Betazine: 23-Aug-90 #117

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 04/11/94-12:22:07 PM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Betazine: 23-Aug-90  #117
Date: Mon Apr 11 12:22:07 1994

Article 67 of freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags:
From: aa596@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Kevin Steele)
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 90 05:22:56 GMT

        BetaZine, #117                   Atari 8bit/Atari ST/Atari STe
                     Published by PsychoTronic Publishing

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                        BetaZine - The On-Line Magazine
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           "The Latest News and Features from Both Worlds of Atari."

                       For Atari 8bit, ST, and STe Users

 :  Editor-In-Chief...Mike Mezaros      :       //////////////////////////  :
 :  Dateline Editor...Jerry Morton      :       ////BetaZine Issue #17////  :
 :  Features Editor.......Tim Reed      :       //////Volume No. One//////  :
 :  Distribution......Eric Millard      :       ////August 23rd, 1990/////  :
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                         BetaZine Volume 1, Issue 17.


                       No Reasonable Submissions Denied.


                              ***IN THIS ISSUE***

                          Notes from the Scratch Pad
                             The Editor's Soapbox
    ..........................>Feature Articles<...........................
   Informative and Entertaining Features, Columns, Reviews, and Commentary!
    Computer Monitors Meet the Boob Tube: Non-Interlaced Television is Here
                                by Kurt Arnold
                   ISAC Vs. ParSec: The Color Video Showdown
                  by Tim Reed, Jerry Morton, and Mike Mezaros
   ...........................>Dateline: ATARI!<...........................
              The LATEST News concerning Atari and the industry!
                 Tandy Releases Computers with STe-Like Sound
                   Movin' Right Along: Glendale Atari Faire
                             STart / Antic Merger
                              TT030 - The Arrival
                      Voice-Mail Within Reach of Everyone
                             The Codehead Bug Hunt
                             ^^^In This Issue!^^^


                             THE EDITOR'S SOAPBOX

 INDICATIONS:  This  column helps restore mental alertness or wakefulness when
                      experiencing fatigue or drowsiness.

 WARNING:  The following column is not always pleasant and is barely cohesive.
               It may also be offensive to the easily offended.

     Hi everyone.  Below are three little factoids that I'd like to share with
 you.  Enjoy... if you can.


     The  Exxon  Valdez  tanker  spilled  over 10,000,000 gallons of crude oil
 just off the Alaskan coastline and has been used as an  example  of  a  major
 environmental  catastrophe ever since. This year, however, driveway mechanics
 and unscrupulous service stations will dump nearly fourty times  that  amount
 of  used  motor  oil  into  sewers, landfills, and streams to contaminate our
 drinking water.

                  Source: Motor Trend Magazine, August 1990.


     James David Mosely, decorated Navy veteran and P.T.A.  member,  spent  19
 months in a Georgia prison during 1988 and 1989 for the crime of sodomy (oral
 sex)  against  his willing, over 21 wife.  His original sentence was for five
 years but was overturned with the  help  an  ACLU  sponsored  appeal.   Under
 current  Georgia  law,  his maximum possible sentence was 20 years. If he had
 committed the same crime against a farm animal, his maximum possible sentence
 would have been only 10 years.

                   Source: Playboy Magazine, February 1990.


     The 11 best selling (best SOLD, actually, would be a better  description)
 personal  computer  models  in  the  United States are the IBM PS/2 Model 50Z
 (10Mhz 286, Microchannel Bus), IBM PS/2 Model 30-286  (10Mhz  286,  AT  Bus),
 Commodore  64/64C,  Apple Macintosh SE, Apple IIgs, Apple Macintosh Plus, IBM
 PS/2 Model 55SX (16Mhz 386-SX, Microchannel Bus), Atari 65/130  XE,  and  the
 Commodore  128/128D.   It  is believed that the Atari 65/130 XE category also
 includes the 400, 800, the XL line, and the XEGM.  Note that the 55SX,  IBM's
 most  popular  PC  in  years,  has  only  been available for a few months but
 manages to squeeze just ahead of two relative old-timers: The Atari 8-bit and
 the Commodore 128k 8-bit.

     Source: Omni/Compute Magazine, attributed to Dataquest, August 1990.

     And now that that is taken care of...

     I  apologize  for the delay in releasing this issue. Our Dateline Editor,
 Jerry Morton, had several  important  personal  situations  that  needed  his
 attention and delayed some of his work on the magazine.  We wish him the best
 and thank him for as much as he was able to do. Expect BZ118 before September
 1st, 1990.  And now for some Best Wishes.

     I'd  like  to  offer  a  quick "Welcome Back" to ZMagazine.  ZMag set the
 standards and I'm sure that everyone who still uses or  once  used  an  Atari
 8-bit will join me in wishing the magazine a long and successful run.

     And I want to wish Jack Lee a happy  semester;  Jack  contributed  a  few
 articles to BZ when we first began, and recently returned from California for
 a  short,  short  break.   Jack  won't be reading this until December, but at
 least he'll know we don't forget about him when he's not around. :-)

                                Until Next Time,
                                ///Mike Mezaros


 :                                BetaZine                                  :
 :                            FEATURE ARTICLES                              :
                              Edited by Tim Reed



   The Absolute Best Picture Quality Available Today Has A Price --- $3,500.
              And a name -- but SURPRISE!  It isn't called HDTV.

                                by Kurt Arnold

                 (Some research by Mike Mezaros and Tim Reed)

     Most of us have heard of HDTV, High Definition  Television,  the  new  TV
 standard  that  features  16-bit  CD  quality,  Dolby  Surround  Sound  and a
 Cinemascope-style picture tube that will provide clarity  unheard  of  today.
 But an HDTV set in today's living room would be useless -- HDTV signals won't
 be  available  for  years  and  years.   Having  an HDTV set now, if one were
 available, would be like bragging about owning a color, MTS stereo  set  back
 in 1942.  It would be a waste of time, money, and space.

     So  you want the absolute BEST television picture available today?  Well,
 there's a nice, easy way to do it.  But, sorry, it'll cost ya'.

     The first time you ever saw an Amiga  hi-res  screen  you  probably  were
 impressed,  all  prejudice  aside.   And the first time you ever saw an Amiga
 hi-res screen that had been "flicker  fixed"  (de-interlaced),  you  probably
 looked  back  at  the original hi-res screen and percieved it to be something
 akin to a strobe light. Flicker, flicker. Would you believe that one day  you
 might  look  at  your  current  television  set,  laugh, and utter, "Flicker,
 flicker" ?  You can, and you will.  Believe it.

     Currently, about the best computer monitor  you  can  buy  would  be  one
 capable of at least 1024x768 resolution, NON-INTERLACED.  That non-interlaced
 makes  a  big  difference,  as  we  computer  users  have  come to know.  The
 Multisync 3d is a nice monitor, but the 4d is nicer. It's bigger... and  it's

     A  quick  side-step  to Interlacing 101: Interlacing is a process where a
 display flashes  two  complementary  and  relatively  low-quality  images  in
 super-fast  succession,  so  that  the human eye interpretes them together as
 one, higher quality, more defined, image.  (Or, the first flash shows the top
 of the image, and the second flash shows the bottom -- or  every  other  scan
 line, etc.  etc.  The point is -- one flash alone does not contain the entire
 image.)  A  non-interlaced  display  holds  both images in memory (for only a
 split second) and flashes them both at  once.   Interlacing  produces  higher
 quality images on lower quality equipment, but there is a price to be paid...

     The  computer industry has long understood this.  All of the latest video
 equipment produces non-interlaced  displays,  all  of  the  latest  and  most
 expensive monitors flash non-interlaced images.  This line of thought has now
 arrived in the living room via the television set.

     IDTV, Improved Definition Television, is a system that de-interlaces  the
 television  picture  and  displays  it on a high quality monitor.  One of the
 companies that invested heavily in  the  development  of  IDTV  is  NEC,  the
 Turbografx  and  Multisync  people.  IDTV tries to tell us, "Listen. We don't
 need to spend billions to totally  re-invent  the  television  industry  with
 HDTV.   But  de-interlacing  the  image,  we already have an incredibly vivid
 picture -- that's me, that's IDTV."

     Simply put, IDTV is a flicker fixer for the idiot box.

     But  you  can't  just  add IDTV to your present set -- your lowly picture
 tube wouldn't be able to handle it. You'll need a new set.

     The  first  IDTV sets are beginning to reach our shores now.  The shining
 standout: The Toshiba CZ3299K.  It boasts IDTV with 560 scan lines (your  set
 only   has   525),   a   32-inch   nearly   flat   screen,  MTS  stereo,  and
 Picture-In-Picture -- for flicking through the  other  channels  while  still
 keeping tabs on the big game. It also has a price: Approx. $3,500.

     Will  IDTV  make  it?   It  all  depends  on  how  fast HDTV arrives.  If
 broadcasters begin using HDTV signals in the next year or two, IDTV sets will
 suffer because people would rather spend their  $3,500  on  any  set  of  the
 future  rather  than even the very best set of the past.  But if HDTV doesn't
 begin to flower until late in the decade, IDTV has a fighting chance.

     My RCA set, which I used to think was more than adequate, looks something
 like a strobe light these days. Everytime I look at the thing it resembles an
 old black-and-white Philco model with cabinet doors more and more.  If I come
 across  $3,500,  I might even succeed at convincing myself that my almost new
 RCA is little more than a fancy antique.  I can almost see  myself  faking  a
 break-in,  throwing the TV in the trash, and collecting insurance for it so I
 could buy a "real" TV...

     Simply  put,  I  want  my  IDTV.  And you will too.  Don't doubt it for a
 second.  In fact, run right down to the nearest electronics place and see one
 of these sets for yourself.  But be sure to bring your credit card or a large
 wad of unmarked bills -- IDTV is hard to resist.  In fact, I'm not quite sure
 which is worse: NOT going into debt by NOT buying the set, or paying  it  off
 in small installments for the rest of your Earthly life.

     Hmmm...  Small installments. Now there's an idea. I wonder how late  'The
 Wiz' is open?  That root canal will have to wait...



  These two ultra-high resolution graphics cards for the ST are the next step
     in ST video. But, alas, they are incompatible. Which, if either, will
                              capture the market?

                  by Tim Reed, Jerry Morton, and Mike Mezaros

     The Atari ST video system was something to be proud of  five  years  ago.
 Today it is something to make excuses for.

     "Well, its a nice video system for the price," say many people,  ignoring
 the fact that it is nearly impossible to upgrade and has the kind of graphics
 clarity that causes visual impairment -- at least on a color monitor, anyway.

     But  despite  that  fact,  two companies have managed to release extended
 color video boards for the ST.  And  while  neither  has  taken  off  to  the
 extent  that  VGA  and SuperVGA systems have taken off in the IBM realm, more
 and more users are finding that the Atari ST can continue to meet their needs
 by adding a video board.

     If  you're  a  desktop  publishing  fanatic,  CAD/CAM  devotee, or just a
 technical junkie, you'll be interested in the following information.  Some of
 it is taken from the early issues of BetaZine which were not  available  (and
 are still not available to a large extent) on GEnie or FoReM-Net.

     The  Moniterm  system has been reviewed to death, so we've ignored it and
 decided to center on two superb color systems: The ISAC board and the  ParSec
 board.  Both  offer  similar  features  for  a similar price.  What which, if
 either, is right for you?


 (The following article originally appeared in BetaZine Volume #1,  Issue  #6.
 It  has  been  edited  slightly  by  the  original  author, Jerry Morton.  It
 originally appeared as "A Short Chat With Jay Craswell of Image Systems.")

     In the March, 1990 issue of STart magazine, in the 'News, Notes & Quotes'
 column,  a small article mentioned Image Systems' new ATR-4PC video board for
 the  MegaST.   With  a  slot  for  a  68881  math  co-processor,  and   video
 capabilities  similar to IBM SuperVGA (1024x768 in 16 colors out of a palette
 of 4096), the ATR-4PC sounded promising.  So I gave Image Systems a call, and
 was directed toward Mr.   Jay  Craswell,  co-developer  of  the  board.   Mr.
 Craswell  was  busy  showing off his new board, and returned my call the next

     Mark Medin and Jay developed the board at Image Systems in  Hopkins,  MN.
 "Mark  deserves  the  lion's  share  of credit here," Jay told me, "I did the
 layout on this one."

     Jay dismissed the confusing  ATR-4PC  name  given  in  STart.   "We  were
 originally  going  to  call  it  the Atari Safari, but that was too cutesy...
 right now we call it the ISAC board, but we'd be happy if you just called  it
 the Image Systems Color Card."

     "There's  been  a  lot  of  confusion about the board...  It adds a whole
 separate display system that connects to the bus on the Mega, with  a  second
 monitor  port  and 384k of video RAM... It will run with any 48khz horizontal
 multisync or VGA monitor."

     "It runs the desktop right on the monitor, there is a driver included. It
 just runs the desktop in high resolution."

     The ultimate ISAC system would have two monitors, a VGA or multisync, and
 the standard ST color monitor (although only one monitor  is  necessary).  In
 the  STart  article,  Jay  reccomends the Nanao 970 multisync monitor for use
 with the system.  But Jay told me that Image Systems will be  offering  their
 own high-end high resolution monitor in about 60 days.

     "We'll  be selling our own monitors soon," he said, "a 21 inch to compete
 against the NEC, for about $2000.  But with the monitor, we'll also give  you
 a  special crystal for the board, a high speed crystal that will speed up the
 video refresh to about 75 frames a second.  The guys in  Europe  should  love

     But  will  the  ISAC  run  today's  most  popular  software  in  its high
 resolution mode?  "Just about everything runs as is.  Calamus,  Dynacad,  all
 the Strata software; Steno, Stalker...Easydraw."

     Pagestream 1.8 won't run right out of the box in the ISAC hi-rez mode, as
 the  STart  article  suggests,  but  it  will  run with slight modifications.
 "Pagestream ran just fine with a  few  minor  changes.   It  took  like  five
 minutes  to  get  it  to  run,  maybe  one  byte  of code was modified... But
 Pagestream will run just fine without modification in  the  card's  duochrome
 mode  (1024x768  in  2 colors out of 4096), and so will most anything.  You'd
 need the special version for the color. "

     Some software that won't run in the  ISAC  hi-rez  mode?   "Spectrum  512
 didn't  work...  We had some problems with some of the entertainment software
 that wouldn't work at all.  We haven't had a lot of the  midi  stuff  to  try
 out, but I would assume that it should work with no problem."

     But as more software is adapted to run in the TT's hi-rez mode, more will
 run  under  ISAC.   "Software  that doesn't work on the Moniterm or the Image
 Systems card, won't work on the TT, and if you have a company that won't  fix
 it  to  work on those machines, I think that's bad news.  They have to follow
 some simple rules... Some things just won't work in the extended  modes,  and
 they should be updated."

     "We  use  the board with the Fast Technologies 16Mhz accelerator card all
 the time, and it works great.  But a hard drive won't fit into the Mega  case
 with  our  card  installed.   Most  people  think  it's  just  a few chips or
 something, but it's actually about half the size of the Mega... And, to  tell
 you  the  truth,  we  really  haven't tried it out yet with PC Ditto 2, so we
 don't know if it will work ( or fit)."

     There is also an additional PAL chip and crystal set  available  for  the
 ISAC  board  that  will  allow  it  to display 800x600 in 16 colors, which is
 equivalent to the most basic IBM SuperVGA boards.

     Image Systems isn't looking into a VME card version of the ISAC, but  you
 will  be  able to use it with standard ST's soon.  "JRI is planning a product
 for the ST's that will let you use cards for the Mega bus.  So, soon,  you'll
 be able to use the board with a 520 or a 1040."

     Jay didn't know how much the JRI unit would sell for.

     Jay  sees the market for the board in the already installed user base. "I
 think a lot of people want  a  specific  solution,  so  they  buy  a  desktop
 publishing  program  or  a  CAD  program, and they don't really get what they

     "I hope that dealers will sell the board along with a  software  package,
 at a discount.  This card offers the ability to do really good publishing and
 reall  y  good  CAD.   You  can buy an Atari computer, a hard drive, monitor,
 laser printer, and this card, for less than what  you'd  pay  for  a  similar
 system from Apple. And in most cases, the ST would work out a lot better."

     "Plus  the  68881  is  great, too.  There's been a lot of confusion about
 that, too.  A lot of people think you have to use a 16Mhz, but  you  can  use
 anything up to 25Mhz, if you can afford it."

     "The  Image  cards  are  shipping  right now.  They cost $800, but that's
 suggested retail.  They should sell for a lot less than that  at  your  local
 dealer, if you have one."

     Jay  also mentioned the new MegaSTe that Atari is considering.  He hopes,
 ob viously, that the new Mega will have atleast the Mega bus, if not the Mega
 bus AND a VME slot.

     He  also  commented on the TT.  "I hope they don't change the colors," he
 said, remarking that in early pictures, the ST was white.   "I  really  liked
 the TT keyboard, too.  The french cut function keys are gone."

     ISAC sounds like an incredible product for the Mega, and  eventually  for
 the  ST.   If  it  does  everything that Image says it does, I certainly look
 foward to getting my hands on one.  I'll be here with a review of  the  board
 as soon as one is available to me.

     Thanks to Jay for his time, and to Image Systems for supporting the ST.


   (Much of this information originally appeared in BZ Volume #1, Issue #9.)

                          The ParSec 4768 Base model:

 "Designed   for  point-of-sale   advertising,   display   graphics,  and  GEM
 emulation...  the ideal starting  point... interfacing  to  any  Atari  ST...
 768k memory, 16 colours/line from 4096, SCSI and RS232 ports."

 "The  Topaz  GEMulator converts  GEM  based programs to output on the ParSec.
 The ability to run Atari based programs  on the ParSec creates new advantages
 of superior resolution and colour palette plus high speed operation."

                       The ParSec 8768-8 Upgrade board:

 "...the ideal tool for CAD/CAM,  Architecture  and  Animation... The board is
 plugged onto the ParSec 4768... total of 1.875MB memory...option of up to 4Mb
 of program memory.  A Brooktree Bt473 colour palette is installed and double-
 buffered graphics are possible with 256 colours selectable from 16.8 million.
 Single buffered  15 bit plane  true  colour  graphics... allowing total pixel
 independence with 32,000 colours per screen."

                       The ParSec 8768-16 Upgrade board:

 "...designed  for  Artists and  Graphic  Designers... professional  broadcast
 quality graphics... total  video memory to  2.5Mb  allowing  double-buffered,
 broadcast standard,  15 bit-plane graphics up  to  resolutions  of  833x625."

                        The ELM Multiflat Plus monitor:

 "Graphics boards with  high specifications such as the ParSec require quality
 monitors to obtain crisp,  precise,  high resolution output... 15 inch,  non-
 glare screen, 0.26mm  dot pitch and  1024x768  resolution... horizontal  sync
 (21.8kHz  to 50kHz)... vertical sync  (50Hz to 90Hz)  with  automatic  aspect
 ratio adjustment."

                        The Elmtech Genlock/Digitizer:

 "The ParSec has been designed to evolve into a  fully interactive  Graphics /
 Video  workstation... full broadcast  standards... has the  facility to  grab
 250,000 pixels of 8 bit colour image at 25 frames/sec."

            "Fast - Texas Instruments TMS34010-50 50Mhz Processor
        Powerful - 6.25 MIPS performance, Complex shapes moved at SPEED
     Colour - 16.8 Million different shades, 15 bit planes, 32,768 colours
       Graphics - 1024x768 Resolution, fully programmable from 640x480."

                           The ParSec's performance:

 "Average Bit Move      25.0 M bits/sec      Fill Rectangle   12.5 M pix/sec
  Horizontal Line/Fill  50.0 M bits/sec      Copy Block       3.12 M pix/sec
  Line Draw Rate        1.25 M  pix/sec      32 Bit Add       6.25 M ins/sec
  Line (Read)           2.10 M  pix/sec      32 Bit Multiply  0.29 M ins/sec"

        Dimensions of the ParSec:  298mm wide x 286mm deep x 54mm high
             Connection: Attaches to the Cartridge port of any ST.

      But what does this mean to the average  Atari ST  user?  Basically,  for
 less than $1400,  the ST can have graphics capabilities  surpassing the Amiga
 and all but the  most expensive IBM graphics cards.  The ParSec is a computer
 in its own right -- with a 50Mhz 32-bit CPU!  The ParSec 4768 gives the ST up
 to  1024x768 resolution  and the ability to display 4096 colors on the screen
 at one time  (16 per line).   With one  of the upgrade boards installed, that
 jumps to 196,000 colors on the screen out of a palette of 16 million.

      Ignoring the speed factor  (the ParSec  is faster than any of the boards
 we will consider),  let's  compare  the features of the 4768 (without upgrade
 boards) to two of the most popular high-end graphics boards available for the
 IBM, AND the yet unreleased TT's features:

   Name of product - Max Resolution - Max # colors on screen - Retail Price

    Verticom HX256 1024x768   256 colors $3495.00 (Sells for approx. $2200)
    NEC MGE-256    1024x768   256 colors $1495.00 (Sells for approx. $1200)
    ParSec 4768    1024x768  4096 colors $1550.00 (Sells for approx. $1400)
    TT Hi-Rez      1280x960     2 colors ---not applicable, graphics mode--
    TT Medium-Rez   640x480   256 colors ---not applicable, graphics mode--
    ISAC Color Bd. 1024x768    16 colors  Approx. $800

      Now,  the next step  is in  software.   The  IBM and  Amiga have a  wide
 variety of software available for  their  high  resolution graphics cards and
 modes.  Da Vinci Art,  a high-end paint program,  is shipped with  the  4768.
 Elmtech is currently offering Chimera FX, which is a paint/desktop  video/2d-
 CAD type program that takes advantage of the 4768  with  the  8768-16  board.
 They  are also currently developing recreational  software  and a DTP program
 to take advantage of the ParSec's special abilities.

       Only time will tell if  the  professionals  who need the  power of  the
 ParSec will choose it over similar options for the IBM and Amiga.



  ....................BetaZine Puts Them Side-By-Side........................

 ISAC Board                                    ParSec Board

 Resolutions   Colors   Palette                Resolutions   Colors   Palette
 ------------------------------                ------------------------------
 1024x768       16        4096                 1024x768      16          4096
 1024x768        2        4096                 1024x768      256         4096
 800x600        16        4096                 1024x768      4096        4096
 ------------------------------                ------------------------------

 Note: The ISAC's 800x600x16x4096 mode  requires  an  additional  chip/crystal

                           Approximate System Price

 $800, plus monitor                            $1500, plus monitor

                             Features to Consider

 Seems to be more compatible than             The ParSec board is much, much,
 the ParSec.  The ParSec requires             faster than the ISAC board
 extra drivers... The ISAC board              thanks to its TI graphics
 runs more programs off the shelf.            co-processor.  This is an
 However, be aware that many                  important point for CAD/CAM or
 programs simply won't work.                  Multimedia uses.

 The ISAC board connects to the               The ParSec connects to the
 MegaST's Mega-Bus.                           cartridge point and is an
                                              external device, practically
                                              a computer in its own right.

 There is no noticeable difference            The ParSec is best used when
 in graphics speed between a standard         software is written SPECIFICALLY
 ST and an ISAC equipped ST.  BUT,            for it.  However, a "GEMulator"
 the ISAC has a slot for a math               standard GEM driver is included.
 co-processor. DynaCad users should
 take note of that... although a              The ParSec board, coupled with
 ParSec board AND a separate math             Elm's software support, is
 co-processor board may be better             better suited for multimedia
 suited for CAD work. However, the            work. Check out the board's
 ISAC provides a less expensive               excellent specifications above.
 alternative to that route.

 And,  of  course,  both the ParSec and the ISAC will require a non-interlaced
 multisync monitor with at least 1024x768 resolution.   You'll  pay  at  least
 $700  for  a decent model, and you'll probably want to spend somewhere around
 $1000 for a really nice, large screen model like the NEC Multisync 4D.

 The key word to remember here is NON-INTERLACED.  These boards  simply  won't
 work with cheaper, interlaced monitors like the NEC Multisync 3D.


                                   ISAC       PARSEC BASE UNIT

 1024x768 Resolution?               Yes         Yes
 4096 color pallete?                Yes         Yes
 Max. Colors on Screen?              16         4096
 Upgrade Boards Available?           No         Yes
 MegaST Compatible?                 Yes         Yes
 Standard ST Compatible?             No         Yes
 Non-Interlaced?                    Yes         Yes


     Both  of these products are high quality, niche items -- much like the ST
 itself.  But we do have our preferences.

     Firstly, unless you know EXACTLY what you want  to  do  with  the  board,
 DON'T buy either of them.  There simply isn't enough software support at this
 point to take such a large financial risk.

     So  who  "should"  buy  these  boards?   CAD/CAM  and  DTP  users.   And,
 interestingly enough, we have a different reccomendation for both categories.

     CAD/CAM:  CAD  users demand SPEED.  The speed of the ParSec is incredible
 and can save a lot of nearly hairless heads from becoming barren  wastelands.
 In  the CAD field, much of the time spent waiting isn't spent waiting on that
 slow 8Mhz CPU, its spent waiting for that slow video subsystem.   The  ParSec
 can really take a bite out of that.

     DTP:  We  reccomend  the Pagestream/ISAC combination.  Its less expensive
 than the Moniterm, but yet provides almost the same excellent  resolution  in
 duochrome  mode.   (Well, yeah...almost.)

     The ISAC and the ParSec may be similar... but they are quite different in
 many  ways.   But both help the ST market by attracting (and keeping) CAD and
 DTP users to the ST.


                               DATELINE: Atari!
             The Latest News from BetaZine - The On-Line Magazine
                            Edited by: Jerry Morton
                  Some Information Provided and Compiled by:
           Mike Mezaros, Tim Reed, Dave Mothersbaugh, & Kurt Arnold
                               "This just in..."



              The XL Series is Slated to Compete with IBM's PS/1

     Tandy,  mother  company  of  Radio  Shack,  has  released  a  new line of
 computers called the XL series.  XL is the suffix on the name of each of  the

     The first XL computer in general release, the  2500XL,  is  a  10Mhz  286
 computer  with built-in VGA, much like IBM's new PS/1 model.  The 2500XL also
 features an 8-bit stereo  sound  subsystem  nearly  identical  to  the  sound
 system found on the STe computers.

     The  Tandy  XL sound is in a position similar to the STe's sound as well.
 The  XL sound system is the most advanced sound package available as standard
 equipment  on  any  IBM compatible computer available today, but it will most
 likely never be fully exploited due to the need for compatibility with  older
 sound  systems.   Many  have written off the STe's sound system for this very
 same reason.

     The  situation  with the Tandy is more complicated, however.  Standard PC
 sound is very basic, much less capable than Atari 8-bit systems.   Two  major
 sound  enhancements  have  appeared in recent years for the IBM platform, the
 Adlib standard and the Roland standard.  Many  popular  games,  such  as  the
 Sierra  adventures,  take  advantage of the Adlib standard.  In addition, the
 Adlib standard is the more popular of the two, probably due to the relatively
 low price of an Adlib compatible board, usually under $150 for  an  11  voice
 sound  system.  Realsound is a recently copyrighted software method developed
 by a game company that gives high quality digitized  sound  to  PC's  without
 additional  hardware  (although  a cable may be ordered to connect your PC to
 your stereo system for better results).  Realsound is comparable to Atari  ST
 sound  and  must be programmed into individual software packages (the quality
 of Realsound, because it is software-dependent, depends greatly on the  speed
 and quality of the hardware it is used on).  Crime Wave and Mean Streets, two
 best selling adventure games, take advantage of Realsound.

     So while the Tandy XL series features excellent sound, its potential,  as
 in the case of the STe, may or may not be exploited to the fullest.  Tandy XL
 sound  isn't  compatible  with Adlib, Roland, or even Tandy's own three-voice
 sound system found on early Tandy's.  Tandy has announced no plans to develop
 emulators for the major standards either.

     The 2500XL will be in head to head competition with IBM's PS/1.  Like the
 PS/1  the 2500XL features several innovations to the PC world such as DOS and
 a graphical interface in ROM.  The 2500XL's graphical interface is  Deskmate,
 a  GEM-like  interface  that  has been praised as a tool for beginners to DOS

     Because  it  is  also  a  10Mhz  286  machine,  the 2500XL faces the same
 obstacles as the PS/1.  286  machines  cannot  multitask  DOS  programs  with
 Windows  3.0, run the upcoming OS/2 2.0, and face serious memory limitations.
 IBM and Tandy have argued that these types of machines are aimed  toward  the
 home-office user who will not need such capabilities.



       Now that the WOA is finished, Glendale has its chance to shine...

     The Glendale Show, the Southern California Atari Faire, will be  held  at
 tge Glendale Civic Auditorium on September 15th and 16th.  The following is a
 list  of  vendors  "most  likely to attend." Be aware that these vendors have
 merely expressed intent to attend, and not all of them are "confirmed"...

     ATARI Corporation                  American Music
     Best Electronics                   Bill Skurski Enterprises
     Branch Always Software             BRE
     Beckmeyer                          Carter Graphics
     CodeHead SoftWare                  Computer Network
     C.O.P.                             D.A. Brumleve
     Datel                              Double Click
     FAST Technology                    Gadgets by Small
     Gold Leaf                          Gribnif
     Groves School of Music             ICD
     ISD                                King's Domain
     Lexicor                            MegaMax
     Michtron                           MicroCreations
     Mid-Cities                         Migraph
     Neocept                            Practical Solutions
     Safari Fonts                       S.D.S.
     Sierra                             Seymour-Radix
     SliccWare                          STart
     ST Informer                        ST Journal
     Sprokits                           Supra Corp.
     Talon                              WuzTek
     XETOERIX                           Zubair Interfaces
     Z*Net News Service


                              ANTIC/START MERGER

                       Will Antic go the way of Analog?

     Antic magazine, the first magazine released by Antic Publishing, Inc., is
 no longer.  In January, Antic Publishing announced that the magazine would go
 bi-monthly  due  to low sales, declining subscriptions, and a serious lack of
 advertising. Early in August, Antic Publishing announced that STart and Antic
 would "merge."

     Readers are reminded that Analog (one of Antic's competitors) and  ST-Log
 (one  of STart's competitors) merged shortly before the magazine's death late
 last year.

                                 Press Release

 San  Francisco,  Aug.  3  --  Antic  Publishing  Inc.  today  announced  that
 publication of START Magazine will be suspended for one  month  in  order  to
 make   several   major   editorial  and  circulation  changes.   All  current
 subscriptions will be extended one month.  In addition, START has  agreed  to
 fulfill   the  ST-Log  and  Analog  subscription  obligations,  doubling  its
 circulation.  When START reappears with the October 1990 issue (on sale Sept.
 1), it will contain a monthly,  16-page  section  for  Atari  8-bit  computer
 owners,  boosting  START's  pages to 124-plus.  Antic, the publishing group's
 long-running 8-bit magazine, will cease publication. START Editor  Tom  Byron
 also  announced  staff  changes.   Jim Burton joins the magazine as technical
 editor; Rick Braden is the new art director. Burton is a journalist and  past
 START  contributor with a thorough knowledge of GFA BASIC.  See "GDOS Printer
 Drivers in GFA BASIC" in the January 1990 issue and "GDOS  Tutorial"  in  the
 August  1990  issue for samples of his work.  His main responsibility will be
 the START disk, which, beginning with the  January  1991  issue,  will  be  a
 straight  double-  sided  format.  Braden comes to START from Portland, Ore.,
 where he designed a number of successful regional and national  business  and
 technical journals.  In addition to his talents as a graphic designer, Braden
 is  a  MIDI  aficionado  and  ST owner.  Several popular ST authors have been
 named contributing editors,  with  responsibility  for  areas  of  increasing
 interest  to  ST users.  The new contributing editors are: Dan Fruchey - Word
 Processing/Desktop Publishing, John Russell and  David  Plotkin  -  Hardware,
 Christopher  Roberts  -  Telecommunications.   Jim Pierson-Perry continues to
 cover MIDI and music, while former START editor Andrew Reese covers graphics.


                              TT030 - THE ARRIVAL

               What's the deal with Atari's new 32-bit computer?

     Conflicting reports on UseNet, FidoNet, and FoReM-Net  this  week.   Some
 people  are  saying  that the TT030/2 is now ACTUALLY FOR SALE in the U.K. No
 official word from Atari on this yet, but we'll keep you informed.

     Meanwhile, the TT is slated to arrive in Canada  within  the  next  three
 weeks.  A U.S. release date hasn't been confirmed yet...



                Bell Atlantic's Voice-Mail for only $5 a Month

     Bell Atlantic, one of the so-called "baby bells" serving the NJ/PA  area,
 is  now  offering  a  voice-mail service.  The service is being offered as an
 alternative to answering machines.

     Home users can purchase up to eight separate  voice  mailboxes,  one  for
 each  member  of  the  family.  Callers to the home will be able to use their
 touch tone phone to leave messages to different family members.  Each mailbox
 can hold up to 30 minutes  of  messages,  but  Bell  Atlantic  promises  that
 certain aspects of the service will improve as technology allows.

     The base price for the service, called Answer-Call, is $5 a month plus an
 initial  $21.00  connection  charge.  The connection charge will be waived to
 new customers until August 27th, 1990.  That comes  out  to  about  $80.00  a
 year, about the average cost for an answering machine.


                             THE CODEHEAD BUG HUNT

                                 Press Release

 CodeHead Software's "LookIt! & PopIt!" comes with a "NO-STING" guarantee.  We
 think  this software is pretty bug-free (but we've been wrong before).  Don't
 take our word for it.  We dare you to find a bug. If you do, we'll  give  you
 50% off on the purchase of any CodeHead Software product.

 Here's what to do:

  1.  Buy a copy of "LookIt! & PopIt!" from any dealer, mail-order house,
      or directly from CodeHead Software.

  2.  Find a bug!  If you can find anything in the Lookit Program or the
      PopIt accessory that doesn't work like we say it does (make sure you
      read the manual AND the README file on the disk), you've found a

  3.  Decide which product you'd like to purchase for 50% off and report
      the bug to CodeHead Software using the form below.  If you print
      this file, the report form will line up as page 2.  The following
      products are available:

                Product Name       List Price    Hunter's price!
                ------------       ----------    ---------------
                G+Plus               $34.95       $17.48
                MultiDesk             29.95        14.98
                HotWire               39.95        19.98
                HotWire Plus          59.95        29.98
                MaxiFile              34.95        17.48
                CodeHead Utilities    34.95        17.48
                MIDIMAX               49.95        24.98
                Lookit! & PopIt!      39.95        19.98

  4.  Send your Bug Report Form, a check or credit card number, and proof
      of LookIt! & PopIt! purchase (registration card, receipt, or master
      disk) to:

                CodeHead Software
                P.O. Box 74090
                Los Angeles, CA 90004

  5.  If you have any questions, feel free to call us at (213) 386-5735.
      Our hours are 9am-1pm (Pacific time) Monday through Friday.  This
      offer expires on December 31, 1990.

               ----==== JOIN THE CODEHEAD BUG HUNT NOW! ====----


         Name: _____________________________________________________

       Street: _____________________________________________________

         City: ____________________ State: _____ Zipcode: __________

        Phone: ______________________________

       Product you are purchasing at 50% off: ______________________

                                       Bug Hunter's Price: _________

                 Shipping (US-$2, Canada-$3, Overseas-$5): _________

                                                    Total: _________

       Credit Card: _____________________________ Expires: _________


       Type of computer (520ST, 1040ST, MegaST): ___________________

       System memory (512K, 1 MEG, 2 MEG, 2.5MEG, 4 MEG): __________

       Operating system version, if known (1.0, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6): ____

       Which program contains the bug (LookIt, PopIt)? _____________

       Is the bug repeatable? _______

       List the AUTO programs present when the bug occurred:



       List the desk accessories installed when the bug occurred:



       Describe the bug: ___________________________________________








 BetaZine is available on the GEnie electronic information pay-service in the
   Atari 8bit and ST file areas.  GEnie is the official on-line resource of
  Atari Corporation.  To become a member of GEnie dial 1-800-638-9636 (voice)
                             for complete details.


   BetaZine is sent out over FoReM-Net/CrossNet on the date of publication.
  If you would like your local FoReM-Net/CrossNet BBS to be included in that
     mailing, send your request in E-Mail to BETAZINE EDITOR at Node 471.
    Please include the BBS's name, full phone number (including area code),
    and FoReM-Net Node number.  Requests usually take one week to process.
      Requests for back issues will usually be honored within two weeks.

   In addition, BetaZine is available on many BBS systems across the U.S.A.
       for on-line reading or downloading.  CompuServe (CIS) and UseNet
                 availability is planned for the near future.


          BetaZine is always looking for contributions concerning the
             Atari community.  See the contact information at the
                           beginning of this issue!!


                    Thanks to those who have been helpful:

        Stan Lowell of The Blank Page BBS at (201)-805-3967  [3/12/24oo].
    Fabian Gordon  of  E.B.B.B.S. at (201)-247-8252  [3/12/24oo/V.32/HST].
        Eric Millard of Tranquil River BBS at (201)-526-6395 [3/12/24oo].
       Dean Lodzinski of Hologram, Inc. at (201)-727-1914 [3/12/24oo/HST].

 Numbers  in  brackets  are  bps  (baud)  rates.   HST refers to U.S. Robotics
 Courier  HST  9600+  standard.  V.32  refers to Hayes / V.32  9600+ standard.

 "BetaZine - The On-Line Magazine," "BetaZine Informer," and the  contents  of
 this  issue  are  (C)opyright  1990  by  PsychoTronic Publishing.  All rights
 reserved.  BetaZine may be distributed freely, as long as it is  not  altered
 or  edited  in any way.  No fee may be charged for BetaZine excluding on-line
 service access fees, user group fees, media charges, or similar transactions.
 Portions of articles or entire articles appearing in BetaZine may  be  quoted
 or  reprinted  as  long as BetaZine, the author, and all previous publication
 sources,  if  any,  are  credited,  unless  that  article  contains  specific
 instructions   to   the   contrary.   In  such  cases,  please  follow  those
 instructions  or  contact  BetaZine  before   using   that   material.    Our
 contributors  retain  certain  rights  to  their  work,  and  some  may  have
 restrictions regarding certain uses of that work.  Articles  are  not  to  be
 edited without written permission from PsychoTronic Publishing or the author.

                      BetaZine... Objectivity is the Key.

                  (C)opyright 1990 by PsychoTronic Publishing
       BetaZine, #117                     Atari 8bit/Atari ST/Atari STe
                     Published by PsychoTronic Publishing
                             All Rights Reserved.

                                   THE END!


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