Z*Net: 19-Jul-91 #9130

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/21/91-11:03:16 PM Z

From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: Z*Net: 19-Jul-91 #9130
Date: Sun Jul 21 23:03:16 1991

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             The Number One "Atari" Online Magazine by Choice
                 Issue #91-30               July 19, 1991

                      Ron Kovacs, Publisher/Editor
                            John Nagy, Editor
                      Terry Schreiber, Z*Net Canada


           THE EDITORS DESK.........................Ron Kovacs
           Z*NET NEWSWIRE.....................................
           PAGESTREAM 2.1 REVIEW - PART 2.........Vernon Smith
           FOREM BBS UPDATE......................Press Release
           DISK VIRUSES AND THE ATARI ST.......George Woodside
           PDC UPDATE............................Press Release
           PORTFOLIO USERS UPDATE....................AtariUser
           Z*NET SOFTWARE SHELF.................Ron Berinstein

                             THE EDITORS DESK
                              by Ron Kovacs


 This week has been an active one in the Z*Net Conference.  Earlier this
 week a capture of "Elite" conferences were captured and uploaded.  This
 capture contained surprising information which surprised many in the
 conference and the network.  Some of the most popular BBS systems are
 part of these "private" areas and more discussion is expected in the
 weeks ahead.

 In an effort to promote Anti-Piracy on BBS systems, we have started a
 new FNET conference titled "Anti-Piracy Conference", which has been
 assigned the following conference code: 40593.  I encourage all FNET
 systems to join this conference today.  Discussions are starting now!

 If you know of any BBS system that pirates files, please report them
 and advertise them.  The more calls the better!  We have to put a dent
 in pirating and you can help.  Stay tuned to for future updates.

                              Z*NET NEWSWIRE

 The California sales tax on publications reported by Z*Net last week
 will not affect operation of AtariUser magazine.  Quite contrary to the
 worst-case scenarios discussed here last week before a decision was made
 by California officials, AtariUser will only have to pay sales tax on
 their costs of printing the new monthly Atari magazine.  With a
 circulation nearing 40,000, this is a far more affordable scheme than
 pre-paying retail taxes on each copy, suggested as one crippling
 possibility in last weeks Z*Net story.  Says Steve Lesh, owner of Quill
 Publishing Co. and publisher of AtariUser, "The tax story was premature
 and it scared a lot of our advertisers, distributors, and subscribers.
 We didn't know what the real costs were going to be, and neither did the
 tax people.  AtariUser Magazine is not and was not threatened by the
 tax.  Now we know it will have almost no effect on us.  In fact, we are
 expecting that new equipment at our printer's office will reduce the
 actual cost of printing, just about offsetting the increase in tax
 expense.  It will be business as usual for AtariUser.  We're expanding
 our market every month in America and overseas, and both our acceptance
 and advertising base are growing steadily."  Some small adjustments may
 still be required for subscriptions, which are also taxable at 8.5% as a
 sale since the new law became effective on July 15.  The new sales taxes
 apply to all publications in California, but the manner in which "free"
 publications are assessed may be on a case-by-case basis.

 Former STart magazine editor Tom Byron begins a new position next week
 at SPECTRUM HOLOBYTE.  Tom will be in public relations and promotion at
 the successful software company, leaving a staff position at ANTIC
 publishing where his duties were limited to writing for the PC Home
 Journal since the suspension of the STart publication two months ago.
 (There is no word yet of any progress on a hoped-for sale of STart.)
 Still an Atari fan, Tom Byron hopes to have opportunities to promote
 more Atari projects.  Spectrum Holobyte is the maker of the already-
 classic FALCON flight simulation game, but has a limited number of
 titles available for the Atari computers.

 Atari Canada confirmed shipping of the fifty megabyte hard drive kits
 for the Mega STE.  The Mega STE 1 marketed in Canada for the past few
 months has been upgraded and will only use Atari's own hard drive kits
 to install an internal hard drive.

 Atari Canada and Minitronics Canada will join forces this summer at the
 Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver.  This seventeen day fair hosts
 a variety of interests and currently planned are demonstrations on the
 Atari Computer, in conjunction with the Roland Desktop Music System as
 well as Portfolio and Lynx displays.  The fair is annual event attended
 by over a million people each year.

 APPLE COMPUTER REPORTED that its third fiscal quarter unit shipments of
 Macintosh pcs grew by more than 60 percent, and revenues increased by 12
 percent, compared to a year ago.  However, Apple also announced that it
 has taken a one time charge of $224.0 million, or $138.9 million after
 taxes, for restructuring, cost reduction, and other activities.  Apple
 has reported a net loss for the quarter of $53.1 million.

 LOTUS ANNOUNCED THE AVAILABILITY OF 1-2-3 DOS Release 3.1+.  1-2-3 for
 DOS 3.1+ now includes a file-viewing feature for quick finding and
 viewing the contents of spreadsheet files located on disk and
 spreadsheet auditing capabilities.  The product is available in English,
 International English and Government Editions.  In addition, 1-2-3 for
 DOS 3.1+ offers the additional capabilities of 3D multi-page worksheets
 for organizing, consolidating and analyzing spreadsheet information; an
 advanced database with access to external data via DataLens; extended,
 expanded and virtual memory support for building larger spreadsheets (up
 to 64 megabytes); and the award-winning Solver technology introduced in
 1-2-3/G for OS/2.  The new version requires an IBM PC AT, PS/2, Compaq
 or compatible with an 80286 or higher microprocessor, a hard disk, one
 megabyte of available system RAM and DOS 3.0 or higher.  For the use of
 WYSIWYG, 1.5 megabytes of RAM is recommended.  Solver requires 3
 megabytes of RAM.  Available now with a suggested retail price of $595.
 The Network Server and Node Editions of the product will be available
 within 30 days at suggested retail prices of $895 and $595.  Dutch,
 French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish versions of Release 3.1+
 will also be available.

 The following stories appear in the latest edition of Z*Net PC Issue

                  MICROSOFT TO DISTRIBUTE IBM'S OS/2 2.0
                        NOVELL, DRI ANNOUNCE MERGER
                        SEAGATE CUTS 1200 EMPLOYEES
                             IBM BUYS METAPHOR
                           AMD 386 CHIP SALES UP
                       90 MEG BERNOULLI DRIVE DEBUTS
                        PC INSURANCE NOW AVAILABLE
                      TOSHIBA CONSIDERS ACE RISC SET
                         NEC RELEASES COLOR LAPTOP
                         COMMODORE 386SX NOTEBOOK
                     SLOTLESS SX UPGRADE FOR 286 USERS
                           A CRAY IN EVERY HOME?

                      PAGESTREAM 2.1 REVIEW - PART 2
                            by Vernon W. Smith

 Reprinted from ACE of Syracuse Newsletter

 This review is uploaded to the BackStairs BBS sponsored by Atari
 Computer Enthusiasts of Syracuse for the information of Atari ST users.
 It may be distributed by and to anyone.  Please credit the author, the
 BBS and Atari Computer Enthusiasts of Syracuse, NY.

 In "An Early Review of PageStream 2.1" uploaded recently, (Also
 appearing in last week's edition of Z*Net) I described two days of
 experience with its new and improved features.  My conclusion was that
 as the leading desktop publishing program for the Atari ST, it was well
 worth purchasing as an upgrade or as a new program.

 Since then, another few days, I've had a chance to experiment with a
 layout which I hope to see published in the September/October issue of
 the ACE of Syracuse Newsletter.  What I want to do is to show comparison
 pages produced on the Atari SLM 804 Laser Printer respectively with
 PageStream 2.1 direct, PageStream 1.8 direct, and PageStream 1.8 with

 In setting this up, I ran into my first serious problem with PageStream

 I printed my opening page from 2.1 and it looked good.  But the next
 time I tried to print out the same page, the tops of the characters in
 the headline at the top of the page were skewed about one-eighth inch to
 the right.

 What was worse was that everything I printed out after that from any ST
 program was skewed about a half-inch down from the top of the page for a
 depth of about an eighth of an inch.  Even my test run programs for the
 SLM 804 were skewed at that point.

 I tried closing and opening the PageStream program, rebooting the Mega
 ST4 computer, and changing to a different removable cartridge on my
 Toadfile 44 Syquest Removable Hard Drive.  The skew persisted.

 Since it was affecting all programs, I assumed it must be a printer
 problem.  I experimented with moving various programs in and out of my
 AUTO folder to no avail.  Finally, I turned everything off and went to

 The next day, the saved one-page PageStream 2.1 file printed the first
 time perfectly.  But, again, all subsequent use of the printer showed
 the skew.

 I went to PageStream 1.8 installed on another partition and prepared a
 page for UltraScript output to disk.  It saved ok but, when I tried to
 print the file through UltraScript, instead of a busy bee cursor and
 eventual printout, I got the message, "Using Margins...Starting Server"
 and a kickback to the regular cursor, showing the program had aborted.

 This time, I immediately turned off the system and the printer and tried
 again.  Everything worked fine, as it had before I started to use the
 PageStream 2.1 program.

 I am thus able to pin down the problem specifically to PageStream 2.1.
 I can get one good page but I have to turn off the system and the
 printer to get another.

 That's the bad news.  The good news is that when I called Soft-Logik
 Publishing's Technical Support Line at 314/894-0431, I was able to get
 through on the third ring and a patient support person named Sheryl
 identified me as a legitimate PageStream 2.1 purchaser and took down the
 information about my problem.  She asked me to send in documentation
 including a disk with the problem file.

 Less than ten minutes later, she called me back to say she had talked
 with a programmer and that this was a problem Soft-Logik is aware of for
 which there is no fix yet.  She said I would be sent a new printer
 driver as soon as it becomes available.  No further documentation of my
 problem would be necessary.

 I've stuck with Soft-Logik through many upgrades since the original
 Publishing Partner and I feel sure they will correct this bug as quickly
 as possible.  In the meantime, it prevents me from using 2.1 to any
 serious degree because normally I can't afford the time to turn the
 printer and system off and on for every page I print.

 In the meantime, I have taken the time to compare the three types of
 printout mentioned above.

 PageStream 2.1 comes with three Compugraphic type font families labeled
 Garamond Antiqua, CS Triumvirate, and CS Times.  Eight other type faces
 are repeats from earlier PageStream fonts except that all have screen
 representations which more closely approximate the printed character

 PageStream 1.8 uses a PageStream Helv font family which looks like
 Helvetica and a PageStream Tyme family which looks like Times.

 UltraScript's PostScript-emulation packages of fonts include Helvetica
 and Times, which can be directly compared with Helv (PageStream 1.8) and
 CS Triumvirate (PageStream 2.1), Tyme (1.8) and CS Times (2.1), from the
 PageStream programs.  I also am using UltraScript Palatino which has
 some similarities in appearance to 2.1's Garamond.

 Good news is that the PageStream 2.1 faces are noticeably better in
 printout than the PageStream 1.8 faces.  The letter forms are more
 subtly shaped with greater contrast between thicks and thins.  On the
 printed page, 10 point Tyme text with 11 point fixed leading looks much
 heavier and darker than 10 on 11 CS Times.  However, if you have a dot
 matrix printer, you may prefer Tyme over CS Times because it is easier
 to get dropouts in small text sizes in characters like "b" and "o" which
 have higher contrasting thin and thick sections. On the Atari Laser
 Printer, with the toner density set properly, CS Times is much more

 Ten point Helv Bold (1.8) subheads show darker on the screen but appear
 lighter on the printer.  Ten point CS Triumvirate Bold Hubheads (2.1)
 are sharper and darker as well as more open.

 Larger sizes of Tyme and Helv look fine by themselves but when compared
 side by side with CS Times and CS Triumvirate they are slightly heavier
 and less flowing.

 As far as I'm concerned, UltraScript is still champion in looks but not
 by much.  And UltraScript can be used with 2.1, according to the Manual.

 What deters the use of UltraScript, given the availability of 2.1's
 Compugraphic fonts, is the time needed for printout.  I clocked a
 printout of nearly identical pages in the three formats: 2.1 direct to
 Atari SLM804 Laser Printer, 1.8 direct, and 1.8 with UltraScript.
 PageStream 2.1 direct took about two minutes to roll off the first page.
 PageStream 1.8 took 15 seconds longer.  But UltraScript took more than
 three minutes for the PageStream 1.8 print to disk and another five
 minutes processing from disk to printer through the UltraScript program.

 I've always been willing to endure the extra UltraScript time because of
 the improvement in quality over PageStream 1.8 but I'm sure when 2.1 is
 working properly I'll not want to bother when using comparable fonts.

 I could go on about the graphic capabilities of PageStream 2.1 but they
 are really just a continuing enlargement of format compatibilities.
 Bitmap support includes IMG, IFF, TIFF, MACPAINT, GIF, DEGAS, PCX, NEO,
 and TNY.  Object drawing support includes GEM Metafile, DR2D, AEGIS, and
 PRODRAW.  PostScript support includes EPS, MACEPS, and IBMEPS.

 If a particular format is important to you, you should try to look at a
 copy of the PageStream 2.1 Users Manual before buying the program.  The
 PostScript and the GEM formats, in particular, have some limitations.
 For example, text stored with some of these formats will not be

 PageStream 2.1 (and 1.8 before it) has color capabilities which I have
 not explored because I do not have a color printer and do not prepare
 color separations for commercial processing.

 The general improvement of PageStream 2.1 over PageStream 1.8 makes it a
 worthwhile purchase new or as an upgrade (assuming the Atari Laser
 Printer bug is solved promptly for those who are affected by it.)

 PageStream 2.1 is currently available from Atari dealers and mail order
 sources or direct from Soft-Logik Publishing Corporation, P.O. Box
 290070, St. Louis, MO 63129, Phone: 1-800/829-8608.  List price is
 $299.95. VWS, 315/474-0450.

                             FOREM BBS UPDATE
                              Press Release

 Effective immediately Full Moon BBS is now your source for the FoReM BBS
 program by Matthew R. Singer.  FoReM is not new, it has been in use all
 over the free world since 1985.  Available in single line versions for
 the Atari ST (one meg RAM recommended) and the IBM PC (512 K required)
 FoReM may be purchased directly from Full Moon for $74.95 plus $5.00 for
 shipping and handling.  All orders are shipped with a manual that
 includes detailed instructions on installing and configuring FoReM.

 When used in conjunction with the FNET mailer program by David Chiquelin
 (a shareware program supported at Atari-Oh! BBS 713-480-9310) either
 version of FoReM can be used to exchange messages with other BBS Systems

 You can order FoReM ST or PC by sending a check for $79.95 ($74.95 for
 the program plus $5.00 S&H) made payable to:

 Stephen Rider
 20 Cargill Ave
 Worcester MA 01610

 Orders are shipped UPS only, specify a street address as UPS cannot
 deliver to a Post Office box number.

 For ST orders specify single sided or double sided diskette.  PC owners
 please specify 360K or 1.2 meg 5.25" or 720K 3.5" disks.  Depending on
 the media you order we will also include some useful PD or shareware
 utility programs that are widely used by FoReM boards.

 This offer is made in conjunction with Matthew R. Singer, creator and
 copyright holder of FoReM ST.  Offer not valid in Massachusetts.  (c)
 1985-1990 Matthew R. Singer

                      DISK VIRUSES AND THE ATARI ST
                   excerpts from VKILLER documentation
                            by George Woodside

 [EDITORS NOTE:  This excerpt is presented in order to help educate the
 user community to the reality and dangers of computer viruses.  George
 Woodside has offered a series of programs useful in the detection and
 elimination of viruses.  The most current version of VKILLER is
 available on all online services and many bulletin boards, and should be
 downloaded and a part of every user's library.  VKILLER offers two
 different "Guard" options for continued protection, and even will
 "repair" disks.  It will also correct the differences between MS-DOS
 formatted disks and ST disks that can otherwise "trash" your MS-DOS
 disks.  The documentation with VKILLER is very comprehensive - spanning
 20 pages of information and program details.  Presented here is a
 portion of the documentation that will help the user understand the
 problems and the cures.  Z*NET encourages everyone to support George
 Woodside in his efforts, and to USE VKILLER!]

 Disk Basics

 The boot sector of a normal ST disk is 512 bytes.  Only a small portion
 of this, about 30 bytes, are required to provide data to the ST.  Those
 initial data bytes contain the disk's formatting characteristics,
 telling the ST's operating system how many tracks te disk has, how many
 sides are used, how many sectors are on each track, and how much of the
 disk is being used for the directory and the File Allocation Table.  The
 rest of the boot sector is not used unless the disk is "self booting".
 In this case, normally found only on games, the boot sector is
 "executable", and the normally unused portion of the boot sector
 contains a small program.  This program will be executed automatically
 when the ST is powered on, or reset, and the disk with the executable
 boot sector is in drive A.  This is true even if your ST is configured
 to automatically boot up from a hard disk.  The boot sector of a disk in
 drive A will still be checked to see if it is executable, and will be
 executed if it is.  Executable boot sectors, therefore, are the primary
 method used by viruses to spread, and be run by unsuspecting ST owners.

 If the boot sector is not executable, the space after the configuration
 data is unused.  While whatever is there is not normally important,
 there is one virus which utilizes an obscure system characteristic to
 hide in the boot sector, and not make the disk "executable".  To be
 safe, the unused portions of the boot sector of any non executable disk
 should be set to zeroes.  Some formatting programs do this, while others
 do not.  The ST desktop, for example, does not set the unused portion of
 the boot sector to zero.

 The boot sector also contains a serial number.  That number is used by
 the ST's operating system to determine when one disk has been removed,
 and a different disk inserted.  If a change is made between two disks
 which have the same serial number, however, the ST does not believe that
 there has been a disk change made.  That usually results in the
 destruction of the second disk, when the data written to it aligns with
 the file structure of the removed disk.  There are viruses which write
 the same serial number to different disks, resulting in such
 destruction.  There is a similar problem using disks formatted by an MS-
 DOS system.  The serial number is not used by MS-DOS.  Instead, MS-DOS
 writes the version number in the space used for the serial number.  This
 results in all disks formatted on MS-DOS systems appearing to have the
 same serial number, and becoming corrupted when they are used in an ST.
 To warn of this possibility, VKILLER checks the serial number field.  It
 always displays the disk's serial number in the data window.  If the
 field contains printable characters, they are posted after the serial
 number, in parenthesis.  If you find the same serial number on more than
 one disk, you can use VKILLER's Repair facility to renumber the disk,
 without altering the disks contents in any other way.

 The directory contains the names of any sub-directories (or "folders")
 which are accessible from the main directory.  Those sub-directories may
 contain more subdirectories, and files.  There may also be files in the
 main directory.  The directory size is specified when the disk is
 formatted.  The standard size for an ST directory is seven disk sectors,
 large enough to hold 112 files or sub-directories.  Few disks contain
 that many files or folders in the main directory, so there is usually
 some amount of unused space beyond the last entry in the directory.
 There are viruses that will attempt to hide themselves in the end of the
 directory.  There is one that will place itself in the last two sectors
 of the directory, whether that portion of the directory contained
 entries or not.  If that virus infects a disk which was using the last
 two sectors of the directory, any file or directory which was there will
 be lost.

 All files, and sub-directories, rely upon the File Allocation Table to
 be accessible.  The File Allocation Table, or FAT, is a map of where
 each file and sub-directory is recorded on the disk.  The ST's operating
 system relies upon the FAT to locate the proper portions of the disk in
 order to read and write the sub-directories and files.  The FAT,
 therefore, is absolutely critical in using the disk.  So critical, in
 fact, that the ST's operating system normally writes two copies of the
 FAT on the disk.  That way, in case of an error in reading or writing
 the first copy, the second copy may allow the data on the disk to be
 recovered.  The critical nature of the FAT also makes it a prime target
 for virus attacks.  Erasing the FAT usually results in the loss of all
 files on a disk.

 The size of the Directory and FATs may vary from disk to disk.  The size
 of the FAT must be large enough to record the layout of every portion of
 the disk.  The normal size of one copy of the FAT on an ST disk is five
 sectors.  This is more space than is necessary to record the disk's
 layout.  There are viruses that take advantage of this fact, and attempt
 to hide themselves in the unused portion of the FATs.

 This means that there are currently three places that viruses can hide
 on a disk - in the unused portion of the boot sector, in the portion of
 the reserved FAT space not needed for a particular disk, or beyond the
 last entry in the directory.  VKILLER checks disks for all these
 possibilities.  If it notes that there is something other than zeroes in
 the unused portion of the boot sector, it displays a message reading
 "Boot sector not zeroed".  If the unused portions of the FAT or
 directory are not zeroed, it displays a message reading "Extra sectors
 not zeroed".  These messages warn of the condition, but do not
 necessarily mean that there is a problem.

 One other value stored in the boot sector configuration data is checked.
 There is a provision made for reserving additional disk sectors, for
 some special use.  These sectors are referred to as "Hidden", since they
 are not accessible to any normal disk function.  There is no current use
 for hidden sectors on an ST disk, so the presence of them is a condition
 which should cause concern.  If VKILLER detects hidden sectors on a
 disk, a warning message will appear in the disk data window.

 General Hints

 There are two real problems to keep in mind when dealing with viruses,
 and disk boot sectors.  The first is that not all executable boot
 sectors are viruses.  There are times when a boot sector is supposed to
 be executable.  Executing a KILL on such a boot sector will destroy
 whatever code was in the boot sector, and may render the software on the
 disk useless.

 Generally speaking, if the proper use of the software on the disk
 required you to reset your ST, or power it off and on to start the
 program, then the boot sector was supposed to be executable, and you
 should not execute a virus kill on it.  Any program which can be
 executed by clicking on it does not require an executable boot sector.
 Consequently, disks used to store such programs should not contain
 executable boot sectors.

 The second problem is attempting to use VKILLER in a system which has
 been infected by a virus, and the virus is executing (attempting to
 spread) while VKILLER is attempting to clean it off disks.  With all
 known ST viruses as of this release, VKILLER will detect this situation.
 It will provide instructions on the screen, informing you that there is
 an active virus in the system at the time, the exact steps on how to get
 rid of it, and how to start cleaning up your disks.

 This version of VKILLER can recognize and eliminate over 30 different ST
 viruses.  This is possible only because people who have encountered
 viruses that earlier versions of the program did not recognize sent me
 copies of the new viruses.  If you encounter executable boot sectors
 spreading through your library, and this version of VKILLER can't
 identify it, please contact me at any of the addresses below.  Keep one
 infected disk, and either send me the disk, or the file generated by
 VKILLER's file function.  Use the Kill function to clean up the rest of
 the disks in your library.

 As of this writing, I am investigating about 40 disks each month for new
 viruses.  If you mail me a disk, or a request for a disk copy of the
 latest version, please include a stamped, self addressed return mailer.
 Please be patient in expecting a response.

 George R. Woodside
 Voice:      (818) 348-9174
 Compuserve: 76537,1342
 GEnie:      G.WOODSIDE
 USENET:     woodside@ttidca.com  or:
 US MAIL:    5219 San Felicaino Drive, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

                                PDC UPDATE
                              Press Release

 PDC is an Official Compo Importer

 In a move to provide the North American market with the best software,
 PDC is currently importing two word processors from Compo, That's Write
 and Write On.  These are the best word processors around!

 ST Applications sums it up, "Reasonably priced, high spec., multi-font,
 easy to use WP with DTP-like features, a very good all-rounder.  That's
 Write is probably the most attractively priced, high spec., professional
 word processor.  There is no such thing as the definitive perfect word
 processor, but scoring well on such a broad front, That's Write will
 satisfy most people's purposes admirably."

 That's Write: $179
 Write ON:     $ 75

 These prices include full technical support.

 If you have any questions at all, please send E-mail to PDC.SW
 We'll reply immediately!

 GEnie Special: Free 2nd Day Air shipping!  Get your copy in 48 hours!

 Call (206) 745-5980 for quickest processing.

 Or (That's) Write to: PDC, 4320-196th SW, Suite B-140, Lynnwood, WA

 Currently we have a very limited amount of copies, so if you're
 interested, please order right away and get free shipping.

 To see what the hype's all about, check the file on GEnie, or order a
 demo directly from PDC for just $1.


 We need 2 beta testers for each program.  We will supply you with the
 programs at these prices: That's Write - $50, Write ON - $25.

 You will need to sign a special agreement.  To apply, send E-mail with
 your system type (be very very specific and list all components) to:

 It is first come, first serve and we reserve the right to pick
 applicants based on certain qualifications.  This is a one time deal

                          PORTFOLIO USERS UPDATE
                        AtariUser Magazine Reprint

 The following column is reprinted from the July 1991 ATARIUSER magazine
 by permission.  It may not be reprinted in any other form or publication
 without specific permission of Quill Publishing Co.  Information and
 subscriptions to AtariUser are available: 113 W. College Street, Covina,
 CA 91723, phone 800-333-3567.

 Hardware Hackers Only!  Circuit Cellar INK Magazine, Issue 18, January
 1991, has an article entitled "An Interface for Portable Battery-Backed
 RAM".  The article shows construction of an interface to read and write
 information from a Mitsubishi's Credit Card Memory.  This is the same
 card that is used on the Portfolio.

 TekNow!, a Phoenix-based company, has developed a text paging interface
 that permits Portfolio users to send messages to any alpha-capable
 pager.  The complete system consists of the SAMpage software for the
 Portfolio and AlphaBox or PageRouter, an intelligent alpha front end for
 paging terminals.  Contact TekNow!, 1500 South Priest, Suite 101, Tempe,
 AZ 85281; (800) 899-7262.

 The Portfolio Chronicles
 Data Transfer: Threat or Menace?

 The Atari Portfolio is an MS/DOS machine, based on the IBM PC.  For
 some, this is a blessing, for others a curse.  If the machine you use to
 communicate with the Portfolio is a PC, file transfer is almost simple.
 If you use another machine, such as an Atari ST or a Macintosh, file
 transfer can seem like a catch-22.  Let's start with communications for
 a PC.

 The Portfolio has built-in software to communicate with the printer port
 on a PC via the Smart Parallel Interface.  The parallel interface comes
 with a command-line driven program called FT to perform file exchanges.
 The program is provided on 5 1/4 and 3 1/2 inch disk for a PC.  The only
 real tricky part is the cable to go between the Portfolio and the PC.
 You need a "Male-to-Male DB25 all-lines straight through" cable.  While
 it can be found in local stores (I bought one at Egghead Software), it
 would be easiest to obtain the cable from Atari (408) 443-8020.  The
 Parallel File-Transfer Cable (HPC-406) costs $19.95.  This approach to
 file transfer is reliable and easy, but not very fast.

 TIP: If you don't like the FT program that Atari supplies, there is a
 program on Compuserve in the APORTFOLIO library called FTMENU, which
 provides a "point-and-click" menu front-end to the FT program for PC

 Another approach to file transfer on a PC is Atari's PC Card Drive
 (HPC-301) which costs $99.95.  This hardware card is plugged into the
 PC's expansion bus.  At present there is no version for the PS/2 micro-
 channel bus.  A small box is attached to the card, with a slot to insert
 a memory card.  The software driver on the PC will now treat the memory
 card as if it was a regular disk drive on the PC.  It is referred to as
 the next drive (typically D:) on your system.  You can now use normal
 MS/DOS command to copy file to and from the memory card.  This is more
 expensive, but is very fast.

 "What we have here is a failure to communicate" - Warden in "Cool Hand

 File transfer to non-MS/DOS machine becomes a bit tougher.  Typically,
 you can connect two machines via their serial ports (by using a null
 modem cable), and use serial communications programs on both sides to
 exchange files.  This seems simple enough until you realize that the
 Portfolio does not have a serial communications program built into it.
 Another problem is that the Portfolio has a non-standard serial port, so
 regular communication programs for a PC, such as Procomm, will not work.
 Finally, you will have to have the Serial Interface for the Portfolio.

 On Compuserve, in the APORTFOLIO forum, there are two serial
 communication programs, XTERM by Jim Strauss, and ACOM by Charles Cook.
 But how do you get the a serial program onto the Portfolio via the
 serial port without having a serial program already on the Portfolio?
 Catch-22.  Here are some solutions:

 1.  Get a friend to copy the program onto a memory card.
 2.  If you have no friends (who own a Portfolio), ask a local dealer.
 3.  Get the Parallel Port and access to a PC, and use FT to copy the
     serial program.
 4.  Buy the DOS Utilities ROM card (HPC-701) for $89.95 from Atari.  It
     has the XTERM program on it.

 TIP: Once you get the serial program on a RAM card, put a copy of it on
 every memory card you have, as well as drive C:, just in case.

 The serial cable will have to have a Female DB9 on the Portfolio side,
 and the proper connection for your machine.  For the Macintosh, you can
 order a serial cable from two sources:  Atari, the Portfolio-Mac File
 Transfer Cable (HPC-407) for $19.95, or Able Cables (415) 457-4028 for
 $20 postpaid.  Atari also supplies a cable for the Atari-ST and other
 machines (Female DB9 to Female DB25) for $19.95, the Serial Null-Modem
 Cable (HPC-409).

 TIP: When transferring files on the Macintosh, be sure to disable the
 MacBinary option.

 A complete file-transfer package for the Macintosh is available from
 Computer Friends (503) 626-2291 for $189.00.  This includes software on
 ROM for the Portfolio, software on disk for the Mac, and the serial
 cable.  It does not include the serial port for the Portfolio.

 TIP: Whenever using the serial or parallel port,  you should always use
 the AC adapter.  These ports require about as much power as the
 Portfolio and will quickly drain the batteries.  Communications with the
 rest of the world is typically done via a modem.  To hook up a modem,
 you will need the serial port, cable, modem and a serial communication
 program.  XTERM was the first program available, but ACOM is a better
 package.  ACOM has all the features of XTERM, which include XMODEM file
 transfer protocol, but also provides remote execution of DOS commands,
 and a scrollback buffer for reviewing text that has scrolled of the

 -B.J. Gleason

 BIO: B.J. Gleason is an instructor of Computer Science at The American
 University in Washington D.C. and he's been programming for over a
 decade now.  He's the author of over two dozen utilities and games,
 including PBASIC, the 'freeware' BASIC interpreter designed specifically
 for the Portfolio.  His Compuserve ID is 73337,2011

                           Z*NET SOFTWARE SHELF
                            by Ron Berinstein

 Ok, this is it! This is the week that will initiate the soon to be
 famous, innovative section of the software review, now initiated as of
 today: "The Software Schtik!"  For our very first schtik we bring you to
 the town of middle America wherein we find our hero, the computer user,
 the head of the household, a tall, strong, no nonsense man.  He makes
 the decisions, he is in control, he is the HEAD of the family.  Or, is
 he?  The way we at Software Schtik see it, if the man IS the HEAD of the
 family, his WIFE is the NECK of the family.  This because SHE moves his
 head  ANY DIRECTION she wants it to go!  <smile>

 Yup, on the serious side, many of us would like to think we are in
 control.  Many of us no doubt are!  Right?  Right!  So, what did Atari
 do?  They released a new Control Panel.  If you haven't downloaded it
 yet, you might do well to take a look at CPX.ARC, 100000 bytes of the
 newest version of Atari control panels.  Why the release?  XControl was
 designed to make use of the latest operating systems 2.0 etc.. The tag
 from the computer surgeon general that accompanies the program adds that
 if you don't have a MegaSTE, TT, etc., you must use the "shutdown"
 feature of XControl whenever changing resolutions.  Personally, I prefer
 a woman's, "control panel." :)

 If you should happen to resolve that XControl isn't for you, don't
 worry, be happy, and download GER_CPXS.LZH.  What will you find?  FIVE
 NEW CPX's from Germany.  The bad news: docs are in German, the good
 news: reports are they are easy to understand without the docs! <smile>

 Now that you have control at your fingertips <smile> how about taking on
 a new challenge?  How about, that which so many have been trying to
 control for so long?  The weather!

 WEATHE.LZH   might be your answer!  It's an ST program and it is a
 simple .TOS program for weather calculations!  It was taken from a BASIC
 program (whose source is included) that was originally written for a PC,
 then translated to Mark Williams C.  Even the C source code included.
 The format is easy too.  Just answer the quick questions about current
 temperature and dew point etc., and voila, you will have the forecast
 lying at your feet within minutes!

 Back to the topic of controlling your ST...

 DCSALVAG.ARC  may just help you salvage one of your files that has
 almost run to the limit because of a bad sector.  It will at least help
 you copy what still remains good in the file.

 HD_SCAN.ARC is a hard drive maintinance .PRG .

 STS19.ARC  ST SWEEP - directory / file manager suitable for hard drives
 or floppies - written in assembly language - menu driven / interactive
 - version 1.9 -

 DOSTESTR.ARC   Disk Operational Speed Tester - DOS Tester v1.02 A simple
 to use program that times certain disk operations.  This program is
 compatible with all versions of TOS, and includes a test file to cover
 its use.  Readouts are in seconds.

 CLOCKSET.ARC   The CodeHead ClockSetter is freeware.  It allows you to
 set the system time and date.  It may also be installed in the AUTO
 folder to read the keyboard clock and set the GEMDOS clock.  Version 1.3
 allows you to enter the time in 24-hour format and eliminates a problem
 which caused the AUTO folder to lock up on some systems.

 SHOWMEM4.ARC  ShowMem runs as a program or a desk accessory and shows
 you the system memory blocks, both used and free.  This version (1.5)
 correctly shows memory blocks in "fast RAM" and no longer has any
 problems with TOS 1.4 or any other version of TOS including the TT's.
 ShowMem4 is freeware from John Eidsvoog and CodeHead Software.

 And for when your computer is OUT of CONTROL...

 LEONARD6.ARC   Leonard6 is a replacement for the system bomb handler.
 Instead of seeing bombs after system errors, you'll see little heads.
 This new version (1.2) has a special feature for BBS operators.  You can
 set Leonard6 so that it reboots the system upon system errors,
 automatically reinitializing your BBS.  Freeware from John Eidsvoog.

 And TOs fix or not TOs fix...

 FASTFIX.ARC  is a tiny program for your AUTO folder.  It does only two
 things and works in all resolutions.  1.  It turns off annoying
 keyclick.  2. It sets the ALT/HELP screendump to 960 so that screens
 print correctly.

 TOS14FX2.LZH   Two bugs in TOS 1.4 are fixed by this program, which can
 be run from the auto folder (preferred) or from the desktop or a shell.
 TOS14FX2 replaces TOS14FIX, which had a bug in the serial port
 configuration patch that caused problems with the Modem Setup CPX which
 comes with XControl.

 Some new ways to write home...

 FIFTIES.LZH  is a new free font for Calamus.

 KRAZY.LZH  Another free Calamus font.  It may look like dada.. but the
 author says, "try it at 60 points and print it out and it definately has
 a certain elegance to it!" It is sort of, "ugly."

 MERLIN.LZH is also a Calamus font, but the author wants to enlist your
 help in finding out why it sometimes crashes.  OK! Beta tester Squad
 Force get going!  Download it, and find that bug!

 And, while on the subject of fonts...

 FONTLAWS.ARC  is described as containing "extracts from the US copyright
 laws as pertaining to typefaces and digitally rendered characters.  You
 may find it interesting reading.  Very useful for the typeface designer
 in understanding their position in the law with regard to original
 works.  Should raise some interesting points about intellecutal property

 FONTSWAP2  will allow you to simply point and click to switch from
 Helvetica, or another font to Hobo, or another font.  This is described
 as working great with Ultrascript.  It was tested with postscript files
 created with Fleet Street Publisher and Pagestream.  Monochrome

 Any New Yorkers?

 NYNY.LZH  is for you New Yorkers.  It's a midi format 1 file.  You
 guessed it!  You know the song!

 And, while talking music..

 S7RDMA.LZH   is the new version of the AUTO DMA player program.  It now
 plays random samples when they are placed in a special directory.

 POPCORN.LZH  is a module for the Audio Soundtracker - Popcornia.

 For those of you that have always wanted to learn, but haven't yet.

 GFA_CLASS.ARC could be your first step in the quest to learn GFA BASIC.
 Download it and GFA BASIC 2.0 and jump right in!

 GFABASIC.ARC    GFA BASIC 2.0 was released into PD.  It comes with a
 short command summary.  It is intended that if you like it, you might
 buy 3.5 or above.  In the new and improved versions one will find more
 commands and a better editor.  But, this should give the new programmer
 a good BASIC taste.

 GCCDOCS.LZH   This archive includes both an ASCIIized version of the GNU
 C manuals for the Atari ST, and a "quick-start" doc written to help
 beginners get acquainted with using GCC.

 And for the seasoned programmers out there..

 GNUFILES.LST  describes some 57 recently uploaded GNU, new, files that
 are available including GNU C compiler, and many tools for it.  Most of
 the files refered to are in generic C code and will require editing for
 the ST.

 CFLOW.TTP  is a C Source code flow charting ... it gives the hiearchy of
 the functions.  This version includes page numbers and the ability to
 show only the first level functions.  This program is very useful to see
 the basic layout of C source code that was written by another person.

 TT_100.ARC  This desk accessory allows testing of DIALOG, PANEL, MENU,
 and ALERT trees while using the resource editor.  NO loading of the RSC
 file is required.  Trees are tested by accessing them directly from
 memory where they reside!  This utility will ONLY function with the
 Atari DRI RCS version 2.1 which is bundled with GFA-Basic.

 LHA11321.LZH  is a recent version of the Quester LHarc archiver.  VERY

 LZH200A.LZH  is T. Quester's  LHARC version 2.00a.  This is the
 optimized version of the new Quester, (all assembly), high speed LHARC
 ttp file.  The file description says this creates the smallest LZH file
 to date.  It is fully compatible with earlier versions.  It also works
 well with Charles F. Johnson's ArcShell v. 2.5.

 STZIP09.LZH is Version .09 of a ZIP/UNZIP program for the ST.  Uses a
 GEM interface or can be called via a command line.  Docs in French, but
 an English 'readme' file and resource file.  Seems to be very compatible
 with ms-dos' PKZIP.  Even extracts from self extracting EXE files.

 ZIPSHELL.LZH  is a small shell for use with STZIP.PRG which is not
 included with this archive.  Options include, Add, Extract, List, and
 Verbose List.  GFA Basic source code though, is included.

 DOUBLE.LZH  a graphics emulator for the STE only came first, then came
 DOUBLER2.LZH.  These will double the number of vertical lines on your
 STE for all three resolutions.  They use either interlacing or
 scrolling; 320x400 w/16 colors, 640x480 w/4 colors, and 640x800 in
 monochrome... The newer version uses only half the memory of the first

 MGIF35B.LZH   MGIF v3.5B is a GIF viewer for 640x400 monochrome
 monitors.  It includes such options as Expand, Shrink and Zoom.  You can
 also save your GIF pictures into a new FLicker format, which MGIF will
 load and display almost instantly.  MGIF is a TTP prg., but has help.
 1.4 megs & a 640x400 mono monitor req.

 PICFRMTS.ARC has a text file that is an explaination of the ST picture
 file formats (.NEO, .SPC, .IMG, .GEM and many, many more).  This file
 was posted on InterNet/UseNet and compiled by David Baggett.

 COLORSET.LZH  COLORSET is a simple little color-setter program.  It was
 written for only one purpose.  It can be used in HotWire to change the
 screen colors with one click.  It can also be chained to a program, to
 set the colors automatically before running that program.

 HOT_EDIT.ARC  Hot Editor 3.1 allows you to load a HotWire menu and edit
 any of the parameters of your entries while viewing them all at the same
 time.  Version 3.1 can be installed as an application so that it may be
 started by double-clicking on a HOT (or HBL file).  A couple of small
 bugs have also been fixed.  Freeware from CodeHead Software, requires

 LOADKEYS.PRG  This LOADKEYS.PRG fixes a bug that existed in versions
 supplied with some copies of CodeKeys 1.3.  The previous one allowed the
 loading of LNK files, but not KEY files.  If your LOADKEYS.PRG is 732
 bytes, you don't need this version.  LOADKEYS.PRG is not archived.
 Requires CodeKeys, the Macro Tool from CodeHead Software.

 Here is an ST subject for you to address:

 ADDRESS_.LZH   contains a set of programs that will make record keeping
 and mailing list maintainance easy.  ADDRESS.PRG v .4, for maintaining a
 mailing list.  It runs in ST high, ST med. and has a GEM interface.
 ADD_TRAN.PRG v .4 is for translating ADDRESS.PRG v nothing files to v.
 D  .3, v .4 files, quickly and easily.  SPEEDIAL.PRG v .4 - .ACC or .PRG
 adds the capability to dial a touch tone phone.

 ST_ENVEL.LZH   DEMO of ver.4.0 of ST_ENVELOPE Prg. this program will
 print labels on most any label config. and will also print 3 sizes of
 envelopes.  ST_ENVELOPE will also print return address labels, normal
 mailing labels from 1 to 4 labels across.  It will print photo slide and
 artist labels as well as rolodex/index cards.  It has a very simple
 database for addresses.

 Two games for two!

 FRUSTRAT.ARC   Frustration! is a word search game for two people.  Kind
 of like "BOGGLE" with a few twists.  Three levels of play make it great
 for kids!  Requires a mono monitor.  Freeware.

 PAIGOW.ARC   Here is the ST version of Pai Gow poker as played in Las
 Vegas!  Challenge the computer or play a friend over the phone line
 using your modem. Monochrome freeware.

 Another new Dterm!

 DTERM_1M.LZH   Connect bells, a split-screen term. prg. for mono users
 which uses the small system font to allow 2 full screens of text, the
 2nd of which acts as a type ahead buffer.  Xmodem, 1K-Xmodem (Ymodem),
 Ymodem Batch, Ymodem-G and Zmodem (inc. AUTO-Zmodem) file xfers, cap.
 buffer w/viewer, simple auto-dialer, support for desk acc's and can run
 external programs.

 DTERMDOC.LZH  These docs were originally only available in the first
 official release of Dterm v1.0 and aren't included in the update
 archives.  They explain the basic functions and commands of Dterm.

 And from the deep end of left field, one of only three programs of it's

 OMNI_101.ARC   This is a multi-user, multi-tasking Bulletin Board System
 that has been in the making for over 10 months, and is probably going to
 be inspected by many future sysops.  This is OMNI Version 1.01, Public
 Domain release..  I believe that this program is to become a commercial
 release in the future.  A multi-line BBS for the Atari!  Complete
 documentation, and full compatibility with ALL ST configurations!

 The above files were compiled by Ron Berinstein co-sysop CodeHead
 Quarters BBS (213) 461-2095 from files that were either directly
 uploaded to CodeHead Quarters BBS, or downloaded from GEnie, Compuserve,
 and Delphi online services.

 Z*NET  Atari Online Magazine is a weekly publication covering the  Atari
 and related computer community.   Material contained in this edition may
 be  reprinted  without  permission  except  where  noted,  unedited  and
 containing the issue number, name and author included at the top of each
 article  reprinted.   Opinions  presented are those  of  the  individual
 author  and  does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the  staff  of
 Z*Net   Online.    This  publication  is  not  affiliated   with   Atari
 Corporation.   Z*Net,  Z*Net  Atari  Online and Z*Net News  Service  are
 copyright (c)1991,  Rovac Industries Incorporated,  Post Office Box  59,
 Middlesex,  New Jersey 08846-0059.  Voice (908) 968-2024, BBS (908) 968-
 8148 at 2400/9600 Baud 24 hours a day.   We can be reached on Compuserve
 at PPN 75300,1642 on GEnie at Z-Net and Delphi at ZNET.  FNET NODE 593
                       Z*NET Atari Online Magazine
                Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries, Inc..

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