Z*Magazine: 13-Apr-87 #47

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/09/93-11:21:39 AM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine: 13-Apr-87 #47
Date: Fri Jul  9 11:21:39 1993

April 13, 1987 Happy Easter/Passover
Zmag Staff:
Publisher/Editor in Cheif: Ron Kovacs
Editor: Alan Kloza
Special Correspondent: Steve Godun
Columnist: Eric Plent
Asst Publisher: Ken Kirchner
This week in Zmagazine New Jersey

<*> Network:Atari
    User Group Report

<*> Scuttlebits Report

<*> Humor from Space Newsletter

<*> Plent's Page

<*> Atari hires new VP/GM

<*> FCC decision om Computer III

<*> The Source sold
Xx User Group Report:Network Atari
...Zmag User Group of the Month...

I'd like to propose a small column
designed for BBS SysOp's out there in
modem land.  I'd really like to hear
from all of you, and print up a
detailed article in the newsletter.

So...grab yourself a disk, type out a
synopsis of your BBS, and all that it
implies, and send it to HDUG HQ as
fast as you can.  One or two BBS's
(depending on how many inputs we get)
will be highlighted in each issue.

On a similar note, I'd like to do the
same service for User Groups around
the nation.

So, to all BBS SysOp's and User Group
Secretaries, gather your data, put it
on a floppy, and send it in today! 
We'll print them up and give you all
a free plug.

To start the column out, here's a
quick note about Network: Atari HD
Express! BBS, and the *PAC*
(Progressive Atari Computing) User

Network: Atari - 3/12/24 (soon to be
4800/9600) BPS - 24 Hours a day. 
News is good this quarter, as we have
recently added the second 30MEG HD,
and within a couple of months will be
adding another 60MEG for a grand
total of 120+ Megabytes of Atari BBS
storage space.

I believe this would be the Nation's
Largest Atari BBS run off of an 8-Bit
computer (or any Atari computer).
Please correct me if I'm wrong.

System Hardware and Software is as
follows:  800XL w/256k Rambo (Backup
is the 130XE w/320K upgrade), 1MEG
ICD MIO, R-Time 8 Cartridge, 4-Atari
1050 Drives each w/US Doublers, US
Robotics 2400 BPS Courier Modem (Soon
to be the USR 9600...I hope) (Backup
is the Hayes 1200), 850 Interface,
Sears (Sears?) SR3000 Composite/RGB
Monitor, Sparta-x Cartridge (soon),
ICD MIO 80-Column card (soon), Star
Micronix SG-15 Printer (16K buffer),
Seagate ST-238 HD (two), Adaptec 4070
controller case/ps, SpartaDOS 3.3a,
assorted joysticks and other items.

Network: Atari HD Express! BBS began
as ZBBS back in December 1982, and
was on-line with a bare 800XL, an
Atari 1027 Printer (LOUD!) and a
single unmodified 1050 drive (Which
was using DOS 3.0!).

As a new SysOp, and absolutely NO
contact with other Atari users, I
actually bought AMIS BBS software
from A.R.C.A.D.E. in Michigan, and
with the honest help of Jim
Stienbrecher, was able to get it
modified and running...sort of.

I found out very fast that AMIS
crashed after (or during) most calls.
The biggest board crashers I had to
deal with were Commodore users.
Since that was the major computer in
this area, I had to deal with it.

I quickly got fed up with AMIS and
after reading and hearing about BBCS,
I purchased that, and thought it was
the best thing since sliced bread and
soft butter.  Guess again.

Over the years I spent my entire
paychecks on new equipment and
modifications to an ever-growing
system.  I quickly became the largest
BBS in the local area, and lo and
behold, Atari users started popping
up!  Lots of them!  So...we started
the *PAC* User group.

I wound up as president of the User
Group, and it continues to grow
today.  I've asked the Secretary to
write up a short article about *PAC*,
and it's included just after this.

Then...Keith ledbetter created
Express! BBS, and the BBS has been
growing at a fantastic rate ever
since.  Thanx Keith!

Network: Atari has over 20MEG of PD
software, 25 Msg Bases, and GOBS of
text files for all to enjoy.  We
currently have an ATASCII dungeon
game, courtesy of Midnight Express!
BBS and SysOp: Captain Cush.  In the
real near future, there will be 3-4
more dungeons, and possibly (If I can
figure out a method) a massive 30
level dungeon that fills the MIO.

3 of the boards are restricted. 
*PAC* has one, as well as *PAC*
Officers, and the HDUG User Group

BBS numbers?  We got 2500 of them for
you, all sorted numerically by area
code and prefix.  Help us to keep the
list active.

There has recently been added a
co-SysOp, Jackson Beebe, and he will
help you if he can.  Jack also is our
resident expert on Atari (and now
TURBO) Basic, and is currently the
*PAC* User Group President.

Enough about Network: on this trip. 
I'll turn the floor over to Ron
Mccall, *PAC* Secretary, and He'll
tell us all about the User Group.

Progressive Atari Computing (PAC) is
proud to say we are one of the
fastest growing, most progressive
Atari User Groups around.  The group
has just recently celebrated its
first anniversary.  Current
membership continues to grow at an
alarming rate, with representation of
both 8- and 16-Bit users, with a
small percentage having machines of
both types.  Each monthly membership
meeting sees the addition of new

PAC is located in Rantoul, Il., and
is adjacent to an Air Force base, so
it draws a significant portion of its
membership from the base.  As such,
we experience periodic departures of
active members, but at the same time
we also see new Atari users arriving
all the time.  Additionally, we
welcome out of town members, no
matter where they may reside.

We currently have several members on
the rolls who have never been to the
town of Rantoul, and in fact have
never been to the United States! 
Long-distance members are welcome
anytime.  Membership applications
(consisting of name, address, and
computer equipment currently owned)
should be sent to the address for
Network: Atari, together with $24.00
dues for yearly membership.  This
entitles one to receive the group's
newsletter (a biggie!) by mail as
soon as it is published, as well as
early news about the upcoming Disk Of
The Month.

The group is privileged to have as
its current President, a man who is
an Instructor in Computer Science at
a local college.  As such, he brings
his expertise in programming to
benefit all members, both in how to
better use their systems, as well as
authoring several original programs
for the group, and is currently
awaiting publication of some of his
work in ANALOG.

*PAC* recently started publication
and sale of a Public Domain Disk Of
The Month.  The premiere DOTM was a
double disk set of adventures, for an
introductory price of $5.00.  The
second was a special disk of The
phenomenal TurboBASIC from Germany,
with numerous programs written to
show off this version of BASIC to its
fullest.  This disk also sells for
only $5.00 mailed to anywhere.

The upcoming third DOTM will be a
graphics special, featuring SEEPIC
and other .PIC Utilities and a full
disk side of Koala-style pics.  Also
offered this month (as a side oder,
so to speak) is a complete 5-disk set
of ARChived pics.  Offered as a
complete package, or you can buy them

G.L.I.T.C.H. (Gremlins Loose In The
Computer House), is the bimonthly
newsletter published by PAC.  The
anniversary issue recently released
was a whopping 40 pages!  We welcome
input for this newsletter from anyone
who has a bit to say about hardware
or software, or even editorial
comments.  You may also send this
info to the same address.

*PAC* Secretary
Ron McCall
Xx Atari Scuttlebits...
By: Bob Kelly....Say It Ain't So....
It was a cloudy overcast day,the year
1919.  The newspapers had been
preoccupied with perhaps the most
infamous scandal of all American
sports, the Black Sox Baseball
scandal - a conspiracy to fix the
World Series.  Soon, the famous
Kenesaw Mountain Landis would come on
the scene as the first Commissioner
of baseball to clean-up the sport. 
Several baseball stars were
implicated in the scandal, the most
famous being Shoeless Joe Jackson. 
Soon after word of the scandal broke,
Jackson was walking out of the
courthouse, a young kid sitting on
the curb stood up and looked at
Jackson with tears in his eyes and
pleaded  "Say it ain't so.... Joe".

It is another cloudy day almost 70
years later, the owners of Atari 8
bit computers are looking to
Sunnyvale and wondering if their
computers are headed for extinction. 
Rumors abound, some third party
software developers indicate they
will no longer market software for
the Atari 8 bit computer.  Atari, by
its own actions, has yet to come
forth with the 80 column cartridge, a
product it announced months and
months ago.  It has also failed to
bring forth much in the way of new 8
bit software from its once prolific
software development house.

In the mean time, Apple announces the
new IIGS permitting both 8 bit and 16
bit software to be run on the same
machine.  Apple user loyalty is
reaffirmed.  Atari announces a IBM
clone.  Atari spokesmen, seemingly
oblivious to the contradiction,
continue to advise the 8 bit owner to
wait till tomorrow, a better day is

Unlike the Atari ST, whose ultimate
success depends on 3rd party
developers, the continuation of the 8
bit computer line now is in the hands
of ATARI ITSELF.  If it is to
continue, Atari must be out front in
the development of 8 bit hardware and
software as well as vigorously
encouraging the production of new
programs by third party vendors. 
Atari, in the form of Jack Tramiel
himself, not some spokesman, must
step forward and respond to user
pleas of  "Say it ain't so......"  By
the way, what would silence imply?

Computer Sales

The Department of Commerce after
almost a year released data on 1985
computers shipments.  Nearly 4
million computers were sold by U.S.
manufacturers with the following
table showing the breakdown for
digital computers only:

No. of Digital_Computers Companies
Quantity     $_million

<$500                    10
1,158,953      306,245

$500/1,000               17
1,070,175      655,572

$1,000/2,500             29
652,511        1,071,641

$2,500/5,000             27
593,056        2,386,819

$5,000/15,000            47
176,032        1,557,278

$15,000/50,000           44
118,973        2,505,968

$50,000/250,000          33
23,799         2,646,811

$250,000/1 million       17
4,746          1,993,629

Over $1 million           7
1,091          1,629,560

TOTALS:                 179
3,799,336     $14,753,523

On a quantity basis, 76% of the
digital computers shipped in 1985
were priced at less than $2,500.
However, on a dollar basis, computers
under $2,500 accounted for only 14%
of the total value of U.S. shipments.
Taking a closer look at the table, it
is possible to get some idea of the
value of the home computer market to
the U.S. economy.  Roughly 6.5% of
the total value of shipments is
represented by computers that sell
for less than $1,000.  It is indeed a
small portion of the pie (Atari's
total revenue in 1985 was $142
million).  Note the number of U.S.
companies.  Many U.S. firms are
competing against a few much larger
Japanese/Korean conglomerates and
further consolidation by U.S. firms
may be necessary to prosper in this

It was also reported that the value
of peripheral computer equipment
shipped by U.S. manufacturers in 1985
was $18.2 billion.

Nearly 15% of the total $17.4 billion
in U.S. manufactured computers were
exported - approximately $3 billion. 
However, the U.S. international trade
position in electronic products
continues to deteriorate.  In 1981,
the U.S. had a trade surplus (exports
> imports) of more than $6 billion. 
By 1986, the once trade surplus had
become a deficit amounting to roughly
$12 billion.  This swing of $18
billion has caused alarm and created
a rising call for action by Congress
to protect our high-tech industries. 
In the February 9 issue of Forbes
magazine Charles H. Ferguson, a
former IBM strategic analyst now at
the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology offered some insightful

"The new semiconductor trade
agreement shows this kind of
strategic naivete on the part of the
U.S. government, and short-term,
self-destructive thinking by the U.S.
industry.  The U.S. industry lobbied
for almost exactly the deal they got,
limiting Japanese penetration of the
U.S. market through exports and
putting a price floor on memory
chips.  The high price gives a
windfall to low-cost Japanese and
Korean chip makers and helps big
Japanese  computer makers, making
their chips in-house, while
penalizing U.S. firms that buy chips
on the open market.  The deal didn't
ban Japanese direct foreign
investment.  What the U.S. got was a
situation in which the only way that
the Japanese could continue to
progress was by buying the U.S.
semiconductor industry.  So Fujitsu
just bought 80% of Fairchild.  Then
Motorola signed a joint venture
enabling Toshiba to make 32 bit
microprocessors in Japan."

And so it goes....  Will we have a
viable semiconductor industry 5 years
from now or will even more American
manufacturers move abroad?  By the
way, do you realize that almost 1/2
of Taiwan's electronics output is for
captive operations involving such
U.S. corporations as Wang and IBM for
sale back to the U.S.  For that
matter, is anybody taking bets that
Atari will move its manufacturing
facilities back to the U.S.?  Stay
tuned, of course only if you really
believe there is any suspense.
Xx Atari Humor....
Reprinted from SPACE Newsletter
Most Outrageous Rumor Contest
St Paul ATARI Computer Enthusiasts
With Permission

1. ATARI has just discovered by
   accident that the old 2 transistor
   radio transistors do everything
   that the blitter chip was supposed
   to do. So, upgrades will be
   available for one dollar from
   ATARI dealers.

2. A guy in Colorado just found out
   that if you tape a two inch square
   of aluminum foil to the bottom of
   a 520 or 1040ST on the left front
   side, that the capacity of the
   internal memory is a little less
   than doubled.

3. ATARI's market research folks just
   reported to the firm that the best
   advertising for their products was
   through the success of the local
   Special Interest Groups, and
   therefore, a decision has been
   made to give MAST, SPACE and all
   other U.S. groups a one-time gift
   of $10,000 to help them plan
   bigger and better activities and
   to get more local visibility.

4. Rumor has it that the 1200 baud
   modem from ATARI has been delayed
   again; however, some good news -
   the 1100 baud modem is now

5. Sunnyvale, California:

ATARI Corporation announced today
their bid had been selected by the
U.S. Defense Dept. to provide 10,000
state-of-the-art battle engagement
simulator systems for all branches of
the armed services. Each $750,000
modular package will be portable and
can be used for tactical and
strategic real-time simulations for
any level of engagement from
individual unit to national

As ATARI stock rose sharply some Wall
Street insiders rumoured that ATARI
was moving into a factory recently
purchased from IBM where they would
mass produce military ruggidized
versions of their Model 400 laptop
mainframe and MIL SPEC ROM software
packages code-named STAR RAIDERS,

The Soviet military journal Isvestia
sharply attacked the action as
destabilizing East-West tensions.
National Security Council experts say
the ATARI development of 6th
generation battle simulation hardware
and software places Soviet forces at
a distinct readiness disadvantage
through at least 1995 or until the
Russian government finds a reliable
source of quarters.

6. Coleco Buys Apple

Coleco, the makers of the Cabbage
Patch Dolls, purchased Apple Computer
today. Due to a bug in Microsoft
Excel, Apple executives were
surprised to learn they sold
controlling interest in Apple
Computer to Coleco. Microsoft blames
the bug on a 'feature' within the
MacIntosh. Coleco, saying that now
they are a major player in the
computer industry, vows to take on
IBM with a new machine. This computer
has been dubbed the Adam PCjr Laptop.
Technical specifications have not
been released yet, but the Adam PCjr
will include The Bundle of Joy
Software Series. Featured programs in
this series are Cabbage Calc, Cabbage
Speech, Cabbage Write, Cabbage Spell,
and Cabbage Slaw.

IBM, in a rare retaliatory move,
announced their new entry into the
home market, the IBM Wombat II
GeeWhiz. According to sources within
the company, the new computer was
designed by top flight NASA engineers
on their coffee breaks during
launches. The specs on this machine
    - 1750 Compatibility
    - MonkScribe Very Letter Quality
      printer (4 char/min)
    - Souped up 9600th Baud Tin Can
      Modem (Campbell Compatible
      pending FDA Approval)
    - Speak and Tell voice synthesis
    - 1K Hard Drive with paper tape
    - Dual Disk Drives and Toaster
      Unit (butters both sides at

Bundled software includes:
Wom-Mon (machine language monitor)

Atari president Jack Tramiel upon
hearing of the new product
announcements was heard saying, "Its
too bad neither company can compete
and deliver on time like Atari Corp."

7. ATARI is suing Apple computers
   because the "look and feel" of the
   new color MacIntosh is too much
   like the ATARI ST.
Xx  Plent's Page
CIS Forums  By:Eric Plent

Forums are one of the best features
of CompuServe. If you have ever used 
the service I doubt you are not a 
member of at least one forum. As I 
have fooled around with the system I 
have found some of the better forums
to visit. Here is a list of some good
ones that will attract most people
who are reading this.

Forum Name               Page (GO ?)
Atari  8-Bit             ATARI8
Atari 16-Bit             ATARI16
Atari Developers         ATARIDEV
ANTIC Online Magazine    ANTIC
Dr. Dobb's Journal/mag   DDJ
Science/Math             SCIENCE
Science/Technology       COM-12
Sci Fi/Fantasy           SCI
Technical Writers        WESIG
Online Computer Conn.    RADIO
Software Publishers      PCFORUM
Programmers Forum        PROSIG
Public File Area         ACCESS
Telecommunications Forum TELECOMM
That much is enough to keep you going
for a few weeks! I have looked into
most of these forums at one time or
another, and I usually find more 
information and programs in one Data
Library than on most bulletin board

To visit a forum, simply type "GO"
plus the name of the forum listed 
above. For example: "GO ATARI8" will
take you to the Atari 8-Bit forum.

You will be asked if you wish to 
visit the forum or join the forum. 
Since it does not cost anything to 
join a forum, choose "Join the ***
forum". After that you have access to
all of the message bases and Data
Libraries in the forum (there are
usually around 7 message bases and 
7 Data Libraries in each forum).

I hope you enjoy some of these forums
on CompuServe! I have gotten so much
information and programs from them 
that I could not even begin to tell
you about them. This is something you
will have to see for your self!

Happy Telecommunicating!
             - Eric Plent
Xx Atari Corp names new VP/GM
According to a report from Online
Today, Atari Corp. has appointed 
Jerry Brown, a former Texas
Instruments and IBM executive, vice
president and general manager of US

According to this report, It was
stated that Jack Tramiel appointed
Brown as part of the plan to increase
Atari's market share in the US
Personal Computer Market.

By:C. Conroy...Online Today
The Federal Communications Commission
has issued its ruling on the second
phase of the Computer Inquiry III

The two major decisions rendered
  -:- There is no need to regulate
      network-based information
      services and processing
      services that are not currently

  -:- The Bell Operating Companies
      will not be allowed to offer
      enhanced services, such as
      remote processing services or
      network based information
      services, tied to its
      telecommunications network.

The FCC decision regarding the BOCs
is based on the fact that there
currently is no competition for local
telephone service, and competitors in
remote processing services could not
achieve access to the local
telecommunications network on an
equal basis with the BOCs in either a
technical or financial way.

Xx The Source Sold....
The Reader's Digest Association Inc.
announced it has sold The Source, the
McLean, Va., information service, for
an undisclosed amount to a New York-
based venture capital firm called
Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe.

The Source currently has more than
60,000 subscribers and last year
earned a profit on more than $14
million revenue.

The Source was launched in June 1979
by entrepreneurs William F. von
Meister and Jack R. Taub. Reader's
Digest bought controlling interest in
the company in April 1980.
Zmagazine April 13, 1987  Issue #47
Reprinting permission granted.
(c)1987 Syndicate Services
Please contribute!!!

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