Z*Net: 30-Aug-91 #9136

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/01/91-10:48:07 AM Z

From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: Z*Net: 30-Aug-91 #9136
Date: Sun Sep  1 10:48:07 1991

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                    Issue #91-36      August 31, 1991

                Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries, Inc.

                       Publisher/Editor: Ron Kovacs
                      Editors: John Nagy, Jon Clarke

 * See Sign-up information for CompuServe and GEnie at bottom of issue *


           THE EDITORS DESK..........................Ron Kovacs
           Z*NET SPECIAL REPORT: PIRATES.............Jon Clarke
           DUSSELDORF ATARI FAIR..................D.A. Brumleve
           SUMMERTIME READS - PART TWO................Andy Eddy
           FOREM DISCOUNT COUPON...............................
           SOFT-LOGIK UPGRADES PAGESTREAM............Vern Smith
           TRACKER-ST UPDATE......................Press Release
           MODEMS - THE BEST CHOICE..........Intersect Software
           TX2 FORMAT EXPLAINED....................David Holmes

                             THE EDITORS DESK
                              by Ron Kovacs


 As you have been reading over during the summer, we have been focusing
 some attention of BBS pirating and will continue with more reports in
 the months ahead.  This week Jon Clarke takes a break from his World
 Tour reports and focuses on a pirate bbs.  We have included an actual
 capture in this week issue.

 We have started an FNET conference called Anti-Piracy which has been
 pretty active during the last few weeks.  Last week that AUA came out
 in support of Anti-Pirating, (see issue #91-35), and we continue to
 seek support for the cause.

 I have received 5 captures of pirate BBS systems and working on sending
 a complete package to the proper authorities.  In future weeks, we are
 going to publish this information and let you know where the pirates
 are located in this community.

 If you know of a BBS system pirating any type of software, please
 forward us the information.  Please don't edit out any information and
 provide the password.  If possible, videotape your session so those
 who claim your capture was doctored, fail to have an excuse.  Put a
 timer or analog clock near the screen, have a corner clock active, or
 even have the time stamped while taping.  These help the cause and will
 get pirate systems closed down.

 Dusseldorf Report

 Next week we will have more information on the show.  This week we have
 included the report filed by Dorothy Brumleve on GEnie.

 Z*Net Newswire

 The newswire has been suspended this week due to the length of articles
 we are publishing this week.  Next week an expanded newswire digest and
 the regular Z*Net Newswire!

                      Z*NET SPECIAL REPORT: PIRATES
                       Special Report by Jon Clarke

                         A Pirate BBS in God'z'own

 {Please Note: This file contains _real_capture_data that has been edited
  due the size.  A full copy is available on the Z*NET BBS and the Z*NET
  Pacific BBS.  It is 60K in length.  This article could be classed as
  cutting and is aimed at one creature, "THE PIRATE"}

 "Sort your act out guys!"  That about summarises my thoughts in one
 short simple statement.  We have been reading a lot latterly about the
 Z*NET FNET Anti-piracy thread and how the AUA have joined in to support

 Congratulating to the AUA for putting their teeth into this touchy
 subject.  Why touchy?  Well we have all at some time or another either
 seen, used or know of someone who has a pirated file, disk or logs onto
 to a pirate bbs.

 You say "No".  Opps there stands a person of strong moral fibre who
 still believes in the tooth fairy.  Sound like a big dig?   It is and
 intended to be just that.

 I can remember reading in Z*NET last year when a few of the developers
 had several problems with local pirate bbs distributing their software.
 I sat here some zillion miles and half a world away thinking "only in
 the USA."  It could never happen here in New Zealand.  Yes well (cough
 cough) I think we all think this is the case.  "A pirate bbs in my city?
 No who told you that rubbish?  I use it all the time and I should know!"
 Does this sound familiar?

 Being the Sysop of the Z*NET Pacific BBS here in Auckland I too thought
 I knew most of the BBS's around the country.  Up until this week I would
 have openly defended the honour of all the New Zealand Atari BBS's.
 Things change fast.  Now this was no undercover secret sloth discovery.
 One of the users here happened to ask me if I know what was happening on
 one of the ST Express BBS's in town?   Being a naturally curious sort of
 a chap, the hair on the back of my neck stood up and I said "no, what is
 happening?"  "Oh if you happen to donate over $30 to the sysop he will
 allow you into the _private_areas_ on his bbs."  Now I have a pet hate
 with having to pay for BBS's so the old grey cells started to tick over.
 "Would you mind popping over and showing me?" I asked.  To my surprise
 he was here in a few minutes.  We fired up Flash.  Turned the buffer on
 and proceeded to logon to the BBS.

 [Below are real captures.]

 You have logged onto............
 The Dark Wizards Guild
                             /\            /  \
                            /  \  /\      /    \      /\
   /\                /\    /    \/  \    /      \    /  \
  /  \              /  \  /          \  /        \  /    \
 /    \            /    \/            \/          \/      \
       \        /\/   ___ ___ ___               ___ ___ ___\      /\
        \      /  \   |_|_|_|_|_|               |_|_|_|_|_| \    /  \
         \/\  /    \   |       |_________________|       |   \  /    \
         /  \/      \  | [] [] |   []       []   | [] [] |    \/      \
 -------/    \       \_|       |      _____      |       |     \       \
                      |_______|______| | |______|_______|      \       \___
     (*)                                                              (*)
     (*)                                                              (*)
     (*)            *********************************                 (*)
     (*)            *    The Dark Wizards Guild     *                 (*)
   *******          *********************************               *******
     | |                                                              | |
     | |                     120 Megabytes of                         | |
     | |                       online Data                            | |
     | |                                                              | |
     | |    * Amazing Online Games                                    | |
     | |    * Message Bases - Including Undead Realms                 | |
     | |    * Files for ST, IBM, Amiga                                | |
     | |    * Extra Things - Profiler                                 | |
     | |    * The Never Ending Story                                  | |
     | |                                                              | |
     \ |  Never Ring Between 5:30pm and 8:30 pm on Weekdays           | /
      \|  Co-sysops: Zombie Boy                                       |/

 Enter Your User Number, Handle,
   or NEW If A New User:

  [logon deleted]

 I was sitting here thinking this guy is wasting my time.  He is about to
 show me a file that some poor user has uploaded by mistake thinking it
 was Public Domain.  (Yes this does happen from time to time).

 "Yike!" I muttered when he selected the files section.  This is no
 mistaken upload.  This is a pirate section!

 Normal users.  Users like you and me do not see options 8,9,11,12,13
 listed below.  But users who have "donated" $30 or more get full access
 to these selected files.  I was recalling Charles Johnsons' comments re
 pirate BBS's when I saw this.  I guess I know how he felt when he
 discovered them.

  [1] ST General                        [2] ST communications
  [3] ST Virus Utils                    [4] Packing and hacking (ST)
  [5] ST Sound                          [6] ST Games
  [7] IBM                               [8] IBM Private
  [9] Sysops and SigOps                [10] Temp
 [11] Amiga Private                    [12] ST Private Pt 1
 [13] ST Private Pt2                   [14] GIF
 [15] Docs Pt 1                        [16] Docs Pt 2
 [17] ST Pictures & Utilities          [18] ST Utilities
 [19] MOD files                        [20] Text-General (Not Docs)
 [21] Amiga

 [selections delted]

 Having seen this I decided to see just was in here.  The chap who was
 piloting me around this system must have woundered what hit him.  I was
 grabbing the keyboard out of his hands and taking over the controls.

 [Most of the files below will be familiar to you. I leave you to draw
  your own conclusions]

  Enter File Area, Or [L]ist? 13

 [13] ST Private Pt2: Catalog Listing

 Enter Filemask To Search On (RETURN For '*.*'):

 ID:  --- Name --- - Size -  - Date -  - Partial Description -
 ===  ============ ========  ========  ======================================
 |A|  PP72_PT1.MSA   385824   8/09/91  No Description...
 |B|  FALCON  .LZH   231424   8/03/91  Falcon,the F16 flight simulator. Very
 |C|  A192_PT2.LZH   338189   8/10/91  Automation 192.
 |D|  PHAN3   .LZH   251946   7/06/91  Phantasie 3
 |E|  PP62_PT1.LZH   395465   7/24/91  Pt 1 of Pompey Pirates menu 62
 |F|  PP62_PT2.LZH   364508   7/24/91  Pt 2 of Pompey Pirates menu 62
 |G|  PP72_PT2.LZH   369734   8/09/91  Pompey Pirates Menu 72 Pt 2
 |H|  GFA3    .LZH   258238   8/13/91  GFA Basice version 3.
 |I|  A192_PT1.LZH   345609   8/10/91  Automation 192.

 [12] ST Private Pt 1: Catalog Listing

 Enter Filemask To Search On (RETURN For '*.*'):

 ID:  --- Name --- - Size -  - Date -  - Partial Description -
 ===  ============ ========  ========  ======================================
 |A|  NEO2    .ARC    80107   7/14/91  Neochrome
 |B|  BE_ZORK .LZH   230016   6/22/91  Zork an Infocom game
 |C|  SEWER3  .LZH   582021   4/15/91  Sewer Util Disk 3
 |D|  UIS_III .TOS    20949   7/10/91  Universal Item Selector 3.
 |E|  PM_PLUS .LZH   139987   6/23/91  Print Master Plus..
 |F|  MAXIFILE.TOS    36651   7/10/91  This is a great little program. This i
 |H|  KNIFE_ST.LZH    59831   6/25/91  Knife ST
 |I|  DATAMGR .MSA   336754   8/11/91  Datamanager.
 |J|  MAIN    .LZH   269849   7/14/91  Harlekin..
 |K|  DCK_ARC .TOS    35331   7/10/91  Lets you ARC, ZIP, ZOO, and LZH using
 |L|  DASH    .TOS    14425   7/10/91  A bit like Fast Copy 3, try it out...
 |M|  LDWPCALC.LZH   192784   8/11/91  LDW Spreadsheet, a really good one.
 |N|  NEODESK .LZH   191819   8/11/91  Neodesk 2.05
 |O|  MAGIC_U .LZH    68068   8/11/91  Magic Utility.

 [Other file areas removed due to space. See note]

 Here is one for the heart.  How many readers out there logon to BBS that
 has a files section like this?  What can you do about it?  Will you do
 something about it?  I asked the now co-pilot what he thought and why
 had he taken so long to do something about it?  I must confess he raised
 a few things I had not thought of (even if I do not agree with them) so
 here is a summary........

 -  The only reason I am showing you this is because I have fallen out
    with the Sysop.

 -  If I had potted him where would I get the new software from?  I do
    not make alot of money to buy software.

 -  He has the best stuff in town and I can swap the modem files for

 -  I thought I would try it first and if I liked it I would buy it.

 This was great!  What he was telling me was for $30.00 all he had to do
 was logon to the bbs and STEAL hundreds of dollars worth of commercial
 software.  Not only that but if he had not fallen out with him he could
 have morally justified this thief to himself.  I sometime wonder about
 my fellow creatures (sigh).  Back to the questions of a few paragraphs
 ago.  How to justify this sort of thief to yourself?  I wonder if it
 will stand up in court.  Those thoughts of yours.

 More and more countries these days have units that deal with this very
 subject.  In most countries world wide you have the Software Publishers
 Association who will field all your calls on the subject.  Here in the
 Pacific the Australian Software Publishers Association have been taking
 positive action in Melbourne.  Last week saw them take the letter of
 the law in raid on a dealer who supplied pirated software to the
 purchases of new PC's.  The same is happening over here in New Zealand.
 In the USA readers have already seen and heard what the FBI are doing
 not only in Z*NET but also on CNN.  Those of you in the UK have your
 F.A.S.T teams out in force and advertising in computer magazines.

 So what do we do now?

 - Only you the reader can answer this.

 {The above bbs is currently under investigation}

 8/29- ANTI-PIRACY NEWSWIRE: Microsoft Siezes Counterfeit Software
       Microsoft and UIS Marshalls recently made one of the largest
       domestic seizure of counterfeit software in history.   Nearly
       20,000 illegal packages worth more than $1 million were siezed
       from 10 businesses in a Los Angeles-based counterfeiting
       scheme.  The raid uncovered illegal packages of Microsoft
       products, as well as separate look-alike copies of disks,
       packaging, manuals, warranty cards, other product components
       and the equipment used to manufacture them, software included
       three versions of the Microsoft MS-DOS operating system,
       including the latest -- version 5 -- and the Microsoft Windows
       environment version 3.0.

                          DUESSELDORF ATARI FAIR
                       Article by Dorothy Brumleve

 Copyright (C)1991, Atari Corporation, GEnie, and the Atari  Roundtables.
 May be reprinted only with this notice intact.  The Atari Roundtables on
 GEnie are *official* information services of Atari Corporation.  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
 XJM11877,GEnie  and  hit  RETURN.  The system  will  prompt you for your

 Category 11,  Topic 12 Message 1  Wed Aug 28, 1991
 D.A.BRUMLEVE [kidprgs] at 11:58 EDT

 My trip to the AtariMesse in Duesseldorf

 Up and down major thoroughfares in Duesseldorf, banners and posters
 announced the commencement of the fifth annual AtariMesse at the city's
 exhibition complex, an amazingly extensive facility with fifteen
 exhibition halls, restaurants, snack bars in each hall, entertainment
 facilities, etc.  I saw billboards at the airport and on kiosks out in
 the community as well.  Every cab driver knew about the AtariMesse.

 The AtariMesse is not at all what we North Americans think of when we
 hear "AtariFest"; in fact, it's much closer to the image conjured up by
 the word "Comdex".  Two huge halls were filled with vendors.  The show
 brochure lists 184 vendors by name, but there were also "specialty
 booths", huge displays in which vendors in related areas were grouped
 together, and the vendors in these booths sometimes were not given
 separate mention on the main vendor list.  The specialty themes for such
 grouped booths this year focussed on the Portfolio, Atari and Music,
 Atari and Computer Graphics, Atari in Education and Science, and Games.

 A basic small booth provided 12 square meters of space.  While the
 Germans regarded such booths as too small, the North American exhibitors
 enjoyed that kind of space for the first time -- and some of us had
 trouble filling it.  Most of the vendors opted for larger booths, some
 outfitted with private consultation rooms.  Atari's own central stand
 included a large room for press conferences and a welcome center for the
 press.  Of course, there was also a lecture hall devoted to
 demonstrations and workshops.

 It seemed odd to me that there would be a _need_ for consultation rooms,
 but this show has another feature in common with Comdex besides its
 sheer scale; it provides a meeting place for distributors, developers,
 dealers, and Atari personnel from throughout the world.  There was
 certainly plenty for the casual or serious Atari enthusiast to see, do,
 and buy, but another focus of the show was on opportunities for
 professional industry contacts.

 Many North American vendors already have representation in Germany.  Jim
 Allen of FastTech and Rick Flashman of Gribnif showed their products
 from the booths of their German distributors, for example.  This year,
 Atari US facilitated the participation of North American vendors who
 have not already established distribution in Germany.  A row of booths
 was provided to US developers.  ST developers participating included
 D.A. Brumleve (yours truly), CodeHead, Double-Click, JMG Software, and
 Wuztech Omnimon Peripherals.

 One of the more impressive booths was that of 3K ComputerBild, the
 German distributors of WordFlair.  GoldLeaf representatives John Fox and
 Lauren Flanegan-Sellers were assisting users in that booth.  The booth
 had a huge black wall; on one side of the wall were alcoves with
 demonstration computers manned by experts who could provide hand-holding
 as users experimented with their high-end offerings.  On the other side
 of the wall, an actor presented lectures several times a day in both
 German and English to an appreciative audience.

 One booth specialized in Atari-related paraphenalia on a grand scale.
 Various articles of clothing, elegant backpacks, etc. were available
 with the Atari logo.  PD booths and dealer booths seemed to do a bang-up
 business; although the aisles were wide, it was often hard to get
 through in these areas.  I saw an industrial ST etching circuit boards.
 There were more utilities and applications related to high-end MIDI and
 DTP than you could shake a stick at.  There were many booths with
 specialized hardware, such as for overscan, color high-rez, and the
 like.  There were relatively few offerings for the games-player.

 You'll notice I can't report terribly much on products shown at the
 show.  As a vendor, I was responsible for manning my booth most of the
 time, and had only a little time available for browsing on my way to and
 from the snack bar or the bathroom.  I hope that others who had more
 time to devote to show-going can contribute more detailed information on
 new products.

 Because we were virtually chained to our booths, most of us would not
 have had the chance to fight the crowds and have some hands-on
 experience with the ST Book (five production models were on display).
 On Saturday morning, Atari's Bob Brodie, Bill Rehbock, and Tracy Hall
 brought both the Book and the Stylus around to the US devs for a
 personal view.  I must say it's an incredibly neat little machine.  I
 understand that it will run off its internal rechargeable battery for
 over 5 hours, certainly enough for most users.  The battery recharges in
 place.  The look is elegant, the keyboard size is perfect for hands the
 size of mine (it's just a bit more compressed than the regular ST
 keyboard), the mouse-replacement is ingenious, the size is tiny!  I was
 impressed with the ergonomic design and the obvious thought devoted to
 users' needs.

 Bob Brodie also escorted the major ST-specific magazine editors and
 reporters to the booths of US-based developers.  Germany has four major
 glossy ST magazines: TOS, ST Computer, ST Magazin, and AtariJournal
 (formerly PD Journal).  There is also a German-language Atari magazine
 from Austria called XEST.  I had a chance to visit several newsstands
 while in Duesseldorf.  Every stand had at least two ST-specific
 magazines to offer; when I questioned the proprietor of one shop, he
 said he carried all four magazines from Germany, but had sold out of the
 September issue of two of them already.  PC and Amiga magazines were
 also in evidence, and sometimes the number of PC offerings exceeded the
 ST offerings.  A few times I spotted magazines devoted to the Mac.  In
 addition to the ST-specific magazines, ST products are also covered by
 the general computer press.

 Even with the knowledge that there was good press support for the ST in
 Germany, I was very surprised to find a reporter for the Frankfurter
 Allgemeine dropping by my booth.  I read his show wrap-up on the
 airplane on the way home; nearly a quarter page of the newspaper was
 devoted to this final show report, and the focus of the article was
 innovative DTP products.  For the uninitiated, the Frankfurter
 Allgemeine has the same kind of respect and influence in Germany that
 the New York Times has here.

 The support is there from publishing houses as well.  While the computer
 sections of our bookstores are filled with books about living with
 MS-DOS and mastering Windows, German STers have a multitude of books to
 choose from.  Some are basic beginner books of the same variety as Ralph
 Turner's series, and there are primers for getting the most out of
 general-use programs such as 1st Word Plus.  But there are also a
 variety of books for the high-end musician or desktop publisher, for the
 programmer, for the hardware hacker.  Many of these could be found at
 department store bookstores, and, indeed, the same stores are likely to
 offer STs in their electronics department.

 If you'll remember the debate in the US over whether children should use
 calculators, you'll better understand the current German controversy
 over computers in schools.  There is a large segment of the population
 which views computers as anti-creative and inappropriate for schools;
 fortunately, most educators do not share this point of view.  There has
 been a major effort in the past year to put the ST into German schools.
 One academic organization has declared the ST _the_ best choice for
 schools and software support has begun to emerge.  While most emphasis
 is being placed on software for junior-high-level students and older,
 there are efforts to use STs with young children, and I am hopeful that
 my products will be well-received by paedagogues and the early childhood
 and primary-level academic community.  At my booth, I met teachers from
 Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Denmark, who were all most eager to use
 my products in their classrooms.  My products are currently available
 only in English, German, and Icelandic, but I was able to make contacts
 at the show which should ultimately result in translations to Dutch/
 Flemish, Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish as well.  I made it a point to
 visit (briefly) the Education and Science specialty display.  In one
 booth, I found my own philosophy of computer use with children
 prominently displayed on the wall.  I immediately sought out the booth's
 representative for a lengthy discussion.  It is really wonderful to know
 that there are like-minded folks halfway around the world.

 On the personal side, it was a terrific trip!  My husband, left at home
 to see our five children off to their first day at school, was
 absolutely furious, but I didn't let that stop me from having a great
 time.  I spent an hour of madness and confusion as Dave and Sandy Small
 and Dave Troy and I tried desperately to locate my hotel; nothing like
 getting lost to start off a fun evening.  The CodeHeads are always good
 for an interesting evening, and as their booth was next to mine, we were
 also able to make evening chit-chat extend into the next day.  I met
 for the first time a Dutch friend with whom I've corresponded for some
 time, and he helped me out in my booth sporadically.  My Australian
 distributor, Phil Reeves, was there, as was Michelle from Atari
 Australia.  In fact, representatives from Atari Italy, Norway, Sweden,
 Holland, and of course Germany came by my booth.  A few of my customers
 from Germany dropped by as well.  I spent an evening with GEnie online
 personality MIKE.SCHUETZ, who with some friends has started a software
 company in Germany.  We ate at the first good Greek restaurant I've ever
 been to.  Tom Harker of ICD, Nathan Potechin of ISD, the gang from Atari
 US...all of these contributed to my enjoyment of the trip, socially and
 professionally.  The tv set in my hotel room provided the German view of
 goings-on in the USSR.  And Star Trek in translation seems new all over

 Meeting the "public" is always interesting, but it becomes even more
 interesting when you don't know which language to use when first
 addressing another.  An American and I carried on a five-minute
 conversation in German before it occurred to us that we might
 communicate more effectively in English.  I tried English on Germans,
 German on Dutchmen, Dutch on Britons, Norwegian on Americans, all with
 about the same effectiveness and lack of grace.  Fortunately, I am
 strongest in the two languages nearly everyone understood, but I found
 that my German skills varied greatly from hour to hour.  I could nearly
 always understand what was asked, but couldn't always formulate a
 comprehensible reply.  It seems my German was most effective with cab
 drivers and waiters, and not so effective with professional contacts.
 If I go next year, and even if I don't, I think a refresher conversation
 course would be in order, with an emphasis on vocabulary related to
 computers, software, distribution, and business.

 In the US, I've often heard the German ST market pooh-poohed (God, did I
 say "pooh-poohed"?) by the cynics.  Is Germany _really_ Atari Heaven?
 At the AtariMesse, I heard a few Germans and Dutchmen say they thought
 Atari was "slipping".  I even met a fellow who had switched to the IBM
 a year ago and was now unhappy he had.  His six children spent an hour
 at my booth, all the while asking him if "der neue Computer" had any
 "wunderbare Programme" like mine.  I also met people who were extremely
 enthused about the Messe and, especially, the DTP-related products
 shown.  I can't make comparisons with last year.  I wasn't there.  I
 didn't see evidence that the ST is the #1 computer in Germany, but I saw
 plenty of evidence that it is a respected line with a sizeable market
 share.  And that, to me, _is_ Atari Heaven.  The AtariMesse is, indeed,
 the mother of all road trips.

                               by Andy Eddy

 The following article is reprinted in Z*Net by permission of AtariUser
 magazine and Quill Publishing.  It MAY NOT be further reprinted without
 specific permission of Quill.  AtariUser is a monthly Atari magazine,
 available by subscription for $18 a year.  For more information on
 AtariUser, call 800-333-3567.

      (From the August 1991 issue of AtariUser Magazine) (Part Two)

 [EDITOR'S NOTE:  AtariUser originally planned to include a monthly guide
 to the contents of the major Atari support magazines.  However, the only
 magazine that was willing to cooperate was STart, and of course, they
 are now history.  So, we commissioned Andy Eddy, a magazine professional
 with Atari experience, to do an objective look at Atari publications.
 We promised a free hand, and he shared his opinions frankly.  We didn't
 think it was quite right to include a review of AtariUser with these, so
 make up your own!]

 Atari Interface
 3487 Braeburn Circle
 Ann Arbor, MI 48108  (313) 973-8825
 Frequency: Monthly
 Issues Reviewed: February, March, April/May 1991
 Editorial Slant: Overall yet lightweight coverage.
 3.5 STARS   ***1/2

 Summary--Atari Interface Magazine (AIM) bills itself as "a monthly
 publication that also serves as an official newsletter of several
 independent Atari user groups."  Several?  It lists over 60
 participating Atari user groups.

 Look and Feel--AIM is an attractive package, from its color cover to its
 basic layout design.  (The great cover of the March issue, created on
 the TT, looks like a painting.)  It gets its information across quite
 well, without many hitches along the way.

 The production of the magazine is good, too.  It's printed on good
 paper, and the typography is clean--showing that the ability of the ST
 in DTP is adequate.

 Writing and Editing--The articles in AIM are friendly, for the most part
 informative (more on this in a second) and easy reading.  And,
 similarly, the editing doesn't impose on the writers' musings.

 One other thing that jumped out at me was an article called "Public
 Domain, It Doesn't Have to be Sold to be Good!"  While the article
 starts off describing the benefits of PD software, it turns into an AIM
 Monthly Disk pitch.  Editorial should be clear of advertising, and a
 magazine must be careful with that regard.

 Utility--While issues of AIM I looked at are over 50 pages of editorial
 material and advertising, I came away feeling like I was missing
 something--there didn't seem to be enough "information" in there.  For
 example, the February issue had about 20 pages of ads out of the 55
 pages, a sizable chunk.  Add to that about a dozen pages of club news
 (mainly listings of when the clubs meet and where, which would be best
 run on an occasional basis, as opposed to every month).  And the table
 of contents spans two pages, including the 60-plus clubs that
 contribute.  This really doesn't leave much for the reader to sink their
 teeth into.

 Also, some of the editorial material seemed to be, as described in the
 Atari Explorer review, somewhat limited in its focus.  For instance, the
 February issue included a 1-1/2-page "review" of Vampire Empire, an aged
 ST game, which doesn't so much review the game as describe it.  In that
 same issue, there is also a long article comparing two MIDI keyboards.
 Given the limited editorial space in AIM, I think it could have offered
 a better mix of material to suit the reader.

 In all fairness, the March issue seems to be a little better balanced
 with articles on the STe, the issue of Byte magazine not covering Atari
 products in its DTP overview, a piracy test and an article on London's
 16-bit Computer Faire, among others.  It still seemed to be a tad

 Overall Rating--Though AIM is pleasing to read, I can't overlook the
 fact that there just doesn't seem to be enough to dig into.  Perhaps
 this will change in future issues, and the foundation is there if it
 does.  3.5 STARS.

 Puget Sound Atari News
 P.O. Box 110576
 Tacoma, WA 98411-0576  (206) 566-1703 (Jim Chapman, coordinator)
 Frequency: Monthly
 Issues Reviewed: February, March/April 1991
 Editorial Slant: Potpourri
 2.5 STARS.   **1/2

 Summary--Self-described, the Puget Sound Atari News is the newsletter of
 the "participating non-profit Atari computer users groups.  The contents
 of PSAN are a compilation of club news, hobby and industry news and
 articles about Atari computers and supporting software and hardware."

 Look and Feel--Being a newsletter, PSAN is understandably rougher in its
 appearance, and more basic in its layout.  This doesn't hinder its
 ability to pass on information, and the publication's staff does a good
 job of putting it together.  Also, the magazine is created using Atari
 computers and related software.

 On the critical side, some of the articles were composed at an
 uncomfortably small point size.  At the same time, there were some
 filler cartoons unrelated to computers that could have been lifted for a
 better, easier-to-read layout.  The editor could also drop a story in
 favor of a cleaner magazine.

 But the bottom line is that the PSAN is a nice-looking package
 considering that it's not a professionally created magazine (like Atari
 Explorer), and is fairly comfortable and clean for a laser-printed

 Writing and Editing--Much of the writing comes from other sources, such
 as GEnie and other club publications, so some leniency needs to be given
 for consistency of writing and editing.  The expected quantity of typos
 and grammatical errors are found, however they don't diminish from the
 information that PSAN passes on.

 PSAN also builds itself up by adding some supplements, such as Z*Net
 ("The International Atari Newsletter") and a Club News section.

 Utility--Newsletters not only try to provide reviews and news within the
 world the club was formed to partake in, but also cover the club news
 itself.  PSAN is no different, and does the job well.  In the issues
 looked at, there were articles and reviews on such subjects as database
 programs, color printing, hardware projects and program reviews--there
 was even a review of the same game by two different people for better
 perspective.  PSAN also includes the 8-bit user, devoting space to that
 often-neglected community.

 Overall Rating--Again, I don't want it to appear as a strong criticism,
 but the PSAN is a newsletter in magazine format, and it suffers from
 some minor attendant problems.  However, its strength is that it offers
 something for everyone.  2.5 STARS.

 ST Informer
 280 Peach Street
 Merlin, OR 97532  (503) 476-0071
 Frequency: Monthly
 Issues Reviewed: March, April 1991
 Editorial Slant: Wide and agressive.
 4.5 STARS   ****1/2

 Summary--It's easy to spot ST Informer because it's the only newspaper-
 style ST publication that's out.  And its cover page is newspaper-like
 also, featuring some newsier items like press releases and reports.

 Look and Feel--ST Informer is a really nice presentation of material,
 and jams a lot of information into its pages.  Though it offers almost
 no color to speak of, its neat four-column layout is smooth to follow
 articles through.  It appears that ST Informer keeps the same style from
 month to month, placing new-product announcements and a feature on the
 front page, columns near the front, etc.  This makes the reader feel at
 home with each issue, much like you'd feel driving the roads of your
 home town.

 Writing and Editing--The content of ST Informer is all top drawer, and
 the editors make sure there is a good quantity of material for everyone,
 as well as the specialty stuff.  For instance, the April 1991 issue
 contained articles on new Atari products in the works, the new NeoDesk
 3.02, the second part of a RAM upgrade article, as well as a study of
 electrostatic discharge and its effect on computers, in addition to many
 reviews of ST products.

 It also appears that the editorial staff has a good idea of what they
 are doing.  The material is showcased well and grammatically correct.

 Utility--Even though there is a fair amount of advertising in ST
 Informer, the staff still seems to put a load of stuff in there.  Each
 issue is chock full of reviews, product announcements, tutorials and
 columns, among others.  The columns in particular cover most of the
 regular needs of the reader: game reviews, new products of interest, a
 rumor column and a Q&A help section.  The latter two are quite helpful--
 the rumor column gives the readers a fill of hot tidbits (for instance,
 did you know that a STacy was used on-stage at a Sting concert),
 potential stories and insight, while "The Help Key" provides some basic
 ST-specific techniques and answers questions that most users don't have
 anyone handy to answer.

 It's apparent that ST Informer can fill one other gap that most other
 publications can't: timeliness.  It would appear that ST Informer has
 almost no lead time (the time it takes for a magazine to get into
 readers' hands after it is completed) because the April '91 issue
 featured a reader letter commenting on a review in the March '91 issue.
 What this means is that ST Informer is more like a newspaper because the
 editors can place stories into it at the last minute.

 Overall Rating--ST Informer has something for everyone, and presents
 special-interest material in a way that can draw in those readers who
 may not normally raise their eyelids.  This is a well-produced
 publication.  4.5 STARS.

 ST World
 2463 Latona Court NE
 Salem, OR 97303 (503) 393-9688
 Frequency: Monthly?
 Issue Reviewed: April 1991
 Editorial Slant: Too early to tell.
 2 STARS   **

 Summary--After a hiatus with a strange story behind it, ST World seems
 to be back with new management, though there is some doubt that it has
 returned to a regular monthly schedule.

 Look and Feel--ST World is mainly a black-and-white publication, printed
 on newsprint--some of the ink will end up on your hands after a good
 read-through.  It also employs a fairly large point size, which not only
 makes it easy to read (like a kid's book), but also lets each article
 take up more space, thus filling the magazine quicker.

 Otherwise, the layout is very simple: three-column layout for most of
 the magazine, switching to two-column for a feature article.  The
 magazine employs very few graphics, but offers an "identity" by showing
 pictures of its columnists next to their work.

 Writing and Editing--This is a problem area, one that the editors should
 address in future issues.  For instance, ST World uses the straight
 quote marks that signal a less-than-professional look.  Also quirky is
 the schizophrenic mix of punctuation inside quotes in some articles,
 while being placed outside quotes in others.  This leads me to believe
 that the editors are leaving it up to the writers, again showing editing
 to be below standard.  The writing could also use some tweaking, but a
 few of the articles show great promise.

 One thing that really bothered me was the Errata section.  While error
 gremlins always manage to creep into even the best publications, ST
 World (with a long history of typos and layout errors) seems to dwell
 too much on the mistakes of the previous issue.  Apparently, the titles
 on four articles were switched, which is bad enough on the surface, but
 becomes worse when too much attention is paid to it.  As a reader, I'm
 not too concerned with the mechanics of why a mistake happened.  But as
 an editor, on the other hand, I can't subscribe to the explanation that
 these were flukes--even the most difficult, four-color magazines have
 room to check proof pages for mistakes, particularly those in headlines.
 'Nuff said.

 Utility--Unfortunately, this department didn't help my view of ST World.
 While there are some attractive articles in the issue I reviewed, there
 are also some pieces that are well-written but hit a very small
 audience.  How many of you are interested in a super-techie article
 called "V.32, the CCITT and the Tale of the 9600 Baud Modem"?  How about
 an article on "Clients and Servers"?  I'm not saying that technical
 articles don't have their place in general-interest magazines, but this
 stuff belongs in Byte or InfoWorld more than an Atari magazine, in my
 view.  A magazine that wants to gain subscribers can't overestimate its

 This is not to say that ST World is empty of helpful or well-directed
 writings.  It features a good mix of game reviews (both for Lynx and
 ST), a smattering of press releases and a preview section, among the
 previously mentioned articles.  A better mix of game coverage, "serious"
 hardware/software reviews and other articles of interest is needed.

 Overall Rating--Suffice it to say that I wasn't that pleased with the
 "new" ST World.  It would be good to see more issues; I only had one to
 work with, and couldn't prove the rumors of it being monthly.  2 STARS.

 Hey, what about the "online" magazines?  These are "free,"
 electronically transferred, available on CompuServe, GEnie, Delphi,
 F-Net, UseNet, and countless private bulletin boards.

 ST Report
 Post Office Box 6672
 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6672  (904) 783-3319
 Frequency: Weekly
 Issue Reviewed--May 24, May 31, June 7, 1991
 Editorial Slant--"A Current Affair" Meets the ST.
 3 STARS   ***

 Summary--One "publication" takes the prize as the National Enquirer of
 the ST world, and that's the electronic ST Report.  Though over time it
 has been proven to be a rumor monger, it has also been counted on by
 many each week for insight and no-holds-barred reporting.  What the heck
 is ten minutes of downloading worth to you?

 Look and Feel--Well, the look is what you make it.  After all, ST Report
 is a text file, so looks aren't really under consideration.  But its
 "flow," how the magazines moves from article to article and the choice
 of articles in each issue is smooth enough.  ST Report also features its
 share of regular columns that cover all subjects.

 Writing and Editing--Room has to be given to a weekly publication for
 some sloppiness.  ST Report does a good enough job of making the
 articles readable, though there are some of the traditional mistakes in
 punctuation, grammar and spelling.

 Another benefit about ST Report is the fact that there isn't much
 advertising in it, though there are ads just the same.  However,
 advertisements for CompuServe, Delphi and GEnie help more people get
 into a position of downloading ST Report--and getting involved with
 online activities--so it's easy to overlook.  Besides, the best thing
 about an electronic publication is the reader's ability to skip ahead if
 an article or advertisement annoys.

 Utility--Wait a minute.  Isn't the name of this publication ST Report?
 Why, then, are there extensive articles on other PCs ("CPU Report") and
 the Macintosh ("Mac Report")?  It's certainly a change from when I used
 to read ST Report regularly, and I'm not sure it's appropriate.
 However, when I used to read it regularly, it was ST specific--and about
 50K in size.  Now the ST Report files fill about 120K each, so I guess
 the readers can handle the extraneous non-ST filler.  It's up to them to
 determine whether other industry news is required reading--even though I
 find it to be inappropriate for a magazine named ST Report.  Yet, the
 articles are in-depth, particularly the "CPU Report", which is packed
 with technical insights and views on the industry.

 On the ST side, there are some helpful sections, such as the "A Little
 of This, A Little of That" column, which singles out some of the more
 important threads on the online services.  This not only gives readers
 who aren't online cruisers a view of what type of action takes place
 there, but also answers some of the questions of the day, like what the
 status of GCR and System 7-compatibility is and aging troubles with
 particular hard drives.  If only the rest of the "magazine" was more

 Finally , the editor, Ralph Mariano, is one of Atari's biggest fans--and
 detractors.  He is brutally honest about when Atari messes up, perhaps
 to a fault, which is something of a wake-up call for the company at
 times.  Though the readers get a benefit out of his rantings, they often
 go overboard, and have at times made him look like he is trying to
 create headlines.  Again, the National Enquirer provides an apt

 Overall Rating--If you can get by the snooty, smarmy rumor-slinging
 theatrics, the "I know something you don't know" reporting (which
 attempts to bring people back week after week like a soap opera) and the
 non-ST text, ST Report isn't really that bad for what it tries to
 accomplish.  And it's pretty painless to download or have copied from
 another ST user.  3 STARS.

 P.O. Box 59
 Middlesex, NJ 08846  (908) 968-2024
 Frequency: Weekly
 Issue Reviewed--May 17, May 24, 1991
 Editorial Slant--All the News That Fits.
 4 STARS   ****

 Summary--Ron Kovacs started ST Report as an offshoot of his ZMAGAZINE,
 and then...well, it's not important.  After too much bad blood, Ron
 abandoned ST Report to Ralph Mariano, and now does Z*Net.  It does its
 best to stick to reporting, both the visible on the behind the scenes

 Look and Feel--Again, as with ST Report, Z*Net's layout is nothing more
 than what you get when you load the file in your text editor of choice.
 Hey, you can make it two or three columns if you want, but its the
 content that matters.

 The "Feel" of Z*Net is comfortable, the kind of vision you get by
 peering in on the evening news on TV.  Z*Net tries to keep the reader
 informed of what the happenings are in the Atari community, without too
 much fluff or non-specific reportage.  In comparison to ST Report, Z*Net
 also has its share of columns, though much better focused to the Atari
 world.  And no advertising at all.

 Writing and Editing--The columns we just spoke of are nicely written
 and, again, well focused.  For example, the "Z*Net Software Shelf" by
 Ron Berinstein is a regular porthole to the new software appearing for
 the ST owner.  Not only does this column offer a listing of new products
 and what they can be expected to do, but it also leads in the body of
 the article with some humorous and friendly--okay, sometimes eccentric--
 chatter.  As mentioned before, this adds personality and freshness to a
 publication.  Z*Net also has a nice mix of technical and non-technical

 The editing is subject to the usual breaks in consistency, but Z*Net
 also features a good amount of reprinting--the issues I looked at
 included transcripts of online conferences and reprints of features from
 AtariUser--so it is pretty clean grammatically.

 Utility--The fact that material is reprinted from other sources makes
 Z*Net's utility rating suffer somewhat, although most conference
 transcripts are mercifully condensed by the Z*Net editors.

 An important issue, though, is that Z*Net features almost entirely
 Atari-related news, with the exception of the "Z*Net Newswire," which is
 industry-wide coverage, though a lot less intense or technically
 oriented than ST Report.  (It, however, turned my head to see news
 stories in the May 17, 1991, issue on the death of John Maher, publisher
 of Down Beat magazine, the retirement of Harry Reasoner from the 60
 Minutes TV show and the recent changes in Zenith computer prices.  Hmmm,
 must've been a slow Atari-news week.)

 A major benefit is that 95% of Z*Net is solid Atari coverage, and the
 issues generally were less than 50% the size of the similar ST Report,
 clicking in at about 55K in size.

 Overall Rating--Most of Z*Net is meaty Atari reporting, something that
 makes it a big draw for Atari-computer owners.  It doesn't take much
 time out of your week to download and scan through it, and you'll
 probably walk away with a few tidbits of knowledge that will help you be
 a more-informed user.  4 STARS.

 That about covers the regular periodicals, both print and electronic.
 Certainly the cost wouldn't preclude you from getting a hold of a few to
 receive the varied benefit that some of these publications offer.  And,
 needless to say, one man's ceiling may be another man's floor.  For that
 reason, you should look into the content of the magazines I covered here
 to see if you get something out of them that I didn't--or even simply
 disagree with me.

 Finally, there are many European Atari coverage magazines being imported
 with varied regularity.  When reading foreign mags, understand that the
 ST is treated differently in other parts of the world, and may feature
 products not available or usable in North America.  Also keep in mind
 that the cover prices only indicate the price in their respective
 countries; import costs may not enter into the equation.  Check with
 your local Atari store or contact the publishers directly for more
 information on how you can get a copy.  A pair of British magazines and
 one German magazine were in my grab-bag:

 ST Format, The Old Barn Somerset, Somerset, England TA11 7PY0458 74011.
 Monthly, in English.

 Atari ST User, Europa House, Adlington Park, Macclesfield, England SK10
 4NP0625 878888.  Monthly, in English.

 Atari PD Journal, HolbeinstraBe 606000, Frankfurt am Main 70, Germany
 06151 56057-8.  Monthly, all in German.

 Happy reading!

 BIO: Andy Eddy, a long-time Atari journalist, is currently Executive
 Editor for VideoGames & Computer Entertainment and TurboPlay magazines.
 He can be reached on Delphi as VIDGAMES (where he is sysop for the World
 of Video Games SIG), CompuServe at 70007,3554 or GEnie at VIDGAME.

                          Clip Out And Print Off

 (clip here)
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

            *-*-*-*-*  Special Discount Coupon Offer *-*-*-*-*

  For a limited time only you may use this special coupon order form
  to obtain your copy of the world's leading Atari ST BBS program.
  This offer expires September 15th 1991.  To use this coupon just
  print this portion of this weeks Z*Net Online, fill out and mail.

  $10.00 off the regular price of FoReM ST with this coupon only!!

  Regularly $79.95 including shipping, only $69.95 with this offer.

  Your Name ____________________________________________________

  Address   ____________________________________________________

  City/State/Zip _______________________________________________

  Your voice phone _____________________________________________

  Your BBS Name   ______________________________________________

  Mail completed coupon with $69.95 to:

            Stephen Rider
            20 Cargill Ave
            Worcester  MA  01610

         Orders must be postmarked no later than 9/15/91

            *-*-*-*-*  Special Discount Coupon Offer *-*-*-*-*
                         Z*NET ONLINE - 08319136
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 (clip here)

                    SOFT-LOGIK UPGRADES PAGESTREAM 2.1
                          SLM804 PRINTER DRIVER
                            by Vernon W. Smith
              ACE of Syracuse Newsletter Contributing Editor

 Soft-Logik Publishing, 11131F S. Towne Sq., St. Louis, MO 63123
 (314/894-8608) has upgraded its printer driver for the Atari SLM804
 Laser Printer.

 The new driver corrects two problems which I reported in earlier review
 articles about PageStream 2.1:

 1.  The squiggled type 1/8th inch deep which occurred about 1/2 inch
     from the top of all pages printed after the first page.  This
     squiggle occurred in all programs used on the ST after one page had
     been printed on the SLM804 from PageStream 2.1.  The only solution
     with the old driver was to turn the printer off and on before
     printing the next page or to widen the margin at the top of the page
     to bring the first line of type below the squiggle area.

 2.  The inability to print from UltraScript.  If one page had been
     printed to the SLM804 printer, any subsequent pages printed to disk
     as PostScript files would invoke an error message in UltraScript.
     The only solution was to turn the printer off an on before using the
     UltraScript program to print the PostScript disk files.

 I notified Soft-Logik of these problems Monday, July 15 and I received
 the corrected printer driver Saturday, August 24.  It is nice to know
 that Soft-Logik continues to provide backup support for PageStream 2.1
 as it has done for earlier versions of the program.

 In preparing an article for the ACE of Syracuse September/October
 Newsletter, I have found improvements in the graphics import
 capabilities of PageStream 2.1 over 1.8.

 GEM files which would not import to 1.8 properly (they either produced
 random lines or exploded into parts on the 1.8 screen), now come into
 PageStream 2.1 correctly.

 I have imported GEM files from EasyDraw, GEMDraw, and Calamus clip art

 PostScript EPS files which can only be printed out with a PostScript
 printer or with UltraScript import correctly to PageStream 2.1 and look
 fine when printed out with UltraScript.

 Macintosh MacPaint pictures transferred to the ST as MAC extender files
 import to PageStream 2.1 in full depth (twice the depth of a normal ST
 screen) and print out completely.

 I continue to be impressed with the way in which Soft-Logik has
 qualitatively improved PageStream not only by adding new features but
 by smoothing out the operation of old ones.

                            TRACKER/ST UPDATE
                              Press Release

 Tracker/ST and MultiGem: A Tiny Update

 I wanted to let Tracker/ST owners know that we have made Tracker/ST just
 a little more MultiGem compatible.

 As it is, all versions of Tracker/ST run perfectly with MultiGem.
 Depending on how much memory you have, you can run Tracker/ST along with
 your favorite telecommunications program, desktop publishing program,
 and so on, switching between them with just a single mouse click.  The
 only problem is that since Tracker/ST does not allow you to resize the
 window, accessing your other applications is a bit more difficult than
 it need be (you must use the Accessory Menu Bar).  We will send a new
 version of Tracker/ST to any registered owner of our program who also
 owns MultiGem and wants to be able to resize their Tracker/ST screen.
 No other changes have been made to Tracker/ST, and this update is really
 very minor.

 To receive your new version of Tracker/ST just send a check or money
 order for $3.00 (to cover our mailing and disk costs) to us at the
 address in the Tracker/ST manual.  If you have not registered your copy
 of Tracker/ST you must include your registration card at the same time.
 If you have any version below 2.5, you must sent $7.50 instead of $3.00,
 as that is our update fee to upgrade to version 2.5.

 I hope this is clear. It is a very small update, but since MultiGem is
 apparently selling quite well, I wanted to make this offer to any new
 MultiGem owners.

 For more information about Tracker/ST, the leading Atari mailing list/
 mail merge program, contact Step Ahead Software at 212-627-5830.

 --Nevin Shalit
  Step Ahead Software, Inc.

                         MODEMS - THE BEST CHOICE
          from Intersect Software via CompuServe AtariPro Forum

 Ready to buy your first modem or upgrading?  The following paper tries
 to explain BRIEFLY about the various choices available.

 In order of cost, least to most:

 1200  Hayes Compatible  (Atari has a sale on this)         $39.00
 2400  Hayes Compatible  (This is the most common choice)   $89.00
 2400+ Hayes Compatible  (This modem has MNP5)             $120.00
 9600  Hayes Compatible  (V.32 MNP5 V.42 V.42bis)          $350.00

 The above prices are as of 08/23/91 and may be more or less at your
 local dealer.  The modems are all External and don't include a RS-232
 cable (average cost $8.00) or communications software.

 Your choice will depend on your pocketbook and what you intend to use it
 for.  Your online time will be less, of course, with the faster modems
 (more cost).  If you do a lot of long distance BBS'ing then your best
 buy in the long run would be the 9600 baud modem provided that the BBS
 you call supports it with one of their own.  (9600 baud modems just came
 down in price about $100 and we expect to see more of them installed in
 BBS systems over the standard 2400 baud modems)

 If you plan to connect to systems using higher level terminal emulations
 like VT-100 thru VT-300 or GUI interfaces (Graphical User Interface) you
 would be advised to purchase a modem with error correction.
 Transmission Errors can severely affect one of these types of terminal

 Line noise and data error when telecomputing are quite common so a
 special modem is necessary, a modem with ERROR CORRECTION built in.
 Several types are available; MNP (Microcom networking Protocol) and

 Almost all nodes for Genie and Compuserve are now supported by MNP level
 4 modems.  These provide error free communications when two such modems
 are connected to each other.  One would almost think <grin> that they
 have something planned for the future in the way of GUI interfaces.

 MNP level 5 provides data compression as well as error correction.  With
 uncompressed files or ASCII transfers you can usually get a 2:1
 compression ratio or an effective transfer rate twice the connect rate.
 For example at 2400 baud your transfer rate could approach 4800 baud.

 V.42 is an International error correction protocol and is found in the
 more expensive modems.  In any case it's a better and more expensive
 protocol than MNP4.  Usually the more expensive 9600 baud modems have
 both MNP and V.42 support.

 V.42bis is an International error correction (V.42) and data compression
 protocol that provides 4:1 compression on uncompressed data.  With ascii
 or uncompresed files you can get an effective (best case) transfer rate
 of four times your connect rate or 38,400 baud.

 Very few computers are capable of transfers over the RS-232 port at
 38,400 baud.  The ST sure isn't and most 386 and 486 PC's can't either
 (note: one of the TT's Rs-232 ports can transfer at 91000 baud).  For
 now it's kind of wasted except where your modem falls back to a lower
 speed because of bad telephone line conditions and your modem carrier is
 at 2400 instead of 9600 baud.  In this case you are still transferring
 data at an effective rate of 9600 baud when using V.42bis.

 V.32 is an International standard for 9600 baud modems.  In the USA 1200
 and 2400 modems are pretty standard but if you are really using the long
 distance phone lines and calling Europe you may have a problem
 connecting.  There are several standards in Europe that US modems can't
 connect to unless they support those standards.  Most 9600 baud modems
 support both US and European telecommunication standards.

 When two modems are connected to each other over the phone line the
 first thing they have to do is to talk to each other to find out what
 speed (baud rate) or error correction and Compression protocols they
 have in common (so they can be used).  This is the warbling computer
 associated tone you hear upon connecting with the other modem.

 With a 9600 baud modem a try at communication at 9600 baud is attempted.
 If the correct answering tone isn't received in a few seconds or is
 corrupted (bad phone line) a 2400 baud tone is generated/sent.  This is
 called fall back.  If connection can't be made at 2400 baud then a fall
 back to 1200 baud takes place.

 Once the modems establish a common carrier speed the 9600 baud modem
 tries to establish a common error correction/compression protocol.
 Starting with V.42bis falling back to v.42 then MNP5 then MNP4 through

 Another nice feature of the 2400+ and 9600 baud modems is that they Auto
 baud detect and convert the carrier speed to a fixed Rs-232 speed.  You
 can leave your Rs-232 speed at 19,200 and the modem takes care of the
 rest.  You no longer have to watch for the connect speed and change your
 RS-232 settings.


 In summary if you plan on buying a 9600 baud modem make sure it supports
 the following: V.32, V.42bis, V.42, MNP 5

 Or if a 2400 baud modem connected to a UNIX or other Mainframe then by
 all means get the 2400+ modem with MNP error correction.

 If just hobbying over the phone line and the wife controls the purse
 strings <grin> then the Atari 1200 baud modem is probably the only one
 she will let you buy....but try for the 9600 baud, tell her that you
 will really be saving money by reducing your on-line (long distance)
 time <grin>.

                           TX2 FORMAT EXPLAINED
                     Copyright (c) 1991 David Holmes
                            GEnie: D.HOLMES14

 This file will describe the complete TX2 format.  You can read this just
 out of curiousity, or if you want to add TX2 support to your programs.

 All new TX2 files should be level 4.  Levels 2 and 3 were used in the
 old shareware version of the TX2 File Viewer.  Following are the codes
 for level 4 files, followed by the changes that were made from levels 2
 and 3.

 The codes will be listed as hex, preceded with a dolar sign.

 Every TX2 file starts with a header.  The first byte must be $14.  The
 second byte indicates the level of the file.  Level 4 files use $04.
 This is followed by a carriage return and line feed ($0D0A), as every
 line should.

 Evey line which contains any TX2 code must start with a null ($00).  If
 not present, the program will ignore any codes that might appear on that

    $01    Color 1 (not used very often)
    $02    Color 2
    $03    Color 3
    $04    Bold
    $05    Light
    $06    Italics
    $14    Double Size
    $1402  Half Size
    $16    Underline
    $1E    Outline

 Each of the above is a toggle.  The first time it apears will turn it
 on; the next time will turn it off.

 Note: If the code for italics ($06) comes before an underline character,
 the "_" will not be printed.  This is because most people use this
 character to represent italics when in plain text mode.

 A very important code is $10.  This signifies that there are no more
 codes on the line, so the program can blit the rest of it very quickly.
 This also turns off all of the special effects except different colors.
 (Note: the TX2 Editor does not use this code.)

 $0F is the ignore code.  If found, the program will ignore the rest of
 the text on the line, and not print it.

 $1102, $1103, $1104, $2002, $2003, and $2004 are codes reserved for
 GEnie Lamp magazine.  They are for the titles and Quick_Quotes that
 appear within this online magzine.

 $12 is for a divider.  It was designed for GEnie Lamp, but can be used
 elsewhere.  It is a small design (about 50 pixels wide) meant to
 separate sections.  It also signifies the end of a line.

 $13 is for a line.  It is a thick (shadowed in color) line meant to be
 used in place of "------------", etc.  The first $13 indicates the start
 of the line; the second is for the end.  Make sure that you end the line
 before the next carriage return; otherwise, you can create problems.

 $1C if for a full external picture.  It is followed by the number of the
 picture to be displayed, using the translation table (see below).  In
 the text, the program will create a small [** PICTURE **] icon.  By
 pressing [P], the picture will be called up.  (See the section on the
 index below for more information.)

 $17 is for an integrated picture.  This is followed by the number of the
 picture to be used, using the translation table.  The next code is the
 line of the picture to be displayed, also using the translation table.

 That's it for the codes.  The translation table is used to number items
 without using displayable codes.  They are as follows:

    1    $02
    2    $03
    3    $04
    4    $05
    5    $06
    6    $0E
    7    $0F
    8    $10
    9    $11
    10   $12
    11   $13
    12   $14
    13   $16

 The program only allows for up to 13 of each type of picture.  However,
 integrated pictures can use more than 13 lines.  For numbers beyond 13,
 they use $17 plus the table all over again.  Simply add the 13 to the
 next code.  For example, $1706 is the code for line #18.

 These are all of the codes that would appear within a TX2 file.  There
 is also a separate index file, which has the same filename, except with
 the ".IDX" extension.  If contains a list of sections, plus filenames of
 pictures to be added to the text.

 If there are no pictures, the first line only contains the number of
 items in the index.  Then, each following line contains the section
 name, enclosed in quotation marks (". . ."), followed by a comma,
 followed by the line on which the section starts in the file.

 If there are pictures, then it is a little more complicated.  The first
 line must contain the string, "PICS", no quotes.  The next line contains
 four numbers, separated by commas.  They are number of external
 pictures, number of integrated pictures, number of clipped DEGAS
 pictures, and the last one is reserved for future use.  Then, list the
 filenames of all of the pictures.

 External pictures are full-sized NEO or DEGAS (compressed or
 uncompressed) pictures.  List these first, if there are any.  If there
 is more than one picture for different resolutions, use "x" and "y"
 (note lowercase) in place of the "1," "2," or "3."  An "x" means that
 there is a picture for medium and high resolution.  A "y" means that
 there is a picture for low and high resolution.  (see example at end of

 Integrated pictures are those stored in the GFA BASIC PUT format.  These
 take the extension "PTM" for medium resoltion, and "PTH" for high
 resolution.  You can also use the "x" to indicate that a picture is
 available in more than one resolution.

 Clipped DEGAS pictures aren't used much, but they are useful for
 compressing integrated pictures.  List the filename, followed by the
 width and length of the area to be clipped.  (The picture must start at
 the 0,0 coordinate.)  For example, "PICTURE.PCx,100,50".

 Here is an example of an actual index file taken from issue #2.23 of
 GEnie Lamp magazine.  (Comments as shown cannot be included.)

 PICS          ; required string
 8,5,0,0       ; there are eight full pics and five integrated ones
 MODEM2.PIy    ; this picture works in high and low resolutions
 FIGURE1.PI3   ; this picture only works in high resolution
 GELMP.PTx     ; this integrated picture works in high and medium
 17            ; there are seventeen sections
 "TOP",2       ; name of sections is in quotes, followed by the staring
 "FROM MY DESKTOP",93    ; note: 2 should be added to any starting
 "MEL'S MANOR",1222
 "GEnie Online",2314
 "HACK'N ATARI",2592
 "LOG OFF",3067

 If you have any questions on anything mentioned in this file, please
 let me know at "David Holmes, 13124 Rose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90066-
 2223".  Or, send E-Mail on GEnie to [D.HOLMES14].  I am willing to work
 with you to get TX2 supported in other programs.


 Level 2 and 3 files had a few differences.  First, level two files
 started with $1402, and level three files started with $140303.  The two
 are identical in every way except that level three files support an
 index, while level two files don't.

 In these files, lines with codes either started with $00 or $0000+
 another code.  The double null signified to search for the following
 character.  For example,

 $00 $00 $06 This is a test of $06_italics$06_$10...

 This was replaced in level four files by an automatic search feature.

 Also, "lines" starting with $13 did not end with another $13, but rather
 a space, $20.

 Underline was $07 (but this rang the system bell).  Integrated pictures
 used $1F.  Quick_Quotes used $20, $22, and $23.

 The translation table used $0C for six, and everything else was moved
 up one.  $14 followed by another would be 14 plus the other.

 Note: This format is in the public domain.  Anyone may write a program
 which supports TX2 files to any extent without my permission.  However,
 I would appreciate it if you would let me know.  I am also available if
 you need any help understanding how it works.

 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
 XJM11877,GEnie  and  hit  RETURN.
 To sign up for CompuServe service, call 800-848-8199.  Ask for operator
 198.  You will be sent a $15.00 free membership kit.
 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 and on GEnie at address: Z-Net.  FNET NODE 593
 Publicity:   Four   Corners  Communications,  160  Fifth  Avenue,
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                       Z*NET Atari Online Magazine
                Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries, Inc..

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