Z*Net: 18-May-90 #520

From: Kevin Steele (aj205@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 06/10/90-09:40:38 PM Z

From: aj205@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Kevin Steele)
Subject: Z*Net: 18-May-90  #520
Date: Sun Jun 10 21:40:38 1990

     //////       //    //  //////  //////   Z*Net Atari Online Magazine
        //   /   ///   //  //        //              May 18, 1990
     //    ///  // // //  //////    //       ---------------------------
  //       /   //   ///  //        //          Compiled and Edited by:
 //////       //    //  ///////   //          Ron Kovacs  and  John Nagy
 May 1986 - May 1990            Issue #520              Atari News First
                    (=) 1990 by Rovac Industries, Inc.
                            Post Office Box 59
                       Middlesex, New Jersey 08846
                     Z*Net Online BBS: (201) 968-8148
         CompuServe 71777,2140 * Cleveland Free-Net * GEnie Z-NET

                                THIS WEEK
                              by Ron Kovacs
 Many of our readers have been calling the Z*Net BBS over the last few 
 weeks with positive comments about our publications recently released 
 and we thank you for taking the time to respond.  Z*Net Mechanics Online 
 Magazine and Z*Net MAC Online Magazine has been completed.  A reader has 
 uploaded the first to issues of the Mechanics Newsletter to the Atari ST 
 RT on GEnie, if you are interested take a look.  Bruce Kennedy, the 
 originator of the first ZMagazine, (regardless of what others say), is
 the primary editor of the publication, look for additional releases 
 ST Journal has been released, as we reported last week.  The glossy 
 paged magazine is available at your local Atari dealer or magazine 
 vendor.  For subscription information call or write ST Journal, 113 W. 
 College Street, Covina, California 91723.  818-332-5473.
 Apologies are in order to Alice Amore and Mark Quinn.  Last week I 
 listed them in the contents and failed to include their articles, this 
 week I lost the articles altogether.  Sorry guys...  Alice is on 
 assignment and will return shortly.  Mark has been under the weather and 
 recovering fine.  Look for an article next week.
 As always, for the accurate news and Atari information read Z*Net!  
 Don't be fooled by imitations!
                            THE STATE OF ATARI
                            Z*Net News Service
 Tuesday, May 15, at 2 PM, Sam Tramiel presided over the 4th annual Atari
 Corporation shareholders meeting in the General Meeting Room of Atari's
 Caribbean facility in Sunnyvale, California.  The two orders of business
 were to elect the directors for the following year and to ratify the
 appointment of Deloitte and Touche as independent auditors of the
 Company for the year ending December 31, 1990.  Both items passed as
 expected, with no changes to the re-elected board.

 After the official meeting ended, Richard Miller and Leonard Tramiel
 gave shareholders an overview of the new TT 030.  Antonio Salerno
 discussed features and new applications for the Portfolio.  Future
 applications for the Portfolio include software for construction cost
 estimation and tennis, golf, and bowling, handicapping and scorekeeping.

 A question and answer period followed, with questions ranging from the
 commonly asked U.S marketing concerns to topics as specific as the
 status of Atari Explorer magazine.  Sam Tramiel responded to the Atari
 Explorer question by stating that the magazine had been brought "in-
 house", and that the new editor was Jim Fisher, Atari's VP of Marketing
 and Advertising.

 On display at the meeting were the STe running a digitized stereo sound
 effect demo, the TT 030 displaying a video quality graphic demo, the
 Atari MS-DOS computer with a Portfolio Ram card drive attached, the
 Portfolio, and several Lynx's encased in a new point of purchase display
 that allows consumers to play the up to four Lynx's inside the
 plexiglass-like enclosure.  New Lynx titles being displayed included Ms.
 Pacman, Klax, and Slimeworld.  Sam Tramiel also announced that Atari
 hopes to ship approximately 400,000 Lynx's by year's end, with
 approximately 30 "hot" game titles available in time for Christmas.

 Information provided to shareholders included ownership and control
 statistics.  Jack Tramiel now owns 43.8% of Atari stock, while Warner
 Communications holds 24.6%.  The 16-member group including all directors
 and executives of Atari Corp hold an aggregate of 51% of all stock.
 There are almost 58 million shares of Atari stock outstanding.

 Atari reported net income of $1.5 million or $.03 per share on sales of
 $85.5 million for the quarter ended Mar. 31, 1990.  This compares with
 net income of $3.3 million or $.06 per share on sales of $88.8 million
 for the first quarter ended Mar. 31, 1989.  The results for the quarter
 reflect continued revenue growth for the Atari ST and Atari PC
 compatible product line, and the new Lynx video game machine.  The
 decline in revenue from last year is attributed by Atari to the impact
 of competition in the company's traditional 2600 and 7800 video game
 market in the United States.

                               NEC AND ATARI
                            Z*Net News Service

 As reported this week in a pair of Z*BREAK special bulletins, it has
 been confirmed by N.E.C. that NEC and Atari Games have signed an
 agreement to promote NEC game systems as a joint venture.  Rumors of an
 ATARI/NEC deal have circulated for several weeks, but it now appears
 that the Atari that most observers had expected to be involved is the
 wrong Atari.

 NEC is Nippon Electronics Corporation, makers of the NEC TURBOGRAPHIX 16
 game system as well as countless other consumer electronic devices and
 components.  NEC also owns several "real" computer lines, and is known
 to be shopping for other computer and home entertainment product lines.

 The Turbographix 16 system has sold slowly in the USA, and some reports
 say that NEC believes it is due to poor marketing and a brand name that
 is unappealing to the game market.  They may feel that ATARI's name and
 know-how in the games and arcade field will lend both the experience and
 credibility needed to successfully promote the NEC systems.

 There was an error in our earlier report as to the status of WARNER and
 Atari Games.  Warner, a 24% shareholder in Atari Corp (the computer
 folks) DOES NOT own Atari games.  Warner sold its interests to NAMMCO,
 an arcade game company, some years ago.  TENGEN is a subsidiary of Atari
 Games, and is the primary development company for consumer game software
 for Atari Games.

 A few sources have told us that plans now include introducing the NEC
 PORTABLE game console far sooner than originally scheduled.  However,
 while NEC stressed that the agreement with Atari is for GAME SOFTWARE
 DEVELOPMENT, our sources indicated that there could be future ATARI
 GAMES involvement in hardware and promotion as well.  NEC sources say
 that there is no current intention to rename the Turbographix 16 game
 console, nor to use the ATARI name on their product.  The portable
 Turbographix 16 unit was shown privately at the Winter Consumer
 Electronics Show, and all who used it agreed that it "blew away" all
 other portable systems INCLUDING the LYNX from Atari Computer.  Plans at
 that time said the unit might be available by Christmas 1991, but have
 been revised to hit the Christmas 1990 market.  The NEC portable uses
 the same game carts as their home console, a feature thought to become a
 major selling point for both systems.  It will be featured publicly at
 the upcoming Summer CES show.

 The first title to be offered for the NEC system via the services of
 Atari Games will be "KLAX", which is coincidently the next title to be
 released for the LYNX.  Next will be "SLIMEWORLD".

 Other rumors about NEC buying into American computer companies (and
 possibly into Atari Corporation) have also been traced to the April
 agreement by AT&T and NEC to support each other in chip design and
 production.  While this agreement does not preclude further NEC
 activity, the actual agreements with AT&T parallel those that have been
 rumored regarding Atari.

                    WORLD OF ATARI Vs.GLENDALE: AGAIN
                            Z*Net News Service
 World of Atari show promoter and ST WORLD magazine publisher Richard
 Tsukiji has announced that he plans to hold another of his WOA shows in
 San Jose, California, in August 1990.  GLENDALE show organizer John King
 Tarpinian is concerned, as his show dates for the user-group sponsored
 "Southern California Atari Faire Version 4.0b" are September 15 and 16,
 1990.  Last year, that annual and very popular show was canceled due to
 this same scenario, with Tsukiji short-scheduling a competing San Jose
 show only weeks away from the Glendale date.  San Jose is 400 miles up
 the California coast, and neighbors San Francisco and Atari's
 headquarters of Sunnyvale.  At the time, Tsukiji's move was seen by
 critics as an open challenge to user shows.  Developers had to make hard
 choices about which California show to give their time and effort, and
 the issue of commercial competition with user groups shows was widely
 debated.  Both Glendale and the WOA shows were ultimately cancelled, and
 both sponsors lost money and wasted effort.  Hard feelings on the part
 of many California users and some developers are still apparent by
 comments and attendance at the WOA Disneyland show in April, 1990.  This
 repeat performance of the scheduling conflict is seen by some as a
 deliberate attempt to again thwart the user-group show at Glendale.

 This year, Tarpinian has said that this time he will not cancel
 Glendale, and adds that his show date has been known to Atari and
 Tsukiji since last Summer.  Atari has committed to supporting the
 Glendale show, and now must decide whether to support or even to allow
 the newly scheduled WOA to occur, literally in their own Sunnyvale back
 yard.  Atari is aware that to do so may seriously damage both the
 Glendale effort and user group relations in general.

 Before his Disneyland show this year and before his announcement of new
 show dates, Tsukiji had been informed by Atari that he should not
 attempt to schedule any shows within 30 days of any other Atari show
 commitment, and that he ought to give a minimum of 120 prior notice of
 his show dates to Manager of User Group Services, Bob Brodie.  Tsukiji
 has avoided Bob after having implied that Bob was trying to sabotage the
 Disneyland show by failing to persuade user groups to support that show
 with volunteer efforts.

 Tsukiji, a private businessman promoting Atari shows for profit, has not
 yet held a WOA show without Atari supplying him many thousands of
 dollars of equipment for booths, advertising, and personnel.  He has
 also announced plans for a Boston area show.

 For information on the Glendale show, call John at (818) 246-7286.

                          MORE ON ATARI EXPLORER
                            Z*Net News Service

 Readers have begun to receive their subscription issues of the March/
 April issue of ATARI EXPLORER, bearing the label of SPRING rather than
 the dates.  This is the revised issue, Atari having removed articles
 that they considered to be derogatory to them.  Atari Corp owns
 Explorer, and after seeing an editorial and a commentary by Editor Betsy
 Staples and co-editor David Ahl that criticized Atari, fired the entire
 Explorer staff in March.

 Instead of Staples' editorial explaining why the issue was late (which
 went into details of Atari failing to pay for the printing of ATARIAN
 magazine), a new editorial by former technical editor John Jainschigg
 appears.  However, the table of contents for the issue still bears the
 Staples title and byline.

 Since the firings, the future of Explorer has been up in the air.
 Atari's Vice President of Marketing and Advertising (who fired the old
 staff) made a public statement that Explorer would continue, and
 announced "plans to enhance the ATARI EXPLORER magazine" following
 "necessary actions taken to relocate the operation closer to
 headquarters in Sunnyvale, California."

 Rumor had it that John Jainschigg was the leading candidate for editor
 of Explorer, particularly after his editorial replaced Staples' in the
 revised issue.  Atari reportedly approached Larry Flynt Publications,
 former publishers of ANALOG and ST-LOG, with an offer to have them take
 over Explorer, but Flynt turned the opportunity down.  ST-WORLD magazine
 publisher and World of Atari show promoter Richard Tsukiji is also said
 to have made a bid for producing the magazine for Atari.  However, at
 the Atari shareholder meeting on May 15, Jim Fisher was announced as the
 new Editor of Explorer.  No information regarding production staff has
 yet been made public.

                              Z*NET NEWSWIRE

 Commodore appointed William Sydnes to General Manager of PC compatible
 products, in charge of research and development for new PC compatible
 computers.  Sydnes is recognized as having been instrumental in the
 development of the personal computer industry.  During the early 1980s
 at IBM, Sydnes managed development of the IBM PC from concept through
 production including the architecture for numerous follow on products
 such as the XT and AT using state-of-the-art technologies. 

 Toshiba announced late last week that a potential disk drive cable
 malfunction on some of its early T1000SE notebook-size portable PCs.
 The problem, which has been eliminated in all current models, could
 occur after prolonged use of the PC as the result of the routing of the
 cable to the disk drive.  Potentially affected units are those with
 serial numbers starting with the following three digits: 010, 020, 030,
 040 and 129.  Owners of the specified portables are asked to call
 Toshiba at 1-800-999-4CSD for instructions on how to inspect and correct
 the cable routing if needed.  Customers also can take their units to an
 ASP, located by calling 1-800-334-3445, for inspection and correction at
 no charge. 

 Nintendo video games may create health problems for people who play them
 for hours at a time.  Doctors in Boston made this announcement earlier 
 this week.  In one case, a 13-year-old girl who spent three hours
 playing Super Mario Brothers suffered an epileptic seizure apparently
 brought on by the flickering patterns, exploding lights and rapid
 movements on the video screen.  Dr. Edward Hart of Franciscan Children's
 Hospital said the girl appears to suffer a rare form of photosensitive
 epilepsy that affects 2 percent to 3 percent of epilepsy patients.  A
 similar case was reported in England involving a video game called Dark
 Warrior.  In another case in Wisconsin, a 35-year-old woman who played
 Nintendo without interruption for five hours experienced severe pain the
 following day in the thumb she used to press the button operating the
 game.  Dr. Richard Brasington of the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin said
 the pain went away after several days of treatment with an over-the-
 counter pain killer and abstinence from video games.  The doctor went on 
 to say, "I suggest that this sports-related injury be called

 The following is the official statement of The Walt Disney Co. on the
 death of Jim Henson:  Michael Eisner, Frank Wells and all who work at
 The Walt Disney Co. are profoundly shocked and saddened by the untimely
 death of Jim Henson.  The world has lost a creative genius and a warm
 and gentle man.  We grieve with his family and share their great loss.
 We vow to do all that we can to see that the extraordinary legacy of
 this great friend and colleague will live on.  Also passing this week
 were entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. and Jill Ireland, both of cancer.
 GEnie has added a RoundTable devoted to addressing the technical
 and professional needs of desktop publishers and the electronic
 publishing community.  The Design To Print RoundTable is for anyone who
 is interested in graphic design and illustration, electronic editorial
 communication, or production technology and publishing systems.  The
 new Roundtable will include: a library of graphic elements, design
 samples and publishing copy placed into the public domain; information
 about products, user groups and industry organizations; and also a
 series of tutorials on design and production techniques, and hardware/
 software support. 

 New York's proposed tax on computer services and software is virtually
 dead.  The tax had been opposed by virtually every professional and
 commercial group in the state.  Among other arguments by opponents was
 one pointing out that some affected firms were making immediate plans to
 move their billing offices to New Jersey.  Such a move avoids New York's
 new tax, but it would also deprive the state of any other revenues from
 these firms.

 Nintendo is giving $3 million to researchers at the Massachusetts
 Institute of Technology to study how video games might be used to teach
 children.  MIT is not obligated to develop video games for Nintendo,
 but the Japanese company is depending on the Media Lab research to
 create ideas that independent designers may turn into profit-producing
 game cartridges, whether instructional or not.

 Motorola introduced a new 68HC001 which is intended for use in laser
 printers, telecommunications, factory automation, automobiles, consumer
 electronics and so forth.  Motorola also announced new surface-mount
 packaging for microprocessors and peripherals in the 68000 family.

 ATT has filed a plan with the FCC to lower interstate and international
 rates by an average 2.5 percent for direct-dial calls placed between 5
 p.m. and 11 p.m., Sunday through Friday.  If approved by the FCC, the
 new rates will take effect July 1.
 New Jersey will soon be adding another area code the present two in 
 service.  The 201 area which covers north and central New Jersey will
 be divided and 908 will cover all central areas.  The area code change
 is already beginning to take effect and will become permanent January 1, 
 Spinnaker has posted a $1.4 million net loss for the quarter ended March
 31.  In 1989 Spinnaker had a net profit of $29,093. Sales for the
 quarter fell to $3 million from $2.4 million a year ago.

                             Z*NET DOWN-UNDER
                              by Jon Clarke
 Snippets and gossip

 From England this week comes the rumour that Atari is going to develop a
 hand held ST compatible computer.  Rumours for have been circulating for
 sometime now about a new A4 sized version of the 'Portfolio' with 80826
 technology.  How ever it is now thought that this machine will be in
 fact ST compatible.

 Ashton-Tait are about to release Dbase IV version 1.1 very soon with all
 the bugs that acurred in DBase IV version 1 fixed.

 On the 30th of May the telecommunication Giants of 'AT&T' and
 Australias 'OTC' will join forces to give Australian users access to USA
 based SDSN (switched digital service network) opening the way to true
 ISDN (Integrated service digital network) applications.
 An Introduction to Modems :

 Modem commands
 I thought it might be nice to look at the modem commands this week.
 Instead of all the jargon, I have tried to turn it into 'English'.  This
 way all the budding modem users will not have to make a call to their
 friends to ask what "AT" means.  I hope this helps.

  | CMD  |  Command Means          |      Means in English              |
  | AT   | Attention Modem.        | Hey Modem here comes a command.    |
  | I    | Identification          | Hey Modem, what are you????        |
  | &F   | Reset to Factory Specs. | Hey Modem, remember your Birthday! |
  | &W   | Write to Modem Ram      | Hey Modem, Remember this!          |
  | Z    | Use Internal settings   | Hey Modem, Do what I said!         |
  | D    | Dial a Number           | Hmm, let's call someone interesting|
  | B    | Set the Modem Speed     | Ok lets speed up.ATB2, Thats Better|
  | M    | Turn the speaker on/off | Hey modem BE QUITE. ATM0, Ahhh.    |
  | V    | Response mode           | Speak to me "OK", or "0".          |
  | X    | Extended response mode  | Tell me you have "Connected"       |
  | H    | Hang up, off Hook       | Ok lets Hang up. Prepare to call   |
  | S    | Status registers        | Hmm lets get into the nitty gritty |
  |                         SET BAUD RATE                               |
  | B0   | Set to 300/1200/2400    | Hmm be safe set all the speeds     |
  | B1   | Set 'Bell' 300/1200/2400| Sets up for Bell ONLY              |
  | B2   | Set 1200/2400           | Hey this is the one WE USE         |
  | B6   | Sets 1200 ONLY          | Good one to use on Netcomm Pockets |
  | B8   | Sets 2400 ONLY          | Use for a Netcomm 1234sa ONLY      |
  |                      SET STATUS REGISTERS                           |
  | S0   | Turn Auto Answer on/off | Stop the phone from Answering      |
  | S7   | Wait for carrier <sec>  | Hey connect me in 30 sec's or Else |
  | S9   | Wait for CD <sec>       | Ok where is the Carrier Detect     |

 Some sample commands.
 AT&F              <- Reset the modem, 'whamo'
 ATB0              <- Set the speed of our modem to 300/1200/2400
 ATM1              <- Lets turn the speaker on so we can hear the dial
 ATDT 12345        <- Lets 'tone dial' the phone number 12345
 +++ ATH0          <- Ok now we are on-line lets hang up.
 Ok that was the most common 'Hayes' commands now a little on what the
 lights mean.  How many times have you dialed up and seen you lights
 flash on and off, and wondered what they meant?

 O=Light           +---------------------+
                   | O O O O O O   ' ' ' |      <- Modem Front
                   | T R O C D A         |            Panel

 Modem Lights
 TD       Transmit Data, Send data to host computer
 RD       Receive Data, Get data from host computer
 OH       Off Hook,  phone is off the hook,  ready to dial
 CD       Carrier Detect, the modem has connected to the host
 DT(R)    Data terminal Ready,  the computers hooked into the
 AA       Auto Answer, The modem will answer a call
 If you have the oppitunity to get a modem, 'go for it' and discover the
 fascinating world of the "Global village".

                            Z*NET BBS REPRINTS
                   Ctsy Z*Net Online BBS (201) 968-8148

 Message : 1123 [Open]  5-12-90  9:13am
 From    : Richard Guadagno
 To      : All 
 Subject : Poolfix4
 Sig(s)  : 4 (Atari News)
 From: apratt@atari.UUCP (Allan Pratt) Wed Apr 25 16:24:52 1990
 Path: njin!rutgers!apple!portal!atari!apratt
 From: apratt@atari.UUCP (Allan Pratt)
 Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.st
 Subject: POOLFIX4: my reactions
 Message-ID: <2176@atari.UUCP>
 Date: 25 Apr 90 20:24:52 GMT
 Organization: Atari Corp., Sunnyvale CA
 Lines: 31
 Chris Evelo of the University of Limburg in The Netherlands wrote me to
 ask if I objected to Claus Brod's naming of his patched POOLFIX program.
 I would like to take this opportunity to make my feelings on the subject
 known publicly:
 Yes, I object to Mr. Brod's naming of the patch.  There is a world of
 difference between something released by Atari and something patched by
 a hacker and loosed on the world.  The confusion caused by his choice of
 names is inexcusable.  Not only did he add a little functionality (the
 XBRA fix), he also claims to have "improved" the code.  That is
 unconscionable.  Certainly there could be room for improvement: the code
 is the output of the Alcyon C compiler, after all.  I put greater value
 on getting it right than on getting it small.  But would YOU trust his
 "improvements"?  I wouldn't.  In general, it's possible to make
 semantically equivalent transformations on assembly code, but "hand-
 optimizing" the code can also introduce bugs.
 My moral (and corporate and legal!) position on this is not reduced by
 the fact that I released two non-working versions of this patch before I
 got it right.  POOLFIX4 is a derivative work from an Atari program, and
 that program was NOT placed in the public domain.  In the future, I will
 be more diligent in putting copyright messages on programs like this.
 To have hacked POOLFIX is not especially irresponsible; to have added
 XBRA so it would work with his code might even be useful; to have named
 it as he did, however, is unpardonable.
 Opinions expressed above do not necessarily-- Allan Pratt, Atari Corp.
 reflect those of Atari Corp. or anyone else.  ...ames!atari!apratt
 Message : 1115 [Open]  5-10-90 12:09am
 From    : John King
 To      : All 
 Subject : Viruses
 Sig(s)  : 1 (General)

 I decided to check a few of my disks for viruses... and guess what?
 SIGNUM VIRUS.  (alias Key Virus, or Type 1 virus).  I suggest all of you
 download VKILLER.ARC which I just uploaded.  It is version 3.10 of ST
 Virus Killer, and is excellent.  Although the author says it's free, he
 also says he will accept contributions.  I think I should send him
 something.  (And you should, too.)
                    CHECK YOUR DISKS FOR VIRUSES NOW.  
 If you don't have VKILLER.PRG, or at least something like it, download
 it from this BBS. 
 (BTW, the Signum virus was on between 10 and 20 of my disks.  Some of my
 disks went back a few MONTHS!!!  ---my online capture buffers from a
 while ago had the virus.  Who knows how long I had it before I decided
 to check.  Don't be like me.  Check all your disks now, and do it every
 time you Download something or get a PD disk or even get a disk from
 someone else.)


                        ALMOST JUMPED SHIP (GASP!)
                              by Tom Molnar
          (Reprinted from the Puget Sound Atari News, May 1990)
 I am constantly searching for new reading material which will make me a
 better and more informed ST user.  I'm sure everyone is aware of the 
 demise of several ST periodicals in the recent past, so my search gets
 tougher as time goes on.
 In one of the more unlikely places, I've found some pretty good
 information and coverage of the ST.  There's a PC oriented monthly
 called Computer Shopper which has a section devoted to our beloved
 machine, albeit small as it is.  They also maintain areas for the Mac,
 Amiga, Unix, etc..  The main thrust of the magazine, however, is IBM
 compatibles and the mail order sale thereof.
 In the process of reading this telephone book sized magazine on a
 monthly basis, I began to read some of the other stuff as well.  After
 all, I'd never had any real exposure to the MS-DOS world and felt maybe
 I should.  Here it all was, right in the same magazine as my ST
 articles.  While I used to stand in the magazine section of the
 supermarket and read the two or three ST articles while my wife finished
 the shopping, I now was bringing the darn thing home.

 After reading the PC articles, and beginning to get some slight
 understanding of the MS-DOS world, I started reading the ads from the
 myriad mail order houses which make up the bulk of the content.  Before
 long, I was thinking in terms of perhaps getting one of these business
 world machines.  After all, they are now running the 386 chip at up to
 33mhz, which is a good four times faster than my stock 1040ST.  They are
 touting multi-scan 1024 by 768 VGA color.  They can now use the mouse.
 They have windows programs.  You can get many megabytes of RAM installed
 in your new machine.  Hard drives are C H E A P compared to what it
 will cost me to get one for my ST.  Everything is neat and compact; all
 in one housing.  No external modems, floppy drives, or hard disks.  No
 more wiring headaches.  One look behind my computer desk calls up
 memories of a tour of a spaghetti factory.  Yep, I was ready for a

 Of course, I wasn't going to sell my ST.  I would just keep it for
 games, and to run my private little BBS.  Even my wife was almost
 willing to go along with me on this one.  With the new "business
 machine", I could learn dBase and actually make some money developing
 custom programming for local area businesses.  Why, I could even get a
 tax write off for it!

 My ST friends all thought I was crazy.  One of my best ST buddies works
 on PC's all day long in his job and swore he'd never OWN one!  "They're
 Neanderthal", he said.  "Sure, they're getting faster by the week, but
 it'll take you weeks, maybe months to get familiar with DOS.  And THEN
 you won't have anything near what you've got now!"

 His final suggestion was that I get a hard drive, maybe a RAM upgrade,
 and enjoy using one of the easiest, most advanced machines around.

 I had done some serious pricing of various machines, configured the way
 I wanted.  I decided it would cost me somewhere around $2500.  Not too
 bad.  Then I realized something else.  I'd have my lightning fast 386
 all ready to go - and nowhere to go TO.  You need a DOS program before
 you can even think about loading any other program - of any kind.
 Unlike the Atari (which gives you the operating system in ROM, or even
 in early machines, came free on a disk), you have to buy the operating
 system.  A lot of dealers will give you a copy of DOS with your
 purchase, but not all of them will.  Ok, now I have DOS.  Now what?  You
 don't get "386 Writer" free, or Basic, or Megaroids, or Neochrome, or
 anything free with your machine.  Some dealers include a couple programs
 with your purchase, but very few go past free DOS.  So what?  Well, now
 that I've invested $2500+, I still can't do anything with the machine.
 I need a word processor; I want dBase; a spreadsheet.

 You want a mouse?  That'll cost $70-140!  Do you want a bus mouse, or a
 serial mouse?  Wha?  You say you want windows?  Sure, but that's another
 $130.  How about DeskView for $80?  dBase for $400 is a GREAT price!
 You can have Wordstar or Word Perfect (both premium word processors)
 for just over $200.

 After adding up all these necessities, it occurred to me that my
 reasonably priced 386 screamer was now easily topping the three grand
 mark, and no longer affordable.  The more I looked at (and used) my
 trusty ST, the more I rekindled my love affair with it.  It came with
 windows; it came with a mouse (and who cares if it's a bus or a serial?);
 it came with a "deskview", although not multitasking.  But most of all,
 it's here NOW, and it's paid for!!!  I have desktop publishing software.
 I have two word processors, a spreadsheet, a data manager, two 
 telecommunications programs, a BBS up and running.  I've got uncounted
 utilities, two paint programs and more games than I care to admit to.
 My ST is SO easy to use it's almost frightening.  While true PC power
 users and old time hackers swear by CLI's (Command Line Interfaces), I
 prefer the ease and simplicity of my mouse (which I've heard referred to
 as "wimp mode").  When the subject of User Friendly comes up, they MUST
 be talking about the Atari ST.  THE affordable computer with affordable

 So here I am, after nearly abandoning my first computer love, asking for
 forgiveness and realizing that I almost made a tragic mistake.  Someday
 I will no doubt move into the PC market again and actually buy one of
 those things, but not until they've caught up to my truly "User
 Friendly" Atari 1040ST!

                            TRACKER ST UPDATE
                              Press Release
 Step Ahead Software is pleased to announce the availability of v2.02 of
 Tracker/ST, the premier mailing list/mail merge/person tracking software
 for the Atari ST.  This update is FREE to all registered owners of

  "This is a GREAT program and it has cut my mail list time by over
   half...Just wish I would have had this program a couple of years
   back."                      --B.R.G., Texas
 Changes in this version of Tracker/ST include:

 --Elimination of two small bugs reported by our users.
 --Addition of the ability to search by Company name while in the
   QuickLetter area of Tracker/ST. 
 --Additional filter command allows the user to print a report, label or
   mail merge to an alphabetical range of _Companies_.  Previously, the
   alphabetical range ("Everyone between the letters of C and G") could
   be performed only on last names.  (Of course, this version of Tracker/
   ST still has all its other powerful filtering commands, such as
   selecting by category, rank, company, state, zip code range, keyword,
   date, source, country, etc, etc, etc..!)
 --A slight change to the automatic mail-merge building process for more
   pleasant page layout.

 This upgrade is FREE to all registered users.  Simply send your original
 Tracker/ST disk to:

                        Step Ahead Software, Inc.
                      496-A Hudson Street, Suite F39
                         New York City, NY  10014

 Registered owners of Tracker/ST who have a GEnie account may receive
 their upgrade by GEnie e-mail.  Please send a note to NEVIN-S on GEnie
 (or drop a public message in Category 6, Topic 23) if you would like
 your upgrade sent to you by e-mail.  (We MUST have your registration
 card of file for you to be eligible for e-mail upgrading.)

  "I am really impressed with the excellent service your company is
   offering."                --J.M., Texas

 If you have not already done so, please SEND IN YOUR REGISTRATION CARD.
 We are preparing the first issue of our Quarterly Newsletter and we
 can't send you a copy if we don't know who you are..!

  Nevin Shalit
  Step Ahead Software, Inc.


                         Z*NET NEWSLETTER GROUPS
 The following is a listing of groups subscribing to the monthly Z*Net
 newsletter supplement.  These groups have been mailed the June 1990 

                 Group            City            State
                 CHAOS/GENESSE    Lansing         Michigan
                 MVACE            Dayton          Ohio
                 JACG             Roselle         New Jersey
                 ABACUS           San Fransisco   California
                 ACAOC            F.Valley        California
                 ACORN            Rochester       New York
                 MACC             Ellicott        Maryland
                 WACO             North Hunt      Pennslyvania
                 PCACUG           Eldorado        Panama
                 LUST             Ontario         Canada
                 HACE             Houston         Texas
                 SPACE/MAST       New Bright      Minnesota
                 SLAPP            Ontario         Canada
                 PSAN             Tarcoma         Washington
                 CVACC            Akron           Ohio
                 KAUG             Powell          Tennessee
                 CACE             Cleveland       Ohio
                 MACC             Manitoba        Canada
                 JACS             Clementon       New Jersey
                 RIACE            Providence      Rhode Island
                 MACE             Rosanna         Australia
                 MAGUG            Warner Robbins  Georgia

 These groups represent 4,500 Atari users around the world.  If your 
 group is interested in more information call 201-968-2024 today or call 
 the Z*Net BBS at 201-968-8148.


 From May 15th to July 15th, 1990, the Atari Portfolio Forum will sponsor
 a Programming Contest with the winners receiving the prizes listed
 below.  One winner will be selected per individual category along with a
 runner up.  Winners will be selected from the files uploaded into
 Library 16, "CONTEST LIBRARY" of the Atari Portfolio Forum.  The files
 submitted for the contest must have the specific categories for entry
 listed in the file description.  Persons may enter and win in more than
 one category, however a program can only be entered into one category.
 Although the author shall retain any copyrights to their entry, all
 winning files shall be considered 'publicly distributable files' and may
 be made available for downloading from CompuServe.  The contest
 categories and prizes are listed below.


 The Best Entertainment Program:  any game program written for the
 PORTFOLIO Computer.

 The Best Database Program:  any program that can classify and sort
 information by any number of parameters and presents it in a useable
 manner.  This category will include 'to-do listers' and even outliners.
 The Best Utility/Application Program:  any program that helps make your
 PORTFOLIO more useful.  This includes utility programs or specific
 application programs.  


 The winner in each category will receive the following prizes:

 * $100 connect time credit from CompuServe to be applied to the
   CompuServe account that was used to upload the winning entry.
 * DOS UTILITIES ROM Card for the PORTFOLIO donated by Atari Corporation
   (Retail Value $80).  The DOS UTILITIES is a ROM card based collection
   of powerful utility functions for Atari Portfolio users.  Over 78k of
   versatile files are permanently available on a card which never
   requires a battery replacement.  The 22 utilities are of particular
   value for those who write and use batch files with popular commands
   known in other MS-DOS environments and some new ones.  Each function
   offers extended features for using the Portfolio and enables users to
   customize their system so it works bets for them.  Also, included is a
   110-page manual with descriptions, syntax, and examples for each

 * Leather PCpouch donated by Caseworks, Inc. (Retail Value $50)  This
   handsome glove leather carrying case is designed to protect the
   Portfolio from the rigors of day to day travel.  It is specially
   equipped with an elastic pocket to hold the computer plus elastic
   bands for inserting 3 AA batteries.  The case contains compartments to
   hold three memory cards, all in a size not much bigger than the
   Portfolio itself.  A special 1/2" foam lining helps ensure that the
   computer and accessories are kept cool if left in direct sunlight.
   All sides are foam fitted to give its contents maximum protection from

 The runner up in each category will receive a $50 connect time credit
 from CompuServe. 

 The staff of the Atari Portfolio Forum will select the winners, which
 will be announced on August 1st, 1990.
 1.  The Atari Portfolio Forum Programming Contest is a skill-based
     contest for any member who has properly registered and joined the
     Atari Portfolio Forum on the CompuServe Information Service.
     Participation in this contest is open to residents of the United
     States.  Employees of CompuServe Incorporated, H&R Block, Egret
     Associates Inc., CompuServe Information Providers, SysOps, GameOps,
     their affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, and immediate
     families are ineligible to win prizes.  This contest may be
     discontinued at any time at the sole discretion of CompuServe
     Incorporated.  The contest is subject to all local, state and
     federal regulations and is void where prohibited by law.  All taxes
     are the sole responsibility of the winners.  All files must be
     uploaded into the designated library.  The categories in which the
     files are being entered should be included in the file's
 2.  From Tuesday, May 15th at 12:01 AM EST to Sunday, July 15th 11:59
     EST members who meet the above eligibility requirements can enter
     the contest.  The files should be uploaded into Library 16, "Contest
     Library," of the Atari Portfolio Forum.  The specific categories for
     entry must be designated in the file's description.  One winner will
     be named per category.
 3.  The Primary Forum Administrator and the Assistant Forum
     Administrators of the Atari Portfolio Forum will judge the entries.
     The decision of the judges is final and not reviewable by any other
     person, agency, or tribunal.  Winners will be notified by CompuServe
     Mail on or about August 1st, 1990, and their names will be published
     online in the Atari Portfolio Forum.
 4.  This contest and prizes may be publicized outside the CompuServe
     Information Service.  No prize may be exchanged, substituted,
     modified, or redeemed for cash.  One prize per family, individual,
     household, or User ID number.  Prizes are not transferable.  Prizes
     won by entrants under the age of 18 will be awarded to the winner's
     parent or legal guardian.  All prizes will be awarded and mailed to
     the winner's address contained in CompuServe's online records.  By
     acceptance of their prizes, winners consent to publication of their
     names, likenesses, and/or User ID without further compensation for
     advertising or promotional purposes.  Prizes not claimed after 21
     days of the day of notification, for any reason whatsoever, will be
     forfeited.  Prize winners may be required to execute an affidavit of
     eligibility and publicity release within 21 days of notification.
     Non-compliance within this time period will result in
     disqualification and an alternate winner will be selected if
 5.  Prize winners will be required to provide CompuServe with their
     Social Security numbers by completing Federal Tax Form W-9 which
     will be mailed to all winners.  Non-compliance within 21 days of
     receipt of the form will result in disqualification.  The value of
     the prizes won in the Atari Portfolio Forum Programming Contest will
     be reported by CompuServe and other prize providers on Federal Tax
     Form 1099 for each individual awarded a total retail value of at
     least $600.00 in prizes during the tax year.

                       COMPUSERVE CONTROL KEY GUIDE
              Compiled by SYSOP*Charles McGuinness 76701,11
                               Control = "^"
  Command     Description
    ^A        Stop at end of line (delayed ^S, sorta)
    ^B        Type-ahead control C.  "hits" when the program next asks
              for input.
    ^C        Interrupt.  Either kills the program outright or tosses it
              into an interrupt routine.
    ^D        Disconnect.  If you're direct connected to a node, this is
              the equivalent to hanging up.
    ^G        Beep! Break character...
    ^H        Backspace
    ^I        Tab
    ^J        Line feed.  Break character
    ^K        Vertical tab
    ^L        Form feed
    ^M        Return (Carriage Return or Enter)
    ^O        Disable/enable output toggle.  Output is bit-bucketed until
              another ^O or the program explicitly turns it back on.
              (Note the SIG is very good at turning it back on just
              before prompts)
    ^P        "soft" interrupt -- flushes output, sets a bit program can
              check.  Like ^C, but gentler.
    ^Q        Resume from ^S or ^A
    ^S        Suspend output
    ^T        Use to give a job status in the old days, nothing now
    ^U        Abort current line
    ^V        Retype current line
    ^W        Alternate version of ^Q
    ^Z        End of file.  One of the fun ways to get a program to end
              occasionally, usually with messy tracebacks.  The SIG
              program is immune, but there's always some program floating
              around that isn't careful enough.
 Z*Net  Online  Magazine  is  a weekly released publication covering the
 Atari community.  Opinions  and  commentary  presented are those of the
 individual authors and do not reflect those of Rovac Industries.  Z*NET
 are copyright 1990  by Rovac Industries.  Reprint permission is granted
 as long as  Z*NET  ONLINE,  Issue  Number and author is included at the
 top of the article.  Reprinted  articles  are  not to be edited without
 ZNET ONLINE                          The Original Atari Online Magazine
                Copyright (c)1990 Rovac Industries, Inc..

Kevin Steele (aj205.Cleveland.Freenet.Edu)


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