ST Report: 08-Mar-91 #710

From: Ed Krimen (al661@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 03/28/91-11:39:45 AM Z

From: al661@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Ed Krimen)
Subject: ST Report: 08-Mar-91 #710
Date: Thu Mar 28 11:39:45 1991

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 March 08, 1991                                                     No.7.10

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 > 03/08/91: STReport? #7.10  The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine!
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 > The Editor's Podium?

     This week's issue is busy enough without me boring the  readers with a
 bunch  of  talk  here.    However,  I must bring your attention to our new
 feature column  under the  very capable  guidance of  Bob Allbritton, Mac-
 Report.   MCR for  short, will  explore the Mac world and its relationship
 with the userbase in the ST arena.   Be sure  to check  it out  and let us
 hear from you too!

     The  Atari  world  is  on  the  rebound, new machines new software and
 fabulous upgrades are all in the  pipelines at  this time.   Show  news is
 rather heavy  this week  with news  coming in  from different areas of the
 country.  The shows are getting set to "entertain" you!
     Reports are  filtering in  that over  180 TT030  machines have shipped
 this past  week and  .... A  BIG shipment  of Mega  STe units are about to
 leave the factory on their way to the USA.  Most distributors are now hard
 pressed to  keep 1040STe  units stock.   They  are selling very well.  The
 Atari marketplace is definitely perking up.  Pssst, don't tell  anyone but
 Pagestream 2.xxxx  is lookin' real good!  Coming soon to a DTP system near
                        Thanks for your continued support!


                     STReport - TODAY'S NEWS ..TODAY!


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                 WHAT'S NEW IN THE ATARI FORUMS (March 8)


 An EXCELLENT STe 4096 color/stereo demo  program from  Sweden is available
 in the Atari Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS) LIBRARY 1 as ANCOOL.ARC.


 The  transcript  from  the  February  21st  conference with Sam Tramiel is
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     Please, join  us in welcoming GRIBNIF SOFTWARE and LEXICOR SOFTWARE to
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 LIBRARY 13 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN).


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 LIBRARY 7  of the  Atari Vendors  Forum (GO ATARIVEN).  See ICDHST.ARC for
 the complete distribution disk.




   Issue #102

 by Michael Arthur



     In 1988, Tim Oren wrote a series of articles called  the "Professional
 GEM" series,  in order to teach aspiring ST GEM programmers needed tips on
 the internals of writing GEM Applications.   In  this essay,  Tim Oren has
 provided a  great source  of knowledge  about both the very ideas that GEM
 and Mac Finder are based on, and information that could be very helpful in
 designing User Interfaces for applications.

                           ANTIC PUBLISHING INC.
                              COPYRIGHT 1988
                         REPRINTED BY PERMISSION.

    Professional GEM  by Tim Oren
    Column #8 - User Interfaces, Homily #1


       In response to a number of requests, this installment of ST PRO GEM
    will be devoted to examining a few of the principles of computer/human
    interface  design,  or "religion" as some would have it.  I'm going to
    start  with  basic  ergonomic  laws,  and try to draw some conclusions
    which  are  fairly  specific to designing for the ST.  If this article
    meets   with  general  approval,  further  "homilies"  may  appear  at
    irregular intervals as part of the ST PRO GEM series.

       For  those who did NOT ask for this topic, it seems fair to explain
    why  your diet of hard-core technical information has been interrupted
    by  a sermon!  As a motivater, we might consider why some programs are
    said  by  reviewers  to have a "hot" feel (and hence sell well!) while
    others are "confusing" or "boring".

       Alan Kay has said that "user interface is theatre".  I think we may
    be  able  to  take  it  further, and suggest that a successful program
    works a bit of magic, persuading the user to suspend his disbelief and
    enter  an  imaginary  world  behind  the  screen,  whether  it  is the
    mathematical  world of a spreadsheet, or the land of Pacman pursued by

       A  reader  of  a  novel  or  science  fiction  story  also suspends
    disbelief to participate in the work.  Bad grammar and clumsy plotting
    by  the author are jarring, and break down the illusion.  Similarly, a
    programmer who fails to pay attention to making his interface fast and
    consistent  will  annoy  the user, and distract him from whatever care
    has been lavished on the functional core of the program.

                           CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE

       Before  launching  into  the discussion of user interface, I should
    mention  that  the general treatment and many of the specific research
    results  are drawn from Card, Newell, and Moran's landmark book on the
    topic,  which  is  cited  at  the  end  of the article.  Any errors in
    interpretation  and application to GEM and the ST are entirely my own,


       We'll  start  right  at  the user's fingers with the basic equation
    governing positioning of the mouse, Fitt's Law, which is given as

                         T = I * LOG2( D / S + .5)

    where  T  is the amount of time to move to a target, D is the distance
    of  the  target  from  the  current position, and S is the size of the
    target,  stated  in  equivalent  units.   LOG2  is the base 2 (binary)
    logarithm  function,  and  I  is a proportionality constant, about 100
    milliseconds  per  bit,  which corresponds to the human's "clock rate"
    for making incremental movements.

       We can squeeze an amazing amount of information out of this formula
    when  attempting  to speed up an interface.  Since motion time goes up
    with  distance,  we  should  arrange the screen with the usual working
    area  near  the  center,  so  the  mouse  will  have to move a smaller
    distance  on  average  from  a  selected  object  to  a menu or panel.
    Likewise,  any  items which are usually used together should be placed

       The  most  common operations will have the greater impact on speed,
    so  they should be closest to the working area and perhaps larger than
    other icons or menu entries.  If you want to have all other operations
    take  about  the same time, then the targets farthest from the working
    area  should  be  larger,  and  those  closer  may  be proportionately

       Consider  also the implications for dialogs.  Small check boxes are
    out.   Large  buttons  which  are easy to hit are in.  There should be
    ample  space  between selectable items to allow for positioning error.
    Dangerous options should be widely separated from common selections.


       Anyone  who  has  used  the  ST  Desktop for any period of time has
    probably  noticed  that  his  fingers  now know where to find the File
    menu.   This  phenomenon  is sometimes called "muscle memory", and its
    rate of onset is given by the Power Law of Practice:

                          T(n) = T(1) * n ** (-a)

    where T(n) is the time on the nth trial, T(1) is the time on the first
    trial,  and  a  is  approximately  0.4.   (I have appropriated ** from
    Fortran as an exponentiation operator, since C lacks one.)

       This  first thing to note about the Power Law is that it only works
    if a target stays in the same place!  This should be a potent argument
    against  rearranging  icons,  menus,  or dialogs without some explicit
    request  by  the  user.   The  time to hit a target which moves around
    arbitrarily will always be T(1)!

       In  many  cases,  the  Power  Law  will  also work for sequences of
    operations to even greater effect.  If you are a touch typist, you can
    observe  this  effect  by  comparing  how  fast you can enter "the" in
    comparison  to  three  random  letters.   We'll  come  back shortly to
    consider what we can do to encourage this phenomenon.


       Just as fingers are the way the user sends data to the computer, so
    the  eyes  are  his  channel  from  the  machine.   The  rate at which
    information  may  be  passed  to  the user is determined by the "cycle
    time"  of  his  visual processor.  Experimental results show that this
    time ranges between 50 and 200 milliseconds.

       Events separated by 50 milliseconds or less are always perceived as
    a  single  event.   Those  separated by more than 200 milliseconds are
    always seen as separate.  We can use these facts in optimizing user of
    the computer's power when driving the interface.

       Suppose  your application's interface contains an icon which should
    be  inverted when the mouse passes over it.  We now know that flipping
    it  within  one  twentieth  of  a second is  necessary and sufficient.
    Therefore,  if a "first cut" at the program achieves this performance,
    there  is  no  need  for  further  optimization,  unless  you  want to
    interleave  other operations.  If it falls short, it will be necessary
    to do some assembly coding to achieve a smooth feel.

      On the other hand, two actions which you want to appear distinct or
    convey  two  different  pieces  of information must be separated by an
    absolute   minimum  of  a  fifth  of a second, even assuming that they
    occur  in  an  identical  location  on  which  the user's attention is
    already focused.

       We  are  able to influence the visual processing rate within the 50
    to  200  millisecond  range  by changing the intensity of the stimulus
    presented.   This  can be done with color, by flashing a target, or by
    more  subtle  enhancements such as bold face type.  For instance, most
    people   using  GEM  soon  become  accustomed  to  the  "paper  white"
    background of most windows and dialogs.  A dialog which uses a reverse
    color  scheme,  white  letters  on  black, is visually shocking in its
    starkness, and will immediately draw the user's eyes.

       It should be quickly added that stimulus enhancement will only work
    when  it  unambiguously  draws attention to the target.  Three or four
    blinking  objects scattered around the screen are confusing, and worse
    than no enhancement at all!

                             SHORT-TERM MEMORY

       Both  the information gathered by the eyes and movement commands on
    their  way  to  the  hand  pass through short-term memory (also called
    working  memory).   The  amount  of  information  which can be held in
    short-term  memory  at  any  one time is limited.  You can demonstrate
    this limit on yourself by attempting to type a sheet of random numbers
    by  looking back and forth from the numbers to the screen.  If you are
    like  most  people, you will be able to remember between five and nine
    numbers  at a time.  So universal is this finding that it is sometimes
    called "the magic number seven, plus or minus two".

       This  short-term  capacity  sets  a  limit on the number of choices
    which the user can be expected to grasp at once.  It suggests that the
    number  of  independent  choices  in  a  menu, for instance, should be
    around  seven, and never exceed nine.  If this limit is violated, then
    the  user  will have to take several glances, with pauses to think, in
    order to make a choice.


       The  effective  capacity of short-term memory can be increased when
    several  related  items  are  mentally  grouped  as a "chunk".  Humans
    automatically  adopt  this  strategy  to  save  themselves  time.  For
    instance, random numbers had to be used instead of text in the example
    above,  because people do not type their native language as individual
    characters.  Instead, they combine the letters into words and remember
    these  chunks  instead.  Put another way, the characters are no longer
    considered as individual choices.

       A  well  designed interface should promote the use of chunking as a
    strategy  by  the  user.   One  easy way is to gather together related
    options  in a single place.  This is one reason that like commands are
    grouped  into  a single menu which is hidden except for its title.  If
    all  of  the  menu  options  were  "in  the  open",  the user would be
    overwhelmed  with  dozens  of  alternatives at once.  Instead, a "Show
    Info"  command, for instance, becomes two chunks: pick File menu, then
    pick Show.

       Sometimes  the  interface can accomplish the chunking for the user.
    Consider  the  difference between a slider bar in a GEM program, and a
    three  digit  entry  field in a text mode application.  Obviously, the
    GEM  user  has  fewer decisions to make in order to set the associated


       While  we are puttering around trying to speed up the keyboard, the
    mouse,  and  the  screen, the user is actually trying to get some work
    done.   We  need to back off now, and look at the ways of thinking, or
    cognitive processes, that go into accomplishing the job.

       The  user's  goal  may  be  to enter and edit a letter, to retrieve
    information from a database, or simply draw a picture, but it probably
    has  very  little  to do with programming.  In fact, the Problem Space
    Principle  says  that  the task can be described as a set of states of
    knowledge,  a set of operators and associated constraints for changing
    the  states,  and  the  knowledge  to choose the appropriate operator,
    which resides in the user's head.

       Those  with  a  background in systems theory can consider this as a
    somewhat  abstract,  but  straightforward, statement in terms of state
    variables  and  operators.   A  programmer might compare the knowledge
    states  to  the  values  of variables, the operators to arithmetic and
    logic  operations,  the  constraints  to  the rules of syntax, and the
    user's knowledge to the algorithm embodied by a program.

                              ARE WE NOT MEN?

       A  rational  person will try to attain his goals (get the job done)
    by  changing  the state of his problem space from its initial state to
    the  goal  state.   The  initial state, for instance, might be a blank
    word processor screen.  The desired final state is to have a completed
    business letter on the screen.

       The  Rationality Principle says that the user's behavior in typing,
    mousing, and so on, can be explained by considering the tasks required
    to  achieve  the goal, the operators available to carry out the tasks,
    and  the  limitations  on  the  user's  knowledge,  observations,  and
    processing  capacity.  This sounds like the typical user of a computer
    program  must  spend  a  good  deal  of  time  scratching his head and
    wondering  what  to  do  next.   In  fact, one of Card and Moran's key
    results is that this is NOT what takes place.

       What  happens,  in fact, is that the trained user strikes a sort of
    "modus  vivendi" with his tool and adopts a set of repetitive, trained
    behavior  patterns  as the best way to get the job done.  He may go so
    far  as  to  ignore some functions of the program in order to set up a
    reliable  pattern.   What we are looking for is a way of measuring and
    predicting  the  "quality"  of  this  trained  behavior.   Since using
    computers  is  a human endeavor, we should consider not only the speed
    with  which  the  task  is  completed,  but the degree of annoyance or
    pleasure associated with the process.

       Card and Moran constructed a series of behavioral models which they
    called  GOMS  models,  for  Goals-Operators-Methods-Selection.   These
    models  suggested  that  in  the  training process the user learned to
    combine  the  basic operators in sequences (chunks!) which then became
    methods  for reaching the goals.  Then these first level methods might
    be  combined  again  into  second  level methods, and so forth, as the
    learning progressed.

       The  GOMS models were tested in a lengthy series of trials at Xerox
    PARC using a variety of word processing software.  (Among the subjects
    of  these experiments were the inventors of the windowing methods used
    in  GEM!)   The  results were again surprising: the level of detail in
    the models was really unimportant!

       It  turned  out  to  be sufficient to merely count up the number of
    keystrokes,  mouse  movements,  and thought intervals required by each
    task.   After  summing  up  all  of  the tasks, any extra time for the
    computer  to  respond,  or the user to move his hands from keyboard to
    mouse,  or  eyes  from  screen  to  printed  page  is  added in.  This
    simplified version is called the Keystroke-Level Model.

       As an example of the Keystroke Model, consider the task of changing
    a  mistyped  letter on the screen of a GEM word processor.  This might
    be  broken  down as follows: 1) find the letter on the screen; 2) move
    hand to mouse; 3) point to letter; 4) click mouse button; 5) move hand
    to keyboard; 6) strike "Delete" key; 7) strike key for new character.

       The  sufficiency  of  the  Keystroke  Model  is  great news for our
    attempt  to  design faster interfaces.  It says we can concentrate our
    efforts  on  minimizing  the  number of total actions to be taken, and
    making  sure that each action is as fast as possible.  We have already
    discussed  some  ways  to  speed up the mouse and keyboard actions, so
    let's  now consider how to speed up the thought intervals, and cut the
    number of actions.

       One  way to cut down "think time" is to make sure that the capacity
    of short-term memory is not exceeded during the course of a task.  For
    example,  the  fix-a-letter  task described above required the user to
    remember  1)  his  place in the overall job of typing the document; 2)
    the  task he is about to perform; 3) where the bad character appeared,
    and  4)  what  the new character was.  When this total of items creeps
    toward seven, the user often loses his place and commits errors.

       You  can appreciate the ubiquity of this problem by considering how
    many  times  you  have made mistakes nesting parentheses, or had to go
    back  to count them, because too many things happened while typing the
    line to remember the nesting levels. The moral is that operations with
    long   strings  of  operands  should  be  avoided  when  designing  an

       The single most important factor in making an interface comfortable
    to  use is increasing its predictability, and decreasing the amount of
    indecision  present at each step during a task.  There is (inevitably)
    an  Uncertainty  Principle which relates the number of choices at each
    step to the associated time for thought:

                           T = I * LOG2 ( N + 1)

    where  LOG2  is  the  binary  logarithm  function,  N is the number of
    equally  probable  choices,  and  I is a constant of approximately 140
    msec/bit.   When the alternates are not equally probable, the function
    is more complex:

        T = I * SUM-FOR-i-FROM-1-TO-N (P(i) * LOG2( 1 / P(i) + 1) )

    where  the  P(i)  are  the probabilities of each of the choices (which
    must  sum  to  one).   (SUM-FOR-i...  is the best I can do for a sigma
    operator   on-line!)   Those  of  you  with  some  information  theory
    background will recognize this formula as the entropy of the decision;
    we'll come back to that later.

       So  what  can  we  learn from this hash?  It turns out, as we might
    expect,  that  we can decrease the decision time by making some of the
    user's  choices  more  probable  than  others.  We do that by means of
    feedback cues from the interface.

       The important of reliable, continuous meaningful feedback cannot be
    emphasized  enough.   It  helps the beginner learn the system, and its
    predictability makes the program comfortable for the expert.  Programs
    with  no  feedback, or unreliable cues, produce confusion, dissonance,
    and frustration in the user.

       This  principle  is  so  important  that  I  going  to give several
    examples  from  common  GEM  practice.   The  Desktop provides several
    instances.   When  an  object  is selected and a menu drops down, only
    those choices which are legal for the object are in black.  The others
    are dimmed to grey, and are therefore removed from the decision.  When
    a  pick  is  made from the menu, the bar entry remains black until the
    operation is complete, reassuring the user that the correct choice was
    made.  In both the Desktop and the RCS, items which are double-clicked
    open  up  with  a  "zoom  box" from the object, again showing that the
    right object was picked.

       Other  techniques are useful when operator icons are exposed on the
    screen.   When  an  object  is  picked,  the legal operations might be
    outlined,  or the bad choices might be dimmed.  If the screen flashing
    produced  by  this is objectionable, the legal icons can be made mouse
    sensitive, so they will "light up" when the cursor passes over - again
    showing the user which choices are legal.

       The  desire  for  feedback  is so strong that it should be provided
    even  while  the  computer is doing an operation on its own.  The hour
    glass  mouse  form is a primitive example of this.  More sophisticated
    are  "progress  indicators" such as animated thermometer bars, clocks,
    or  text  displays  of  the processing steps.  The ST Desktop provides
    examples in the Format and Disk Copy functions.  The purpose of all of
    these  is  to  reassure  the  user  that  the operation is progressing
    normally.    Their  lack  can  lead  to  amusing  spectacles  such  as
    secretaries leaning over to hear if their disk drives are working!

       Another   commonly  overlooked  feature  is  error  prevention  and
    correction.   Card  and  Moran's  results  showed  that in order to go
    faster,  people  will tolerate error rates of up to 30% in their work.
    Any  program  which  does  not give a fast way to fix mistakes will be
    frustrating indeed!

       The  best  way to cope with an error is to "make it didn't happen",
    to quote a common child's phrase.  The same feedback methods discussed
    above   are  also  effective  in  preventing  the  user  from  picking
    inappropriate  combinations of objects and operations.  Replacement of
    numeric  type-ins with sliders or other visual controls eliminates the
    common "Range Error".  The use of radio buttons prevents the user from
    picking   incompatible   options.    When  such  techniques  are  used
    consistently,  the  beginner also gains confidence that he may explore
    the program without blundering into errors.

       Once an error has occured, the best solution is to have an "inverse
    operation"  immediately available.  For instance, the way to fix a bad
    character  is  to  hit  the backspace key.  If a line is inadvertantly
    deleted, there should be a way to restore it.

       Sometimes the mechanics of providing true inverses are impractical,
    or  end  up  cluttering  the  interface themselves.  In these cases, a
    global  "Undo" command should be provided to reverse the effect of the
    last operation, no matter what it was.

                          OF MODES AND BANDWIDTH

       Now  I am going to depart from the Card, Newell and Moran thread of
    discussion to consider how we can minimize the number of operations in
    a  task  by  altering the modes of the interface.  Although "no modes"
    has  been  a  watchword  of  Macintosh  developers,  the term may need
    definition for Atarians.

       Simply  stated, a mode exists any time you cannot get to all of the
    capabilities  of  the  program without taking some intermediate step.
    Familiar  examples are old-style "menu-driven" programs, in which user
    must make selections from a number of nested menus in order to perform
    any  operation.   The options of any one menu are unavailable from the

       Recall  that  the  user  is  trying  to  accomplish work in his own
    problem  space,  by  altering  its states.  A mode in the program adds
    additional states to the problem space, which he is forced to consider
    in  order  to  get  the job done.  We might call an interface which is
    completely  modeless  "transparent", because it adds no states between
    the  user  and  his  work.   One of the best examples of a transparent
    program  is  the  15-puzzle  in the Macintosh desk accessory set.  The
    problem  space  of  rearranging  the  tiles  is  identical between the
    program and a physical puzzle.

       Unfortunately, most programmers find themselves forced to put modes
    of   some  sort  into  their  programs.   These  often  arise  due  to
    technological limitations, such as memory space, screen "real estate",
    or  performance  limitations  of peripherals.  The question is how the
    modes can be made least offensive.

       I  will  make  the  general claim that the frustration which a mode
    produces  is  directly  proportional  to  the  amount  of  the  user's
    bandwidth  which it consumes.  In other words, we need to consider how
    many  keystrokes,  mouse  clicks,  eye movements, and so on, are going
    into  manipulating  the  true  problem  states, and how many are being
    absorbed  by  the modes of the program.  If the interface is wasting a
    large  amount  of  the user's effort, it will be perceived as slow and

       Here we can consider again the hierarchy of goals and methods which
    the user employs.  When the mode is low in the hierarchy, and close to
    the  user's  "fingertips", it is encountered the most frequently.  For
    instance,  consider  how  frustrating  it  would  be  to have to hit a
    function key before typing in each character!

       The  "menu-driven"  style of programs mentioned above are almost as
    bad,  since usually only one piece of information is collected at each
    menu.   Such  a program becomes a labyrinth of states better suited to
    an adventure game!

         The  least  offensive modes are found at the higher, goal related
    levels  of  the  hierarchy.  The better they align with changes in the
    state  of  the  original  problem,  the  more they are tolerated.  For
    example,  a  word  processing program might have one screen layout for
    program  editing,  another  for writing letters, and yet another while
    printing  the documents.  A multi-function business package might have
    one  set  of menus for the spreadsheet, another for a graphing module,
    and a third for a database.

       In  some  cases  the  problem  solved by the program has convenient
    "fracture lines" which can be used to define the modes.  An example in
    my  own  past  is  the RCS, where the editing of each type of resource
    tree  forms  its  own  mode,  with each of the modes nested within the
    overall mode and problem of composing the entire resource tree.

                              TO DO IS TO BE!

       Any narrative description of user interface is bound to be lacking.
    There is no way text can convey the vibrancy and tactile pleasure of a
    good  interface,  or  the  sullen  boredom of a bad one.  Therefore, I
    encourage  you  to  experiment.  Get out your favorite arcade game and
    see  if  you can spot some of the elements I have described.  Dig into
    your  slush pile for the most annoying program you have ever seen, run
    it  and see if you can see mistakes.  How would you fix them?  Then...
    go do it to your own program!


       This  concludes  the  sermon.  I'd like some Feedback as to whether
    you  found  this  Boring Beyond Belief or Really Hot Stuff.  If enough
    people  are  interested,  homily number two will appear a few episodes
    from  now.    The  very next installment of ST PRO GEM will go back to
    basics  to explore VDI drawing primitives.  In the meantime, you might
    investigate  some  of  the  Good  Books on interface design referenced


         Stuart K. Card, Thomas P. Moran, and Allen Newell, THE PSYCHOLOGY
    OF HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale,
    New  Jersey,  1983.   (Fundamental  and  indispensible.  The volume of
    experimental  results  make  it  weighty.   The  Good Parts are at the
    beginning and end.)

         "Macintosh User Interface Guidelines", in INSIDE MACINTOSH, Apple
    Computer,  Inc.,  1984.   (Yes,  Atarians,  we have something to learn
    here.   Though  not  everything  "translates", this is a fine piece of
    principled design work.  Read and appreciate.)

         James  D.  Foley,  Victor  L. Wallace, and Peggy Chan, "The Human
    Factors  of  Computer  Graphics Interaction Techniques", IEEE Computer
    Graphics  (CG  &  A),  November  1984,  pp.  13-48.  (A good overview,
    including  higher  level  topics  which  I  have  postponed to a later
    article.  Excellent bibliography.)

    GRAPHICS,  Addison  Wesley, 1984, Chapters 5 and 6.  (If you can't get
    the article above, read this.  If you are designing graphics apps, buy
    the whole book!  Staggering bibliography.)

         Ben   Schneidermann,   "Direct   Manipulation:   A   Step  Beyond
    Programming  Languages", IEEE Computer, August 1983, pp. 57-69.  (What
    do  Pacman  and  Visicalc have in common?  Schneidermann's analysis is
    vital to creating hot interfaces.



      Issue #11

 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr.

 - Moscow, U.S.S.R.                            NEW SOVIET VIRUS PLAYS MUSIC

 While  playing  the Soviet hymn,  three Soviet IBM PC viruses  are  busy 
 destroying data on Russian hard drives.  The three clones are thought to 
 have  been coded by Soviet programmers and started to appear  late  last 

 It  appears that Russian programming talent is every bit as  skilful  at 
 creating destructive programs as Western programmers.

 - Washington, D.C.                                      SPA STRIKES AGAIN!

 Last  week the Software Publishers Association (SPA) reported a  settle-
 ment  with  Davy McKee Corp.  concerning illegal use  of  software  (CPU 
 Status Report #10), this week the SPA has announced a raid on Parametrix 
 Corp.,  an  engineering consulting firm,  that "unveiled  a  substantial 
 number of illegal copies of software in use."

 After  obtaining an exparte writ of seizure and a temporary  restraining 
 order,  on  February 26,  the SPA's attorneys,  along with some  federal 
 marshals  paid a surprise visit to the Bellevue and Sumner locations  of 
 Parametrix  and  conducted an audit of the personal computers  at  these 

 SPA Executive Director Ken Wasch said,  "The raid on Parametrix is  part 
 of  the  industry's  stepped-up  campaign  against  software  piracy  in 
 corporate America.   The SPA now receives dozens of piracy reports  each 
 week, and we are filing new lawsuits every few days."

 - Los Altos, California                  ERASABLE OPTICAL STORAGE FOR SUNS

 A  562mb  Ricoh RO-5030EII  rewritable optical disk drive for  Sun  Work-
 stations has been introduced by Delta Microsystems.   The Delta  SS-650M 
 features an average access time of 67 milliseconds, uses a 256k hardware 
 cache  memory  to speed data transfer and will come with  software  that 
 will  prevent  the disk from being removed while a file is  still  being 
 used on the system, a major cause of system crashes.

 - Cupertino,  California            APPLE SUPPORTS SNA FOR MAC TO PC LINKS

 To allow the Macintosh to more easily communicate with PC's,  Apple  has 
 announced  it will support IBM's new systems network architecture  (SNA) 
 extensions.   This means that future Mac systems will be able to link to 
 IBM SNA-compatible networks using SNA protocols using full protocol  and 
 peer system technology.


 Now  owners of older Macs which did not come with Superdrives  can  have 
 the ability to handle 400k,  800k and 1.4mb Macintosh floppy disks along 
 with  720k  and 1.4mb MS-DOS floppy disks with the new  Peripheral  Land 
 Inc. SuperFloppy 1.4MB external floppy drive.

 The SuperFloppy drive requires no ROM upgrades,  it just plugs  straight 
 into  the SCSI port.   When the drive is used with Apple File  Exchange, 
 MS-DOS  formatted  diskettes  can be read and when  used  with  Insignia 
 Solution's Access PC software, MS-DOS 720k and 1.4mb floppy disks can be 
 mounted  on  the desktop.   The SuperFloppy 1.4 comes with  a  one  year 
 warranty and is listed at $499.

 - San Jose, California                       GRAPHIC ACCELERATOR AVAILABLE

 A two chip chipset, the Programmable Universal Macro Accelerator (PUMA), 
 which  acts  like  a  coprocessor  and  accelerates  graphic   intensive 
 operations,  has been announced by Chips and Technologies.   The company 
 reports a three to ten-fold increase in performance for complex graphics 
 and  reported that PUMA is transparent to both the application  software 
 and  the  rest  of the system.   PUMA was  designed  for  both  Industry 
 Standard Architecture and Enhanced Industry Standard bus standards.

 - Eagan, Minnesota                                     MORE POWERFUL CRAYS

 Cray  Research has introduced the two most powerful supercomputers  that 
 have been built to date,  the Y-MP8E and YMP8I.   They integrate up to 8 
 central  processors and have up to 256 megawords of central memory  with 
 an  optional  solid-state  storage device that can handle  up  to  2,000 
 million words.  Prices will range from $9.8 - $23.7 million.

 - Dallas, Texas                                NEW GATE ARRAY CHIP FROM TI

 A  new  gate array chip with 150,000 gates has been announced  by  Texas 
 Instruments.   The TGB1000 will be able to replace entire circuit boards 
 and  uses  the  new  BiCMOS  (bi-polar  complemented  metal-oxide  semi-
 conductor)  technology to achieve both high component densities as  well 
 as high speeds.

 - Redmond, Washington                     6,000,000 MICE SOLD BY MICROSOFT

 Microsoft has announced the sale of its six millionth mouse.   The sales 
 figures  show that two million have been shipped since the  introduction 
 of  Windows  3 last May with almost half the buyers choosing  to  get  a 
 Microsoft mouse along with Windows 3.

 - Mountain View, California              NEW TYPE SCALING FONTS FROM ADOBE

 'Multiple  master'  typefaces  has  been  introduced  by  Adobe  System, 
 originators of the PostScript page description language.  This new  type 
 scaling  technology is designed to give users greater control  over  the 
 appearance  of text and will allow them to vary a typeface's  appearance 
 instead of being forced to use a pre-set collection of fonts.

 Instead  of  being able just to scale size,  users will now be  able  to 
 adjust:   weight  (boldness  or  lightness),   width  (condensation   or 
 expansion), scale (size), and style (including elements such as serifing 
 or italicizing).

 - Mountain View, California                      ADOBE SETTLES PATENT SUIT

 Adobe Systems,  which owns PostScript,  and Electronics for Imaging Inc. 
 (EFI) have settled a dispute over the way in which the latest version of 
 PostScript page description language handled color.  Under the agreement 
 between  Adobe and EFI,  EFI will get a license to use  PostScript,  and 
 Adobe has made an investment of undisclosed size in EFI.

 - Santa Ana, California                 1ST SPEECH SYNTHESIS FOR WINDOWS 3

 One of the first text-to-speech systems for Windows 3 and OS/2 has  been 
 announced by First Byte.   Monologue will premier in beta test  versions 
 in early March.  Monologue is a $149 memory resident program that speaks 
 on-screen text in non-graphics windows either for vision-impaired users, 
 speech-impaired  users,  or  those  who want to  listen  to  text  while 
 performing other tasks.

 - Stamford, Connecticut                    OVER 1/2 OF US HOUSEHOLDS DON'T
   ---------------------                     USE PC, FAX OR CELLULAR PHONES

 According  to a survey of 45,000 U.S.  households done by Comtec  Market 
 Analysis Services of the Gartner Group,  52% of Americans haven't used a 
 PC,  fax machine or cellular phone,  either at home or at work.  Only 3% 
 of households use all 3 technologies while cellular phones are in 7% and 
 42% use PCs.


                    :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT:

      To sign up for GEnie service: Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369.

               Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that).
                         Wait for the U#= prompt.

                 Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN.

                       **** SIGN UP FEE WAIVED ****

           The system will now prompt you for your information.

               -> NOW!  GENIE STAR SERVICE IS IN EFFECT!! <-


 > MIST STR SHOW NEWS                         MIST Plans AtariFest III

                         MIST PLANS ATARIFEST III

                             Indianapolis, IN
                               July 27,1991

     For a third year, an AtariFest is planned at Indianapolis,  Indiana on
 Saturday, July  27th, sponsored jointly by the user groups at Indianapolis
 and Bloomington known as  MIST (Mid-Indiana  ST).   The show  was formerly
 titled the  MIST SwapFest,  and took  place in  Nashville, Indiana.  While
 Nashville is a lovely and scenic place, we thought if our show was to live
 up  to  it's  true  potential,  we would have to relocate to Indianapolis,
 where we could find a larger venue.

     For swap, for sale or just for display... whether it's  8-bit or ST...
 even game  machines... all  are invited to bring software, hardware, gadg-
 ets, accessories, books, magazines,  etc.   Commercial sales  and displays
 also are  invited.   Past shows  have seen folks like D.A.Brumleve, SKWare
 One, AIM, MS Designs, Computer Works, Cal Com, One Stop,  T&H, and others.
 Last year's  show was  quite successful, and this year looks like it'll be
 even better!  We have tentatively lined up ISD, who will be  demoing Dyna-
 Cadd and Calamus.  There are others in the works, so stay tuned!

     MIST AtariFest  III will  be held  at CADRE, Inc. on the north side of
 Indianapolis.  The address is: 6385  Castleplace Drive,  Indianapolis, In.
 46250-1902.  There will be specific directions in a later posting.  Admis-
 sion to the 'Fest will be  $3.00, and  will include  a raffle  ticket.  We
 will be  raffling hardware  from Atari  Corp, and  software from attending
 vendors and developers.  Additional raffle  tickets will  be available for

 Anyone interested in attending or reserving vendor/developer tables should
 contact me by one of the below methods:

  For more information, leave mail on GEnie to W.LORING1, or:

              BL.A.ST BBS at 812-332-0573  2400bps, 24 hours.
                                PO Box 1111
                          Bloomington, IN. 47402

                     Call me by voice at 812-336-8103

 Vendor packets  are in  the works,  and should  be ready  to send shortly.
 More details will be available at that time.

 Brought to  you by  MIST (Mid-Indiana ST), the merging of the ASCII (Atari
 St Computers In Indianapolis)  and  BL.A.ST  (BLoomington  Atari  ST) user

        Thanks for your interest, and we'll see you at the 'Fest!!


                   William Loring, President of BL.A.ST


 > The Flip Side STR Feature?                    "..A different viewpoint."

                    A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT

 by Michael Lee

 From JB. Davis (Dream Park) on Genie...
    Cartographer version 2.5 is shipping!  We have sent out a mailing  to 
    registered users, and the response has been great!

      We  are in the process of sending out update notices to  registered 
      PowerDrive user of the newest version of the PowerUtilities! If you 
      haven't  sent  in  your  registration  card,  please  do.  The  new 
      utilities include some amazing features, like automatic floppy disk 
      virus  protection,  ability  to  backup  high  density  disks,  and 
      improved configuration abilities.


 There  have been some recent questions concerning which TOS  version  is 
 currently being shipped in the STe's and what is the difference  between 
 TOS 1.6 and 1.62....

 Comments (compiled) from Bob Brodie (Manager for User Group Services for 
 Atari) on Genie...
    ...TOS 1.62 has all of the fixes that the file STE_FIX.PRG has it it. 
    There  is  no difference between the two systems once that  file  has 
    been run.  Programs like Quick Index will not report the TOS  version 
    number to be anything other than TOS 1.6...So don't rely on  programs 
    like that to determine which version of TOS is in the machine.

    ...the patch program was utilitzed as a cost effective way to get rid 
    of a bug.  Rather than recall all of the STE's,  and delay the  users 
    getting their hands on this very nice computer we elected to issue  a 
    patch  program  which has gotten wide spread  distribution.  It  only 
    takes  a second to run,  and takes very little disk space.  Once  the 
    program has been run, your free to change disks as you desire to. The 
    computer will function as if it has the lastest version of STE TOS in 

    There  are  NO  PLANS  for  a TOS 3.x  upgrade  to  the  STE  owners. 
    Primarily,  that is because the rom is physically larger than the one 
    in the STE.  BTW, the TT is shipping with TOS 3.01, not 3.00.

 Answer from John Townsend (Atari engineer) on Genie...
    ...let me give you an official statement:

    Atari has no plans to offer an upgrade to TOS 1.62 and I do not  know 
    what version of TOS is shipping with STE machines.

 Answer from Doug Wheeler (ICD) on Genie...
    The  reason  that  many  programs  return  the  TOS  version   number 
    incorrectly  is  that Atari changed their numbering  system  starting 
    with  TOS  1.62.  The current versions are numbered as  follows  (the 
    $xxxx number is the hexidecimal value stored in the TOS header):
          1.0 = $0100    1.2 = $0102    1.4 = $0104    1.6 = $0106
          1.62= $0162    2.05= $0205    3.01= $0301

    As you can see, the digits shifted to the left starting with TOS 1.62 
    which confuses some software.


 From Nathan (ISD) on Genie...
    I fully intend on having Publish!  take a serious look at Calamus  SL 
    if  it  means I camp on their doorstep with a TT under  my  arm.  I'm 
    hoping  it  doesn't reach that  point  though.  Publish!  says  their 
    readers  are not interested in a program on the Atari...If every  one 
    of  you  write into Publish expressing interest in their  opinion  of 
    Calamus, it will certainly make it easier on us.  What disgusts me is 
    the fact that if they look at it, they will be impressed.


 Question from mike Angier from the SoftLogic RT on Genie...
    Does anyone know of a utility (other than Calamus Outline) that  will 
    generate  text around a curve in a form usable by the ST v1.82  Page- 
    Stream?  It  gets to be quite tiresome to do this letter  by  letter, 
    rotating, slanting and twisting until it looks 'acceptable'.

 Answer from John (D.D.Martin)...
    Don't hold your breath on curved text from ANY version of PageStream. 
    I  got  that info straight from Jack Durre' who had  "discussed"  the 
    possibility with Deron...Curved text was the start of one reason  Dee 
    Dee and I went with a GCR and Freehand.  It would be nice,  but where 
    do you stop? We still have the best there is on ANY platform.

 Answer from David B. (D-W-B)...
    If  you  want to lay text around a curve the  answer  is...drum  roll 
    Spectre GCR and Freehand or Illustrator. Really, putting together the 
    Mac and the ST give us all a _great_ DTP system that can't be beat!


 From Mark Reardon on Genie...
    Just  picked up MiG-29 by Domark.  It claims to be the  first  flight 
    simulator to fully replicate the MiG-29 Fulcrum. Initial impressions: 
    not as detailed as F-19 or Falcon but interesting.


 Dave  Nutkins (HISOFT on-line rep) discussing the different versions  of 
 HiSoft Basic,  the reason for them and how to order.   From the Michtron 
 RoundTable on Genie...
    ...about  the  confusion regarding the different versions  of  HiSoft 
    BASIC  for the ST.  There are essentially two  versions,  the  'full' 
    version  and  the 'cut-down' version.   Michtron's full  version  was 
    called HiSoft BASIC Pro. and the cut-down was just HiSoft BASIC.

    The original U.K.  versions, which are the ones that Goldleaf will be 
    selling,  are  called HiSoft BASIC (for the full version)  and  Power 
    BASIC  (for the cut down one)...If you want the most  powerful,  most 
    compatible version then you want the latest U.K.  HiSoft BASIC. It is 
    version 1.31.   Goldleaf should be able to offer upgrades to users of 
    the Michtron version in the future but I'm not sure when.

    When the HiSoft BASIC 2 comes out we are going to get rid of all  the 
    different names and just have one version.

 Questions about DPaint from Dan Rhea (Sysop) on CIS...
    ...I'm  looking  forward to seeing some of the things  I've  done  in 
    640x480 256 color on the PC displayed on a TT. I have long been a fan 
    of  DPaint on the PC so I'll have very high expectations for  the  ST 
    version...Do  you  know if DPaint for the ST will cover all  the  new 
    video modes introduced with the STe and the TT? Last I heard was that 
    it was Low rez ST only.

 Answer from Anthony Pabon (ArtisTech Development)...
    Dan, I'm one of the authors of DPaint ST. It's better than the PC and 
    Amiga version in several ways. At the moment, it's best compared with 
    Deluxe Animate on the PC,  since it is 320 * 200 * 16 with animation. 
    The  decision  to have a TT version of "DPaint" is up  to  Electronic 
    Arts  however.  Any help we could get from "users" in  convincing  EA 
    that it is a worth while project would be great.  (Read that to mean, 
    "tell  them,  no need to tell us".) If you use the 16 color  low  rez 
    mode at all on your ST,  please look into DPaint ST.  I think  you'll 
    find  it has much to offer the ST...The IBM version of  DPaint  comes 
    with a conversion utility that can be used to change .LBM files  into 
    .IFF  files and DPaint ST will load .IFF files  just  fine.  Remember 
    however,  that  DPaint ST only shows 16 colors,  so you will want  to 
    save any .LBM pics as 16 color pictures.

    PS:  DPaint  ST  was voted "Best Application" and  "Best  Art/Graphic 
    Package" by the readers of ST Format Magazine.


 Posts  concerning  version  numbers and upgrades  of  Migraph's  Touchup 
 program from the SoftLogic RT on Genie...

 From R.MONFORT...
    ...called  Migraph about it and they gave me the prices.  $20.00  for 
    the  Upgrade,  $5.00  for shipping and send  your  [original]  disks.  
    Please call Migraph before you send for it and ask them what are  the 
    changes in the program I do not want go give you wrong information. I 
    also asked about the New Easy-Draw and I got "We are working on it."

 From Scott Lapham...
    Forget  version 1.6 guys.  1.65 is now available.  I was  talking  to 
    MiGraph today and they said 1.65 is now shipping although 1.6 is only 
    a month old.  Same upgrade price ($25.00 plus original disk). Upgrade 
    is  TT compatible and grayscales (soon to be used on  PageStream  and 


 There seem to be some problems with the new ink used in the DeskJets and 
 some brands of paper.  The following are some posts discussing this from 
 the SoftLogic RT on Genie..

 From Tom Coyan...
    It just seemed that the new ink wants to absorb into the paper  more. 
    I  just  ran  the same page through with  Laser  Print,  and  regular 
    bond...The copy machine paper turned out noticeably better.   Whereas 
    the  ink tends to absorb into the bond paper,  it "spreads" over  the 
    glossier  surface  of  the Laser Print.  I've tried this  both  on  a 
    DeskJet and DeskJet Plus...Perhaps I'll give Hewlett Packard a  call, 
    and see what they recommend...

    re:  Deskjet paper type:   I called Hewlett-Packard customer  support 
    yesterday about the paper problems.   The gentleman I spoke with said 
    many  people  had  called,   noticing  a  difference  with  the   new 
    cartridges.  According to him,  H-P has tested all kinds of different 
    papers, and has come up with the following recommendations:

      For General Use:

      Xerox - 4024
      Champion - Data Copy
      Meade - Chief Zero (0?) Graphic

    For High-Quality Output

      Gilbert Paper - Gilbert Bond
      Neenah - Classic Laid

    Unfortunately, I've never seen any of these in my local supply store. 
    Guess I'll start hunting through catalogs...


 Question from Chris Herborth on Genie...
    ...where are the horror genre games?  We've got loads of fantasy  and 
    sci-fi games for the ST, and so, naturally, I want horror games...So, 
    anybody heard of/played some? What are they called, and what are they 

 Answer from Rick Gridley...
    The Uninvited was one.  You may still find it at some software store. 
    There are a number of arcade wrist twitchers in this field as well.

 Answer from Jeff.W (Sysop) on Genie...
    A very new release for the Atari ST is ELVIRA from Accolade.  If  one 
    is  to  believe the copy on the  box,  it  features  "blood-curdling" 
    graphics...   An  Infocom's  THE  LURKING  HORROR. 
    Although  it's  entirely  a text adventure,  I found it  to  be  very 


 From Fred Beckman (Sysop) on Genie...
    My daughter's TCB Tracker just arrived two days ago (a late  birthday 
    present) and she is happily make music like crazy...if my 11 year old 
    can  hack  away without too many troubles (the manual is wrong  in  a 
    place  in  particular,  saving a file is different than it  says)  it 
    can't be to hard.  Then again she is so happy to be making music with 
    no  sweat  that you probably could have the worse  interface  in  the 
    world and she would not care!

    The  sound  is  ok though the monitor speaker but  GREAT  though  big 
    speakers  on the stereo.  Now to get an STE so she can play music  in 
    stereo...She also got all the music disks and those will take a month 
    to play through.  Lots ideas for her to check out....

 From O.STEELE on Genie...
    ...TCB Tracker...doesn't compare to Music Studio. Although it doesn't 
    have the graphic musical scales, it is much more of a real-life music 
    studio creation program.  If you have the right samples, you can make 
    music   that  sounds  professionally  made  (right  down  to   lyrics 

    ...TCB's  user  interface  is great.  Point and  click,  as  well  as 
    keyboard alternatives, are implemented.


 From Mark Carver (Joppa Software Development) on Genie...
    A  clock/calendar chip will be available for the STe just as soon  as 
    we finish writing the installation documentation.  We have  installed 
    them in our own STe's and if your local to the DC/Baltimore area call 
    us,  you can get one right away.  The installation takes all of  5-10 
    minutes.  Other  than  that  they should be  in  dealers  hands  very 


 From MUSE on Genie...
    Just saw an television commercial for Fujitsu in which an Atari  MEGA 
    ST was featured.  The ST was hooked up to synthesizers and other MIDI 
    stuff.  It turned out to be an ad for one of their FAX machines.  Ah, 
    media exposure!


 From Mike Squire on Genie...
    ...a  new  release of Codekeys (v1.3?) is imminent and an  update  to 
    Codehead  Utilities  is projected for next month (mainly  changes  in 
    CodeRam, CodeCopy, and possibly Art Gallery). Upgrade fee for the new 
    CodeKeys  is $10,  like HotWire and MaxiFile,  and there will  be  no 
    optional new manual available for this upgrade.


 From Dave Beckemeyer (Beckemeyer Development) on Genie...
    My  company,   Beckemeyer  Development,  markets  business  software, 
    including Point-of-Sale,  Inventory,  A/P,  A/R,  Sales Analysis, and 
    General Ledger for the Atari ST,  as well a IBM-PC and Unix  systems. 
    We  even  support multi-user configurations for the  Atari  ST.  This 
    software  has been in use by many different types of companies  since 


      Beckemeyer Development
      PO Box 21575
      Oakland, CA 94620
      (415) 530-9637


 Until next week.....



 > MEGA STe ! STR Review?   In Depth-Review of Atari Excellence - Mega STe!

                     ATARI'S MEGASTE -- INSIDE AND OUT

 by Bill & Pattie Rayl

                Reprint from 03/91 Atari Interface Magazine
                              with permission

     Atari surprised  developers and  users by showing a new 16MHz computer
 called the Mega/STE at last November's COMDEX.   There had  been plenty of
 rumors of  such a new beastie before its release, but everyone online from
 Atari emphatically denied its  existence. Then  came the  unveiling in Las

     We've now  had our  hands on  a Mega/STe for a number of months. Ship-
 ments of Atari's newest computer are already reaching dealers, so look for
 it at your local dealer.


     The Mega/STE comes in two basic configurations: a one Meg version with
 no hard drive (according to Atari Canada) and  a two  or four  Meg version
 with hard  drive (according  to Atari  US).   List price  for the four Meg
 version (which we have) is around $1,800.

 For that price, you get:

     16 MHz 68000 CPU                   50 Meg internal hard drive 
     Detachable keyboard                Built-in fan 
     Mouse                              Standard parallel port 
     Blitter chip                       MIDI In and Out ports 
     4096 color palette                 Cartridge port 
     Stereo sound output                DMA port
     SIMM memory                        Two 9-pin serial (RS-232) ports
     TOS 2.02 with NewDesk              8 MHz VME bus 
     Double sided 3.5" floppy drive     Standard SCC LAN port

     All in all, that's quite an  impressive  list  of  hardware.  And, the
 Mega/STE is quite an impressive machine. Basically, it's a marriage of the
 STe, Mega ST and  TT in  one affordable  package. Gone  are the  STe's two
 DB-15 joystick ports and the Mega's internal bus (developers overwhelming-
 ly voted for a VME bus  instead). Otherwise,  the Mega/STE  has everything
 the ST and STe computers had and more.

     All of  this hardware  is enclosed in the new TT-style case, which has
 been "affectionately" called the  "wedding  cake"  design.  Personally, we
 find the case design to be quite compact, sleek and refreshing.

                               A CLOSER LOOK

     One of  the surprises  of this  machine, at  least for us, was the two
 serial ports on the  Mega/STE. We  did not  expect them  to be  9-pin male
 connections, since  previous STs and STEs have all had 25-pin connections.
 The TT also has two 9-pin serial  cables.    A  simple  standard  9-pin to
 25-pin adapter is all you need to plug in your old cable and modem.

     The Mega/STE  is more like its big brother, the TT, in other ways too.
 The SCC LAN port and VME bus also appear on  the TT,  and the  TT also has
 the NewDesk built in.  (More on NewDesk later!)  In fact, it's probably as
 correct to say the Mega/STE is a 68000 version of the TT  as to  call it a
 souped up STe!

     The  detachable  keyboard  is,  in  a  word, fantastic.  It's the best
 keyboard we've seen for  *any* computer  both in  response and  feel.  The
 function  keys  are  raised,  rounded keys that are easily distinguishable
 from each other by touch.  The keyboard  itself is  "scouped," making long
 periods of  typing effortless!   As  an added  bonus, the 'F' and 'J' keys
 have a raised bump on them, so your fingers can  easily find  the home row
 if you're  a touch  typist.   The '5'  key on the keypad also has a raised
 bump on it.  The action of the keys themselves is very  good and  the con-
 tact is solid.

     Many people  have wondered about the "pencil tray" on the front of the
 Mega/STE's (and TT's) CPU.  This is really  a depression  that has  a cor-
 responding ridge  on the  bottom of the keyboard.  By fitting these toget-
 her, you can make your CPU  and keyboard  one unit.   (Note:  The keyboard
 does not  snap into this depression; it merely rests in it.)  The keyboard
 also has a slight depression just above the function keys.  This  area may
 be used  to hold  pencils and  pens, but is more likely designed to accent
 the scouping effect of the whole keyboard.

     The mouse/joystick port 0 is on the right-hand side of  the detachable
 keyboard, while joystick port 1 appears on the left-hand side.  Because of
 this, both ports are easily accessible.


     The most striking new feature of the Mega/STE, from a user's standpoi-
 nt, is the new desktop that comes built into the computer.  The additional
 features that have been added to the desktop are numerous.

     Up to seven directory windows can be open  at one  time.   This is not
 really very  important now  that Atari has added some very useful keyboard
 commands to the desktop.  Holding  down the  Alternate key  while pressing
 the key  indicating a  drive letter (such as 'A' or 'C') opens a directory

     Clicking on a folder icon while holding down the Alternate  key causes
 a new  directory window to open that displays the folder's contents.  This
 is handy for times when you want to copy files from a folder to its parent

     Pressing Control  and a  drive letter (such as Control-C) will cause a
 currently-selected  directory  window  to  switch  to  displaying  the new
 directory.   With this feature, we've found that, at most, only two direc-
 tory windows need be open at any given time.

     You can use the cursor keys to scroll  around directory  windows!  All
 options appearing  in the  drop down  menus can have user-defined keyboard
 equivalents as well.  We've re-defined many of the items  to suit  our own
 likes, like 'F' for Format Floppy, 'C' for Create Folder, etc.

     Function keys  can be  assigned to individual programs.  By pressing a
 function key at the desktop, the corresponding program is executed.

     Along with the ability to "move" files using  the Alternate  key while
 dragging them,  Atari has added two related commands.  Copying files while
 holding down the Control key allows you to rename the copy.   Holding both
 Alternate  and   Control  while  copying  does  a  file  move  and  rename

     There are even keyboard commands for switching resolution and printing
 the contents of a selected directory window!


     Although not  as icon-customizable  as NeoDesk  or DC Desktop, Atari's
 new desktop does have a number of icons from which to choose.  The largest
 selection is  for devices,  such as  floppy or  hard drives, CD ROM, laser
 printer, etc.  You can, however, use any of these icons as file icons.

     You can now place any icon directly on the desktop.  For  example, you
 can drag a folder icon onto to the desktop and open a directory window for
 that folder by double clicking the icon.  This feature is most  useful for
 placing program  icons on the desktop. Then, you simply double click these
 icons to execute the programs.

     To remove an icon from the desktop, you simply drag  it to  the trash-
 can.  You are presented with the choice of removing the icon, deleting the
 corresponding file or aborting the operation.

                       COLOR BACKGROUNDS AND WINDOWS

     You can now set the desktop background color and pattern  from the Set
 Colors &  Style option.   You  are only  offered eight  fill patterns, but
 those are adequate.  This option also allows you to set color  and pattern
 for window backgrounds, as well.

     Here, it  seems Atari  could have gone a little bit further.  It would
 have been nice, for example, to allow setting the text color as well. Then
 users could  choose black backgrounds with white text, etc.  If you define
 your window background as full black currently, all the text in the window

                         EXTENSIBLE CONTROL PANEL

     Finally, we  have a  control panel that everyone should be happy with.
 With the new Extensible Control Panel,  you select  only those  .CPX files
 that you  want to  use.  You even get the option of making these files RAM
 resident or loadable from disk. No more memory waste!

     The CPX modules that  came  with  our  Mega/STE  include  Color Setup,
 Configure  CPXs,  General  Setup,  Accelerator  (Atari's Mouse Accelerator
 needed), Modem Setup, Printer  Setup, Sound  Setup and  Window Colors.   A
 module for FSM GDOS is apparently also available.

     The Window  Colors CPX allows you to change the color of all pieces of
 a window, from the scroll bars to the close buttons.   Sound  Setup allows
 you  to  set  bass,  treble,  volume and balance for the Mega/STE's stereo
 sound output.

     The General Setup CPX contains, among the usual control panel options,
 the ability  to set  the CPU Speed. The options are 16 MHz with or without
 cache and 8 MHz without cache.   The  true 8  MHz mode  makes the Mega/STE
 compatible with  any time-critical  programs for  the ST.  By default, the
 Mega/STE boots up in 8 MHz  mode, but  you can  change this  by saving the
 control panel settings.

     With the  new Extensible  Control Panel,  you are  given the option of
 storing the CPX files anywhere you choose.    We  have  them  in  a folder
 called CPX on drive C. Normal (.ACC) desk accessories can still be used by
 the computer, but they cannot be loaded as Extensible Control Panel modul-

     This new  control panel is compatible with all ST/STe/TT computers and
 Atari says they plan to release it soon to all  it's users  via the online


     For those of you who crave 16 MHz benchmarks, Quick Index numbers show
 the Mega/STE to be exactly as  fast as  an AdSpeed-equipped  STe.   From a
 practical viewpoint,  the Mega/STE runs circles around the older machines.
 Users of DTP and CAD packages  will  benefit  greatly  from  the increased
 speed.  The time it takes to ARC files is nearly cut in half!

     So far,  most everything  runs just  fine on the Mega/STE.  PageStream
 shows a noticeable speed improvement at 16 MHz.  STWriter saves ASCII text
 a lot  faster than it used to.  SuperBase and LDW Power are faster at cal-
 culations and searches.

     We tested a number of games.  Iron Lord works fine and was considerab-
 ly faster.   The  real killer,  though, was  Pinball Wizard.   Even at the
 slowest speed setting within the program,  the ball  was cruising  so fast
 you could  hardly keep  up with it!  Switching to 8 MHz mode made the game
 playable again.

     Joppa FAX seems to have a problem with the new serial ports.  It func-
 tions fine as a modem on port 1, but has problems sending FAXes.  Plugging
 the FAX modem into  port 2  solves the  problem.   Joppa is  aware of this
 problem (it seems to happen on the TT, too).

     Hotwire  runs,  but  doesn't  work  properly when booted from the AUTO
 folder -- you can't access it via clicking  the right  mouse button.   The
 CodeHeads have  already announced an upgrade (Hotwire 3.0), which is ship-
 ping now.

     We've run into a few public domain and  shareware programs  that don't
 run on  the Mega/STE.  Most of these are graphic demos or games that won't
 run on the STe, either.  The recently released MIDI  Maze II  from Germany
 works on  a normal  STe, but  locks up  after a few minutes of play on the
 Mega/STE, whether in 16 MHz or 8 MHz modes.  (MIDI Maze  II also  seems to
 lock up on an AdSpeed-equipped ST in all modes as well.)

                              THE BOTTOM LINE

     The Mega/STE  is, in  our opinion,  the overall  best computer for the
 home and small business user that  Atari has  ever produced.   With proper
 marketing, this  machine could  win hands-down against the Mac Classic and
 IBM PS1.  Atari has once again moved  into the  position of  having "Power
 without the Price."

 For Subscription information please call:

                           Unicorn Publications
                           3487 Braeburn Circle
                           Ann Arbor, MI 48108,
                        Phone: (313) 973-8825 voice
                            (313) 973-9137 BBS





     The Southern  California ATARI Computer Faire, Version 5.0, also known
 as THE GLENDALE SHOW has been confirmed for September 14 and 15, 1991.  We
 are proud  to announce  that, as  with all  of our prior Faires, ATARI has
 offered both its attendance in force and its complete support.

     This is the Premiere West Coast Faire.   The Glendale  Show, the first
 joint ATARI-User  Group sponsored show in the nation, featured the largest
 array of Atari vendors ever formed at a domestic consumer  show last year.
 You can  expect this  year's show  to again  be the  largest exhibition of
 Developers, Dealers and Retailers under one roof.  You'll able to meet the
 people behind  the software, talk to the Atari officials you normally just
 read about, and see and buy  the widest  variety of  Atari goods  ever as-
 sembled in the USA.

     We  also  will  offer  more  of  our popular seminars, which last year
 featured standing-room-only talks by  Leonard  Tramiel,  Bob  Brodie, Dave
 Small, and many other Atari personalities.

     Make your  vacation and  travel plans  now to  come to the Los Angeles
 area this September, and be here for the  GLENDALE SHOW,  September 14 and
 15, 1991.

 Please address EXHIBITOR questions to:

                           249 N. Brand Bl. #321
                            Glendale, CA 91203
 or call:

                            John King Tarpinian
                             Faire Chairperson



   Issue #001

 by Robert Allbritton

     Welcome to  MAC REPORT!  This is a new, weekly column in STReport that
 will keep you thoroughly informed with  up to  date news  and reviews rel-
 ative to the Macintosh community and how it effects or compliments the ST,
 Mac, and Mac emulator users alike.

     Before getting started, please allow me to introduce myself.   My name
 is Rob  Allbritton and I am a Junior at Wesleyan University in Middletown,
 CT. (although my hometown is Washington, DC).   I have  been involved with
 Atari computers  since 1983  with 8-bits  and I  served on the Atari Youth
 advisory board in 1986.  I ran the Aladdin's Lamp  BBS from  1984 to 1990,
 and was  involved with  the development  of a  few ST products such as the
 Lantech LAN and the  MultiByte battery  cases for  Stacy.   While, at this
 time, my  interests are  more Macintosh  related, I  still own  and use an
 Atari ST Mega 4 and Spectre GCR.

 MCR Systems Roundup?


     After two long years of anticipation,  Apple is  finally ready  to un-
 leash System  7 at  the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose,
 CA.  End users will be able to buy their copy at their local  Apple dealer
 starting May 13, 1991.  While a price has not yet been set, it is expected
 that the suggested retail will be between $50 and $95,  including documen-
 tation and  800K disks.   Additionally, Apple will be providing 90 days of
 free, unlimited technical support.  Apple has been  on recruiting missions
 to several Bay Area universities in order to staff this endeavor.

     Gadgets  by  Small  has  not  made  an official announcement regarding
 Spectre compatibility with System  7,  but  Doug  Wheeler  (former Gadgets
 employee)  said  in  October  at  the WAACE AtariFest that Gadgets was not
 working on System 7 compatibility at that time because System  7 was "slow
 and not  stable"; however,  several Apple developers have had System 7 for
 quite a while now.  The current Beta  release seems  "as stable  as System
 6.0.7" and  much quicker  than earlier  releases.  It is important to note
 that Gadgets is not an official Macintosh developer and therefore does not
 have  official  access  to  System  7  beta releases.  In a departure from
 previous policy of releasing new  System  upgrades  on  national services,
 System 7 will *NOT* be available for download from CompuServe or GEnie.  A
 complete review of System 7 will be forthcoming in STReport's MAC REPORT.


 So far, the '90s have been the decade  of falling  prices at  Apple.  Here
 are the latest price revisions effective March 11:

                                             NOW          03/11/91
     IIci 4Mb RAM                          $5,969          $5,269
     Discontinued IIci 5Mb RAM                  Not Available
     SE/30 1Mb RAM/40Mb Hard Drive         $4,369          $3,369
     SE/30 4Mb RAM/80Mb Hard Drive         $5,569          $4,569


     According to Barb at Gadgets, MegaTalk (the AppleTalk & SCSI interface
 for Spectre) will be shipping on April 1.   It  will also  include the re-
 quired software to use it (presumably Spectre 3.0).  Originally Dave Small
 said MegaTalk was like a baby and thus  bringing it  to market  would take
 about 9  months.   I now assume Dave was talking about a baby elephant be-
 cause that was over a year ago.

 > MCR Confidential?                              MAC INDUSTRY NEWS

 - Cupertino, CA                     68040 "TOWER" MAC COMING THIS FALL

     Cupertino has been a buzz for several months  now regarding  the intr-
 oduction  of  a  25  Mhz  68040  Mac to compete with the new NeXTStations.
 While all of the details on the new machine are not known, a fairly relia-
 ble picture of its capabilities is now coming into focus.

     The "Tower"  will be  the first  floor-standing computer and the first
 68040 based Mac that Apple has ever made.   While  some have  compared the
 68040 to  a 68030  with a  math co-processor  built into  it, the 68040 is
 really much more.  It uses RISC technology along with larger on  chip data
 and instruction  caches to achieve a 3:1 advantage over a 68030 running at
 the same speed.

     Well informed sources have claimed that the "Tower" will have  16 SIMM
 slots allowing  up to  64 Mb of RAM by using 4 Mb SIMMs.  EtherNet will be
 built into  the motherboard  in addition  to the  standard AppleTalk port,
 however these  two ports  can be bridged by a special network co-processor
 that will have DMA and be able to automatically route between EtherNet and
 LocalTalk in  the background.  Supported protocols will be TCP/IP, DECnet,
 and XNS (Xerox Networking Services).  There will  be 5  NuBus slots  and a
 600 watt  power supply  to back  it up.   New ROMs will allow the NuBus to
 operate at 20 Mhz,  which is  twice as  fast as  the current  Macintosh II
 line.   For mass storage, there will be two separate SCSI systems, one for
 up to 7 external devices, and a second for up to 7 internal devices.   The
 "Tower" will also have four internal hard drive bays.

     Sadly lacking  on the  "Tower" is  a basic  feature common to all STs:
 SCSI DMA.  Yup, after building  the SCSI  DMA hardware  for the  IIfx (and
 then not implementing it in software) Apple seems to have dropped the idea
 in favor of network  DMA.   The "Tower"  is also  painfully shy  on serial
 ports with  only 2 of them.  This is a big problem as many Mac peripherals
 including the MacRecorder voice digitizer, MIDI  interfaces, modems, local
 printers, and the AppleTalk network all use the serial ports.

     Given the  power of  this new  Mac (said  to be  twice as  fast as the
 current top of the line Mac  IIfx) it  is interesting  to note  that Apple
 plans to  market it  as a  high end UNIX workstation, and seems to be dis-
 couraging its possible use as a fast server.  There  are also  rumors that
 the "Tower" will be given a special name to distinguish it from the remai-
 nder of the Macintosh line  (possibly  the  Macintosh  III)  and  that the
 "Tower" might  be offered  in two  configurations.  The "Mini Tower" would
 have all of the capabilities of its taller  brother, except  it would have
 only two hard drive bays and one NuBus slot.  Base price of the "Tower" is
 expected to be under $10,000 with 4Mb of RAM and a 80Mb hard drive.

     Processing power of the "Tower" seems to be  on-par with  its intended
 competition from NeXT, HP, Sun, and IBM but the price is out of line.  The
 NeXTStation delivers the same punch for about a third less  and so  does a
 similar SparcStation,  so one  must wonder if Apple will actually make any
 further progress in cracking the already crowded workstation market, or if
 the "Tower"  will just wind up being the "biggest and baddest" Mac for the
 Apple fans.

     An even better question is how the Atari TT will do.  The TT  is in an
 interesting position because has an excellent price, but the TT's technol-
 ogy is beginning to become dated in these days of  RISC and  68040 proces-
 sors, and  Atari does  not have a good reputation for product support.  If
 price is important to workstation customers, then Atari will rise  and the
 Apples will  fall, but  if the customer is looking for quality then Apple,
 Sun, NeXT, et al, have little to worry  about from  Sunnyvale.   Maybe the
 recession and tight budgets are not such a bad thing after all.


     If you have any questions or comments for, about or relative to Apple,
 the Mac, or Mac emulation on the ST, feel free to send me Email at:

           CompuServe:  71630,457          GEnie:  j.allbritto2

                             See you next week!


 > MaxiFile 3.0 STR InfoFile?                 MaxiFile 3.0 - The SuperTool!

    *                                                                 *
    *    CodeHead Software Announces MaxiFile 3.0 - The SuperTool!    *
    *    ---------------------------------------------------------    *
    *                                                                 *
    *           MORE POWER -- NO WAITING -- NOW SHIPPING!!            *
    *                                                                 *

                           Friday, March 8, 1991

     Well, turns out we were  wrong when  we initially described
 MaxiFile  as  the  ULTIMATE  File  Maintenance  Tool.  The word "ultimate"
 describes something beyond which  it is  impossible to  go.   If that were
 correct, then MaxiFile 3.0 could not exist...

     But MaxiFile  3.0 has  taken the  concept of  file handling far beyond
 anything previously thought possible!

     Virtually every  major  aspect  of  MaxiFile  has  undergone extensive
 scrutiny and  improvement, with the addition of many powerful new features
 -- some of which are available on NO OTHER PERSONAL COMPUTER SYSTEM!

     For the benefit of those who may not have experienced it yet: MaxiFile
 is  a  full-featured  file  maintenance  utility which can run either as a
 program or a desk accessory.   It offers  virtually every  disk and file--
 related feature available from the desktop or any other Atari file utility
 as well as many unique and  powerful features  not available  in any other
 program ...   AND it implements these features through a well thought out,
 time tested and efficient user interface that gives you the MAXIMUM amount
 of  on-screen  information  at  all  times!   Because it can run as a desk
 accessory, you have full access to ALL of  MaxiFile's power  while running
 any GEM program!

                               THE NEW STUFF

 For version  3.0, MaxiFile  has undergone a major facelift, with the addi-
 tion of a myriad of new features... 

  o New ICONS for all main screen functions.

  o HUNDREDS of NEW KEYBOARD COMMANDS provide full operation with either
    mouse or keyboard, including selecting and opening files and folders!

  o Greatly enhanced FILE VIEWING provides very FAST SCROLLING forward
    AND backward through a file complete with forward/backward searching,
    configurable tab settings, help screen, and optional half-height
    text (in hi-res modes). 

  o Speedy "Safe Deposit" RECOVERABLE DELETE function insures against
    accidental erasure of files -- and Maxifile does it LEGALLY, without
    messing around with direct disk access.  Keep your files AND your
    file structure safe!

  o An AWESOME SEARCH FUNCTION has been added -- version 3.0 lets you use
    MaxiFile's unique 'FILTERS' in a search, allowing you to find FILES
    AND/OR FOLDERS with multiple masks and extensions, or even search
    according to archive bit and time/date stamp!  MaxiFile maintains a
    list of the last 20 "matches" and lets you instantly jump to a
    directory, selecting EITHER all files that match the filter settings,
    or just the one file you select!

  o WILD CARD RENAME function lets you rename all files with a given
    extension to another extension, in ONE action.

  o New HELP SCREEN shows keyboard equivalents for the main screen and
    'More' box.  Other keyboard commands are displayed in their
    respective dialog boxes. 

  o Full COMPATIBILITY with all Atari computers in all resolutions,
    including the Atari TT. 

  o Can now be completely controlled by CODEKEYS, CodeHead's macro

  o TRUE MS-DOS DISK FORMATTING creates disks compatible with any PC
    system, including those that are particularly floppy-fussy.

  o "Interleave 11" floppy formatting for optimum speed of reading and
    writing (also known as dead-sectoring). 

  o Disk formatting starts at end of disk to help RECOVER FROM ACCIDENTAL
    FORMATTING of the wrong disk.

  o Correctly handles BGM hard disk partitions of all sizes as well as
    file sizes up to 99,999,999 (99.9 Meg).

  o Support for drive letters Q through Z (for Atari's CD-ROM METADOS)

  o New options for setting FASTLOAD bit, and TT RAM flags; includes the
    ability to recursively set all fastload bits for ALL programs on a
    drive, if you wish!

  o Keyboard commands for instantly setting source and destination
    drives, changing sorting modes or display modes, and literally every
    other function in the program!

  o File/Folder Info Boxes have 'Previous' and 'Next' buttons (and key
    commands), allowing you to easily browse the details of all files and

  o When a name conflict occurs during a copy or move operation, MaxiFile
    3.0 shows you the date and time of both the source and destination
    item, helping you determine if you really want to continue with the
    copy.  If the item is a file, the source and destination sizes are
    also shown. 

  o and LOTS MORE!  (We know, they always say that...but this time it's

                         THE STUFF IT'S ALWAYS HAD

 Those familiar with MaxiFile and its power know that it has always had the
 following capabilities:

  o Move/Copy/Delete/Rename/Touch/Lock/Unlock/Hide/Show/Set Archive/Clear
    Archive or Print any combination of files and/or folders.

  o Runs as a program or as a desk accessory in any resolution.  Special
    treatment when running as a program (from HotWire) makes it act like
    an accessory, retaining its settings, while using no permanent memory.

  o Intelligent disk copying routines automatically duplicate the source

  o Create and rename folders with any version of TOS. 

  o Print directory listings in two different formats. 

  o Attach comments to any file or folder, to be readily viewed or edited
    any time you "Show Info". 

  o Eleven (now 12) types of warning messages may be individually enabled
    or disabled. 

  o Show 80 filenames at once or view 48 filenames with sizes, times, or

  o Instantly select from 20 source or destination paths with a single

  o Print files or show them on-screen with smooth mouse button

  o Any number of text files may be queued up to be printed in one

  o Printer initialization commands can be entered, loaded, and saved,
    with separate commands to be sent out after each file is printed,
    allowing customizing of your printouts.

  o Flexible filtering permits execution of all operations by multiple
    file types, dates, or archive bit.

  o Multiple templates can include or exclude several different file
    types at once.

  o Alter file attributes: lock, unlock, hide, unhide, set/clear
    "fastload", archive, system.

  o Disk Info shows files, folders, bytes used/free, tracks, sides,
    sectors, and more. 

  o Set the mouse double-click rate.

  o Turn write-verify on or off.

  o Show hidden files.

  o Sort options include: name, size, extension, date, or unsorted order
    on disk.

  o Change volume names on all versions of TOS.

  o Retain file time and date stamps (like TOS 1.4 and later) or update
    to current time and date (like TOS 1.0-1.2), you have your choice. 

  o Instantly select or deselect all files and folders or only those of
    the same type.

  o All settings can be easily saved, customizing MaxiFile to your own

  o Written in 100% assembly language for optimum speed and compact size.


     When  MaxiFile  is  called  from  CodeHead's  HotWire, there are other
 features available.  Our programs have many invisible  communication links
 that allow you to do things like:

  o Double click on ANY program, document, or file in MaxiFile and
    HotWire will take over, running the program or installing the
    document into whatever application you've defined.

  o Each time you run MaxiFile as a program, it will reappear in the
    same state as you last left it...without saving your configuration. 
    This gives you the flexibility of a desk accessory without consuming
    any permanent memory. 

  o Bring up MaxiFile by clicking on its icon in HotWire or by pressing a
    function key. 

  o The Little Green Selector is a shareware replacement for the GEM file
    selector by Charles F. Johnson and Little Green Footballs Software. 
    It has a "MaxiFile" button (or keypress) which allows you to access
    ALL of MaxiFile's power any time the file selector is present, even
    if a program doesn't use a menu bar. 

  o MaxiFile senses PopIt's presence and will turn off its hot keys,
    allowing you to use keyboard commands within MaxiFile even if they
    are also defined in PopIt. 


 Speed Test Results:

     The  following  timings  are  the  results  of copying a single folder
 containing 18 files and 1 folder totalling 662,528  bytes.   The test mac-
 hine was  a Mega 4 using TOS 1.4, a Turbo 16 accellerator board, and Turbo
 ST, with a fast Quantum hard drive and an ICD cache.   All timings  are in

 From hard drive:      MaxiFile  GEM desktop  Neodesk 3.01  Neodesk 2.05
 ----------------      -------------------------------------------------
 To another partition:    5.44       5.61          7.36          7.70
 To a floppy drive:      59.24      61.05         64.61         65.32

 As you can see, MaxiFile is not only faster than the GEM desktop, but even
 beats Neodesk's method of batch file copying.

                                THE WRAP-UP

     MaxiFile can purchased and  used  separately,  or  you  can  enjoy its
 increased  power  when  linked  up  with HotWire by purchasing HotWire and
 MaxiFile packaged together as HotWire Plus, AND save  yourself $15  at the
 same time.

     The  championship  team  of  HotWire  and  MaxiFile lets you run rings
 around the other desktops.  You'll  need pillows  (not included)  to catch
 the dropped  jaws of  Atari users  as well as those who use other computer
 systems once you show them how fast you  can do  things with  CodeHead So-
 ftware's HotWire/MaxiFile  combo.   Several MaxiFile owners have BEGGED us
 to write a PC version of  MaxiFile so  that they  can be  as productive on
 their PC as they are on their Atari ST ... of the thousands of PC programs
 available, there just isn't a  file  maintenance  program  as  powerful as

     For another  view of  MaxiFile, be sure to take a look at Richard Gun-
 ther's tutorial/review in the January-February and March-April 1991 issues
 of Current  Notes! This  two part  article is a well written, step-by-step
 introduction to the power of HotWire and MaxiFile. 

     The overwhelming reason our customers are  so satisfied  is that Code-
 Head software  works as  advertised and it works WELL!  Look up "bulletpr-
 oof" in the dictionary ... and you'll find the CodeHead Software logo. 


     As a current owner of MaxiFile,  you can  obtain an  update by sending
 your original MaxiFile master disk and $10 to the address listed below.

     Suggested  retail  price  for  MaxiFile  3.0 is $39.95, or you can get
 HotWire Plus - - HotWire packaged together with MaxiFile --  for $69.95, a
 savings of  $15.   CodeHead Products  are available  from your local Atari
 dealer, through mail-order houses, or directly from CodeHead Software:

                             CodeHead Software
                              P.O. Box 74090
                           Los Angeles, CA 90004

                           Phone: (213) 386-5735
                           FAX:   (213) 386-5789
                           BBS:   (213) 461-2095

     CodeHead Software accepts Mastercard,  Visa, and  American Express, as
 well as  checks, money  orders, and  cash.  Shipping charges are $3 US, $4
 Canada, and $6 elsewhere.

     Current office hours are Monday-Friday 9A-1P Pacific time.  Prices and
 hours are subject to change without notice.

                        Thank you for your support!


 > STReport CONFIDENTIAL?                          "ATARI NEWS FIRST!"

 - Tigard, OR.                                    DIAMOND BACK CHANGES!

     Data Innovations  has not  paid me in a significant length of time and
 has refused to provide me with a registered user list.   If  I provide ANY
 support without  verified acceptance of Oregon Research Associates license
 agreement I open myself to significant  personal liability.   I  refuse to
 do that and therefore came up with the best alternative I could:

          1) Provide a major new relese complete with new manual and
             license agreement and essentially production cost(printing+
             disk+label+card+mailer+postage = not much less than $7.50)
             I am essentially giving away my last 6 months of programming.

          2) By opening the sealed envelope implied consent to the Oregon
             Research Associates license agreement is given, thereby
             protecting myself and my ass(ets).

     As of  today a  total of  seven (7) people have sent in their original
 disks to upgrade to V2.20.  On Friday, my company  will open  for business
 with 7  customers who  will be shipped Diamond Back II V2.20 and an Oregon
 Research Associates owners registration number.   Your registration number
 will be required to obtain product  support for Diamond Back II V2.20.  No
 exceptions for the reasons explained above.    I  most  certainly  hope my
 customer base gets bigger than 7.

                                Bob Luneski
                        Oregon Research Associates
                    16200 S.W. Pacific Hwy., Suite 162
                             Tigard, OR 97224
                              (503) 620-4919

 To upgrade  to Diamond  Back II  V2.20 please  send your original disk and
 $7.50 to the above address.

 - Skokie, IL                          U.S. ROBOTICS SYSOP PROGRAM UPDATES

                  U.S. Robotics SYSOP Sales Program Rules


     This section describes the rules of  the U.S.  Robotics SYSOP program.
 U.S. Robotics  reserves the  right to  modify or change these rules at any


     The U.S. Robotics SYSOP  Sales  Program  permits  qualified  SYSOPs to
 purchase current U.S. Robotics modem products at a reduced price.


 1.    The  SYSOP  states  that  he/she is not in the business of reselling
     computer products and related peripherals, including modem products.

 2.  The SYSOP has been operating a  bulletin board  system for  at least 6

 3.   The SYSOP  understands that the number of modems that may be obtained
     under this  program is  limited to  the number  of working, verifiable
     data lines.   Modems  purchased under this program must be used on one
     of the stated lines.

 4.  The SYSOP agrees to  post  an  appropriate  logon  notice,  visible to
     users of  the bulletin  board, which  states that  this bulletin board
     uses and supports U.S. Robotics brand modems.

 5.  The SYSOP agrees that  he/she intends  to operate  the bulletin board,
     for  which  these  modems  are  purchased,  for at least 6 months post

 6.  Resellers of U.S. Robotics modems are NOT eligible  to purchase modems
     under this program. Instead, qualified resellers may take advantage of
     other marketing programs offered  by  U.S.  Robotics,  under  the U.S.
     Robotics  Authorized  Dealer  Program.    Information  is available by
     calling: 800-292-2988.

 7.  U.S. Robotics will ship modem(s) to qualified SYSOPs  as soon  as pos-
     sible after:

     a.   The SYSOP  completes the  order form  and questionnaire found im-
          mediately after these rules and mail  it along  with the appropr-
                    iate payment and shipping instructions to:

                            U.S. Robotics Inc.
                          8100 N. McCormick Blvd.
                             Skokie, IL  60076
                         Attention:  SYSOP SUPPORT

               *  A check accompanying an order must first
                  clear our bank, before the order can be

     b.   The SYSOP  further understands  that once  an order is placed, it
                              cannot be changed.

               *  If you are uncertain as to what type of
                  modem you want to purchase under this
                  program, you may consult the Information
                  & Text Files File Area of this BBS for product
                  information.  Or, you may call the
                  U.S. Robotics technical support at:

     c.  Your board will be verified by the U.S.  Robotics SYSOP.   We must
               be able  to connect with your bulletin board to verify board

               *  In the event that we are uncertain of
                  your board status, you will be notified
                  by the U.S. Robotics SYSOP of what else
                  is needed to transact the order, or if
                  U.S. Robotics cannot transact the order
                  due to an invalid board status.

 8.  U.S. Robotics will not accept phone in orders.    

 9.   U.S. Robotics  reserves the  right to  modify, change  or cancel this
     program at any time.

                             *** THANK YOU ***


 > Hard Disks STR InfoFile?              Affordable Mass Storage....

                      NEW LOW PRICES! & MORE MODELS!!
                     >> INCOME TAX REFUND SPECIALS <<
                       ** EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! **

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

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

                           Conventional Shoe Box
            Model        Description      Autopark       Price
            SGN3038      31Mb 28ms   3.5"    Y          419.00
            SGN4951      51Mb 28ms   3.5"    Y          519.00
            SGN6177      62Mb 24ms   3.5"    Y          619.00
            SGN1096      85Mb 24ms   3.5"    Y          649.00
            SGN1098     100mb 25ms   3.5"    Y          719.00
            SGN6277     120Mb 24ms   3.5"    Y          889.00
            SGN1296     168Mb 24ms   3.5"    Y         1069.00
            SGN4077     230Mb 24ms   3.5"    Y         1669.00

                      ****** SPECIAL - SPECIAL ******
              ---- FOR USE IN MEGA, MEGA STe & TT030 SYSTEMS ----

    >>>> 100mb SCSI HARD DRIVE Mech 25-28ms 3.5" ...ONLY $469.00!! <<<<

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

                     (500 - 600k per sec @ 16 - 33ms)

                         FROM 30mb 28MS @ $419.00!


       * SYQUEST 44MB (#555)>> ABCO "44" << REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE *

          - ICD Utility Software        - 3' DMA Cable 
          - Fan & Clock                 - Multi-Unit Power Supply
                          (1) 44 MB Syquest Cart.

                 --->> SPECIAL NOW ONLY __$ 719.00__ <<---
                        EXTRA CARTS:      $  79.50
                        DRIVE MECH ONLY:  $ 439.95

                       ***** for $75.00 LESS! *****

                       SPECIALLY PRICED ** $1329.00 **

         - Syquest 44 Model [555] and the following hard drives -
             50mb SQG51   $ 939.00      30mb SQG38    $ 819.00
             65mb SQG09   $ 969.00      85mb SQG96    $1059.00
           Listed above are a sampling of the systems available.
      Prices also reflect various cabinet/power supply configurations
    (over sixty configurations are available, flexibility is unlimited)
            *** ALL Units: Average Access Time: 24ms - 34ms ***

             LARGER units are available - (special order only)

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

       - Custom Walnut WOODEN Cabinets - TOWER - AT - XT Cabinets -
            * SLM 804 Replacement Toner Cartridge Kits $42.95 *
                          Replacement Drums; CALL
                   Keyboard Custom Cables Call for Info
                      ALL POWER SUPPLIES UL APPROVED

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


                     DEALERS and DISTRIBUTORS WANTED!
                         please, call for details

                 Personal and Company Checks are accepted.

                        ORDER YOUR NEW UNIT TODAY!

           CALL: 1-800-562-4037   -=**=-    CALL: 1-904-783-3319
           Customer Orders ONLY               Customer Service
                                9am - 8pm EDT
                                Tues thru Sat


 > A "Quotable Quote"?

                              ARE NOT ALWAYS
                         WHAT THEY APPEAR TO BE!"

                                                       C. Chan

                  STReport International Online Magazine?
     Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide!
 STReport?           "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE"          March 08, 1991
 16/32bit Magazine        copyright = 1987-91                   No.7.10
 Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of
 the editors, staff, STReport? CPU/MAC/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
 publication,  are    believed  to  be  reasonably  accurate.  The editors,
 contributors and/or staff are  not responsible  for either  the use/misuse
 of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom.

         Ed Krimen  ...............................................
   |||   Video Production Major, California State University, Chico
   |||   INTERNET:  FREENET: al661 
  / | \  SysOp, Fuji BBS: 916-894-1261        FIDONET: 1:119/4.0

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