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Date: 01/23/90-04:11:42 PM Z
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From: aa399 (Len Stys) Subject: News - Undated - III Date: Tue Jan 23 16:11:42 1990 Undated Time Capsule -------------------- 2400 Baud logons Atari 1988 Annual Report XF551 - A 3.5" Disk Drive Why an ST? because it's the best. Accelerator An American Computer In Europe Atari PC4 The STacy Tx-816 Articles 2400 Baud logons ---------------- -From:aa384:news:609193758:611785758:2400 Baud logons HOW TO GET ONTO THE FREE-NET AT 2400 BAUD I have just successfully got onto the Free-Net at 2400 baud. Here's how: 1.) You need to create a file to send nulls into the Free-Net. This can be done like this: 10 OPEN #1,8,0,"D:BREAKSIG.TXT" 20 FOR I=1 TO 240:PUT #1,0:NEXT I 30 CLOSE #1 2.) If you are using DeTerm, you should set up the file ahead of time before you log on. Go to SEND in the ONLINE menu and set-up the file to send _USING_0_ as a delay rate. If you are using Express, you will have to do it manually. 3.) When you log onto the Free-Net, send the file. If you are using DeTerm, press [START]. If you are using Express, return to the menu and send the file at the fastest delay. 4.) You will probably need to repeat the proceedure. I did it 3 times before getting on at 2400 baud. You should see: Press 1 and then return ==> or something like that. If you get the prompt with no garbage after it, then the proceedure has worked and you have successfully logged on at 2400 baud. If you have any questions or a better method of doing this, leave mail to aa384. Doug Wokoun aa384 Atari 1988 Annual Report ------------------------ -From:aa399:news:610919150:613511150:Atari 1988 Annual Report ___Information taken from: Atari 1988 Annual Report by Len Stys aa399___ _ - _ - _ - _ - _ - _ - _ 1 9 8 8 Annual Report /|\ATARI Profile Atari Corporation is one of the largest manufacturers of personal computers and video game systems in the world. Through creative application of advanced technologies, the Company consistently offers customers "Power Without the Price." The Corporation's products include the MEGA and ST lines of advanced personal 16/32 bit computers, a new line of PC compatibles, the XE range of 8 bit computers, and the complete selection of XE, 2600 and 7800 game systems. The Company also produces a range of peripherals, accessories, and an expanding library of computer and video game software that is sold in almost every country in the world. Atari is a multinational company employing nearly 1800 people throughout the world. Corporate headquarters, including computer and video game product design, are located in Sunnyvale, California. Other Corporate R&D centers are located in West Germany, England and Japan. The Company operates through wholly owned subsidiaries in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States. For Atari Corporation, 1988 was a year that included both a sales growth of 25 percent for the continuing operations of computers and video games, and the decision to declare the Federated Group, our retail division, a discontinued operation. During the year a number of steps were taken to resolve the difficulties associated with our retail business. While efforts were made to reduce losses, the turnaround was slower than anticipated. To insure that Federated would no longer have a negative financial impact on Atari, we recorded a fourt quarter charge related to the retail divison in excess of $100 million. From an accounting viewpoint we regard this division as a discontinued operation. We are now considering several options including sale, spinoff, or a leverage buyout of Federated. Sales frrom continuing operations increased by 25% from $362.6 million in 1987 to $452.2 million in 1988, principally due to increased sales of Atari ST computers and the new range of Atari PC compatible products. In 1988, 65% of total sales were in Europe compared to 56% in 1987. The loss of $84.8 million in the year ended December 31, 1988 consists of income from continuing operations of $39.4 million from the computer and video game division less Federated related losses and charges of $124.2 million. The Company wrote off its investment in Federated and provided for additional anticipated financial obligations arising from the disposistion of Federated. Computer sales were constrained by the unexpected and protracted shortage of D-RAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) components. This shortage directly impacted our ability to supply existing markets and expand into new markets. In order to maintain our stong posistion in the European market, we did not raise prices despite increased component costs caused by the shortage. This decision was based on long term factors; in the short term margins were reduced. It now appears that the D-RAM shortage is finally easing. This will allow for expansion of existing markets and entry into new ones. During the second half of 1988, we began shipping the 80286-based PC4 and 80386-based PC5 personal computers into Europe. Atari is commited to the PC compatible market. In the year ahead we will introduce new and exciting models. These systems are being developed at our newly established product engineering facility in Braunschweig, West Germany. Sales of our Atari ST personal computers remain strong, and the library of software for these popular systems continues to grow. Thousands of programs are available now for scientists, students, doctors, publishers and outher ST owners on every continent. Last year, both the 520 ST and the 1040 ST were selected as "The Best Home Computers of the Year." This prestigious award is made annually by an international panel of experts representing major compter magazines from ten different countries. These publications include: Personal Computing (USA), Practical Computing (Great Britain), CHIP (Italy), svjet komjutera (Yugoslavia), komputer (Poland), Chip-micros (Spain), ASCII-Magazine (Japan), CHIP (Germany), Impulzus (Hungary), soft et micro (France). While our video game business in Europe, Australia and the Far East continued to grow, our progress in the United States was interrupted by the unfair monopolistic practices of Nintendo of Japan and Nintendo of America. During the year, these companies illegally prevented many independent developers from freely marketing their products through unfair exclusive performance arrangements. Atari Corporation has recently brought suit against Nintendo for their antitrust practices. Despite the illegal efforts by Nintendo, U.S. distribution of the Atari 2600 and 7800 system increased last year with the addition of such American retailers as Sears Retail, Hypermart, a division of Walmart, Rose's Deparment Stores, and a growing number of smaller, independent toy stores. Software continues to drive this business. Accordingly, thirty-five new game titles were released during 1988. Plans for the coming year include an aggressive software acquistion and development program aimed at securing and creating new arcade and original games. The most innovative Atari video game system ever is scheduled for release in 1990. Keeping pace with our expansion plans, Atari Germany and Atari France are preparing to relocate to a larger facilities. Our newer subsidiaries, such as Atari Australia, have already begun to expand the Atari brand in their countries. The two largest school districts on the continent, New South Wales and Victoria, have already standardized on the Atari 1040 ST as the computer of choice. The video game business is experiencing a resurgence down under, and our 2600 has become Australia's number one selling video game product. Additionally, Atari is now selling directly in New Zealand and Scandinavia. In Spain and Mexico we are experiencing increased sales of both video game and computer products. Our XE line of 8-bit computer systems is extremely popular throughout Eastern Europe, and most recently, has begun to appear on retail shelves in the Soviet Union. The 2600 video game system is now being offered in the People's Republic of China. The future of Atari is very bright, indeed. A great many positive and promising developments occured during the past twelve months. Among the products we will be bringing to market in 1989 are: Atari PORTFOLIO. The Atari PORTFOLIO is a hand held personal computer that uses a DOS 2.II compatible operating system. Not a laptop, this true personal computer measures just 7-inches by 4-inches and is about I-inch thick. It has a built-in diary, address book/telephone tone dialer, Lotus 1-2-3 file compatible spreadsheet, and an editing program. The PORTFOLIO features a large, legible "Supertwist" Liquid Crystal Display, a familiar QWERTY keyboard layout, and an expansion connector for optional peripherals. This hand held portable uses removable memory cards the size of a credit card for storage of programs and data. ATW The Atari Transputer Workstation (ATW) is a powerful personal graphics workstation with a palette of over 16 million colors. The system is designed around the Inmos T800 microprocessor which has a sustained performance of I.5 million floating point operations per second (MFLOPS). The ATW features video resolution of up to 1280X960 pixels and has a dedicated graphics co-processor. By exploiting the ATW's parallel processing architecture, more power can be added as needed for the job. The Helios operating system allows distribution of tasks across a network of ATW's. The user interface is the industry standard X-Windows. Atari PC4. Our Atari PC4 is a 12MHz Intel 80286-based PC/AT compatible personal computer. The system includes a high performance video subsystem, a hgih density floppy disk drive, a 44 megabye removable cartridge, 2 serial ports, and a parallel printer port. Its VGA can accommodate a variety of analog and digital monitors. Atari TT. The 68030 based Atari TT will be the newest member of our flagship line. In addition to running existing ST software, the TT can also run the industry standard Unix operating system with the X-Windows graphical user interface. This powerful computer features stereo stampled sound and six video resolutions, up to 1280x960(monochrome) and 640x480 (color), from a palette of over 256,000 colors. The TT will be able to interface with the outside world through industry standard SCSI, VME, MIDI and RS232 ports. Local Area Networking (LAN) comes standard on the TT system and Ethernet will be available to further enhance this product. Atari MEGAFILE 44. The MEGAFILE 44 brings the convenience of rugged removable data cartridges to the Atari ST and MEGA series. Each 44 megabyte cartridge is only half and inch thick, allowing you to easily transport data from one system to another or to lock away sensitive information. Atari STACY. This is our ST compatible laptop model. With 1,2 or 4 megabytes of usable RAM, the portable STACY computer features a 640x400 Supertwist LCD, and is fully compatible with the ST and MEGA series of computers and peripherals. Our products, both present and planned for release in 1989, provided an arsenal of computering power to meet the broadest range of needs for our constantly growing computer- oriented world. Atari has two primary objectives in the year ahead. The first is to complete the disposistion of the Federated Group, which will be done as smoothly and quickly as possible. The second major goal is to concentrate on our continuing operations. We plan to introduce new, exciting products and expand in all markets. With the continued dedication of our employees and support from our shareholders and vendors we look forward to future profitability and success. Sam Tramiel, President - _ - _ - _ - _ - _ - Len Stys (aa399) Atari Sig Operator for the Cleveland Free-Net XF551 - A 3.5" Disk Drive ------------------------- -From:aa400:news:612518165:615110165:XF551 - A 3.5" Disk Drive ________________________________________ How to convert the XF551 drive into a 3.5" drive. ________________________________________Adapted from article in San Leandro Computer Club's Newsletter. ________________________________________ Note of advice: You will not be able to successfully make these changes unless you have reasonably decent electronic skills, so don't gamble with your new XF551 unless you know what you are doing. Most User Groups have skilled members that will be happy to guide you if you need help. First of all, the drive IS double sided and can read and write in single, enhanced or double density. The "book" that comes with the drive is incorrect. MyDOS, SuperDOS and SpartaDOS can all format the drive as double sided and double density. Previous Atari drives did not use the INDEX hole on the diskette, which allowed us to flip the disk over and format the back of the media. The XF551 uses a standard, bone stock, IBM style drive. It uses INDEX. It will not FORMAT the back of a diskette unless the disk jacket has two index foles. (As far as I know, the only brand of disks I have been able to find with the two index holes on the jacket is made by BASF). It WILL read and write to the back of any disk. On side one, the tracks on the disk are written from the outer edge in, from 0 to 39. On side two, the tracks are written from the inner edge out. This allows us to read the first 40 tracks of a DSDD diskette on a SSDD drive. The second side isn't backwards nor could it be read on a SS drive even if you changed it. The speed of the drive is't 288 RPM, but 300 RPM, the industry standard. The XF551 compensates for the differ- ence by using a clock frequency 4% (.33mhz) higher than it should be. This will read and write data in exactly the same place on the diskette as your 288 RPM drive, although programs that measure the speed of the drive will read 300 RPM. Talking to the drive...The XF551, as it comes from Atari, has the ability to format a diskette in any of the three configurations: single density (SSSD-88K), 1050 density (SSED-127K) and double-sided, double density (DSDD- 360K). The DSDD format has a standard skew and a high speed skew option available to the user. This extra skew layout allows faster data transfers on the SIO bus, much like the ICD Doubler upgrade on the 1050. For those of you interested in programming, the DSDD format SIO command is $23. For a high speed skew format in DSDD, you just need to turn on bit 7 for a value of $A3. To transmit data at high speed to and from the XF551, just set bit 7 of the command to "1" again. You must still send the command frame at a normal SIO rate and then set $D204 to $10 for high speed operation during the data frame. The drive will also recog- nize the Put (and Get) Option Table command, which are similar to the Percom configuration table operations. Only bytes 4-8 are changed by the Put command, however, and only the three supported formats will be recognized. Even if you sent the Option Table a 512 byte sector size, you would only get 256 byte sectors. A number of the newest DOS versions (SuperDOS 5.0, DOS XE, SpartaDOS X...) now have the XF551 support built in. Also a file is available in Atari8 on Compuserve that will modify SpartaDOS 3.2D for the XF551 features (in DL3 - XF32D.BAS). Using any of these methods will transfer data almost twice as fast as DOS 2.0. The first thing you notice about the ICs in the drive is the one in a nice socket, the ROM. Makes it a lot easier to burn an EPROM (use a 2764) to make code change if you can just plug and unplug your devices. I just wrote a simple dis-assembler for the 8050 MPU used as the brains of the drive. It was very nice when Atari used a 6507 (which uses 6502 OPCodes) in their drives but, no more. Everything Atari comes out with now seems to use a dif- ferent chip. One upgrade that was available for the 1050 is a ROM change that will re- address the drive as D5: thru D8:. This can be done on the XF551 ROM by altering location $0095 from $31 to $35 ($33 gives you a range of D3: to D6:, etc.). Having 360K is nice. Having 720K is even nicer. Putting a 720K, 3.5 inch drive in place of the stock drive is not too hard, so let's start with the ROM. There is a little bug in the code that allows the drive to start writing the track before it has reached operat- ing speed. To remedy that, change $528 from $90 to $00, $C1D from $88 to $80 and $E25 from $88 to $80. The 720K drive has 80 tracks per side which re- quires you to change $680 from $28 to $50, $80F from $30 to $60 and $811 from $FD to $FA. A 3.5 inch drive uses 3ms seek time - change $53D from $00 to $03, $57B from $18 to $13, $9D1 from $08 to $03, and $B15 from $18 to $13. Finally, the 3.5s use a pre-compensa- tion - change $61D from $F6 to $F4, $621 from $F6 to $F4 and $D0D from $A2 to $A0. For a drive, I used a unit from JDR Microdevices (MF353B Mitsubi- shi) that plugs right into the 5.25 connectors and uses the same mountings as the larger drive. This simplifies the installation quite a bit. When you go to plug the 3.5, you may notice the 34 pin cable is too short. I desold- ered the connector and added a longer cable, but one hacker, Joe Wyks, managed to pry the top off of the board connector and crimp his new cable into place without soldering. The power connector can be adapted with cables made for that purpose, if necessary. That's about all that's needed to run a 720K 3.5. Format a disk using Sparta- DOS XINIT, option 7 (DS 80 tracks) and start filling up! You now have 2820 DD sectors on that disk. Bob Woolley - San Leandro Computer Club CIS-[75126,3446] A kit of parts (EPROM, instructions and cables) is available from: Innovative Concepts 31172 Shawn Drive Warren, MI 48093 313-293-0730 aa400/ae826 Phillip M. Chow Atari Assistant SysOp Free Net : Atari Sig Free Net II : Atari Sig Why an ST? because it's the best. --------------------------------- -Article #110 (154 is last): -From: aa399 -Subject: _WHY AN ST?_ because it's the -best. -Date: Wed, 16 Aug 89 21:52:44 GMT _____________________________________ ////////// The Atari ST /////////// _____________________________________ Atari users, The Atari ST computer line is the most qualified computer for anyone's needs. The Atari 520ST-FM is the low cost end of the ST's. It includes 512k of memory, 3.5" drive, parallel and RS-232 serial ports, MIDI port, TOS, mouse and much more. It can be purchased for as low as $499.95. The Atari 1040ST is another personal computer system offered by Atari. It includes 1MB of memory, 3.5" drive, parallel and RS-232 serial ports, MIDI port, TOS, mouse and much more. It can be purchased for as low as $599.95. The Atari Mega 2 is one of Atari's newest computer systems. It includes 2MB of RAM, 3.5" drive, detached keyboard, parallel, serial, mouse and MIDI ports. It can be purchased for as low as $1049.95. The Atari Mega 4 system is included in a great and unbelievable Desktop Publishing package. It includes 4MB RAM, built in 3.5" drive, mouse, Atari SLM804 8 page per minute PostScript laser printer with 50 built-in fonts, Atari 30MB hard drive, Atari SM124 monochrome monitor, Timeworks Desktop Publisher ST software, detached keyboard, parallel, serial and MIDI ports. It can be purchased for as low as $3795!!! This is why the Atari ST is certainly power without the price. Other computer companies such as Apple, IBM, and Amiga can not or will not lower it's price to even compete with the ST. Atari has always believed since day one that a computer system should be affordable and affordable they have made it. Hardware such as the SM124/SC1224 monitors are known for their quality and affordability. The Atari SF314 external 3.5" 800k floppy sells for as low as $169.95! The price is extremely low and no other computer company can understand it. The Atari ST's can also emulate computer systems such as the IBM PC, Macintosh, and the Atari 8-bit computers though who would need to with the software that is available for the ST users today. For all you musicians, the Atari ST was designed for MIDI. It was also engineered to accommodate true bit-accurate SMPTE time code hardware. Many computers lack this important feature, so they resort to using MIDI time code which isn't precise as SMPTE and takes up part of the valuable MIDI data stream. Never before has so much great MIDI software been available on a single computer so quickly. Here are just some titles: Steinberg Pro-24 III by Steinberg/ Jones Sound Designer by DigiDesign GenWare by DRUMWARE, Inc. EZ Score Plus by Hybrid Arts, Inc. MidiDraw by Intelligent Music Desktop Mixing DMP-7 by Steinberg/ Jones C-lab-Notator by DigiDesign There are really over 40 titles just for the Atari ST. The Atari ST is THE computer system for musicians. The Atari ST is the ultimate computer for Desktop Publishing. Atari has created the Mega 4 system package just for Desktop Publishers. No other computer system can match it and the price is incredible. It isn't just for major companies either, it is affordable for YOU. You can start up your own business for under $4,000. It has been done before and it can be done by you if you wish. I also would like to compliment on how good the ST looks. It looks fantastic. Atari announced that the Mega's were designed by YOU the users. And to me, it looks like you have done a great job. The Macintosh is bulky looking, the IBM looks just as big- if not bigger and the Amiga 2000 looks like it will hit the ceiling after you buy everything you want for it. But Atari took this all in consideration and take a look for yourself, they have done it right. It is perfection and it looks like it was made for your or anyone else's desk. I would like to stress one thing though. If you have an Atari ST then please do one thing. Buy the software you want. Software companies only manufacture software when there is a need for it and when people will buy it. If you copy software from friends then please stop and show you want even more software for your computer. Thanks. For those of you that are looking for a computer system- I THINK YOU FOUND IT. The only trouble I think you will have is trying to decide on what Atari computer you want to buy. They are all incredible machines and have endless possibilities. At the Atari SIG, we support the Atari ST computer systems and are working on new ways to help increase support for it. If you have a friend with an Atari computer then tell them to come over and visit the Atari SIG. They can read news on what is happening with Atari and other companies. They can also chat with other users in the Bulletin Board section or ask questions about their Atari ST or 8-bit computers in the Help-Line. Thank you. Len Stys (aa399) Atari SIG-Operator Accelerator ----------- -Article #111 (154 is last): -From: aa399 -Subject: ACCELERATOR -Date: Wed, 16 Aug 89 21:52:56 GMT COPIED FROM ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE - JUNE 13, 1989 -silverthorn at <-c.f.b. atari-> --------------------------------------- CMI MC68000 Processor Accelerator BOARD --------------------------------------- for the Atari 520 and 1040 ST computers NOW YOUR ATARI CAN RUN AT LIGHT SPEED Up until now, all you dedicated ATARI users have had to dutifully work away at your ATARI computers dreaming of the day when you could turbo-charge your ATARI 520 or 1040 ST computers. You had to sit back and watch the expandability of other systems as they added processor accelerators, memory expansion boards, video adaptors, and musical instrument data interface (MIDI) adaptors, while there were virtually no upgrade products being produced for your ATARI. Well now it's happened --- your chance is finally here! Creative Microsystems (CMI) has developed an add-on processor accelerator board for the ATARI ST line of computers which will give you speed and efficiency never before available on your ATARI ST. The CMI MC68000 Processor Accelerator Board offers you so many features that you will wonder how you ever did without it. Be the first ATARI user on your block to get one and watch the reaction of your fellow ATARI devotees as they gasp in amazement at the increased processing speed as you run your ATARI through its paces. TURBO CHARGE YOUR ATARI WITH THE CMI MC68000 BOARD So what will adding the CMI MC68000 Processor Accelertor Board to your ATARI actually do for you? Extensive testing has shown that it can: * Increase system throughput 35-40% depending on the program being run * Increase instruction speeds from 8 MHZ to 16 MHZ * Increase ROM performance by 10-15% (Via Fast ROM) * Provide math co-processing expansion capability * Provide greatly improved graphic functions (Via blitter chip expansion capability) * Provide automatic clock update (with battery backed-up clock option) As if increased processing speed and system efficiency is not enough, the board also comes with a built-in Math Co-processor Socket and Blitter Chip Socket which allow you even greater expansion avenues. You can also order the MC68000 Processor Accelerator board to include a battery backed-up clock. With the addition of the CMI MC68000 Processor Accelerator Board, a math co-processor chip, a blitter chip, and the battery backed-up clock option you can now have the many of the features available on the new ATARI Mega ST computer --- at a mere fraction of the cost. THE ENGINE DRIVING THE MC68000 PROCESSOR ACCELERATOR BOARD In response to the drastic need for add-on products for ATARIs, Creative Micro Systems (CMI) has developed the MC68000 Processor Accelertor specifically for the 520 or 1040 ST computers. The product is one of a kind --- there currently is not other product which offers similar features. Creative Microsystems is not new at offering PC expansion products. We have a wide range of successful, competitively-priced PC expanasion products for the Commodore AMIGA computers. We have used our expertise to develop the CMI Motorala MC68000 ATARI Processor Accelerator Board. The CMI MC68000 Processor Accelerator board contains the following hardware: * 16 MHZ SGS-Thompson 68000 chip * Built-in math co-processor socket * Built-in blitter socket * Built-in fast ROM chip * Optinal battery backed-up clock The CMI Processor Accelerator board attaches to the MC68000 socket of your ATARI mother board. If you are a user who has some technical experience and likes to tinker with your ATARI, you can install the MC68000 board yourself. Otherwise, your ATARI dealer can easily install it for you. THE ADVANTAGE OF INCREASED INSTRUCTION SPEEDS The MC68000 Processor Accelerator board incorporates the new 16 MHZ SGS-Thompson 68000 chip. As a result, ATARI ST instruction speeds are increased from 8 MHZ to 16 MHZ --- this means that instructions are executed twice as fast. For example, with the original 68000 chip installed on the mother-board of the ATARI, 32-bit long division math instructions requires 70 clock cycles to execute. With a CMI MC68000 processor accelerator board installed in an ATARI, the same 32-bit math instruction is completed in 35 clock cycles. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FAST ROM The CMI MC68000 Processor Accelerator board also incorporates a ROM chip on the circuit board. The addition of the on-board ROM chip with the ROM chip already existing in the ATARI will give the system "Fast ROM" access. ROM instructions will run at zero(0) wait-states, thus giving access to the ROM at a much higher rate of speed. Testing has shown ROM performance increased by 10-14% with the installation of the CMI MC68000 board. Fast ROM, when coupled with the 16 MHZ SGS-Thompson 68000 chip, can increase overall system throughput by as much as 35-40% depending on the program being run. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MATH CO-PROCESSING EXPANSION CAPABILITIES The CMI MC68000 Processor Accelerator board incorporates a built-in Math Co- Processor Socket which is specially designed in accordance with ATARI's math chip specification requirements. All you have to do to have math co-processing capabilities is to install a math co-processor chip in the Math Co-processor socket. This will allow you to achieve even faster production speeds in applications where math functions are used. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF BLITTER CHIP EXPANSION CAPABILITIES The CMI MC68000 Processor Accelerator board incorporates a built-in Blitter Chip Socket. A Blitter Chip is hardware which enhances graphic routines for moving graphics on a computer screen. By inserting a blitter chip in the MC68000 Blitter Socket, you can take advantage of greatly increased graphics capabilities of your software. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AUTOMATIC CLOCK UPDATING You can also order the CMI MC68000 Processor Accelerator board to include a battery backed-up clock. This feature will automatically set the internal clock so that you do no have to manually reset the clock/time every time you reboot. Imagine the convenience of not having to reset the clock --- who could do without this feature? CALL CMI AND LET THEM TURBO CHARGE YOUR ATARI TODAY The development of a Processor Accelerator board for the ATARI ST computers is long overdue. CMI has responded to the need for such a product and has included a number of other features which will allow you to expand your ATARI even further. -------------------------------- | Creative Microsystems Inc | | 19552 SW 90th Court | | Tualatin, Oregon 97062 | | | | (503) 691-2552 | | | -------------------------------- Len Stys (aa399) Atari SIG SysOp An American Computer In Europe ------------------------------ -Article #41 (197 is last): -Newsgroups: -freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -From: aa384 -Subject: An American Computer in Europe -Date: Tue, 15 Aug 89 12:47:54 GMT AN AMERICAN IN EUROPE OR WHAT I DID DURING MY LAST TRIP TO EUROPE By Joseph Adato Chapter One of a Continuing Series Since the time I purchased my first Atari Computer, back in 1984, I've been continously hearing about how popular the Atari brand of computers are in Europe. Statements such as, "The reason Atari computers are in such short supply in the U.S. is because 90% of productions goes to the European market due to its great demand there. With limited production capabilites and financial resources, Atari has concentrated his supply of Atari Computers where he can get the most return for his investment. When I found out that I would be touring Europe as a member of the Cleveland Orchestra I decided to find out for myself if the Atari brand of computers were as popular in Europe as I had always heard about. Before I continue, let me clear up one statement which may not be clear to some of you reading this article. I am, and have been for the past 27 years, a member of the Cleveland Orchestra's Percussion Section. The Cleveland Orchestra goes on an international tour on the average of once every two years. I have been to Europe approximately seven times and therefore know my way around fairly well. The countries that I would be visiting on the trip were Belgium, Holland, West Germany, Switzerland, France, England, Austria and Czechoslovakia. These eight European countries, I felt, would give me a good indication of Atari's popularity throughout Europe. My first stop was Brussels Belgium. A lovely city filled with cobble stone streets, Gothic cathedrals (as are most European cities), Belgium waffles (goodby waist line!!!) and beautiful women in short skirts (no comment I'm a married man). I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to go about accomplishing the assignment that I had established for myself. Obviously I had to have some type of plan or I would just be walking around the city aimlessly. When I arrived at my hotel I saw my first lead, THE BELL HOP!! "Oh yes" he said, "there is a shopping mall not far from the hotel. I know that they sell Atari because I saw the word ATARI when I went to buy my Commodore." -----NOT A GOOD START!!----- When I entered my hotel room I saw my second lead, THE YELLOW PAGES OF THE PHONE BOOK!!! (might as well let my fingers do the walking). This lead turned out to be much more promising. So much so that I found no less than twelve authorized Atari dealers listed. I was so impressed with this list that I copied down many of the names and addresses. If your ever happen to be in Brussels here's a list of some Atari dealers you might want to check out. Oh yes, most everyone speaks English. ACACIA 94r de l' Ensignmement 1000-BR 217 34 33 FNAC 16 r des Cenores 1000-BR 217 47 20 STUDIA FRANCINE bid du jardin Botanique-passage 44 1000-BR 218 20 20 SYNERGY 47 r Getry 1000-BR 217 79 35 ATOLL 390 bte 6 av Louise 1050-BR 640 97 31 DIGIT COMPUTERS 68 ch d'lxelles 1050-BR 511 54 45 and the list can go on. I don't mean to imply that Atari is the only computer here. IBM is still king and there are lots of IBM clone computers that we have never heard about (well I haven't). Have you ever heard of a Bull computer, or how about Olivetti, Abler, Schneider, Elite, and Ericsson. These are but a few of the names I saw. Apple/Mac is also very well represented with about as many dealers as there are Atari dealers (what do you think about that). There's even some Commodore dealers. I visited four different establishments during my stay and found out that Atari is indeed a computer which is very much in demand. In fact it is considered to be a business machine. That's right 'A Business Machine'!. It seems that Commodore has the game reputation here. Atari's special uses here are as you might expect, MIDI, DTP, Word Processor and a host of other business applications. The people of Belgium can not only buy a 1040ST but a 1 Mega machine. That's right, we have only heard or read about the 1 Mega machine (in case you don't know a 1 mega is just a 1040ST that looks like the 2 or 4 Mega machine. I also saw the Atari PC clone computer, another computer that we've only heard about. In Europe these computers are readily available. The machines that I saw had TOS written in French. It was very amusing for me to boot an Atari 1040ST, open one of the drop down menus and see all of the commands written in French. My only regret was that I didn't have a copy of snapshot so that I could show you the GEM desktop with its drop down menus written in French. My stay in Brussels, pleasant to begin with, was made all the more enjoyable with being able to walk down the street, look into the display window of a computer shop and be able to see, among all the IBM and clone computers, and Atari ST/Mega computer. Next month I'll take you to Austria, Holland and Germany and tell you of Atari's popularity and my experiences in finding out about the state of Atari in Germany. Atari PC4 --------- -Article #42 (197 is last): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -From: aa400 -Subject: Atari PC4 -Date: Tue, 15 Aug 89 12:48:03 GMT PC4 -- Putting the AT in Atari! +-----------------------------+ | Used here with permission | | Atari Explorer 7-8/89 | +-----------------------------+ In a surprise move calculated to strike at the heart of the PC-compatible market, Atari has announced the PC4, an IBM AT-compatible desktop system. Based on the Intel 80286 chip running at 12 Mhz and sporting a full megabyte of RAM, the Atari PC4 is capable of running all MS-DOS applications. It is also optimally configured for running OS/2 - IBM's new multitasking environment, which features a GEM-like graphics interface called Presentation Manager. All PC4 models feature a single 1.2Mb 5.25" floppy drive capable of reading from and writing to disks in IBM standard (360K) and "quad-density" formats. The lower-priced of the two PC4 models also features a 60Mb internal hard disk. For true power users, an alternative configuration features Atari's new 44Mb removable-media drive. The new drive, which employs technology licensed from Syquest, stores data on self-sealed magnetic disk cartridges approximately the size of a compact audio disk. The cartridges, which retail for about $150 each, are said to be so durable that they can stand up to mailing. Additional features include a standard PC bus, RS-232 serial and parallel printer ports, and EGA-compatible graphics. The PC4 was slated for shipment in May. With 60Mb internal fixed disk, the computer lists for $2295; with 44Mb removable-media drive, for $2495. Phillip M. Chow ^ aa400 The STacy --------- -Article #43 (197 is last): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -From: aa400 -Subject: The STacy -Date: Tue, 15 Aug 89 12:48:11 GMT Stacy -- Finally a Portable ST! +-----------------------------+ | Used here with permission | | Atari Explorer 7-8/89 | +-----------------------------+ Atari Corp. introduced the long- promised laptop ST at the Spring Comdex show. The Stacy, weighing in at just 15 pounds, the new machine offers all the power of an Atari 1040ST in a portable package. Stacy is based on the Motorola 68000 microprocessor, running at 8 Mhz. The new computer runs TOS version 1.4 - the newest version - and, like other machines in the Atari ST line, supports the GEM operating system and graphic environment. A full megabyte of RAM gives the Stacy the power to run sophisticated applications on the road. For good visibility, the laptop features a backlit "supertwist" LCD screen with resolution identical to that of the ST monochrome monitor. To permit the use of graphic and window- based applications even when there is insufficient desk or lap space to operate the mouse, the sleek Stacy keyboard sports a two-button track-ball. Like a 1040ST, the standard Stacy comes equipped with one double-sided 3.5" disk drive. An alternative configuration adds a 20Mb internal hard disk for power computing on the road. Stacy offers all the standard ports found on the full-size ST (RS-232 serial, parallel, external DMA, external floppy, monitor, mouse, joystick, and MIDI In/Out), so it can be used with a standard mouse, external RGB color or monochrome monitor, and other non-portable peripherals as the centerpiece of a powerful office or home computing system. The Stacy is the first popular-priced portable computer to come on its own, native window-based operating system. Because GEM is so easy to learn and use, the portable ST will doubtless appeal strongly to traveling executives and salespeople who have been frightened off portable computing by the more primitive MS-DOS machines that dominate this quarter. The Stacy is also expected to become standard equipment in several vertical markets where portability and full ST compatibility are required - particularly the music market, where touring professionals have long awaited a road-ready equivalent of studio systems based around desktop ST and Mega machines. Stacy will begin shipping in August to select Atari dealers worldwide. In its one-floppy version, the machine is expected to list for a surprisingly affordable $1495; $1995 with 20Mb fixed hard disk. Phillip M. Chow ^ aa400 Tx-816 Articles --------------- -Article #112 (154 is last): -From: aa384 -Subject: Tx-816 Articles -Date: Wed, 16 Aug 89 21:53:11 GMT These are two articles from Zmagazine about the Turbo 816. ############################## <*> DATAQUE UPDATE ############################## by Chuck Stienman (Editor Note: This text has been edited for room) DataQue Software Dept. T816-C Post Office Box 134 Ontario, OH 44862 On February 15, 1989, Compuserve will sponsor an online conference featuring Chuck Steinman from DataQue Software to present information and answer questions concerning the Turbo-816x project. Feel free to distribute the information in this document to your local user group newsletter editor. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice, and is provided as a public service to CIS users, and the Atari community at large. Anyone wishing to be on the DataQue Software mailing list should send a Self-Addressed, Stamped #10 size Envelope to the above address. Please state in your letter where you heard about the Turbo-816. I am receiving dozens of letters daily, so please do not get discouraged if the questions you ask are not specifically answered. If time permits I try to answer them all, but things are kind of hectic at times. For those not familiar with the Turbo-816, it is an adapter board for the Atari XL/XE computers which will replace the current 6502c 8-bit processor, with a new 16-bit central processor system. The Turbo-816 is compatible with most of the existing hardware, and software for the Atari 8-bit computers. With the "Dual-Prom" option so far only a handfull of existing programs have been incompatible. Programs which have been incompatible with the Turbo-OS alone have been those which have used illegal entry points into the Atari OS. The Turbo-816x will come as a kit with everything you should need to get started, some additional items will be needed under certain installations, and these are listed in the Turbo-Install Guide. These items are things like IC sockets, a toggle switch, wire, and solder. Tools needed to install a Turbo-816x include a phillips screwdriver, soldering iron, desoldering tool/solder wick, possibly a pair of plyers, and a flat bladed screwdriver. The Turbo-816x kit includes: Turbo-816x ..................... Central Processor Board Turbo-OS ....................... Operating System ROM Turbo-816x Connecting Cable .... 12" interconnect cable Turbo-Install Guide ............ Step by Step Install Instructions Turbo-816 User Guide ........... Some General Turbo-816 Tips "Dual Prom" Option Guide ....... Suggested Installation Option This kit will have a suggested price of $159.95, which will be sold factory direct initially for $119.95, plus $4.05 shipping/handling. COD, Foreign, and special handling would be additional. When orders are accepted, we will initially accept checks, or money orders. If requests for Visa/MC/Discover cards are high enough, we will later accept credit card orders. Due to the additional PROM on the 1200xl the Turbo-816x/12 is currently $10 additional. There are several hardware devices planned for the Turbo-816 line. Some of the devices being developed or investigated include: Turbo-816a ..................... Version for the 400/800 computers Turbo-SRAM ..................... Static Memory Board (32k-256k) Turbo-ROM ...................... Program ROM board (32k-256k) Turbo-DRAM ..................... Dynamic Memory board (256k-4meg) Turbo-VID ...................... 80 column Video Adapter Card Turbo-CAGE ..................... Advanced External Card Cage Turbo-DISK ..................... Parallel Floppy Disk Interface There are several software/firmware items planned for the Turbo-816 line. Some software items being developed or investigated include: Turbo-PRG ...................... Programmers Information Kit Turbo-DEV ...................... Developers Information Kit Turbo-SRC ...................... Turbo-OS Source Code Info Kit Turbo-BAS ...................... New 16-bit BASIC Language Turbo-CEE ...................... New 16-bit C Language Turbo-ASM ...................... New 16-bit Assembler Turbo-EDT ...................... New 16-bit Screen Editor Turbo-BUG ...................... New 16-bit Assembly Code Debugger Prices for these items and other new items will be released as the items become available. Many items will be developed according to demand, and the price and availability will be adjusted to reflect that demand. The Turbo-816x is a small 2.5" by 5" (approx) board which is mounted inside an Atari XL/XE computer system. It is connected via a 40 position ribbon cable to the existing CPU socket. The old Atari 8-bit processor is removed, and if needed a 40 pin socket installed to allow the Turbo-816x DIP plug to be inserted. The Turbo-OS is a 28 pin PROM, which is installed either as a replacement for the Atari OS PROM, or in addition to the Atari OS. This is determined by the installation performed. On the 1200xl there are two 24 or 28 pin proms, and in some cases the "Dual-Prom" option is not available due to those production runs having 24 pin PROMs. In any case, if the installation is performed as instructed in the Turbo- Install Guide, the original Atari OS, and CPU can be re-installed if the Turbo-816 should ever need to be serviced. There would not need to be any de-soldering to remove the Turbo-816x if those directions are followed correctly. If your Atari computer has its CPU, and PROM in sockets, then the actual installation time, should be well under an hour. If you must de-solder the original OS, and CPU, then the time would be longer. There is currently only one wire that has to be added the Atari XL/XE motherboard to make the Turbo-816x work. This wire is connected to an unused pin on the Atari 6502c CPU IC socket, so if the Turbo-816x should have to be removed, it would not effect operation with the Atari CPU at all. Currently there are 24 beta test sites which are testing their hardware and software under several configurations of the Turbo-816x. They are by now, in the second stage of their testing, and the results of the first stage should be available by the conference. Results so far have been very good, and a few programming bugs have been located and corrected. While most people may not understand how difficult it is to write an operating system of this type from scratch (including Atari) and still maintain the compatibility with the original OS. Most people would have just hacked the old OS, and put in the needed code to support the 16-bit processor. We have completely re-coded the Atari OS from scratch using completely new routines. Where optimizations could be made, they were. This causes some software not to work, due to using illegal calls, but that is a problem we can fix from our end. Companies which use illegal entries/vectors do so at their customer's expense. Again, with the "Dual-Prom" option installed, this is not a problem. It is important for people to also understand that DataQue Software does not dedicate 100% of its efforts to developing Atari products. We make single, and multi-processor computer systems for industrial and commercial installations worldwide. If it were not for these other projects, the Turbo-816 would not be economically possible. If you have written any assembly language applications (language, database, spreadsheet, or others) we will work with you to make the conversion to 16-bit as easy as possible. When available the programmer, and developer kits are strongly recommended. We are also looking for authors which would release their programs to us for conversion to 16-bit. Again at this time we are looking mainly at application programs, not games. I hope you all can make it to the conference, and will have your questions ready. While I will not be able to comment on compatibility with many specific hardware/software products, since many are still being tested currently, I will try to answer where possible. Other issues will be open for discussion, so feel free to make your thoughts known, as we will listen to you as you are the market, and we want to provide what you want. ================= |TURBO 8-16 NEWS| ================= Courtesy of GEnie's 8-bit RT Bulletin Board For those interested... I am currently working a deal with a vendor which already produces a major C implementation for the ST, PC, Amiga, and Mac, to supply their run-time library for use with the Turbo-816 (Turbo-C16). The already have the run-time for the 6502 and will licence it to me for a *VERY* reasonable price. It is very very good (and fast as it was designed for embedded control applications) and compact. Everyone cross your fingers, as this would be a real breakthrough... I may also release a Turbo-C08 runtime library at the same time, for people who are not using the Turbo-816. So everyone might gain from it, not just T816 users...although I am banking on the C16 version to be the main one as the C types will appreciate the extra speed, program size, and RAM availability that the T816 provides. To update everyone in a nutshell.... The 8-bit emulation section of the Turbo OS is concidered done...!!! The 16-bit section only lacks the insertion and testing of the allocate & execute application routines. Some new features already inserted: $E49F DOBANK xe banked memory control $E4A2 CALUSR BASIC interface to CIO calls $E4A5 CALCOS calculate checksum of memory block $E4A8 CLRSCR clear the screen buffer $E4AB SIONOR direct call to SIO, bypassing PBI routines $E4AE CPYBUF copy up to 64k from-to anywhere in 16Mb range $E4B1 FILPAT fill up to 64k block with specified pattern (16mb rng) $E4B4 NATVEC call CIO function from outside base 64k addresses $E4B7 ALLSAV save all registers (16-bit) and return in EMU mode $E4BA ALLRES restore all registers and return in NAT mode $E4BD TBANKT check and test 'XE' banked memory (up to 256k) $E4C0 TBUSST check Explicit RAM or ROM availablility $E4C3 TETRAM check Expanded RAM availability (up to 8Mb) $E4C6 TALLOC allocate any of the 4 types of memory to an application $E4C9 TDEALO de-allocate memory from an application (TALLOCated) $E4CC TINSTA install an application $E4CF TREMOV remove an application which was TINSTAlled $E4D2 TEXECU execute an installed application $E4D5 TTERMI terminate an TINSTAlled/TEXECUted application Also, a menu program is resident which can select: Coldstart Resident Byte/Atascii memory dumper (16Mb range 128 bytes at a time) Memory clear routines for all 4 types of memory RAM/ROM search and logging utility Keyboard F/X control cursor to any corner of the screen keyboard click toggle screen dma control SIO noise toggle keyboard repeate rate keyboard delay rate Execute up to 8 resident turbo-applications Install/Remove up to 8 turbo devices On the hardware side... The Turbo-816 Version-2 board design is finalized and the CAD people have it in their hands for plotting and auto-routing. The same applies to the ROM/SRAM boards The backplane has been finalized The dynamic ram board (256k/1m/4m/8m) is currently being finalized. Hopefully this will be done by may and boards available in June. We are still not satisfied with any video systems which have been evaluated...either the quality or the price is not where I want it. I would appreciate any comments! |Doug Wokoun|aa384|Atari SigOp| ____-______-______-______-______-______ 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 Atari-SIG (216)/368-3888 type 'Go Atari' at any menu (C.A.I.N.) ____-______-______-______-______-______ --
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