News - Undated - I

From: Len Stys (aa399)
Date: 01/20/90-02:40:12 PM Z

From: aa399 (Len Stys)
Subject: News - Undated - I
Date: Sat Jan 20 14:40:12 1990

         Undated Time Casule

16 Megs for an 8 bit
Atari Virus
A Small Red Button
Shadow (Review)
News on Software Campaign
The S. Campaign Continuation
DOS XE now available!
Atari Game Magazine
Atari Cracks Down on Counterfeits
CPL and CCPL Library Catalog
Atari BBS's
The last of the campaign...
Editorial to software campaign

        16 Megs for an 8 bit

-From:aa384:news:593749626:596341626:16Meg for an 8 bit
-From: DOUG WOKOUN (aa384)
-Indx: 001

        For those of you planning to
ditch your 8bit computer, hold on a
little longer:

        Dataque is bringing out a
new upgrade for the Atari 400/800/xl/xe
computers.  It is a replacement board
for the current 6502 CPU and requires
no modifications to a 400/800 and
will break the 64 K memory barrier
of existing systems.  Not banks of
memory, but linear address space up
to 16 megabytes.  The Turbo-816 board
is a new hybird 16/8 bit processor
that is completely compatable with
current software, but gives it a
boost of speed.  It comes with Turbo-OS
which replaces much of the slow code
with faster routines that even speed
Atari BASIC to the point where 
benchmarks outspeed many other personal
computers.  Also, future products
for it will allow, real-time multi-
tasking OS kernal, new assembler-editors,
new BASIC that is faster than any
currently available, graphics based
GOS and much more.  It should b
available by next month.  (November)

For more info, write:

           DataQue Software
           Dept. T-816
           P.O. Box 134
           Ontario, OH 44862

                          Atari SysOp
                          Doug Wokoun

              Atari Virus

-From:aa268:news:596806692:599398692:Atari Virus
-From: JIM HAYNES (aa268)
-Indx: 002

       by Barbara and Ian Carlstrom

   As co-presidents of CACE and Disk
librarians for TAP, we have an abundance
of PD software, both for the 8-bit and
the ST. Recently, many of our club
exchange newsletters have had articles
about viruses invading personal computers.
We have tried to keep abreast of this
problem and to keep the viruses out of our
libraries.  The virus problem may yet be
more common on other computers such as
the Amiga, but it is definitely time for
Atari users to be concerned as well. 
Commercial games now frequently come with
virus warnings on their covers, and
viruses have become a fact of life that
every computer user must deal with.  We
have currently received very few reports
of virus problems in our area, but we
expect more frequent problems in the
   For those of you unfamiliar with
computer viruses, we should explain that
the term is used to describe any program
that resides hidden on a disk, then
attaches itself into the computer's
memory and replicates itself on other
programs and other disks.  Once in your
machine, the virus goes away only when
you turn off the power to your computer
(a cold start).  It is possible for your
computer to be reinfected whenever you
load an infected program or disk.  The
virus may remain hidden for some time,
but after it has  replicated itself
enough times, or a particular date has
arrived, it springs into action.  The
original viruses were intended to be
benign practical jokes that displayed
silly messages on your computer screen.
However, even these sometimes
accidentally destroyed commercial disks
by writing to them in improper ways. 
Eventually, social misfits discovered the
idea and created viruses that do
deliberate harm.  These typically erase
your entire disk, write garbage somewhere
on your disk or erase the directory. 
Under any of these scenarios, your disk
is ruined.  If you have a hard disk, this
could be a disaster.  In addition to
damaging your disks, some current viruses
try to convince you that your system is
not working.  The range of possible
mischief for future viruses is quite
unlimited.   In addition to viruses there
are "trojan horse programs" that attach
themselves to the computer memory and
later do damage, such a formatting a hard
disk. Like viruses. you must turn off
your computer to eliminate the effect of
these programs.  They differ from viruses
in that they don't reproduce themselves
on other disks and other programs, but
they may permanently affect your hard
disk.  David Small, the author of the
Magic Sac, wrote a recent article in
Current Notes in which he claimed that
some software developers were quietly
beginning to fight piracy by releasing
apparent pirated versions of their
software to the pirate boards.  These are
actually trojan horse programs designed
to destroy the boards, and perhaps your
system as well.  David claims that it is
even possible to damage an ST with
software.  These ideas and methods are
just emerging, but in the future beware
of pirated programs obtained from the
pirate boards.  If you have a "Magic Sac"
program that runs by software alone, you
know that you have such a pirated
program.  How do you catch a virus?  It
is most common to download one from a
bulletin board.  Another way is to copy
a friends's disk that has one.  The
problem is that since the virus is
hidden, the sys-op or friend may have no
knowledge that there is a problem.  There
are, however, simple precautions you can
take to reduce your risk and ultimately,
others also.

      ST Viruses and Precautions

   The most common ST virus is one that
attaches itself to the computer's memory
and then writes to the boot sector of
every disk you put in any of your drives,
making it executable.  Every time it
encounters a disk with an executable boot
sector, it increments a counter and then
when the counter reaches a certain
number, it destroys the disk.  If you
discover you have a virus, there are two
programs in the library that will rewrite
our boot sector and wipe out the virus.
Both will allow you to look at the boot
sector to see if it is executable and the
redo that sector if necessary.  However,
as a word of caution, many commercial
programs come with boot disks.  To
rewrite these would be to destroy your
commercial program.  Use these virus
killers only if you are sure the disk is
not intended to auto-boot.  There are
recent viruses that don't use the boot
sector.  When we get programs to check
for these new viruses, we will add them
to the library.  This will undoubtedly
be a permanent process.  Each time that a
virus killer program is written we can
expect a new kind of virus to emerge that
escapes its methods..

   There are ways to reduce the risk of
catching a virus.

   1.Write-protect your disks unless you
are writing to them.  The disk drive is
physically protected from writing to a
protected disk, no matter what software
commands are sent to it.

   2.Get one of the virus killer programs
from the library. We have been selling
them for $2.00 a disk ( with both
programs on the disk).  Check your
current home library.  As a note, I have
checked every public domain disk both in
the TAP and CACE libraries.

   3.Always use a COLD START when running
a commercial program.  The virus cannot
survive a cold start, but can a warm
start.  (For a truly safe cold start,
turn off the computer and leave it off
for while. )  When you format disks to
use with your commercial programs (such
as data disks and character save disks),
do so after you cold start your system
with a disk that you know to be safe.

   4.Keep backups.  This is a general rule
under any circumstances; and other
accidents can also destroy a disk.

   5.When you download a program from a
bulletin board, place the program on a
disk that you could afford to lose before
running it.  Run the program and turn off
your computer when done.  Boot the virus
killer disk from the library and check
your the disk.  (The same rules can apply
to a disk obtained from a friend or 
possibly  even from a user group.)

     8-Bit Viruses and Precautions

   Most of the rules and discussion of ST
viruses apply to the 8-bit machines as
well.  Once an idea catches hold it spreads
everywhere; and viruses have arrived in
the 8-bit world.  Here again we suggest
you write protect those disks that you don't
intend to write on.  It is safest to
write protect the disks that you use to
boot DOS.  A common way to spread an
8-bit virus is to modify DOS.  Sometimes
the virus is appended to each file, other
times it written when you write the
infected DOS to a new disk.  We do not
yet have a good virus checking program
for the 8-bit machine.  If you encounter
one, let us know.

   In summary, the virus problem suggests
that you use prudence.  You probably
don't need to rigidly follow the anti
virus guidelines suggested here and you
may well never encounter a virus.  We
don't intend to spread an unnecessary
panic.  But when you have valuable
commercial disks and irreplaceable
personal files, take steps to protect

Free-net Sysops Note:

Programs to "Kill Viruses" are available
on most Atari BBS Systems as well.

           A Small Red Button

-From:aa268:news:596806842:599398842:Red Button (Ram disk backup battery)
-From: JIM HAYNES (aa268)
-Indx: 003

        A Small Red Button
         by I. F. Carlstrom

   Many members of CACE were fascinated
a few months ago by Ray Zapp's demon-
stration of a "Big Red Button."  This
button was placed in a cartridge for an
eight bit computer.  Together with the
software that he had developed, his 
system allowed you to perform a wide
variety of tasks.  But the most
important was the capability of recover-
Ing from a wide range of system lockups. 
Now it is a current wisdom of experts
that no one will buy anything for an
eight bit computer and it would not
appear reasonable for Ray to try to
market this original system at this
time.  It would take hours to build the
device by hand and hundreds of dollars
to automate the production.  Neverthe-
less, Ray wants to maintain faith in the
eight bit systems and he is testing the
commercial waters with a simpler device
that I will describe as a "small red
button."  If members of our group and
other user groups who read our news-
letter are willing to support this pro-
ject, Ray might be encouraged to produce
that marvelous larger system as well.

  The purpose of the "Small Red Button"
is to allow you to reboot your system
and recover your ramdisk at any time.
The package comes with programs that
allow you to modify DOS 2.5 and SPARTA-
DOS so that the ramdisk will be re-
covered after a "cold start."  (A cold
start occurs when you reboot DOS.  On an
Atari 130XE you can get a cold start by
typing "BYE" from BASIC and then press-
ing SYSTEM RESET.)  The second part of
his system is a cartridge with a small
red button.  The sole purpose of this
button is to force the system to a cold
start.  As long as you are working in
BASIC, you might not need the cartridge.
As I said above, all you need to do is
type "BYE."  Often, however, this is not
possible.  All computer users have been
frustrated by a sudden lock up of the
system.  There are also many programs,
especially binary load programs, don't
let you escape by pressing the SYSTEM
RESET.  Until now, all you could do was
turn off the power and start over.  Once
the power is turned off, your ramdisk
information is lost.  Ray's button
forces the computer to reboot with the
ramdisk intact.  With Ray's system, the
 use of the ramdisk to store files is
much safer.  Obviously, if you have a
power outage, you lose everything.  But
a sudden lock up of the system is no
longer a problem.

  There are several commercial word
processing programs as well as business
and home software that do not make use
of the ramdisk.  I am a great fan of the
ramdisk and I am likely to reject a pro-
gram that doesn't make use of it.  
Nevertheless, many of you will be using
programs that don't keep a ramdisk.  As
far as I can see, Ray's system would not
likely be of use with them.  Individuals
whose computer use is restricted to
these commercial programs would not be
candidates for a ramdisk protector.  On
the other hand, most public domain prog-
rams that we have released through the

club do make use of the ramdisk.  I
would think that nearly every club
member with an eight bit computer would
be using the computer in ways that would
make Ray's system useful.  If your
computer does not have enough memory for
a ramdisk, his system provides an added
incentive for you to get a memory up-

  An obvious use of Ray's system is to
protect ramdisk files from a sudden
system lock up.  Nevertheless, it has
other uses as well.  For example, after
writing this article I will need to send
it to the ST so that I can provide Joe
with an ST disk file for the newsletter.
I will need to boot the Atari 850 inter-
face handler to send this file.   This
task will now be greatly simplified.  
My article will already be on the ram-
disk, ready to be sent.  Booting the
computer will be almost instantaneous
(less than three seconds) because I
don't have to recreate a ramdisk or move
DOS files there.  Examining binary load
programs such as games used to be quite
a chore.  After each game we had to turn
off the computer, wait a few seconds for
it to power down, reboot the system and
DOS, and reload a new binary game.  Now
several games could be placed on the
ramdisk.  We can now immediately get
back to DOS with the games still intact.

  Ray is selling his system under the
following address:

       LOGIC ONE
Hardware/Software Development
    P.O. Box 18123
Cleveland, Ohio 44118-0123

  For user group members he is asking
$22.95 plus 7% sales tax for Ohio
residents.  Members of our club could
give Ray a call (at 932-0116) for fur-
ther details or to place an order.  
There would be an additional $3:00
shipping fee if you want the product
mailed to you.  He produces a carefully
crafted, solid and substantial cart-
ridge.  It is hand built and it takes
him over an hour to build.  Obviously,
for the price that he is asking this
is a labor of love for the machine and
its enthusiasts.  If he continues to
market it, he will have to raise the
price.  He is willing to take orders at
this price without a down payment if 
you are willing to wait until he has
time to build your device.  But those
who provide cash in advance will be the
first ones served.  The product seems to
be very useful and is much cheaper than
a typical game.  You would be truly
foolish not to take him up on his offer.
One possible problem is that he might
get an overload of orders.  But this
would give him the funds to invest in an
automated production system such as a
circuit board.  If you believe in the
eight bit system, this is a chance for
you to help expand its capabilities.
Lets show those "experts" to be wrong!
People do still want quality eight bit

             Shadow (Review)

-From:aa268:news:596806965:599398965:Shadow (Review)
-From: JIM HAYNES (aa268)
-Indx: 004

  by Double Click Software Marketed by
        Reviewed by Rick Snevel 
  Shadow is billed as a "Multitasking
file transfer program.  Works with all
GEM terminal programs or by itself." 
My biggest question was, does it really
work?  Or is it just hype? Well, it WORKS
and it does it VERY WELL.  Combining this
program with a good print spooler and
you're all set for all the multitasking
most people ever need (or want.) 

  Shadow allows one to upload or download
a file while doing something else with
your computer.  I'll tell you, I was the
most skeptical person about this program.
I have gotten other programs that
supposedly let one do this, but once you
get the program you find it doesn't work
or you need some other program to make it

  Shadow is installed as a stand alone
.ACC (desk accessory) file or can be used
in conjunction with Flash.  I have only
used it by itself, I've had no reason to
even use Flash since purchasing Shadow.
  To access Shadow, you first click on
the Shadow program from the Desk menu. 
You then get the title screen.  You have
many choices here which include: Send,
Receive, Protocol, Set up and Terminal.
For sending or receiving, you have the
choices of:  X-Modem CRC, X-Modem CRC 1K,
X-Modem Checksum, Y-Modem Batch,
B-Protocol, and ASCII.  You can also
choose modem speed here (up to 19,200),
screen settings which include showing
the block number of the transfer on the
screen and turn the bell (used to tell
you when you're done transferring) on and
off.  Once you have your terminal set up
as you like, you can save your settings. 

  Included with Shadow is an auto dialer.
One can set up different BBS numbers to
dial.  Shadow will keep redialing as long
as you like, it will dial while using
other programs also.  Shadow includes a
well written manual (no printing your own
manual here as is common with some
programs.)  The manual explains how to
set up and configure your system and
gives you keyboard equivalents to most
commands.  Also included is a section on
how to access Shadow from C or Assembly

  As can be seen, I am VERY pleased with
this product and recommend it highly. 
he cost is only $29.95 and is well worth

   One very interesting feature that we
have found and have no explanation for 
is that it speeds up the thinking of
Publishing Partner.  The printing still
takes the same amount of time, but the
thinking process is from 8 to 10 time
faster.  We have done benchmarks that
show a file that normally takes 5 minutes
of thinking time without Shadow will only
take about 30 seconds of thinking time
with Shadow loaded.  We have no
explanation for this, but it works. 

       News on Software Campaign

-From:aa399:news:598925394:601517394:News on Software Campaign
-From: LEN STYS (aa399)
-Indx: 005

I have received 3 responses as of now and expect more.


     Thank you for recent request for
Atari releases of Microprose
simulations.  Newer Microprose
simulations are highly sophisticated
and we cannot reproduce the necessary
detail within the 8-bit systems'
limitations.  If a program can be
converted to an Atari version and
maintain the realism and playability
standards Microprose has established,
it will be considered.

     Again, thank you for your interest
in Microprose.  If I can be of any
further assistance feel free to contact


Kimberly A. May
Customer Service Manager


(catalog only sent, no response to the


I received a phone call long distance
telling me that I might
be contacted again by a higher
authority in the future.  She also
said, that they listen very carefully
to any letters that are sent to them.

Letter from Spinnaker - 2 days later.

    Thank you four input.  We always
appreciate hearing our customers.
Your letter has been forwarded to
our product manager.
Thank you for your interest in
Spinnaker software.

         Customer Service

((this letter was hand-written, not

-As more responses come, I will
continue to post them.

    The S. Campaign Continuation

-From:aa399:news:599260088:601852088:The S. Campaign Continuation
-From: LEN STYS (aa399)
-Indx: 006

Response from The Avalon Hill Game

Thank you for your letter.  Rest assure
we have not stopped supporting the
Atari 8-bit computer.

As a matter of fact we have a great
game for the Atari 8-bit - SPITFIRE 40'
which came out just this year.

Enclosed is a catalog and parts/price
list for your convenience.

We thank you for your support and
interest in Avalon Hill Microcomputer
Games and will keep you posted on new
games for your computer in the future.


Customer Service

Again, I will keep everyone updated
on the Atari 8-bit Software Campaign.

Len Stys(aa399)

       DOS XE is now available!

-From:aa399:news:599286808:601878808:DOS XE now available!
-From: LEN STYS (aa399)
-Indx: 007

            DOS XE is here

     DOS XE is available now.  It is
for any Atari XL or XE computer and
will work with the 810, 1050, and
XF551 drives.  This DOS is suppose
to increase the disk capacity from
127k to 320k and double the transfer
speed between computer and disk.
The DOS is said to have also date
stamping and hierarchical file

     The DOS XE disk and complete
owners manual can be purchased from:

             Atari Consumer Relations
             Attn: DOS XE
             P.O. Box 61657
             Sunnyvale, CA 94088

The cost is $10.00 plus $3.50 for
shipping and handling.
Len Stys (aa399)
NOTE: SpartaDOS works with the double
side and double density feature of
the XF551 and there are programs
to modify 3.2d to work at high speed.

       The Atari Game Magazine

-From:aa399:news:599286941:601878941:The Atari Game Magazine
-From: LEN STYS (aa399)
-Indx: 008

          The Atarian

<(The new magazine
            for Atari game players)>

     This magazine covers the 2600,
7800, and XE Game Systems.

     You are to get:

  1) Reviews of new games.
  2) Playing strategies.
  3) Reader Playing Tips.
  4) Previews
  5) High Scores.
  6) Reader Favorites.
  7) Interviews with top designers.
  8) And much more...

One year subscription (6 issues),
you get a free Atari game champion
T-shirt and patch, for $15.

Remember to send your T-shirt size
when ordering.

         The Atarian
         7 Hilltop Road
     Mendham, New Jersey 07945

<<<This is not an advertisement but
just to let the game players know
that there is a game magazine for
the Atari game machines>>>

Len Stys (aa399)

   Atari Cracks Down on Counterfeits

-From:aa399:news:599287023:601879023:Atari Counterfeits caught!
-From: LEN STYS (aa399)
-Indx: 009

  Atari Cracks Down on Counterfeits

     Security agents hired by Atari
raided eight New York retailers and
seized over $100,000 worth of
allegedly counterfeit video game
products.  Atari said eight firms
were illegally selling fake copies of
its 2600, video games, and

     This raid was the third conducted
by Atari in the past year.  Atari
previously seized products in Los
Angeles and Singapore.

     Atari claims the problem is due
to the Taiwanese governement for
letting counterfeits do as they
please.  As of now, fake products have
shown up in Hong Kong, Australia,
Saudi Arabia, Chile, Peru, Brazil,
Columbia, Ecuador, and the U.S.

Len Stys (aa399)
(Co-Atari Sysop)

    CPL and CCPL Library Catalog

-From:aa384:news:599550507:602142507:CPL and CCPL library catalogs
-From: DOUG WOKOUN (aa384)
-Indx: 010

The Cuyahoga County Public Library
catalog is now available to the
public at 398-8806.  The Cleveland
Public Library catalog is available
at 623-0623.  Both of these work
best with Vt100 emulation, although
the CCPL and possibly the CPL catalog
will work without it.

You can also request materials on
the CPL catalog if you have a current
Cleveland Public Library card.

    Doug Wokoun
    Atari SysOp


-From: LEN STYS (aa399)
-Indx: 011

  copyright(c)1987 By Jim Dillow

     Well, if you are looking for
a great new terminal program for
your Hayes Compatible modem, this
is it!

     De-Term has several file
transfer protocols.  For Up Loading,
is Xmodem, Xmodem CRC, and Xmodem 1k.
For Down Loading it has Xmodem,
Xmodem CRC, Xmodem 1k, and Ymodem

     While waiting for a file
transfer to complete or a connection
to a bbs, you can press Ctrl-Shift &
G to play a good game of BreakOut.

     De-Term uses pull down menus
and keyboard commands.  Features
like Edit Window, Timer Reset,
Word Wrap, are also featured in
this program.

     There is also that phone list
that we need but it is a little more
advanced.  You can now enter several
macros not just two or three.  You
can also dial up places by marking
the boards to call, just having it
call all of them, or ofcourse
just call only one board.  This
programs also realizes when there
is a busy signal and it hangs up
and calls the next number.

     De-Term is also able to transmit
baud rates up to 9600.  And with
a 2400, you don't get your words
garbled like with other programs when

     This program can do everything
other programs can.  It has a
buffer, it can capture the screen,
you can format a disk, delete, copy,
view a file, print a file, lock a
file, and the ram disk can be used
as a temporary disk drive.

     De-Term can be Down Loaded at
probably any Atari bbs.

Len Stys(aa399)
(Co-Atari Sysop)

            Atari BBS's

-From:aa399:news:599634000:599634000:Atari BBS's
-From: LEN STYS (aa399)
-Indx: 012

January, 1989.

         Atari BBS's

1. Wl's Basement       : 381-7859
2. MegaVision System   : 441-3816
3. Part-Time           : 582-1196
4. TAP Express         : 228-7335
5. Central City        : 621-4917
6. Nerd                : 582-1904
7. Chiller Theater     : 252-3110
8. Twin Paradises      : 729-0625

   Other BBS's Worth Mentioning

1. Cleveland Free-Net  : 368-3888
2. Clev.Public Library : 623-0623
3. Cuya.County Library : 398-8806
4. King's Realm(11-7am): 228-2702

If any of these boards go down or
you know of more or new boards that
start up, please leave e-mail to:

Len Stys(aa399)


     The last of the campaign...

-From:aa399:news:601354062:603946062:The last of the Campaign...
-From: LEN STYS (aa399)
-Indx: 015

     Latest and probably last
       on the software campaign

  S    I  E     R   R  R   R   A A
     S I  E     R  R   R  R   A   a
  SSSS I  EEEE  R   R  R   R  A   A

               January 11, 1988

In answer to your recent letter, I am
sorry to inform you that Sierra has no
future plans to support the Atari
8-bit system. Having read your letter,
I think it would be helpful to set you
straight on a few points about your
machine so that you will understand
why this decision was made.

It is important for you to understand
that your computer has been around
since 1980. The technology was great
in it's day - phenomenal even, but
today it is yesterday's news. The
programmers that work for Sierra
aren't interested in trying to write
another game that will fit in the 64k
or 128k of available RAM most Atari
8-bits have. They want to try to take
the Amiga to its limits or bend the
capabilities of the IBM. It's just not
a hot machine anymore.

Yes, there are 256k carts out there,
and they have got some things to offer
that weren't available to us a few
years ago.  You should understand that
having a 256k of RAM on a floppy disk
on most machines holds well over 400k.
These days, an average Sierra game is
shipped on 3 to 5 disks and spans over
a megabyte of data. (In fact, one
Sierra game is so large it fills up
both sides of 9 disks with over 3.5
megabytes of code). We couldn't begin
to fit these games on a cartridge, and
if we tried, I know you wouldn't be
happy with it.

In your letter, you mentioned the
piracy issue. You should know that
cartridges are very easy to pirate
onto floppy disks, and many Atari
owners would rather pirate (pronounced
"steal") our software than buy it.
It is my opinion (and that of most
other software publishers), that
piracty among owners of Atari machines
is higher than on any other computer
out there.

I believe that if pirates hadn't
stolen so much Atari 8-bit software
back in 1984, the Atari 8-bit might
still be a viable machine today.
Software publishers just couldn't
afford to write games so that one
Atari owner could buy it and give it
to all his friends for free. I also
believe that those same pirates still
have their old Ataris, and wouldn't
hesitate to pirate any new game
Sierra would hope to introduce.

One point I really want to hit on from
your letter is when you stated "there
isn't anything my computer can't do
that an Amiga or and Atari ST can do."
Pardon me for saying so, but this
statement is just plain wrong.

Your computer can't begin to do some
of the things that an Atari ST or an
Amiga can do. Those machines have
CPU's that are faster, graphics output
that is sharper, and storage media
that is more reliable than anything
the Atari 8-bit could ever hope to
have.  The kind of animation that
Sierra does on an Amiga (with it's
ability to handle quick animation),
could never be done on an Atari 8-bit.

It's not that your machine is a piece
of junk of anything, but the 16-bit
machines have technology that is newer
and better than the old Atari 8-bit.
We software publishers haven't even
begun to find out all the things these
mew machines are capable of. The Amiga
can do things that most of us haven't
even dreamed about yet - we've just
started exploring the possiblities.

To help you understand, I would
compare the Atari 8-bit to the 78RPM
recorder of the -8 track tape player.
These were all really good products
in their day, but that day is over.
CD's have taken over the record
industry, (even vinyl records look
like they are on the way out), and
8 track tapes were driven from the
market by audio cassettes.  In a
similar fashion, the Atari 8-bit has
lost it's place in the market to the
IBM, the Amiga, the Apple IIGS and the
Atari ST. It's just the nature of
electronics for things to become

Listen, I understand that you love
your Atari 8-bit, I was the proud
owner of an Atari 8-bit machine for a
number of years. The Atari is fun,
friendsly, and easy to understand.

The Atari 8-bit was a great machine
in it's time, but that time is now
over. Other newer, better computers
have replaced it on dealer's shelves,
and the shelves that used to contain
software for your Atari now contain
software for the Amiga, the ST,
the IBM, and the Apple. The truth is,
even if I did have a new piece of
software for your machine, I wouldn't
be able to find enough retail stores
that would sell it so that I could
make money off of my investment.

If you really love computing (and it
sounds like you do), I advise you to
save your money up and invest in one
of the newer machines.  MS-DOS clones
can be purchased for less than $800
now (my recommendation) and machines
like the Atari ST and Amiga can be had
for less than $600.  Sure, it's a lot
of money, but it will put you back
into the mainstream of computing.

To end this letter, I can say this.
I know that Sierra (and most major
software publishers) will probably
never support the Atari 8-bit again
in a big way. That's the bad news.
The good news is that the software
product that the publishers are
selling bought last year for your
Atari 8-bit. Computers haven't died,
they've just advanced. If you upgrade
your computer, you'll experience
personal computing that is much,
much better than anything you've ever
seen before.

I hope you decide to get a newer,
more powerful computer. I think you'll
find that the experience of 16-bit
computing is worth the investment.

Good luck with your decision and thank
you for writing.


John C. Williams
Marketing Director


Although he misquoted me, dated the
letter wrong, and spelled some words
wrong, the letter got to the point
and explained how they felt and
probably how all the software
publishers feel.

He explained about software pirates
and how he felt that it helped bury
the computer.  And by the way he was
writing, it seems like the ST is
probably indanger of the same thing
right now.

But Sierra is not really noted for
producing any quality games without
using up a lot memory and picture
perfect graphics so this was all that
was expected from them.

But I did get a response and it was
a good one at that.

Len Stys (aa399)
(Co-Atari Sysop)

    Editorial to software campaign

-From:aa384:news:601392035:603984035:Editorial to software campaign
-From: DOUG WOKOUN (aa384)
-Indx: 016

           TRYING TO SAY?
            an editorial

by: Doug Wokoun

     During the software campaign
launched by several SIG members, I
noticed that the majority of the
responses I received were one-sided
and even approaching untruthful.
This is the attitude of most 
software publishers and really has
no place in out society.

     Maybe the software companies
missed a point we were trying to
make.  We don't just want software,
we want QUALITY software.  A recent
letter from Electronic Arts states:
"During 1986 we received many letters
encouraging us to continue developing
software for the eight-bit Atari 
line.  In 1986 we released six titles
and our Affiliated Labels group
released nine.  Of the siz titles
released by E.A., none of them sold
well enough for us to break even on
our investment."  From what E.A.
released during that time, I can't
think of much that was worth the
trip to the store.

     In a recent response from
Sierra (also posted here) stated
"...your computer has been around
since 1980...but today it is 
yesterday's news."  I suppose this
person doesn't use their microwave
oven any longer as they have 
probably opted to buy something
more advanced.  It is still the
same technology that was "Phenomenal"
a few years back.

     If reliability is a question,
how can anyone say that the 1050
or the XF551 are any less reliable
than IBM drives, or ST drives?  I
have never had a problem with either
of my drives.  A friend of mine
who owns an IBM compatable has
already replaced both drives and
had numerous problems with copy
protected software.  I can also
say that I haven't had my disks
wiped out by a trojan horse.

     As far as piracy is concerned,
call a few Commodore boards and
find out where the piracy REALLY
is.  But do the software companies
still release software for the
C-64?  Yes, they do!

     Yet, the Atari is faster than
the C-64 (almost twice as fast) and
more flexible.  The speed capability
of the 8-bit's graphics chips exceed
the ST in several applications with
their Amiga like methods.

/\/\/\/\                    /\/\/\/\

     Over and over again, software
companies have said that Atari
software doesn't sell.  Why then,
if there is no profit left haven't
they released their older titles
into the public domain so that
users that can't afford to buy a
lot of software could benefit?
Why does a good ST program cost
$150 when a good 8-bit program
costs $50?  It isn't that the 8-bit
is dead, it's just that the
software companies can make more
of a killing with an ST program
than with an 8-bit program.  The
software companies haven't even pushed
the 8-bit to it's limits, so how
can they even seriously think of
pushing the ST to it's limits!

     As the short term solution,
users should download PD software and
if it is good, UPLOAD it to other
BBS.  If everyone did this, MUCH 
more software would be available
for YOU in a very short time.  If
you use a program every day and
can afford it, send a donation to
the author.  We really don't need
the software companies and evidently
they don't need us.  I don't know
how long they will be able to lead
computer users around with a carrot
on a stick, but eventually, people
will get sick of buying a new
machine every two years and we will
really know what our machines can do.

********                    ********

Doug Wokoun
Atari SysOp

This Time Capsule file was produced by
Len Stys.  It may only be reposted with
the following information included:

REPOSTED FROM:  The Cleveland Free-Net
                  type 'Go Atari' at
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