ST Report: 31-Dec-93 #1001

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 01/02/94-08:03:16 PM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 31-Dec-93 #1001
Date: Sun Jan  2 20:03:16 1994

                            SILICON TIMES REPORT

                       STR Electronic Publishing Inc.

   December 31, 1993                                             No. 1001

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 > 12/31/93 STR 1001  "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!"
 - CPU INDUSTRY REPORT    - Jaguar Updates         - Doom Hot Stuff!
 - PC Write 4.15          - Captalist Pigs         - Mac's Xtal Ball
 - People are Talking     - Delphi Sysops (a)      - Takin' a look
 - MyClock                - Mountain View          - The Old Fishin' Hole

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 > From the Editor's Desk             "Saying it like it is!"

      This is it!  The last day of the year.... New Year's Eve...  I could
 go into a long drawn out "year in review" but... I won't I get far too
 wordy.  I will however direct you to be sure and read this issue
 thoroughly as it has a great deal of information on many topics.

      On another front.  The Jaguar, Atari's new entry into the game
 machine marketplace, for which they were the trailblazers years ago,
 might be in for some rough seas.  It seems our super snoop has discovered
 there is this "movement" at Atari where the whigs are "pushing to have
 the development for the Jaguar aimed to be done almost exclusively on a
 Falcon, Atari's slow selling computer offering.  According to our snoop,
 the word is to downplay the potential of development on a PC and other
 computer in favor of doing so on a Falcon.  Could this move have been
 influenced by the fact there are approximately one thousand of the Falcon
 machines in Atari's warehouse?  He added.  In this reporter's opinion,
 Atari, in wanting the Jaguar to be THE most successful of game machines
 yet should strive to have impressive software developed on anything as
 long as it complies with the specifications for the Jaguar!  Why narrow
 the window of development to a crack when it has the potential to be as
 big as the imagination can take it?  On the surface this appears to be
 another of the "ever so famous" Sunnyvale blunders in the making.  All
 that can be said is we hope not.  Hoping not for the sake of all the new
 owners of Jaguars and the future of Atari in the game machine world.
 After all, by all stretches of the imagination the Jaguar is their big
 hope and what appears to be their last chance.  What ever happened to big
 order of TT030 machines destined for Jag devs?  What became of all the
 thunderous boasts in NYC about how the goods for the JAG could be
 developed on most any platform?  The smoke, once again seems to be

      Please dear friends this is the holiday season and we do understand
 how its so very easy to enjoy a "toddy for the body" with each other.
 But if you do intend to do so, don't drive that car!  Most states now
 have the minimum blood alcohol level set to .08.  That amounts to roughly
 one can of beer!  Don't drink and drive!

                                Happy New Year to one and All!


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                        IBM/POWER-PC/PC SECTION (I)

 > PC WRITE 4.15 STR InfoFile

                        **** PC-Write  Lives! ****

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 from Windows in any amount!  Pif and icon files are included.

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 Customizable status line- Select and arrange items such as a keyboard,
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 We are looking forward to hearing from all you loyal PC-Write users. We
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   "Place a high tax on guns and ammunition!  When professionals, fully
   trained and in the line of duty, cannot be sure of holding their own
       against criminals with guns, what chance do civilians have?"

                                                   ..a concerned citizen

 While the posture and stance of control through "taxation until it hurts"
 premise is appreciated, as a freedom loving American, I must disagree.
 One basic fact must be brought forward at this time.. this country was
 founded as a direct result of a  tax rebellion for the very same reasons.
 Evidently, there's a 'hidden wish' to begin another.  Also, in quoting
 from the above remark must reply, "Take the only substantive
 "chance" civilians will have against criminals, STREET or GOVERNMENT,
 away and they'll HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE AT ALL!   Isn't this fact
 obvious in the least or, is it obscured by a misguided "pie in the sky"
 Utopian vision of Happy Happy, Joy Joy?

 History has proven many times over how regulation is grossly misapplied
 to suit the needs of the governing few.  The aristocracy of Europe was
 against the printing press because it gave the masses a method of
 spreading information rapidly and induced the reading skills upon the
 peasants.  The Big Whigs were against an "informed populace".  One might
 suppose the government was feeling "threatened".  The fine and very
 peaceful country of Switzerland is a prime example of guns for peace and
 serenity.  Every household is REQUIRED to have at least one gun.

 THE "BLEEDING HEARTS and FEAR MONGERS" have long touted the removal of
 guns from the possession of the "law-abiding, little guy".... they've
 also tried to blame TV and TV video games for the perceived ruthlessness
 of today's youth.  The "Self-Proclaimed Elected Professionals" in
 Congress negligently burn up thousands of your tax dollars per hour
 playing head games trying to show the American Public they're "doing
 their job" by holding absurd hearings about whether or not TV video games
 are too violent and therefore, should be "regulated".  These politicans

 A far better suggestion; They should look at the manner in which the US
 Government has managed to do everything in its power to destroy the basic
 building block of society... THE AMERICAN FAMILY!  The "professional
 politicians" in government appear to have very machiavellian programs in
 play.  It appears these programs are designed to; "Weaken the American
 Family, promote continued poverty, encourage further dependency on
 welfare programs and finally to institute stronger inroads (Courts and
 HRS) into the rearing and teaching of all children exactly the way the
 government sees fit.  (Eliminating Family Influence)  In decades to come,
 such practices will make it very easy for any total control government to
 completely manipulate the entire population from the womb to the tomb.
 Take a good look, a real good look.  The government has, for all intents
 and purposes, driven the housewife and mother out into the general
 workforce.  Propaganda has called such "urgings" equality.  When in fact,
 its a matter of economic survival.  The kids, unfortunately, are left to
 deal with growing up much to themselves.  This is happening now!  This is
 one of the real causes of the social problems we are experiencing today.
 We, as an educated responsible electorate, must send a very loud and
 clear message to these "representatives of the people" that we are sick
 and tired of their arrogant lack of representing us and they must either
 change or get voted OUT.

 The "wonderful and benevolent" government brazenly turns a permissive
 head when it comes to the majority of everyday workplace jobs being
 labeled "part-time" by greedy employers to thwart the laws on the books
 from more sensible times overseen by responsible government.  When at one
 proud time, medical benefits, overtime and job security were prime
 factors in the American work place.  Today, its a matter of "build the
 tax base" ...get them all working... even if its only for minimum wage
 and part time.  By the time the "thieves" in Congress and the Senate are
 weeded out and the "injustices" being perpetrated against the Bill of
 Rights and middle America are exposed and corrected, two generations of
 Americans will have been exploited to the max and the family, as we once
 knew it, as far as a solid building block of society and a firm teaching
 foundation of true morals and common decency will be nothing more than a
 fond memory.  Moms, Apple Pie etc..  (The Norman Rockwell view)  are mere
 memories today.  In fact, many politicos scoff at and make jokes of the
 Rockwell perception.

 Still, there are those who  insist upon allowing themselves to be focused
 on the "so-called" evil of guns by the crafty politicians who really
 don't want your attention focused upon the very real underlying problems
 of today.  Namely; The poor government, crooked politicians and bad cops.
 It is still an irrefutable fact that an inanimate object cannot possibly
 be evil.  Only the implementation of such objects can be.  Thus,  the
 implementor only can be evil.  Take a look at the REAL causes of
 lawlessness in this country today.  The young folks of today are growing
 up watching the "priests, politicians, police and just about every other
 segment of the 'respected leadership' being exposed for the moral
 cripples and criminals they are.  Why?  That is the real question.
 Because they too, at this time,  are a product of the very same thing
 they are accused of.  Government must be cleaned up before the general
 population can do so.

 Government must set the example before social structure can be asked or
 required to do the same.  A young person living in a cold water flat when
 its 10 degrees below outside while a local politico is blowing thousands
 on "Fact finding" about video games or trying to garner support through
 exercises in political chicanery with  gun control lawmaking just doesn't
 make it any more.  That young person is going to get their "fair share"
 one way or another.  Take away the guns, institute curfews, do whatever..
 they'll find another way to do what they feel is right for them.  Much as
 its happening now.  The real fix is to re-teach government that the
 family is the strongest factor in building a strong America with morals
 and caring for each other.

 Society is going through great upheavals of turmoil and has been for the
 last two decades.  As a direct result of the Warren Commission and its,
 now obvious, whitewash of the Kennedy MURDER.  (the most grievous of
 hurts of that decade where it all began to crumble)  The public's lack of
 trust in government began failing in catastrophic proportions.  Since
 that tragic beginning, the true fundamental building blocks of a solid,
 moral social structure has and is being methodically destroyed by poor
 government, crooked politicians, poorly trained and totally inept law
 enforcement and a decadent welfare system.  The incidences of provable
 brutality and opportunistic abuses of certain laws being made public has
 increased dramatically in the last decade.  This is due primarily to the
 widespread use of video cameras by the general public.  Isn't it
 interesting how the "lawyers" for the various government agencies
 involved have hammered away at the actual validity of the videotape's
 contents?  (Rodney King)  They claim that what you see plainly on the
 tapes in not necessarily what is happening.  What will they say when the
 public uses the same statements as a defense against government video
 tapes.  IE., (the truck driver beaten in the LA riots, videotaped traffic
 stops etc., drug busts.??)  Sadly enough, even with the visibility and
 credibility of video tape, the "Davidian Massacre" still reeks of
 governmental abuse of power, arrogance, corruption and ineptness.

 In the past, the deniability factors of such abuses were quite high.
 Now, fortunately with video taping, its just the opposite. Yet, there are
 still those who fervently wish to "render harmless" the law-abiding
 public by, incredibly, disarming them! Next, they'll probably propose a
 "National Identity Card" accompanied by "instant data bank retrieval"
 access offered through the "CARD".   (How many remember the expression;
 "Papers Please!")

 Watch out fellow Americans!  The basic Bill of Rights our Great Nation
 was founded upon is being eroded left and right ....yet people seem to
 refuse to do or say much about it.  To bad they are in the "don't rock
 the boat" syndrome.  The GIs who fought in Asia and Europe to eliminate
 "Group Punishment, Curfews, Social  Controls, Government Children
 Education Centers, Re-Education Policies etc.. did they waste their lives
 and time?  Better yet, they fought to eliminate oppressive governments
 worldwide that had forgotten they were in place to represent the people
 not resent them.   Please take a good look at what's really happening to
 our society today.  Where is the family?  Where are the morals?  What is
 the real causes of the daily tragedies we read about?  Its not a gun or
 alcohol or any other inanimate object.  It the horrible manifestation of
 the widespread frustration that middle and lower segments of our society
 are suffering from.  Mostly at the hands of a woefully inadequate,
 corrupt and totally failing government.  Yes, please take a good look.

 Now, many local governments are "trying something new"  CURFEWS!!  Isn't
 it amazing how they all thought of putting curfews to use at almost the
 same time?  From Coast to Coast?  Sounds like BIG BROTHER! There is
 absolutely NOTHING NEW about curfews.  Its an old world practice that was
 popularized in the 1930's by NAZI Germany and solely used for "general
 population control."  The "learned, seasoned professionals" (politicians
 & Police) are trying, once again, to erode more of our civil rights under
 the guise of "good for the majority".  Sure, a curfew "works." But then,
 so does the slaughter of an entire chicken farm to eliminate poultry
 fever.  The end has never justified the means and it never will.  Curfews
 are nothing more than a passive method of group punishment allegedly
 aimed at curing perceived social ills.   Once the CURFEW is in place, try
 to get it lifted as quickly... think about this curfew business very
 carefully.  Once in place it can easily be expanded to "fit the needs of
 any government", benificial or ruthless.  Today's CURFEW is for teenagers
  ...tomorrow's CURFEW is destined for whom??

 Editor's Note;

      Your replies to this editorial are invited.  Contrasting or
 complimentary.  I really wasn't going to get involved in this sort of
 thing but when I heard the rhetorical heap our local politicians and
 a GM of a local TV station tried to foist upon the "unsuspecting"
 public, it was the proverbial last straw.  Your opinions are welcome and
 will be published.



                        DOOM Version 1.1 Cheat Keys

 Here they are!  The first "official" cheat keys confirmed by the id
 Software guys.  All you need to do is type the following cheats WHILE
 you're in the game.

 ------------   ------
 iddqd          Toggles Degreelessness Mode.  You are invulnerable.

 idkfa          Very Happy Ammo (Full Ammo + 200% armor)

 idspispopd     Toggles No Clipping mode.  Allows walking through walls.
                You can't pick up objects while clipping is on.

 idbehold?      Where ? = a  All Map.  Shows entire level map when you
                press the Tab key; areas not yet visited shown in gray.

                Duration:  1 Level.

                      ? = s  Strength becomes superhuman.  Vision briefly
                             turns red.  When you punch an opponent
                             (Weapon Selection 1) he/it SPLATTERS!
                             Duration:  1 Level.

                      ? = i  Invisible.  Your form becomes indistinct and
                             enemy attack is inaccurate.  Duration:  60

                      ? = l  Light Amplifier.  Even areas in total
                             darkness appear bright as day.
                             Duration:  120 seconds.

                      ? = r  Radiation Suit.  You can wade through the
                             green toxic radioactive waste ponds without
                             Duration:  60 seconds.

                      ? = v  Invulnerable.  Vision becomes gray scale.
                             Immune to all enemy attack.  Duration:  30

 idclev??       Jump to episode/level specified by digits ??.
                Episode = 1-3 (except in shareware version, where it is
                always 1).  Level = 1-9.

 idmypos        Displays your heading angle and x,y coordinates in hex

 idchoppers     Displays "DOESN'T SUCK - GM".  Replaces Weapon Selection 1
                (fists) with the chain saw.

 iddt           Use in AutoMap.  First use shows entire level map,
                including areas you haven't visited.  Second use adds
                location of all objects on floor.  Third use returns
                AutoMap to normal.

 File originally uploaded to CompuServe by Bruce Waldmer [76350,224] as
 DOOMCHT.TXT in DOOMCK.ZIP on 17-Dec-93.  Edited and expanded by Andrew
 Poth [74640,1523] on 20-Dec-93.

 DOOM CHEAT KEYS [12/18/93]

 Copies of various messages posted on CIS regarding hidden cheat keys in

 Thanks to those who discovered and/or posted the information!  This
 document compiled by The Maverick [70671,1524].  Please let me know of
 any new developments....

 The following information was initially posted by Thomas Christie
 71777,204 (original message lost)

 Make a file called D.BAT in you DOOM directory consisting of:


 Then type D (map number) (skill level) to run DOOM on the selected map at
 the selected skill level.  For example, D 9 4 would start you on level 9
 (the secret level) at skill level 4 (ultra-violence.)

 #: 507235 S7/Action/Arcade Games
     17-Dec-93  07:41:50
 Sb: #Doom - debug keys?
 Fm: John E Marquardt 73021,2437
 To: Jake Pearson 70604,556

 For DOOM, while you are playing type the following.

 idkfa = full weapons and keys (No BFG 9000 or Plasma gun in the SW
 version tho')

 iddqd = god mode

 idbehold and S,V,L,A, and some other to turn on the LI Goggles, etc.
 Play with this one, it would look like idbeholdL and so on.

 idclev followed by an episode number (defaults to 1 if you have the SW
 version) and then a level number.

 Hope that helps, and Happy Blasting!
 I really do have more fun with the game without the debug keys, but they
 are fun sometimes.

 John Marquardt

 #: 507778 S7/Action/Arcade Games
     17-Dec-93  21:08:21
 Sb: #507235-Doom - debug keys?
 Fm: michael maceri 76270,3211
 To: John E Marquardt 73021,2437

 Also, "idspispopd", turns clipping on and off, allowing you to walk
 through walls and amazingly jump to openings, because of the x,y
 co-ordinate system used...

 #: 506368 S7/Action/Arcade Games
     16-Dec-93  07:13:42
 Fm: Joseph Patriarca 76424,614
 To: ALL

  While playing with DOOM I've discovered some undocumented Keys and
 command Line parameters.

 Keys:   ,(comma) and . (Period) are strafe left and strafe right. Very
 useful for avoiding the fire balls thrown by the imps and for running
 along the walls looking for secret passages, use with shift to move

         In map mode the G key will turn on a grid.

 Command Line Parameters (usage c:doom -devparm)

         -DEVPARM  turn developers mode on, this is the most usefull
 command by far.  When you use this parameter the F1 key will save the
 current content of the screen as a PCX file.  This is very handy when in
 map mode. When you have explored a level you can go to map mode and press
 the F1 key to save a copy of the map.  You can then print it out and use
 it to mark the secret doors and location of treasures. Hopefully some
 person will then upload these maps.

         -WART episode game  This needs to be used with the DEVPARM
 parameter and allows you to warp to any level of the game. The parameter
 episode is the game number 1 for the shareware version and game is the
 level 1 to 9 (1 to 8 are the normal levels and 9 is the secret level) .
 Use with the -SKILL parameter to set the skill level.

 -WART 1 9 -SKILL 1  to get to the secret level at the whimpy skill level.

         Other parameters I have not as yet found a use for


                              HOPE THIS HELPS!

 #: 506710 S7/Action/Arcade Games
     16-Dec-93  15:09:21
 Fm: David Saraniero 71005,2557
 To: Joseph Patriarca 76424,614 (X)

 About the -devparm...

 The -record and -recordfrom options are for 'recording' your movements.
 -playdemo and -timedemo will play these back in demo format.  Once in the
 record mode, press Q to stop recording.  -recordfrom will start recording
 from a saved game.  (I think I might have explained this better
 before...) Hope that makes sense.

 It seems the -noblit and -nodraw could be for timing purposes?  I'm not
 sure. The game runs and quits fine, it's just that there is nothing on
 the screen! Then it gives time specs... I haven't figured those out yet


 #: 507765 S7/Action/Arcade Games
     17-Dec-93  21:01:03
 Fm: Kris Pelley 72763,2357
 To: David Saraniero 71005,2557

 Blitting is fancy word for copying images into a video buffer or the
 video display itself. Drawing (in this instance) probably means copy the
 video buffer into actuall video memory (so that you can see).

 These two are probably only for determining the speed of the game under
 various conditions.


 #: 507032 S7/Action/Arcade Games
     16-Dec-93  21:01:31
 Sb: #506890-#DOOM 1.1 Problems
 Fm: Software Recording Corp. 76447,3264
 To: Marc L. Allen 72347,3442 (X)

 I don't know about your first 2 problems, but the directory C:\DOOMDATA
 is hardcoded into DOOM.  The only way to change it is to edit the binary
 (that is, executable) file.

                                                 Steve Snyder

 #: 508055 S7/Action/Arcade Games
     18-Dec-93  08:22:13
 Sb: #507993-Doom Patch
 Fm: Software Recording Corp. 76447,3264
 To: David Peel 71644,1251

 No one claimed that the use of C:\DOOMDATA would be changed by the patch.

 The patch is intended to fix several problems in the DOS extended that
 DOOM uses and to correct an incompatibility with the original (v1.0)
 Sound Blaster.

                                                 Steve Snyder

 P.S. If the C:\DOOMDATA is really that intolerable, you can edit DOOM.EXE
 to change the hardcoded path.  There are 3 references to the ASCIIZ
 string "c:\doomdata\xxxxxxxx.yyy", where xxxxxxxx.yyy is a file type
 (savegam.dsg or default.cfg).  It worked for me.  With a binary editor,
 search on the string "c:\doomdata".

 #: 507599 S7/Action/Arcade Games
     17-Dec-93  17:47:31
 Sb: #506752-DOOM codes found...
 Fm: Ron Eisner 74010,3011
 To: Andre Perkowski 76330,3454 (X)


   > ... here are cheat codes for DOOM.

 Thanks for posting them!  Unfortunately they do not seem to work in
 network games.  Each code begins with "ID"; but "I" is also the key to
 press to chat with the "indigo" player (black), so pressing "I<anything>"
 sends everything after the "I" as your chat text to the indigo player.
 If you find codes that work in network games, please post them!


 #: 506886 S7/Action/Arcade Games
     16-Dec-93  18:31:04
 Sb: #DOOM maps revealed
 Fm: Dave Timoney (Humongous) 72662,1360
 To: All

 Well, I don't think it's been mentioned here, but since someone already
 mentioned the  -devparm feature for the DOOM command line, I'd like to
 add something. This information is courtesy of the Internet, where many
 folks have spent a lot of effort to learn this information.

  Among the many things you can do once you're in the game with the
 -devparm enabled, go to the map screen (you _did_ read the instructions
 and press F1, right?)  and type 'iddt'  (no quote) to reveal the entire
 map for the level. While, at first, I thought this info would ruin the
 game for those that can't resist walkthrus, hintfiles, and the like -
 I've since come to realize that just knowing where a passage is doesn't
 necessarily help you get there <g>

  And, as mentioned, with the -devparm enabled, pressing F1 gives you a
 screen dump, in PCX format. If you have a 'paint' program, you can
 possibly print the maps out so you can make notes.


 #: 507223 S7/Action/Arcade Games
     17-Dec-93  07:01:31
 Sb: #507127-DOOM maps revealed
 Fm: Crusader [GAMPUB] 72662,1051
 To: Dave Timoney (Humongous) 72662,1360 (X)

      Not only does it provide the full map (and it stays active as you
 move from level to level, so you don't need to type it again... but it
 ALSO, when typed a second time will show ALL OBJECTS (I belive) on the
 level, enemies, barrels, powerups, etc., etc... when typed a THIRD time
 it will revert the map back to the state it would be in normally... and
 you DO NOT need to start the game with -DEVPARM to get it to work... :)

      Note that there ARE some areas that will be shown that you will
 never be able to get to, but they don't count on your secret score (but
 they are intresting to explore with 'no clipping ()' active, like the
 monster holding room for the pentagram at the secret military base...


                         That's all for now....


                    :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT:

      Set your communications software to Half Duplex (or Local Echo)
                      Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369.
               Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that).
                          Wait for the U#= prompt.

                  Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN.

          GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric
            Information Services/GEnie, reprinted by permission


        ___   ___    _____     _______
       /___| /___|  /_____|  /_______/           The Macintosh RoundTable
      /____|/____| /__/|__| /__/                 ________________________
   /__/ |___/ |__|_/   |__|_/____                  Managed by SyndiComm
  /__/  |__/  |__|/    |__|______/

          An Official Forum of the International Computer Users Group

                    *** STReport available in MAC RT ***
                                 ASCII TEXT
                            for ALL GEnie users!

                           MAC/APPLE SECTION (II)
                             Randy Noak, Editor

 Mac Report

 by Randy Noak

      Where in the heck did the year go? The older I get, the faster those
 days seem to fly by. This is the time of year when it is traditional to
 look back and reflect on the year just past and to vow, this time for
 sure, to keep all those new year resolutions. In computerdom though, the
 past (and even the present) is obsolete. The Mac is about breaking with
 traditions and the past, and so we will put 1993 behind us and look to
 1994 and beyond.

      In 1994, look for an expanded Mac Report. New staffers Steve Kiepe,
 Guillaume Brasseur and John Donohue will join veteran Jeff Coe in
 producing interesting and informative articles and reviews. In fact, look
 for Guillaume's first review in this issue. I'll still be here to put it
 all together along with press releases, news and commentary. We hope you
 enjoy it. Now let's take a look into the Mac Report Crystal Ball.

      Probably the biggest "future news", is the PowerPC. 1994 will bring
 several new PowerPC models bringing us unprecedented speed and ease of
 use. Rumor has it that the first PowerPC models, (code named PDM, Carl
 Sagan and Cold Fusion) will run native PowerPC applications 3-4 times as
 fast as a Quadra 700! For those that missed it, here's a "rumor" we
 published a couple of weeks ago:

 Mac Report PowerPC Sneak Peek!!


 Code named PDM, the bottom of the line PowerPC Mac has a 60mhz PowerPC
 601 chip. Priced at around $2000, it has 8 megs of RAM and a 160 meg (or
 230) hard drive and comes in a Quadra 610 type box. A built-in CD-ROM is
 an option.

 Carl Sagan

 Next in the line-up is the "Carl Sagan" (who thinks up these code
 names?). With a 66mhz 601, a 230 or 500 meg hard drive, 8 megs of RAM
 three NuBus slots and an optional CD-ROM  drive in a Quadra 650 type
 case. Price? Around $3000

 Cold Fusion

 Top o' the line "Cold Fusion" is based on an 80mhz 601. Priced at around
 $4000, it comes in a Quadra 800 type box with 8-16 megs of RAM, a 230 or
 500 meg hard drive,  and a CD-ROM drive.

      Pretty impressive, huh? Apple says that these machines will be
 available in the first quarter of 1994, so we'll see if the "rumor" is
 true. Take a minute, go back and look at those projected prices. Chances
 are the slower, less capable Mac you're using now cost as much or more as
 the new PowerPC Macs. Look for downward pressure on computer prices to
 continue in 1994.

      Sometimes the future arrives early, and CD-ROM is the futureand it's
 here now. So far, we've only scratched the surface of CD-ROM technology.
 PowerPC's will make faster access times and transfer rates necessary so
 look for pressure on CD-ROM drive manufacturers to produce faster drives.

      What about the Newton in 1994? Look for tablet sized Newtons.
 Handwriting recognition will be improved and more useful programs will be
 introduced. Be on the lookout for lower Newton pricing also.

      1994 will see the major on-line services slugging it out in an
 effort to lure subscribers. Look for GEnie to release their long-awaited
 and long-promised Mac Front End.  America On-Line will debut their 9600
 baud access software.  9600 baud access will be at the same price as 2400
 baud access providing an even greater value to it's subscribers, and
 CompuServe will increase the number of it's 14,400 baud nodes. High-speed
 modem prices will continue to plummet, making 2400 baud modems garage-
 sale items. All-in-all, 1994 will be a very good year for the modem user.

      The Mac Report Crystal Ball grows dim. Perhaps if the Publisher
 crosses my palm with silver? No? Oh well, I tried. May 1994 bring all Mac
 Report readers health, wealth, and happiness. From Jeff, Guillaume,
 Steve, John and I, "Happy New Year!"

      Here's Guillaume Brasseur's review of Capitalist Pig. This looks
 like the kind of game I like. Strategy. Money, Power. Kinda makes me feel
 warm all-over. <RBG>

 **Capitalist Pig** A Mac Report Review

 by Guillaume Brasseur

      "Capitalist Pig" is a business simulation in which the player
 decides what he wants to sell and at what price.  The player is in
 complete control of his company through his business, financial and
 marketing plans that he customizes according to his plans for the future.
 The player decides what he wants to produce, whom he wants to sell his
 product to, the price of his product and all the other decisions that
 help run his business.  He is also free to hire and fire his managers,
 his workers, his shippers and his sellers to keep the company profitable.
 The object of the game is to lead your company to success while coping
 with problems like embezzlement, fire, terrorism, scandal, strikes, tax
 audits, public offerings and an office building that cannot grow
 indefinitely for it is limited to fifteen floors.  Four advisors help the
 player to succeed along the game.  The accountant monitors the company's
 assets, the problems inside the company and the worker's productivity.
 The economist evaluates the economic trends and makes suggestions
 according to those.  The lawyer monitors lawsuits and the public
 relations agent monitors market share and value.  Each advisor will
 report on the condition of the player's business and tell him how to do
 better by suggesting a different course of action.  For example, if
 interest rates are low your economist will suggest that it is a good time
 to borrow money by increasing your credit line and if you are getting
 sued by your consumers your lawyer will suggest that investing in
 insurance is a good and profitable decision.  Furthermore, a manager will
 help the player decide when it is time to hire personnel by flashing
 messages indicating which workers need help in their work.  For example,
 if your sellers cannot take all the orders a message will appear saying
 so, indicating to you that it is time to hire more sellers.

      In all, "Capitalist Pig" is a good game that makes for hours of fun.
 Do not however expect to build a billion dollar corporation on the first
 try for it is almost impossible.  For those who master the game at the
 easy level, new and more difficult challenges await them as they move on
 to the medium and hard level settings in the setup window.  The player
 just has to experiment with different ideas to build his business to the
 #1 position on the list.  Even though this game does not have exciting
 action it is very creative and a must for those who enjoy business and
 those who are looking to go into it.  "Capitalist Pig" by Pigworks is a
 delightful game.  I recommend it for people over 15 but the manual's
 explanation of the principles of economics will enable even the younger
 kids to play.  It is licensed and distributed by Pluma Software and you
 can find it in most computer stores.  It has a retail price of around
 forty dollars but on sale, the price comes down to around thirty dollars.

      That's it for this week. Next week we'll be off of our Holiday
 schedule and back to our regular Mac Report features. As always, please
 feel free to send  your comments or questions to me at:

                         America OnLine: STReportRN
                           Compuserve: 70323,1031
                               GEnie: R.NOAK

                             IMPORTANT NOTICE!

      STReport International  Online Magazine is  available every week  for
 your reading pleasure  on DELPHI.  STReport's readers  are invited to join
 DELPHI and  become a part of a friendly community of enthusiastic computer
 users there.

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                         Try DELPHI for $1 an hour!

      For a limited  time, you  can become a  trial member  of DELPHI,  and
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 Plan, where you can use  up to 4 weekend  and evening hours a month for  a
 minimum  $10 monthly  charge, with  additional hours  available at  $3.96.
 But hurry, this  special trial offer will expire  soon!  To take advantage
 of  this limited  offer, use  your  modem to  dial 1-800-365-4636.   Press
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 press <RET> again. Then,  just answer  the questions and  within a day  or
 two, you'll officially be a member of DELPHI!

                  DELPHI-It's getting better all the time!


                          ATARI/JAG SECTION (III)
                           Dana Jacobson, Editor

 > From the Atari Editor's Desk              "Saying it like it is!"

 by Dana P. Jacobson

      Well, another year is about to end; I'm not sure if it's that's a
 relief, or a regret.  For one thing, it's been a stressful year for
 many.  The economy woes, natural disasters, and other distressful
 events certainly took their toll.  There have been some positive
 things, however, as well.  Peace, or the beginnings of it, in the
 Middle East; and the end of apartheid in South Africa - to name a

      On the Atari front, there have certainly been many ups and downs
 throughout the year.  Fortunately, depending on your point of view,
 1993 ended on an up beat with the Jaguar successfully released in time
 for Christmas.  Still, things have not been overly positive.  More and
 more users have left the userbase for "greener" pastures.  Atari
 developers have a less positive outlook with the Falcon taking a back
 seat to the Jaguar.  The scarcity of new software was deafening this
 past year, unless you were a MIDI and/or graphics enthusiast.  Atari
 insists that there will be better things coming out regarding the
 Falcon and successors, but the "when" is what has most people
 concerned.  Will the Jaguar really reach its full potential and be an
 overwhelming success for Atari in 1994?  If they can keep up with the
 demand, and maintain that demand, I see no reason why success can't be
 theirs.  Will Atari siphon off some of the Jaguar revenues to put into
 the Falcon and _really_ do something positive with it similarly as they
 have the Jaguar; or will they put it back into Jaguar development?
 Common sense tells me to stick with the front-runner and funnel the
 revenues back into the Jaguar.  I hope that this scenario doesn't work
 exactly that way.  Atari computer owners have "patiently" waited out
 the lean periods and really deserve to see Atari's potential come to
 light and be recognized as one of the best computers available today.
 Atari really needs to market the Falcon and next generation machines
 fully; and let the company, developers, dealers, and users reap the
 rewards for their diligence.

      Current Notes and ST Informer are still with us for hard copy
 magazines, thankfully.  We lost Z*Net online magazine and there was a
 resurgence of Atari Explorer Online.  And, of course, STReport stemmed
 the tide although it's made some adjustments over the past few months
 to reflect the multi-platform needs of many Atari users.

      Atari shows were still happening throughout the year, but
 attendance was a far cry from past years.  The degree of success for
 these shows was certainly subjective, but overall the reports were
 positive.  The major disappointment for the '93 show year was the
 absence of the WAACE show - a wonderful tradition that simply burned
 out with no clear idea as to whether or not it will be rekindled.

      Atari United!, the brainchild of Gordie Meyer and Pattie Abarbiero
 from Delphi, was born.  AU!, a mechanism to unite Atari users and
 groups across the country, has grown somewhat but still essentially in
 the infancy stage.  Look for some good things to happen with AU! next
 year, though.

      STReport had its ups and downs as well in '93.  There were a few
 controversial issues covered throughout the year that STReport simply
 refused to back away.  Heated issues dealing with conflicts between
 developers was the major controversy for the year, with lesser issues
 popping up here and there.  Relations were definitely strained during
 these periods, and some are probably irreversibly severed.  Yet,
 STReport has endured along with most of its revelations throughout the
 year.  Support, while certainly tense at times, became stronger.

      With the sharply reduced focus by Atari with its computer line,
 STReport diversified in recent months.  STReport's editor/publisher,
 Ralph Mariano, took a less active role with the magazine and split the
 magazine into three segments: Atari, PC, and Mac - each with its own
 editors.  While this diversity has had disheartening effects on many
 Atari readers (myself included), it remains one of the most popular
 downloads throughout the country, including the online services.
 Venturing into the Mac and IBM SIGs on the onlines shows that other
 platform users are also very interested in STReport, by a 2-3 times
 margin as when we were Atari-specific.  The future of an Atari-specific
 STReport is truly dependent on what Atari does next year.  Truthfully,
 all of our futures is dependent on that potential upstart in Sunnyvale!

      The Jaguar has been _the_ word in the gaming world these past few
 months.  Much has been said about it, especially once it got into the
 hands of the users.  1994 seems headed for the "Year of the Jaguar."

      Since this is New Year's Eve, I want to keep this editorial short.
 I'm also fighting with a flu/cold bug which just doesn't seem to want
 to go away!!  Hopefully, by the time this gets sent out, I'll have
 completed the promised initial segment of our online services and
 support staff, starting with Delphi.  If for some reason it doesn't
 appear in this issue, I apologize.  Although I rarely catch these bugs
 (first in over 5 years!), when I do, it's usually the one that a dozen
 different cold remedies can't beat!

      Let me take this time to wish you all Happy New Year!!  May the
 new year bring you happiness, prosperity, and continued good health.
      Until next time....


                             Delphi' Atari Advantage
                           TOP TEN DOWNLOADS (12/29/93)

          (1) DELUXE INVADERS             (6) IDEALIST 3.4
          (3) WORLD CONQUEST V.0.7B       (8) WARP9 CP UPDATE 1.51 --> 1.6
          (4) STORM PATCH 1.01>1.02       (9) FD144.TXT
          (5) HARDWARE REGISTERS          (10) LHARC 2.32

                              HONORARY TOP 10

  The following on-line magazines are always top downloads, frequently
      out-performing every other file in the databases.

                   ST REPORT (Current issue: STREPORT #9.52)
         ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE (Current issue: AEO - VOLUME 2, ISSUE 22)

           Look for the above files in the RECENT ARRIVALS database.

 > The Ole Fishin' Hole STR Feature

                           The Old Fishin' Hole

 -A Guide to the Online PD/Shareware Waters.

 by John R. Duckworth

     Welcome once again to my little corner of STReport.  Those of you
 who download the magazine as soon as it is posted will probably read
 this on New Year's Eve...not too long until the great ball drops in
 Times Square to ring in the great new year of 1994, and to make a
 final salute to the passing of 1993. I hope the past year has brought
 great wisdom, happiness, and fulfillment...and that in 1994 you will
 be blessed even more. In this week's column I will cover two utilities
 that have recently made their way into the online waters.    The first
 utility is one that will help users keep track of Father Time as we head
 into the new year. MyClock v.1.07 by Frank Schafer is yet another clock
 accessory for all Atari TOS computers.

     This clock may display time either in analog or digital form, and may
 use GDOS (or SpeedoGDOS) to fancy up the display a bit. As in most
 clock accessories, the date may be displayed...but MyClock is from
 Germany so there is no support for the standard American format.
 Different clock face formats may be selected as well as hand types to
 allow a user to tailor the display to his/her personal tastes. A few
 more designs might have been nice, since there are only 4 different
 hand designs, and 5 different face selections. The clock may be sized
 by the user, and all preferences may be saved to load automatically
 the next time the clock is used. One useful characteristic is that the
 clock will automatically pop up onto the desktop when loaded, so that it
 need not be selected from the accessory menu like most other clocks. One
 last, but potentially useful feature is it's alarm functions. A
 .ALM file is loaded by the clock when run which is simply a text file
 stating what time/day an alarm should go off. Since the manual is in
 German, it may take a bit of trial and error before figuring out all
 of the alarm settings, so experiment before you actually need to use
 it. I seldom need an alarm while computing, so this clock offers no
 real advantage over the superb talking clock included with the Falcon
 (besides, I'm the kind of person that likes to be told what time it is
 without looking), but if you need a dependable clock with preset
 alarms be sure to snag MyClock's a small file anyway!

     The second utility is Mountain View v.1.5 by Anthony Wilson.
 Mountain View is a text reader program who's main claim to fame is
 the ability to convert First Word and TX2 files to plain ASCII. Since
 I don't use First Word, and TX2 is almost dead, I have no need for
 those specialized functions. Look no further if you need a program to
 convert those specific file types. I viewed the program as a simple
 text displayer. On that level Mountain View fell a bit short, in my
 opinion. The first, and most annoying _feature_, is the fact that
 Mountain View totally takes control of your systems set colors no
 matter what the user has set from the desktop. This is probably to
 make the row of buttons on the bottom of the screen (which select
 functions such as load/print/quit) appear to be 3-D. That is fine and
 dandy in medium resolution on an older ST, but what about TT and
 Falcon users with 16/256 color desktop modes. For these users,
 changing the colors used is inexcusable since 3-D buttons are now a
 part of the operating system. But enough about the colors, perhaps
 many of you don't mind the screen changing from a eye pleasing blue
 to annoying pitch black. The program does what most other text viewers
 do, find specific text in the document, print or save specific blocks
 (although the demo version will not do either), and jump to the
 beginning and end of the text. Mountain View will also display _ANY_
 file in hex format which may be useful to some programmers. The best
 feature of the program is it's ability to fine scroll text, which I
 haven't seen since the days of my old Atari 800. If you need a text
 viewer, I suggest Master Browse. If you need a text converter between
 First Word/TX2 and ASCII then check out Mountain View, it's only $10
 for the registered version with all features enabled.

     Well, that's all the time I have for this week (buying new cars
 can take an excruciating amount of time), Happy New Years to everyone!
 As usual send comments, suggestions, or programs to review to:

  |   Old Fishin Hole Tackle Box     *                             |
  |   MyClock v.1.07                                               |
  |      Delphi: Atari Advantage - read MYCLOCK                    |
  |   Mountain View v.1.5                                          |
  |      Delphi: Atari Advantage - read MOUNTAIN VIEW              |
  |      GEnie: Atari RT (#31045)                                  |
  * The Tackle Box is meant to provide assistance in finding files
  mentioned in the column. It should not be considered a COMPLETE
  listing and is provided for convenience only. Delphi Atari Advantage
  files should be found in the Recent Arrivals section of the database
  until moved to their appropriate sections.


 > ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!

                             PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

   On CompuServe
   compiled by Joe Mirando

   Hidi ho friends and neighbors.  Ahhh... my first column of the year.
 There's something special about the first 'anything' of the year.  It's
 a time for hope, good will, and charity (I have _hope_ that Atari
 computers will do better this year, I offer _good_will_ to all those
 loyal Atari users out there, and I've decided to be _charitable_ to
 those who don't use CompuServe.  That's really what this column is all
 about.  If you use CompuServe, you've probably seen some of these posts.
 If you don't use CompuServe, you should know about all the cool things
 that get discussed every week here in the Atari Forums.

   So let's get busy...

 From the Atari Productivity Forum

 Jay Craswell, a long-time Atari user and developer, posts:

   "My goal of implimenting the one set of HP_PCL commands I need for a
   project looks like it's done!  Now I have to figure out how everyone
   manages to do any useful work thru the serial ports of the iBM
   machines.  What a pile of junk!  A friend tells me that he has actual
   working code for the iBM serial ports.  It goes something like this.
   Send byte, Check to see if serial chip has lost its brains, If so
   reprogram serial port and resend data.  Is it just me or is this a
   joke?  Course the situation is made worse by the fact that the BIOS

   comm routines which everyone stupidly try to use poll the data (crude)
   and since it does not always work people like me waste time trying to
   fix working code on the other end.  Ugggh!! I HATE PCs!"

 Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Online Magazine (a very knowledgeable guy
 himself, asks Jay:

   "Is it that bad?  I never really worked with serial communications
   much.  I know there are several books on the subject.  But most are in
   C or C++. <grin>"

 Jay tells Albert:

   "According to a friend who writes PC code it is.  I actualy did
   not believe him but...  I found a reference in some PC programming
   books that said somthing to the effect.  Comm does not work using
   the Bios, It is still not fixed in Windows.  Programers who wish
   to access the serial port must buy third party products to do
   communication correctly.  I wonder what MSDOS 2.1 thru 6.2 were
   for?  What a joke..."

 Our own dear, sweet, Editor-In-Chief, Ralph Mariano (really, he is...
 check the Masthead!) tells Jay:

   "That's odd.... I have FOUR serial ports on this machine and they all
   work just fine at 57.6 kbaud with the 16550 uarts and FIFO buffers.
   That's IN or OUT of Windows under DOS 6.2.."

 Jay tells Ralph:

   "You have Serial Extensions that work correctly.  Thats not unusual.
   The fact that you software even knows about 16550 uarts is proof that
   your not using the underlying stuff that I stupidly assumed worked
   correctly.  It's one of those inside programer things.  Everyone knows
   not to use this!  <grin> Except me."

 Well, I guess that's enough DOS-bashing... for now (even though DOS does
 deserve it).

 Ray Foley asks:

   "I would like to know if anyone else has a program writter that will
   allow me to, via remote control, download all of my Atari ST files to
   my MS-DOS PC.  The reason I want to do this is because my PC has a
   tape backup and I would like to backup all 80MEG of my Atari ST hard
   drives without using disks or without having to hand transfer my files
   one at a time using a standard terminal program."

 Dazzz Smith (gee, there must have been a sale on "Z"s the day he was
 born) tells Ray:

   "If the tape backup has a SCSI interface you could piggyback it
   onto the ST hard disk and back it up using Gemar (Unless there is
   a newer PD alternative I havent heard about)."

 Jon Sanford tells us:

   "I came across a little (3 3/4 x 5 1/2 ") booklet (c) 1990 Interactive
   Publishing Ltd. Europa House, Adling Park.  Maccielesfield, Cheshire,

   Free! Top 28 PD Programs  Pocket Guide.

   Here are the names of the programs: Geography Test, Jigsaw, Super
   Breakout, Mr Dig, Extensor Ace Invaders, 1st word, ST Writer
   Elite,Double Sentry, Easy Text, Zap Card, Sheet 2.0, Gemini, Uniterm,
   Codehead Utilites, Double Click Utilities, Assem/Disassem, Sozobon C,
   Ani ST, Neocrome, Aim, Img Converter, Picswitch, Masterpaint, Score
   Perfect, Soundtracker, Make Music, Delux Piano,

   There are many here that I have never seen. There are good PD Programs
   I could add to the list. Do you know which of these programs are in the
   CIS librarys ?  Do you know that some of them aren't? Do you know that
   some are not PD programs?

   I have in mind a project to accumulate a list to answer " I just got a
   AtariST. How do I get started? "  Also IMHO the CIS librarys require
   more expertise than I have ever bothered to accumulate to be shure what
   you want is or isn't there.. Perhaps a section of the libraries " 50
   top PD programs" & 50 top Shareware Programs"..  Wha da ya tink?

 No word from anyone else yet, but I think that anyone with the energy
 and drive to compile such a list should be encouraged as much as
 possible...  GO FOR IT, JON!

 Meanwhile, Mitch Brown asks for advice about downloading:

   "I am having A LOT of trouble downloading from here.  Which protocol
   should I use?  I am using Freeze Dried Terminal.  It has Xmodem CRC,
   Xmodem Checksum, and Xmodem 1k.  It also included Zmodem (which this
   system apparently can't use, and Ymodem.  And then one called Fmodem."

 Sysop Jeff Kovach tells Mitch:

   "I also use Freeze Dried Terminal.  I use Ymodem-G all the time with no
   problems, and it's faster than Xmodem or Ymodem.  The only problem is,
   if there's an error during the transfer, it aborts.  Regular Ymodem is
   slower, but will retry on an error."

 Steve Sathue asks:

   "Can anyone assist me with the following? I have an (old) Atari 520 ST
   with one floppy drive. I also have a lot of word processing documents
   that have been created with ST Writer Elite (a freeware product circa
   1987 vintage). Are there any utilities (freeware, shareware, retail)
   that I can use in order to import these documents into a format which I
   can load into WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS (on IBM hardware). If no products
   will do completely what I want, are there any which would at least
   translate the ST Writer documents into an ASCII format that I could
   somehow transfer to PC disks."

 Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Online Magazine tells Steve:

   "In the newest version of Stwriter 4.8 (which is the latest, and is in
   the libraries) you can save the text as ascii.  Then you can import it
   into any word processor including WP 5.1."

 John Damiano at Transierra adds:

   "With the commercial could load and then
   save in WP format.  Its 4.1 format but Im pretty sure the newer
   versions of WP will read that format.  Its about 60 dollars I think for
   Multiwriter.  I use it all the time since its so fast and easy.  Its
   also nice to finally get Noonan some financial reward for all his work
   over the years on the free versions."

 Sysop Bob Retelle jumps into the conversation and tells Steve:

   "It sounds like you're looking for a utility that runs on the IBM that
   will translate old STWriter files.. is that what you need..?

   Unfortunately I don't know of anything like that offhand...  there may
   be others here who are more familiar with wordprocessor formats for the
   PC, who could suggest something that might convert the files.

   As the other answers indicated, it would be easy to do with an ST, but
   if you no longer have yours, that's probably not an option.  If there's
   anyone in your local area, or a local Atari Users' Group, they might be
   able to convert the files to ASCII for you..."

 Frank Hense tells Sysop Bob:

   "I don't know whether the old utility-- Dcopy is available in the Forum
   LIBS or not but it had a feature for stripping ST writer codes and If I
   remember correctly worked quite well."

 On the subject of turning all peripherals on along with the computer, as
 opposed to turning the hard drive on then, after it "gets up to speed",
 turning the computer on, Jeff at Intersect Software posts:

   "I've had no problem with my ST, Mega ST or TT in turning them all on
   at the same time via a power strip.  I have modified my ST and Mega ST
   to have a reset time delay of 15 seconds.  The TT has that built in.

 Sysop Dan Rhea tells Jeff:

   "[That is] Slick, I should add that to my ST. It's all one powerbar at
   the present. And the power-on sequence is such a bore (said with snooty
   accent <grin>).

   Did you mod the ST or are the mods in the power bar?"

 Jeff tells Dan (and all of us):

   "About 5 or 6 years ago I uploaded a text file on hardware mods to the
   520 and 1040 ST, all versions.  It's still there I think.  Use
   keywords: Hardware Reset."

 I'm going to check with Jeff to see if I can use that file here in
 STReport (perhaps in this column, perhaps as a stand-alone article)...
 look for it in a few weeks.

 Continuing a thread that began last week about what to do with
 feline-based computer problems (cat hair in the keyboard, cat pawing at
 mouse, cat pressing keys), Kris Gasteiger tells Lee Seiler of Lexicor

   "CAT-A-BOBs? Shish! <GRIN> Excuse me, but these are my friends!
   Actually, I've considered it, but the reality was a bit beyond me...

   I realy should just close the door. Hmm, the dream machine needs to be
   able to know when to close the door! These things ARE supposed to make
   our lives easier, right?"

 Lee tells Kris:

   "Cat-Ka-bobs are self sustaining, get a litter, Kabob-the-trouble
   maker...then wathch to see if any of the kits have the same
   interest...those that's Kitten Fritters and those that
   don't....are friends for life!"

 Kris continues the conversation:

   "Hey, mine are spayed! the old one (Butterburr, 17+ years) came to me
   as a kitten, the other (Waif), was already spayed when she adopted me.
   Short of cloning, they are biological dead ends...

   Kitty fritters, sounds like a madison avenue thing. I'd probably choke
   on my first byte!

   I think I just need to teach my computer to hiss meaner than the cats

 Lee gives Kris an option:

   "I have an 18 or 20 year old black cat sitting here now demanding he be
   fed......How do you know you haven't had Kitty fritters already?

   You could try cloning them by placing both cats in a mechanical press
   and applying lot's of pressure...perhaps their DNA will merge, forming
   new Kitties?

   If not it's instant Kitty burgers!"

 Kris tells Lee:

   "OOOH! Kitty Burgers! My lady threatens Kitty Pot Pie on occasion, I
   wonder if there would be trouble at the king's table if such a thing
   were set next to the four and twenty black bird pie?

   I sometimes threaten to use one of those recipies from that new cook
   book, "101 ways to Woc your Dog". I usually get poked for my efforts.
   Honest though, we get along just fine!"

 Lee takes the scientific/nutritional approach:

   "Well Feline fritters and such are for the most part a wonderful way to
   solve the pet explosion and the world dietary problem all in one.
   Actually we here in the US eat a very restricted diet of "finished"
   foods, the lack of genetic diversity may be a more serious health
   problem than most suspect. That and the fact that our bodies were
   designed (evolved) to digest "whole" foods, dirt , guts and all, and
   mostly Bugs, very small animals and vegies with seasonal fruit.

   That of course does not include us EggNog drinkers!

   Give your Kitty a good Ol'e Holiday whack ! for me :-)"

 Now before animal lovers (which includes myself, Kris, and Lee) get
 up-in-arms about this conversation, let me just point out that the fact
 that both Lee and Kris own cats, and have had them for many years, proves
 that this conversation is just for fun with no serious intent whatsoever.

 Meanwhile, Milton Horst asks for help in shopping for a computer system:

   "I'm thinking of upgrading my system (520ST, Megafile 30, 4MB RAM,
   TOS1.4) and am interested in a Falcon or a TT.  Who has the best deals
   on these in the U.S.?"

 Brian Gockley of ST Informer tells Milton:

   "As far as Falcons, the price seems to have stayed pretty solidly at
   around 1200$ -1300$ (US). You will need to go to a local dealer, if you
   have one, or contact Atari directly to arrange for purchase. Falcon is
   sold only in protected territories, and they are very strict about

 Milton gives voice to the question that many are now asking:

   "Really?  What happened to 'Power without the price'?  This may mean
   that Falcons are cheaper in Europe than in the US.  Quite a change from
   the 'old days'.  If I'm looking at a four-figure price tag, maybe I
   should save up for a NeXT!"

 From the Atari ST Arts Forum

 Clive Moore sends up an S.O.S.:

   "Please can anyone help me. I am using an atari 520 with 1Meg ram. I
   have downloaded a Gif from the space forum but can not show it. Which
   program should I use. Picsw1 gives me a Tos error..."

 Sysop Bob Retelle tells Clive:

   "GEMVIEW  which should be in our VIEWERS library here in ATARIARTS
   should display the GIF file you've got...  give it a try...

   What TOS error did PICSW1 give you when you tried to use it..?"

 Yat at Lexicor Software tells Clive (and Bob):

   "GEM View will display it but will attempt to color dither it, Speed
   oF Light on a 520 is much better as it to my knowledge will use the
   Spectrum Cap. of your 520 ST, i.e. a Gif would be displayed as a Gif
   with 256 colors, and you can scroll around your screen."

 From the Atari Vendors Forum

 Rob Rasmussen asks:

   "What is the best Atari system to have to view graphics? I use my ST
   for a lot of things, but graphics is where it seems to fall short. I
   like to manipulate images, scale parts of it bigger, add colors and
   have it look great on the screen. My ST can't handle higher rez GIFs on
   my 1224 monitor unless I convert them and scrunch them to fit. Then
   they are tiny, and I want something better.  I've heard the Mac is
   capable of great results with high rez images, but also the TT and
   Falcon can do a lot. I'm kind of in the fog about it, but I don't want
   to have to solder a graphics board into my ST.  I need a bigger monitor
   definitely, but am in the market for a new system and was wondering
   what you would recommend."

 Brian Gockley at ST Informer tells Rob:

   "The Falcon is a great picture viewer, though the Nova card will give
   you more colors at a better resolution. Of course, the graphics cards
   will only fit in a Mega or a TT, but they also have their own RAM. The
   best powerhouse would be a TT with a graphics card; you get the speed
   of the TT, plus the high rez of the card. Boris has this combo, and he
   is quite familiar with the other platforms; maybe he will pipe up."

 Boris Molodyi, being the helpful guy that he is, posts:

   "OK, I will pipe up...

   For picture viewing, I'd say that Falcon is fine enough. Of course,

   24bit true color is nicer than 15/16 bits, but even 15bit is very nice
   (especially, after ST's 16 colors max. B-)

   For actually doing something with pictures, TT with a graphic card
   would be better since it has more processing power. OTOH, as I recall,
   German accelerator for the Falcon allows for VME cards (or was it a
   separate product).  Of course, it's unknown if it will be available

   Cards themselves... I would say that when compared with Windows
   accelerated cards, Atari cards seem to be rather pricey. OTOH, if you
   compare them with Mac cards, they are much more flexible and even

   Depending on what you need more, higher resolutions or more colors,
   you have to choose between different cards. For most of work, something
   like Crazy Dots II (which has 1 meg of RAM) is quite enough, since you
   can have resolutions up to 1664*1200 in up to 16 colors (that's virtual
   resolution; physical should eb lower, unless you are willing to put up
   with lower refresh rates). If you want to work with true color pictures
   in large resolutions, you need a card with more RAM, like Sunrise card
   (which also supports higher resolutions and refresh rates). It has 2
   meg of RAM, so you can have much higher resolution while still in true
   color mode.

   Of course, one should note that true color modes are necessarily
   slower than modes with lower number of bitplanes, so unless you do
   color prepress or something like that and _need_ to see a true color
   pictures all at once, a lower priced card should be just fine. OTOH,
   Sunrise would be much more fun..."

 Scott Vinnicombe asks:

   "Could you recommend, for a freind of mine who wants to join
   compuserve, a modem and software for his atari 1024."

 Master Sysop Ron Luks tells Scott:

   "I assume you mean an Atari 1040 ST or STe.  If so, I would recommend
   any IBM compatible external modem (Supra makes a very good, inexpensive
   one) and the FLASH II software.  There's a demo available in Lib 10 if
   you want to download it for him."

 Bill Turczynski asks the CodeHeads:

   " How much to update Warp 9 v3.61 to the latest version?  My master
   disk in a large envelope, right?  As I remember three $.29 stamps will
   get it there, right?"

 Charles F. Johnson, CodeHead extraordinaire, tells Bill:

   "The price to upgrade to the latest version of Warp 9 is $25.00.  We
   recently made it easier to upgrade too; if you registered your copy of
   Warp 9 with us (by mailing back the reg card), or if you originally
   ordered directly from us, you can simply send us some Email with a
   credit card #, and we'll update you without the need to send back your

 From the Palmtop Forum

 Howard Miller asks a very good question:

   "What exactly is a palmtop computer?  Can such computers have a
   standard QWERTY keyboard?  The only one I've had any experience with
   was from "MicroPalm," it's keyboard was not standard at all. The
   smallest computer I'm aware of that can have a QWERTY keyboard are
   notebook/sub-notebook computers. May a palmtop have a QWERTY layout
   keyboard, too?  What do palmtops cost if I want an under $1,000 model,
   is it possible?"

 Head Honcho Ron Luks tells Howard:

   "A palmtop is under 2 lbs (some folks say under 1lb).  Many have QWERTY
   layout keyboards including the CASIO SRF10/20, the Sharp Wizard 8xxx
   and 9xxx series, and the Psion Series 3 and 3a.  All the above units
   are priced under $1000.  Significantly under $1000."

 Sysop Judy Hamner adds:

   "Most palmtops have a QWERTY keyboard. Prices can range from under $100
   for simple electronic organizers to about $1000 or more for a DOS
   compatible. If you post your needs (intended use, size, weight, screen,
   keyboard, DOS compatibility or not, PC connections, etc.) you can get
   some pointers for the best models for you."

 Sysop Marty Mankins jumps into the conversation and tells Howard:

   "A palmtop is....

   A unit under 2 pounds, a QWERTY keyboard, and an LCD screen.

   Those are the basics.  The specifics that people now expect are...

   PCMCIA or other card slot for expansions and s/w, serial port, long
   battery life (more than 30 hours) and a way to have access with a

   Price should be under $1000.  Average price should be $450."

 Howard's reply took me quite by surprise:

   "I would be interested, as a deaf-blind man, in using my braille
   display with a palmtop.

   Such a palmtop needs a standard parallel port, and a serial port to
   connect an external modem would be needed.  Compaibility with MS-DOS is
   REQUIRED, so I can run the TSR driver for my braille display, which is
   a parallel port device.  A Hard disk is needed as well as a 3.5 inch
   floppy drive to install software.  Windows is NOT wanted, neither are
   pen-based or trackball palmtops: I do all my work from the normal DOS
   command line.

   And yes, a standard QWERTY keyboard is necessary.  How do such
   keyboards on a palmtop operate?  Are they calculator-style or normal

   So, if there's a palmtop to meet my needs, which ones would you
   suggest and for what cost?"

 Sysop Ron Luks tells Howard:

   "The only palmtop I know of that comes close to your list of
   requirements might be the HP100LX, and I'm not 100% sure it has all the
   features you need.  I'd suggest you visit the HPHANDHELDS Forum (GO
   HPHAND) and ask Sysop Ted Dickens or his staff is the HP100LX will do
   the trick."

 From the Casio Z-7000/Tandy Z-PDA area (This is a competetitor of the
 Apple Newton which sports Pen-entry/text recognition and many built-in
 programs such as a dictionary/thesaurus, conversion tables, language
 translator, and several games) Kerry Podolsky asks:

   "Does anybody know what the update/upgrade capability of the Zoomers
   are.  I mean was Casio smart enough to know that there would probably
   be BUGS in the ROMmed code (there is a memory leak when switching apps)
   and did they design in Flash Roms instead of OTP Roms?

   What happens when the next generation software capabilities come out,
   can I just upload new code into my Z or do I have to try and find
   someone to buy it so I can buy the latest and greatest?  Anybody do a
   study on Future Support of the device?  I mean it's got a lot of bells
   and whistles and people (me included) are going to writing apps for it.
   But beyond being able to add a 20Mb PCMCIA card or EMBARC to the thing,
   what about being able to upgrade to GEOS 3.0 (or whatever)?"

 Nigel Ballard tells Kerry:

   "Although it's technically possible for the Zoomer to receive an OS
   patch that could be held in ROM or in a card in the PCMCIA slot.
   However, there currently is no patch in existance, and I know of none
   so far planned.

   Also there is no planned ROM upgrade.  Who knows what next year will

   Sure, the OS has some niggles including a memory leak and a few
   instances where the processor will lock.  But currently these aren't
   considered enough to warrant either a patch or a Mk2 ROM."

 Bill Parker of CASIO Tech Support tells Kerry:

   "Here is how we stand: of course CASIO planned for upgrades for the
   Z-7000. The product is so new that there has of yet been no discussion
   of the details. I do know that RAM patches are possible and that
   hardware wise the ROM's are on a small plug in board that is easily
   changed. Again, the details of what will happen when changes are
   available have not been addressed but there are many possibilies.

   There is no memory leak bug. There are state files created when
   switching applications for remembering what you were doing and these
   can easily be deleted when they accumulate just like we do on our hard
   drive with Word .tmp files and such.

   The Z-7000 is being supported by a group of great companies with a lot
   of talented people. Whatever changes happen with Geos or Palm or Intuit
   or Casio, I am sure those changes will be easily incorporated into the
   existing Z's and future PDA's.

   As soon as we are aware of any additions, bugs, drivers that are
   available for the Z-7000 we will declare and reveal and upload all.
   Stay tuned to this CASIO Tech Support Channel."

 Wow, that's kind of cool!  A question is asked and a direct answer is
 given by someone who both knows what they are talking about and is
 allowed to share the info!  Boy, lots of companies could take a lesson
 from that.

 Dave Goodman posts his:

   "Ten Reasons Santa Claus Likes the Zoomer

   1) It's great for making a list and checking it twice.

   2) The Zoomer's small size makes it easy to bring down the chimney
      with him.

   3) The batteries last so long he doesn't have to keep stealing them
      from the other toys.

   4) The flip cover keeps the elves from leaving those little footprints
      all over the screen.

   5) It really attracts the babes!

   6) The games are great during those long flights, and he plays
      Solitaire when Mrs. Claus finds out about #5.

   7) The Zoomer doesn't start mis-recognizing words after letting the
      elves write on it.

   8) The Zoomers fit better in his sack than those big purple dinosaurs!

   9) The consumer information helps him watch his diet (cookies: 50
      calories, milk: 151 calories).

   10) He really likes the name ZOOMER!"

 Well folks, I'm going to end the column here and leave room for someone
 else.  Be sure to tune in again next week and be ready to take another
 trip with me down that old electronic highway.  All you need is a comfy
 chair, your reading glasses, and this column.  You can see the sights,
 play all kinds of games with "licence plates", or just sit back and
 listen to what they are saying when...

                             PEOPLE ARE TALKING


                       STReport's "EDITORIAL CARTOON"

 > A "Quotable Quote"        "Yes indeed...  "Tis the time of year!"

                             "HAPPY NEW YEAR!!"

                       Please; DON'T DRINK & DRIVE!!
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