Atari Explorer Online: 17-Oct-92 #9217

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 10/20/92-07:06:17 PM Z

From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: Atari Explorer Online: 17-Oct-92 #9217
Date: Tue Oct 20 19:06:17 1992

            Published and Copyright (c)1992, Atari Corporation
                           1196 Borregas Avenue
                       Sunnyvale, California 94088
    ~ President, Atari Corporation........................Sam Tramiel
    ~ VP Software Development.........................Leonard Tramiel
    ~ Developer Relations Manager........................Bill Rehbock
    ~ Director, Marketing Services.........................Don Thomas
    ~ Director of Communications...........................Bob Brodie
    ~ Corporate Director, International Music Markets....James Grunke
    ~ Atari Explorer Magazine............................Mike Lindsay
    ~ Atari Explorer Online Magazine.......................Ron Kovacs
    October 17, 1992         Volume 1, Number 17         Issue #17
                     The Editors Desk - By Ron Kovacs

 This is ISSUE #17 of Atari Explorer Online Magazine.  If you missed our
 last edition, not available on the pay services in it's initial release,
 we noted in this column that we would be returning to bi-weekly 
 publishing.  However, that may change to a further in-between release
 schedule as Z*Net Atari Online Magazine returns next week.
 There is NOTHING to read between the lines here.  The main reason we are
 re-releasing Z*Net Online issues is for industry coverage and commentary
 within articles and columns.  Atari Explorer Online WILL continue and
 contain OFFICIAL Atari related information, comments from the Director
 of Communications, Atari Explorer Magazine reprints, Atari Press
 Releases, and other Atari specific information.  Z*Net will return with
 some of the original staff and aggressive community reporting, the Z*Net
 Newswire and coverage of the computer industry.
 There will be more information forthcoming on thie changes, so stay 
 tuned for more!

 | | |  Schedule of Shows and Events
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 /// October 24
 The Houston Atari Safari at the Houston Marriott Astrodome, 2100 South
 Braeswood.  Guest Speakers include Bob Brodie, CodeHeads and Double
 Click Software.  Arrangements have been made with the Marriott Astrodome
 for a special room rate for Atari Safari Attendees.  The normal room
 rate is $79.00.  Make your room reservations by October 12th and
 identify yourself as an Houston Atari Safari attendee and you will
 qualify for the show rate of $59.00.  Reservations can be made by
 calling the Marriott at 713-797-9000 or calling the national Marriott
 number of 800-228-9290.  For more informationand times call Bill Kithas
 713-855-0815 or Harold Gailey 713-988-3712.
 /// November 16th-20th
 Fall COMDEX, the biggest computer trade show in the USA.  Atari will
 again have a major presence at the Las Vegas, Nevada show.  The Falcon
 line of computer is expected to dominate the Atari booth, with
 outstanding demonstrations for the dealer and distributor attendees to
 /// December 4-6, 1992
 The Computer Graphics Show 1992 at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center
 in New York City.  This is a CMC event.  For more information call;
 (203) 852-0500, extension 234.
 /// January 1993
 The Winter Consumer Electronics Show comes to Las Vegas, Nevada.  CES is
 an electronic playground, with everything in the way of high tech toys
 for kids and adults.  Game consoles and hand-held entertainment items
 like the Atari Lynx are big here, and Atari will attend with a hotel
 suite showroom.  Contact Atari Corp for more information on seeing their
 display at 408-745-2000.
 /// January 6-9, 1993
 MacWorld Expo in San Fransisco California, Sponsored by MacWorld
 Magazine.  Titled San Fransisco '93 at the Moscone Center.
 /// February 1993
 NAMM is the largest conclave of musicians each year.  Held in Los
 Angeles at the Anaheim Convention Center, the variety of sights at the
 National Association of Music Merchandisers is wilder than at
 Disneyland, just next door.  Atari was the first computer manufacturer
 to ever display at NAMM in 1987, and has become a standard at the shows.
 A trade show for music stores, distributors, and professionals of every
 strata, entertainers are seen everywhere at NAMM.  Contact James Grunke
 at Atari Corp for more information at 408-745-2000.
 /// March 1993
 CeBIT, the world's largest computer show with 5,000 exhibitors in 20
 halls, is held annually in Hannover, Germany.  Atari traditionally
 struts its newest wares there, usually before it's seen in the USA or
 anywhere else.  In '93, the Atari 040 machines should be premiering, and
 this is the likely venue.  Third party developers also use this show to
 introduce new hardware and software, so expect a wave of news from CeBIT
 every year.  Atari Corp and the IAAD coordinate cross-oceanic contacts
 to promote worldwide marketing of Atari products, and this show is an
 annual touchstone of that effort.  Contact Bill Rehbock at Atari Corp
 for information at 408-745-2000.
 /// August 3-6, 1993
 MacWorld Expo at the Boston World Trade Center, Bayside Exposition
 Center and sponsored by MacWorld Magazine.  This event is titled Boston
 /// September 18-19th, 1993
 The Glendale Show returns with the Southern California Atari Computer
 Faire, V.7.0, in suburban Los Angeles, California.  This has been the
 year's largest domestic Atari event, year after year.  Contact John King
 Tarpinian at the user group HACKS at 818-246-7286 for information.
 /// September 20-22, 1993
 The third MacWorld Expo, titled Canada '93 at the Metro Toronto
 Convention Centre, sponsored by MacWorld Magazine.
 Editor Note:  Parts of this column were provided by AtariUser Magazine.

 | | |  ATARINET
 | | |  By Bill Scull
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 AtariNet - You have been hearing about it, noticed a few messages
 referencing it, and wonder what it is??
 It's a new network for any BBS that supports the Atari home computer.
 It's primary intent is to bring all BBS's that support Atari users
 It is easily available NOW with the FidoDoor or FiFo program for the 
 FoReM or Turbo BBS program.  After you have installed the door or 
 utility, you will be ready to access this growing and sure to be, 
 popular Atari network.
 There are currently several nodes already participating, and more are
 welcome to join.  The following is a listing of some of the AtariNet
 Echoes already established and a few on the drawing board.
 AtariNet SysOps
 AtariNet echoes discussion
 Atari products for sale/wanted
 Atari supported BBSes
 BinkleyTerm ST support
 Atari DeskTop Publishing
 FIDOdoor Support
 FidoNet ST discussion
 Atari general discussion
 Atari graphics
 IOSmail Support
 Atari programming
 Atari sound/music
 Atari tech talk
 Atari Explorer Online Magazine
 If you'd like further information or would like to join please contact
 one of the following people.
 US - South East   Bill Scull      Fido 1:363/112   AtariNet 51:1/0
 US - North East   Dean Lodzinski  Fido 1:107/633   AtariNet 51:4/0
 US - Midwest      Terry May       Fido 1:209/745   AtariNet 51:2/0
 US - West         Tony Castorino  Fido 1:102/1102  AtariNet 51:3/0
 Canada            Don Liscombe    AtariNet 51:5/0
 Europe            Daron Brewood   Fido 2:255/402   AtariNet 51:6/0

 | | |  By G.T. Cohen
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 1990-92:The T16/T25 Accelerator Boards: A worthy upgrade
 Now that 030 boards and computers are here, should anyone even consider
 a 16 mhz or 25 mhz board?  This article is a personal account of the
 pros and cons of the two boards.
 My reason for purchasing an accelerator board was to improve the slow
 scrolling-speed of text in Word Writer, the popular ST word processor.
 Even with software scrolling accelerators, like Turbo ST and Warp 9, the
 speed was still annoyingly slow, especially for paragraph re-formats
 which such programs could not accelerate.
 The T16's 40% speed improvement was very noticeable when scrolling
 through a large document.  The improvement was not doubled, but the
 scrolling speed was now quite tolerable.  In comparison, the text
 scrolled as fast as an 386-SX running the Windows-Write word processor.
 For most applications the improvement was about 150% or 12 mhz; only for
 math-heavy functions like Lharcing and Arcing did the speed approach 200
 Printmaster improved tremendously, as did desktop operations, search and
 replace routines, and hard drive operations when using a disk-cache.
 PC Ditto software improved in scrolling by 40-50% with the T16, I have
 not tried the Spectre GCR Macintosh emulator.  Even PC Ditto II, the
 hardware emulator board, improved in speed from 4.77 to 5.2 mhz.  These
 emulators were untested on the T25.
 The T25's improvement is very noticeable; dialog boxes and item
 selectors appear instantly.  All GEM operations improved dramatically,
 as did general hard drive cache performance in terms of data
 verification when loading and saving.  With the exception of most games,
 all other programs are noticeably improved in speed.  Screen re-draws,
 scrolling, and text reformatting on Word Writer are very acceptable at
 25 mhz.
 STalker, the popular terminal program, slowed down less when doing
 background operations like group-dialing, uploading and downloading.
 STeno operated even faster, search and replace operations were
 lightening fast.
 QWK offline message readers, now used by most bulletin boards and modem
 users, use ARC and LZH utilities, which are most improved by accelerator
 boards.  Load times for all compressed files are reduced considerably;
 most of my files are compressed using DC Squish v.1.2, like Word Writer,
 'squished' from 150k to 75k, and take about one second to unsquish at 25
 mhz (about three seconds without).  Games that use compression, like
 Dungeon Master, also de-compress faster although the disk drives are
 themselves never accelerated.  All these speed increases, even if they
 seem small, save time in the long run, especially if you use programs in
 AUTO folders and desktop accessories, which are usually accessed every
 time you power-up.
 About three out of every four games tested, due to their timing
 routines, showed little or no speed improvement with either the T16 or
 T25.  Games like Blood Money, P-47, Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back,
 Paradroid '90, Toki, Rambo III, Terry's Big Adventure (a Super-Mario
 type game) Stunt Car Racer and Super Hang-On improved only slightly.
 Some games improved wildly, like flight simulators and most adventure
 games like Populace, Hardball, Sim City, and Major Motion (whose chunky,
 awkward scrolling, with the T16 had ice-smooth speed and handling).
 Starglider I and II, Plutos, Arctic Fox, Vroom, Outrun, and the four-
 disk Formula One Grand Prix improved greatly in both scrolling speed and
 Arcade enthusiasts will be pleased to find that Rampage, Bubble Bobble,
 and Operation Thunderbolt and Operation Wolf run nicely at 16 mhz; about
 the same speed as the arcade version.  Joust at 16 mhz is playable at
 high levels where before it would slow down when too many objects were
 At 25 mhz, game speed improvements are even more pronounced.  Rampage is
 actually too fast: characters and sprites flicker and negatively affect
 playability.  With games like Vroom, the ST is transformed into an
 arcade-speed dream machine.
 Pacland, while improved with at 16 mhz, runs at arcade speed with the
 T25.  Another World and Prince of Persia, two graphic adventure games
 which suffer slowdowns due to complex animation sequences, improved
 dramatically, and ran at a very respectable speed with the T25.
 Dragon's Lair and Space Ace animations ran faster and more smoothly.
 Most noticeably, accelerated games ran fast enough to cause great
 frustration when played again at only 8 mhz.  Chessmaster 2000, and
 shareware board games like Monopoly, Sorry and STrabble (a Scrabble
 clone) improved dramatically, and made all games played against the
 computer more enjoyable by reducing time needed to calculate moves.
 For the T16, compatibility problems occurred with Spectrum and its
 pictures, which can only be run or displayed at 8 mhz, and about a dozen
 games which use hardware tricks tied to an 8 mhz clock speed, such as
 Enchanted Lands (and many other games made by Thalion), Silent Service
 II, and Prehistoric.  If 100% game compatibility or Spectrum use is
 important to you, the T16 accelerator board is obviously not for you.
 The 16 mhz Adspeed board, as well as Fast-Tech's T20 and T25 boards will
 run at exactly 8 mhz, solving the problem in all but a few cases.
 The T25 is able to software switch to 8 mhz, which virtually guarantees
 nearly 100% software compatibility.  Of all applications, only DC Format
 refused to work at 25 mhz; it would report an error and not format; but
 at 8 mhz it worked flawlessly.  The Magic Shadow Archiver (MSA), a disk-
 compression and de-compression utility, would report an error but would
 still work perfectly at 25 mhz.
 I strongly recommend the installation of a hardware switch for T25
 owners who enjoy games.  The T25 boots in either 25 mhz or 8 mhz, and
 requires a 1k program to switch speeds.  The latter mode means that you
 must install the switch program every time you want your ST to run at
 25 mhz.  Installing the switch program in AUTO folders, or finding a
 disk with the program and swapping it is a time-consuming process
 compared to flicking a switch.  In addition, Double Click's freeware/
 public domain 'DC Bootit' program must be used with many protected games
 if they are to run at T25 speed, as their disk formats are often
 encrypted, preventing the  program from being written to disk.  With the
 hardware switch, speeds may only be switched in boot-up mode -any other
 time will cause a crash.
 The price of speed?  Accelerator boards of 16 mhz cost about $200-$275
 from many mail order outlets.  Most boards require expert installation,
 which may add $50-$100 to the total cost.  The T25 costs $380 US funds,
 but it is still less expensive than the 030 boards offered by Fast-Tech
 and Gadgets (which cost  about $600-$1100).  I have used Word Writer on
 a TT, and while it is faster than the T25, for the difference in cost
 and software compatibility, the T25 wins hands down.
 Having owned accelerator boards for a few years, I can say that it
 stopped me from looking at PC clones as my only escape from Word
 Writer's slow scrolling.  I've tried switching down to 8 mhz to see if I
 could manage well without it, and the result is an overwhelming "No."
 I'd sooner learn the PD ST Writer or the cryptic ProText than return to
 Word Writer at 8 mhz.  In all, the added zip of an accelerator board in
 many utilities and daily applications like arcing, windows, dialog boxes
 and spell-checkers, is well worth the cost.
 G.T. Cohen is a 23 year old University (of Toronto) student, majoring in
 History and Criminology and has used Atari ST computers since 1986, and
 is active in local Atari groups and BBS's.


 | | |  TO BE OR NOT TO BE - PART TWO    An Adventure In BBS LAND
 | | |  By Bob Smith
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 Future installments of this column will appear in Z*Net Atari Online
 Magazine.  Look for the return next week!
 When I was last with you, I was telling you about the formidable task of
 learning about "Remote Sysoping".  As I immersed my self into this, the
 questions came fast and I move this file there or do I
 delete this file, do I validate this user at that level, how do I go
 into that utility to do this verification....  At this point, the
 overriding question of "To Be Or Not To Be" became more and more
 difficult to answer.
 Anyway, the particular BBS program that I was starting to learn was the
 8 Bit version of FoRem.  While there are several other BBS programs that
 are just as good, this program was made available to me by one of the
 local warriors (sysops) and he provided guidance and encouragement.
 After all, I was learning the very structure of his BBS and in my
 blundering forward (or backwards, depending on your point of view) I
 could very easily bring down the BBS.  I read and re-read the
 documentation, and most times could make little sense of it and just had
 to keep at it on a trial and (more than one occasion) error basis.  This
 particular sysop was extremely patient and understanding.  He would just
 sigh and explain where I had gone wrong and proceed to let me make the
 same mistake again.  Before I continue, I just want to thank that 8 Bit
 sysop by name.  He is George Manolas and he has since left the 8 Bit
 world and gone onto other things.
 One of the nice things in getting involved was that I found other people
 in this net that were most kind and were willing to help me.  To this
 day, I have found that most all of the sysops that I have gotten to know
 are real nice and only too glad and willing to help.  More about this
 Now back to the my ongoing journey.  In learning the usage of the BBS
 from the other side, the perspective of the user is forever changed.  As
 a user, I never gave a thought as to what went on with the BBS and if I
 happen to hit a wrong key, the message base might lock up or the file
 base might wind up in Hong Kong or the sysops modem might die from
 fright, etc.  Before I started this journey, as a user I would just dial
 the particular BBS, hear the funny little tone and then the next thing I
 know I was connected.  Boy, I thought to myself, that's power.  At any
 rate, I would read messages, send them, upload and download files and
 generally do what good users do, use the BBS.  Again the question came
 to mind, do I just enjoy or do I start working as a "remote" sysop?  I
 started to view users in a different light, something like the store
 owner views the customer.  These users were the ones that the BBS was
 there for, but like some customers there were a few that were the
 spoilers.  I learned that a very, very few would log on, try to cause
 havoc and log off.  I guess they thought of it as a game, something on
 the order of "catch me, if you can"!!  With all of the things that I was
 learning on how and what a BBS was, I wasn't prepared for any downsides
 of BBS operations and this was a very definite problem.  I was giving
 thought to the true sysops and what they have to cope with and couldn't
 reconcile in my mind if the aggrevation was worth it or not.
 (To be or not to be).  I decided I would not try and come up with an
 answer until I learned more about the world of the BBS as a whole.
 As my training went on, I started to pay attention to the various Sysop
 message bases on the various boards that I called.  The information that
 appeared in this forem was extensive and oft times confusing.  At any
 rate, I would read and try and remember some of tips that appeared.
 Some of which I would discuss with other sysops and ask what would be
 seemingly endless questions.  For instance, I found out that the ST BBS
 world was very different from the 8 Bit world, but alot of similarities
 existed.  This learning process took place over a number of months and
 about the same time a very good friend of mine by the name of Dave
 Tipton 'tricked' me into looking at an ST that I had acquired, but
 really didn't think much about that part of the computer world.  I was
 having enough of a time getting my feet down in 8 Bit land, especially
 with trying to learn and decide if  I wanted to be a BBS warrior.  So
 much to learn, so much to think about, so much many questions and not so
 many readily apparent answers.  Oh, what a headache I was building up on
 a daily basis.  Perhaps being a sysop, in whatever form, was too much
 for just a lowly user like me and the answer to the question was "Not to
 be", but I kept having this nagging question in the back of my mind and
 I pushed away the idea of not going on.
 So I kept learning, watching, making mistakes and at a rare time doing
 something right.  This fraternity of sysoping was still much beyond my
 grasp, but not entirely.  I had just reached about a quarter of my
 journey, when a new problem (for me) started to prevail.........


 | | |  Reprinted from the August 1992 Edition
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 Arabesque Professional (ST, STe, TT)
 Gribnif Software has brought another German import to the USA in
 ARABESQUE PROFESSIONAL, a premium monochrome draw/paint program.  Like
 CodeHead's Megapaint, Arabesque makes the most of two different graphics
 worlds--vector (draw) and raster (paint).  It runs in any resolution of
 monochrome (ST/TT) and requires at least one meg of memory and a double
 sided disk.  Arabesque Pro (there is no "vanilla" Arabesque in the USA)
 is supported by an excellent 172 page manual and a QUICK TOUR section
 that holds your hand while you get used to the different functions.  The
 3-ring binder and disk are housed in a professional looking box.
 Arabesque presents a full-screen work area, plus a small strip at the
 top with the cursor coordinates.  The (many) toolboxes appear only on
 command, saving screen space but making it more difficult to maneuver in
 the beginning.  After a somewhat steep learning curve, this system
 becomes very efficient, and functions can be performed with the mouse or
 keyboard equivalents.
 Clicking on an icon or hitting the space bar toggles between the mapped
 and vector parts of the program.  Many icons are ambiguous at first,
 requiring extensive use of the manual.  But the same icons are used with
 both the mapped and vector menus when possible, making it easier to
 learn and use the functions in the pop-up menus.
 The Bitmap mode is the "paint" mode, with all the tools and functions
 you'd expect.  Also available are arc segments for both circles and
 ellipse's, parallelograms, polygons, and text.  Extra special features
 include a way of filling shapes with either a gradient fill that can be
 rotated in 90 degree increments, and the ability to fill an irregular
 shape with whatever is in the buffer, including graphics that can be
 loaded into any irregular shaped object.  You can also loosely cut out
 irregular images and Arabesque will shrink the outer edge of your cut to
 the shape of your image, allowing you to paste it somewhere else without
 the area outside your image cutting into another image.  Special block
 functions allow you to manipulate the block in the buffer to invert,
 contour (outline), smooth, mirror, rotate, bend, pull (distort width and
 length) etc.  You can undo changes made from just the last operation or
 from the last time you accessed the pop-up menu.
 Vector ("draw") mode presents the usual object-art stuff like circles,
 ellipses, arc segments, triangles, polygons, and bezier curves.  The
 nature of vector drawing takes advantage of abilities to stretch, layer,
 and re-organize multi-part drawings.  The vector mode text function is
 more extensive than the bitmap mode text function, making it possible to
 edit text after it has been typed in.
 Images can be copied between bitmap and vector sections, enabling
 creation and saving of art with components of both kinds.  Creating a
 bitmap image from a vector is a snap, allowing conversions of clip art
 for use in some bit-only layout programs.  Further, the ability to hand
 trace bitmaps with vectors allows you to make jaggie-free blowups of any
 scan art.  Of course, that's a tedious process for large projects, and
 Gribnif's CONVECTOR program (separately available at under $100) will
 quickly convert bitmapped files into vector format, and will operate as
 an integrated part of Arabesque.
 Arabesque allows you to use all of your tools in the magnify mode, just
 as you would in your regular viewing mode.  This is the first time I've
 seen this type of thing, and it's a welcome addition to the program.
 You can load/save in all the standard monochrome bit formats, including
 the Arabesque default graphic format (.ABM), .IMG, .PAC (Stad), PI3 (un-
 compressed ), and .IFF, plus Calamus .CVG format and GEM/3, as well as
 .AOB (Arabesque OBJECT).  The AOB format takes advantage of all of
 Arabesque features like placing bitmap images in a vector drawing, and
 it's much smaller than other formats.
 Arabesque uses GDOS fonts but doesn't require GDOS itself, even for
 printing.  Gribnif also says that Arabesque will work perfectly with
 FSMGDOS but that you are not currently able to manipulate the fonts as
 you might do with a program like OUTLINE ART from ISD Marketing.
 Further, a font converter program for making GEM/GDOS files out of
 SIGNUM format fonts is included.
 While it doesn't have the control over the minute details that Megapaint
 does, Arabesque offers the ability to freely experiment with the editing
 of files that you are working on.  Different versions of a picture can
 reside in a number of screens in memory at the same time.  I can cut,
 paste or do anything between screens, to experiment with as many
 different combinations of effects as I can conjure up.  Up to 20 pages
 can reside in memory.
 All in all, this is a powerful, solid, productive tool that's great for
 someone who likes to take an idea and play with it, changing it on a
 whim.  But its professional level power carries a professional level
 price.  If you plan no more than simple manipulation of images that are
 created by other programs, you might be served just as well by some of
 the less expensive, simpler paint programs on the market.  For a graphic
 artist who is serious about the work, Arabesque will stimulate and
 accelerate the creative process, something money can seldom buy.
 Arabesque Professional, $199.95 from Gribnif Software (new address!),
 P.O.  Box 779, Northampton, MA 01061.  Phone (413) 247-5620.  Fax line
 (24 hours): (413) 247-5622. -- Steve Blackburn and John Nagy
 Lynx Casino (Lynx)

 Video gambling games are hard to promote.  While such a game lets 
 players experience the thrills safely, if there are no real winnings,
 why bother?  Lynx Casino doesn't resolve this paradox, but it does offer
 a risk-free alternative to Atlantic City.  It's a collection of five
 games: Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Slot Machines, and Video Poker.  You
 start off with $1000, and can get two loans of $500 each, but when the
 money's gone, the game ends.  You can also ComLynx with a friend for a
 The best thing about Lynx Casino is that it accurately captures the
 experience of casino gambling.  Authentic rules, odds, and payoffs are
 used, and each game allows the same options that the real offers.  For
 instance, Craps supports everything from Pass and No Pass to Hard Way
 and Horn bets, while Roulette uses a Double Zero wheel and allows
 numerous number combinations.  The only discrepancy is that you're
 always the dice shooter on Craps.  Statistics are kept for each game
 session, allowing Lynx Casino to be played on two levels: casual players
 can have fun making bets, while self-proclaimed experts can develop and
 exercise strategies.
 Graphics in Lynx Casino are decent overall, with a touch of cartoon
 whimsy as you guide your on-screen persona among the tables, staff, and
 bystanders.  You can talk to a few.  Most time is spent at the games,
 which are drawn with good use of color and detail.  Sound effects are
 not as interesting; a variety of tunes play during the game, though they
 can be turned off if desired.  Other than that, sounds are few and
 fairly simple.
 Lynx Casino is a good, no-nonsense video version of the Vegas
 experience.  If you want to refine your Craps stratagem, or just enjoy
 blowing imaginary money, this game will easily fit the bill.  Atari
 Corp., $39.95.  -- Robert Jung
 Hydra (Lynx)
 You are known as Hydra, though no government admits you exist.  You are
 a mercenary whose specialty is the transport of "sensitive" packages,
 using your Hydrafoil, a one-man speedboat.  There is danger from those
 who don't want your cargo delivered.  Only the best survive, but you are
 the best.  Maybe.
 This is Hydra for the Lynx, an adaptation of the Atari Games arcade
 title.  From behind your boat, you pilot through nine levels of rivers
 and oceans, grabbing money bags for bonuses and crystals for fuel.
 There are gun embankments, enemy ships, jets and more, but you can fly
 temporarily to escape.  Finish a mission and you compete for money in a
 bonus stage, then buy more weapons for the next job.
 A hit will destroy your Hydrafoil, but that's okay, as survival is
 measured in fuel; the game ends only when you run out.  This version is
 slightly easier than the arcade, yet remains of average difficulty and
 offers unlimited continues.  Objects appear in fixed orders, but later
 levels use a lot of enemies and a rarity of fuel as challenges.  The
 controls seem backwards; you press down to accelerate and up to
 decelerate, but this doesn't affect playability.  Unlike Roadblasters,
 the steering is gradual, making driving and aiming easier.
 The digitized graphics of the arcade appear fine on the Lynx, though the
 colors make some items a little muddled.  Judging collisions requires
 experience; initial forays will have crashes with obstacles you thought
 you avoided.  Sounds are good, and consist of your engines, chimes when
 items are retrieved, assorted weapons fire, and lots of explosions.
 Hydra borrows heavily from the earlier game Roadblasters, and offers
 little that's truly different.  That doesn't make it any less fun, and
 this version is a good adaptation that will be enjoyed by action players
 and fans of the original.  Atari Corp., $39.95.  -- Robert Jung

 | | |  By Tim Duarte
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 The following article is reprinted in Atari Explorer Online by
 permission of AtariUser magazine.  It MAY NOT be further reprinted
 without specific permission of AtariUser.  AtariUser Magazine, 249 North
 Brand Boulevard, Suite 332 Glendale, CA 91203  Telephone/Voicemail: 818-
 246-6277, FAX: 818-242-2129
 Andy Eddy gave us an overview of the commercial Atari press.  But
 there's a whole other world of publishing that many Atari users are not
 familiar with--an entirely different level of Atari support called the
 Atari "Amateur Press."
 The Amateur Press consists of small newsletters on the various
 subdivisions of Atari products and interests.  They are usually brief,
 averaging only 8 to 16 pages, but they contain interesting and useful
 information that you won't find in the professional magazines.  Each
 newsletter varies in content, but most of them contain similar parts:
 hardware and software reviews, game solutions and tips, reader-submitted
 letters, question and answer columns, "how-to" projects, programming
 tips, classified ads, and more.
 Don't expect to receive a full-color pages from the amateur press.  Most
 newsletters are created with desktop publishing software and the printed
 pages are usually photocopies.  Remember, amateur publishers do not have
 large budgets or paid writers.  What they do have is a network of highly
 informed and highly motivated readers who each take their participation
 in the newsletter very seriously.  While this often makes the coverage
 uneven or quirky, it is seldom boring, at least to others who share the
 particular bent of the specific publication.
 The following are Atari-related newsletters, with a brief description
 and contact information:
 APE (Atari Portable Entertainment)
 Clinton Smith, 2104 North Kostner, Chicago, IL 60639. 
 Subscription: $6 for 5 issues (1 year)
 AU's Lynx Columnist Clinton Smith provides a comprehensive newsletter
 for the Lynx gaming system.  It's published quarterly, with a special
 Christmas issue.  Clint packs 16 pages with news features, detailed
 solutions, strategies, and tips, step-by-step instructions on how to
 find "easter eggs" in the games, and more.  APE is the leading
 newsletter in the Lynx community.
 Classic Systems & Games Monthly
 Jeff Adkins, 11 Windsor Attica, NY 14011.  Subscription: $16.50 for 10
 issues (one year) ($1.75 for sample).  Jeff and his staff not only write
 columns about the 2600, 5200, and 7800, but they tackle Intellivision,
 Colecovision, Odyssey 2, and other classic games systems as well.  CS&GM
 issues are large (July was 18 pages) and published monthly.  A "game of
 the month" is showcased in each issue, and just reading the reviews
 makes you want to set up and revive your old game systems and join in on
 the fun.
 Digital Press
 Joe Santulli, 29 Cupsaw Ave., Ringwood, NJ 07456.  Subscriptions: $6 for
 6 bi-monthly issues (one year).  "Gaming as a Way of Life."  Very
 similar to CS&GM, Joe and the staff at DP cover all classic systems and
 the July/August issue was 22 pages.  The difference is that coverage of
 new systems, such as the Sega Genesis and Nintendo, also fill the pages.
 The newsletter also has its own distinct personality, which comes across
 as a friendly, yet punchy style.  Columns worthy of note are the Worst
 of/Best of software articles.
 Take It With You
 Perfection Applied, 454 West 1010, North Orem, UT 84057.
 Subscriptions: $18 for 6 bi-monthly issues (one year).  This newsletter
 is geared toward the palmtop computer user.  Not only does it provide
 Portfolio coverage, but also covers the Sharp Wizard and Hewlett Packard
 95LX.  Time-saving tips, useful tricks, and how to's are featured.
 2600 Connection
 Tim Duarte, P.O. Box 3993, Westport, MA 02790.  Subscription: $6 for 6
 bi-monthly issues.  Would you believe there is a newsletter that is
 devoted to supporting the ancestor of all videogame systems -- the Atari
 2600?  I should know, I'm the publisher and editor!  My latest, issue
 #11, featured an interview with Warren Robinett (author of Adventure),
 the solution to Crossbow, a story on rare and collectible games, and
 more in its eight pages.
 The Lynx
 Phil Patton, 131 Dake Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95062.  Subscriptions: $12
 for 12 monthly issues (one year).  Phil's newsletter provides coverage
 for the portable Lynx, Atari ST, and oddly enough, gaming on the IBM PC.
 Other columns include Ask the Wiz Kid (a question and answer column), ST
 Action (game column), and Ramblings of an Amoeba (the IBM column).
 The Shape of Gaming to Come
 Darren Krolewski, 12311 Conservation Trail, Utica, MI 48315. 
 Subscriptions: $5 for 6 bi-monthly issues (one year).  Darren's
 newsletter focuses on many of today's newer systems, including the Lynx.
 Also, the newsletter discusses where the industry is headed.  Virtual
 Reality was featured in a recent issue.  Darren also publishes a "closet
 classic" review once and awhile.
 Terence Micharoni, 142 Justin Ave., Staten Island, NY 10306. 
 Subscriptions: $6 for 6 bi-monthly issues (one year).  Terence provides
 coverage of the cartridge-based Atari systems, as well as the 8-bit
 computer games.  He also supports a large number of non-Atari classic
 systems, too.  The head-to-head game system comparisons, such as the
 Atari 5200 vs. Colecovision or the Atari 2600 vs. Odyssey 2, are quite
 interesting to read.  ZAP! recently expanded to 10 pages.
 I'm sure there are other newsletters out there, and I apologize for
 those I missed.  Newsletters start up and cease publishing quickly.  If
 you know of other Atari-related newsletters, send the addresses to
 AtariUser magazine so we can do a followup in the coming months.
 If you're interested in obtaining some of the newsletters above, but are
 unsure about a subscription, many of the editors will send a sample
 issue.  Include a dollar bill or a few postage stamps when requesting a
 sample.  Remember, these amateurs are not publishing to make a profit;
 they publish because they enjoy it and regard it as a hobby.  If you
 send a check or a money order for a subscription, make the payment
 payable to the editor/publisher's name, not to the newsletter itself.
 Most banks refuse to accept any check payable to the newsletter because
 it is not a registered, legal business.
 The Atari Amateur press is a reliable source of information for niche
 subjects that don't get much coverage in the professional Atari
 magazines.  Find your niche and take some time to check out the
 newsletters that match you.  You won't be disappointed.
 BIO:  In real life (away from producing his own newsletter about the
 Atari 2600) Tim Duarte teaches 8th grade English and History in New
 Bedford, MA.

 Some of the specialty "magazines" are "electronic," existing only as a
 text file to be downloaded or read online via modems.  For our purposes
 this month, we'll look at the "hard copy," or printed newsletters.
 We'll also narrow our view to exclude "club" publications for now.
 What lies ahead for the Atari Amateur Press?  There's still room for
 more newsletters.  How about a newsletter devoted to the Atari 5200?
 7800?  8-bit computers?  If you think you'd like to start up a
 newsletter, write to an editor.  Most of them are happy to help out and
 give advice to newcomers.

 | | |  By Andreas Barbiero
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 We all are aware of the dwindling number of software developers for the
 Atari platform.  With the introduction of the Falcon 030, we hope for a
 turn-around.  But what can we do about the software we could be using
 now?  There has been a slew of marginal games ported to the ST, a
 reflection of the endless series of cheap software programs around for
 all computers, and sales on them have been slow.  Publishers seem to
 notice it more on the ST.  You can blame it on lower Atari sales, the
 economy, sunspots, or A LACK OF VOCAL USERS.  If these companies KNEW
 that if they'd produce good software for us, we would buy it, maybe they
 will convert the GOOD stuff and not just the junk everyone else buys on
 other platforms.
 We are a discerning userbase, we know what we like, and we won't buy
 garbage.  In England, ST Format has had a very successful campaign with
 their letter writing campaign, succeeding in getting Civilization from
 MicroProse, and possibly even Eye of the Beholder 3, for the ST market.
 Now, the programs don't have to be games, they could be professional
 packages, which actually would be easier to convert!  Recently FoxPro
 agreed to port over some serious business software, just before
 Microsoft bought them out.  We are hoping that Microsoft honors its new
 subsidiary's past agreement and completes the software!  So in a mood of
 optimism, I am cutting out most of the leg work for everyone by writing
 a generic form letter for you to print out, or copy by hand, and a
 couple of specific ones to the big software houses.  I am also including
 the list of software houses so kindly compiled by Zenobot in his
 excellent ST gamer's digest.  Thanks to ST Format and Zenobot for their
 In case you are curious, here are some of the best PC games available,
 don't be afraid to substitute your own!
 Eye of the Beholder - SSI
 Eye of the Beholder II - SSI
 John Madden's Football- Electronic Arts
 Secret of Monkey Island II - Lucasfilm
 Sim Ant - Ocean
 Sim Earth - Ocean
 Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe - Lucasfilm
 WordPerfect 5.1 - Wordperfect Corp.
 FoxPro - Wordperfect Corp.

 Lucasfilm PO Box 10307 San Rafael CA 94912 (415) 721-3300
 SSI 675 Almanor Ave Sunnyvale CA 94086-2901 (408) 737-6800
 Ocean Software Ltd. 6 Central St. Manchester, M2 5NS
 Electronic Arts 11-49 Station Rd Langley, Nr. Slough, Berkeshire SL3 8YN
 WordPerfect 1555 North Technology Way Orem, UT  84057 (801) 225-5000 
 Dear _________________________,
 Please covert _______________________________________ for the Atari ST
 series of computers, especially consider the capabilities of the STe,
 Mega STe, TT and Falcon 030 computers.  I think your better quality
 software would sell in the United States, and, if available, would
 seriously consider buying this program for my Atari.  Thank you. 

 I think this program, made for the Atari, would be a good idea because:

 My name is:____________________________________________________

 I own an ATARI_________________________________________________

 Dear  SSI,

 Please consider a conversion of the Eye of the Beholder series and other
 of your excellent programs to the Atari computer platform.  We
 appreciate your past developments and would greatly enjoy any further
 conversions to the Atari line of home computers.  The built in
 capabilities of the ST, STe, Mega STe and TT computers are only
 surpassed by the abilities of the new Atari Falcon 030, with XGA quality
 graphics, Digital Signal Processing, and 16 bit stereo sound built in,
 and standard with every new Falcon 030.
 Thank you for your time and consideration.

 My name is__________________________________________________

 Dear WordPerfect,
 I am writing to ask you to please allow the conversion of the software
 developed by FoxPro, for the Atari to continue.  Sales of high quality
 software for the line of Atari computers continues in the United States,
 and also in the lucrative European markets.  I would be interested in
 purchasing these and other packages if made for the ST, TT and Falcon
 series of home computers.  I also wish to thank you for your support of
 WordPerfect for the Atari, and would ask you to make an update to 5.1
 available for my computer.  Thank you.

 My name is:_____________________________________________________

 I own an Atari__________________________________________________

 | | |  By Andreas Barbiero
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 Several new terms have been coined lately, and amongst the most common
 is the buzzword 'multimedia.'  There have been some pretty neat ads
 sponsored by IBM on TV espousing this new 'era' of computing targeted to
 the lucrative education market.  Smiling children point at touchscreen
 monitor making elephants dance and serious adults talk about how amazing
 and educational "the fusion of sound and graphics is.  I can just see
 those little kids saying "yeah, whatever lady. . .look what I can make
 this giraffe do. . ."
 Well, maybe that wasn't the best description of multimedia, but at least
 its more interesting than saying, Multimedia is the integration of sound
 and graphics into a unified, interactive presentation in an attempt to
 represent the immediacy of TV images and the audio impact of a CD player
 in displaying the visual and audio experiences of a real place,
 situation, or object.  For instance the software would allow you to hear
 the music of Mozart while watching a video clip from the movie
 'Amadeus,' and reading a historical account of his life.  Being able to
 point at a country on a map of the world and getting the name, stats,
 and hearing the national anthem is a fusion of several separate computer
 operations, and possibly even educational.
 You may have noticed that the term keeps getting larger as I go along,
 and really, multimedia has yet to be fully defined and standardized.
 The hardware, as well as software, varies from system to system and
 varies according to whom you talk to, or try to buy a computer from.
 Mostly, when you see a system touted as multimedia it includes items
 like a CD-ROM and high resolution monitor, a soundcard and speakers.
 DOS, as in most applications, is completely useless here, so Windows is
 considered standard for a PC based multimedia system.  Unfortunately for
 the PC user Windows still has some major bugs and is really just a
 shell.  Intercommunication between multitasked operations is not
 possible.  The system requirements for working Windows into viable
 operation is a hidden cost in purchasing a computer.  High speed
 graphics boards are needed, as well as a powerful CPU.  Costs of such a
 beast are relative to how hip you want to be.  A basic system can range
 from $1399 to well over $3000.  The CD-ROM unit is central to this type
 of system, and with the narrow profit margins of PC's these days, more
 and more dealers are trying to popularize this path as the way to re-
 instill excitement in Intel based computers and consequently garner more
 sales.  CD-ROMs are in the process of becoming a mature product, are
 relatively inexpensive, and software for them is becoming more available
 and cheaper, but like a lot of other consumer products, the CDROM may
 not standardize fast enough before something better comes along.  With
 the popularity of CDs in the audio business, such things as Laserdiscs
 are making a comeback from the sluggish growth experienced in the early
 80s.  Interactive CDs have been slow to catch on, and the advent of
 CD-ROM units for the profitable game console units has been pending now
 for several years.  Without a standard, the market can only suffer.
 Writable optical disks live in the rarified price ranges in upscale
 computer magazines, but they ARE available for under $2000, and with
 storage in the gigabyte range, they are almost worth the prices they
 command.  Kodak is making a big step into the digital field with their
 Photo CD technology.  Taking CD-I a step further, they are allowing
 people to preserve their photographs, a hundred at a time, on a single
 CD and play them back on a TV or computer.  This is an excellent method
 of bringing this technology to the public in a way that is interesting,
 obtainable, and usable to the common person.
 Breaking down the barriers between technology and its applications in
 going to be the next big step with computers.  A multimedia system is
 going to have to breach this barrier.  A computer packaged with the
 right hardware and software built in and priced correctly could make
 inroads into households which would not normally buy a computer.  It
 would be like an appliance.  People don't want to open their TVs and
 stereos to add cards or learn what an AUTOEXEC.BAT file is, they want
 something to fit on their TV cart and just simply work.  The REALLY
 interesting side to this is, once it is IN their homes, and they
 suddenly realize they are comfortable with it, other purchases become
 possible.  Game software at first, probably, but then comes business and
 professional software.
 Common home computers just don't fit the bill.  Yes they are affordable,
 but are they as indespensible to the average household as a VCR or a
 answering machine?  Not yet.  THIS is what multimedia can do for us.
 All this sounds very interesting, but is it practical with today's PC?
 There is now a decent library of CDs available, covering all topics of
 interest, from business cross-references to disks full of GIFs.  Faster
 processors allow the combination of 16bit sound and graphics, which are
 more than sufficient for the average user not expecting to use a Silicon
 Graphics professional graphics workstation.
 Virtual Reality will take some time before it comes really practial, and
 able to simulate a human, or even a chair.  (despite the ignorant
 ramblings of the 'post modern cyber-' community) The most advanced 80486
 would be taxed to its limits to handle even part of what is needed for
 Virtual Reality, never mind the data crunching needed for display a
 symphony with accompanying audio and information.  Thats why there are
 $1000 speaker/CDROM units, and a plethora of cards for music, advanced
 graphics, and even TV tuners.  All these are hardware options rather
 than software options.  The basic computer needs the ability to run a
 modem, digitize music, manipulate video data from hardware designed into
 a high speed bus, without the need for a lot of extra hardware.  There
 should be no need for a card to run a modem, and another card for a
 printer port, and ANOTHER to listen to music.  All this should be built
 in and at the discretion of the software used.
 While many have grumbled about the lack of effective CDROM drivers from
 Atari, ICD has taken the MetaDOS driver and updated it.  Available this
 month is the LINK, a SCSI host adaptor for the rest of us who aren't
 lucky enough to own a TT or Mac with a built in SCSI port.  Drivers are
 available to use just ab out every optical, floptical, and any other
 SCSI storage device available today, including the ability to read PC
 CDROMs.  Music and graphics has always been a strong point for Atari.
 With the universal MIDI interfaces on our beloved machines, and the
 excellent DMA STe stereo audio, we can still laugh at all those PC cards
 advertized to play digital sound.  The non-EISA bus PCs just can't keep
 up with DMA driven audio, when you look close at the specifications,
 only a couple are capable of sample rates above 22kHz.  A far cry from
 the 50kHz available on the average STe selling for about $350.  So far
 an inexpensive Mega STe at $850 is keeping up pretty well.  Already we
 have added in a bunch of 'options' on a PC, and not bought anything else
 but a SCSI interface on the Atari.
 All goes well until the spectre of MULTITASKING rears its ugly head.
 No-one who has used it can say that Windows is an effective multitasking
 environment.  System 7 on the Mac has a lot of the same bugs as Windows
 and is just as piggy, although it IS a real operating system and already
 based on a graphic user interface.  OS/2 applications have just started
 to ship, with about a thousand available today.  That makes the ST
 software market look absolutely huge!  OS/2 2.0 is a much more mature
 product than was available at first, and purportedly handles
 multitasking MUCH more efficiently than Windows.  But it is just as
 greedy with the system as the other programs.  Atari users have been
 waiting for MultiTOS just as avidly as they have been waiting for FSM
 GDOS.  From all sources it appears that M-TOS is going to be a versatile
 and well designed product capable of handling the power of 32bit
 processors.  And it is available with the Falcon030, sooner than Windows
 NT or the new OS/2 is available for the PC.  Atari already has a more
 than decent GUI that doesn't weigh upon the computer like some other
 programs.  An Atari needs at least 4 megs of memory to multitask well,
 and I have seen PC users require up to 8 megs just to get Windows
 running, before the applications are added in!  So, now we have defined
 what at minimum is needed to work a multimedia system on a system
 affordable by an individual.  And as far as purchasing a system, at list
 prices, Atari grabs the top of the heap.  The Falcon 030, Atari's new
 entry level machine is equipped with enough power to manipulate video
 images and 16bit stereo sound better than most other systems around.
 With the correct software, any sort of video or audio manipulation is
 possible.  From a simple playback of a MOD file, to having a full 8
 track digital recording studio, the Falcon is designed to handle these
 tasks at a minimum of processor overhead and without the need for
 'optional' hardware linked through a bottleneck bus.  Super VGA is nice,
 but at anything above 256 colors, it gets monstrous on memory
 requirements.  A 640 X 400 True color mode (not including overscan
 modes) is simply awesome.
 And then there is the DSP, this chip can grab video images and crunch
 them faster than most video capture boards made.  Making that videophone
 computer available with the right software, and a cheap camera, right
 out of the box!  The 68030 driven DSP should be able to outperform
 QuickTime video easily.  Lexicor should be able to do this, and if they
 create a standard, compatable with playback of QuickTime video, they
 will be on top of the heap with video manipulation as well as animation
 software!  This is what is needed.  The PC architecture of adding cards
 to fill the newer needs of the user, while a great idea, is now being
 limited by the very bus it depends on to run the cards.  If you compare
 what a MSTe or TT has in the way of built in ports, only one expansion
 port is REALLY needed.
 I would prefer to see in the future an Atari with the processor direct
 connector again, and a fuller implementation of the VME, or a design in
 the motherboard for custom graphics expansion.  All the Multimedia
 hardware hooks into the PC bus somehow.  Music cards have SCSI
 interfaces, and video cards are locked into the 10MHz, 16 bit bus of the
 standard PC. 
 While an ST can handle enough of these functions to do an acceptable
 job, to be honest, newer machines are needed.  030 boards and graphics
 cards are available for just about every machine, but for an entry price
 around $799 the Falcon can outperform on price any similar upgrade
 available for older Ataris and PCs alike.  This is not to say an older
 ST is completely left out, there are addons to allow up to 16 megs on a
 ST, and even more options available through the 030 speedup boards.  The
 Falcon 030 is the start of a new type of computer.  The sense of
 discovery I experienced in 1980 with my Atari 800 is gone, but replaced
 with the excitement of being able to outperform the graphics workstation
 of those days with a computer capable of sitting on my stereo cabinet,
 as well as performing admirably on-stage as a MIDI/SIMPTE engine for a
 professional rock band.  As long as we get MetaDOS drivers, MultiTOS,
 and inexpensive memory for our machines, Multimedia won't be synonmous
 with IBM, but instead we will have an affordable, usable system based on
 a present, or future incarnation of Atari's new Falcon. 
 Delphi: ABARBIERO      F-NET Andreas Barbiero
 | | |  From Usenet
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 It's striking more and more people!  Like a plague it sweeps the nation!
 It knows no bounds - black, white, tall, short, thin, fat, that dweeb
 sitting next to you - maybe every your family members!  Computer
 Are you worried about yourself?  Do you feel drawn towards computer
 displays?  In shopping malls do you slow down by money machines?  Do you
 drop computer buzzwords like "Disk" and "Mega" in conversation?  Do you
 own a Car-Computer?
 If you've answered yes to one of the above, it may already be too late.
 Do this test now, and see if your future holds fun, fortune and
 adventure, or 3 Meg floppies and a guest appearance on "The Worst of
 Oprah", a 467 part repeat series..
 Try and be honest - remember, you're only cheating yourself.
 1.  A friend opens a magazine full of scantily-clad members of your
     preferred sex.  Do you:
     A.  Openly Ogle
     B.  Act Non-Chalant
     C.  Comment "Gee, that's got to be at least 400 dpi, colour!"
     D.  Slip the hand down the pants for a bit of good, old-fashioned
         executive relief.
 2.  You're at a party.  Someone comes over and asks you your star sign.
     A.  Tell them to bugger off
     B.  Lay them one in the groin, then tell them to bugger off.
     C.  I don't go to parties.
     D.  I don't get invited to parties.
 3.  You're at the head of a large queue in front of a cash-register in a
     large department store.  The register gives a >beep< and stops dead.
     A.  Wait patiently
     B.  Plant all the stuff you were going to buy in a nearby baby
         carriage and call the store detective (to while away the time)
     C.  Break out your ever-present C64 notebook and try to debug the
     D.  I don't know
 4.  You're shopping for some personal hygiene equipment when the chemist
     runs up saying the prescription database on his 386 is corrupt.
     A.  What's a prescription database?
     B.  What's a 386?
     C.  What's personal hygenie?
     D.  What was the question again?
 5.  A friend wants to borrow a record off you.  You
     A.  Lend it out, and tell them it's a boomerang.
     B.  Tell them to go buy it.
     C.  Consult the database to see that status of the record concerned
     D.  Sell it to them for a beer.
 6.  You'd most like to meet:
     A.  The person who wrote "Gulag Acapeligo"
     B.  The person who wrote "War and Peace"
     C.  The person who wrote MSDOS
     D.  A person who can write
 7.  You win a "Grocery-Grab" at a local supermarket.  You've got one
     minute to pack a cart with as much stuff as you can.  You start:
     A.  In the Liquor Section
     B.  In the Confectionary Lane
     C.  At the Pencil Bar
     D.  At the cash register
 8.  You've been hit by a car and your life flashes before your eyes.
     The thing you remember most vividly is:
     A.  Your Mother's voice as a child
     B.  Your first Love
     C.  The Ascii table.
     D.  The tire pressure was maybe a little too high
 9.  You get to compete on blind date.  You have one statement to change
     the choosers mind about you.  You say:
     A.  I've got a 12 inch tounge
     B.  I can go all night
     C.  I'VE GOT A 386SX with 64K Ram Cache
     D.  I've killed 5 people
 10. You feel naked without your:
     A.  Electric Guitar
     B.  Wallet
     C.  VT100 reference guide
     D.  Axe
 11. You see someone standing on a ledge, about to jump.  You can save
     them if you say the right thing.  You say:
     A.  I know things are bad, but do you want to talk about it?
     B.  I feel you just need someone to talk to
     C.  Want to come and play on my C64?
     D.  I bet you haven't got the guts.... . . .  Oh, I see you did...
 12. You told your best friend the first time you:
     A.  Had Sex
     B.  Had Oral Sex
     C.  Got a Ram expansion
     D.  Killed a cat.
 13. No-one understands you like:
     A.  Your Mother
     B.  Your Father
     C.  Your PC
     D.  Your Parole Officer
 14. For your 18th birthday you wanted:
     A.  A Car
     B.  A Shaver
     C.  A C64 Cassette Drive
     D.  Some Piano Wire, and the Neigbours Cat
 Mostly A's:
 You're normal.  Boring Boring Boring.  You're the sort of person who'll
 justy fritter their way thru life enjoying themselves and having a good
 time.  Shame on you!
 Mostly B's:
 You're mostly normal.  Nothing a little ECT can't clear away in any
 case.  You mostly come into the "Mostly A's" above.
 Mostly C's:
 Geek Alert!  Break out the pocket protector!  With a set of horn rims
 and a pocket calculator, you're ready for Revenge Part #72.  You can be
 the person that gets beat up all the time.
 Mostly D's:
 So you're a socipath;  But that doesn't mean you're a bad person.  Just
 keep taking the Lithium and everything'll be fine
 Are you STILL a computer geek?
 Ok, so you lucked out last time - you were about as socially adjusted as
 a onion and jelly sandwhich, BUT YOU MIGHT HAVE CHANGED!  You may not be
 a computer geek any more!   It's possible!!!  (Not probable, but
 possible)  Test yourself now!
 1.  It's a stag party for one of your friends.  You and the rest of your
     friends all put money in for:
     a.  A set of driving mirrors
     b.  A stripper
     c.  A stripper with a set of driving mirrors
     d.  A VGA screen so he can check out
 2.  You want to improve your social life.  You
     a.  Ask people to go out with you.
     b.  Join a club to meet new people
     c.  Drink yourself unconcious and forget about it.
     d.  What's a social life?
 3.  You ideal partner would have:
     a.  Looks
     b.  Intelligence
     c.  Money
     d.  A 1.2 Gig Hard Drive, Twin floppies + SVGA screen, and 5 Meg
 4.  You have the most horrific nightmare of your life.  It involves:
     a.  You driving off a cliff
     b.  You showing up somewhere with no clothes on
     c.  A hungry alsation, your private parts and some tomato sauce.
     d.  A tax on pocket protectors and thick glasses
 5.  You're on blind date.   The question you would ask is:
     a.  "Name the weirdest place you ever kissed someone"
     b.  "Name the weirdest place you ever made love"
     c.  "Name the weirdest place you ever played soggy biscuit"
     d.  "Name the weirdest place you ever booted MSDOS 4"
 6.  Your role model is:
     a.  Rudolf Steiner
     b.  Mother Theresa
     c.  Charlie Manson
     d.  R2D2
 7.  Your favourite fashion accessory is:
     a.  Winklepickers
     b.  Collar Studs
     c.  An axe
     d.  What's fashion?
 8.  If you had your life to live again, would you:
     a.  Make no changes
     b.  Make a few changes
     c.  Make a lot of changes
     d.  Upgrade to SVGA
 9.  Your favourite pickup line is:
     a.  "I've just won the lottery"
     b.  "Has anyone seen the keys to my Porsche?"
     c.  "$hit, I'm pissed"
     d.  "I'm superuser at work.."
 10. During sexual climax, you think of:
     a.  Your partner
     b.  Your partner's body
     c.  Yourself
     d.  The 487 co-processor at 52 Meg
 You don't really need the score card do you?  Mostly A's or B's means
 you're the normal run-of-the-mill,  90212 (the house next door) walk
 alike, talk alike that gives us real jerks a bad name; C's mean you're
 a..   Well, frankly, I don't know what you are, but it's probably
 treatable with large amounts of voltage, and D's of course means that
 you've got a fantastic career stretched out in front of you as far as
 your nose can see.  Happy camping.

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 contact  one  of  the  following  via  AtariNet or Fido: Bill Scull Fido
 1:363/112 AtariNet 51:1/0, Dean Lodzinski Fido 1:107/633 AtariNet 51:4/0
 Terry May Fido 1:209/745 AtariNet 51:2/0, Tony Castorino Fido 1:102/1102
 AtariNet 51:3/0,  Don  Liscombe  AtariNet 51:5/0,  Daron  Brentwood Fido
 2:255/402 AtariNet 51:6/0.  You can also call the Z*Net News Service  at
 (908) 968-8148 for more information.
 You can subscribe to the bi-monthly hard copy  Atari  Explorer Magazine
 for $14.95 for 6 issues, $39.95 for  18 issues.   Canadian  subscribers
 should add $5.00 per 6 issues,foreign subscribers should add $10.00 per 
 6 issues.  Checks must be drawn in US funds on a US bank.  Send  orders
 to Atari Explorer, Post Office Box 6488, Duluth,  MN  55806.  VISA  and
 MasterCard orders, call (218) 723-9202.
 Reprints from the GEnie  ST  Roundtable  are  Copyright (c)1992,  Atari
 Corporation and the GEnie ST RT.  Reprints from CompuServe's AtariArts,
 AtariPro,  AtariVen,  or Aportfolio Forums are  Copyright (c)1992, CIS.
 Reprints from AtariUser Magazine are Copyright(c)1992, Quill Publishing
 Material published in this edition may NOT be reprinted without written
 permission, unless otherwise noted  in the article.  Opinions presented
 herein  are those  of  the individual authors and  do  not  necessarily
 reflect those of the staff. Atari Explorer Online Magazine is Copyright
 (c)1992, Atari Corporation. The Z*Net Newswire is an independent column
 and organization not affiliated with Atari Corp. and is Copyright 1992,
 Z*Net News Service/Ron Kovacs.
 Help stamp out software piracy in the Atari community.   Report any and
 all pirate activity to the Software Protection  Agency,  this  includes
 your local bulletin boards.  Please capture all information during your
 call and provide your password and logon information.  This is a needed
 item in order to close down an illegite system.
 Atari is a registered trademark of Atari Corporation.   Atari Falcon030, 
 TOS, MultiTOS, NewDesk and BLiTTER, are trademarks of Atari Corporation.
 All  other  trademarks  mentioned in this publication  belong  to  their 
 respective owners.
                      Atari Explorer Online Magazine
                   "The Official Atari Online Journal"
               Copyright (c)1992, Atari Computer Corporation

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