News - Aug.89 - Part IIFrom: Len Stys (aa399)
Date: 02/26/90-08:26:33 PM Z
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From: aa399 (Len Stys) Subject: News - Aug.89 - Part II Date: Mon Feb 26 20:26:33 1990 Time Capsule - News - Aug.89 - Part II -------------------------------------- News Subject Title Date Posted ------------------ ----------- PC-Ditto II - some facts Aug.28,1989 CWRU-Net,Free-Net,Atari SIG Aug.29,1989 A chat with Keith Ledbetter Aug.29,1989 Review: Express Cart Aug.29,1989 -------------------------------------- -Article #151 (208 is last): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -From: aa399 (Len Stys) -Subject: PC-Ditto II - some facts -Date: Mon, 28 Aug 89 21:01:36 EDT PC Ditto II: XT-Compatible running at turbo-XT speed (Norton SI rating of 3.0, or three times faster than a 'stock' XT) CGA and Mono graphics, with 64k EGA support coming soon. Supports Atari Mouse under emulation as a Microsoft Mouse. Supports Atari HD partitions. Small board has cable that 'clips' onto the 68000 (i.e., it's solderless). For Mega Owners, a different cable plugs into the expansion bus connector. Should fit into any ST case, regarless of memory expansion, Genlock, etc. Cost: $300, and it isn't available yet. Should be 100% compatible, or very close to it. -Article #152 (208 is last): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -From: aa399 (Len Stys) -Subject: CWRU-Net,Free-Net,& Atari SIG -Date: Tue, 29 Aug 89 22:42:01 EDT CWRU-Net the Cleveland Free-Net and the Atari SIG This article has to do with CWRU-Net and the Cleveland Free-Net. Since the Atari SIG is a part of the Free-Net, I feel the Atari SIG users have a right to know what "seems" to be going on. Recently, I attended a presentation for the Case Western Reserve's new network, CWRU-Net (pronounced crew-net). As I walked through the doors of the audtiorium, a 20 minute film was already playing. It talked about what CWRU-Net will actually contain. In it, it mentioned that the students going to Case Western would have one ID that will connect them to any part of CWRU-Net. The students living on campus will be able to connect to CWRU-Net with an ethernet interface installed in their, IBM, AT&T, or Macintosh. The film continued on showing how students would use CWRU-Net and what it actually is. CWRU-Net will not only connect computers together from all over the campus but in time it will also use video as a form of communication. Dr. Neff was the host in the film and later became an example on how fast and where light would travel through the fiber lines. It was a fairly informative film though it left out any details of CWRU-Net. It also, surprisingly, left out the Cleveland Free-Net. I also received flyers about CWRU-Net, Ethernet, the Cleveland Free-Net 'go commands', and information on how to access the CWRU's Euclid library. The CWRU-Net flyers included information about what CWRU-Net will do and what it will be connected to. The Cleveland Free-Net was mentioned several times and it became obvious that it was something to boast about. The Free-Net article contained this information: --------------------------------------- FreeNet - A Community Information Utility FreeNet is a system that provides access to information. It is simple to use. The entire system is based on a hierarchy of menus. To invoke a specific function of Free-Net, one selects an item in a menu. Its use is pretty much self-explanatory once you enter the system. FreeNet is oriented to the entire community, not just Case Western Reserve University, although CWRU is a significant part of FreeNet. Services provided is FreeNet include: electronic mail, bulletin boards, special interest groups, information files, allowing users to chat electronically with one another, and other servies. Soon FreeNet will be able to record votes, take opinions, and allow users to chat with one another in groups rather than just one-to-one. Many various academic and administrative departments will have areas within FreeNet in which to provide services. More information about FreeNet is available within FreeNet itself. The best way to learn about this system is to use it. --------------------------------------- Then it continues to tell how to log on the Cleveland FreeNet. According to the CWRU-Net speaker, Free-Net is just one of the services that CWRU-Net provides. There will also be printing services, Wade Commons, Fibley Commons, Crawford Hall, and a software library. Free-Net, however, will be the main message exchange board for CWRU students. There was even a flyer explaining how to use electronic mail on the Free-Net. The speaker for Free-Net was of course Tom Grunder. Mr. Grunder talked about Free-Net and how it was a community computer system and how CWRU students will be able to use it. He also talked about how there are between 180 to 200 SysOps on the Cleveland Free-Net running different sections. He mentioned that there are a lot of informative people on the system and how they are dedicated in helping the community. He talked a lot more about how it is a community system then how CWRU students will be able to use it. Towards the end of his talk, he told the CWRU students that if they want to start up their own Special Interest Group on the Free-Net then to talk to him about it. The next speaker was CWRU's own Dr. Raymond Neff. He talked a little about everything but again, nothing about the sytem in detail. Though he did go into much detail about how to preserve the life of your computer and the warranty on it which had little to do with the system and wasted much time. He talked about the data transmission at the speed of 10 MgHtz and to be increased past 100 MgHtz. He did mention that they were going to be connecting to other off-campus systems which will provide the CWRU students with access to even more information. He did not talk much about Free-Net. As I was sitting there listening to what the speakers were saying, it suddenly came to me on what "might" have happend... A few years ago, Free-Net was supposely in trouble. It was pretty hard to find grants and donations to keep the system running and CWRU was not interested in commiting itself to the Free-Net. The money donated by users was used up pretty fast and was just "a drop in the bucket." Then came Dr. Neff who needed a post office or a hub for students to communicate. As soon as Mr. Grunder found out about this, he went and talked to Dr. Neff and both problems were solved. CWRU found a place for their students to communicate and Free-Net found a place to get money. Is that it? Is that the only reason why CWRU is supporting the Cleveland Free-Net? The answer to that is a very simple "no". Case Western Reserve has their name, as you know, listed in several spots of the Free-Net. It also has several different sections on the Free-Net for their students to use such as the CWRU bookstore, CWRU film society, CWRU Information Network Services, CWRU student activities and just general CWRU. It will also be known world-wide for the Cleveland Free-Net. The few millions that they have given Free-Net is a very small price to pay for free publicity and their name in the history books. The few thing that still bothers me is: How much influence does CWRU have over the Free-Net? Can CWRU fire any paid member of the Free-Net that does not agree with what CWRU wants to do with the Cleveland Free-Net? Another thing is, Mr. Grunder had an idea of a "Tele-port" which will allow users of the Free-Net to connect with other systems in the future. Did CWRU-Net steal this idea to have it only for their students and not have it on the Free-Net? Dr. Neff did say that he plans for CWRU-Net to connect with other systems for the students to have access to even more information. I just hope that the Free-Net community will be allowed to connect to these systems as well. I also am wondering about the ability for 320 incoming phone lines. Will we even reach a quarter of that? Also, if the Cleveland Free-Net is suppose to stir up other cities to have a similar system then why not have a "1-800" number to show others in the country what Free-Net is all about? I believe that the Cleveland Free-Net is still a community system and that Free-Net II and just Free-Net would not be here today if it wasn't for some financial assistance from Case Western Reserve. I also believe that even though CWRU is giving a good amount of money to the Free-Net, it should not look like they own it. CWRU did give all their students access to the Free-Net. I am sure that if other universities asked Free-Net for that, they would be declined. The Free-Net isn't a Bit-Net and shouldn't be run by college students. It is a "Community Computer System". I know now that CWRU-Net has access to the Cleveland Free-Net but the Cleveland Free-Net so far only has access to itself. Thank you. Len Stys (aa399) -Article #153 (208 is last): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -From: aa338 (Mark Leair) -Subject: A chat with Keith Ledbetter -Date: Tue, 29 Aug 89 22:54:38 EDT A Chat with Keith! The following is an exclusive interview between PBN and Keith Ledbetter. Q: What was your first major production for the Atari 8 bit? A: To tell you the truth, I don't really remember what my first major program was. But if I could remember, I'm sure nobody would have heard of it. See, I've been coding on the Atari 8-bit since about 1981. But, 99% of my programs were for my use only (since I wasn't into modeming at that time) and a few members of local Richmond Atari users group. So, as far as the first major production for the Atari that people know about; that would have to be original 1030 Express! terminal program. Q: Upon completing the "Express"-line of terminal emulator programs what made you decide to release them shareware and not commercial? A: At the time, I didn't think 1030 Express! was that great. Yet, all of my beta testers kept telling me "You need to SELL this thing. Nothing out there today can touch it." So, I made some inquiries around the commercial circuit - Electronic Arts, Batteries Included, etc, and none of them were even mildly interested in another terminal program. That, plus the fact that I had no idea about what needed to be done to start a business, bring out commercial products, etc. led to me releasing it as shareware. I figured that releasing it as shareware would be a great way to get my name known in the Atari market, and I think it did that. It makes a big difference when you come out with new commercial product and people know your name from previous programs that have satisfied them. Q: What inspired you to write BBS Express (the original version)? A: I had already written a very powerful BBS for the Apple II computer, although I had never sold it (it simply ran on my own BBS system). So, BBS Express! was just a natural thing to do. BBS Express! initially started out as a simple "remote system" -- I wanted something that I could call from work with my IBM PC and download/upload files (more or less like the DOSshell is in PRO! now). But, it kept growing and growing, and before long I realized that I almost had a full BBS system. So, I just went on from there with it. Unfortunately, I messed up when I started writing it in Action!. Action! is a wonderful language, but it generates too big of an object module for huge programs, and when BBS Express! came out, it already "max'ed out" as far as code changes go. There was simply no room left to add anything. Q: In what ways did your final product of Original BBS Express compare to the firstly proposed uncoded BBS Express? A: This question is pretty hard to answer because I normally don't write detailed specifications for the program I write. I usually just have a gneral idea of what I want to do, and then I start writing and just kind of "go with the flow", letting the program take on characteristics of its own as it grows. But, overall, i'd say that the final product was pretty much what I had in mind when I started the program. (continued next page) Q: After working on ST BBS Express, do yo have any future plans on writing any further software for the ST? A: I don't know right now. Both Chris and I are pretty down on the Atari ST market right now. Software just doesn't seem to sell well on that machine. That, along with the fact that Atari Corp. is impossible to work with (or get any support from) these days makes it doubtful. But, we are going to do an IBM PC version of Pro!, and the chances are very good that we will port that code to the Atari ST after it is completed. Q: Approximately how many hours was spent planning and coding the first BBS Express! Pro! package? A: Express! Pro was a huge undertaking; Chris and I spent almost a year of our lives writing Pro. But, because of the design of it, it was also the easiest large project we have ever done. The design of the shell sitting in memory and loading command files as needed made it a wonderful system to write code for. The only real ugly one was the message base processor. That's because it had to be in assembler because it was so large. Nothing like writing a threaded message base in assembler language. But, it turned out great, and I can't believe that I have never had a screwed-up message base on the Support BBS since it went online. Q: How does Pro! V2.0 compare to the first proposed uncoded BBS Express! Pro!? A: Pro! has developed beyond our wildest dreams. We knew it was going to be powerful when we started it, but I don't think we ever expected it be this powerful. I'm still amazed sometimes when I look at the system and think we wrote all of that code! We knew that to make it the best, we had to accomplish two things: (1) we had to write it for a specific hardware/DOS enviroment instead of trying to be all things to all DOS's and hardware set-ups, and (2) we had to make it easy for users to write their own external modules. I think we succeeded in both of those areas, and that's what has made Pro! what it is today. But, we also know that another big thing that has made Pro! what it is today is the people who keep cranking out user-written modules for Pro!. I'm continually amazed at some of the things that peple have written to run under Pro. A perfect example of this is F-mail. This was by no means a simple project. And those people that run it absolutely love it, and it runs flawlessly. Stephen Carden, @ircular Logic, Ken Cheek, Tim Lowery -- these are just a few of the people who have written some incredibly powerful Pro modules. So, keep supporting those people that write user-written modules for Pro! -- they are the people that keep it exciting and changing every day. (continued next page) Q: Does Orion have any plans on taking adcantage of the 816 Turbo board (16 bit processor for the Atari 8 bit)? If so, what kind? Any for Pro? A: We have recently received a T816 board from DataQue, but we haven't had time to install it in one of our machines yet. I really can't say right now whether we'll support it in any special way or not. I'm not sure that any of its features would really be of any advantage to the Pro! system. Q: Aside from Orion's new Express cart, what future plans does Orion have with the Atari 8 bit and other computers? A: Well, first and foremost is a long vacation (grin). We have some plans for upgrades to the Pro shell. Also, we plan on doing an IBM PC version of Pro! sometime later this year. As far as plans for brand new Atari 8-bit products, we don't have any plans at this time. We have discussed the possibility of coming out with a "mini pro" that would work on floppy disk based systems, but we're not sure if it would be feasible or not. But, if anyone out there has any ideas on new products, we'd love to hear their ideas. Also, we're actively soliciting authors for new products. We'd like to greatly expand our Atari 8-bit product line. If anyone out there has written a commercial-quality program that you don't wan to sell yourself, please give us a call. We'll pay royalties much higher than the industry standard.o Source: Aug/Sep 1989 issue of Pro! BBS News Reprinted with permission... pages 3-5... -Article #154 (208 is last): -Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news -From: aa338 (Mark Leair) -Subject: Review: The Express cartridge! -Date: Tue, 29 Aug 89 22:55:27 EDT Source: Aug/Sep 1989 issue of Pro! BBS News. Reprinted in the Free-net Atari SIG News forum with permission from PBN. 6 Review: The Express Cartridge! The Express! terminal program cartridge. A review by the SysOp of the Part-Time BBS, Express Node X7, Cleveland Ohio. Once again those great people at Orion Micro Systems have a winner on their hands. After their great success with the BBS Express! Professional BBS program they came back with another great program to prove that the team of Ledbetter and King can produce back to back hits. The Express! terminal program cartridge, here after referred to as the Express! cart, proves the limits of the 8 bit Atari systems are yet to be reached. Orion Micro Systems once again pushes 8 bit software to new levels of sophistication. When you first open the package the look of the cartridge is what grabs your attention. It is a piggyback cartridge. You can plug it into your machine and still be able to use other cartridges without removing the Express! cart. As a matter of fact, by using the external CONTROL.COM program you can turn the Express! cart on and off without ever having to remove it from you computer. The Express! cart has a menu control system based on pull down menus in the 40 column modem and text menus in the 80 column mode. Pressing the 'Escape' key activates the menu control system. The 'Dial' menu selection allows you to create and save multiple phone list, dial numbers from the list, and mark several numbers for the Express! cart to call. Three macro keys, twenty nine bytes each, are available for each number on the phone list. It is interesting to note that you can set the macros to be sent automaticly and the three macros can be chained into one long macro if needed. Using the macros an automatic logon sequence can be set up for each number entry. The 'Parms' menu selection allows you to set the default parameters for the terminal mode such as baud, port, long distance codes, translation, duplex, and parity. Orion has thoughtfully allowed the use of comm ports R1: thru R4:. Good news for Atari 850 users. The 'Receive' menu selection allows you to set the transfer protocol. The protocols supported include Xmodem, Ymodem, Windowed Xmodem, SEAlink, and Lmodem. Take note of Lmodem. It permits automatic downloading from PRO Express! boards just by selecting the file on the BBS. The 'Send' menu selection is pretty much the mirror image of the 'Receive' selection. There is a status window that comes up on the screen during file transfers that supplies such information as current block number and bytes received. The 'Buffer' menu selection permits the viewing, loading, saving, printing, and clearing of the capture buffer. A point to note here is that the size of the capture buffer can be adjusted to take advantage of any extra memory which you may have installed in your computer. The 'Config' menu selection allows the setting of such options as the default disk dive number, left screen margin, screen word wrap, memory size, columns modem, and upload pause time. From this selection the seven 'generic' macro keys can be set up. The 'Misc' menu selection permits the setting of the background screen color, background intensity, and foreground intensity. The 'OS Shell' menu selection provides access to DOS functions without having to exit from the Express! cart. Depending on the DOS being used such functions as disk directories, erasing files, renaming files, copying files, locking files, and more. The 'Info' menu selection provides such information as the version number of the cartridge, the address of Orion Micro Systems, and the phone number of Orion. The 'Exit' menu selection permits the running of a piggyback cartridge or internal basic. All cartridges plugged into you system can be disable from this option. Although this is a short review I would be remiss if I did not mention that the Express! cart has support build into it for the running of external programs without exiting from the Express! cart. As of the writing of this review there are no external programs available. New transfer protocols, games and who can guess what else can be added to the Express! cart without an upgrade to the Express! cart itself. The best news is that Orion Micro Systems has stated that external programs for the Express! cart will be made available at no charge. I am sorry to say a short review like this one can't do justice to such a great product as this one. At a time when programmers are walking away from the Atari 8 bit systems it is refreshing to see a program like this one where the amount of hard work by the programmer is so evident. ____-______-______-______-______-______ 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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