ST Report: 18-May-90 #620

From: Phillip M. Chow (aa400@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 06/10/90-09:49:40 PM Z

From: aa400@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Phillip M. Chow)
Subject: ST Report: 18-May-90  #620
Date: Sun Jun 10 21:49:40 1990

                  *---== ST REPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---*
                  "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine"
                            STR Publishing Inc.

  May 18, 1990                                                    No.6.20

                         STReport Online Magazine?
                          Post Office Box   6672
                          Jacksonville,  Florida
                               32205 ~ 6672
                               R.F. Mariano
                            Publisher - Editor
                   Voice: 904-783-3319  10 AM - 4 PM EDT
                  BBS:  904-786-4176   12-24-96 HST/14.4
                    FAX: 904-783-3319 12 AM - 6 AM EDT
                  **  F-NET NODE 350 ** 500mb Online  **
                    STR'S owned & operated support BBS 
              carries ALL issues of STReport Online Magazine?
               An International list of private BBS systems
        carrying STReport Online Magazine for their users enjoyment
 > 05/18/90: STReport? #6.20  The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine!
     - The Editor's Podium    - CPU REPORT        - CPU STATUS REPORT
     - RTX OS Overview        - RENTALS OK?       - LOOSING GROUND
     - CIS FOLIO CONTEST      - MT C-Shell        - CPU CONFIDENTIAL

            ---===** DEVELOPERS RECEIVING TT030 UNITS! **===---
             --==** CONSUMER REPORTS-> PORTFOLIO "CUTE" **==--
                 -=**  STe-> LATE JUNE -- EARLY JULY  **=-

                         ST REPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE? 
                  "Only UP-TO-DATE News and Information"
                              -* FEATURING *-
        Current Events, Up to Date News, Hot Tips, and Information
             Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports
 STReport's support  BBS, NODE  # 350 invites systems using Forem ST BBS to
 participate in  Forem BBS's  F-Net mail  network.   Or, Please  call # 350
 direct at 904-786-4176, and enjoy the excitement of exchanging ideas about
 the Atari ST computers through an excellent International ST Mail Network.

 > The Editor's Podium?

     Well, five months have passed since we changed  our name  and frankly,
 the  vast  majority  of  our  readers  have  expressed that they liked the
 STReport name and wanted it back.  So.... in yielding to the wishes of our
 readers we  have reverted back to our original name.  And to celebrate the
 change we have set the volume number to  six and  the issue  number to the
 twentieth week  of this  year.  Its heart warming to know how many readers
 we have who really care to  seek  out  and  read  our  humble  offering of
 STReport each week.

     Lately, there  has been  a flurry  of 'infobits' circulating that have
 been flawed or reported incorrectly, STReport  too, has  t0 &5J9

   Issue # 67

 by Michael Arthur

 Remember When....

     In  December  1979,  a  Xerox  Employee  named  Lawrence G. Tesler was
 showing Steve Jobs and Apple execs  some of  its innovations  in Graphical
 User Interfaces,  and was  so impressed  by Apple's  sophistication in the
 field of computer science that he immediately decided to join Apple?

     And when  Tesler  then  became  the  software  director  of  the group
 developing the  Lisa computer,  was later  involved with the design of the
 Macintosh, and is  now  the  Head  of  Apple's  Advanced  Technologies R&D

 CPU MacNews?

       Apple Makes Bid to Regain Educational Market, Delays System 7.0

     Apple  Computer  has  announced  that it will be providing Educational
 Sales discounts of around 40 - 60 percent  for its  Macintosh Plus  and SE
 line of  compple  officials  have commented that a low-cost
 version of the Mac (rumored to cost $2500 - $3000)  will be  introduced in
 1991, and  one official  recently said  that Apple  II compatibility was a
 "major concern" for such a machine....

     Apple has also announced that  Version  7.0  of  the  Macintosh System
 Software won't  be shipping  until 1991.  Apple first announced System 7.0
 to  cost a  fiscal year net loss of $19 million
 dollars for Mediagenic, whose  estimated  1990  net  revenue  will  be $65

     Mediagenic  is  discontinuing  Infocom  Inc., which helped pioneer the
 entertainment software industry,  because  of  "continuing  poor financial
 performance",  and  what  it  calls  a  "stagnant domestic...entertainment
 software market".  Media  of its DR-DOS Operating
 System.    DR-DOS  is  an  MS-DOS  compatible  OS  which  provides several
 features not  found in  MS-DOS, and  which now  has a growing share in the
 DOS marketplace.    Version  5.0  includes  support  for  several  DOS LAN
 Networks (such  as Novell  Netware), FileLink  (for improved file transfer
 capabilities), disk caching,  and  other  features  which  were Intel's '286, '386, and '486 chips....


     Cray Research has introduced  the Cray  Y/MP2E, a  new version  of the
 Y/MP Supercomputer,  which features Cray Y/MP Performance for $2.2 Million
 dollars, or a fraction  of the  old Cray  Y/MP's price.   The  Y/MP2E runs
 UNICOS 6.1  (Cray Resabytes of RAM, which are priced from $2.2 - $5 Million Dollars.
 However,  the  real  benefit  of  this  new supercomputer is in its lesser
 installation and maintenance costs.  It can also  be either  air-cooled or
 water-cooled.    With  the  Y/MP2E,  Cray Research is expected to become a
 dominant competitor in the growing minisupercomputer industry, which first
 emerged  to   fill  the  are  an updated  filing system, and an X/Windows
 Toolkit.   Support for  TCP/IP, NFS  (Network File  System), and X/Windows
 Release 11.4  (with Version  2.0 of  the X/Desktop  GUI) will be available
 later this year....

     Also, Atari has established a new  Research and  Development Office in
 England (which  is expected  to focus on the ATW), and has set up a series
 of new support p       =====================

 by R.F. Mariano

 This last week  on  GEnie,  the  accusations  have  been  flying  fast and
 furious  about  the  supposed  padding  of  the download counts of the two
 major on-line publications.  The discussion  even reached  the point where
 statements like  "....I find  it rather  astounding that GEnie, via one of
 its sysops, would be an agent or aHEIR OWN DOWNLOAD COUNTS."  It got so bad that the editor of
 one of  the smaller,  and newer, on-line magazines got caught up in all of
 the rhetoric and resorted to  the  words  "FRAUD  AND  FRAUDULENT"  in his

     What was it that caused this 'TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT' TO BOIL OVER?

 What started out as unsupported and questionable accusations by the Z-Net
 On-Line editors stitorials/tirades in the future, just make sure its spelled
 correctly) and ridiculous innuendos  that Darlah,  the ST  Roundtable Lead
 sysop  on  GEnie,  was  yielding  to  pressure  exerted by STReport if she
 disagreed with any Z-Net's accusations....for example, we quote:

     "Stepping into the STR area brings calls to you and myself and I
     suppose those calls are reflective in yoOWNLOAD COUNT.

 ....(We will  not repeat  their explicit  instructions as  we would rather
 loose the download 'race' and know  that  our  count  was  as  accurate as
 possible than resort to such chicanery. 

 While we  firmly believe  that the editors of a magazine have the right to
 state their own opinions in their editorials, we also feel  that an editor
 should make  every legitimain question, we
     pressed ST-ZMAG to an absurd 700 plus. And guess what? The "other"
     magazine stayed...60 ahead"

 While the above might make for exciting reading, in reality, it only takes
 a moment or two to check the real download figures.  And the real download
 figures show that ST-Zmag didn't reach the 700 plateau until 12-08-89 (not
 September, 1989)  and that  week ST-Zmag ding'  of  download  counts for
 over a  year, we  felt that the responsible thing to do was to be discreet
 and pursue the phoney download count situation behind  the scenes  and not
 create a  public spectacle.   We felt that 'suspicions' and 'feelings' did
 not add up to _facts_ and that it would be  sensationalistic grandstanding
 nonsense.  And above all else, it would represent the epitand regarding this 'tempest'?  Not withstanding
 the fact that ST-Zmag has had  to  resort  to  padding  of  their download
 counts (by  their own  admission), we  know this; we have never padded our
 download count and we would hope that our readers have not "tried  to help
 us".  We would hope that our readers have enough confidence in the premier
 on-line magazine to know that what's  imreporting it.

                       |  Don't have a  \
                       |   cow man but.. \
                       |                  |
                       |    WHAT'S the    |
                       |     BIG DEAL     |
                       | over the STUPID  |
             |\/\/\/|  |    DOWNLOAD      |
             |                /
             | (o)(o)   | _____________ /
             C      _)  |/
              | ,___|
              |   /
            /      \

                         Thanks Neil....:-)


 > RENTALS.. OK? STR Spotlight?        What's the story, Jerry?
 renting copyrighted  software, as  presented by  the legal department of a
 multi-million-dollar software publisher.  I'd wanted  to write  a story on
 software piracy  for an  ST-related mag.   So  I told the legal expert, "I
 want to rent a copy of your software from a rental house.   I'll  keep all
 records and  turn them  over to  you.   Then you take action against these
 rental coriginal  docs and original disks.  The procedure
 is illegal *only* if pirate copies  are supplied,  which most  renters are
 too smart to do.

     The  publisher's  legal  staff  that  I  contacted  had hoped to lobby
 Congress to pass a  bill making  *all* software  rental illegal.   I doubt
 that such  a bill  has been passed by Congress, or every computer magazine
 in the U.S. would   (I have not checked this recently with an attorney.)

     What does  this all  mean?   It means  that a bunch of  self-righteous
 clowns have  probably  --  and  most  unfairly  --  smeared  members  of a
 Pittsburgh Atari  association, whose providing of rental programs may well
 be as legal as ambling across the street on a  "walk" light.   They've fed
 one another's  indignation with its.   (I  didn't have  to consult  an attorney to
 write this  article.   But *they*  should have done so before playing with
 the possibility of slander.)

     How do we prevent such folly in  the  future?    Let's  get  our facts
 straight before  charging into the fray with loud allegations.  If we feel
 that software rental should be made  illegal  (as  I  most  certainly do),

 > SEZ WHO? STR SOUND OFF?      "Let he who is without sin cast...."

                                             READER MAIL OF NOTE

 Dear Ralph,

      I am not a particularly good writer, but I feel there may be some
 facts thamust be brought to light.

      I have been following the messages and articles concerning the
 events that took place in Pittsburgh the weekend of April 28-29 in your
 publication and on GEnie and one very interesting comment was made in
 error.  You see, I attended the show both days in Pittsburgh and you could
 say that I was in the right place at the right time to over hear a
 conversack, but let
 my membership expire for several reasons.  I do however, have friends in
 both groups, and have a good friend who is an officer of PACE.  That's why
" & ask that you not reveal my name. 

      Well, let me paraphrase a message that appeared on GEnie and in your
 publication last week.  It was mentioned that a certain individual had
 been speaking with Rick of Gribnif Software and had a purchased copy of
 version 1.0 of NeoDesk that he wanted to upgrade.  Rick told him that the
 upgrade would cost $20.00 and the gentleman was offended by the price and
 stated that he could get it cheaper "somewhere else."  Rick was taken back
 by this because he knew that NeoDesk could not be purchased anywhere for
 that price and immediately concluded that the individual was going to
 pirate the software.

      The funny thing about this is that all of the PACE representatives,
 such as Phil Hanze, Bruce Markey, and Jeff Solomon and even Bob Brodie
 have stated that this person was a member of the infamous Atari Elite
 club.  Well, let me tell you that these people where either 1)
 Misinformed, or 2) trying to cover something up.  The person we are
 talking about here is the Vice President of PACE, JG Thayne!!!

      Now, my question is this:  What the heck is going on in Pittsburgh? 
 Is someone is trying to 'frame' the Atari Elite and pin this entire piracy
 issue on that group when they can be no more accountable for the piracy
 problems than PACE?!  If PACE was aware that their Vice President goofed,
 and I am told that even Bruce Markey, the President of PACE was aware of
 this situation, then why have they turned this event up side down and
 claimed that it was an Atari Elite member who made this comment???!!!

      Does it not seem a little strange that this story got twisted by 4
 different people, all of which are members of PACE and want nothing more
 than to see the 'other group' go down in flames?  Interesting is it not?

      In closing, I feel that I must make a statement here to all of the
 Atari people who have been following the events of April 28-29.  Do not be
 too quick to make a decision to condemn the Atari Elite group in
 Pittsburgh until you have filtered through all of the facts and fantasies! 
 It appears that a lot that we are seeing message wise coming from PACE may
 be a bunch of rubbish brought about to try to end a cross town rivalry
 that has been going on now for 5 years!  Time will tell, however, and we
 will soon see who really is responsible for the deplorable situation in
 this city.


                             NAME WITHELD AT WRITER'S REQUEST
                                   Donora, Pennsylvania

     Last week, we carried a letter by Mark Spires from At Your  Service of
 Pittsburgh.    And  even  though  reader response was rather light we took
 extreme exception  to  certain  of  his  remarks  concerning  Bob Brodie's
 decision to NOT give away the designated show prizes.  

     STReport  is  in  full  agreement  with  Brodie's decision and now, in
 light of the "Spires - At Your Service" letter, we feel strongly  that the
 "Pittsburgh wars" between the two usergroups, who by the way, have many of
 the same folks members of BOTH GROUPS leaves a great  many more unanswered
 questions.  For example, the actual vendors present and the statement that
 there were 77 some odd tables set up.   Or  the guarantee  made to certain
 vendors that this was a "buyinin PGH get together and put an
 end to this petty  rivalry and  backstabbing contest.   They  must resolve
 their differences  and put  an end  to the  creepo politics.  If these two
 groups really have the PGH users best interests at heart they will resolve
 this  nonsense  ASAP.    That  includes  the  shutting  down of the rental


 by Michael Arthur

 Concept by Glenn Gorman

     The price of Atari Stock stayed the same on Monday, and went  down 1/4
 of a  point on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, Atari Stock fell by 3/8 of a point,
 and stayed the same on Thursday.  On Friday, it went up 1/8 of a point.

     Finishing up the week at 5 1/8 points, the price  of Atari  Stock went
 down 1/2 of a point since the last report.

         Apple Stock was up 2 5/8 points from Friday, May 7, 1990.
                Commodore Stock was up 1 point from 5/7/90.
                IBM Stock was up 3 1/2 points from 5/7/90.

                 Stock Report for Week of 5/7/90 to 5/11/90

 STock|   Monday   |   Tuesday   | Wednesday  |  Thursday  |    Friday    |
 Reprt|Last    Chg.|Last     Chg.|Last    Chg.|Last    Chg.|Last      Chg.|
 Atari|5 5/8  ---- |5 3/8   - 1/4|  5     -3/8|  5    ---- |5 1/8    + 1/8|
      |            |             |            |            | 85,300 Sls   |
  CBM |7 1/8  + 3/8|   7    - 1/8|7 3/8   +3/8|7 3/8  ---- |7 3/4    + 3/8|
      |            |             |            |            | 129,600 Sls  |
 Apple|41 1/2      |41 3/4  + 1/4|41 3/8  +1/8|41 3/8  ----|42 5/8  +1 1/4|
      |      +1 1/2|             |            |            |1,921,800 Sls |
  IBM |110 1/2  ---|110 3/4  +3/4|111 1/4     |112 3/8     | 114   + 1 5/8|
      |            |             |        +1/2|      +1 1/8|2,547,300 Sls |

        'Sls' refers to the # of stock shares that were traded that day.
        'CBM' refers to Commodore Corporation.
        '----'  means that the stock's price did not change for the day.


 > ATARI '89 REPORT STR FOCUS?           ... Worthwhile reading


                      ATARI CORP. 1989 ANNUAL REPORT

 excerpts from..

 "Atari Corp.  is one  of the  largest manufacturers  of personal computers
 and video game systems in the world.  Through the  creative application of
 advanced technologies,  the company  offers its  customers a wide range of
 computing power and entertainment.   Among  the Company's  latest products
 are the palmtop Portfolio computer and the hand-held Lynx color video game
 system.  In addition  to these  revolutionary portables,  Atari features a
 variety of powerful desktop systems including the enhanced version STe and
 TT030 computers, a range of PC  compatible computers,  and the established
 2600  and  7800  game  systems.    The  Company also produces peripherals,
 accessories, and an expanding library of computer and  video game software
 that is  sold in  almost every  major country  in the  world.   Atari is a
 multi-national company employing approximately 1400 people  throughout the
 world.   Corporate Headquarters, including computer and video game product
 design, are located in Sunnyvale, California.  R  & D  centers are located
 in  the  United  States,  England,  Japan,  and  Taiwan.  Manufacturing is
 carried out in Taiwan, Japan and  at  various  subcontractors  in  the far
 east.     The  Company  operates  through  wholly  owned  subsidiaries  in
 Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France,  Germany, Hong Kong,
 Israel,  Italy,  Japan,  Mexico,  the  Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden,
 Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States."

     "The Year 1989 was a productive one for Atari Corporation.  We set out
 in  the  beginning  of  the  year  with  the objective of disposing of The
 Federated Group? and subsequent to year end, Atari consummated the sale
 of  the  majority  of  its  Southern  California  land
 our focus is on our primary objective, Atari's core business. 

 For the year ended December 31, 1989;

 Sales: 423.6 million           Income: 4.0 million

 For the year ended December 31, 1988;

 Sales: 452.2 million           Income: 39.4 million

 The decline  in total sales for 1989 as compared to 1988 can be attributed
 to the decline in the United  States of  our traditional  video game line.
 European  markets  continue  to  out-perform  all  other  markets  in both
 computers and video games.  In addition to  witnessing the  disposition of
 an  extraneous  business  segment,  Atari  introduced  a new generation of
 products:  two  revolutionary  handheld  machines  -  the Lynx? Video Game
 System and the Portfolio?  computer - and  the new STe? an enhanced member
 of the Atari ST? family."

 "In the fall of  1989,  Atari  launched  the  first  full  featured MS-DOS
 command compatible  portable palmtop  computer - the Atari Portfolio.  The
 Advent of Portfolio ushered  in  an  entirely  new  dimension  in computer
 practicality.  It operates on 3 'AA' batteries with an approximate life of
 4-6 weeks of regular use.   The Portfolio  provides its  owner all  of the
 power of  a computer  anywhere - on a plane, a classroom or in hotel room.
 The system's credit card sized memory and program cards take  the place of
 disks allowing  the user  to store  data and  enter programs.  A number of
 Portfolio programs soon to be released include: DOS Utilities, Finance, GW
 BASIC, as  well as  a spell  checker, a  math/engineering program, a modem
 package and a chess game with many others to come.  The growing popularity
 of this  new product and the concept of portable computer technology is an
 area we  intend to  pursue.   Projects are  underway to  develop even more
 elaborate portable systems.

 The new  portable Atari  Lynx system represents a major leap in video-game
 technology.  It has a  unique  full  color,  high-resolution  graphics LCD
 which allows  for the  best arcade hits to be produced for the Lynx.  Lynx
 was recognized as a  revolutionary achievement  by the  trade when  it was
 first introduced  at the Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago last summer.
 Shipments began just prior  to Christmas  in New  York City  and Tokyo and
 these two  test markets  were sold  out.   The Lynx  features a full color
 liquid crystal display driven by a 16 bit graphics engine.   A  palette of
 4096  colors  permits  as  many  as  16 colors to appear on screen at once
 creating extraordinary graphics.  The  system  also  has  a  32  bit audio
 processor with  4 channel  sound to  enhance game  action.  'AA' batteries
 enable the game player  to enjoy  arcade excitement  on the  beach, in the
 schoolyard and  in the  car.   The unit  comes with  a headset jack, an AC
 adapter and a Comlynx cable so that, depending upon the  game, as  many as
 16 players  can compete  with one  another.   Software support for the new
 Lynx has been equally impressive.  In less than four months, six  top game
 titles were  released.  The most recent, Gauntlet - The Third Encounter is
 a 1,2,3 or 4 player game.   The  future for  the Lynx  product category is
 extremely bright.  We recognize that the success of this important product
 depends chiefly on software.   I  am pleased  to say  that our  video game
 software group  is currently producing exciting titles, which include some
 arcade hits.   As  many  as  25  new  games  are  planned  for  release by
 Christmas and new hardware peripherals are presently under development.

 In  addition  to  our  portable  Lynx  and  Portfolio systems, new product
 development for our flagship ST line is continuing.   Volume  shipments of
 the STe,  an enhanced  general application system, began during the fourth
 quarter.  In 1989 we also  introduced the  versatile TT030,  a 68030-based
 computer which  will run  the TOS  operating system in the native mode, as
 well as having the option to run UNIX V3.1.   Shipments of  the TT030 will
 start during  the second half of 1990, while shipments of the Stacy, an ST
 compatible laptop, began at the end of the first quarter  of 1990. enter a  new year, our biggest opportunity still awaits us.  Earlier plans
 to enter  the US  market were  impeded by  a lack  of product availability
 caused by  the DRAM  situation.   With this and other interferences behind
 us, we are eagerly  preparing for  the American  market.   A multi-million
 dollar advertising plan for both Atari video games and computer systems is
 now being revin this new marketplace.  With increased business
 comes the need for larger facilities.  Our German subsidiary is now in the
 process  of  building  its  own  110 thousand square foot office-warehouse
 facility in Schwalbach, a suburb of Frankfurt.  I want to extend my thanks
 to our  colleagues at  Atari France,  who last fall suffered a devastating
 fire which began in an adjacent building and spread to the Atari facility.
 Despite  the  total  destruction  of  their,  our French team salvage what
 records they could, and  continued  business  in  a  speedy  and efficient
 manner.   They have  relocated to a new Atari-owned, thirty-three thousand
 square  foot  office-warehouse  complex.    I  also  wish   to  extend  my
 appreciation to our many customers, shareholders, suppliers, employees and
 enthusiastic usergroups everywhere, for  their support  and encouragement.
 I am  confident that  in the  year ahead,  we will continue to gain market
 share in our important  sectors, as  well as  innovate and  bring exciting
 products to our customers.

                                             Sam Tramiel, President

 Early in  the year  Atari began  to ship  the first significant volumes of
 the 80286-based PC compatible, the PC4.  Atari is now shipping a  range of
 PC compatibles,  and during  the second  quarter of 1990, the company will
 add the ABC386SX to this family.  The ABC386SX is  Atari's entry  into the
 field of  affordable 32bit  compatible PCs.   Built  around the 386SX high
 performance microprocessor, the ABC386SX  has a  clock rate  of 16MHz. Its
 five display  modes include EGA, CGA, MDA, HGC, and VGA, providing a range
 of resolutions from 320x200 color to  720x350 monochrome.   With  one full
 megabyte of  RAM, expandable  to 8 Mbytes on the motherboard, the ABC386SX
 has  all  the  memory  needed  to   run  today's   sophisticated  software
 applications.    The  ABC386SX  comes  standard  with 3 1/2 inch 1.44Mbyte
 floppy disk drive and/or a 5 1/4 inch  1.2 Mbyte  floppy disk  drive and a
 hard disk drive.  The system also has serial and parallel ports, an analog
 video port and 3 AT/XT expansion  slots.   The unit  has 101  key AT style

 The basic  ST system  has been enhanced.  In addition to all of the proven
 features of the original model, the  new STe  has an  increased palette of
 4096 colors.   Its  sound has  also been  expanded by  the addition of two
 digital stereo audio outputs.  The two stereo outputs allow  users to play
 digitized  samples   directly  from  their  computer  without  any  costly
 synthesizer equipment.  The STe has  been made  into a  very powerful game
 system as  well.  It can accommodate up to 6 joysticks, or 4 paddles, or a
 light gun.   Horizontal  and  vertical  scrolling  combined  with  its new
 enhanced digitized  sound, and extensive color palette, provides realistic
 arcade excitement.  As a broad application, affordable  business tool, the
 STe has  made a  very successful  entry into  Atari's established European
 markets and is planned for the US market in the second quarter.

 The 68030-based TT030 is  the  top-of-the-line  systems  Atari  begins the
 90s.   Previewed during the last quarter of 1989, this 16MHz powerplant is
 designed to be a fully functional workstation at PC prices.  Incorporating
 Atari's own  expanded Rainbow  TOS operating  system, the TT will also run
 the industry-standard UNIX V3.1 operating  system  with  X-Windows  and an
 easy-to-use  user  interface.    The  new  unit provides six video display
 modes including 1280x960 high resolution  monochrome.    Since  the system
 also features  enhanced color  graphics and  has a palette of 4096 colors,
 its 320x480 mode is able to create superb  TV-like images  with up  to 256
 colors on  the screen  at one time.  Among the many built-in highlights of
 the TT030 is an industry  standard  VMEbus.    This  allows  the  TT030 to
 accommodate such  local area  network standards  as Ethernet.   A complete
 range of peripherals will be available to support the system.

 For people on the go, the  Atari  Stacy  puts  al includes  built-in  floppy and
 hard drives,  plus all of the standard modem, printer and midi ports found
 on the ST.   Beneath  its  top  cover  is  a  large  backlit  640x400 high
 resolution super  twist liquid  crystal display.   In addition to its full
 sized keyboard, the Stacy  has an  integrated Trak  Ball controller.   The
 unit features Atari's latest Rainbow TOS operating system and is driven by
 the Motorola(tm) 68000 microprocessor.

 The unique combination of Atari's precision operating system, its built-in
 MIDI ports, ease-of-use, and affordability, has made the Atari computer an
 essential instrument in the  music and  movie industry.   For  Dave Grusin
 1989 Oscar  winner for his musical score in the Milagro Beanfield War, the
 Atari ST is a major asset in his work.   Having also  earned three Grammys
 including one for the Fabulous Baker Boys, Grusin admits that, "the ST was
 indispensible in editing the vocals for  both the  motion picture  and the
 soundtrack.   Scott Gershon,  sound effects editor for Oliver Stone's Born
 on the Fourth of July, agrees.  His Atari ST  was used  to edit  the audio
 for this  major motion  picture.  Other recent pictures on Atari's marquee
 are Tri-Star Pictures' Glory and Steel  Magnolias and  Honey I  Shrunk the
 Kids from Walt Disney Studios.  A partial of popular bands and artists who
 rely upon their Atari  ST systems  today and  are rapidly  discovering the
 added  convenience  of  the  new  portable Stacy include: Beach Boys, Blue
 Oyster Cult,  Dire Straits,  Earth, Wind,  and Fire,  Fleetwood Mac, Peter
 Gabriel, Debbie Gibson, The Go Gos, Dave Grusin, Hall and Oats, Ice House,
 Madonna, Dave Mason, Midnight Oil, Miami  Sound Machine,  The Moody Blues,
 New Kids  on the  Block, Donny  Osmond, The Pointer Sisters, Lee Ritenour,
 Supertramp, Tangerine Dream, 38 Special, Ultravox,  Van Halen, Whitesnake,
 Steve Winwood, and Joseph Zawinual.


 > LOOSING GROUND! STR OnLine?    Longtime, loyal users getting nervous


 Read action !
 20495 S17/Community Square
 18-May-90  02:09:46
 Sb: #20463-Atari or Amiga
 Fm: Bob Retelle 71550,3312
 To: ST Informer 70007,3615 (X)

 Oh, I wouldn't mind having an STe, but not for those reasons.. The STe
 STILL uses "CPU driven" sound... that is, to make any kind of sound,
 whether it's from the built-in Yamaha chip or from the DAC converters, it
 STILL requires the ST's CPU to be involved... and if it's making sound, it
 can't be doing anything else...

 The Amiga on the other hand has a "co-processor" chip that does all the
 work of making sound... you program it, and it runs independantly of the
 CPU.. also, while the digitized sound of the STe is nice, it requires
 *immense* amounts of memory to store the digitized sounds.. the Amiga can
 use EITHER digitized sound, or programmed sound (which takes far less
 memory, but can sound almost as good).

 No, the Amiga is still far superior to the STe in sound..  As for "plug
 and play", the Amiga is *designed* with memory expansion in mind.. even
 the original Amiga 1000 had a connector for expansion memory to be just
 plugged in...   it's taken *FIVE YEARS* for Atari to come around to "plug
 and play"...

 The STe still has the limitation of 4 "bit-planes".. that means it STILL
 cannot display more than 16 colors in *low resolution* at one time...
 sure, you can choose from 4096 different shades, but only *16* on the
 screen at one time...   the Amiga has 5 bit-planes, and has had them from
 the start.. the "Hold and Modify" modes, which are *built-in* allow some
 very nice graphics with a stock machine...

 No, I don't have an Amiga, and probably never will...  I like my ST just
 fine.. but Atari has NOT given us an "Amiga killer" with the STe...

 Just like the Mega was, the STe is only a minimal improvement over the
 1985 technology of the original ST...


 20496 S8/Hot Topics
     18-May-90  02:19:29
 Sb: #20459-Atari dead?
 Fm: Bob Retelle 71550,3312
 To: SYSOP*Keith Joins 76702,375

 Sigh...   State Street Computers in Ann Arbor is holding its final auction
 this Saturday...  everything out to the wmost of my ST hardware there, and I'll miss them...!

 Atari Corp keeps telling us that they're signing up dealers by the

 but... how many of us have seen any of these new dealers..?

 On the other hand, how many of us have seen our local dealers driven into
 bankruptcy or disillusionment by the games Atari has played...?


 ctsy GEnie

 Category 14,  Topic 3
 ing for the endangered species list and the
 fact that as of close of business yesertday(yesterday) 5/16/90 Atari stock
 was 4 7/8, perhaps Atari has already left the US market and we just refuse
 to acknolwledge this.

 The Amiga 3000 is on the front of Byte and still most of the US doesn't
 even know Atari is still in business.  If Atari still plans on doing 
 something in the US market other than sell the Lynx and Portfolio, they 
 had better pull out all the stops and get with it.  It is really hard to
 believe that the same guy that use to say "business is war" when he ran
 Commodore is in any way involved with Atari.

 CES or Comdex; Atari better make an impact at which ever show thay are
 going to.

 Category 14,  Topic 3
 Message 102       Thu May 17, 1990
 JACK.D                       at 23:02 EDT
 Actually, I find it much easier to keep CES and COMDEX straight in my mind
 by just remembering that it's CES where the X-Rated videos are being
 autographed!  <grin!>  Something about that reminds me of the "prestige"
 involved with the "Toys 'n Games Show"...while IBM, DEC, Sun, and other
 "non-prestigious" developers go to COMDEX and show their wares to the
 likes of the Wall St. Journal, the NY Times, InfoWorld, Byte, etc.... not
 to mention all of those dealers who "only sell computers"...NOT teddy
 bears, refrigerators, and VCRs...

 Yep...I would suspect that Atari will ALWAYS be a "small company", what
 with such thinking.





                                   ATARI USERS ASSOCIATION NEWSBRIEFS

 by Derek C. Signorini

     Now that the smoke is beginning to clear and after everyone has
 pointed the finger at the other guy, we are beginning to see the facts
 begin to surface concerning the Pittsburgh show.   From what I have seen
 and heard, I am shocked to find that those who I felt were being up front
 and honest with me were not, and those who I thought I could trust, I can

     As you read in last few issues, there are those whose sole purpose in
 life is to damage the r Community and I am sure that most
 of you feel the same.  No one wants to see ANY ST user group cease to
 exist!  This would be a serious blow to the ST userbase!  The ST community
 needs as much support as it can acquire and the loss of even one group
 will cause the strong chain we are creating begin to rust.  One thing is
 for sure, however, the facts will come out.  The truth will be knand wait to see what the
 outcome will be.  My apologies to anyone showing up at the AUA conference
 this past sunday evening only to find that there was no conference.  We
 will resume our online conference Sunday, May 20th at 9:00pm EST and will
 hold the conference every Sunday thereafter, same time, same place.

     Due to the low attendance at the Pittsburgh show, the AUA was left
 with several extra copies of the AUA NewsBriefs newsletter.  Instead of
 letting them go to waste, we will be sending several copies to each of the
 User groups that we have listed in our small directory.  If you would like
 to receive sample copies of the NewsBriefs for your user group, then
 please send us $3.00US (to cover postage) and an approximate quantity
 request to the AUA address below and we will mail them to your group so
 that your members can enjoy the newsletter!  Also in the request, please
 include the name of your group's president and any other vital information
 such as BBS number and meeting dates.

     After receiving many requests, we have elected to offer sample packs
 of the AUA NewsBriefs for those people who would like to see the AUA
 product before joining.  Unfortunately, we can not afford to do this for
 free, so we are asking only $2.00 for the disk and newsletter.  This
 covers our cost of material and mailing and we feel that many more people
 will join the AUA given the opportunity to preview the newsletters first
 hand.  If you are interested in seeing the newsletters, then please write
 to us requesting the sample pack.

     News from within the AUA.  We are currently working on a press
 release that we will distribute to the magazines, vendors, developers and
 user groups.  We estimate that only 5% of the ST community has heard of
 the AUA and we must increase this figure in order to gain support.  99% of
 our current members own modems and have joined the AUA after hearing of it
 from online services and BBS's.  By distributing information to
 usergroups, we will be able to spread word of the AUA even deeper into the
 community.  Another interesting statistic that we have calculated, the
 average age of our members in the AUA is 29.  This is surprisingly high
 and I can probably attribute this to members having owned 8-bit computers
 in the past and have moved up to the ST.  While the AUA membership is
 mostly male in gender, we have quite a few females, and we hope to
 increase that figure as well!

     As mentioned in my last column, the AUA will be publishing its own
 disk based newsletter.  We have named the newsletter (drum role
 please...):  The AUA NewsBriefs Disk Magazine.  This newsletter will be
 more AUA oriented and will hopefully offer information that you will finMagazine will be May 31, 1990.  If you have articles, letters, comments,
 or any other contribution, we must have it on or before this date.  You
 can email the information to me on GEnie, at node #350 (Bounty BBS), or
 drop it in the mail to the P.O. box.  We will accept printed material in
 the latter case, and our diligent secretary will gladly type the
 information to ascii.  (My wife stthe second AUA
 NewsBriefs Newsletter will be July 31, 1990.

     That just about wraps it up for this week.  In my next column I hope
 to bring you some more AUA statistics, and until then, I leave you with a
 request.  SUPPORT SHAREWARE!  It is the life of the Atari ST!

                       The Atari Users Association
                              P.O. Box 123

 > TRACKER UPDATE! STR InfoFile?       ....First class Support

     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

        is 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


     --Elimination of two small bugs reported by our uty 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.

            NOTE: 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.


 > CIS FOLIO CONTEST STR Spotlight?   A Portfolio Contest on CIS....

     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


 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.   

     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
 descomputer  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 impact.

                             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 description. 
 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 possible.  
 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________________________________________________________

 > MT C-Shell STR Tech Notes?    RTX device driver for a TTY device

 from Usenet...

 I received enough requests for this via mail that I thought I
 would post it.

 These are the specs. for an MT C-Shell compatible RTX device driver
 for a TTY (login) device.  This defines the rules for doindependent
 fashion, using the device driver d_cntrl() function.

 RTX does not specify the details of what d_cntrl() should do. This
 defines what MT C-Shell expects of a TTY device driver which is
 to be used for MT C-Shell logins (getty) and UUCP (uucico).  This
 document describes the interface from the device driver writers
 perspective.  To use it from the application's perspective,  ====== CUT HERE ===

 MT C-Shell TTY Driver Documentaion

 Copyright (c) 1988
 Beckemeyer Devleopment Tools

 MT C-Shell tty drivers can support d_cntrl() functions if
 desired.   They will work as a simple "raw" uncontrolled
 tty device if the driver simply returns 0L to all d_cntrl calls.

 If the driver implements d_cntrl(), the format for MT C-Shell drivers
 is t is used to determine the control function which
 may be:

     /* tty commands */
     #define TTY_CONF    1
     #define TTY_OPEN    2
     #define TTY_CLOSE   3
     #define TTY_DCDWAIT 4
     #define TTY_STAT    5

 The TTY_CONF is used to set the baud rate and rs-232 params,
 it uses the t_baud and t_mask fields of the termio struct as
 in the Rsconf() GEMDOS call.  E.g. to set the baud to 9600
 without affecting the mask, an application would use:

     struct termio termio;

     termio.t_cmd = TTY_CONF;
     termio.t_baud = 1;
     termio.t_mask = -1;
     d_cntrl(dev, &termio);

 TTY_OPEN is used to open the line for outgoing calls by programs
 like UUCP.   This should fail with a non-zero value if the line
 is currently opened by another process.

 TTY_DCDWAIT is used to by applications (e.g. getty) to wait for
 an incoming call.   The process should be suspended until an
 incoming call is received and the line is available.

 TTY_CLOSE ends use of the tty line by the application. The RTS
 line should be lowered for a few seconds and then raised to
 reset the modem; the line should be marked as clear.

 TTY_STAT is used by applications to detect carrier.   The call
 should return -32 iff carrier is *not* present.

 If all d_cntrl() calls simply return 0, the system will work.
 The implementation of the above commands depends on the use
 of the device and its line.   Behavior with modems connected
 may need to be different than with 3-wire terminals in order
 for it to work.   You should be able to test the basic driver
 functionality by implementing a simple d_cntrl() which returns
 0 first, before attempting to implement all of the tty control

     === CUT HERE ====== CUT HERE ====== CUT HERE ====== CUT HERE ===

 The idea is that the application would use either TTY_OPEN or
 TTY_DCDWAIT to access the line.  When finished, TTY_CLOSE
 should be used.  TTY_STAT can be used to determine the status
 of DCD.

 If TTY_OPEN is used then the status of DCD is "don't care" at
 the driver level -- the driver will not react to changes in DCD
 (similar to UN*X NOHUP).  This is also the situation when the
 line is used without any TTY_OPEN or TTY_DCDWAIT d_cntrl().

 If TTY_DCDWAIT is used, the processes using the TTY will be killed
 when carrier goes away (hangup).  This happens in the driver. The
 driver doesn't have to impelement this hangup handling, in
 which case TTY_DCDWAIT acts just like TTY_OPEN.

 What follows is some sample code that uses the d_cntrl calls.
 The hangup() routine does the close.  The opentty() opens
 the line and sets the baud/parity.

     === CUT HERE ====== CUT HERE ====== CUT HERE ====== CUT HERE ===

 static int xbaud, xdev;

     struct termio termio;

     termio.t_cmd = TTY_CLOSE;
     d_cntrl(xdev, &termio);

 int bdtbl[] = {

 int baud;
     int *b;
     struct termio termio;

     /* set the baud rate */
     for (xbaud = 0, b = bdtbl; *b; b++, xbaud++)
          if (*b == baud) {
               termio.t_cmd = TTY_CONF;
               termio.t_baud = xbaud;
               termio.t_mask = -1;
               termio.t_flags = -1;
               d_cntrl(xdev, &termio);

 /* set parity to odd, even, or none based on argument as follows:
  *  n == 0    no parity
  *  n > 0     even parity
  *  n < 0     odd parity
 int n;
     int ucr;
     struct termio termio;

     /* div by 16, 1 stop bit */
     ucr = 0x88;
     /* parity means 7-bit */
     if (n)
          /* n > 0 means even */
          ucr |= (n > 0 ? 0x26 : 0x24);
     termio.t_cmd = TTY_CONFam;
 int baud, ttycmd;
     int fd;
     struct termio termio;

     if ((fd = Fopen(ttynam, 2)) < 0) {
          DEBUG(9, "cannot open %s\n", ttynam);
     xdev = Ftype(fd);
     if (xdev < 0 || xdev >= 16) {
          DEBUG(9, "%s: not a tty device\n", ttynam);
     /* open the device if required */
     if (ttycmd > 0) {
          termio.t_cmd = ttycmd;
          if (d_cntrl(xdev, &termio)) {
               DEBUG(9, "tty %s in use\n", ttynam);
     /* set the baud rate */
     if (setbaud(baud) != 0 && DEBUG_LEVEL(9)) {
          printf("bad baud rate: %d\n", baud);
 David Beckemeyer (david@bdt.UUCP) | "I'll forgive you Dad...  If you have
 Beckemeyer Development Tools      | a breath mint."
 P.O. Box 21575, Oakland, CA 94620 |    Bart - "The Simpsons"
 UUCP: {uunet,ucbvax}!unisoft!bdt!david |


 > MICRO RTX STR Tech Notes?      ...RTX is a Real-Time Executive.

                                   A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF MICRO RTX

 by Dave Beckemeyer 

       In response to all the requests for information about Micro RTX, I
 began working on a document for eventual posting.  Before I finished it, I
 realized that it was rapidly becoming a very large book.  I therefore have
 prepared this summary.

       There is a lot to RTX and there is a lot of general Atari ST
 knowledge and multitasking operating system knowledge that has to be
 acquired before one can even begin to learn RTX in detail.

      This document describes only briefly the Atari ST system architecture
 and it barely scratches the surface of RTX and multitasking on the ST.
 Unfortunately, it just isn't possible to fully describe it in a posting.


       RTX is a Real-Time Executive.   RTX is accessed with system calls,
 like the standard TOS/GEMDOS/BIOS services.  It is not a command shell and
 it doesn't have any "commands" or user interface intrinsic to the kernel.
 It is a system call handler.

       Atari ST programs make use of the TOS operating system via "system
 calls".  The whole TOS operating system has GEM calls (several different
 types), GEMDOS calls, BIOS calls, XBIOS calls, and LINE-A (graphics)

       After Micro RTX is installed, it intercepts and interprets the
 GEMDOS, BIOS, and XBIOS calls for all programs.  Micro RTX also implements
 several RTX-only calls and GEMDOS extensions.

 PROGRAMMING and Rwabs.  These macros actually
 produce code that cause a software interrupt, or trap, which jumps into
 the ROM code.  The application can also use library routines provided by
 the compiler manufacturer (e.g. fopen, or printf). These library routines
 then perform the TOS system calls on behalf of the calling program.  For
 example, the fopen C library routine will eventually use the Fthere are important differences between
 library routines and system calls.  The code that implements a library
 routine is contained within the application program (it is linked in).
 There is a separate copy of the printf handler linked into every C program
 that uses printf.  These library routines may also "cook" the programmer's
 input arguments (e.g. fopen might treat certain file name system calls is normally in
 the TOS ROMs.  There is only one Fopen handler; all programs use the same
 one.  When RTX loads, it replaces the system call handlers with RTX RAM
 resident versions. Therefore, there are no changes to the application. The
 only difference is a new system call handler.  This is one of the really
 nice things about RTX.  While RTX does add new system calls, it is
 optional whether a program wants to use them or not.

       Programs using only standard TOS calls operate as usual. Programs
 that require special functions that are only available with the RTX system
 calls, (e.g. interprocess comminucation, or multi-tasking) can implement
 only the RTX calls that are needed.

       This means that there are far fewer new operating system calls to
 learn. Only the extended features that were not built into TOS need to be
 learned; all the features you already know work substantially the same,
 with only perhaps some new options added.

       It also means that standard program development practices can be
 used to develop RTX applications.  The applications can even be developed
 with compile-time or run-time options, to run with or without RTX
 installed.  Any language capable of producing system calls can be used to
 develop RTX programs: C, Pascal, Modula, or Assembler.

       In C, RTX calls look like regular function calls.  In assembler,
 they are trap instructions (just like the GEMDOS, BIOS, and XBIOS calls).


 RTX implements two separate types of System Calls:

       ne Real-Time Services
         - TOS compatible services and TOS Extensions

 Both types of system calls may be used in the same application.

       The RTX Real-Time kernel provides Real-Time multitasking services
 similar to many popular Real-Time systems, such as VRTX, pSOS, etc.  These
 commercial systems sell for thousands of dollars.  Micro RTX compares very
 well with these systemsaid; for those that don't know what it is, don't worry about it.  For
 those interested, we have lots of nice brochures that describe the
 properties of Micro RTX for commercial Real-time applications which we'd
 be happy to send you.

       RTX is designed to be easy to use.  The calls are simple and
 general.  The calling conventions are consistent and the chance for errors
 and confusion has been reduced.  The basic philosophy is that a few very
 general building blocks can be put together lots of different ways to
 accomplish lots of different goals.

       This has the drawback that the application developer must have the
 vision to know how to put the pieces together effectively.  When a
 developer needs function X, and RTX has no X, the developer needs to be
 able to build X from what RTX does have.  It's analogous to UNIX users who
 know what you can do with pipes and those that don't (so somebody has to
 write them a shell script that does exactly what they want with no pipes).

       Configuration relies on a small number of passive declarations; RTX
 is mostly self-configuring.


       A process is an entity in the system.  The terms process and program
 are NOT the same thing.  A program is a file that contains code and data
 that can be loaded into memory and executed.  A process is a running
 entity, or "being" in the system.  The code loaded in from one program can
 become a process when it's executed; a single program may even become
 several processes when it executes.

       In Micro RTX, a process is the atomic (or basic) unit of CPU
 execution.  While several processes may be "running" in the system, the
 CPU can only execute one process at any one instant of time. The processes
 appear to execute at the same time because of process switching. A process
 switch can occur for several reasons.  Each process has a state associated
 with it.

 The basic states are running, sleeping, and ready-to-run.

       With RTX, the running state means the CPU is executing the process.
 There is only one running process in the system.  A sleeping process is
 one that is waiting for something other than the CPU (e.g a message, or
 event).  A sleeping process consumes no CPU resources until it "wakes up".
 A ready-to-run process is one that is waiting its turn to use the C of sleeping and ready-to-run processes.

       Each process has several types of memory associated with it.  Each
 type is called a segment.  All RTX processes must have all their memory
 segments resident at all times.  A process needs a code (or text) segment
 and a stack segment.  A process may also have a (static) data segment and
 a (dynamic) heap segment.  These segments need not beed) the child.


 RTX uses two types of CPU Time scheduling: Preemptive task scheduling, and
 (Round-Robin) Time-slicing.

       Each process has a priority associated with it.  The RTX kernel uses
 a very simple scheduling algroithm.  It simply selects the process with
 the highest priority from those in the running or ready-to-run states.

       When more than one process occupies the same priority level,
 time-slicing is used to split up CPU time between the processes.  Each
 process has a quantum (length of time) associated with it.  When this
 quantum is used up, RTX schedules the next process.  This repeats as long
 as several processes are at same priority (and that they are the highest
 priority processes that are ready-to-run).  This is also sometimes called
 "round-robin" scheduling.


       Once a process' memory segments are loaded into memory (at least the
 code segment), a new process may be created.  Process creation simply is
 the way a process is made known to RTX.  RTX creates a stack segment for
 the process, and places it on the ready-to-run list.  The caller (the
 process creating the new process) provides the priority, time-slice, load
 address, input arguments, and stack-size.  The priority and time-slice
 quantum may be altered at run-time.

       A pid in RTX is actually the 32-bit address of the process control
 block (an internal RTX data structure) for the process.

      The Pexec GEMDOS call also performs a process creation indirectly.  A
 direct call to the RTX p_create service will spawn and run a loaded
 process (i.e. it runs a subroutine as a concurrent process).  A call to
 Pexec loads a GEMDOS formatted executable file, and spawns it as an RTX
 process.  RTX also provides a Pexec option that allows the caller to
 continue processing while the child runs (like fork/exec).


 The RTX Process Control System Calls are:

         p_create        - create and execute a new process
         p_delete        - delete (kill) a process
         p_priority      - get/set process priority
         p_slice         - get/set time-slice quantum
         p_suspend       - suspend (stop) a process
         p_resume        - resume (re-start) a process
         p_lookup        - convert process name to a PID
         p_info       ies range from 0 to 255; 255 is used for "real-time"
 processes and 0 is reserved for the idle deamon.  A process running at
 priority 255 never gets time-sliced and will never lose the CPU until it
 voluntarilly blocks (waits for something) or lowers its priority.


       Processes in RTX can communicate by sending messages.  The RTX
 mee idea
 is like UNIX create/open/read/write/close.  Each message queue has a name
 and QID.  If a process knows the name of the queue, it can determine the
 QID (like UNIX open). Messages are 4 long-words (16 bytes) fixed size. The
 first long word (4 bytes) is reserved for RTX.  The remaining 3 long-words
 (12 bytes) are completely user dependent.  The messages may contain data,
 or pointeere waiting
 processes are queued in the order that they request messages, or it can be
 set up so that processes are queued in priority order.  With a FIFO queue,
 messages are received (read) in the order that they were sent.  With a
 priority queue, the process with the highest priority that is waiting for
 a message will receive one first.

       RTX message queues can be used for many differnt kinds of
 interprocess communication/synchronization facilities, including simple
 FIFO non-interlocked (simple one-way channel), fully inter-locked (using
 two queues), and semaphores.

       An example of many-to-many usage might be a print spool system where
 several processes make print requests and several printers are available.
 One incarnation of a print-spool handler exists for each printer (one
 print process per printer).  There is one RTX message queue which is used
 for print requests.  Each print-spool process requests a message from the
 print request queue.  A process wishing to print something sends a message
 to the print request queue.  The first print-spool process that requested
 a message receives the print request and starts printing the job.  If
 another process makes a print request, the next print-spool process will
 print it,until all the printers are busy and there are no more print-spool
 processes waiting for a message, in which case further print requests will
 be queued on the message queue and printed by the next available print
 process when it requests a message from the print queue again.

 The RTX message queue services are:

         q_create        - create a message queue
         q_delete        - delete (close/remove) a message queue
         q_send          - send (write) a message
         q_req           - request (read) a message (wait or no-wait)
         q_jam           - jam a message at the head of the queue
         q_lookup        - convert queue name to QID (open)
         q_info          - get the status of a message queue

       A maximum wait interval (timeout) option may be specified when
 requesting messages.  In this case the caller is awakened when either a
 message is available or the wait time has expired.

       The q_send and q_jam system calls may be made from interrupt service
 (ISP) handlers.  A special RTX trap is used upon exit from the ISP to
 force a pre-emptive reschedule (if necessary).


       UNIX programmers beware: RTX events are not anything like UNIX
 signals.  The RTX event system is a many-to-one synchronization facility.
 Each process has associated with it a set of seven user events and seven
 system (reserved) events.  A process can signal a single or a group of
 events to another process with a single call and it can wait for the
 occurance of one or more of its own events.

       What event is used for what is completely up to the application
 developer.  RTX places no restrictions on the use of the seven user
 events.  The primary limitation of events is that, unlike messages, events
 are not queued.  Where overrun is impossible or can be handled, the event
 system does offer the advantage of specifying multiple events.

 The event system calls are:

         e_signal        - signal a group of events
         e_wait          - wait for one or more events

       A process may wait for any of a group of events, in which case it
 will be awakened when any of the specified events is signaled, or it can
 wait for all events, in which case it will not be awakened until all
 the events are signaled.  As with messages, a maximum wait interval
 may be specified to handle timeout situations.

       The e_signal system call may be used in ISP routines for real-time
 pre-emptive applications.


       RTX uses a first-fit memory allocation algorithm.  Memory segments
 are allocated from system heaps.  The RTX kernel splits eet a users request, returning any remainder back to the
 free pool.  When a segment is released back to RTX, it is merged with its
 neighboring segments, if one or both of these segments are free.

 The RTX memory management calls are:

         m_alloc         - allocate a memory segment
         m_free          - free a segment
         m_assign        - transfer a segment to anotheres the RTX m_alloc system call to
 allocate memory when RTX is installed (this solves some TOS memory
 management problems).


       RTX provides a call that allows a process to schedule itself at a
 regular interval, or sleep for a duration of time:

         p_pause         - pause (sleep) for a specified time interval

 The time interval is specified in millisernel.

       In addition to providing compatibility, RTX also implements several
 extended GEMDOS and BIOS services.  The GEMDOS system calls are:

         Pexec           - supports "execute concurrently" mode
         Popen           - Pipes using GEMDOS file handles
         Ftype           - Determine if handle is file/pipe/device
         Flock           - File record locking
         Fcntrl          - GEMDOS-level character device control
         Psettpa         - control the startup TPA (stack) size
         Mquota          - limit the Malloc(-1) maximum

       The Popen service combined with GEMDOS I/O redirection allows any
 TOS program using GEMDOS STDIN/STDOUT to be used in pipelines (i.e. the
 programs do not need to be recompiled to work with pipes).

       The Flock call provides file locking for multiuser file access.  Any
 region of a file may be locked (even beyond the end-of-file).  When
 another process attempts to read or write the locked region, the operation
 will fail, in which case the application may take appropriate actions
 (i.e. pause and try again).  For application developers that wish to
 implement file record locking in their applications, but do not wish to
 purchase the Micro RTX Developer's Kit, contact Beckemeyer Development
 at the address below for details.

       The Fcntrl function alters the behavior of character (tty) devices
 for GEMDOS I/O operations.  In the normal case, I/O to terminal devices is
 "cooked".  Using Fcntrl, a program can force NOECHO and/or RAWIO modes.

 The BIOS-level RTX extensions are:

         d_install       - install a custom device driver
         d_cntrl         - BIOS-level device control

       The installable device driver mechanism allows the developer to
 install or replace BIOS devices. The devices are accessed with the Bconxxx
 BIOS calls, using the device number field.

 The standard BIOS devices are:

         0 - PRN         - Printer
         1 - AUX         - RS-232 port
         2 - CON         - System console (screen/keyboard)
         3 - MIDI        - Midi port
         4 - KBD         - Intelligent keyboard

       From GEMDOS these devices may be opened by name (the standard names
 work with or without RTX installed).  For example:

         fd = Fopen("aux:", 2);

 Will return a handle that will read/write characters using the RS-232
 port.  Under RTX, devices may be installed with a BIOS number and GEMDOS
 name.  The device may then be accessed just like any other device in
 the system.  For example, say we have installed a driver for our custom
 high-speed I/O board as BIOS device 10, and GEMDOS name "fio", then:

         Bconout(10, c);

 would send a character to the device, and:

         fd = Fopen("fio:", 2);

 opens the device for read/write, and returns a GEMDOS handle in fd that
 can be used in any GEMDOS I/O call that uses handles:

         Fread(fd, count, buf);

 Reads 'count' bytes (normally using a line editing mechanism but this
 can be changed by using the Fcntrl call). Likewise:

         Fwrite(fd, count, buf);

 writes to the port.  The fol);

       This would cause the program "shell.prg" to send it's output to the
 special device and read its input from the special device without

       A device driver may itself use BIOS calls; so one driver can access
 another driver to as many levels as needed.

       As can be seen, the installable device driver facility is one of the
 most powerful and flexible fscheduler on top of TOS like some of the systems I have seen are.

       When looking at multitasking kernels that work with TOS programs,
 remember there's more to it than just adding a time-slicer.  The regular
 GEMDOS/BIOS handlers are NOT reentrant.  The GEMDOS loader doesn't know
 how to deal with more than one process family (tree).  It holds the
 running PID in a static variable.  The multitasking kernel must perform
 all program loading, exec'ing, and memory allocation, otherwise TOS will
 get very confused, usually resulting in crashes and/or trashed files.

 (Note: Beckemeyer Development has released the newest version of Micro RTX
 as a shareware product.   Full programming documentation is included with
 the shareware version, including source code to "C" bindings for popular
 Atari ST "C" compilers.)

       End-user registration is a modest $35, which includes the program
 disk and printed manual.  Full developer status with technical support
 services is $75.  An advanced commercial version which includes an
 unlimited binary redistribution license is $250.

          MICRO RTX DEVELOPER KIT $250.00
                 - Master copy of Micro RTX on diskette
                 - Micro RTX binary distribution license
                 - Programmer's Manual
                 - One year warranty including: bug fixes, minor upgrades,
                   and telephone support

 For More Information, Contact:

         P.O. Box 21575
         Oakland, CA 94620
         (415) 530-9637
         BBS: (415) 530-9682 (login as 'bbs')
         CIS: 74236,625
         UUCP: {ucbvax,uunet}!unisoft!bdt!david


 > STReport CONFIDENTIAL?          Sayin' it like it is.....

 - Sunnyvale, CA.                   TAIWANESE MADE LYNX DESTINED FOR EUROPE

     Atari  Japan,  subsidiary  of  ATARI  in Sunnyvale, Ca., has commenced
 production of the Lynx, their  portable  video  game  having  a  color LCD
 (liquid crystal  display) screen,  in Taiwan.   Structured on an agreement
 with Efa Corporation,  a  Taiwan-based  manufacturer,  Atari  Japan  is to
 supply component parts at which time EFa will then complete the video game
 units. Although the production agreement, at  this  time,  is  on  a trial
 basis, Atari Japan intends to produce 80,000 units per month by the end of
 the year. 

     The majority  of  the  finished  products  will  be  sold  through the
 European sales  groups of  Atari. For  the time  being,., Atari Japan will
 export to the U.K., West Germany, and France, and ultimately  to the other
 European countries by the end of the year.  Additionally, Atari Japan will
 export the Taiwanese manufactured Lynx to the U.S. and Japan,  in hopes of
 overcoming the supply side shortages in both Japn and the USA.  Until this
 agreement, the Lynx had only been made in Japan. 

 Lynx has sold about 150,000 units in the U.S. and  about 100,000  units in
 Jap           ------------                  -------
     Klax                    June/July                       2
     Rampage                 July/August                     4
     Red Baron               Sept/Oct                        4
     Vindicators             September                       2
     Checkered Flag          December                        8
     3-D Barrage                       2
     Tournament Cyberball    Aug/Sept                        2
     720 Degrees             October                         1
     PaperBoy                Aug/Sept                        1
     A.P.B.                  October                         1
     Rygar                   Oct/Nov                         1
     Stealin' Home           Jan. '91                        2
     Grid Runner             Aug/Sept                        4
     Turbo Sub               Oct/Nov                         1
     Junkyard Dog Special    November                        1
     Masters Golf            Not Set                         4
     Time Lords              Jan. '91                        4
     Super Hockey            Not Set                         2
     Pinballet                         ?
     Editor Note: The above is subject to change

 - Sunnyvale, CA.               ATARI CORP. -> 1ST QUARTER INCOME OF $1.5m 

     Atari Corp. reported a 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  positive  revenue  growth  for the Atari ST and Atari PC
 MS-DOS compatible  product line,  along with  the new  Lynx handheld color
 video game machine.  The decline in revenue from last year is attributable
 to the impact of intense competition in the company's traditional 2600 and
 7800 video  game market in the United States.   Atari Corporation is among
 the largest companies in  the world  manufacturing and  marketing personal
 computers  and   video  games   for  the   home,  office  and  educational

 - New York City, NY           NEC CORP. TO PRODUCE 4-MEGABIT DRAMS IN U.S.

 NEC Corp., a premier  Japanese  electronics  manufacturer,  announced they
 would begin  production of  4-megabit dynamic  ram chips (4MDRAM's) in the
 United States by 04/91.  NEC said its American subsidiary, NEC Electronics
 Inc. established  during March of 1981 in California, plans to produce two
 million 4MDRAM's monthly in  April-September next  year and  to double its
 monthly production to four million units by the 2cnd quarter of 1992. 

 NEC is to invest approx. $400,000,000 to begin mass production of 4MDRAM's
 first in the United States,  where  they  expect  ot  satisfy  many O.E.M.

 On another note, STRCFDL carried this note last week:
     "Hmmm, some  say it  is just  a silly  rumor, other say its a distinct
 possibility, with "certain new  modules" being  in production  and talk of
 the NEC  monitors being  bundled with  the Atari  computer line.  It could
 even be that the TT and NEC will be married.   One  thing is  for sure, at
 the rate  things are  going, any  new blood will have a positive effect on
 the entire Atari Computer scene."
     Although the preceding info still  remains  a  rumor,  as  we  have no
 confirmation YET...  we have  verified that  NEC and  Nammco (Atari Games)
 have entered into a co-operative agreement concerning software development
 and only  that.   All other  "rumors" are  just that rumors as is the info
 from last week.  Although STR's sources have alluded to  the "big picture"
 as being  that of  NEC and  a full  force thrust aimed at the US market in
 areas  of  PC's  and  ST's  being  bundled  with  the  NEC  monitors.  (NO
 relationship to  the AT&T deal)  Again, only rumors, but none the less, we
 felt it was important enough to  at least  talk about.   Of  course, there
 will be  those who  think that being splashy about these rumors is a means
 to an end.  Here it is nice just know a little about how the 'smart money'
 in the US computer marketplace is leaning.

 - New York City, NY                  CONSUMER REPORTS SEZ PORTFOLIO "CUTE"

     In their  typical "straight  to the  point" way,  Consumer Reports has
 applauded the Portfolio as  being  "cute"  but  for  anyone  serious about
 using a portable MS-DOS computer they candidly stated "get a laptop".
 "While the  Portfolio is cute it hardley meets the needs of today's MS-DOS


     From  the  splashy  ads  in  the  European  ST  magazine,  the  highly
 successful promotional effort of bundling software with the 520st is about
 to come to life in the US.... Known as the Atari Advantage it is  aimed at
 the mass market and it is hoped to draw a very positive reception from the
 Kresge, M.Ward areas during the CES show.  As was  mentioned a  few months
 ago  in   this  column,  Atari  is  about  to  re-enter  the  mass  market
 merchandising arena.  It apparently is hoped that K-Mart etc... will carry
 the entry level computer Atari plans to offer in the Advantage Package....

 - San Francicso, CA.                  IS SOVIET SILICON VALLEY ON HORIZON?

     We ran this item in issue 416, in our ongoing effort to bring the most
 accurate news  possible,  we  present  this  item  as  a  leader  into the
 following story  which is  an accurate  accounting of the events following
 our original release...

     The Soviet Union has signed an  agreement with  the Bechtel  Group, a 
 major  engineering,  architecture,  and  construction   company, to fund a
 project studying the feasibility of developing  a "Soviet  Silicon Valley"
 near the city of Troisk, a small city 20 miles southwest of  Moscow, which
 now holds a major Soviet  scientific  Research    Community.    Called the
 Troitsk  Research   Development  Project,  it  is  aimed  at  designing  a
 commercial high technology center  for  international  businesses  to help
 develop and  invest in  Soviet advances  in fields  such as nuclear fusion
 and laser technology.   

     The Soviet Union is also giving  $100  million  a  year  to  fund this
 project, which is expected to provide a more conducive environment for the
 Soviet Union  to develop  avenues into  the worldwide  marketplace.  Among
 other  things,  the  Bechtel  Glly build Conference
 Centers, a new International  Airport, and  an advanced telecommunications
 network in  Troisk by the year 2010.  By that time Troisk, which currently
 has a  population  of 30,000,  is expected  to have  a population  of over

     The Soviet  Silicon Summit will bring together leading Soviet and U.S.
 high-technology business leaders for the  first  timnd U.S.S.R. high-technology organizations. 
 Scheduled  for  June  4-June  14,  at  Techmart in Santa Clara, the Soviet
 Silicon Summit will be highlighted by a one-day conference.

     The   summit,   featuring   top   Soviet   government   officials,  is
 co-sponsored by  The East/West  Report, Techmart, Global Development Corp.
 and * ATARI. *  During the 10-day summit, the  Soviets wilnnels,  purchase  products  and
 provide design and development services.

     On June  8, the  co-sponsors will  host a  one-day conference on doing
 business in the Soviet Union at which top Soviet government officials will
 unveil plans  for converting  military and  aerospace microelectronics and
 communications technologies to commercial uses.  The conference  also will
 feature  representatives  from  the  U.S. Department of Commerce, State of
 California, international law experts and leading consultants on  U.S. and
 Soviet business relations. 

    The  summmit  and  conference  immediately  follows  the Bush-Gorbachev
 Summit in  which the  United States  is expected  to grant  the USSR "Most
 Favored Nation  Status", President  Gorbachev's visit to Silicon Valley on
 June 4, and the  anticipated lifting  of restrictions  by the Coordinating
 Committee  on  Multilateral  Expert  Controls  (COCOM)  on  the  export of
 high-technology products to the Soviet Union.
      After the Summit, the Soviets will open a  full-time sales  office at
 Techmart,  operated   by  Global   Development  Corp.    It  will  feature
 demonstrations of Soviet software, Soviet market research data, a research
 library and a Soviet speakers bureau. 

 - Dover, DE.                         TT030 ARRIVING AT 'SELECT' DEVELOPERS

     The TT030,  the 'fabled' TT030...Reportedly, there are now TT units in
 the hands of "select" developers.   Does this  mean that  other developers
 are not  "worthy" of  developing on  the TT030?   Also a few have remarked
 about the first class construction of these units.  They  say the machines
 run quite  well and  rarely, if  ever, crash.   And that the cabinets feel
 'very strong' and.

 - San Francisco, CA                    STe UNITS ARE EXPECTED IN JUNE-JULY
     Reportedly, the shipments are  arriving in  the "seatainers"  and must
 clear the  official entry point, and of course, all the paper work must be
 done and then they  first make  the warehouse.   At  which time,  they are
 logged in and stored.  Now, down comes the orders for shipment to the vast
 dealer network, all the paperwork, packing etc... Lo and behold  its July!
  Hopefully, the STe will be shipping in the USA within 6 weeks...


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 > A "Quotable Quote"?


                               Old Exploring Partisan

 STReport?              "Your Independent News Source"         May 18, 1990
 16/32bit Magazine           copyright = 1990                    No.6.20
 Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of
 the editors, staff, STReport?  CPU/STR?  or  ST  Report?.    Permission to
 reprint articles  is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted.  Each reprint
 must include the name of the publication, date, issue #  and  the author's
 name.  The entire publication and/or portions therein may not be edited in
 any way without prior written permission.   The  contents, at  the time of
 pure not responsibile  for either  the use/misuse
 of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom.


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