats supported include PCX, GIF, PIC and TGA. Grasp
supports a variety of video capture boards, printers and scanners, as
well as CD-ROM drives and other devices.

Apple has unveiled two new models to their PowerBook series. The
PowerBook 180c brings active matrix color to the top of the line while
the PowerBook 145B lowers the entry-level price by 25 per cent. Both
computers feature Apple's all-in-one design including an integrated
track-ball and palm-rests. With its 256-color active matrix display
the PowerBook 180c offers the highest quality color technology on the
notebook market today. Images are sharply defined and colors are
amazingly bright. Saturated colors stand out strongly. The 180c
display also brings the advantage of a viewing angle that is
noticeably wider than that offered by earlier- generation screens.
Viewers close to the screen but not having a direct line of vision can
read text and appreciate graphics. The new 640 x 480 format adds an
extra 80 lines of resolution. Powered by a Motorola 68030 processor
running at 33MHz, performance from the PowerBook 180c is on a par with
the PowerBook 180. The system ships with all the features standard --
Apple SuperDrive, allowing the user to read floppy disks formatted in
MS-DOS and OS/2 systems in addition to Macintosh computer disks, a
full-size keyboard, video out, sound in and sound out. Both new models
include a rechargeable nickel-cadium battery, AC adapter, System 7.1
software, training software and complete learning and reference

Seattle Telecom and IBM recently announced that IBM's Electronic Card
Assembly and Test Plant in Charlotte would manufacture accelerator
boards for the Washington company. A manufacturing contract calls for
the Charlotte plant to manufacture Seattle Telecom & Data's new PSX/
486SLC accelerator cards, which upgrade older IBM Personal System/2
computers. The multi-year contract has a value of about $7 million.

Apple Computer, hoping to pump up the volume on sales of its Macintosh
line, announced a wide-ranging price cut and rebates of up the $350 on
some of its computers. The promotion will run through Sept. 30. The
cuts in Macintosh computers range from 6.8 percent to 12.6 percent,
and as much as 26 percent on peripherals. These and other disclosures
caused a sharp sell-off in Apple stock and an announcement from
Moody's Investors Service that it might downgrade its ratings on
Apple. This is the second time this year Apple has moved to drop

A new promotion called "Microsoft Games Sampler" provides you with a
free disk containing four fully operational games, one from each of
Microsoft's four different Entertainment Packs. What's more, you also
receive mail-in rebates good for two free floppy disks or a $2 rebate
on your next data cartridge purchase. The promotion is available in
specially-marked packages of Verbatim brand floppy disks and retail
packaged quarter-inch data cartridges. Part one of the promotion
begins in July and runs through September 1993. Part two, featuring
four different games, runs from October through December 1993.

WordPerfect has announced WordPerfect 1.0.1 for NeXTSTEP interim
release is shipping. The updated releases includes support for NeXT
Computer's new NeXTSTEP operating system for Intel processors. The
interim release also adds support for NeXTSTEP's drag-and-drop text
feature and on-line help.

IBM Canada expects to cut its 10,000-person work force by 10 percent
this year through voluntary buyouts. 1,000 workers are expected to
sign up for an incentive program to leave.

John Sculley, chief executive officer of Apple Computer, plans to
eventually leave the personal-computer giant. The 54-year-old
executive has been talking privately about purusing other
opportunities and expects to leave Apple at some point, preferably to
run his own high- tech company on the East Coast, as reported in USA
Today. Sculley told the newspaper he plans to stay long enough at
Apple to make sure the company "can go on for years and years" under a
solid management team.

3M has announced the availability of a 5.25-inch 1.3-gigabyte 3M
Optical Disk for use on new double-capacity optical drives. 3M will
begin shipping the disks in late June. The suggested list price for
each 3M Optical Disk is $235.


 |||   Atari Asylum
 |||   By: Gregg Anderson
/ | \  GEnie: AEO.7

Welcome, oh fellow inmates, to yet another exciting visit to the
Atari Asylum. Now that the Day Nurse has made her morning rounds, we
can all kick back, relax, and talk about our favorite delusion - Atari
computers. As things have been a bit rather quiet of late, I thought
it might be time to "stir the soup" a little with some benchmark
timing tests on Atari's new Falcon030. The results were a bit
surprising as the unit did quite well in some tests but not as well as
expected in others. In other words, a typical benchmark result. <grin>
But first, some wandering reflections.

Remember my comment last time of how much I liked the "Set Video"
system used on the Falcon030? Well, I've gotten even more fond of it
since then. Why? Because changing resolution in the Falcon030 is a far
cry from rebooting my old MegaST/NEC-3D combo every time I want a
different resolution. With the Falcon030 you have ALL your most
productive resolutions available in a single monitor with system-level

For me to change from productivity (Monochrome) to Entertainment
(Color) modes in my old Mega I have to power down and power back up
while pressing a small button to tell my system what resolution I
want. With the Falcon030, I just go up to Set Video, select the
resolution and color combination I want and hit enter. The system
takes it from there and, after a slight pause for a modified reset,
sends me directly to the desired video mode. By the way, the
"Compatibility Modes" do more than just preselect the resolution. They
also modify the color palette and a number of other parameters to help
the system act more "ST-like" and improve compatibility. It's not
perfect yet but it does help.

Speaking of compatibility, has anyone tried the "MAGI.ZIP" utility?
This French import claims to solve most of the Falcon's compatibility
problems. Assuming Sheldon lets me put his demo Falcon030 at risk I
may give it a try on some disk-based games. More on this subject in a
week or two.

Between the "Set Video" feature and overall usability of the 640 X 480
resolution I could get to like this machine <grin>. Now if they'd only
give it a 1280 X 960 mode for my DTP/Drafting and a usable VGA
interlace mode for all those games & color demos coming out I'd be the
happiest video freak on the planet. Of course, then I'd want a Mini-
Tower or TT case, separate "TT-Style" keyboard, and TT FastRAM as well.
And then there are the dancing girls and a pot 'o gold or two would be
nice.... Hmmm, wasn't this what got us put into the Asylum in the first
place? What the heck, if we're going to dream why not be greedy about
it? <grin>

Now before we start listing the results of these tests let me outline a
few of the ground rules. First is that the Falcon030 being tested
belongs to Asheville's Computer Studio. In fact it's their demo unit
with TOS 4.02 and SpeedoGDOS installed. By the way, rumor has it that
the Falcon030s now being shipped to the dealers for sale to us have a
newer version of TOS installed.

Ok, that covers the Falcon030, what about the other units tested? What
other units? Well, you can't have a usable benchmark test without
something to compare your benchmarks to. Or can you?  Maybe I'd better
talk to the Day Nurse some more. Anyway, I've matched the Falcon030's
performance against three other computer systems. My personal Mega4
running at 8 & 16 Mhz, a new MegaSTe running at 16 Mhz, and one of
Computer STudio's TT030 systems running at 32 Mhz. Sound reasonable?
Good, I thought you'd like it.

Since the Falcon030 has SpeedoGDOS active, I've installed G-Plus where
needed for comparison tests on the Mega4. Sorry, but I can't load GDOS
on the TT030 or the MegaSTe since they're not mine to mess with.
Sadly, I don't have Warp 9 loaded for these tests either, but don't
panic yet because I can promise you a pleasant surprise in the next
issue of the Asylum.

I also have to say that ANY benchmark test should be taken with a
grain or two of salt. Why? Because all too often a benchmark result
can be misleading for a variety of reasons. First of all is that NO
ONE has ever created, or even decided on the requirements of, the
perfect ST benchmark program. Each of the available tests concentrate
on different aspects of the system and use different routines. What
happens as a result is quite often benchmarks tend to contradict each
other. So take the results of these tests for what they're worth, as
useful tools to compare different Atari systems WITHIN the same tests.

Enough of this foolishness, on with the tests:


//// QuickIndex 2.2

          Mega4      MegaSTe |---------Falcon---------ST--|   TT
        Monochrome   MedRes  |256    16     4     2  HiRes|  HiRes
        8Mhz 16Mhz   16Mhz   |------------16 Mhz----------|  32Mhz
CPU      %%    %%      %%      %%    %%    %%    %%    %%      %%

Memory   98   134     164     367   415   467   478   480     806
Register 99   202     203     406   406   410   406   410     811
Divide  179   201     203     507   507   507   507   510    1014
Shifts  176   205     207    1737  1737  1737  1737  1737    3534

TOS/GEM  %%    %%      %%      %%    %%    %%    %%    %%      %%

Text    102   144     105      49    90   128   160   161     199
String   89   125     109      65   109   144   167   168     171
Scroll  131   138     132      16    40    89   181   214      73
Dialog  251   356     325     106   142   162   173   174     241

As expected, the Falcon030 easily out powers the ST/STe in CPU power
by a factor of two, three, four, or even up to eight. The TT030, of
course, outpowers all of them without even breaking into a sweat. On
the text-based tests, however, the picture is less rosy. Given a
similar number of colors to display, the Falcon030 generally matches
or betters the text, string, and scroll tests of the older Atari
machines (including the TT030).

On the Quick Index dialog test our the new bird seems to suffer by
comparison. I'm not sure exactly why as the other benchmarks indicate
the Falcon's dialog box performance is at least the equal of the older
ST line. It may be due in part to the age of this particular test,
Quick Index is the oldest Benchmark still in active use on the ST

//// NBM

              |---Mono Mega4---|    RGB MegaSTe
               8 MhZ     16 Mhz       16Mhz
               Bare        Bare        Bare
Math           109%        162%        182%
Memory         109%        141%        153%
DialogBox      192%        260%        246%
Graphics        70%        111%        133%

               |---------Falcon030---------ST-|   TT030
               256    16      4      2    HiRes   HiRes
Math           180%   223%   242%   252%   254%   312%
Memory         172%   222%   246%   258%   261%   252%
Dialog Box     130%   209%   269%   307%   309%   379%
Graphics       60%     87%   105%   116%   142%    63%

Again we have indications of similar or superior performance on the
part of the Falcon030 in most, if not all, areas. What surprised me
was how close the bird comes to matching the TT030. All in all, when
matching similar resolutions & colors, the Falcon030 looks good on
this test.  Again, however, graphics/text performance does not seem to
match the CPU/Memory gains over the older systems.

//// PERF (CPU tests ONLY)

                    8Mhz      16Mhz    16Mhz     32Mhz
                    Mega4     Mega4   MegaSTe    TT030
                    Mono      Mono    MedRes     Mono

Dhrystones/Sec    1699.90   2367.70   2762.32  4111.35
Fibanacci/Sec         .52       .67       .87     2.39
Sorts/Sec             .43       .69       .73     2.16
Sieve/Sec            4.98      9.03     10.04    39.93
Clip/Sec           320.35    473.24    520.57   989.90

                            16Mhz FALCON030
                256 Color  16 Color  4 Color  2 Color  ST-HiRes

Dhrystones/Sec    2410.75   3013.44  3314.78  3507.71  3578.71
Fibanacci/Sec        1.62      1.85     1.97     2.00     2.02
Sorts/Sec            1.08      1.26     1.32     1.34     1.36
Sieve/Sec           21.93     22.45    22.45    23.34    23.03
Clip/Sec           499.75    635.27   694.09   730.62   739.27

Note: this author's tests tend to indicate that none of Atari's
computers, not even the TT030, can hold a candle to the Sun IPC or a
33Mhz 486 clone. Based on the comparison chart included with this
utility The TT030 is only able match 30-35% of the clone's performance
and only a bit over 20% of the Sun's in these tests.


All gains are measured against an 8Mhz ST system, Note: GEMBENCH II
runs in MONOCHROME or 2-Color mode ONLY so color Falcon tests were not

                  Mono          Mono    2-Color  STHi      Mono
              |---Mega4----|   MegaSTe |----FALCON---|      TT
              8Mhz    16 Mhz   16 Mhz       16 Mhz        32 Mhz

Dialog box:   163%     227%     187%     187%     188%     256%
Text:         248%     383%     266%     355%     356%     306%
Text Effects: 163%     253%     187%     325%     327%     317%
Small Text:   168%     267%     180%     237%     238%     242%
Graphics:     128%     216%     191%     285%     287%     435%
Windows:      182%     222%     250%     182%     200%     286%
Division:     138%     170%     182%     469%     469%     888%
Flt Point:    121%     182%     194%     245%     247%     489%
RAM Access:   100%     165%     173%     385%     385%     586%
ROM Access:   100%     163%     172%     443%     443%     709%
Blitting:     617%     699%     677%     997%    1010%     668%
Scrolling:    317%     414%     333%     807%     814%     460%
VDI Inquire:   78%     106%     154%     132%     135%     232%

             Mono      Mono     Mono     2Color   STHi     Mono
             8Mhz      16Mhz    16Mhz        16Mhz         32Mhz
            MegaST4   MegaST4  MegaSTe  |---Falcon---|      TT

Graphics:     229%     309%     269%     389%     395%     356%
Math/Memory:  114%     170%     180%     385%     386%     668%
Average:      194%     266%     242%     388%     392%     452%

GemBench is possibly the most comprehensive benchmark we have right
now and generally backs up the other tests. On the whole, the
Falcon030 is about three times as powerful as the ST/STe line in
CPU/Math/Memory capability and about half as powerful as the TT030. In
graphics based tests it is about twice the machine the older units are
if not more.  In fact, due to the design of the graphics subsystem the
Falcon030 matches and sometimes surpasses the TT030's graphics
performance, at least on the benchmarks. In real world software the
TT030 does still hold an advantage on DTP and CAD type software.

So what do these tests tell us? Mainly, that raw performance on the
Falcon030 is extremely dependent on the graphics mode being used. In
other words, the greater the number of colors being displayed the
slower the system will perform. My advice from last week still stands,
run the system with the fewest number of colors you need and it will
perform better for you.

Now let's compare the very handy, if somewhat confusing, benchmark
results with some real world tests.

//// Timing and Benchmark Tests

Program             Mono     Mono   Mono  |-------16Mhz-FALCON--------|
                 |--Mega4--|  MSTe   TT    256    16     4     2   STHi
                 8Mhz  16Mhz 16Mhz  32Mhz |---------Color Modes-------|

                                    Time, in seconds
                   |     |     |      |      |     |     |     |     |
EasyDraw 3.0;
Load & display:  42.5  30.0  ----   ----   25.5  21.1  19.9  19.2  18.5
113k full page:  12.3   8.7  ----   ----    9.8   8.1   7.5   7.1   7.0

TouchUp 1.84;
Load & Display:  9.2    6.3  10.5    2.9   TouchUp runs in    3.9   3.9
120k full page:  6.9    3.6   3.5    3.6   Monochrome Modes   2.4   2.2
Rotate page 180: 13.1   7.6   7.4    4.6   Only               4.5   3.9

1stWord Plus;
12 Page Scroll:  99.1  73.2   60.2  65.3* 160.5  96.0  73.0  63.0  55.1

(Note *: the TT030's 65.3 time was for "Full Page" scolling; using the
same half-sized window as in the ST/STe/Falcon the time was 48.5 Sec.)

//// FRAC demo from BrainStorm (10 iterations)

     |-------Falcon----------|  MegaST4 8  MegaST4 16  MegaSTe   TT
     256   16    4    2  STHi  Low Med Hi  Low Med Hi  Low Med  High

                             Time, in seconds
       |    |    |    |     |    |   |  |    |   |  |    |   |    |
CPU   28   22   22   20    20   44  42 46   28  26 28   26  24   10
DSP   10    6    8    6     6   --  -- --   --  -- --   --  --   --
FPU   --   --   --   --    --   --  -- --   --  -- --   --  --   10

So what do these real world tests tell us? A number of things
actually, first of all is that benchmark programs don't always tell
the entire truth.

One of the first surprises was that file loading in the Falcon030 is,
despite the relatively slow IDE drive, surprisingly fast. I'm not
sure exactly what the cause is, the faster CPU, a more efficient data
bus, the newer TOS, or what, but the Falcon is a lot faster than my
ST/ICD combo or even Atari's MegaSTe when loading program files.
Sadly, ICD's Rate Hard Drive is not Falcon compatible so I can't give
you any solid numbers.

y Graphics drawing: As you can see from the Easy Draw and TouchUp tests
graphics are noticeably faster than on a stock ST, STe, or MegaSTe with
no ifs, ands, or buts about it. What is surprising is how close the
Falcon030 comes to matching the TT030's graphics performance in some
of these tests. When coupled with the benchmark tests, this indicates
that while the Falcon has only about half the TT's CPU power (as
expected), its Graphics subsystem is far more efficient and can, in
some situations, almost make up for the difference in CPU power.

y Text speed: Here we have a small problem. Like all of Atari's ST/TT
line the Falcon's native text speed is less than awe inspiring. Why?
Because while we see it as text the computer has to see and treat it as
graphics of a particularly nasty (and slow) variety. On the whole
(when using similar color numbers) the Falcon030 easily outpowers the
original ST and Mega line in text speed and comes close to the TT030's

What was surprising was how fast text scrolling was with the TOS 2.06
equipped MegaSTe. That one was much faster than expected. As I
mentioned last week, the Falcon030's color shift in 16 and 256 color
modes when scrolling text is pretty distracting. In four color mode,
however, it's not much worse than on a Medium Res ST system. In two
color mode, there's no shift at all. Interestingly enough, there's
little or now color shift in AtariWorks no matter what resolution it's
running in; good work Atari.

Then there are benchmarks designed to show off a specific feature, such
as the FRAC program from BrainStorm. This interesting program allows
you to run the Mandelbrot set using the CPU, the FPU (Floating Point
Unit), or the DSP (Digital Signals Processor). As you can see, the DSP
excels at complex math like this and, once software starts to take
advantage of its co-processing potential, will do a lot to make the
Falcon line fly. The only problem is that right now there's little or
no software capable of doing that.

Looking over the various benchmark programs it could appear that, in
one or two tests anyway, the Falcon030 is little more than a small
step up from the original ST, or maybe even a step backwards. WRONG!
Benchmarks test ONLY those parts of the system the programmer wants
tested, and are often written with an emphasis on a specific area. Of
all of these tests I suspect the GemBench II may be the least biased,
if only because of the variety of tests it performs.

This feeling of overall superiority is brought out when comparing the
Falcon's actual performance in "real world software" against the
ST/STe under even remotely similar conditions. The Falcon030 is
generally able to match the text speed performance of a stock system
and comes close to a Warp 9'ed MegaSTe. More important is that it
easily outpaces any 68000-based ST/STe in CPU/RAM-intensive
applications such as DTP and CAD.

Why no TrueColor timing tests?  Because no one in their right mind
will ever try to use True Color for Word Processing, DeskTop
Publishing, Spreadsheets, etc. It makes for some fantastic color
pictures and games but is generally useless for productivity unless
you're running in interlace mode, which brings in problems of it's

So why no audio demos, tests, or comments today?  Well, if you were as
deaf as I am (too many years standing next to jet engines on the flight
line) then you'd have a tendency to ignore most of the audio features
yourself. Seriously though, I do plan on testing and reporting on some
of the audio features as soon as I get my hands on some usable
software. What little I've heard so far has been VERY impressive, but
I'm just not into MIDI at this point. sorry

Got a couple of more goodies you can add to the Falcon Compatible list;

y 1st Word Plus works like a trooper and lets you take advantage of
the larger display with no problems. Though faster than on a Mega, you
do need to switch to a two-color display before using this program as
the "color shift" when scrolling in 16 & 256 color modes is very
distracting (and a bit slower then in two color mode). By the way,
much of this review was written on a Falcon using 1st Word Plus (for
preformatted ASCII output). Just goes to show that you really can type
with the Falcon030 without going insane using the keyboard from Tarpon

y Diamond Back II (2.51) works as well on the Bird as on any of
Atari's ST/TT line. Watch out for those pre-formatted High Density
Disks in the DOS world though. Seems that most of them have been
formatted with DOS 5 or 6 that does something a bit strange with the
Sector Byte count or something. This does a major number on using the
"compressed" mode in DB II and renders the entire backup useless. My
advice, until DB III comes out anyway, is to pre-format your HD disks
on your TT030/Falcon030, use the built in format in DB II, or just
avoid using the data compression mode. Uncompressed everything works

y TouchUp Ver 1.84 from Migraph is another winner. This utility is
quite a bit faster on the Falcon than on any ST/STe. A few problems
though; one is that it can't handle any of the Falcon's color modes
and bombs when loading in anything but two-color or ST-High compatible
modes. The second problem is that it is VERY memory sensitive.
Believe it or not I've had it scramble a rotated image on a four meg
Falcon that it doesn't scramble if you free up a little more RAM by
removing an AUTO folder or .ACC/CPX program. Strange.

The following list of software is from Oregon Research's outstanding
new catalog. Good job Robert, it's a professional work from start to

Diamond Back II & III
Diamond Edge
True Pain
Harlekin 2
Ultimate Virus Killer
Knife ST
Lattice C
HiSoft BASIC 2
Devpac 3
HiSpeed Pascal
FTL Modula-2
HiSoft C                 Not TT030 compatible
Tempus 2                 Not TT030 compatible


MicroProse B-17:    Sorry folks, this one's a no-go on the Falcon.
                    However, if you've still got an ST/STe/MegaSTe
                    then this is an OUTSTANDING simulation.

ForthMACs ver 1.1 by Bradly Forthware:
                    Runs, compiles, but then the finished package can't
                    handle the 030, gives memory errors.  If anyone
                    knows of any updates to this package PLEASE let me
                    know about it ASAP.

HEY PEOPLE!!!!! I'm running out of things to write/talk about here.
PLEASE, Email me your Falcon compatibility lists as you confirm them.
I'll be happy to post them in the Asylum along with your name. Same
deal if you find something interesting or new that the Falcon or any
Atari computer can do. Got a question? Send it in to Atari Explorer
Online and maybe we can help you find an answer.

Want a grin? Take the Breakout game that is bundled with your
Falcon030 and drag its window over the edge of the screen so that less
than half the window is visible on screen. Now turn up the audio
volume and click inside the Breakout window as though trying to start
a game. Enjoy! <grin>

My parting shot is that I've noticed a disturbing trend in the PD and
freeware demos coming out on the Falcon030. An awful lot of them seem
dedicated to the INTERLACED display mode only. In my opinion (and we
all know what that's worth, don't we) this is not going to help us
push the Falcon like it deserves to be pushed if, in order to give a
good demo, we have to do the old 'two monitor' dance again. Please
people, SUPPORT THE VGA DISPLAY. Interlace is nice, but VGA is where
the serious work is.

Well, until they let me out of my padded cell again, take care.


 |||  Adventures of an Amateur Hardware Hacker - Part Three
 |||  By: Don Wilhelm, BAAUG & SCCAUG
/ | \ -------------------------------------------------------------------

//// Editor: As a precaution, if you do not have experience with
//// working with the tools and/or methods described in this article,
//// or if you feel uncomfortable about anything herein, PLEASE DO NOT
//// ATTEMPT ANY MODIFICATIONS DESCRIBED. Your, and your computer's
//// safety, is paramount.


A weird video shift problem is the sudden flipping over of a portion
of the video image from one side of the screen to the other side. In
my case a one-half inch vertical band from the right edge of the
display flipped over to the left edge of the screen and overlayed that
portion of the display. This happened within a few seconds of
executing what I call graphics-intensive activity; e.g., running a
program that generates Moire patterns or my manually racing back and
forth across the menu bar with the mouse arrow such that menus were
dropping down and closing like mad. It happened in both monochrome and
color. It happened on my brother's 520ST after I installed TOS 1.4 for
him and booted up the computer to test it.

Naturally I thought I had a bad set of TOS ROMs or had otherwise
zapped something in the system. Or maybe the monitor had gone bad. The
computer already had a Z-RAM 3-D memory upgrade board that I had
installed two years earlier and that had been working just fine with
2 MB of Samsung 80 nanosecond DRAMs. I consulted with a number of
dealers and developers, including Abu Zubair (the developer of the
board) and E.Arthur Brown (the dealer who sold it to me). Zubair's
installation manual actually discusses the video shift problem (on
some "old" 520STs and 1040STs) and three possible cures; namely,
reducing the length of the cable connection from the Z-RAM board to
the MMU, replacing the video- shifter chip with a newer one, and using
slower DRAMs. E.A. Brown told me he has never encountered the video
shift with any Z-RAM boards that he has installed or sold, using 80
nanosecond DRAMs. Same story from other dealers who have sold it.
Zubair himself urged me to try the three cures. Other developers and
technicians were either mystified, or said it sounds like a bad chip
(MMU, glue, shifter, or DRAM) or open circuit, or concluded that the
Z-RAM design is defective, and (in a couple of cases) suggested a
couple of grounding modifications to the Z-RAM board.  First I tried
changing out the shifter, glue, and MMU chips - one by one. No cure. I
tried another monitor. No cure. The video shift occurred in both color
and monochrome modes.

Putting the old TOS back in the machine did not cure it. Removing the
Z- RAM board itself eliminated the problem. Aha! I claimed a defective
board or design, that was only detectable after I tried some new
programs that demanded more of the video output. Neither E.A. Brown
nor Abu Zubair were willing to exchange the board for me. I wanted
E.A. Brown to swap me an AERCO board for the Z-RAM, since he sells
both. I have one of his AERCO boards running in my own 520ST with TOS
1.4 - running flawlessly for 4 years, with 2 MB of Toshiba (I think)
80 nanosecond DRAMs - creating Moire patterns with the same software
and no video shift. The only two things left to try were shortening
the cables and using slower DRAMs. Luckily I found some Goldstar 100
nanosecond DRAMs at Haltek Electronics in Mountain View for $1.65 a
piece - a deal I couldn't refuse. I tried them and the video shift
problem disappeared.  I couldn't make the problem recur after that.
Amazing - to me and to everybody I told about it thereafter, except
Abu Zubair. By the way, before buying the Goldstar DRAMs, I took the
Samsung DRAMs to Frys, which kindly tested them for me. All of them
tested good, and tested faster than I expected - at 50-60 nanoseconds.
I will probably put the spare 2MB of RAM on my AERCO board one of
these days to get my own computer up to 4MB. Some board trace
modifications are required for this upgrade, so I'll have to take it
to a technician or send it to AERCO.

In conclusion, I was satisfied to have resolved my problem. It "only"
took two months (many nights and weekends) to do it, and drove me
mad, yet I learned a little bit in the process.

Also, if you are contemplating a memory upgrade for your ST with a
Z-RAM board: the installation is delicate and takes a lot of care, but
it is solderless. Done properly with the right DRAMs, it works.
However, the Z-RAM board also apparently works only with the older
Atari MMU chip, designated by #CO25912-38. If you do use a Z-RAM board
and run into a video shift problem with it using 80 nanosecond DRAMs,
you will probably have a very hard time finding 100 nanosecond DRAMs
to try. There are other memory upgrades that have never had the video
shift problem, as far as I can tell from having talked with a number
of dealers, developers, and technicians. Opinions about and
experiences with the various memory upgrade boards naturally vary
among dealers, technicians, users, and product reviewers. The
March-June 1991 issues of "ST INFORMER" carried a series of good
review articles on memory upgrades for the ST. The AERCO board and the
Tech Specialties board seem to have good reputations among the
solderless boards. Most of the several dealers with whom I talked like
the JRI board (which must be soldered in), because it is well-
designed, works with SIMMs and is easy to upgrade from 1 to 2 to 4
MB, and the soldered installation makes it permanently stable (and
usually makes it work on the first try). The December 1992 issue of
"ST INFORMER" carried an announcement of a new Z-RAM 4-16 MB memory
upgrade board for the Falcon. In the March 1993 issue of "CURRENT
NOTES", David Troy mentions the new Z-RAM board for the Falcon and
says it is "really clean" and "looks really nice." Nevertheless, I
would recommend to anyone that he/she consult with Zubair Interfaces,
as well as his/her friendly neighborhood Atari dealer and technician,
about the potential for video shift problems with this board before
making a purchase.

//// Biographical Information on Author

Don Wilhelm is a senior chemical engineer with a Mountain View,
California engineering consulting company. The company does technical,
economic, and market evaluations for both major domestic and
international industrial and government organizations, primarily related
to the energy sector (fuel resources, production of fuels, petroleum
refining, electric power generation, and environmental emissions control
technology). The company uses PC clones with MSDOS, and more recently
Windows, as well as a Macintosh. Don prefers the GEM interface of his ST
to the Windows interface, but has not been able to get his company to
convert to the Atari computer platform. He is also a marriage and family
therapist, currently on sabbatical from his part-time evenings private
practice. His Atari ST nicely serves the latter business for record-
keeping and correspondence. He lives in Menlo Park.


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 |||   AEO Calendar of Events
 |||   Compiled by: Ron Kovacs
/ | \  GEnie: Z-NET      CIS: 75300,1642      Delphi: ZNET

////  KC AtariFest                                     June 26-27, 1993

The Kansas City AtariFest '93. The location for the show is Stadium
Inn, 7901 E 40 Hwy. Ticket prices at the door will be 5.00 dollars
each day. Advance tickets will be 4.00 dollars each, for advance
tickets, please send 4.00 dollars per ticket to: Kansas City
AtariFest, P.O. Box 1653, Lee Summit, MO 64063 - if you belong to a
user group please mail a request for a user group information pack. To
make room reservations please call 1-800-325-7901, they are also
working with a local travel agent to get special airfares for the
show. You may call 1-800-874-7691 to take advantage of the special
fares. For more information please leave Email as follows; GEnie,
B.WELSCH, J.KRZYSZTOW, for CompuServe, Leave for Jeff Krzysztow at
74027,707 - or you can call (816) 224-9021, or mail to the address
listed above.

////  PC Expo NY                                 June 29 - July 1, 1993

PC Expo-NY - Javits Convention Center, New York City.

////  Dateline: Atari! with Bob Brodie                     July 9, 1993

Bob's normal "First Friday" monthly GEnie RTC has been rescheduled to
the weekend following the Fourth of July! (It's still being held at
10pm EDT.) Bob should have some pretty impressive fireworks to set off
at this RTC, so make plans to attend! Log onto GEnie, and enter
[m475;2] to take you to the Atari conference area.

////  Blue Ridge AtariFest                             July 24-25, 1993

The Blue Ridge Atari Computer Enthusiasts (BRACE) and Computer STudio
host the Fourth Annual Blue Ridge AtariFest in Asheville, North
Carolina. Saturday show time is from 10am - 6pm and Sunday show times
are from Noon to 5pm. Free booth space is available for Atari
developers. This Atarifest will be taking over the Courtyard Shop
(mall) area at the Westgate Shopping Center (location of Computer
STudio), and also plan on using vacant store spaces for seminar
sessions. Seminars will be 45 minutes in length, and developers are
welcome to conduct a seminar on their product line or approved topic
of their choice (seminars are limited, so first come, first served).
For additional information, please contact: Sheldon Winick on GEnie -
S.WINICK or at the Computer STudio at (704) 251-0201 or contact the
show coordinator Cliff Allen on GEnie - C.ALLEN17 or call (704)

////  IC Card Expo                                     July 27-28, 1993

IC Card Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara,
California. Showcasing the latest in PC cards and related products.
Sponsored by IC Card Systems & Design (800-525-9154, 303-220-0600).

//// MIST AtariFest V                                     July 31, 1993

The fifth annual MIST AtariFest will be held on Saturday, July 31
from 10 am to 5 pm at the Best Western Waterfront Plaza Hotel. The
Mid-Indiana Atari ST Users play host to this excellent one day event
with its proven method of success.

This year a new location has been chosen for the MIST, the Best
Western Waterfront Plaza Hotel. Offerring free shuttle service to
Indianapolis International Airport, which is just minutes away, Best
Western is convenient to both air and car travel. Several major
highways allow acces to the hotel for motorists. An assortment of
dining and entertainment choices provide interesting diversions once
the show is complete.

Whether you are a novice or a professional user, there is something
for every Atari enthusiast. Seminars, held throughout the show, can be
attended by guests or show-goers can engage in Lynx or MIDIMaze
tournaments with the best players receiving prizes. Winners of the
raffle can pick up their prizes in a number of shapes, sizes and

Hotel reservations can be arranged by calling (317) 299-8400; mention
MIST AtarFest V and take advantage of the discount rate. For single
occupancy. guests may stay in the hotel for $53 or for a double, $59.

Special facilities for the handicapped, non-smokers and small
children is available.

Admission to this show is still only $3.

For more information, send mail inquiries to ASCII, c/o Bill Jones,
6505 West Castle Avenue, Indianapolis, IN, 46241. Or, by phone, call
(317) 856-4260.  Online via GEnie, messages may be sent to W.JONES43;
on FidoNet Mail at Bill Jones at 1:231/370.0 or by InterNet/UUCP at

////  MacWorld Expo                                    August 3-6, 1993

MacWorld Expo at the Boston World Trade Center, Bayside Exposition
Center and sponsored by MacWorld Magazine. This event is titled Boston

////  Interop '93                                    August 23-27, 1993

Interop '93 (#2) at the Moscone Center in San Fransisco, California.

//// ONE BBSCON '93                                  August 25-29, 1993

ONE BBSCON '93 at the Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
This is a four day exposition presented by BoardWatch Magazine. There
will be three days of educational services, a trade show exhibit area
with over one-hundred vendors on hand. For further information on
this event and for registration information contact: Peg Coniglio at
ONE Inc., 4255 South Buckley Road, Suite 308, Aurora, Colorado 80013.
Voice: (303) 693-5253; Fax: (303) 693-5518; BBS: (303) 693-5432.

//// PenExpo                              August 30 - September 3, 1993

PenExpo - The Pen-Based Computing Conference at the Hynes Convention
Center in Boston Massachusettes.  Pen Exposition, Conference, and
Tutorials, Sponsored by Boston University Corporate Education Center
and PEN Magazine.

//// Fed Micro '93                        August 31 - September 2, 1993

Fed Micro '93. Fed Micro CDROM and Multimedia Conference & Exposition.
Washington Convention Center, Washington DC.

//// BCS*Pen                                          September 1, 1993

BCS*Pen Monthly Meeting at the Hynes Convention Center. Meeting begins
at 7pm. Topic: "The Market for Personal Information Processors".
Speaker: Donna Dubinsky, CEO, Palm Computing, Co-sponsored with

////  The Glendale Show                           September 18-19, 1993

The Glendale Show returns with the Southern California Atari Computer
Faire, V.7.0, in suburban Los Angeles, California. This has been the
year's largest domestic Atari event, year after year. Contact John King
Tarpinian at the user group HACKS at 818-246-7286 for information.

////  MacWorld Expo                               September 20-22, 1993

The third MacWorld Expo, titled Canada '93 at the Metro Toronto
Convention Centre, sponsored by MacWorld Magazine.

////  Mobile World Expo                           September 21-23, 1993

Mobile World Expo and Conference at the San Jose Convention Center in
San Jose California.

////  Unix Expo '93                               September 21-23, 1993

Unix Expo '93 in New York City, New York at the Javits Convention

////  Image World                                     October 4-8, 1993

Image World New York, Javits Convention Center, New York City.

////  NetWorld '93                                    October 5-7, 1993

NetWorld 93, Dallas Convention Center, Dallas TX.

////  Lap & Palmtop Expo                              October 7-8, 1993

Lap & Palmtop Mobile Computing Expo at the Chicago Mart/Expo Center
in Chicago, Illinois. Exhibitors will show the latest in mobile
computing, software, pen, peripherals and communications from the
industry's leading manufacturers. In conjunction with the exhibits is
the Mobile Systems Solutions Conference series. Featuring over 80
leading industry experts speakers, the conference provides vital
information needed to build or improve your world of mobile computing.

////  PC Expo                                       October 19-21, 1993

PC Expo-Chicago, McCormick Place East, Chicago IL.

////  CD-ROM Expo                                   October 27-29, 1993

CD-ROM Exposition at the World Trade Center, Boston MA.

////  EDA&T Asia '93                                October 27-29, 1993

EDA&T Asia '93.  The Electronic Design and Test Conference Exhibition
at the Taipei International Convention Center in Taiwan.  Exhibit space
is still available.  For more information contact: Betsy Donahue,
Chicago, Fax: 708-475-2794.

////  November 1-3, 1993

Online/CD-ROM '93, Washington  DC.

////  GeoCon/93                                     November 7-10, 1993

GeoCon/93, an international conference and showcase for software
products developed outside the U.S. at the Royal Sonesta Hotel,
Cambridge, Mass. The conference program will include three days of
workshops on topics of interest to overseas developers entering the
U.S. market. Workshop presenters will discuss such issues as how to
negotiate distribution and licensing contracts, setting up a business
in  the U.S., manufacturing and fulfillment, technical support,
packaging, research sources, and how to market through direct,
retail, and catalog channels. For additional information, contact Tom
Stitt, associate publisher, Soft letter, 17 Main St., Watertown, Mass.
02272-9154; Telephone 617-924-3944; Fax 617-924-7288, or Colleen
O'Shea, director, Soft letter Europe, 2 um Bierg, 7641 Chirstnach,
Luxembourg, Telephone: 35.2.87119; Fax: 35.2.87048.

////  COMDEX                                       November 15-19, 1993

COMDEX Fall '93. Las Vegas Nevada.

////  Mobile '94                                       March 6-10, 1994

Mobile '94 Conference and Exposition at the San Jose Convention Center.

////  GEC '94                                           June 4-11, 1994

GEC '94, Milam ITALY.  Centrexpo, Sheila Palka/Delia Associates, PO Box
338, Route 22 West, Whitehouse, NJ 08888; (800) 524-2193, (908)
534-6856  (Fax).

If you have an event you would like to include on the AEO Calender of
Events, please send email via GEnie to Z-NET, CompuServe 75300,1642, or
via FNET to node 593 or AtariNet node 51:1/13.0. International shows
also covered.


 |||  Twenty Questions to Atari Corp.
 |||  Courtesy: The CompuServe Atari Forums
/ | \ -------------------------------------------------------------------

[From a US user]:
What features do you think the Falcon030 has that would convince a
FIRST TIME computer buyer to purchase this PC?

        From James Grunke:

        Clearly, the features that are going to sell units are the DSP,
        SDMA sound engine, the BLiTTER and graphics capabilities,
        MultiTOS, and MIDI ports. As well, it will be key for us to
        showcase third party products  that demonstrate elegant
        applications for this aggressive new hardware.

        Simply, what will convince the first time buyer to purchase this
        PC is the ability to do high end applications for a lot less money
        than what might be available on other platforms.

        From Bob Brodie:

        We've included Atari Works as part of the Falcon hard disk bundle
    so that customers will have quality productivity software
    right out of the box.  Other software included with the
    Falcon030 provides a good sampling of games, sound
    applications, and a high quality font technology in

        It really depends on what the consumer is looking for to be really
    honest with you.  Personally, I think one of the things that has
    helped sell DOS machines are some of the applications on them.  We
    feel that the Falcon030 represents tremendous capabilities of a
    musician!  To the point that it really is a professional level
    work station for music.  For customers that are getting a computer
    for music, the Falcon030 is the clear choice. After that, it gets
    much tougher.  We have a bunch of true color paint programs
    coming on board, and the voice mail application from DOA that is
    very interesting.  Also, there are about a large number of
    entertainment titles under development.  The Falcon will be a
    terrific game machine, too!

        Perhaps one of our best assets is the way in which you can run so
        many O/S's from the Atari.  Certainly, we're going to need other
        applications from our developers to address other areas of
        software where we are weak.

        Personally, I think the thing that will continue to attract users
        is the simplicity and ease of use of an Atari Computer.

[Another user asks]:
Three and one half years ago I purchased an Atari STFM because I was
excited about joining the world of midi and I felt that Notator and
Atari provided the best platform.  As the hardware and software world
expanded I went for all the Notator upgrades and one year ago bought a
MegaSTE 4/50 for more RAM and speed.  I like my machine very much but
am very disappointed that it became a fossil in 5 months with no
support from Atari.  What can you tell me and others that will make us
feel that this is not likely to happen to us if we purchase a Falcon
for our Music and Midi computer now that there are other "030',"040",
and "486" machines with good music and Midi support?

>From Bob Brodie:

    I'm not really sure what you mean by "fossil", other than the fact
    that it is no longer being manufactured.  Have you had specific
    support problems with the Mega STE?  It's really been one of our
    most reliable machines, and we have a qualified staff of
    technicians here in Sunnyvale that can fix just about any problem
    that you might have with the Mega STE (or any other Atari CPU for
    that matter).

    On the software side, we're supporting the Mega STE in many of the
    new software products that are coming out.  MultiTOS runs on a
    Mega STE, SpeedoGDOS works on a Mega STE, and so does Atari Works.
    That hardly qualifies as "no support from Atari"!

    On the hardware side, we built the Mega STE to accept industry
    standard 3-1/2" SCSI hard disk drives specifically so you would
    have an easier time getting the HD you want. You should be able to
    upgrade to even a 1.2 Gigabyte drive in your Mega STE.  It also
    comes with a VME port, so you can install one of the graphics
    cards to upgrade your video as well.   Again, the support for the
    machine is there on the hardware side as well.

    Like all computer companies, we are constantly working on new
        technologies that will improve on todays products.  However, as
        long as the Mega STE that you bought continues to serve your
        needs, what is the problem?  With the Atari Falcon030, we've
        introduced a new family of computers  with an additional set of
        capabilities.  It is a fact of our industry that what you buy
        today will be replaced by another machine.  Check out how quickly
        Apple is bringing new machines to the market; virtually every six

>From James Grunke:

        Notator running on a Mega STE is still one of the most powerful
        music combinations in the world!!  A lot of records are being made
        with this duo.  As well as products from Steinberg, Barefoot, Dr.
        T's, and many others.

        If that's a fossil, how come it still eats 486s for lunch?   At
        home, I still use Notator on a Mega ST (with TOS 1.2), and even
        that will smoke a 486!  :)

        With the Falcon's new hardware, and our track record in music,
        I'm quite confident that the Falcon will remain a viable tool in
        your arsenal for many years to come.

[Another US member asks]:
Will ATARI still offer support for it's existing lines (ST , MEGA,
TT...) or will all their effort be put behind the FALCON?

>From Bob Brodie:

        In terms of service, we will support all of the existing lines.
        However, I don't think you will see us bring out new products
        *specifically* for the older machines.

        We did created TOS 2.06 expressly so one of our strategic
        partners (Artifex) could produce an adapter board to allow owners
        of the ST series of computers to upgrade to the new desktop. In
        TOS 2.05, the system would crash if it found non-STE hardware.
        That was changed in TOS 2.06 (as well as some bug fixes)
        specifically so users of older machines could enjoy the benefits
        of the new TOS.

        I also indicated that our new software products, Atari Works,
        Speedo GDOS, and MultiTOS will also work on older machines as
        well. You may want to consider upgrading an 8Mhz machine with an
        accelerator board, though.

        For several years now, we have said that the minimum hardware
    standard for computer users was an STE. There will be some
    features on some products that will simply not work on an ST
    family computer because the hardware isn't up to the task (like
    not enough colors, no DMA sound).

        We will provide service for all of our products as long as
    practical.  However, there are of course, limitations to that.

        We still get phone calls asking for repairs for the Atari 5200 (a
    product that stopped manufacturing over 8 years ago!) We do sell
    joy sticks for it, btw.   Nothing will last forever, but we will
    support the machines as long as it is practical.

[Multiple members ask]:
Will the programs that run on the ST line run on the FALCON? (What
level of backwards compatibility can we realistically expect?  How
does it compare to the TT compatibility-wise?)

>From Bob Brodie:

    The Falcon030 is much more STE compatible that the TT030 is.  We
    really feel that the STE is the correct compatibility barometer,
    not the ST. Again, this relates to the hardware capabilities of
    the machines.

    We expect Pacific Software Supply to release a study that they
    have done on software compatibility  should provide a more
    concrete answer to your question.  They are the leading suppliers
    of Atari software in North America, so they  have lots of products
    to test!

    As a rule, applications usually work fine.  Games tend to have the
    greatest area of drop-off in compatibility.  We found a few things
    that didn't work, but were mostly older products that hadn't been
    updated in a long time, like Microsoft Write.  Some utilities will
    also fail on the Falcon, too.

[From the UK]:
The decision to include MultiTOS on disk and not to commit to ROM
might suggest a lack of confidence in that product on Atari's part.
Can we expect to see MultiTOS in ROM in the future (maybe switchable
with an older TOS) or is multitasking seen as secondary to the future
of Atari computers?

>From Bob Brodie:

        We do not have a lack of confidence in MultiTOS, and regret that
        you see our decision as such.

    Many other OS's are disk based.  We felt that having MultiTOS on
        disk allowed easier     updates.  We have TOS 4 in ROM for users that
        choose not to use MultiTOS.  It's not the same as a PC or a Mac
        where you can't do anything without loading the OS from disk.

        I don't see this as making multitasking "secondary" at all.
        Rather I see it as another manifestation of our view that the
        Falcon030 is primarily a home computer.   We've indicated that
        there will be other products in the future that will aimed for the
        higher end.

        Multitasking will be an important tool for those machines, as well
        as any accelerator boards for the Atari Falcon030.

[From the sysop staff]:
Specifically, what software can the purchaser of a new Falcon030
expect to get with his purchase?  And if any of the items are not
included with his purchase, when/how can he expect to receive them?

>From Bob Brodie:

    Specifically, users in North America get MultiTOS, SpeedoGDOS,
        FalconD2D, Audio Fun Machine, BreakOut, Landmines, CalAppt,
        Talking Clock, ProCalc, System Audio Manager (S.A.M.) and Atari

        Falcon D2D is not shipping with the units at this point in time,
    and neither is S.A.M. (System Audio Manager).  Bugs in both
    products are preventing our shipping them.  These are not Atari
    in-house products, they are contracted from outside developers, so
    we're not in total control of this situation (i.e. Don't come out
    of your office unless it's fixed!).  We do expect the developers
    to rectify the problems to fulfill their contracts.

    Customers will be find cards in their Falcons so they can mail in
        to have these programs sent to them as soon as they are completed.

What recording software is being bundled with the first shipments of
Falcons?  What exactly can be done (with HD recording) right off the

        From James Grunke:

        Off the shelf, FalconD2D will provide stereo record and playback,
        with limited editing, such as cut and paste.  It does a great job
        of giving the consumer the ability to do intro level digital audio

        For more advanced users, they should look to products from
        Steinberg, D2D, Digitape by Trade It,  Yamaha, and others.

        You can expect Falcon integrated MIDI/Digital Audio products to be
        some of the most aggressive on the planet in terms of features per

>From Bob Brodie:

        FalconD2D *should be* shipping, but is not. As quickly as it is
    available, we will provide it to the owners of Atari Falcon030s.
    We've always had the point of view that FalconD2D was an
    introductory recording package to give a glimpse of what was
    possible with Digital Audio with the Falcon030.  So while we're
    upset that FalconD2D isn't shipping, neither is it the end of the
    world for higher end users.

    On the HD recording front, there are other applications, like
    MusiCOM from COMPO Software that are excellent products.  When
    BYTE Magazine wrote about the Falcon030, MusiCOM was the product
    they used for their testing.  At less than $75, it's a real
    bargain.  Since it has additional capabilities not found in
    FalconD2D, MusiCOM is a reasonable purchase for many musicians

What does the hardware audio interface currently consist of?  Was the
bass boost scrapped?

>From James Grunke:

        The hardware interface on the Falcon uses mike and headphone
        mini-jacks, exactly the same as walkman-like products.  The 16 bit
        stereo CODEC is good quality Crystal product.  Yes, I'm pleased to
        say that the bass boost has been scrapped.

        As of last testing, current specs are:

                                Signal to noise ratio 84dB
                                Frequency response 20-20K
                                Crosstalk -60dB

Most outboard MIDI interfaces have multiple INs and OUTs for increased
numbers of MIDI channels.  Are there plans to include multiple MIDI
jacks on the Falcon (or future versions of the Falcon)?

>From James Grunke:

        The plans are to use third party outboard MIDI interfaces with
        multiple INs and OUTs.  Check with Steinberg and E-magic regarding
        their plans for products in this area.

        There are no plans to include additional MIDI ports.  On an
        interesting side note, we did, however, rewire our MIDI ports back
        to spec!  No more bastardized MIDI ports!

Will there be a cartridge port on every Falcon (and future models)?

>From Bob Brodie:

        There is a cartridge port on every Atari Falcon030 made, and has
        been since the product was first shown.

    We have no comment on any specifications of future computer models
        at this time. I know that isn't what you want to hear...sorry.

It was recently announced that Atari Corp. licensed compression
software from Cinepak.  Is this for the Falcon line or the Jaguar?

>From Bob Brodie:

        Actually, the name of the product that we licensed was Cinepak.
        It is from SuperMac.

        We will use that technology on both the Falcon030 and the Jaguar.

The Falcon is supposed to have the same extra joysticks ports that the
STe has.  My question is, are there any plans to use these ports?
(don't tell me about third party companies) I'd really like to be able
to use IBM joystick/accessories.

>From Bob Brodie:

    The Falcon *does* have the same analog joystick ports that the STE
    has.  Yes, there are plans to use these.  They are not the same
    pin outs as on IBM joysticks/accessories, though.  We have 15
    pins, they have 9.  We showed, as early as COMDEX, a special
    controller pad that we are manufacturing for the Falcon030.  It
    will be used by a number of games coming out, like LlamaZap.

        The controller has a joypad similar to the Lynx's on it, pause and
        option buttons, three fire buttons labelled A-B-C, and a keypad
        with numbers 1-9 , plus * and # It's designed to be a two handed

        Every game developer that is working on the Falcon has one of
        these controllers, and will use it for their games.

        Re your comment about "don't tell me about third party companies",
        OK...but keep in mind that we're primarily a hardware company, not
        a software company.  We try not to compete with our developers.
        It's their job to come out with products that make use of the

[A US developer/vendor asks]:
Without any significant changes to the Atari corporate structure in
the last seven   years, why should Atari owners believe that Atari
will change from its previous pattern of little (or no) marketing,
late delivery, and short shelf life products?

>From James Grunke:

        There have been significant changes in the corporate structure of
        Atari over the last seven years; engineering, management,
        distribution, manufacturing, and sales.  This industry is
        incredibly dynamic.

        We don't need to repeat the stories of the US market.  However, we
        remind you that in Europe, we have always maintained a strong
        market position.  Sam has always made quite clear that when we
        have leapfrog technology in good supply then and only then does it
        make sense to invest in marketing programs such as advertising and

        As a developer, you should be aware that we have made a bold move
        with our dealer agreement to expand and strengthen our North
        American dealer base. This approach is similar to successful
        companies such as Pioneer, Yamaha, and divisions of Sony.  What
        this means to the end users in the long run is more healthy,
        quality dealers in their area for them to choose from.

        Late delivery?  Call Microsoft!  This ain't the pizza bidness!!!

        Short life products?  Why are dealers still screaming for 1040STEs
        that are four year old technology?

        Seriously, we are as frustrated as anyone by the product delays.


>From Bob Brodie:

        I get the feeling that when you speak about the corporate
        structure, you're really speaking about the Tramiels.  There seems
        to be a feeling among our userbase that they are incompetent, and
        all the European success is a result of good managers being far
        enough away from Sunnyvale to do what they want to do.

        I cannot let such a misconception continue.

    Atari is emerging from a period of about four years of when it's
    products were not technologically superior any longer, and where
    we had extreme problems in our engineering group.

    A little over four years ago, we lost most of the key staff
    members we had in our engineering group.  When they left, they
    left "no trails" of their progress on their work.  We had no idea
    what had been tried, if it had worked and if not, why not, etc.
    In short, we had no clue about what was happening with our

    So, first, we had to figure out what was going on.  Then we took
    steps to ensure that we would never be placed in this position
    again, which meant that we had to enact fundamental changes in the
    way we did things with our staff.  This was not an easy task, and
    certainly didn't happen on the first attempt. Along the way, we
    had to acquire some new people that we could work with, too.  That
    didn't happen on the first attempt either.

        We also went through and took a long look at where we needed to
        be and where the market was heading.  It seemed to make sense to
        proceed with some projects that had been heavily invested in, like
        the TT.  You might recall that the TT originally was supposed to
        be a 68020 based machine.  As our engineering situation evolved,
        the product did, too.  Other products that had been discussed
        were scrapped.

        We made decisions on what we needed to do product wise, and also
        took a good look at the economy.  About the point in time we were
        beginning to come out with some interesting technology, the
        economy was in a tailspin.  In fact, in California, it's still
        just awful!!!  To us, it doesn't make a lot of sense to
        aggressively market products that you don't believe it, or that
        the economy will not support.  In fact, it's pretty silly!  You
        can *waste* an incredible amount of money, truly _vast_ sums of
        dollars in this business if you aren't careful.  We've been very
        careful about what we've been over the last three years or so.

        This is not to say that we haven't made mistakes.  We put a lot
        of effort into the STylus, a pen based system that really looked
        promising.  However, it looking at the pen based market, the
        products were simply not selling.  In fact, a company that was
        founded on a pen based product had a lot of our former engineers,
        Momenta, was born and died during this time frame.  The pen based
        systems still aren't selling well to this day.  We created the ST
        Book, based on the premise of long battery life for users, only
        to find that our US dealers insisted on a back lit screen that
        would have killed the battery life of the product.  We created
        the Panther game system, which would have competed against the
        Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis as a 16 bit game product.  We
        killed that project when it was obvious that we needed to
        leapfrog the competition again, and go beyond the 16 bit
        systems. We know that we've been far from perfect.

        We have harbored our resources in preparation of a proper launch
        for two milestone products: The Atari Falcon030, and the Jaguar.
        You will see us market those in an aggressive fashion.  And as the
        sales of the Falcon030 grow, you will see those sales fund
        additional efforts.

        So, in my view, the corporate structure that is in place is
        exactly what has kept the company afloat in contentious times
        where many of the hardware giants have fallen.  They had the
        vision to forsee the poor economy, and the wisdom to recognize the
        limitations of their products.  They now have innovative new
        products in the queue that the marketplace will embrace.

        I think your comment about the last seven years is an
        exaggeration.  If  you look back that far, you're in the hey-day
        of the 520ST and 1040ST. Atari made all the right moves in the US
        then, and we can do it again.

In this day and age of extremely short 'windows of opportunity' to
bring a product to market, Atari seems to be taking unusually long to
ramp up Falcon production.  Is Atari having difficulty getting Falcons
produced, are you deliberately keeping production runs small, or will
large numbers (defined as thousands) of Falcons be arriving for sale
to consumers any time within the near future (defined as 'within six
to eight weeks')?

>From Bob Brodie:

        I don't agree with your comment about "the short window of
        opportunity" comment on the hardware side of the business.  On the
        software side, there is no question that it is an extremely small
        window.  On the hardware side...not so.  Witness the PC clones;
        all the innovation going on over there is just an ever faster
        microprocessor.  The real innovation is going on in software.

        With the Falcon030, we have innovative hardware.  The window of
        opportunity is quite large, and will be so for quite some time to

        We are keeping production runs small at this point, until the
        economy picks up.  This seems to be a trend in the industry right
        now with other companies as well, like Compaq.  We're certainly
        not the only hardware company that acting cautiously in regards to
        production right now.

        Globally, we will be shipping large numbers in the near future (in
        accordance with your definitions).

>From James Grunke:

        Production is ramping up, and we expect larger numbers to arrive
        over the summer.  The first waves of Falcons were gobbled up
        immediately, and there are more sell-thru units "on the boat".

In the UK we have Falcon users with both TOS 4.01 and 4.02 and just
starting to circulate round the comms scene is the falcon patch, there
are claims that this patch doesn't fix all the bugs in those releases
of TOS, can Bill spread any light on this? Also does the patch fix any
of the known bugs in TOS 4.04 which is shipping on the next batch of
machines (I presume?).

>From Bill Rehbock:

        FPATCH.PRG does fix issues with the serial port with bconmap()

        This applies to all versions of TOS 4 at this time.  TOS 4.04 is
        available for $60 US, although the policies and prices in the UK
        may differ.

        The tweaks up to TOS 4.04 relate mostly to esoteric kind of
        things, like overlay bit control, and involves vset masks mode,
        although there are not that many applications that use it.  The
        other changes that FPATCH takes care of are connecting the audio
        system in such a fashion that STE and TT sound applications can
        make sound, and then bcomap() got changed  going into TOS 4.04,
        but not enough.  So you will still need FPATCH for TOS 4.04.

        Overall, there are very few changes between 4.01 and 4.04.

>From Bob Brodie:

        Having bugs in your OS is just a fact of life.  Every single OS
        has them, bar none.  I think that it is unavoidable.  DOS 6 is
        taking a terrible beating over problems it has,  Windows 3.1 is
        far from bug free, and Apple's System 7 has had their share of
        problems, too.  Windows NT is getting raked over the coals in the
        computer media severly because of it's bugs. (Granted, it's in
        beta form)

        This isn't to say that we're not looking to eliminate all the
        bugs, but that it's almost unavoidable that they will happen in
        some degree.

Does ATARI plan on telling the general public (not everyone has access
to an on-line service or a BBS) about the new FALCON or is it just
between us?  Specifically, what are your advertising plans?  Which
magazines? TV? etc.

>From James Grunke:

        Atari does plan to tell everyone about the Falcon.  However not
        until we have enough product to fulfill that demand.  Remember the
        Stacy ads that created a large demand, and then we couldn't fill
        it?  We don't want a repeat of that!!

        In terms of specific plans, the initial strategies will involve
        teaming up with key developers to attack niche markets, such as
        music, video, graphics, etc.. Typically, this approach would
        utilize print ads (both national and regional), special events
        (i.e. trade shows),  and key referenceable accounts such as
        artist endorsements, cutting edge educational institutions.

        When general consumer applications (and I mean killer
        applications) are available and our production is tooled up to
        meet demand, only then does it make sense to do a national TV
        awareness campaign.

>From Bob Brodie:

        On a local level, we have a market development fund program in
        place with our dealers that is very flexible...almost like make us
        an offer, and let's talk about it.  We're certainly willing to
        work with dealers to help fund their well planned efforts.

        Even though our dealer sign up campaign is going along well,
        there are still some states that we don't have dealers.  In my
        mind, this precludes a national campaign at this point in time.

        I suspect that our primary media will be print, and as far as
        which publications, that really depends on what is the best deal
        at the time.  Typically, you purchase a "media bundle" with a
        number of publications in it that fits the basic demographics of
        your target audience.  This is something that changes frequently
        (the media bundle that is) so it's impossible to tell what the
        publications might be at this point in time.  Certainly, we'll
        continue to target the music publications.  But as for the rest of
        the mags, I just don't know the answer to that today.  Cost is an
        obvious factor in choosing which bundle that we would go with, as
        in how many people per dollar you get in the bundle.

        Television advertising is extremely expensive.  In looking at an
        industry trade publication showing the top ten computer (desktop)
        vendors for last year, only 2 of the top ten are companies that I
        recognize as doing television advertising; IBM and Apple.  Among
        the other companies, there are names that I recognize from their
        co-opt advertisements with their dealers or chain stores, but not
        stand alone advertising on their own.  There are also names there
        (like Olivetti) that I don't think I have ever seen an ad for
        anywhere in the US in any form!

        One of the leading retailers in the San Francisco Bay area is
        Fry's Electronics.  I don't believe they do ANY TV advertising.
        Very heavy print ads (multiple full page color ads in the
        newspapers) and hip, attention getting radio advertisments as
        well.  I guess the point that I'm getting at is that I know our
        users *want* to see us do TV ads, but I'm not so sure that TV is a
        wise investment for us.

        We had projected to be at a point in time to be ready to start our
        advertising campaign.  However, the continuing poor economy
        warrants a cautious approach.  Again, this is a part of the
        business where it is very, very easy to spend truly _VAST_ sums of
        money, and get very little return on the dollar.

Previews of the Falcon have been spotted in many of the major music
magazines, but the machine has yet to undergo a technical review, if
I'm not mistaken.  Such reviews can greatly speed the acceptance of a
new machine into the marketplace.  Are review units now being sent to
these magazines (Keyboard, EM, EQ, Mix, H&SR), and when do you expect
reviews to begin appearing?

>From James Grunke:

        Firstly, Keyboard, EM, and MIX are all located in the Bay Area,
        right by Atari. I have travelled internationally with editors from
        KEYBOARD,   I occasionally lunch with  key EM and MIX editors.  As
        far as H&SR, Editor Lorenz Rychner was my advisor  at the Grove
        School of Music.  EQ gave the Atari Falcon030 a Blue Ribbon Award
        at AES and continues to give Atari fair coverage.

        So the relationships are there.  In order to give an accurate
        technical review a writer requires a production machine.  Now,
        with the release of the Falcon, and TOS 4.04, developers require a
        short time to make sure that their products are solid on the
        latest rev.  I expect this to take 30 days or so, at which time I
        will prepare evaluation units for the publications to hammer on.
        With a lead time of 60-90 days, look for the coverage toward late
        summer/early fall.

        We want to be well prepared, a bad review is just as influential
        as a good review.

Now that the first wave of Dealer Agreements has gone out and been
returned, what CONTINUING efforts are being made to expand the dealer

>From Bob Brodie:

        Actually, we're well past the first wave of dealer agreements.
        The first wave consisted of the dealers that we were already doing
        business with.  We've been signing up new dealers (i.e. never
        carried Atari) for quite a while now.

        We've signed on a team of manufacturers representatives, that are
        among the best in the business to help us grow and train our
        dealer network.  As they are regionally located, they are better
        suited to know who and what is available in each locale. We are
        not looking  for explosive growth at this point, though. Once we
        get to a certain number of  retailers, we'll cap our growth until
        we can support additional resellers.

        At this point in time, we have over 140 locations in over 40
        states,  which is dramatically better than we were doing a year

        We've also made arrangements to ship Falcons via a single
        distributor, with the provision that he has the dealers sign up
        according to all of our requirements (real store fronts, etc.).

To what degree is Atari pursuing music stores, and how much of the
effort is directed at computer stores?

>From James Grunke:

        The initial demand from the music channel has been staggering!!!

        Following the path of least resistance, and emphasizing the fact
        that the music software houses are shrink wrapped and ready to go,
        we are aggressively attacking this side of the business.
        Falcon030 opens up computer music to a whole new customer,
        including guitarists, vocalists, educators, etc..  We intend to
        grow this channel into a major distribution center for Atari.

        Our efforts in the music channel by no means downplays the regard
        we have for computer dealers.  Those Atari computer dealers that
        have been  with us for a long time are a high priority in our
        allocations.  They actually benefit from the new music users who
        seek them out for support in non-musical applications.

        We are planning a drive for more computer dealers, but we need
        for the consumer software side, i.e. applications and
        entertainment software, to catch up with the level of the music
        software.  Ideally, we should be at a 25-75% music to computer
        dealer ratio.

>From Bob Brodie:

        In terms of the amount of effort, we're putting a lot more effort
        into signing on computer dealers than music dealers.  However, the
        music dealers are certainly a much easier sale.  They've been
        quicker to come on board with the Falcon030 than the computer
        dealers have.  So, the music side of the business is just growing
        faster than the computer side right now.

        I agree with James, in that this is primarily due to the
        applications  that are available for the Falcon in music.  They
        are truly world class applications.

        In a number of instances, having a quality music dealer in the
        area actually makes it easier for the computer dealer.  The music
        dealers typically carry MIDI specific products.  Yet, musicians
        are just like regular computer users....well, not quite regular,
        but almost! <grin>  They want to play games, write letters, buy
        modems, printers, and all kinds of other peripherals that music
        dealers don't carry.  So a quality music dealer works well with
        a computer dealer in a symbiotic relationship. The music dealer
        might sell the customer the Falcon030, but the computer dealer
        will have additional sales opportunities with the customer as

What efforts, if any, will be made to have industry standard software
(i.e.- Windows and Windows NT, Word Perfect) made available to
purchasers of the Atari Falcon platform?

>From Bob Brodie:

        You're bringing up a couple of different things in your question;
        applications software (Word Perfect) and operating systems
        (Windows NT).

        First, we've had the ability for a long time to run different
        operating systems on our products. We foresee that continuing into
        the future with the Falcon030.  COMPO Software is bringing a 286
        board and a 486 board to run DOS, and Windows 3.1.  I assume that
        since the board has an actual PC chip on it, will be able to run
        other things as well, like OS/2, NeXT Step, etc.  But I want to be
        clear that I haven't seen those things run on Falcon Speed.  I
        have seen Windows 3.1 run on Falcon Speed, and was impressed.

        Windows NT might be starting to ship just now, although Microsoft
        enjoys an excellent reputation, I can't in good conscience go
        along with describing it as industry standard at this point in

        As for Word Perfect, I think the only factor that they are
        interested in is a large installed base of users. Once they see
        that, they will resume development for Word Perfect.

What is the current status of the "other platform" hardwares
emulators (PC and MAC) for the Falcon030?

>From Bob Brodie:

        The PC emulator is called Falcon Speed, and is being produced by
        COMPO Software.  You can contact their US office at 415-355-0862,
        or fax them at 415-355-0869.  At this point in time, we don't
        believe the product to be shipping.  We have seen it at several
        trade shows, and it looks very impressive.  The 286 board is
        something that you would expect to be wimpy, but with the very
        fast Falcon030 bus, it's pretty quick.

        The Mac board is a product of Gadgets by Small.  I haven't heard
        from Dave in quite a while, neither has Bill Rehbock.  We had
        hoped to see him at NAMM in January, but he wasn't able to attend.
        I'm afraid that we're no better informed on this that you are.

        I can tell you that from our end, we got him one of the first
        Falcons in the US, so he could pursue this project.  We'd really
        like to see it done.

        Dave has an account here on CIS, so perhaps you can email him a
        request for an update on his product.


 |||     AtariNet - Overview
 |||     By: Bill Scull, Terry May, Erik Williams
/ | \    Edited by Ron Kovacs

//// What is AtariNet?

It is a Fido technology network for any BBS that supports the Atari line
of home computers.  It has several message areas that are shared around
the world including Atari Corp. USA.  Here is a list of the messages
areas along with a brief description:

 A.4SALE.COMMERCIAL  Commercial Advertisements
 A.4SALE.PERSONAL    Personal Items For Sale
 A.ADM.ECHO          AtariNet Echo Discussion
 A.ADM.FDS           AtariNet FDS Announcements
 A.ADM.HOST          AtariNet Hosts
 A.ADM.SYSOP         AtariNet SysOps
 A.ADM.TEST          AtariNet Test Echo
 A.ATARI             Atari General Discussion
 A.ATARI.DTP         Atari Desktop Publishing
 A.ATARI.EXPLORER    Atari Explorer Magazine
 A.ATARI.FALCON      Atari Falcon Computers
 A.ATARI.GRAPHICS    Atari Graphics Hardware/Software
 A.ATARI.SOUND       Atari Sound Hardware/Software
 A.ATARI.TECH        Atari Technical Discussions
 A.BBS               Atari BBS Programs & BBS Ads
 A.BBS.DOORS         Atari BBS Doors (Externals)
 A.BBS.NETWORKING    Atari Fido-Style Networking
 A.MISC              General Discussion
 A.MISC.FILEFIND     AtariNet File-Finder
 A.PROG              Atari Programming
 A.PROG.C            Atari C Programming
 A.PROG.GFA          Atari GFA Programming
 A.SUP.AUTOMAGIC     AutoMagic Support
 A.SUP.BINKLEY       BinkleyTerm-ST Support
 A.SUP.FIDODOOR      FIDOdoor Support
 A.SUP.JETMAIL       JetMail Support
 A.SUP.MAXI          MaxiMiser/MaxiDoor/PhidoQWK Support

//// AtariNet File Distribution System

The following file areas are either currently on the AtariNet FileBone,
or are awaiting approval. If you'd like to receive one of these areas,
please contact your host. Hosts are not required to carry all areas,
however all areas will be available from 51:203/0.

//// Current File Echoes:

 FileEcho     Description                          Origination at
 A_NODES      AtariNet node administration         Bill Scull, 51:1/0
 ABBSUTIL     BBS-Related Utilities                Bill Jones, 51:203/0
 ABBSGAME     BBS-Related Games (Doors)            (open)
 ABBSOTHR     BBS-Related other software           (open)
 AFDOOR       FidoDoor Updates (includes ST-QWK)   Bryan Hall, 51:3/6
 AUTILS       ST Utilities                         Erik Williams, 51:102/2
 AGAMES       ST Games                             Rich Tietjens, 51:2/10
 ANETWORK     FidoNet-Related Software             Bill Jones, 51:203/0
 AZNET        Z*Net And Atari Explorer Online      Ron Kovacs, 51:1/13
 AOTHER       Other ST Software                    (open)
 AGRAPHIC     Graphics and related programs        Terry May, 51:2/0
 ASOUND       Sounds, samples and related programs Terry May, 51:2/0
 APROG        Sources and programming info         Bryan Hall, 51:3/6

As you can see we have something for just about everyone and are
growing. We have nodes worldwide that are more than willing to assist
you get into AtariNet and get everything working properly. In the
next AEO, we'll have a list of all the current AtariNet nodes!


--       --==--==--    CompuServe Sign-Up Information    --==--==--      --
--                                                                       --
-- To sign up for CompuServe service, call (voice call) (800) 848-8199.  --
-- Ask for operator #198. You will be sent a $15.00 value CIS membership --
-- kit for free.                                                         --
--                                                                       --
--       --==--==--    CompuServe Sign-Up Information    --==--==--      --


 |||   Review: MiGraph's OCR Jr.
 |||   By: Rob Schilling
/ | \  ------------------------------------------------------------------

Text entry has become one of the most tedious chores for computer
users. Those of us needing to get pre-existing printed information
into our systems, have had to manually re-enter (type) the
information, although this work had already been done once before, as
evidenced by the printed document.  Enter a small miracle of
technology, Optical Character Recognition, or OCR. Migraph Inc., has
again come to the rescue of the Atari community by offering a product
previously available only on PC and Mac platforms. In this review, we
will look at Migraph's OCR Jr., version 1.24.

//// What Can Ocr Do?

Optical Character Recognition technology allows the user to
electronically convert printed text into computer recognizable ASCII
text files. These ASCII files may then be exported into your favorite
word processing or desktop publishing program for further editing and
manipulation.  Migraph OCR Jr. uses Omnifont technology, a process
which utilizes a mathematical definition of characters in the
recognition and identification of printed text. This allows for
faster processing and a higher accuracy rate than with previously
available technologies.

The program comes pre-trained to recognize over twenty popular
typefaces, from Helvetica to Times and beyond, in sizes ranging from
10-18 points. In addition, OCR Jr. can be trained to recognize most
other fonts not included in its standard font dictionary.

//// Up And Running

Getting OCR Jr. set up on your system is a breeze, thanks to the
inclusion of a handy installation program on the master disk. One
double click and a couple of disk swaps later, the program is on your
hard drive in the location you specified, ready to go to work.

Boot up the program and you'll be presented with a screen that is not
unlike that of Migraph's Touch Up. Across the top of the screen lies
the standard menu bar. To the left are several icons which allow
direct access to the program's most important functions. The
remainder of the screen is a dedicated GEM window for the display and
evaluation of scanned text.

In order to use the Jr. version of OCR, you must scan directly into
the program using the Migraph, AlphaData or Golden Image hand
scanners. The manual recommends scanning at 300 dpi for 10 point text
or greater, and at 400 dpi for text below 10 points. There is a
scanner setup dialog box which allows easy adjustment of scan length,
dpi setting, and portrait or vertical scanner orientation.

Once the scanner and the program are adjusted to the appropriate
settings, you then call up the control panel to give OCR Jr.
additional information needed to efficiently process the text. The
program needs to know if the scanned text is normal size (10-18
points) or small (below 10 points), and if the pitch is fixed (e.g.,
Courier) or proportional (e.g., Times). Since Migraph OCR can
recognize not only English, but Dutch, German and French, you must
instruct the program which language to use.

Additionally, the program features Interactive Learning. This process
will allow you to identify unrecognized characters, correct
interpretation mistakes, and train the program to recognize unfamiliar
and new characters. While this method is somewhat slower than setting
the program to Auto, it is far more accurate and will save a lot of
proofreading and editing time down the line.

Finally, after setting all of the above parameters, you may initiate
the scan. Using a scanning tray or straight edge is highly recommended
as program operation is dependant on scan quality.  Columns may be
scanned in portrait or landscape mode. This helps to accommodate the
inherent size limitations of a hand scanner.

//// Text Processing

Once a suitable scan is obtained, the region(s) of the scanned image
to be processed must be identified. OCR Jr. features two simple
drawing tools which allow the user to easily define by outlining, the
area or areas of the image to be processed. If more than one text
region has been designated for translation, the user may then select
the order in which these areas will be processed.

Next you will need to select either Automatic or Interactive OCR as
described above. When in Automatic mode, the program functions very
quickly. It will replace unrecognized characters with its best guess
based on lexicons. (Linguistic databases which provide additional OCR
information based on syntax and other factors.) If the program can't
guess, it will replace the unrecognized character(s) with an @ symbol.
Additional editing and correction must then be performed from within a
word processor or text editor.

If Interactive Learning mode is selected, the program will present the
user with unrecognized characters as they are encountered during
processing. A window will display previously discerned text,
highlighting the word, in context, which contains the unidentified
character. A dialog box within the window will display the program's
best guess at the character(s) in question.  The user may then accept
the character, or replace it with the correct letter or symbol. At
this point, the program may be trained to recognize this character
when encountered again during processing of the current text. (At the
conclusion of processing, newly defined characters can be saved in
special user-named dictionaries, for future use.) When OCR Jr. has
finished its work, a dialog will appear asking if you want to output
the processed text. Selecting OK will complete the procedure.

//// Program Performance

The function performed by Migraph OCR Jr. is simply remarkable.
Character recognition requires a lot of processing behind the scenes.
On my Mega STE, in Interactive Mode, most small to medium length
files (100-300 words) were translated in a matter of minutes. As might
be expected, the program seems to work better on sans-serif fonts like
Helvetica, than on serif fonts like Times. Also of critical importance
is scan quality. A scan which is skewed or muddy can slow the process
down to a crawl.

This brings me to my main criticism of OCR Jr.. Hand scanners, by
their very nature, make it difficult to get a great scan, particularly
when scanning small-sized text over large areas.  Without a good scan,
the program simply can't work efficiently. The full version OCR, which
I have used with great success, allows the importation of pre-scanned
.IMG and .TIF files, and the use of Migraph's page-width scanning

//// Conclusions

Migraph OCR Jr. is a good option for hand-scanner owners who want the
 capabilities of OCR at a relatively low price. It also makes sense
 for those wanting to try out the program, prior to investing in the
 full version. Owners of OCR Jr. may upgrade to the full version for
 a nominal fee, through Migraph.

The text in the 58 page manual is clearly written and supported
throughout by numerous screen shots and graphics. The learning curve
here is almost flat. If you need additional help, Migraph's excellent
customer service reps are available by telephone on weekdays during
business hours.  OCR Jr. comes packaged in a sturdy cardboard box
containing the manual and 3 double sided program disks. It will work
on any Atari ST, STE, Mega or TT030 system with at least 2 MB of RAM
and a hard disk.

I highly recommend this program to those involved in text re-entry,
despite the inherent hand-scanner drawbacks. With careful use and a
little practice, Migraph OCR Jr. will save you a lot of time and
provide relief from hours of monotonous typing.

//// OCR Jr.
Requirements: Migraph Hand Scanner (or equivalent)
Copy Protection: None
Summary: Entry Level Optical Character Recognition Program With
         Interactive Learning Capabilities.
Price: $199.00

Migraph Inc.
32700 Pacific Hwy. S., Suite 12
Federal Way, WA 98003
(206) 838-4677

Migraph OCR $299.0


 |||     Commentary: On Reprints for Online Magazines
 |||     By: Mike Mortilla
/ | \    ---------------------------------------------------------------

   "            ..."


In the news this week is... the news!

Redundant? Not really. Just last column, I found myself reporting on
the online magazines and why there may be repetitive items in them.
*THIS* week, I find myself reporting on the rights of online magazines
to reprint messages of the members of online services!

Not to be redundant, but to rephrase what I said last time; when I
started writing for ZNET, it was the norm to simply dump selected
buffer captures from the forum messages into a word processor and
re-post it into a "column." That does little for me *UNLESS* there is
an important reason to do so. Preserving important information, like
how to make fudge brownies with your hard drive, would be a good
reason to capture a threads' main points. Fixing your hard drive after
the brownies were done might be another useful thread.  Documentation
of a conflict might also prove to be an interesting topic to

In short, info that the reader can use in the future is probably worth
capturing. But the same threads in all the online magazines is a
little too redundant for me and a downright nuisance for you.

Now it seems that some members don't want their messages touched. Not
one word! Recent messages have been posted replete with notices about
duplication and copyrights. This is not only dumb and contrary to "the
cause" but may well be an unenforceable claim on the part of the
message poster.

Why do we engage in telecomputing in the first place? To run up the
Amex bill? Answers will differ from user to user, but it appears to
this writer that the online gang is there to exchange ideas, get and
receive help, programs, ...information... and, in general, to sustain
a support network (users group, if you will) for their special

We are all aware of the competition in the bid for your online
dollars. And most of us, I would imagine, would have heard at least an
inkling of the claims that subscribing to online services *MIGHT* be a
compromise of our right to privacy.

Nevertheless, we stumble forward and sign on religiously. Some of us
even have accounts on multiple services. This doubles our pleasure.
We can see more sides of the issues, and lead fuller, richer, more
productive lives as a result. NOT! Keeping up with *ONE* online
service can be daunting, keeping up and *ACTIVE* on 2 or more can be
maddening. And this is where our story begins to take shape.

What was at the root of the aforementioned copyright sensitized post
was that the member didn't want their message posted on "the other
service." Apparently a dispute had developed between this party and
that service. All sorts of mysterious words and phrases began to
appear; conflict of interest; freedom of speech; slander and libel;
infringement of copyright; the Berne Convention. Pretty heavy words to
be bandying about; but then be told "you cannot repeat my words" !?!

I am at a loss as to why you would restrict someone from repeating
accusations that you obviously feel strongly in pursuing. What you
want, if you're in the right (again, assuming there is a "right") is
to *HAVE* people talk about the issues. You *WANT* to create an
atmosphere for open discussion and inquiry. Why else would you bring
"it" to the attention of the online community?

The only reason I would imagine that you *WOULDN'T* want to have the
issues discussed is that the allegations you are hurling about aren't
true and/or you are not willing to defend the comments you have made.
In either case, this puts you in a position of weakness, not strength.
It's like the little kid who hits a home run in the big game but must
simultaneously explain to dad how he broke the window *AND* won the

Let's talk a little about the copyright issue. As a reporter, I have
the right to report what I see and hear on an a particular online
service. I *CAN* quote you, like it or not. The idea of a copyright is
not to protect you from my quoting you. The idea is to protect you
from my using your intellectual property and profiting from it. It may
even be that I don't have to make a profit and that I cannot use your
exact message (in its' entirety) in my column. But as a news gatherer
working for a bona fide publication in the business of disseminating
information, I have the right to report that news.

So let's say, for arguments sake, that you have a problem with one
online service and moaning there has gotten you 'squat.' So you go to
the other online service and moan there about the first service and
how they mistreated you. Does the second service have to carry your
message? Don't "they" have the right to protect *THEIR* copyrighted
product? I won't attempt to answer that question, but recently a SYSOP
had to and the answer was simply a *REQUEST* to *NOT* post these
messages about service A in the message base of service B. It was
further requested that if a comment, statement or editorial from a
user of another service *was* to appear, that it be uploaded onto
service B as a text file which could be downloaded at will by other
users, but not appear as a "message" in the forum. I think this is a
reasonable request, but apparently some do not and threats of "don't
touch my message or I'll sue you" continued.

You will notice that I have not mentioned a single name, message
number, or "real issue" here. But isn't it dumb to have to report on
the fact that someone has a gripe, maybe even a legitimate gripe,
*MAYBE* even a legitimate freedom of speech problem, and because this
person feels so strongly about being quoted, their issue falls on deaf
eyes? It would be much more newsworthy (and plain old interesting) for
me to report about how company XYZ is accused of stealing ABC's
shareware product, or how service XXX ripped down the free flags of a
high profile organization because of alleged illicit activity. But
even if I wanted to report facts such as these, I wouldn't do so. It
would only be the hearsay evidence of the message poster making the

So what have you gained by refusing to have your message posted? I am
reminded of a line (a *COPYRIGHTED* line) from the musical "1776." I
think it was John Adams who refers to a fellow "congressman" as "a
non- entity trying to preserve the anonymity he so richly deserves."

If you don't want to be remembered, then endure your pain and
suffering and slip away into obscurity. If, on the other hand, you
want people to remember you, to know who you are, to care about your
plight, then have the courage to stand behind your words. Don't be
like the child who throws a spitball and hides. Be the prince who
attacks the dragon, knowing full well that he will either be burned in
an instant or, in the same instant, become the hero of the land.

George Kennan (1845-1924) wrote to Henry Munroe Rogers:

 "Heroism, the Caucasian mountaineers say, is endurance for one moment

Perhaps Shakespeare said it best in Julius Caesar:

 "Cowards die many times before their deaths;
 The valiant never taste of death but once.
 Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
 It seems to me most strange that men should fear;"


 |||    The Unabashed Atariophile
 |||    By: Michael R. Burkley
/ | \   GEnie M.BURKLEY1     Delphi: MRBURKLEY

I went to the Buffalo Museum of Science yesterday with my son's second
grade class. That was an interesting trip! First we had to endure the
trip to the museum - over one hour of stop-and-go traffic, road
construction, and bouncing kids. Actually, the trip should have taken
only about 35 minutes, but because of the bus company's policy not to
go on toll roads (we even volunteered to pay the toll) we had to go
the L O N G way around. But despite that, we _eventually_ got there
and throughly enjoyed ourselves.

The featured exhibit was about the Star Trek Universe. I enjoyed
seeing all of the memorabilia, scale models, transporter technology (I
was "transported" to Farpoint Station and back again through a little
computer technology and a wide-screen TV), experienced how high I
could jump on the moon (high enough that the "Star Fleet Officer" in
charge of the exhibit asked me not to jump so high!), and much more.

One game I didn't get to play (because the line was too long!) was one
in which the player tried to achieve a stable orbit around a planet
and to rendezvous with another space ship. I've not seen a good
program like this on the Atari platform (by good I mean one that is in
line with orbital mechanics). Any good programmers out there want a
project? Here's one! But I especially remember the TV monitors
scattered around the exhibit running monologues of Next Generation
cast members talking about the power of imagination that is backed up
by education, hard work, and community.

Too soon it was time to board those buses for the boring ride back
home. Actually I don't think the kids were that bored, since they were
bouncing up and down and screaming in excitement almost the whole way
back to the school (the adults got off the buses holding their heads
and groaning!). Hopefully, we all learned something.

If you like Star Trek (in any version) you can find a lot of files on-
line dealing with this topic. There are numerous picture files,
several text files (both facts and stories), and even a number of
games with a Star Trek theme. Some are in ST areas, others are
scattered about. Here are just a few of them for your review (sorry, I
don't remember where I found most of them).

DR&THE_ET is a story written by Jean Airey (1982) that presents a very
good look at what might happen if "The Doctor (from the "Doctor Who"
universe) met up with the crew of the original "Star Trek" series. I
liked reading this, and recommend it to you if you like either Dr. Who
or the original Star Trek (especially if you like both!). I think I
found this on Delphi in the Science Fiction area.

TREKPARO is a Star Trek parody combining elements from the early "Star
Trek, The Next Generation" and the original Star Trek. It comes down
pretty hard on The Next Generation. Fun reading. From TOAD Hall (?)

STKW0404 is the game "Star Trek: The Klingon War" v.04.04.93 (i.e.,
April 4, 1993) by James S. Sellers. This is a detailed and
entertaining original Star Trek battle simulation. As Captain of the
USS Enterprise, your mission is to utilize all your starship and
starbase assets to destroy a Klingon invasion fleet. You command a top
rated crew that will carry out your orders in controlling weapons,
shields, sensors, displays, warp and impulse drives, probes, and
navigation. Unfortunately, the odds are against you (normally three to
one) and so you have to be really sharp to survive, and to save the
Federation. This keyboard controlled game for one player demands
concentration and skill. You have to constantly keeps the status of
the whole ship before you, gathering data from the systems you visit,
watching energy consumption, defending your starbase, and much more. I
especially like the training mode! Very well done. It has very nice
graphics and digitized sounds and voices (Kirk, Uhura, Sulu, etc.).
Requires at least one meg of RAM, a DS or hard drive, and a color
monitor. GEnie and Delphi (I think).

LANDER is not about Star Trek, but I thought I'd include it here
anyway. It's an older file that is another one of those simple yet
"I'll try it one more time" games. It is a simulation of a moon
landing with the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM). You begin at a certain
height above the moon's surface, with a certain downward velocity, and
with a certain amount of fuel. Your job is to ration that fuel so that
you can reach the surface (it's easy to reach the surface, but very
hard to do so with zero velocity!). No fancy graphics for this game.
You just input your data from the keyboard and hopefully not crash
(though I wouldn't count on that!). Color or mono. On-line docs. STe
compatible. GEnie.

STARTREK by Aric Friesen is a color only game in which you play the
part of the Starship Enterprise. It is a vertical scrolling game in
which the Klingon and Romulan ships enter from the top of the screen.
You have to blast them (using your mouse) before they blast you enough
to destroy your shields. If you're a good shot with quick reflexes do
you know what happens? They come FASTER! Yikes! Fun. GEnie and Delphi.

TREKFAQ is a list of "Frequently Asked Questions" about Star Trek,
Original and New compiled by Otto E. Heuer. Updated March 11, 1993.
Here are some of the (very interestin!) topics discussed: 1) Upcoming
TNG season 6 episodes, 2) More upcoming TNG tidbits, 3) Star Trek
Abroad 4) TNG season seven (the last), 5) Next movie: Star Trek VII,
6) Deep Space Nine (excellent bio's of the actors/roles), 7) Upcoming
DS9 episodes, 8) Moontrap II: The Pyramids of Mars, 9) Inside Trek
(weekly syndicated Star Trek newspaper column) I don't remember where
I got this - probably either Delphi or GEnie, but not in the ST areas.

Well, there's lots more, but I have to move on! Go to a museum
someday. It's fun to learn about the past _and_ the future.

Here's some more of the programs I've downloaded in the past few

1WP2RTF is a text utility by J. Scheerder (dated April 1, 1992) that
will allow you to convert your 1st Word Plus files into either RTF or
TEX format. Docs included. Delphi.

2CLTTFIX is an update to the Two Column Printer program. Now v.5c,
this program fixes a bug that occurs only on TTs (perhaps on Falcons,
too). This is only the program file, with NOTHING else. You must have
2COLUM5B (on GEnie and Delphi) to use this program file. Delphi.

ANTIBOMB by Greg Baker is a wonderful, needed, excellent program (I
just uploaded it to Delphi, but you can find it on GEnie, too). As you
can see I like it! If you're tired of the cherry bombs or mushroom
clouds displayed when a program crashes then you'll find this utility
essential. It replaces the bombs with a user friendly alert box that
identifies the error in English. It does more too! ANTIBOMB will keep
your ST from crashing from several common bus errors. It will trap
these and give you the opportunity, depending on the exception type,
to either continue with the program, terminate the program, or reboot
(warm or cold) the system. Now when your system crashes it doesn't
crash (I guess it still might sometimes, but not as often!) It runs
from the Desktop or from the AUTO folder. For all ST/STE's, all
resolutions. It works. It saves me from some common crashes. WOW!!
I've been told it is not Mega STe compatible. Delphi and GEnie.

AQUARIUM is a .DLT animation by K. Fanning of two fish swimming around
inside of an aquarium. This animation was created using CYBER CONTROL,
CAD-3D 2.0 and DEGAS. Color only. Use ANIMATE4.PRG to view. This file
also contains a listing of other animations he has created and which
are available on GEnie (and on Delphi and the BCS BBS as far as I
know). I think this will probably work with 1/2 meg of RAM. GEnie.

ASCREEN is ASCREEN v.3.2 by Anselm Lingnau. This GEM based program is
a very fast DVI previewer for Atari computers. You need either TeX
(available on Delphi (nearly 4.7 meg of .ZOO files!) or csTeX to use
this. The program and main docs are in German, but a fairly extensive
English doc file is also included. ST - Falcon compatible (MultiTOS,
too). 660K uncompressed. Delphi.

BABY is a photo-realistic .PCS picture of a baby surrounded by stuffed
animals. It was converted from a Falcon targa pic through Phoenix and
then Photochrome v.3.0. Excellent! GEnie and Delphi.

BOOT_SND is Boot Sound by Lee Offenberger of Cool Wave Computing. This
is a simple program that will play one or more sampled sounds you
select (with the file selector), at the speed you select, at boot up.
It uses the DMA chip to play the file, so you need an STe to use this
(I don't know about TT or Falcon compatibility). Docs included. GEnie
and Delphi.

CHEKBOOK is Chekbook v.1.19 by Steve MacMillan (date March 15, 1991).
This program can aid you in getting today's complicated checking
account under control. Problems arise in balancing your account when
items are entered out of sequence due to automated teller withdrawals,
interest payments, and service charges. CHEKBOOK can help you to
balance your checkbook - to the penny. Color only. Docs included. STE
compatible (at least). Delphi.

D1034-10 is a patch program that will update your registered copy of
Oregon Research's Diamond Edge (v.1.03, or 1.04) to v.1.10, and
Diamond Mirror v.1.0 to v.1.1. This upgrade not only makes these
Falcon compatible (specifically enhanced for the Falcon and MultiTOS),
but it also improves these already wonderful programs (which I own) in
many ways. GEnie

DYNASOAR is a .DLT animation by Kevin Fanning entitled "Mononychus."
Three bird-like dinosaurs are running down a road. A 3d2 object frame
from cyber control is also included. Color only. Use ANIMATE3 or 4 to
view. GEnie.

EMDEMO11 is the demo of EmailMan? v.1.1 by Scott R. Garrigus of SRG
Software (dated June 9, 1993). This is a dedicated database for
keeping track of E-mail Addresses. Now you never need to forget
someones E-Mail address again. With this .PRG/.ACC you can Load, Save
(disabled in demo), Find, Add, Edit (only 5 records per session),
Delete, and Transmit up to 200 email addresses in each database file.
This version fixes some bugs (mouse "droppings" and is now fully
compatible with the ST hrough TT and Falcon). Any resolution. This
program can be a real help! Tutorial included. Mouse or keyboard

FALCPL12 is Falcon Play v.1.2p, a .MOD player for the Falcon 030 by
Griff of Electronic Images. It is his Pro-Tracker v.2.1a replay
program converted specifically for the Falcon. It will play your .MOD
files at 50KHz. Here are some of its features: - 50KHZ 16bit (15bits
per channel) stereo output. '32 bit interpolation' for the best
quality Tracker music ever! (far far superior quality to ye olde
Amiga.) - Full Compatibility with ALL NoiseTrackers upto NT2.0 (Amiga)
and fully compatible with Protracker 1.0 - 2.1a (Nov '92 Amiga
version.) - 'CIA timing', which means it is the ONLY player that can
play modules using the TEMPO command! - Decrunches Amiga PowerPacked
mods. (powerpacker v2.0-4.0) Requires a Falcon 030. Delphi.

FALCSCR5 is FalconScreen v.5.0 by Markus Gutschke (dated sometime
after May 8, 1993). This program will only affect the 640x480x1bit
mode (if "MONO" is defined) and the 640x480x4bit mode (TT-MEDIUM) on a
SVGA monitor. It will replace one of these modes with a user
selectable higher resolution. Currently 832x624 (for mono) and 928x704
(for 16 colors) are the highest possible settings (you can get
800x600x 256 colors, too). You must have a SVGA monitor when you use
this program (and a Falcon, too!), or you will possibly damage your
monitor. English docs included. GEnie.

FASTFFT1 is the GEM based FAST!FFT Pseudo-realtime Spectrum Analyzer
by Phil McCandless, Ph.D (dated 1993). Now you can do quality 8-bit
analog /audio analysis on your ST/STE/TT(?). The Fast Fourier
Transform (FFT) is a complex mathematical analysis of any conventional
audio time-domain signal converted into its frequency constituents.
The FFT is very similar to the multi-bar display seen on home high
fidelity graphic equalizers, but this one is much more accurate. The
FASTFFTx.PRG provides a continuous line display, rather than the
typical discrete frequency band display. Requires the SOUNDOFF!
cartridge to be useful. Detailed Docs included. STe compatible (at

FLCAT_13 is The File Catalog v.1.3 by Randy Hoekstra (dated May,
1993). The File Catalog is a simple utility that keeps track of the
files on a disk or hard drive partition and allows you to monitor
changes to your files. The program reads in all the files on a disk or
partition and stores them in an ASCII file. With this update you can
copy, move, show, rename, and delete files, along with many other
options. Later, a new list can be generated and the old and new lists
can be automatically compared to see what has changed. The 'delta'
(changes) of the old and new file lists will show all files that have
been deleted, added, or changed (size or date). This is excellent for
hard drive upkeep. Color or mono. ST - TT compatible. Docs included.
Unfortunately, this program doesn't work with my large partitions
(2048 bytes per sector). Fortunately, the author knows about this!

FRACTAL is Mandelbrot, a simple Fractal generator for the Falcon 030
in True Color mode by Andreas Binner und Harald Schnfeld (the authors
of WinRec and more). Taking advantage of the Falcons DSP chip, this
program will allow you to create fractals up to 256 x 256 pixels and
128 iterations (I know the words, but not the meanings!). Simple
German docs included. Delphi.

HAZZARD is Bio-Hazard v.1.7 by L.J.Greenhalgh (dated 1993). This is a
two-level demo of a game that can best be described as a Dungeon
Master clone in space (with the same "look 'n feel" and controls).
Excellent pictures and sounds. Fight off loads of aliens and interact
with tons (literally) of objects. Your task, should you decide to
accept it, is to find the ladder leading down to the next level.
Select the correct weapons for each circumstance (i.e.: don't use a
mine for infighting!), find and use the necessary keys, make sure your
batteries have sufficient charges, and stay alive! The complete game
will be shipped out to all registered users (only $11 shareware fee)
in mid July, 1993). Color only. Requires at least one meg of RAM.
ST - TT compatible.

HDX503 is the newest version of the Atari HDX hard disk utilities
(released June 8, 1993). Specifically designed for Falcon030 owners,
it is backward compatible with all Atari 68k-based systems (in other
words, get this even if you don't have a Falcon!). This fixes a bug
that can cause Falcon Hard Drives to get corrupted if a partition gets
completely filled during a write operation. It also allows you to
format, partition, read, and write to the Insite Floptical SCSI
drives. Docs included. GEnie.

H_BACKBT is the Hard Drive Backup program (beta test) by Charles H.
Harvey. This easy-to-use program is designed to back up a hard drive
to another hard drive, which can be fixed or removable of any size.
This program allows you to customize your backup - choosing which files
to backup (or folders, or partitions), and exactly where those
backuped files should go. This program has too many features to
describe here. Docs included. Color or mono. STE compatible. One
problem that renders this unusable for me (for now) is that the
program doesn't recognize my large partitions (2048 bytes per sector)
so I can't back those up). Fortunately, the author now knows about the
problem and is working on a fix. If any of you know what needs to be
done, drop him a line. His GEnie address is C.HARVEY9. Thanks Chuck
for your support of the Atari line! GEnie.

KUBES by Peter the H is a very interesting variation on the game
Columns. Instead of moving the falling columns side to side and
shifting the three-block as it falls, Kubes presents you with single
falling blocks with a number of various colors that you CANNOT
manipulate as they fall. After the blocks reach the bottom you can
shift them around using keypresses, attempting to form columns of
three similar colored blocks, which then disappear. You choose which
of the various horizontal levels to move about. You choose from which
level to start and your difficulty level. I recommend this excellent
game. Color only. STE compatible. Docs included.

LED_AB by Mark Slagell @ SilkWare (the author of SilkMouse and
numerous other nice utilities) is a small utility that lights up your
floppy A (or B, or now both, courtesy of The Hitchhiker): LED whenever
logical drive C: or higher is accessed. You may find it useful if you
use a ramdisk regularly or if your hard drive, like mine, is mounted
where you can't see its front panel. Docs included. This program
replaces HD_LED. GEnie and Delphi.

LTMF_120 is Let 'em Fly! v.1.20 by Oliver Scheel (dated April, 1993).
This is a program that can make your relationship with your ST easier
and faster. This auto program and .ACC/CPX combo has the following
features: Move any dials around the screen, by simply pressing the
mousekey! Move also alert boxes. Select Dialog Box Buttons with a
keystroke, press HELP for Helpbuttons, or UNDO for Cancel buttons.
(WOW!) Extended Edit-Functions; Grow-/Shrinkboxes configurable (this
speeds things up) The program should run on all ST/STE/TT computers in
all resolutions and all TOS-Versions. If you want English docs for
this program you can either use GER2EN30 or get LTMF_119 which has the
translated English docs in the archive (available on Delphi and
probably GEnie). An all English program that does much the same as
this is FRMDIT12D by Dan Wilga of Gribnif Software. I can recommend
both of these programs.

MARCEL_D is the demo version of MARCEL v.2.1, the new word processing
program from Marcel Software. This program is chock-full of features.
You can import text from all sorts of programs, from ASCII to
WordPerfect v.4.1, you can select and see various type styles (italic,
bold, etc.) right on screen, mark blocks, scroll through text (very
fast!), export text (though not in the demo), insert date and time
into your texts (it even says "Good Morning" or "Good Evening" when
you open a file, depending on your system time!), and much more. Spell
checking, saving, and printing are disabled in this demo. This looks
like an excellent program with a very nice "feel." Tutorial included.
Color or mono. Any ST - Falcon (MultiTOS). GEnie.

MCHANCL is the Mechanical Desk Reference v.1.1 by Douglas J. Samuel
(dated 1992). The program, written using GFA BASIC will easily supply
you with information regarding drills, screws, english to metric
conversions, gears, and geometric calculations. Reference information
and formulas that would be hidden in various books are consolidated
into this one program. SHAREWARE. Color or mono. STE compatible.
Delphi and GEnie.

MONGEN is a program named "22Diety" v.5 by Robert Bowen (dated 1993)
that is designed to be used during a Dungeons & Dragons Campaign as a
Reference for the Dungeon Master. It allows you to create random
encounters based on terrain and hit dice. The author has included an
editor so that you can enter your monster data, picture and
Descriptions. Docs included. Color only. STE compatible.

NETZPLAN is the Netzplan III Demo v.1.0 by Jan Willamowius. This is a
German planning/scheduling program much like Critical Path (project
management software by David Schwener of Schwane Software). This
program will allow you to plan out the steps you need to take to get
any project done. Unfortunately, everything is in German. Online docs.
Mono only. STE compatible. Save disabled.

NEURONET is the Neuro Net v.2.5 Demo by Andreas Knopfel. This German
language program provides you with numerous examples of simulations of
Neural Networks and allows you to create (but not save) your own (that
is, if you can read the directions!) Mono only.

PACIFIC is a working demo of the game Pacific Islands. This game sets
you inside of a tank (actually a range of armed vehicles) and allows
you to control them as you fight a battle. You control up to four
vehicles at once, deciding how to deploy them, how to arm them, and
how to best use them to win the battle. The sound and graphics are
excellent! There are docs within the program, and you can figure out
how everything else works. Limited in that your opponents don't have
any weapons (it is basically a re-working of the training portion of
the actual game. Color only. ST - TT compatible. Delphi.

PIXART_D is a demo of PixArt, a monochrome and true color drawing
package for the ST - Falcon computer by Mario Meiner. Icon based, with
online help, this program looks both easy to use and very capable
(Draw with 16.7 million colors!). You can load and save in all sorts
of common formats (not just Atari formats, either). Sample pictures
included. Of course, this demo is save disabled. German program and
docs. Requires at least one meg RAM. Delphi.

PLOT172E is Plot v 1.72E by John Cordes (dated June 19, 1992). PLOT is
a GEM based two-dimensional plotting program for the Atari ST which
runs in high or medium resolution. Its main features are (1) that it
can plot a large variety of functions entered at the keyboard, (2) it
can plot data read from disk files or entered 'by hand' in a built-in
data editor, and (3) it can produce good quality hardcopy on a variety
of printers using GDOS printer drivers and fonts (if installed).
On-Screen help and docs included. STE compatible (at least). Delphi.

SBACK485 is the Fast-Sector-Backup v.4.85a demo by Reinhard Weger.
This program (in its registered form) will allow you to quickly backup
your hard drives Unfortunately, if will not work with sector sizes
larger than 1024 bytes (that's coming in the next version). Mono only,
this program allows you many options to configure it to your liking.
It's all in German though, which doesn't help me at all! Delphi.

SCAN4PAK is Scan4Pak v.2.0 by STeve Basford. It is a GEM program that
will look at all your files on floppy/hard disk, to see if they have
been packed with a Packer. This can give you the information you need
to unpack the files by using a program like Mega DePak (see my
previous review) resulting in faster loading time if you have a hard
drive, and increased compatiblity with the Falcon as well. Color or
mono. Docs included. SHAREWARE. GEnie.

SILKBT2 is SilkBoot 2, another fine program by Mark Slagell (the
author of SilkMouse, in my mind the best mouse "accelerator" around).
SilkBoot 2 installs an executable boot sector on a floppy disk. When
that disk is in your A: drive, you can turn on your Atari system all
at once instead of waiting for the hard drive to get up to speed
before turning on the computer. If your TOS version has a memory test
and long boot delay built in, this defeats both so bootup can happen
as quickly as possible. Docs included. STe (and I would assume newer
systems, too, knowing the author) compatible.

SIMMFIX is STe Simmfix by David Hoggan and Matthew Lodge is an older
program that allows you to fit 2.5MB of memory into a STe by mixing
256K and 1MB SIMMS. This allows you to buy 2 one Meg SIMMS and still
use 2 of the 256K SIMMS that came with your machine. .5 Meg of

SNAP_IFF is JML_SNAP v.2.0 by John McLoud. This .ACC will allow you to
create (multiple) screen snapshots in the IFF (Amiga) color format
(the extension is .LBM and the file shows up in the root directory of
the .ACC). MultiDesk compatible. The thing I like best about this .ACC
is that you can choose just what portion of the screen to capture.
It's not "all or nothing." German docs included. Delphi.

SOX (and SOX5 since it was uploaded twice to GEnie) is the SOund
eXchange program release 5 by Lance Norskog (dated Jan., 28, 1993).
This "Universal" Sound Sample Translator translates sound samples
between different file formats, and performs various sound effects.
his release understands "raw" files in various binary formats, Sound
Blaster .VOC files, IRCAM SoundFile files, SUN Sparcstation .au files,
mutant DEC .au files, Amiga/SGI AIFF files, Macintosh HCOM files,
Sounder files, .WAV (I think) and Soundtool (DOS) files. The sound
effects include changing the sample rate, adding echo delay lines,
applying low- and band-pass filtering, and the infamous Fender Vibro
effect. ST-TT compatible.

SPLITTER is Splitter v.1.0 by M.J.Matts (dated 1192). This GEM program
will allow you to split up large files into files that can easily be
transferred by floppy disks and then recombine them into the original
format (I guess the latter part IS important - after all I can split up
a file very easy with a pair of scissors, but it's the putting back
together again that I have problems with!). You can specify the size
of the pieces, or let the program do that for you. The program
contains error checking to make sure you get the pieces back together
again. Color or mono. Docs included. SHAREWARE. GEnie.

TAB_PLOT is TAB_PLOT v.2.9 by Robert Best (dated October, 1992).
TAB_PLOT is a 2D and 3D function plotter that will allow you to
convert a number table, contained in the output file of another
program, into a XY, Rh, XYZ or RhZ plot. Automatic (log)scaling,
spline interpolation, curve fitting, hidden surface, contour plot,
plot sizing and PostScript output are included. TAB_PLOT does not make
bar graphics or pie charts. Docs and tutorial included. Mono only.
STE compatible. Delphi.

TCLI is the The TOS Command Line Interpreter (CLI) v.1.0 by Robert
Berry (dated 1993). This CLI is a program that simulates most of the
major MS-DOS commands. It enables the user to manipulate files much
more efficiently than the desktop (that is, if you are used to and
like a command-line interface), and it provides several functions that
the desktop doesn't directly support (such as a BG (background color)
command, a SUBST command (substitute a short pathname for a longer
one), and much more. TCLI, like MS-DOS, can operate via batch files,
and can even get user input from a batch file  -  which is not readily
done in MS-DOS). An integrated RAM disk is included. Online help
available. SHAREWARE. Docs included. ST-TT compatible. GEnie.

TERMINAL is The Packet Terminal program v.1.23 by Chris Strevens
(dated Feb., 1993). This GEM program will allow you HAM radio
operators out there to do binary file transfers through TNC's. It
contains an ST and an MS-DOS version to share with a friend who only
has an IBM clone (since you both need this program to transmit the
data). Color or mono, though best in mono. Brief docs. ST - TOS 2.06
compatible (at least). SHAREWARE. GEnie.

TITANEN is Titanen der See (I think "Titans of the Sea") v.1.10 by
Stefan Nyul und Frank Sautter (dated Aug. 29, 1993). This is a German
sea-going simulation/war game from the age of Sail that can be played
across multiple computers. Choose German, English, American, and/or
Spanish ships and sale away (sink, too). Mouse controlled. The program
and docs are in German. Mono only. STE compatible. SHAREWARE. Delphi.

TRASHCPX is the Trash CPX v.1.05 by Michael Zuhl (dated Sept. 10,
1992). This .CPX will allow you to install a recoverable trashcan on
your Atari Desktop. Requires Atari's eXtensible Control Panel. German
docs included. Delphi.

TXTOOL by Don E. Farmer is an older Word Processing Utility that
computes word counts, checks spelling, reports questionable usage of
English, and does search-and-replace's that are specified by a file.
Some useful dictionaries are included but you may add to them
yourself. Color or mono. Documentation included. GEM based.
SHAREWARE.  Delphi and GEnie.

Here's some updates on programs I've reviewed:

Do you remember I reviewed CIV, a cheat program for the game
Civilization? Well, it's been pulled from the databases at the
author's request because it doesn't work all the time under different
systems. Thanks to the author for pointing that out!

The NOFRILLS label making program by Ron Weldin is now up to v.1.05
with even more "non-frilly" features. It's nice to see a program
supported. Unfortunately, the program still won't work with my 2048
byte sectors. Fortunately, the author knows and is working on a fix!
Yeah for him!

Programmers! That's three programs in this review that don't work with
2048 byte sectors! With Hard Drives getting bigger all the time this
looks to be an area of which programmers need to be aware!

All of these files can be found on one or more of the following
on-line services: GEnie (M.BURKLEY1), Delphi (MRBURKLEY), The CodeHead
BBS (213 -461-2095), Toad Hall (617-567-8642), and The Boston Computer
Society's Atari BBS (617-396-4607) (Michael R. Burkley). Drop me a
line! Remember, just because I mention that I know a file is in one
place that doesn't mean you can't find it somewhere else. Good

Michael lives in Niagara Falls, NY. He is a former Polyurethane
Research Chemist and is presently the pastor of the Niagara
Presbyterian Church.


--       --==--==--      Delphi Sign-Up Information      --==--==--      --
--                                                                       --
--  To enroll as a Delphi subscriber, modem call 1-800-365-4636. Press   --
--  [Return] once or twice, and type IP26 [Return] at Password:          --
--                                                                       --
--  Answer all of the questions, and you'll be cleared for Delphi        --
--  access in a few days. If you have questions about Delphi services,   --
--  give a voice call to Delphi Member Services at 1-800-544-4005.       --
--                                                                       --
--       --==--==--      Delphi Sign-Up Information      --==--==--      --


 |||   News from Usenet
 |||   Comipiled by: Timothy Wilson
/ | \  GEnie: AEO.8   Internet: WILSONT@RAHUL.NET

Kinda calm this month, but here goes:

//// MPEG player

Allen Goreski (73110.713@CompuServe.COM) reposted a note from
Compuserve. (which I then hacked :), but in a good way)

Brainstorm of Paris, France, released some results on their MPEG player.
MPEG is a format for displaying animations or digitized video.
Like .SEQ's or .DLT's for CyberPaint. Compression ratios are very high.

Their MPEG player uses the DSP chip present in the Falcon030, so TT
users are out of luck on this one.

A sampling of times:
Name            Size          Frames/Sec          Video Mode
BIRDISBA.MPG    502473          15.24             320x200, 4 Col. (TV)
BIRDISBA.MPG                    14.75             320x200, 16 Col. (TV)
BIRDISBA.MPG                    11.51             320x200, T.C. (TV)

The 4 and 16 color are grey scales. MPEG sound isn't supported, but
Brainstorm says that it is very rare to find any MPEG sound at all.
'I' Frame animations are the only format supported (when the article
was posted), 'P' and 'B' Frames are on the way.

The player is only about 32K.

They had this to say in the end:

"Brainstorm is a small company, dedicated in writing software. We don't
want to sell the MPEG decoder by ourself. That's why we are currently
looking for a company interested in buying and distributing it. So, I
can't tell you when it will be available, and what will be it's price."

19 bis, rue de Cotte
75012 Paris FRANCE
tel +(331) 44670809
fax +(331) 44670811

- 72241.405@COMPUSERVE.COM

//// Cinepak licensed by Atari

The SuperMac compression/decompression technology has been licensed by
Atari. This popped up in and What it does is
let digitized video to be played back from a CD-ROM in real time.
I've heard from a source inside Atari that it is capable of 320x200
True Color at 30 fps. The Internet posts also stated that Cinepak is
the underlying algorithm of Quicktime(tm). Creative Labs and 3DO are
also licensees. As soon as I find out out more, I'll let you know.

//// Get those Falcon030 demos from the source

The FTP site: is where most of the new demos are posted
first. (as in world wide first) In:  /pub/atari/falcon.
Thanks to Jonathan Roy {} for posting this info.

Some of the newer demos by UK based Black Scorpion Software are:
 These both rotate, scale, and stretch a TC picture. The number in the
 filename is the frame rate! Stereo 16bit 50Khz sound are standard with
 this and the following demos.

 Fly a 'speeder' over a landscape, the view is from behind the craft,
 this view is similar to some 'Mode 9' games from the SNES. The landscape
 is really a huge bitmap, which is scaled to achieve a flat ground plane.

 After some fast fractals, a spinning "Motorola Inside" logo appears.

Remember to be polite and try not to use this German FTP site when it's
working hours in Germany.

//// Yet Another Nethack release

Warwick Allison ( (Author of GEM++ and AMS)
has upgraded NetHack to full color icons (850!), and a Gem interface.
This release is just as big as previous Nethacks, you need at least
a 16 color display, and at least 640x480 (TT medium, or 80col~Line
doubling off~VGA on a Falcon. It will run on older machines,
(ST Low res for example), but playibility wil be lost.
Quite an accomplishment! Kudos to Warwick!

//// Falcon STOS cancelled

I missed the original post (I had a vacation), but it seems Europress
won't take the 'risk' to create a Falcon030 version.
Note that this may not have been a actual Europress spokesperson.
Well, since its my article, I'm gonna add my 2 cents: Great!
Hey, I'm all for new software, but STOS was always buggy, upgrades were
always needed for new TOS'es, (because it broke the rules), and its
BASIC. A step backwards!  (soapbox mode off)
This is my opinion by the way, so flame me, not Travis.

//// New Falcon030 owners

New USA owners of Falcon030's are posting about their new machines.
As you may have heard, 84 meg drives were put in instead of the 65's
at no extra cost (Atari got a good deal on them). One new owner
Had a ACER multi-sync, he could use all the resolutions, and liked the
80 column 256 color mode the best.

He also mentioned to watch that Multi-TOS should run last in your
Auto folder, he missed this fact from the manual.

Well that's it for this time. Hey can you belive it? Atari stock is
up around 2 and a half bucks a share!

Remember to email and tell me what YOU want to see in this article
since you're the one reading it!


 |||  GEnie Atari ST RoundTable News
 |||  Courtesy: GEnie Atari ST RT   (with thanks to John Hartman!)
/ | \ -------------------------------------------------------------------

Atari RT Weekly News 6.3


  GEnie Announces Rate Restructure Effective July 1, 1993.....*NEWRATES

  May 24, 1993  --  GEnie today announced a new pricing stucture, for
  the U.S, and Canada, that reduces hourly connect rates by 50%.
  Effective July 1, GEnie's standard hourly connect rate drops to
  $3.00 per hour ($4.00 Canadian). The monthly fee has been restructured,
  and moves from $4.95 to $8.95 (from $5.95 to $10.95 in Canada), which
  will include up to four hours of standard connect time access to most
  GEnie services, such as software downloads, bulletin boards, email,
  an Internet gateway, multi-player games and chat lines.  This change
  also eliminates the GEnie*Basic package.

  For a further description of the new pricing structure, please type
  *NEWRATES or M620 at any GEnie menu prompt.


           ----  NEW TREAT - KONG.TOS page 475 option 9 ----
       KONG.TOS is a conversion of a classic arcade game. This version
       features graphics and sounds true to the arcade original.
       Requires 1 meg, color monitor SHAREWARE - by Dave Munsie.


       Dave Small of GADGETS BY SMALL will be the guest at the July 7th
       RTC.  He will discuss Spectre GCR version 3.1 and other GBS
       products.  Join us at 10 pm EDT, July 7th.


       Dateline Atari! with Bob Brodie has been rescheduled to
       July 9th at 10:00 p.m. EDT due to the holiday weekend in
       the U.S. and Canada.


       ST INFORMER/CURRENT NOTES RTC Wed., 14th July at 10 p.m (EDT).
       Meet some of your favorite Atari authors and columnists!
       Many of CN's/ST Informer's regular columnists will be available
       to answer your questions or comments. CN will be offering a FREE
       one year subscription as a DOOR PRIZE!!!


       Clear Thinking RTC with Craig Harvey on the 21st July at 10 p.m. EDT
       Craig will discuss version 3.0 of EdHak. DOOR PRIZE - EdHak 3.0!!



28966 BRODIE10.ARC             X ST.LOU       930605   17280    638  13
      Desc: Falcon and Jaguar News from Bob!
28731 TRACET_2.ARC             X BRIAN.H      930514   11520     76  13
      Desc: Trace Technologies 12 May 93 RTC
28679 BRODIE9.ARC              X ST.LOU       930509   14336    501  13
      Desc: May Dateline Atari! with Bob Brodie
28678 MISSIONW.ARC             X BRIAN.H      930508   13184    116  13
      Desc: Missionware (Flash II) RTC 5May93
28588 ABC_SOLN.ARC             X BRIAN.H      930430   13440     73  13
      Desc: 28 Apr ABC Solutions RTC
28525 PMC2.ARC                 X BRIAN.H      930424   12416     92  13
      Desc: PMC RTC 21April93 with Oscar & Darek
28484 OL3_RTC.ARC              X ST.LOU       930420   14336     96  13
      Desc: Outline Art Conference


29064 MIST_5.LZH               X W.JONES43    930619    6912      3  14
      Desc: Map and info on AtariFest V Indy
29047 BLUERIDG.TXT             X S.WINICK     930617    8064     25  14
      Desc: Blue Ridge AtariFest Press Release
29039 FIESTAMP.LZH             X C.CASSADAY   930615   58496      8  14
      Desc: IMG, PgS, ASCII directions to Fiesta
29025 MIST_5.TXT               X W.JONES43    930612    2688     41  14
      Desc: Press Release for MIST AtariFest V!
29021 CUTPRICE.TXT             X J.EIDSVOOG1  930612    1280    410  14
      Desc: CodeHead Cuts Prices!
29019 GLMPR318.LZH             X R.FAULKNER4  930611   19328    126  14
      Desc: GEnieLamp Press Release
29007 KCSHOW5.LZH              X B.WELSCH     930610   15104     31  14
      Desc: Kansas City Atarifest Press release
28967 JAGUAR.TXT               X BOB-BRODIE   930605    3200    505  14
      Desc: Press Release for Atari Jaguar!!!
28964 GLMPR317.LZH             X R.FAULKNER4  930605   15744    117  14
      Desc: GEnieLamp Press Release


29016 MC20.LZH                 X C.MULLER3    930611  246144     87  10
      Desc: The Ultimate Finance Manager
29001 EMDEMO11.LZH             X S.GARRIGUS   930609   27904     43  10
      Desc: EmailMan Version 1.1 - SRG Software!
28985 MARCEL_D.LZH             X MARCEL.CA    930607   70016    112  10


28983 D1034-10.LZH             X ORA.TECH     930607  237696    318   2
      Desc: Diamond Edge 1.03/1.04 to 1.10 Patch
28965 SILKBT2.LZH              X M.SLAGELL    930605    2432    192   2
      Desc: SilkBoot 2, freeware HD boot delay
29049 LGSEL18D.LZH             X CODEHEAD     930618   33920    175   2
      Desc: Little Green Selector v1.8D
28994 HDX503.ZIP               X B.REHBOCK    930609   75008    143   2
      Desc: Latest HD Utilities for Falcon030!
29033 LITTLNET.ZIP             X A.FASOLDT    930615   16256    112   2
      Desc: Freeware ST/TT networking software
28985 MARCEL_D.LZH             X MARCEL.CA    930607   70016    112  10
28973 FALCSCR5.LZH             X L.SMITH70    930606   38784    110   2
      Desc: FalconScreen 5.0 - F030 rez expander
28984 TCLI.ZIP                 X A.FASOLDT    930607   67200    107   2
      Desc: Command-line interpreter, ST/TT
28999 BOOT_SND.LZH             X OFFY         930609   16000    102   2
      Desc: Play digitized sounds during boot!
29016 MC20.LZH                 X C.MULLER3    930611  246144     87  10
      Desc: The Ultimate Finance Manager

 Thank you for supporting the Atari Roundtable and GEnie.

 John G. Hartman
 Atari RT PR Sysop


  |||   Developing Notes
  |||   Important items from TOS platform developers and supporters
 / | \  ---------------------------------------------------------------

//// ICD SCSI Pro Software

Rockford, Illinois, June 25, 1993 - ICD, Incorporated, a leading
designer and manufacturer of Atari hardware enhancements, today
announced a new standard for the Atari ST, TT and Falcon computers.

ICD SCSI Pro Utilities TM was designed to provide all Atari owners a
choice of SCSI and IDE peripherals with the hard disk performance and
dependability that they can expect from ICD, the leader in Atari host
adapters on the Atari ST.

ICD SCSI Pro Utilities is a complete software tool kit designed for
anyone who owns a hard drive on an Atari Computer. This unprotected
package consists of the ICD hard drive software that was previously
available only in a protected form, a new comprehensive version of
Cleanup ST, as well as other powerful utilities. The software is
supplied in a packed format on two double-sided diskettes along with a
15 page manual.

The core of ICD SCSI Pro Utilities is the famous ICD Hard Drive
Software. ICDBOOT.PRG is a fully configurable, high performance hard
disk driver. It includes read and write- back caching variable buffer
and block sizes, write-back delays, user selectable boot partitions,
the ability to skip SCSI IDs or partitions at boot time, smart
removable media support, Floptical support, along with many other
useful options. By integrating the configurable cache directly into
the driver, ICD has enjoyed an amazing speed advantage over other hard
drive packages and add on cache programs.

HDUTIL is the utility program which allows the user to select the boot
partition, to zero or wipe a partition if desired, and to map out bad
sectors. HDUTIL is also the main configuration utility which easily
and logically allows the user to set the many options in ICDBOOT, the
hard disk driver.

ICDFMT is the preparation utility which is used to set up a new hard
drive or to change the existing partitions on a used hard drive. It
also allows the naming of partitions and editing of partition
information. DESKTOP.PRG allows the swapping of partitions with drive

SCSI.PRG is an advanced command tester and sector editor for SCSI and
IDE devices. This powerful software offers the tools to troubleshoot
SCSI and IDE device problems, to read, edit, and write sectors
directly to disk, and to perform any other functions using the SCSI
command set. SCSI.PRG includes comprehensive on-line help and the
option to save and load command strings for later use. The strength of
this utility is that all operations are done directly to disk without
the installed hard disk driver.

Cleanup, which was once sold as a separate program, will analyze a
diskette, hard drive partition, or ramdisk, to determine if it has
been damaged and if so how to correct it. Cleanup will detect and
correct a wide variety of problems in the File Allocation Table (FAT)
and in the directories. Cleanup will search a disk for bad sectors and
optionally use multiple checks on each sector to find intermittently
bad sectors. You simply can't buy a better safety net for your data
than Cleanup. Using Cleanup is like wearing a seat belt. Once you
start using it, you will feel unsafe without it.

ICD SCSI Pro Utilities also includes an ingenious CD-ROM driver for
ICD Advantage/AdSCSI/Link SCSI host adapters and SCSI-2 CD-ROM drives.
This driver is MinT/MultiTOS compatible, and a copy of MinT is
included on the disk.

The suggested US retail price for ICD SCSI Pro Utilities is $49.95.
It is available directly from ICD or from better Atari dealers

For further information, contact ICD Press Relations in the United
States by phone at (815) 968-2228 extension 222 or by fax at (815)

ICD SCSI Pro Utilities and The Link are trademarks of ICD,
Incorporated. Other trademarks are those of their respective holders.

//// View II from DMJ

  |  Editor's note: This has been compiled from messages posted in  |
  |  the Atari ST RT area on GEnie.                                 |

Hello, all!

These past few months have been unbelievably crazy.  I no longer live
in Germany; my new Snail Mail address is as follows:

 Damien M. Jones
 Route 1, Box 168
 Milford, TX 76670
 Phone: (817) 582-7373
 Fax:   (817) 582-7377

I haven't been back very long, but I really appreciate being back in
the US.  Now I can participate online here (and get a decent haircut,
and a blue Slurpy at 2 AM, and burgers at a reasonable price...)

A newsletter will be on its way soon (I hope) filling in details
about various programs.  I'd like to point out that I won't be able to
write programs as much as I'd like; my job in Germany allowed me to do
a lot of work on programs--my job here /is/ programming, so I won't
have as much chance to write ST/Falcon programs.  I'm still trying to
get settled into this new job (I *HATE* FoxPro, Windows programming,
and Visual C++).

I still support all the programs I've released as Shareware.  View II
is now available from It's All Relative--Greg Kopchak posted a notice
to that effect last week, I believe.  For those who don't know what
View II is, I'll list the major features right here:

y View text, picture, animation, sound, or archive files just by
  double-clicking on them from the desktop.

y Works with STs, STes, Mega STes, TTs, and Falcons.

y 100% assembly viewer programs for small size and fast display.

y Views color pictures in mono and mono pictures in color, STe color
  on STs, any-speed sample playback for STes, archive extraction
  (requires archive programs), and other great display features.

y Installed on a hard drive, uses NO MEMORY.  Installed on a RAM disk,
  uses just 48K OR LESS.

y Self-installing--just click "Smart Install" and the config program
  does the rest.


y Double-click on text, picture, animation, sound, or archive files to
  display them. The correct viewer is automatically loaded.

y Uses /no memory/ when installed on a hard drive.  Uses just 48K when
  installed on a RAM disk.

y RAM disk & file copier included.

y Reset-proof clock setter included (for those who don't have a
  battery-backed clock).

y "Smart Install" does the setup for you.

y Normal "Install" lets you customize your setup.

y Allows you to "Remove" the installation as well.

Text viewer:

y Fast text display.

y Bi-directional /mouse/ scrolling.  Keyboard control also with the
  CTRL and ALT keys (and lots of others).

y Two-speed scrolling on Mega STes, TTs, and Falcons.

y Properly displays VT52 graphics.

y Top & Bottom function.

y Case-insensitive fast search.

y Print screen contents.

y Print entire file, with an estimated print completion time.

y Memory-conservative: uses just 20K, no matter what size file you

 Picture viewer:

y Display DEGAS, Tiny, NEO, Spectrum (even Smooshed!), and other

y Animates colors, if the picture requires it.

y Displays STe color on STs with almost no flicker.

y Display Spectrum pictures properly on 50Hz or 60Hz displays.

y Includes Sync-Fix for out-of-sync display of Spectrum pictures.

y Slow down Mega STes to 8MHz for Spectrum display.

y Displays monochrome pictures in color (instantaneous conversions).

y Displays color pictures in monochrome (even Spectrum) using fast
  pattern dither or slower Floyd-Steinberg dither (awesome results).

y Displays Spectrum pictures using the TT's 256-color mode.

y Displays Spectrum pictures using the Falcon's True Color mode.

 Animation viewer:

y Displays SEQ and DLT animations.

y Reverse play at any time.

y Ping-pong mode option.

y Single frame advance and rewind.

y With sufficient memory, animates up 60 frames per second.

y Selectable animation speeds.

y Play animations from disk /automatically/ if there isn't enough

 Sound viewer:

y Plays AVR, SPL, SAM, SND, and WAV formats.

y Where possible, recognizes the speed automatically.

y Plays through ST, STe, or Falcon hardware at any speed from
  5kHz to 50kHz (up to 30kHz ST).

y Quick buttons for common speeds (11 preset speeds available).

y Play stereo sounds on STs (in mono).

 Archive viewer:

y Display the contents (verbose list) of ARC and LZH files.

y If the list is large, it can be scrolled (in both directions)
  with the mouse.

y Mark individual files or the entire archive and extract them.
  (Appropriate archiver programs are required for extraction.)

y Extract to current directory or create folder for extracted files.


y Works with all versions of TOS up to TOS 4.

y Runs on STs, STes, Mega STes, TTs, and Falcons.

y Works in color or monochrome.

y Works with NeoDesk 3.

y Works with 512K or more--and you really only need more for
  large animations or sound files.

All this for just twenty measly dollars. Version 2.1 is already in
development and will add numerous features. Buy View II now and the
upgrade to 2.1 will be free! Here are some of the features that will
be added in the upgrade:

y MultiTOS compatibility.

y Expandability--View II (2.1) will be user-expandable.  Others will
  be able to write extra modules for View II and allow the user to
  add these to View II /easily/.

y You will be able to call the View II modules from a desk accessory.

y All viewers will allow selection of options from a screen menu
  using the mouse.

y You'll be able to call a text editor from the text viewer without
  having to exit back to the desktop.

y You'll be able to load a new file into the text viewer, again
  without returning to the desktop.

y Support for more file formats, including ZIP archives.

y Much, much more.

I plan to fully support this product.  I use so often I hate using an
ST that doesn't have it installed.  Once you get it, you'll wonder how
you got by without it.

Speaking of getting it, it's easy.  You can order View II from It's
All Relative, 2233 Keeven Lane, Florissant MO 63031, for just $20.

Still not sure?  Questions about the program can be posted here, of
course, or you can send me or Greg Kopchak (GREG) E-mail.

Thanks for the support I've received so far.  I apologize if anyone
has sent mail to my APO address and not received a reply; I've been
bouncing around for a few weeks and I don't think too much mail was
forwarded (there is still some percolating through the mail system
right now).  If you suspect this has happened to you, send me E-mail;
I'll probably be checking my mailbox here daily.

If you have registered one of my programs, your name and address are
on file.  However, I'd also appreciate it if you would send me your
GEnie address here so I can contact you online.  Just send me E-mail,
and be sure to include the serial number from any of the programs
you've registered.

//// Purple Mountain ST Summer Tour

Purple Mountain Computers, Inc. will be sending a representative during
the summer across North America including Canada, Mexico and the United
States to promote Atari ST products.

PMC encourages user groups to contact Oscar Steele to setup a show.  Up
for discussion will be how user groups can bring back old members who
switched to PC's, by getting them to use Gemulator, which will encourage
them to run ST software again.  Also demonstrated will be products from
various vendors including ICD's Link host adaptor and Floptical Drives.

"This North American tour continues our tradition of trying to support
and expand the Atari ST product line," said Oscar Steele, President of
Purple Mountain Computers, Inc.  "We've already begun establishing our
local rep program and we're publishing a free newspaper for ST users.
ST users don't need to sit on their butts - they have useful computers,
and I'll be showing them that."

PMC is very ST pro-active and will be very happy to work directly with
user groups to promote shows in unique ways.  Vendors who are interested
in attending shows are encouraged to contact PMC.

The Tacoma, Washington was productive and offered an intense discussion
with members of groups around the Washington area.  Pending locations
include Alaska, Minnesota, and Michigan.


CompuServe: 72567,302

Purple Mountain Computer, Inc.
15600 NE 8th St. Ste. A3-412
Bellevue, WA  98008     206-399-8700

//// Blue Ridge Atarifest '93

The Blue Ridge Atari Computer Enthusiasts (BRACE) and Computer STudio
invite you to participate in the fourth annual Blue Ridge AtariFest on
Saturday, July 24 and Sunday July 25, 1993.  The show will take place in
the Courtyard Shop area of Westgate Shopping Center in Asheville, North
Carolina (Home of Computer STudio).

We are still signing up additional exhibitors, but those who have
already made a firm committment to attend include (Alphabetical

yAtari Corp/Applied Audio Marketing
Atari's Southeast Regional Representatives will be on hand to let you
know what's going on in the Atari world, especially here in the Southest

PD/Shareware Software (Desktop Publishing Clip Art Libraries)

y Barefoot Software
Professional MIDI Software applications (SMPTETrack, EditTrack Platinum,
GenEdit, EZ Score Plus, etc.)

yBinary Ink
David St Martin will discuss his own desktop publishing business and
conduct informative seminars on "Marketing Your DTP Skills" and
"Newsletter Desktop Publishing".

y Codehead Technologies
Productivity software & enhancements (G+Plus, MultiDesk Deluxe, HotWire,
CodeHead Utilities, Warp 9, Calligrapher, MaxiFile, Lookit & Popit,
Avant Vector, MegaPaint, TOS Extension Card, etc.)

yComputer STudio
Visit a 'real' Atari Dealership in the mall (Atari computer systems,
software and accessories)

yDMC Publishing
Desktop Publishing System Solultions (Calamus/SL, PKS Write, Outline
Art, Invision Elite, tms Cranach Studio, etc.)

Telecommunications and Electronic Publishing

yJV Enterprises
Developers of low-cost license-ware software and games.

yLexicor Software
Professional animation and rendering software (Prism Paint, Phoenix
Render, Meridian, etc.)

Entertainment Software (New products unveiling!)

yMissionware Software
(Flash II, lottODDS, Printer Initializer, etc.)

Showtimes are 10am - 6pm on Saturday, and noon-5pm on Sunday.  Seminar
sessions will be scheduled throughout the show.

Since this year's show coincides with Asheville's annual Bele Chere
Street Festival, we are not having a Saturday evening banquet, but are
instead encouraging guests to hop the shuttle bus at the front entrance
of the mall and spend Saturday evening downtown enjoying the outdoor
festivities (live entertainment, food booths of all types, dancing,

Advance registration is only $3; or $4 at the door.  Additional
information about the show and Asheville's Bele Chere festival will be
mailed to all who pre-register in advance.  Door prize winners will also
be selected from registered guests (you need not be present at the time
of the drawing to win).  Advance registration checks should made out to
"COMPUTER STUDIO" and mailed to:

 Computer STudio
 Westgate Shopping Center
 40 Westgate Parkway - Suite D
 Asheville, NC  28806

For additional information, please contact either:

 Sheldon Winick                     Cliff Allen, Show Coord.
 GEnie:  S.WINICK                   GEnie:  C.ALLEN17
 Computer STudio                    Internet:  CALLEN@UNCA.EDU
 Westgate Shopping Center           phone:  (704) 258-3758
 40 Westgate Parkway - Suite D
 Asheville, NC  28806   (704) 251-0201

or the Blue Ridge AtariFest topic on GEnie (Atari Roundtable,
Category 11, Topic 13).

|                                                                 |
|       """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""        |
|                                                                 |
|  Name:  ______________________________________________________  |
|                                                                 |
|                                                                 |
|  Address:  ___________________________________________________  |
|                                                                 |
|                                                                 |
|  City:  ______________________  ST: ______  ZIP: _____________  |
|                                                                 |
|                                                                 |
|  Telephone:  (_______) _______________________________________  |
|                                                                 |
|                                                                 |
|  Please enclose a separate registration form  for each person,  |
|  and  return to us  at the  following address  along with your  |
|  check in the amount of  $3.00 per person  ($4.00 at the show)  |
|  made payable to "COMPUTER STUDIO":                             |
|                                                                 |
|        Computer STudio                                          |
|        Westgate Shopping Center                                 |
|        40 Westgate Parkway - Suite D                            |
|        Asheville, NC  28806                                     |
|                                                                 |
|  Alternate Credit Card Payment Method:                          |
|  """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""                          |
|                                                                 |
|  __ MasterCard   __ VISA   __ Discover    __ American Express   |
|                                                                 |
|                                                                 |
|  Credit Card Number:  ________________________________________  |
|                                                                 |
|                                                                 |
|  Expiration Date:  ___________________________________________  |
|                                                                 |
|                                                                 |
|  Authorized Signature:  ______________________________________  |
|                                                                 |


 |||  Shutdown ............................ Power off, EXIT, BYE, Logoff
/ | \ ------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, that's it for this issue. I apologise for the rough feel of it
all, but by next time, everything will better fall into place. If you
would like to be a part of AEO, please send EMail to me at one of my
online addresses. Writers are welcome on any subject, and on any

Until the next issue of AEO, I remain,
Your Editor
Travis Guy


                (This issue printed on recycled photons)




Atari Explorer Online Magazine is a bi-weekly publication covering the
Atari computer community. Material published in this issue may be
reprinted under the following terms only: articles must remain unedited
and include the issue number and author at the top of each article
reprinted. Reprint permission is granted, unless otherwise noted at the
beginning of the article, to registered Atari user groups and not for
profit publications. Opinions presented herein are those of the individual
authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff, or of the


Atari, ST, Mega ST, STE, Mega STE, TT030, Atari Falcon030, TOS,
MultiTOS, NewDesk, BLiTTER, Atari Lynx, Atari Jaguar, Atari Portfolio,
and the Atari Fuji Symbol are all trademarks or registered trademarks
of Atari Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned in this issue
belong to their respective owners.


                      Atari Explorer Online Magazine
                    "Your Online Source for Atari News"
                   Copyright = 1993, Subspace Publishers

                                   * * *
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 :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: A    E    O :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
 ::  Volume 2 - Issue 11    ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE          26 June 1993  ::

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